OF THE SABBATH.
Exod. 20. 8.
THAT which I intend to speak concerning the Sabbath at this time, I will cast into these Pro∣positions:
The First is this, That there*must be some set time for the Worship and immediate Service of God.
Now the Reason why there must be some set time for Gods immediate Worship, is,
First, Because all Actions cannot be done at* once, but by succession; first one, and then ano∣ther: for a man to perform the duties of Gods Worship in an instant, and to get down the knees of body and soul before his Maker in an instant, this cannot be. Eccles. 3. 1. There is an appointedPage 152〈1 page duplicate〉Page 153〈1 page duplicate〉Page 154〈1 page duplicate〉Page 155〈1 page duplicate〉Page 156〈1 page duplicate〉Page 157〈1 page duplicate〉Page 158〈1 page duplicate〉Page 159〈1 page duplicate〉Page 160time for every Action under the Sun: Then if there be a time for all actions, surely there must be a time for the Worship of God.
Secondly, There must be a set time; Because* such is our dulness in the duties of Gods Wor∣ship, that we had need to have times set apart for Gods Worship; there is a great deal of ado re∣quired to fix a mans Thoughts upon heaven, to have a fixed apprehension of the Presence of God, these do not only require time, but a great deal of time.
Secondly, The Second Proposition is this, That*as there must be some time for Gods immediate Worship, and Service▪ so there must be some set time every day, all the dayes of our lives; there must be some defined and determinate time for Worship of God every day, at the least morning and evening. David, though he were employed in great affairs, yet he had three times a day to glorifie God in, in his holy Ordinances; Three times in the day will I praise thee, Psal. 55. 17.
The Reason of this is, Because men live like* Beasts without daily invocation upon God, 2 Chron. 13. 10, 11. Abijah there speaking against Jeroboam the King of Israel, though himself had no great goodness in him, he saith, The Lord is our God, and we offer sacrifices, and burn sweet incense every day; Every day they did it; as who should say, it were a sign that God were not amongst us, if we did not this: he takes it as a principle written in the conscience, though he were a natural man, yet he doth reason thus, that where there is not every day some time for Gods Worship, God is not amongst them.
Page 161Another Reason is, Because every morning* God reneweth his Mercies, and every evening they are continued to us, as the Church saith in the Lamentations ch. 3. 23. Every morning his mercies are renewed to us, and in the evening his compas∣sions fail not; therefore every morning we are to set our selves before God, to ask of him the for∣givenesse of our sins; every morning and evening we are to do this. Psal. 92. 1, 2. David saith, It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, to sing praises to thy Name, O thou most High; To sh•w forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.
And then again God is the Alpha, and Omega,* he is the beginning, and the ending of all things, and of all actions we do; God should therefore have the beginning and ending of every day, that the Worship of God may have the start of all other actions; it is necessary it should be so, when a man first awakes in the morning, God should be the first thought that should come into his mind; As David saith, Psal. 5. 3. My voice will I lift up unto thee in the morning; as soon as ever he awakes in the morning his heart is lifted up to God: so it is good for a man to make the first part of the day holy, that the rest of the day may be thereafter: and so as we are to begin the day with the solemn Worship of God, so we are to end it in the evening, that we may reckon up all our accounts, and make even with God; as the Apostle saith, Ephes 4. 26. Let not the Sun go down upon your wrath: so let not the Sun go down upon a dead heart, upon a carnal heart, upon a worldly heart; but as the Sun goeth down upon Page 162 our bodies, so let the Sun of Righteousness set upon our hearts, that we may lye down in peace, having all our reckoning made even, and all scores cancelled.
The Third Proposition is this, As there must* be some time for Gods immediate Service, and there must be every day some set time, at least morning and evening, so likewise every whole day, all the dayes of our lives, should be in some manner a Sabbath day to the Lord, we should be holy every day; The Apostle finds fault, Gal. 4. 10 That they observed times, and seasons, and dayes, and months, and years; we must not be earthly∣minded one day, and heavenly-minded ano∣ther; but we must be every day holy to the Lord.
