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ful, as to incroach upon God's time, or rob him of any part of it, more than they? The very liglt of nature, and principles of sound reason, befides the command of God, plead strongly for this : That, fince the Lord hath liberally given us fix days for our use, we should, without grudge, give him cne day for his service; and, Gince he gives us fix u hole days, it continues morally juft and rational, that we should give him his one day whole too, and that we should spend as much of his day in holy duties as is ordinarily allowed on other days for servile labour, and that is the whole day, except what is allowed for receffary bodily refreshments, viz. eating and sleeping.
The ad Ground I shall inlít on is, the Lord's proprie. ty in the Sabbath, or in one day of seven. This reason binds us as n uch as it did the Jews; the Lord's right to a day in sever, is the same that ever it was, other. wise the morality of the fourth command is not the same; but I have already demonstrated the contrary. The Chriftian Sabbath is called the Lord's day, as well as the Jewish Sabbath was called “the holy of the Lord," Ifa lviii. 13. to shew that his propriety and title is the fame. And it is observable, that the Lord in that one verse, calls it twice his holy day; and it is from this that the Lord takes the principal argument, which he there uses against carnal recreations on the Sabbath ; « Ye thall not speak your own words, nor find your own pleasures on this day.” Why? It is my holy day, the holy of the Lord : The seventh part of the week is mine unalterably, fet apart for holy uses, consecrate for my holy service. This argument is moral, and perpetually obliges all men, Christians as much as Jews. For, if a day in seven be dedicated to God, certainly every part of it, yea, the whole of it, belongs to him; and to alienate any part of it to our own use or pleafures, is facrilege, and a dirc et infringement of the morality of the fourth command. The Lord tells us, Levit. xxvii. 28. “ That every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord.” Here is a day bosh by God and nial, folemnly and perpetually devoted to the Lordi and accordingly the Lord, lía. lviii, 13. asserts his just , right and title to it, and twice in one breath calls it his holy day, and, u o. this account, prohibits carn il recreations upon it: And must it not be great presumption for any creature, to venture deliberately to rob his Creator of his just property, and put that which is holy, and folemnly confecrate to God, to common use? Remember what S lomon says, Prov. xx. 25 “ It is a fnare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make ingu ry:” It is a Înire, i. e. it is a most dangerous thing, it brings heavy guilt, even God's curse and vengeance, upon the man that doth fo. Thus you see how the morality and unalterable reasons of the fourth command restrain Christians from carnal recreations on the Sabbath, as much as the Jews. The standing and perpetual rule, which God hath there laid down, can never be altered to the world's end : Still God hath one day, and man hath fix; but if we take any part of God's day to our own use, more than the works of necessity and mercy require, then we have more than our fix, and God hath less than his one, which is contrary to the command. Moreover, if it be in the power of man to alienate any part of this day from God, why not the whole of it? and so the Sabbath might come to be wholly abolished, which is absurd.
. Objeći. 1. “ The memory of Christ's resurrection on the Lord's day, calls us to more joy and gladness upon our Sabbath than the Jews were called to upon theirs."
Ans This says nothing for carnal sports or recreations : It is not a worldly joy but a spiritual joy, that we are called to this day; such a joy as is expressed in psalms, hymns, and spiritual fongs. Again, if our mercies be this day greater than those the Jews had to commemorate, then we are in gratitude obliged to a more strict and holy fanctification of the day, to the honour and glory of the God and fountain of our mer. cies; which, I believe, no serious Chriftian will think carnal recreations very consistent with.
Object. 2. " But these recreations are no where forbidden in the New Testament.
