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in his word, one day in seven, to be kept holy for his folemn worship; neither hath he left the particular day to mens own choice but bath chosen it for them. And now, in the New Testament, he points out the first day of the week to be the Christian Sabbath to the end of the world, as is made evident in the following treatise.,, ** que
The Jews have their Saturday Sabbath, which they glory in, and call the Queen of the week: The Mahometans keep the Friday, as being Mahomet's birth-day, The Parthians and some other Pagan nations observe Tuesday, and esteem it above all other days of the week. But it is the discriminating badge of the professors of Chriftianity through all the world, to celebrate the first day of the week, being Christ's resurrection-day, and hence called the Lord's day. Now, though the Jews and some few others plead that the seventh day from the crea. tion is unalterable by virtue of the fourth command, it is shewed in this treatise, that the words of the fourth command are so framed, that they may be applied to any day of the week that God doth please to pitch upon for the Sabbath, whether it be the first or last of the seven days For when it is said, " The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God;" it doth not mean the seventh day from the Creation, but any seventh day after fix days labour which God pitches on; upon which account it is not called that seventh day, but the seventh day. Neither is the seventh day mentioned in the first words of the com. mand, which contain the substance of it; for it is said only, ". Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,': not the seventh day. Nor is the seventh day mentioned in the last words of the command, which contain the for. mal reason of it ; for it is said only, " The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it,” not the seventh day.
As to the firit day of the week, our Christian Sabbath, the great Lord of our time hath appropriate this day to himself, marked it with his seal, and hath put his name upon it, calling it, Rev. i. 10. Hemera Kuriake, the Lord's day; even as he calls the holy supper, 1 Cor. xi. 20. Diapnon Kuriakon, the Lord's fupper; because the one was his institution as well as the other, and set apart for keeping up his memory, and shewing forth his glory. Wherefore no trųe Chriftian, or lover of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be indifferent about the keeping of this holy day: For as the holy observing of this day is an open
and visible owning of the Lord Jesus (whose name it bears) for our Lord and Master; fo the neglect of this day is a plain disowning of him, and an open slighting of the benefits of his resurrection. O that men would think on this, and consider what they do, when they neglect or contemn the Lord's day!
Though the way of Sabbath-sanctification be the good old way, appointed by God ever since he created man upon the earth ; yet there is no way more hated, no dutv more opposed by Satan and wicked men : Which we need not be surprised at, seeing it is a special fence to all religion, and a great bulwark against the torrent of impiety that runs in the world. And that true piety is so low in most places, and vice and immorality so generally prevail, is mainly to be imputed to the abounding neglect and contempt of the holy Sabbath : For common experience doth testify, that where the Lord's day is more strictly obferved, their Chriftian knowledge, piety and morality, do prosper most; and where the Sabbath is disregarded, there all these do decay. The consideration whereof should excite all the lovers of God and holiness, to use their utmost endeavours to support the credit and maintain the dignity of the Sabbath against all its enemies.
This consideration harh moved me to contribute my mite upon this excellent subject in the following treatise, which is partly controversial and partly practical; for confuting the enemies of the Sabbath, and for instructing all in the divine warrant for sanctifying this holy day, and in the right manner of doing it. There are two essential things in the Christian religion, which all should make conscience of; sincerely to believe its truths, and faithfully to práctice its duties. The first of these hath great influence upon the second ; for, if the Christian truths be not Grmly believed, the Christian duties will be ill pera formed : Now, the best means for promoting both the Christian faith and Christian practice, is the fanctification of the Lord's day.
Had it not been for the observation of the Sabbath, the truths of Christianity had been quite razed out of the minds of the most part : For as the Lord's day, of itself, is a bright and lively memorial of our redemption by Jesus Christ : so upon this day we constantly have founded in our ears the truths of that religion which Christ and his apolles delivered unto the world, and the excellency of
them inculcate upon us. And as the observation of the Sabbath is a great prefervative to the truth's of Christianity,"; fo*** is also try the duties thereof God hath fet this one > ddiy as a hedge or fence for keeping all the rest for, by ke-pins the Sabbath confcientioufly, the foul is notably a difpfed and put in frame for ferving God in every religi. ous durs. The frequent recurring of this day, and the gofphordinances therein dispensed, serve to continue the # Temembrance of Christ and heaven among mer, keep fin and vice under conftant rebukes, and put atheism and in fidelity to'he blush.' Take away the cbservation of the Lord's dav, then the worship of God would be cast off, and atheism profaneness, and all disorders, like a flood, would break in upon us.
