« AnteriorContinuar »
set apart in memory thereof; so, when the world was renewed by redemption, it was fit there thould be a day kept in honour and memory of that great work: For, if the peri-cting the work of the first creation de. Terved to have a day set apart for celebrating the power and glory of the Author. puch more doth the firthing the new creation, or restoration of the world, delerve a day to be cousecrated for the com vemorating of that, in regard the glorious aitributes of God do ihinę far more brightly in this, than in the other.
Queft. III, If it be askid, Why was the Sabbath changed to the first day of the week ?
I answer, For many reasons.
1. The great re.:son given for observing the last day of the week, doth plead more strongly now for the ob, fervation of the firit day of the week The reason for observing the seventh day was, because the Lord rested that day froin the great work he had made, viz. of creation, which ought to be remembered with thankfulness and praise. Now, when God gave the ten commandments, there was no greater work in the world than the creation ; and therefore it was fit that the day of God's rest from his greateit work thould be the Sabbath, or day of relt to the world. But, should God thereafter work a greater work than creating heaven and earth; then, by parity of reason, and even by virtue of the fourth commandment, the day of God's rest from that, thould be the Sabbath of the world. Now, the work of redemption, which the Lord perfected, and refted from on the firit day of the week, is far greater than the work of creation ; it doth even eclipfe and swallow it up, as the temple did the tabernacle : It is far more valued and esteemed by God the Author, and ought to be far more regarded and remembered by us on many accounts.
1. In regard, that in the world's redemption there is a far more glorious dispiay of the divine attributes, God's power, wisdom, justice, goodness, &c. than in the world's creation.
2. It is much more for our benefit and comfort than the work of creation; we could have had no comfort in this without the other ; for the whole creation groan. ed under the burden of fin, and, by reason thereof, all the creatures were at enmity with us. Without redemption what pleasure can we take in our creation, fince by it we are made capable only of everlasting misery and distruction ? Alas! there are no conforts in being creatures, if we be not made new creatures ; and there is no doing of that, but by this new and glorious method.
3. In regard the fecond creation was a work of far greater difficulty and expence than the first. The first was finished by the word of his mouth, but the second could not be perfected but by the blood and death of his dear Son : The first was finished in six days; but it cost the Son of God above thirty three years painful travail and fuffering in the world, to effeétuate the second. In the first there was no opposition ; for, fince': the world was made out of nothing, there was nothing to make registance to the Creator : But in the second creation, or redemption of the world, there was a formidable opposition made by justice, men, and devils. It was wonderful for the glorious fabric of heaven and earth to be made out of nothing ; but much more for the Maker of all things to be made of a woman, Jesus Christ to be born of his own creature. In the first creation God made us like himself; but here the Lord makes himself like us. The glorious Creator is made a creature, yea, made fin, made a curse, to save man, his Ginful creature, from the curse.. We may indeed fay, “ We are fearfully and wonderfully made;" but much more are we fearfully and wonderfully redeemed. Creation was the work of God's fingers, Pfal. viii 3. but redemption the work of his arm, Luke. i, 51. We use the strength of the arm, to effectuate what the fingers cannot do. So that we see it is a far greater work and miracle to bring us back from hell, than to bring us from nothing ; to make us saints, than to make us men and women. Well then, if God's refting from his work of creation on the seventh day, determined mankind to keep this day for a Sabbath in a thankful remembrance thereof, much more should God incar
nate's raising a new world at a far greater charge, and refting from his labour of love on the first day of the week, determine us to observe that day for a Sabbath, in an adoring remembrance of his intimite glory and goodnefs displayed in this stupendous work.
