Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

for they were liable to the same infirmities that are info cident to us

3. I frankly allow what refreshment is neceffary for supporting nature, and for the better performance of the duties of the Sabbath : But, for the foresaid car. nal diversions, they are so far from being necessary for furthering the work of the Sabbath, that they are great hindrances thereto.

4. If labouring people need recreation for their bodies, then let thein have some time on week days for it.

If for their minds, I know no such fit recreation as the joyful commemoration of the love of Christ, and our redemption from hell and wrath thrcugh his blood, and the cheerful Enging the praises of our Maker and Redeemer, which is the very work of the Sabbath. Is it not a recreation for Christ's sheep to ferd in his green pastures, and to be led by him beside the still waters? to behold the waters of life, clear as crvital, förring batwix: the banks of ordinances ? to get a pleasant prospect from mount Nebo, of the przo miird land? Is it rot a recreation for a condemned man, to come and hear his pardon pronounced? for a burgman, to get peatant food and heavenly dain. ties? for a Eck man, to get all his diftates healed? Nluft it not be a carnal and itapit heart, that will call theie a burden or wearinets. There are many who wetry not to spend whole days at markers, in buying ari teling; ry, whole days and nights in ganing and tingin, wireu cas a car toeat in fuch pleafint and ra l wers and what is the hghest priwaze of a rain CTCRI SUR, workman can beton of Buscit

a re labour, as a he. 1.10T V

's Traun his worldIr

a r til etusiv converte 3749 S

e

in his bounty

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ar unavoidable i te duties of

corre unne. e n Toere roo, drato

Ing and feeding our bodies, going to the church, and returning from it, attending children, cattle, &c. ( how many are our avocations and intermissions in ferving our Creator and Redeemer on the Lord's day, which we cannot shun! And shall we think the rest of the day too much for this important work, that we must go seek carnal diversions to drive it away?.

6. I granit, the best are ready to grow weary of duty, because of the averlion of our corrupt nature to that which i: gcod; but carnal recreations will never cure this aversion, por overcome that weariness, but will certainly indulge and increase the same, The best way to cure weariness (next to the grace of God) is praslice and experience in religion, and sincere wrestling and, ftriving against it. Rehiting overcomes it; but giving way to it doth increase it. : 7. The Lord knows the carnality and weariness that our hearts are naturaily prone to in the work of the Sabbath; wherefore, for remedy thereof, he hath gra.. ciously appointed variety of exercises on the Sabbathday, that, when we weary of one, another may be our recreation. Are you weary of hearing? then recreate yourselves with prayer : If of that, then recreate yourtelves with singing of God's praises : If of that, then recreate yourselves in reading God's word, and other good books : If of that, then recreate yourselves with meditations : If you weary of that, then recreate yourfelves with Christian conference, repeating the sermons, instructing your families, &c. If you weary of public duties, then go to private ; if of these, go to secret duties. Is there not here a delightful variety of pleasant spiritual employments, fufficient to recreate ourselves with for one day, without needing the help of any sensual diversion, to put off the precious time of this blesled day? How think you to spend a whole eternity in spiritual exercises, when you weary lo much of one day? Whatever carnal men think, I am sure a godly foul will be far from counting this. work a burden : Hearing and reading the scripiures is a far less burden to him, than recreations and pastimes would be ; for God's " testimonies are his delight, and

. O 2

he

“ he rejoices in them more than in all riches," Pfal. cxix. Yea, nothing in the world is such a burden to him on the Sabbath as his ill heart, his little delight in the Sabbath, and shortcomings in the duties thereof; and nothing such a pleasure and recreation to him, as when he can win above these, and get his heart lifted up in the ways of the Lord. .

I am sure, it is no unpleasant work that God calls us to on the Sabbath ; who, but a wicked man, will count it a wearisome thing to think on Chrift, and his dying love? to hear the fweet messages of free grace, and rejoice in the forefights and foretastes of his everlasting love. You know the black character of those, who of old called Sabbath. work a burden, and said, " when will the Sabbath be gone?" Amos viii. 5. This temper stands in opposition to gospel holiness: Therefore I think, J. S. and every gospel minister fhould be so far from indulging it, by giving way to carnal recreations and diverfions, that he should do what lies in his power to reprove, discourage and remeid it. And if ministers would be at pains to preach and pray with life and awakening seriousness, and afford their people a pleasant variety of wholesome diícourse concerning Christ and eternity, it would be a far better way to cure their weariness, thar to prescribe carnal recreations on the Lord's day: For this is a cure tbat both strengthens the disease, and is as bad as the disease.

