The. 5. Sermon.
Deut. Chap. 5.
12 Keepe the Sabbaoth day to sanctifie it, as the Lord thy God hath commaunded thee.
13 Sixe dayes thou shalt labour, and shalt do all thy worke:
14 But the seuenth day is the Sabbaoth of the Lorde thy God, thou shalt not do any worke therein, thou, nor thy sonne, nor thy daughter, nor thy manseruant, nor thy maide, nor thine oxe, nor thine asse, neither any of thy cattell, nor the straunger that is within thy gates, that thy manseruaunt and thy maide, may rest as well as thou.
AFter that it hath bene spoken of the pure and sincere worship of God, of ser∣uing him, and glorifying his name, without vaine taking of it, either in othes, or other thinges, but reuerently, and to the honour of God: now here is mention made of the seruice of GOD, according to that he hath required in his law, touching the order he appoin∣ted for the exercise of the faithfull. As the Sabbaoth day, or day of rest was in part a figure, to declare, that men could not rightly serue God but by mortifying all that which is of their owne nature, and afterward by dedicating themselues in such sorte vnto him, as if they were wholy separated from the world. Secondly, the day of rest had this ceremonious vse, to cause the peo∣ple to assemble together, to heare the lawe, & to call on the name of God, to offer their sacrifices, and to do all that which should concerne spirituall order and policie. We see then now in what sort mention is made of the Sabbaoth day. But this cannot be well & sufficient∣ly vnderstoode without some plainer and more distinct handling: namely, except both these parties should particularly be intreated. We haue therfore first to note, that the Sabbaoth day was a shadowe vnder the law, vntill the comming of Christ, to signifie, that God will that men rest themselues from their owne workes. And this is that Page 31 which I haue said in a worde, that we must mortifie our whole na∣ture, if we will be conformable to our God. And that this is so, S. Paule hath also declared.* Yea besides, we haue sufficient testimonie hereof in the new testament. But it shall suffice to haue alledged him at this time, which speaketh more fully hereof: namely, to the Colos∣sians: when he saith, That we haue the substaunce and the body of those thinges which were shadowed vnder the lawe. We haue it (saith he) in Christ. And therfore it was expedient, that the auncient fathers should be exercised in this hope, as well by the Sabbaoth day, as by other ceremonies. But •ithence the thing is now giuen vs, we ought not to stay our selues on these shadowes. True it is, that the law is so abolished, that yet we ought to keepe the substaunce and truth thereof. As for the shadowes and figures, they are done away by the comming of Christ. If one demaund how the auncient fathers knew of this sense and meaning? Moses hath made declaration hereof, as it is sufficiently shewed in the booke of Exodus. For God, after he had published his law in the 20.* Chap. he reuealeth it to Mo∣ses, and declareth to what ende this serueth, and saith, That he hath ordeined the Sabbaoth day, as a signe, that the people of Israel should be sanctified vnto him. This is (saith he) the marke of my sanctification, which I haue iustified among you. Now when the scripture speaketh of our being sanctified vnto God, it is to separate vs from all that which is contrarie to his worship and seruice. But where shall one finde such puritie? We are in the world, & we know that in the world there is nothing but peruersenes and wickednes (as saith S. Iohn in his Canonicall epistle.)* Yea men neede not goe forth of themselues to haue battell with God and his iustice. For all our senses and reason, and all our affections (as saith S. Paul to the Romanes) are enimies against God.* When men loose the bridle to their thoughts and imaginations, to their desires and lustes, then make they open battell with God. And we are not ignorant of that which is declared in the sixt of Genesis,* That all that which man can thinke and imagine, is nothing but euill continually: and all that which man forgeth in himselfe, & frameth in his owne shop, is vnto∣ward and corrupt before God. So then we see well, that we cannot be sanctified before our God: that is to say, we cannot serue him in holines and purenes, being not yet separated from that vncleannes, and those defilings, which are contrarie therevnto, & not hauing first Page [unnumbered] abolished al that which is of our own nature. It behoued then that this should be represented in a figure to the ancient fathers, for that Christ was not yet fullie reuealed vnto them. But at this day we haue in