4. The Lord himself delights and rejoices much more in the new creation, than in the oid, his glory being more conspicuous by the one than by the other; and that which is esteemed and preferred by him, ought to be fo by us. The Lord indeed took pleasure in the Teview of his works in the first creation, when he at first rested from the fame : But these being afterwards all corrupted and deformed by fin, his complacency therein was exceedingly diminished. Hence, Gen. vi. it is said, “ It repented him he had made man :" Wherefore it was proper and necessary to transfer the Sabbath to the day of the world's new creation or reftoration, effected and completed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ the world's Redeemer, in which day the Lord refted from these his more glorious works, den lighting himself in the review thereof with an everlasting complacency. - Lafly, To confirm what is faid, let it be observed, that God so far preferred the work of redemption to that of creation, that he changed the beginning of the year (as Dr Lightfoot' remarks on Exod xiii.) from the time of the world's creation, to the time of the passover, and the Israelites deliverance from Egypt by Mofes, as being an eminent type of our redemption froin lin and hell by Jesus Christ. We have reason to believe, that, from the creation of the world, the year began in September, at the time of the autumnal Equinox; for we find the fruits were on the trees at the creation, Gen. i. 12. But when God instituted the first paflover, which immediately afhered in the Israelites deliverance from Egypt which was in March, at the vernal Equinox; he changed the beginning of the year, and ordered it to commence from that time, Exod. xii. 2. “ This month shall be unto you the beginning of months, it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Now, is the beginning of the year was changed upon the account of the type, a day might well be changed upon the account of the antitype. If the month of the figu. rative redemption was so remarkable, that the month of the world's creation must give place to it; then surely the substance itself, when it appeared, might well be the cause of the change of a day, and the seventh day of the creation give place to the first day of the finishing of our redemption. . succeeding our fix' days labour, puts us in mind of God's finishing the works of creation in six days fpace, and resting the seventh. And especially, it being the first day of the week, serves to mind us of the begin. ning of the world, and of its first creation ; seeing it was on this day that God began his glorious work, say. ing, “ Let there be light.” But in a special manner, this day serves to perpetuate the memorial of this greater blessing of the world's new creation or redemption by Jesus Christ; Gnce on it he finished this work by his resurrection. It was on this day that not only that temporal and perishing light did first shine at the first creation ;- but also that eternal and heavenly light brake out in a meridian splendor, the Sun of righteousnefs arose from a dark grave, and shined on a dark world, and brought light, life, peace, healing, and all mercies under his wings.
11. Since there was a necessity of changing the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week, as is already proven; it could be into no other day so fitly as the first day of the week, on several accounts.
1. Because of its answering the intent of the command better than another day: For if the Sabbath had been changed into the second, third, fourth, or any other day of the week than the first, the morality of the fourth command had been infringed : For so God would not have had one day, and man fix working days together of one and the same week; as the command requires. But now it holds in a constant courses God hath his one day, and we our six together in one and the same week; as it was from the beginning. And, by this wise alteration, there was never a week without a Sabbath, and never a week had two Sabbaths. For as the week ended with the Jews Sabbath, so the next week began with the Christian Sabbath ; which could not have been, if any other feventh day had been chosen.
2. Since there behoved to be a change, it was very agreeable to reason to begin the week with God, and that our Creator and Benefactor should be firit served, and have his portion of the week assigned to him in the first place, that his worship might have the preference to our labour; and also, that our confecrating the first fruits of the week to God, might in a manner fanctify the whole, obtain his blessing on the week's labour, and make all our works therein the more acceptable to him.
3. The first day of the week is the fittest for keep-, ing up the memory both of the first and second crea. tion of the world. For it being a day of rest always
4. It is the fittest day for celebrating the honour and memory of all the persons of the glorious Trinity; For though Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, be honoured by this day in a peculiar manner, upon account of his glorious reft this day from the work of redemption ; yet the Father and Holy Ghost are this day remarkably honoured also. The Father did not only begin this day to create but he was the glorious contriver of our happiness, and sent his Son to carry on that blessed work of redemption, which was this day happily completed. Also the Holy Ghost is honoured by observing this day, since he gloriously descended at Pentecoft on this day for fitting and furnishing the apoftles for the work of the gospel : and he is the blessed Applier of the redemption finished this day by Jesus Chriit, and is in a more especial manner at work this day, in making saving application of it unto elect souls, by the preaching of the gospel..
III. The Sabbath is changed to the first day of the week, because it is the most honourable and glorious day to Christ and his church, that ever dawned upon the world: The most honourable day to our Redeemer, and the most joyful to the redeemed; and therefore ought to be kept in perpetual remembrance.