Objeft. III. " But walking in the fields on the Lore's day teenis to be a harmlefs practice; why will you not allow of that?"

An. Wherever the works of pietr, necessity or mér. cy do require it, it is allowable; but to do it idly for putting out the time, or for worldly employments or re. creations, is what the word of God condemns. It is not only lawful, but dutiful to walk abroad, if it be for attending public ordinances, vuuring the fick, or other Sabbath duties; for then it is not for finding our own pieaiure, which is cifallowed by lsa, lviii. 13 Exod. xvi. 20. And, be the same rule, I cannot condemn tender persons wasing abro.d, or taking the air, if their health truly require is į for the Lord loves mercy

rather

[ocr errors]

rather than facrifice. Nor do I condemn a person's going to fields this day, to have opportunity (like Isaac) in the evening for secret meditation and prayer, when he wants conveniency for it within doors; for a walk thus improved, may be a walk to heaven, and is very confitent with walking with God, Only take these two cautions ;

1. If you walk abroad this day, chuse to do it alone as much as possible ; for people going in troops to the fields occasions idleness, vain talking, sporting, and mifpending precious Sabbath-time. The fociety of vain persons helpeth to embolden one another in lin and folly, and maketh them more incapable of Spiritual exercises, than when single and apart. Yea, I am persuaded, that these companies of people, who fo commonly go a walking together on the Lord's day, do not so much as pretend to be spiritually employed. Alas! they who know them best, can tell that they are most unfit for it at such occasions. Should any coine and speak to them about death and eternity, Christ and their souls, or propose any serious question concerning the sermon they have been hearing, I fear he might expect to be mocked and laughed at by them for his pains.

2. Let your walking abroad, in any of the foresaid cases, be so ordered, that it may not give scandal, nor infnare others : Study to do it so privately, that ochers may not be hardened or encouraged in their loose re* creations, on this day by your example: For even these things which are lawful, and otherwise necefiry in themselves, are not to be done when they may prove a scandal or temptation to others to fin; for, in such cases, we ought to deny ourselves of our lawful liberty.

Object. “ We find two of Christ's disciples travelling to Emmaus and back again, on the Lord's day, and Christ met with them, and did not reprove them for it,” Luke xxiv.

. Ans. This was the first Lord's day of all, and was not then fully institute, or, at least, made known to the disciples; for they were not then assured of Chrift's re.

surrection.

surrection. Again, walking abroad this day, for pro moting the works of piety, for declaring God's glory, or preachiny the gospel, is not unlawful : And such was tnis walking of our Saviour, and his two disciples, their return to Jerusalem this day.

Now, having fully handled this point, of the negative sanctification of the Sabbath, or the holy rest requisite upon it; I proceed to treat of the positive fanctification of the day, and of the holy exercises required therein.

SECTION II. i

Coricerning the positive fanctification of the Sabbath, and the

boly exercises requisite upon it. THE rest of the Sabbath is not a lazy idle rest:

i No; it is a holy active fort of rest that is required upon it. Though we cease from works of one kind, yet we must be diligent in works of another kind.

What I have to say on this head may be summed up in the following directions.

1. Concerning the disposition and frame of the soul, needful for fanctifying the Sabbath.

2. Concerning the holy duties requisite upon the Sabbath.

3. Concerning the special order, method and mariner, wherein these duties are to be performed.

4. Concerning those particular Gins, whereby the fanctification of the Sabbath is hindered, or the Saba bath profaned.

DIRECTION I. Concerning the Frame of Spirit fit for Sanctifying the Lord's

. Day. THE most suitable frame and disposition of foul, which I can recommend for sandlifying the Sabbath

daya

« AnteriorContinuar »