The First Reason is▪ The Covenant which God* hath made with us doth require it: that is the end why God saves a man from his sins, and brings him into the kingom of Christ, he takes a solemn Oath from him, That being delivered from the hands of his enemies, he shall serve him without*fear, in holiness and righteousness all the dayes of his life: Every day must be a Sabbath day, when∣soever a man gives himself up to God, there is an Oath hangs upon him, and he breaks this Oath, if he set not upon it with all his might, that e∣very day may be a Sabbath day; he is to be care∣ful to live godly, and religiously in all places, and at all times, and in every action he puts his hand unto; a man is not only to make conscience on the seventh day, but every day of his life.
The Second Reason is, Because not to make* every day an holy day, is the brand of an Hypo∣crite, Page 163 it is hypocrisie, Job. 27. 10. Will he al∣wayes call upon God? To be holy sometimes, and not at another time, is the trick of an hypocrite; will he alwayes call upon God, will that man al∣wayes obey God and worship him, will he al∣wayes set himself to keep close with God? No, an hypocrite will not do so▪ You may know an hypocrite, he hath his fits, and his pangs, and his moods; but a godly man, a sincere hearted man, is one that doth compose himself to keep a con∣stant course in Gods worship; as Act. 24. 16. There saith Paul, Herein do I exercise my self to keep a good conscience alwayes, both towards God and towards man: And as it was the practise of Paul, so of all the Elect people of God, of all sincere Christians in the world, Act. 26. 7. all the Elect of God, all the beloved of God, they did instantly serve God day and night.
Thirdly, Because blessednesse doth consist in* this, In keeping every day in some kind as a Sab∣bath day, as the Holy Ghost doth pronounce him blessed, that feareth the Lord alwayes, Prov. 28. 14. and that doth righteousness at all times, Psa. 106. 3. It is true, the Servants of God are sometimes out of the way, they have their swervings and fail∣ings, but their resolution is to keep a constant course in Gods Worship, and they do strive to humble themselves under the hand of God for their failings, and to be the more wary because of them.
Lastly, This is the Sum and Scope of all the* Law of Righteousness; it is the very drift and end of all the Ten Commandements, the Lord hath set down in the Decalogue his whole Will and Page 164 Pleasure, what we are to do all the dayes of our lives, this day, and that day, as long as we live; and there is no set time, but that we should al∣wayes obey it; and this is the practise of the god∣ly, alwayes to keep his Commandments, as Da∣vid, Psal. 16. 8. He set the Lord alwayes before him; that is, every day he did make it an holy day, that he might walk as in Gods presence, and live as in Gods Courts, that he might do all his worldly businesse as in the presence of God.
The Fourth Proposition is this, As there must* be a set time every day, and we are to keep every day as a Sabbath day in some sense, so there must be a particular special day, set apart for Gods im∣mediate Worship and Service: This is the next Proposition I will prove unto you; for though e∣very day is to be a Sabbath day, yet we have par∣ticular callings, and we have businesse in the world to employ our selves about, so that we cannot be every day hearing of the Word, and employing our selves in Prayer and spiritual exercises, though every day we are to keep it holy, yet we cannot be vacant wholly and totally every day; Now therefore I say, That there is a set day that the Lord hath called for to be devoted unto him; the very School-men themselves do acknowledge this, and the very Heathen have found it out, They have set a day apart for the Service of their Gods, which they call their holy day, wherein they lay aside all other businesse, and set them∣selves a part to honor and worship their Images and Idols, according to their manner. Now I will make this good by many Arguments, that God Page 165 will have a set day, besides the every day Sabbath, he will have a set particular Sabbath for his Wor∣ship and Service.