Ie∣sus Christ the accomplishment & the performance of all thinges. In this wise s. Paul speaketh of the old man,* vnderstāding by this word, al that which we haue of Adam, that it ought to die, & be eleane aboli∣shed: namely, not the nature of our body or of our soule, but the malice which is within vs, & the blindnes which maketh vs erre, the lustes & euil desires which are altogether rebellious to the iustice of God. It behoueth that all this, in as much as it is drawn frō Adam, be beaten down, & cleane taken away. And how is this done? This is not by our own industrie & labor,* but Iesus Christ dying for vs, and to wipe out our sinnes,* that they might be no more imputed vnto vs, hath gotten vnto vs also this prerogatiue, that by the vertue & power of his holy spirit, we might renounce the world & our selues in such sort, that our carnal affectiōs to more reigne in vs. And albeit they be ful of rebel∣lion, yet notwithstanding shall the Spirite of God beare rule euer them, to represse them, and to hold them backe as it were with a bri∣dle. Therfore it is said, That we are raised with him: And S. Paule declareth the same also in the Chap. which I haue alreadie recited to the Colossians.* Now this was not yet manifested vnder the lawe. It behoued therfore that the fathers which liued in that time, should haue some aide herein, as they had the sacrifices, which nourished them in the hope of the death of Christ, to the end they should know, that their sinnes were purged by the bloud of this Mediator. So had they also the Sabbaoth day for a testimonie & witnes, that the grace was obteined vs to mortifie our thoughts & affections, to the end that God might liue in vs by the vertue of his holy spirit. Now we haue some entrance to the vnderstanding of this which hath bene shortly touched: namely, that the Sabbaoth day was as a figure to represent this which in very deed hath bene accomplished at the cōming of our Lord Iesus Christ. And so let vs note that the Sabbaoth day exten∣deth it selfe to the whole seruice of God, to declare that men could not purelie & sincerely honour him, but by renouncing of themselues, and by being separated from the defilements of the world, & of their owne flesh.* And for this cause the prophet Ezech. reproueth the Iewes that they kept not the Sabbaoth. For this is said vnto them as if they had in general brokē the whole law, & not without cause. For he which set∣teth at naught the Sabbaoth day, hath cast vnder foote all the seruice Page 32 of God as much as in him is.* And if the Sabbaoth day be not obser∣ued, all the rest shalbe worth nothing, as is spoken to the prophet E∣say, That men must bereaue themselues of their own proper vertues, that they must humble themselues: otherwise, that this is not the rest of the Lord, which is agreable to him, or allowed of him. By this we perceiue, that it auaileth nothing to kepe the ceremonie only. For al∣beit the Iewes had well obserued the ceremonie, albeit they should haue assembled themselues together on the Sabbaoth day wtout put∣ting a finger to their houshold affaires, & yet in the meane time should nourish in themselues their wicked thoughts & affections, & after put them in practise: this would haue bene but a mere mocking of God, an abusing of his name, a defacing & peruerting of the whole order he had instituted, as he also reprocheth thē. For the principal point was to haue respect to the truth of the figure: namely, to the spiritual ser∣uice of God. And yet notwithstanding it behoued also, that the Iewes should kepe the ceremonie, which was cōmanded them. For God held them in this bridle, as not content that they should haue only the sub∣stance of things, but also the shadowes & figures of them, vntil the cō∣ming of Iesus Christ. Now hereby vnderstand that which S. Paule saith, That now we are not tied vnto this bondage of the auncient fa∣thers, to obserue in this sort the Sabbaoth day. For we must do this honor to our lord Iesus Christ, that we cōtent our selues wt that which he hath brought to vs in his owne person, without reteining any lon∣ger that which was exterior & ceremonious vnder the law. Now thē it is easie to gather how this obseruation perteineth vnto vs at this day. Touching the ceremonie (as I haue said) it is past & done away. We must then come to the substance, that is, that to the end we may serue God well & sincerelie, we learne to withdraw our selues frō all our owne wils, & all our euil thoughtes & affections. And why? For o∣therwise whē we will serue God, we marre all. It behoueth therfore that all our own wisdom be laid aside, & that we heare God speake, not folowing our own wisdom & fantasies. Thus ye see the beginning & first step to the right obseruing of the Sabbaoth day, as we ought: namely, not to trust to that which we think & imagine to be good. For we must rest. And how rest? For sooth we must abide stil & quiet. Our thoughts must not stir to wāder & deuise this & that. We must (I say) remain quiet in the obedience of our God. And when we shal be pric∣ked & stirred vp by our lustes,* let vs call to minde that these are eni∣mies against God, & that all our affections are wicked & rebellious. Page [unnumbered] We must then quietly rest in that behalfe, and yelde our selues ouer vnto God, to the end that he onely may worke in vs, that he may con∣duct and gouerne vs by his holy spirite. By this we see, that GOD hath omitted nothing, when he appointed the Sabbaoth day. For if it extend so farre as vnto his whole seruice, what is wanting vnto vs for a perfect doctrine of sanctimonie and holinesse? Seeing then we haue the holy ghost which preseuteth vnto vs all that which is requi∣site, there is no further questiō, but of walking holily in the obedience of our God. And how is this done? Verily, when with all reuerence and humilitie we receiue his holy worde, seeking to conforme our selues vnto his iustice. But because all that which is of our owne, is contrarie herevnto, we must begin at this end: namely, to renounce our selues. When this shalbe done, haue we not all that which is re∣quisite for the seruice of God? But this is very hardly done, and ther∣fore let vs take the more diligent heed to awaken and stirre vp our selues, when we heare that God commaundeth vs to obserue the Sabbaoth day, knowing that this is not in sporting our selues, but that we ought herein to vse force with our selues, considering that for all our life we shall haue well profited, if we come to obserue this day of rest, that is to wit, by renouncing all that which is of our owne, and by dedicating our selues wholy vnto our God. And by so much the more ought we to be inflamed to obserue spiritually this rest of the Lord, seing we are franchised from this seruile subiection of the lawe, and that God hath geuen vnto vs a greater priuiledge, than vn∣to the auncient fathers: in as much as he is contented that we bee mortified in our olde man, to be renewed by his holy spirite, so that we are no more bound to the obseruing of that ceremonie which was so streightly kept vnder the lawe. Therfore when God handleth vs so louingly, this bindeth vs so much the more to haue respect vnto the principall, to the ende we may duely obserue it. And we may not al∣ledge that the auncient fathers haue had the ceremonie to stirre them vp, and that this serued as a spurre to pricke them forward, for we haue much more than the outward and exteriour signe: for our Lord Iesus Christ is appeared,* that in him all this which hath bene figu∣red vnder a shadow might be fulfilled. Wherfore we are not to desire these smaller thinges which haue bene vnder the lawe. Ye see then how this which hath bene ordeined concerning the Sabbaoth day, is accomplished at this day touching the truth of the figure, wherof the Page 33 fathers had a sight vnder a shadowe. And in deed wee must note, that this which was commaunded of the Sabbaoth day, is common & be∣longing vnto ve, as well as vnto them. For let vs take the lawe of God as it is in it selfe, and we shall haue a perpetuall rule of iustice, seeing it is most certeine, that vnder the ten commandements, God would geue a rule which should endure for euer. So let vs not thinke that this which Moses reciteth touching the Sabbaoth day, is super∣fluous, and not apperteining to vs. Not that the figure yet abideth, but we haue the truth thereof.* See to this purpose why the Apostle applieth to the instruction of Christians, and of the new Church, this which is said of the Sabbaoth day. For he declareth that we ought to conforme our selues vnto our God, and that this is our full and per∣fect felicitie. So, for asmuch as the chiefe happinesse of man consisteth in this, that he was created to the image of God, what ought we now sithence this image is defaced & blotted out by sume, but to studie to renew and repaire it? See then how me ought to march on forward to our perfection: namely, that in conforming our selues to our God, and to his will, we enquire and seeke after his workes, to the ende to endeuour to do the like. Let vs know therfore that at this day, to the end we may the better serue God, our duetie is, to bestowe all the paines we are able, to tread vnder our owne thoughts and affections, that God may reigne and beare rule in vs, that he may guide & go∣uerne vs by his holy spirite. And so all hypocrites may well maske and disguise themselues, they may well paint their doings, and shew faire countenances: yet neuerthelesse, as long as their wicked lusts shall be closed vp, and hid in their hearts, as long as they shall be full of enuie, of rancors, of ambition, of crueltie, or of deceit, it is certeine they shall doe nothing els but violate the Sabbaoth day, or day of rest. And therefore we may conclude, that they peruert all the ser∣uice of God, according to that we haue alreadie alledged out of Eze∣chiel: and as it is also spoken hereof in Ieremie. And marke we why the ceremonie was so streight vnder the lawe. Thinke we that God euer tooke pleasure in the idlenesse of men? Certeine it is he hath not. And yet he punished as greuously him which brake the day of rest to labour therein, as if he had murdered a man. And why so? It seemeth that it is extreme crueltie, that for gathering of stickes on the Sabbaoth day a man must die, as if he did commit murder.* Yet the Lord condemneth him to death which gathered stickes in Page [unnumbered] the Sabbaoth day. And why? Because that vnder this figure was comprehended the whole seruice of God.* And see why in Ieremie it is said, that they haue carried burthens on the Sabbaoth day. And why? It seemeth that God stayeth himselfe to much on a trifling and childish thing, but he hath respect vnto this which was signified by the Sabbaoth day. And therefore when it was so neglected of the Iewes, this was as open sacriledge, whereby they did declare that the whole lawe was of small account amongest them. So then, to come to our selues, forasmuch as at this day we haue not this fi∣gure so precise, and so streight, but that God hath geuen vs a grea∣ter libertie, obteined vnto vs by the death and passion of our Lorde Iesus Christ, let vs learne with all diligence to bequest our selues vnto him, and to knowe (as I haue alreadie touched) that how faire∣lie so euer we shall haue trauelled in all the rest, it shall bee to small purpose, except our affections bee helde brideled, and that wee be∣stowe all our paines to renounce and take leaue of our lustes and de∣sires in such sorte, that GOD alone may rule and gouerne vs, and that we may protest that we desire nothing els, but to rest and repose our selues on him. And see how God proposeth himselfe for an ex∣ample. For he is not onelie content to commaund men to rest, but hee hath also shewed them the way hereto.* For after hee had created the worlde, and all therein conteined, be rested: not that hee was wearie or needed any rest, but this was to leade vs to beholde his workes, and that staying our selues thereon, we might be fashioned vnto him. Will wee then obserue the spirituall rest? Euen as it is said, that hee ceased from all his workes. So must wee also bee quiet and still, leauing to doe that shall seeme good vnto vs, and which our owne nature desireth. If this example of GOD stirre vs not vp, wee declare sufficiently, that wee seeke not to obey him, and by this meanes wee searche not after, in any respect, the true fe∣licitie, but desire willingly to abide in our pouertie and wretched∣nesse. The souereigne goodnesse and chiefe felicitie of men (as I haue saide) is this, that they cleaue vnto their GOD. Be∣holde, our Lorde calleth vs to himselfe, and sheweth, that wee can haue no true and holie coniunction with him, but by resting our selues from our owne workes. So then, if wee bee still flitting in our fansies, if wee labour hande and foote to put that in practise Page 34 which shall seeme good vnto vs, it is certeine, this is as if we would breake the bondes which lincke GOD and vs together, and with∣drawe our selues from him as much as in vs lieth. And by this may not a man see, that we desire nothing els, but to bee set forth as a prey vnto Sathan, who driueth vs on headlong, and maketh vs to wander, forasmuch as we remaine no longer vnder the garde and protection of our GOD? But what? Few there are, which consider of this aright. Wee see the libertie euerie man yealdeth vnto himselfe. When one warneth a man, that hee ought not to walke after his owne heartes lust: What? I knowe (will hee saie) howe I ought to rule my selfe. Verilie, a man knoweth not how to despite GOD in more open manner, than by such a re∣bellion. This is as much, as if wee would saie, that wee will not that GOD haue any superioritie ouer vs. It is true, men will not openly protest this, but the matter is so. For (as I haue alreadie saide) there is no true worship, except wee hence take our beginning, to withdrawe our selues from our owne lustes and af∣fections.
Now then, when men will bee so wise in their owne conceite, when they put such confidence in their owne witte and reason, when they geue themselues all libertie to doe what so euer seemeth them good, when they followe their owne affections and fansies, when they will take no paine to represse them: Nay, are grie∣ued when any woulde daunte and tame them, it is a sure signe, they neuer knewe wherein consisteth the true worship of GOD, neuer vnderstoode the chiefe and principall pointe of the lawe. And so let vs note well, that when GOD alledgeth his owne example, it is to allure vs with all mildenesse and gentlenesse to the obseruation of the lawe, and keeping of this spirituall rest. And withall let vs note (as I haue alreadie touched) that wee are wretched and miserable, when we are separated and remoued from him. And behold the bonde of our coniunction: namely, that draw∣ing neere to his truth and religion, wee suffer our selues to bee gui∣ded and gouerned by him. Nowe a man may demaund, for what cause the Iewes were commaunded to rest onely the seuenth day: for wee ought not for one day in the weeke renounce our lustes and affections, but wee must continue in that minde Page [unnumbered] all the time of our life. Briefly, the rest which the Lord commaundeth is perpetuall, and without any ceasing or intermission. How then is it, that he hath chosen one onely day in the weeke? It was to shewe, that when we shall haue applied all our studies to abandon our false opinions; our wicked concupiscences, all that which procedeth from our peruerse and corrupt nature, that yet we cannot come fullie to this, vntill we be wholy ridde of our flesh. In deed, the faithfull ought their whole life time to obserue the Sabbaoth day, they ought to geue ouer their owne desires, forsake their owne workes, seeke to of∣fer vp themselues wholy to God in all humilitie, to order themselues after his will, they ought to continue in his obedience: (I say) wee must do so: or otherwise, all the seruice we shall do vnto God, is but feignednesse & hypocrisie: and as for him, he will disallow and reiect it. Neuerthelesse, we cannot acquite our selues wholy in this, to re∣nounce our affections in such sorte,* that there be no blame found in vs. Saint Paule glorifieth in this, that the world was crucified vn∣to him, and he vnto the world. Yet in the meane time, he ceaseth not to say, that the flesh fighteth with the spirite,* and haue no agreement together: yea, he confesseth also in the seuenth to the Romanes, that he alwayes perceiued in himselfe this strife, that he did not the good which he would: that is to say, he accomplished it not with so feruent a desire, neither was he so resolued to walke according vnto God, but that he had alwayes many stoppes and hinderaunces to stay him in such sort, that he seemed to halte, in stead of strong and vpright run∣ning. Sithence then it is so, let vs note, that not without cause God ordeined the seuenth day for the Sabbaoth day, signifying thereby, that we cannot neither in one day, neither in one moneth, come to this perfection of sanctimonie and holinesse which he requireth of vs. And why? Because that when we shall haue manfully fought a∣gainst the lustes and affections of our flesh, against our euil thoughts and desires: yet shall there be alwayes a residue and remnant in vs, vntill we be fullie ioyned and associated with our GOD, and that he hath gathered vs into his heauenlie kingdome. Vntill that time, there shall be alwayes some temptations in vs, there shall bee al∣wayes some troubles, some vnquietnesse, we shall alwayes feele (I meane those which seek to please God) that we are yet subiect to ma∣ny temptations, and that there remaine in our nature many prickes, by the which we are stirred vp and prouoked to this and to that. Page 35 And are not these so many lets to hinder the spirituall rest? If a man did repose himselfe and rest so in God as he should do: he should con∣ceiue nothing in his fantasie which might turne him from the right way, he should haue in him no euill affections or desires. All these thinges should be farre from him. Therfore, when we conceiue so many wicked fantasies, loe, Sathan commeth to assaile and to shake vs with so many disquietings. When we shall haue thought to doe well, there arise some thinges in our minde which tickle and flatter vs: and so albeit we hate that which is euill, yet by such temptati∣ons we are prouoked to pursue after, and to follow it. And by this a man may see, that it is no easie thing to be without all wicked con∣cupiscences, and to cast them off, so that they beare no rule at all in vs. So then let vs continually follow this studie and desire of cele∣brating the spirituall rest of God, because we shall not come to the perfection thereof, vntill the end of our life. Now hereby we are admonished of two thinges: The one is, that we be in displeasure with our selues, and mourne perpetually for our sinnes. And although it seemeth that we haue bestowed great paine to make our selues o∣bedient vnto GOD: yet let vs knowe that we are alwayes but in the way, and that we lacke much of accomplishing that which God commaundeth, and requireth of vs in the lawe. And this one thing may occasion vs to humble our selues, seeing that GOD shall al∣wayes finde in vs ouermuch to condemne vs for his seruice, and that this spirituall rest of ours commeth not neere by many degrees to that which he commaundeth. On the other side, hauing this occasion of humbling & bewailing our selues in true repentance, let vs know this for the second point, that we ought so much the more to bee mo∣ued and pricked forward to make our further profite, when we may say, How now? It is true that God hath geuen me the grase that I desire to serue him. But how do I behaue my selfe herein? Alas, I am yet farre wide, & farre off from it. For when we perceiue this imperfection in vs, ought we not to enforce our selues forwarde in the seruice of God? So, betesting the euill and wickednesse which is in vs, let vs be pricked so much the more forwarde alwayes to profite in this rest, and let euery one call himselfe dailie to account for his going forwarde herein. Ye see then how GOD, hauing geuen vs occasion to humble our selues vnder his hand, all the time of our life, sheweth vs that we ought to be inflamed hereby to cor∣rect Page [unnumbered] the vices which are in vs, and to mortifie more and more the lustes and desires of our fleshe. Therefore let vs knowe, that it is not sufficient, that our olde man be in part crucified, except we bee wholy buried with Iesus Christ (as Saint Paule speaketh in this seuenth of the Romanes which we haue alreadie alledged.)* Ye see then what we haue to note touching the seuenth day, of which it is here spoken.