We may look upon the duty of Sabbath fan&tification to be of no less consequence to the practice of Christianity, thai Luther reckoned the article of justification to be to the drettine of it, when he called it arriculus fantis feu cadenris ecclefiæ; For, if once we make a gapę in this hedge of pierv, serious godliness will run out at it, and a * food of impiety and looseness rush in upon us. It was furely the férife of this, that determined the wifeft of em, perors, kings, parliaments, and church councils and fynods, to frame and publish so many excellent laws and acts for & the 'ftrict observation of the Lord's day, agreeable to the divine laws thereanent. It would be happy forc hurches if and nations, if these were put in execution, and all forts of men brought to have a due regard to them. ii
But, notwithstanding of all the laws, divine and human, for the holy observation of the Lord's day, there are many in the age wherein we live, who adventure to pour contempe upon this holy day. Some there are who dispute ? against the morality of the Sabbath, and disown the standing and perpetual obligation of the fourth command. Others, though they own the obligation of the command fo far as to forbear fervile work, and attend public wo: fhip on the Sabbåth, yet plead for carnal diverfions and recrea. ** tions af er public 'wir bip'is over. Many would inclinc to the Papiits way of celebrating the Sabbath, who arter mafs and even fong (as they call i') go presentiy to piping and dancing, and then to the ale-house ; the same way. that the Israelites celebrated the feast of the golden calf, Exod. xxxi. 6. “ The people ate and drank, and rofe up. to play." If this profane course were' allowed, as of old,
in times of antichriftian darkness, many would then call the Sabbath a delight, and be, in some measure, reconciled to it; but, when they hear that the whole Sabbach is to be spent in religious duties and exercises, they murmur, and say, as those in Mal. i. 13. " What a weariness is it?".
It would be no grievance to many to see that old abou mination of the book of sports revived and authorised among us; I mean, that infamous declaration for liberty of sports and recreation on the Lord's day, published by authority in the year 1633, and appointed to be read from the pul pits; the prelates confenting to it, and perfecuting those miuifters who refused to read it. O what heinous God. provoking wickedness was it, for civil and ecclesiastic rulers, to unite in promoting the profanation of the sabbath by such methods ! As the heavy judgment of God followed them for such avowed profanation, so those in our age have reason to fear his judgments, who continue to be of the fame profane difpofition. Oh, is it not evident that sports and pastimes do unfit the mind for spiritual service, and take off mens thoughts from what is serious and for lema ! Do they not put the heart out of frame for attend. ing on God, and for holding communion with him in holy duties and ordinances? This is thewed more fully in the follawing treatise.no
Again, there are others who observe this day no bele ter than the beafts do: They only reft from their ordi. nary labour, and spend the day in idleness and floth ; 'which is to keep the Sabbath of an ox or ass, not of a seasonable creature. To fanctify the Sabbath, it is not to keep it merely as a reft from our common employments, or keep it as an idle day : but to keep it as a hos big day, a day set apart for God's glory, and for promote ing our salvation. But, alas ! fuch is the Spiritual loth , and idleness of many poor carclefs fouls on this day, they labour as little for their fouls, on it, as they do for their bodies; they sleep, loiter, ly at home, and feldom go to any worthip at all, if they go out of doors, it is for their diverfion, to take a walk, to pay a vifit, or the like, but not to attend God's worship. Many, alas! will go a dozen of miles to a market for a little gain, that will not go one mile, nor a few steps to the church, to attend the gospel-market for enriching their fouls. If the bell that calls them to the worthip of God, did advertise them of a fage-play, or of some idle pastime, perhaps they would VOL. IV.
be found there among the first ; but, for spiritual work, they have an aversion to it..
3050 von 10 : Moreover, there are many who go to church and at : tend ordinances this day, rather to pleafe a natural con: science, or support their reputation in the world, than to ferve God or lave their souls. Or perhaps they go be. cause it is the fashion, or the way in which they have been brought up, but alas ! leaving their chearts behind them, they present their bodies to God, and no more z. .. And hence it is, that in the time of the most folemn * worship, they have their eyes either wanderings after vanity, or else shut with drowfinefs, and sleep; they find no delight in the Sabbath, taste no sweetness in ordinances, know nothing of communion with God. in them. They understand not the Pfalmift's language, “ A day in God's courts is better than a thousand any where else." No, this day is to them the longest and most wearifome day of all the week ; the religious exercises of it are irksome and burdensome to them. It may be said of them, as of Doeg the Edomite, 1 Sam. xxi. 7. 66 He was that day detained before the Lord." They long to be released from the service of that day, and glad when it is over. Alas! the minds of many are fo set upon the world, that they complain in their hearts of the length of this day, as the Israelitss of old, Amos viii. 5. 6. When will the new moon be gone, that we may fell corn ; and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat ?" They count all these days loft days, that bring them in no.worldly gain. Hence it was, that the Heathens (as Seneca: tells us) counted the Jews a foolish people, because they lost a full seventh part of their lives, to wit, by observing the Sabbath. But, ah! it is to be lamented, that not Heathens ,' only, but also many profest Chiiftians, count the Sabbath a lost day : O what base ingratitude is this to God, for the invaluable privilege and bleffing of the Sabbath to the souls of men !'. 'till or on
Lastly, T'here are, besides thefe mentioned, some prodigies of wickedness in the world, persons who prosecute their lewd and profane courses with more vigour on this holy day, than upon any other; and fo make this day of holy reft the devil's working day, and consume it wholly upon their lufts! O how daring an affront muft this be to a great a holy God, to make that a day to serve the devil, a day to improve iu vice and debauchery, which the Lord