The First Reason is, Because he will have a little* emblem and picture of the kingdom of heaven a∣mong his Saints and Children in this▪ life; in the kingdom of heaven there is no buying and selling, no eating and drinking, no worldly businesse, there is nothing but praysing and glorifying of God, and speaking of God, and singing of Ha∣lelujah unto his holy Name; there is nothing but enjoying communion with the Lord, and feeding upon him continually, there is nothing but this in the kingdom of heaven; Now God will have a little picture of this among his Saints here upon earth: You know there remains a rest for the peo∣ple of God, Heb. 4. 9. It is an express place, the word in the Original is, There remains a Sabbath for the people of God. As who should say, There is a glorious Sabbath that all the Elect of God shall have, and they are preserved for it, and that is reserved for them, and they shall enter into it, when this body of death is laid down, and they shall enjoy God face to face, to all eternity, they shall behold him as he is, and have communion with him; now the Lord will have a little picture of this here in this life; we cannot have it altoge∣ther in this life, for we have mortal bodies, that must be fed, and cloathed, and stand in need of the creature; for mans sin is not yet purged away, but there is a great deal of rubbish still left, there∣fore this cannot be complete here: but yet God will have a little picture ot this, even in this life, and that is the Sabbath day, wherein they are to Page 166 lay aside all the works of their ordinary callings, and rest from all servil labours, this is Gods day, and we must now call upon him, and hear what he saith, and wholly employ, and occupy our selves about him, as neer as we possibly can; but now, this we cannot do every day, for we have Chil∣dren to look after, and Families to provide for, and there be an hundred occasions to call a man a∣way; it may be a man thinks to go into his Clo∣set, and seek God in private, and one occasion or other calls him aside, that he cannot go on; but the Lord will have a little emblem and expression of the kingdom of heaven upon the Sabbath day: therefore the Apostle saith, It remains for us, scil. in the life to come.
The Second Reason, why the Lord will have a* set day for his Worship and Service besides the e∣very day Sabbath, is because the honour of God doth so require, it doth require that there should be a solemn day for Gods Service; as Kings, though their subjects are to obey them every day, and keep their Laws every day, and if a subject transgress the Laws at any time, he is in danger of the displeasure of the King▪ but he will have one day of solemnity to his Majesty: So God Al∣mighty, though every day we are to tremble be∣fore him, and stand in aw of his Word, and take heed we do not err from his Commandments, yet he will have one solemn day for the honour of his Name, he will have a solemn day, wherein his people shall have nothing else to do, but to set themselves apart for his Worship; therefore this set day is called, The honourable of the Lord, Isa. 58 13. that is, we must count the Sabbath day an Page 167 honourable day, a day of honour, wherein Gods Servants should from morning to evening fall down before him, and confess that great is the Lord God: We should wholly dedicate it unto him, seeking of him in Publick and in Private, that we may store up holy affections for all the week following.
Thirdly, Because God sometimes calls for an* extraordinary day, and an extraordinary day hath ever relation to an ordinary; if I say this is my extraordinary food and diet, I imply that I have ordinary diet: so if the Scripture tells us that God calls for extraordinary dayes, it is an evident Argument, that there be ordinary dayes which he calls for.
Now that God calls for extraordinary dayes, it is plain.
1. First, He calls for extraordinary dayes of re∣joycing; when God compasseth us about with songs of Deliverance, and works wonderful Mer∣cies for us, we ought to set a part a day for re∣joycing, and delighting in his goodness and fa∣vour towards us, and this day is to be an holy day, as Nehemiah 8. 9. This day is holy unto the Lord your God, mourn not, nor weep; So that when we are to rejoyce towards God for any spiritual favour towards us, we ought to keep this day an holy day, we ought to employ the hours of the day in labouring to affect our hearts with his kind∣nesse, and labouring to make his goodness to have impression upon us, that we may with cheerful∣ness run over all our dayes afterwards, that we may adhere unto him the better all our life time.
Page 1682. Secondly, As he calls for extraordinary dayes of rejoycing, so he calls for extraordinary dayes of Fasting and Humiliation, and that in Four Cases.
1. First, When we fear some heavie judge∣ment to come upon us, or else when some judge∣ment is already upon us: may be some heavie judgement is upon us, or else we fear it to come upon us, and now we are to set an extraordinary day apart to seek the Lord; as 2 Chron. 20. Je∣hosaphat proclaimed a Fast, when the Land was in danger: Suppose the Lord should take away the Gospel, and the feet of those that bring glad tydings should be turned from us, then should we Fast in those dayes, we should grieve before God, and bewail the loss of his Mercies and Favours; that we may have his Goodnesse to quicken us, and keep us, and uphold us in the want of them.