3. Ant. "It is sufficient if they be forbidden in the Old Testament; for the Old Testament is our rule, as much as the New, in actions which are moral, or not cere. monial; and I fee not what shadow of ground there is for calling abftinence from carnal pleasures on the Saba' bath, a thing ceremonial, ot less bindirig upon us than the Jews : But moreover, if we compare the 38th chapter of Isaiah with the goth, it will manifeftly ape pear, that the Lord, in injoining his people strictly to observe the Sabbath, and abstain from carnals pleasures thereon, hath a respect to gospel times after the Melfiah's coming. Isaiah was a moft evangelical prophet, and still had the gospel-times in his eye; wherefore some call him the evangelift Ifaiah: So that, in recommending Sabbath fanctification, and calling the Sab. bath God's holy day, lie doth not confine himfelf to the Jewish Sabbath, which was soon to be abolished, but hath an eye to the evangelical Sabbath, which was to continue to the end of the world. Essas mes
Again, this is confirmed by the practice of the primitive Christians : they thought it unlawful to spend any part of the Lord's: day in unneceffargi diversions from holy things, yea, they accounted the strid fanification of this day the prime character of a true saint. Augustine faith, “ It is not enough that we keep three or four hours of this day, but that we observe the whole day." The ancient Chriftians did not think the work of the day was over, when the public worship I was ended. The younger Pliny tells us,6 That they used this day to meet before day light, and fing their hymns to Christ.”. And Tertullian, in his apology, makes mention of their night-prayers. They thought thems felves bound to begin the work of the day so early, beb cause Christ rofe this morning before break of day. They neither thought nor pleaded that they had more freedom for worldly pleasures, or were less obliged to holy exercifes this day, than the Jews upon their Sabbath u
p tone u jednomT »!) ont af m Nay, if we consider things narrowly, it will be found, that Christians are under greater obligations to a striet po celom
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and holy fanctification of the Sabbath under the gofpel, than the Jews were under the law, for sever I reasons.
i. We have not only the creation, as the Jews had, but we have also the redemption of mankind, which is a greater work, this day to commemorate. Now if the Jews were obliged to celebrate the day which was instituted for the memory of the creation, by a to tal abstinence from worldly employments and recreas tions; much more are we b und to a strict fanctification of the day which is instituted for commemorating of both creation and redemption. We have far greater mercies to commemorate this day than the Jews had, viz. « the redeeming love of a crucified J sus, and his glorious vi&ory over death and hell;" and consequently have greater work and employment; and ought to be the more active and busy in doing of it; and also more delightful work, and therefore should be the less
inclined to weary or ft up in it. . 2. We have a far more pleasant and excellent mana
ner of worship to perform upon the Sabbath, than the Jews had. Their worship was attended with manifold rites, washings, and sacrifices, which were both chargeable and toilfome to their bodies; but ours is spiritual, pleasant and easy. · 3: The Jews had many other festival days to obi serve, by a strict and holy rest, beside the Sabbath ; but, under the gospel, God hath freed us from the yoke of all other festivals, and hach institute none but the Lord's day, which, in gratitude, we ought to observe more striály and religiously than the Jews.
4. By baptisın, we come under more strict and solemn engagements to keep God's commandments, than the Jews, and also we have more special promises of his Spirit to help us in keeping of them, than the Jews had; For, in the New Testament times, the Spirit is poured out in a larger measure, than in the Old.
So that from the whole I infer, that if the Jews un. der the Old Testament were bound to keep the whole Sabbath day and wholly to abstain from their own pleasures upon it, yea, count the service of the Saba bath, a delight; according to Ifa. lviii. 13. though in VOL IV.
itself it was burdensome : Much more ought we, under the gospel, to keep the whole Sabbath strictly, and call it a delight, when the work and fervice of it is so pleasant and easy.
. H. Another argument, which I shall bring against the foresaid Sabbath day's recreations, shall be taken from the nature and greatness of the Sabbath day's work; and I shall form it thus :
If the work of the Sabbath be so necessary, weighty; and various, that it requires the whole day to be spent thereir, and challenges all our souls faculties to be em. ployed thereabout; then carnal recreations are unlawful thereupon ::
But the former is true ; therefore, &c.
The connexion of the major proposition is evident : for that which is weighty and necessary ought always to take place of that which is not so.
As for the minor propofition, that the work of the Sabbath is so great and necessary, is plain, if we confi. der, that the Sabbath is the great market day of heaven; upon which we ought to take in, and lay up provigon for our souls for the rest of the week, yea, for eternity itself. It is the usual day of finners converfion and ac. quaintance with God: It is the day wherein we have our fins to bewail, our needs to get supplied, our hard hearts to get melted, our dead affections to get raised, our guilty consciences to get disburdened, our dark minds to get enlightened, our weak graces to get ftrengthened : We have this day God's word to teach our families, our children to instruct, Chrift's love to commemorate, death and judgment to provide for, and our Redeemer to treat with about the Caring of our souls. In a word, this is a day wherein we are to make ritirs to God, and receive vitics for him. Now, I do appeal to erery serious foul, that knows any thing of real god lice's, if these things be not fo weigher and neccfiary, 29 to challenge the whole of the day, and the. attendance of all our powers and faculties : And if fo, then we are bound carefulir to aroid every thing that may prove an avocation or divertion from doing them.
M. Another arguinent may run thus: