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be delayed or done upon another day. This ceffation was fhadowed forth by that river in Judea, called the Sabbatical river, because it dried up and ceased from running every Sabbath day: which not only Josephus speaks of, but also Pliny, Auguftus Cæsar in his letter to Tiberius, and others. Let none think that such a total ceffation from secular bufness would tend to their worldly disadvantage ; for none were ever losers in this respect, by laying aside their own labours to attend God's worship and service upon his own day. As God took care of Israel's safety, while they came up to Jerusalem three times a year to attend the folemn feasts which he had instituted ; fo that at these times none of their enemies should make any attack upon them, or so much as defire their cities, according to his promise in Exod. xxxiv. 24. So will that fame God, by his kind and watchful providence, take care that his people fustain no damage in their worldly affairs through their dutiful observation of this holy day. Nay, on the contrary, they have found this practice to be even profitable to them, with respect to their outward temporal cftate: And there is good ground to think it will always be fo; for, the more conscientious any man is in fanctifying the Sabbath-day, the greater blessing he may expect from God upon his labour on the fix days : And it is not your own labour or toil, but the “ bles, sing of God that maketh rich,” Prov. x. 22. Judge Hale, and other godly persons, have attested the truth of this point from their own experience, as I have shew.. ed before.
The Lord, in his word, is very peremptory and particular in injoining this cessation from labour on the Sabbath ; and because he knows the eagerness of mens hearts upon the world, and their readiness to encroach upon his holy day with their worldly labour, he con. descends upon these seasons wherein they have mort tentation thereto, and requires them in “earing time and in harvest" to rest on the Sabbath, Exod. xxxiv. 21. Though those be the times when we are most throng with worldly business, yet he will have us in midit thereof punctually to observe the Sabbath, and prefer VOL. IV.
the pleafare of commuion with and in his ordinances to the joy of harvest, and to expect that harv ft-work will prosper the better for our religious obfervation of the Sabbath in harvest time. Aifo the Lord specifies these seasons, because then we are under greater cbli. gations to friåt keeping of the Sabbath, than at other times; because,
J. The bocies of servants and cattle are more toil. ed ther, than at other times; and so have the more need of reft.
2. People then have less time to worship God in their families and closets on week dars, because of the greatness of their labour; and therefore have need to improve the Sabbath the more diligently. .
3. In harvest we partake more of the fruits of God's bounty, than at other times; and therefore fhould be the more thankful to God for his mercies, and especialiy for Christ, the mercy of mercies, who alone doth bcih purchase and sweeten all our mercies to us.
Now, is it not matter of deep regret that (notwithftanding God's special command, and our manifold ob igations to the contrary) our churches in many places should be thinner, and fields thronger with idle people wandering therein in time of harveit, than at other times of the rear?
Cariei. * When the weather is unleasonable and temr pertuous through the reck, doch it not become a wors of neceiitT 10 few or reap on the Sabbath, for freierring of food to man ar.d deaity
Arh. li icme particular mens corns were in hazard of being carried away, or lost by the inondation of a river, or ibe like, it were a work of receipts to endezvour the poeiertation of them upon the Sabbach; becznie the cupenízdioa is extraordinart, the case not cocmon dot gedeta, 20d the car.ege iTTorrerabie is any ordinary waT. But, as for ioning, repeag, or gathering in coon we Sabbath, (whatever be pretended from the italca or weather for it) I jodge it ene kawton, because the całe is con doa and general; the hazard proceeds from the OTCBET providence of God;
and there is ground to expect God's fending better weather, according to the gracious pro nise, which we ought not to diftruit, Gen. ix. 22 “ While the the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest shall not cease." But if any distrust God's word, and incroach upon his holy day with their labour, let them consider that God can easily blast the works of their hands, and cast their buliness farcher behind than their neighbours, who believe and wait upon the Lord. I have a certain account of a rich farmer in this nation, not many years ago, who in harvest time (the weather having been very bad for some time before, and proving fair and dry on Saturday and the Lord's d v) would needs cause his servants yoke his horses, and fall to the leading of his corns upon the Sabbath evening : But it pleased the Lord that he soon got other work to do; for that very night his house and goods took fire, and so their labour was quickly stopt, all hands being called to be employed in quenching of the fire. Many other instances might be given : But I proceed.
II. We muit reft not only from all worldly employments on the Sabbath, but also from all worldly recrea. tions, according to the word of God, and our confesa fion of faith and catechifms. But this point being much impugned and disputed by many, I shall handle it as distinctly and fatisfyingly as I can.
Recreations are twofold, some are natural and neces. fary, such as the refreshing our bodies with meat, drink and sleep. These are recreations we cannot live or do business without upon any day, and therefore are both lawful and neceffary upon the Sabbath; especially since we are thereby better disposed for performing the duties of the day. But, i
2. There are recreations which are voluntary and not neceffary, freely chosen by people for their bodily pleasure and diverlion ; fuch as sports, pastimes, or games, whether more public or more private, such as playing at cards, dice, chess, tables, &c. or any fort of carnal music, such as whistling, singing, or playing on an instrument, or putting off the time with worldly converse, jesting, laughing, -telling idle stories, walkL 2
ing and talking idly in the streets, or seeking our pleasure in the fields, though it be after public worship is over. Now, all such recreations being our own works, and for our own pleasure, and not subservient to the duties of God's worship, but hinderances thereto, are unlawful on the Sabbath day, as being expressly contrary to that rest required in the fourth command, and to that plain word in Isa. Ivič. 13. 14. “ If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy plea. fure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and thalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own plea. fures, nor speaking thine own words : -Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob,” &c. Now, can there be any thing more directly levelled against carnal recreations, idle talking, walking, &c. on the Sabbath day than this is ? “ We must turn away our foot from doing our own pleasure on it,” i. e. by travelling or walking for pleasure or recreation; nay we must neither do our own ways, speak our own words, nor find our own pleasures on this day. But if people will, notwithstanding hereof, allow themselves in idle diversions and loose recreations upon the Sabbath, I fee not how they will free themselves of open rebellion against God : For God commands us to remember the Sabbath day, not to delight ourselves by carnal recreations, but to keep it holy by divine exercises ; and to spend it otherwise, is plainly to trample upon God's authority, and declare war against him.
Object. “ But those who are for Sabbath days recreations, will tell me, that they condemn all such recreations in time of public worship, as well as we do: For the fourth command obliges us duly to attend public worship on the Sabbath, and forbear all worldly employments or recreations in time thereof; but, when that is once over, we may lawfully divert and recreate ourselves with such recreations as are modeft and decent, and not unlawful for Christians on other days."
Ans. Ans. This supposes that the Sabbath lasts no longer than the public worship of the day, the contrary whereof I made evident before, and shall evince more fully afterwards. I hewed that we are obliged to kecp holy the whole Sabbath day, not only the time of public worhip, or from sun-rising to sun-setting, but the whole natural day, consisting of twenty-four hours: This being the seventh part of our time, and of the week, it is the Lord's, and consecrated for his use and service; and consequently no part of it is to be alienated from him, or applied for our pleasures or recreations.
I shall further confirm this truth by some more arguments.
1. If it was unlawful for God's people under the Old Testament, to spend any part of the Sabbath in carnal pleasures and recreations, it is unlawful for us also un. der the New ; but the former is true': And therefore the latter. That such recreations were prohibited to the Jews, I believe none will deny, that is either acquaint with their ancient rules and constitutions, or that reads and believes the scriptures, particularly the fourth command, and Isa. lviii. 13. forecited. All that remains for me to prove is, that we are bound to ab. stain from those recreations upon the Sabbath, as well as the Jews ; which I do thus: Whatever the Jews were obliged to upon moral reasons and grounds, that we are bound to as much as they; but the Jews were bound to 'abstain from carnal recreations on the Sabbath, upon moral grounds, which concern us as well as them. I shewed before, that the reasons of the fourth command are moral, and reach Christians as well as Jews: I mentioned five of them, and truly every one of them levels as much against worldly recreations on the Sabbath day, as against worldly employments : I fhall not resume them all here, but only insit a little on two of them.
1. God's liberality in allowing us fix days for our own use: This reason binds us as much as the Jews, to consecrate one day to the Lord for his service. God hath given as gracious discoveries of his bounty to us, as to them; and shall we be so ungenerous or ungrate