It remaineth now, that we speake of the second point, wherein we haue before in a worde said, that the Sabbaoth day was a ciuil or∣der to exercise the faithfull in the seruice of God. For this day was appointed to assemble them together to heare the doctrine of the lawe preached, to receiue the sacramentes, to call on the name of God. And touching these pointes, it is common to vs with the auncient people of the Iewes. For although the figure is ceased, (I meane that whereof Saint Paule speaketh in the Epistle to the Colossi∣ans:) yet notwithstanding, this which apperteineth to ciuil order, abi∣deth stil, and hath his vse. And this policie what is it? It is to as∣semble our selues together in the name of God. True it is, this ought to be done euerie day, but for because of our infirmitie, or rather slouthfulnesse, it was expedient that one day should bee chosn out. If we were so seruent in the loue of God as we should be, it should not neede to ordeine one onely day in the weeke, but all would both eue∣ning and morning assemble themselues together, to the ende wee might be edisted more and more in the worde of God. And in deede this exercise were more than needfull for vs, considering that we are all so enclined vnto euill, that we neede not any thing to leade vs on further in wickednesse, and to loose the bridle more loose vnto vs. It is needefull then that we assemble our selues together on euerie day in the name of GOD. But what? We see that with much a doe men will assemble themselues together on the Sunday, and that many are to bee holden to this order by force and violence. Hauing then such an infirmitie in vs, let vs knowe that this or∣der was not prescribed onely vnto the Iewes, of obseruing one certeine day, in the which they should come together: but to vs al∣so as common with them. But yet herewithall wee haue to note, that this is not all: and that this were a verie bare and naked thing, that our handes onely, and our feete should rest, and that nothing els should bee done. What must we then doe? Wee Page 36 ought to applie this rest to a more high and excellent thing: we ought to cease from those workes which might hinder the workes of GOD, lette vs from calling on of his name, stay vs from exercising of our selues in his holy woorde. If wee employ the Sunday to make good cheare, to sporte our selues, to goe to games and pastimes, shall GOD in this bee honoured? Is not this a mockerie? Is not this an vnhallowing of his name? When our shoppe windowes are shutte in on the Sundaie, when wee trauell not after the common order and fashion of men, this is to the ende wee shoulde haue more libertie and leasure to attende on that which GOD commaundeth, that is to wit, to bee taught by his worde, to assemble our selues together, to make confession of our faith, to call on his name, to exercise our selues in the vse of the sacramentes. Loe then to what purpose this policie ought to serue vs.
But now let vs consider, whether they which call themselues Christians, acquite themselues in this pointe, as were requisite. A great parte of men thinke they haue the Sundaie the better to attende on their worldly affaires, and they reserue to themselues this day, as if they had no other to deliberate for the whole weeke to come. Nowe, if the bell shall ring to a Sermon, they thinke they haue no other thing to doe, but to thinke on their businesse, and to make their accounte of this, and of that. Others glutte themselues by riotting, and are shutte vp in their houses, because they dare not shew a manifest contempt of their duetie in the open streetes. So that the Sundaie is to them but a retreate, to withdrawe them∣selues from the Churche and congregation of GOD. By this one may see, what affection wee haue towarde all Christianitie, and the seruice of GOD, seeing that by this which was geuen vs for an aide and helpe to drawe neerer vnto GOD, wee take occasion to withdrawe our selues so much the further from him. And whither wander wee? Goe wee not so farre, as to recule and flee backe wholie from him? Is not this a diuelishe wickednesse of men? And yet this is so common, as it is pitie to beholde. And would to God we stoode in neede to search for examples herein fur∣ther off, and that they were more rare to be founde. But wee see how all is profaned and violated, that the most parte are nothing Page [unnumbered] carefull for the right vsage of this day, which was ordeined to the end that we should bee retired from all worldlie cares, and drawen backe from all other businesse, to yelde vp ourselues wholie vnto GOD. Moreouer, let vs know that the Sunday is not ordeined for vs onely to come to the Sermon, but to the end we employ the rest of the time to laude and praise GOD. Note we this. For al∣though he nourish vs euerie day: yet notwithstanding, we meditate not sufficientlie of the benefites he bestoweth on vs, to magnifie him in them. True it is, that this should be but a poore thing, if wee should consider of the benefites of GOD but on the Sunday. But on the other dayes, because we are occupied ouermuch about our worldlie affaires, we are not so geuen to God as in that day, which is altogether dedicated vnto this. The Sunday the refore ought to serue vs for atowre, to make vs mount on high to view the workes of God from a farre, when we are neither hindered nor occupied with anything, but that we may applie all our senses, and our whole vn∣derstanding to reknowledge the gratious giftes and benefites which he hath bestowed on vs. And when we shall well haue practised this on the Sunday: namely, shall haue deepely considered of the workes of God, it is certeine, that all the rest of our time, we shall be ge∣uen herevnto, and that this meditation shall so fashion and polish vs, that the Monday, and all the rest of the weeke, we shall be ledde to thanke our GOD, when so before hand we shall haue premeditated on his workes, to make our profite therein. But when the Sunday is spent not onely in games and pastimes full of vanitie, but in thinges which are altogether contrarie vnto God, that men thinke they haue not celebrated the Sunday, except God therein be by ma∣ny and sundrie wayes offended: When men (I say) vnhallowe in such sort this holie daie, which God hath instituted to leade vs vn∣to himselfe, is it any meruell if wee become brutishe and beast∣lie in our doinges all the rest of the weeke? What is to bee done then? Let vs all knowe, that this is not sufficient, that we come to the Sermon on the Sunday, to receiue some good doctrine, and to call vppon the name of GOD: but wee must digest those thinges we heare and receiue, and applie all our senses to the better vnderstanding of those benefites which God bestoweth on vs, and that by this meane we bee so formed and fashioned to this thing, that the Monday and all the rest of the weeke beside, cost vs Page 37 nothing, to aspire and to come to our God: and that we neede but to call to minde, that whiche we shall haue learned before at good leasure: when our mindes be as it were vnwrapped from all those thinges, which hinder vs to recount the workes of God. And this we haue to note touching the order wee are to obserue at this day, which is not in keeping the ceremonie so streightlie as it was obser∣ued vnder the lawe. We haue no longer this figure. But this rest day is to assemble vs together, to the end that, according to our in∣firmitie, we bee better exercised to applie our selues to the seruice of God, and to haue this day wholie consecrated vnto him, to the ende we be drawen altogether from the world, and that this may serue vs the better, for the rest of our time, as we haue saide. And withall we must note, that this is not enough, that euerie one in particular and alone thinke on God, and call to minde his woorkes on the Sun∣day: but we must meete together one certeine day to make publike confession of our faith. It is true, that this ought to bee done euerie day (as we haue said:) but because of the rawnesse and slouth of men, it is behouefull to haue one speciall day, which may wholie be dedi∣cated and appointed to this vse. I confesse well that we are not bound to the seuenth day (as indeed we obserue not the day which was com∣mandes the Iewes, for this was the Saturday,) but to shew the li∣bertie of Christians the day hath bene chaunged to the Sunday, for∣asmuch as Iesus Christ in his resurrection hath deliuered vs from the bondage of the lawe, & hath cancelled the bond therof. This was the cause, why this chaunge hath bene made in the day. But yet wee ought to obserue this order of policie, to haue some day in the weeke, be it one, or be it two, for this is left in the choice and libertie of Christians. But that the whole people may bee assembled, it is conuenient that one certeine day bee ordeined, to receiue the Sacra∣mentes together in common, to haue the inuocation of the name of God, and to shew an vnitie and concord in faith and religion. It suf∣ficeth not then, that euerie one withdrawe himselfe into his owne house, either to reade the holy scripture, or to pray vnto God, but it behoueth wee come into the companie of the faithfull, and there de∣clare the concorde and agreement we haue with the whole bodie of the Church, and celebrate in such wise this order, as the Lorde hath commaunded. But what? We may see here the vnhallowing of the seruice of God. For as I haue alreadie touched, are there not Page [unnumbered] many which will shewe them selues herein despitefull vnto God, and that will be exempted from the common lawe and order? True it is, that they will happilie come fiue or sixe times in the yeare to the ser∣mon. But what to doe? Euen to make a mockerie of God, and of all his doctrine. These are indeed in the number of those hogges, which came to defile the temple of God, and deserued rather to bee in sta∣bles: and better it were they held them selues in their stinking den∣nes: to speake briefly, it were better that such knaues were altoge∣gether cut off from the Church of God, than to shewe them selues in the companie of the faithfull. But yet how many times come they a∣mong them? The bell shall ring long enough, before a man may espie them in any place. So then wee ought with more diligence to take heede to our selues, and quicken vp our selues to make such a confes∣sion of our faith, that God may bee honored with one common accord among vs. Moreouer, wee must abolish all superstitions. For wee see how among Papists men thinke to serue God by slouth and idlenes. This is not the manner, after which we ought to celebrate the Sab∣baoth day: but to applie it to his right and lawefull vse, wee must knowe (as we haue aboue said) that our Lord requireth nothing else, but that this day bee employed to heare his word, to make our pray∣ers in common, to make confession of our faith, and to vse the Sacra∣mentes. See wherevnto wee are called. And yet wee see howe all hath bene corrupted & brought to vtter confusion in Poperie: for as they inuented dayes to honour their hee and shee Santes, and haue forged to them selues idols, so haue they thought they ought to serue them in all idlenesse. Now seeing the world is so corrupted, we ought so much the better to note this declaration of the Sabbaoth day, as is here touched by Moses. And withall let vs knowe to what end our Lord hath commaunded the auncient people to haue one day in the weeke to rest themselues. And at this day, vnderstanding how this outward ceremonie is abolished by the comming of Christ, let vs geue our selues to the spirituall rest: that is, to dedicate our selues wholie vnto God, renouncing our owne desires and affections: and further let vs reteine the exteriour policie, as farre as it appertei∣neth vnto vs: namelie, to cease from our earthlie affaires, and all worldlie businesse, to attend the better on the meditation of the works of God, that wee may bee exercised to knowe the benefites he besto∣weth on vs, and aboue all, that wee may bestow all our paines in ac∣knowledging Page 38 his gratious fauour, whiche he offereth dailie in his Gospell, to bee confirmed and established more and more therein, & when we shall haue emploied the Sunday to praise and magnifie the name of God, and to meditate on his workes, let vs shewe all the rest of the weeke how we haue profited herein.
Now let vs cast our selues downe before the face of our good God, with acknowledging of our faults, praying that it will please him to make vs feele them better than wee haue done. And because wee can not in any respect serue him, vntill this wickednesse and peruersnesse which is in vs be abolished: and because he hath shewen that we shall not cease to make warre against his iustice, as long as we shall lose the bridle to our wicked thoughtes and concupiscences, pray we, that it will please this good God, by the power of his holy spirite, to geue vs this grace, to bee fullie conformed vnto him, which is dead and ri∣sen for vs, to the end he might mortifie and quicken vs, that wee may beare the markes of our Lord Iesus, euen in renouncing our selues, and ordering our whole life so to his will, that wee desire nothing, but to bee conformed to his iustice, to the end his lawe may bee ac∣complished in vs, as it is spirituall: and that wee bee reformed both in flesh and in spirite, to liue vnder his obedience. And forasmuch as wee so ofte returne vnto our selues, pray wee that it will please this good God to beare with vs in our infirmities, till his rest bee truelie accomplished in vs, and that he hath gathered vs into his hea∣uenlie kingdome. That it will please him to graunt this grace, not onelie vnto vs, but to all people and nations of the earth, &c.