2. Secondly, In case that we want some Mer∣cy that we cannot well be without, in such a case as this, if ordinary seeking will not do the deed, we ought to set apart an extraordinary time to prevail with God; as Ezra, he was in danger of the enemy, and if he should go to Jerusalem, the enemy would set upon him; now, thought he, if I should go to the King, though he were very great with the King of Persia, at that time, yet thought he, if I should go to the King for a Band of Souldiers, he would think our God were a weak God; I have told him what a strong God we have, and that he is ready to help all those that trust in him; now if I should go to him for a Band of Souldiers, he might think that our God Page 169 were not able to deliver us, and it would be a great dishonour to God; therefore he set a day a part for a Fast, and laboured to get aid and help from heaven, Ezra 8. 21. So when a Child of God is exceedingly afflicted with any crosse or temptation, and he shall wonderfully dishonour God, and cast a snare upon them that fear his Name, in this case he is bound to seek God extra∣ordinarily, and if the ordinary means that God hath appointed will not prevail, he is to set a part a Fast to seek him extraordinari∣ly.
3. Thirdly, If we be assaulted from hell, and Satan, and our own hearts, with strong temptati∣ons, then we are to seek God extraordinarily, as it was with Paul, when the Messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him, when he lay under some heavy temptation, either unto Pride, or Lust, or Uncleannesse, some prick in the flesh, that the Lord sent upon him, and let him be encountered withal; then Paul sought God in a solemn man∣ner, more then ever he did at other times, 2 Cor. 12. 8. For this I besought God thrice.
4. Fourthly, In case a man is to do some no∣table service, he is to enter into some new Cal∣ling; or if the Lord doth put him upon some new service, that doth require some more then ordi∣nary help, now a man is to seek God by Fasting and Prayer, as you may see it was with Barnabas and Paul when they entred into the Ministery, Acts 13. 3. Now the reason why I name these things is to shew you, that sometimes God will have an extraordinary set day for his immediate worship and service, when we are to lay aside all Page 170 other businesse, and set our selves apart, to call upon his Name, and seek him. The thing I ga∣ther from hence is this, If there be an extraordi∣nary set day, then there must be an ordinary set day for Gods immediate Service.
Another Argument is taken from the Equity of* it, and that stands Two wayes:
1. First, It is very equal when as we have six dayes to provide for our selves, and for the main∣tenance of our bodies, God gives us divers dayes for that; now Equity doth require that we should give one day to him, we having several dayes; it is equity that he should have at least one for him∣self: Therefore this doth aggravate our sins ex∣ceedingly, if we give not this day to God. Did not this aggravate the sin of Adam, in eating of the forbidden fruit? in that God gave him liberty to eat freely of all other trees in the garden, and for bad him only the eating of that one? Now what excuse could Adam have for not abstaining from that one? So here, God having given us divers dayes for the good of our bodies, and for means and maintenance of the things of this life; equity requires, that we should not touch Gods day, nor set our foot upon it, nor turn our eyes away from it, we ought to remember it; as Jo∣seph said in regard of his Mistris, when she en∣ticed him to folly; mark how he answers the temptation, My Master hath put all things into my hands that are in the house, he hath with-held nothing from me but only thee his Wife, and that is equal, and reasonable, how therefore shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Gen. 3. 9. So should we say, when we are tempted to break Page 171 the Lords day, we should say, The Lord hath not imposed any day besides, the Lord hath given us all the six dayes for our use, how therefore shall I do this great wickednesse, and sin against God with worldly thoughts, and speeches, and actions upon that day? It stands with very good equity that it should be so.
2. Secondly, It stands with equity, in regard of our Souls; if our bodies which are the worser part, have several dayes for their use, then how much more should the soul have one day, which is a thousand times more worth then the body? You know what Christ saith, What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matth. 16 26. Our souls are more worth then our bodies, and we have more need to seek out for Holinesse and Grace for them, and to be well provided for in regard of them, then for any thing in this present world; if we want meat, we can but starve; if we want cloaths, we can but famish; if we want outward things, we can but temporally perish; but if we want Grace and the Favour of God, we perish for ever. Now if there be six dayes allowed for the good of our bodies, how much more should we be willing to have one day for the good of our souls, specially considering what need we have thereof? This Ar∣gument our Saviour Christ useth to prove the Sabbath, Mark 2. 27. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath: The Sabbath was made for man, as meat was made for the bo∣dy; and a man cannot be without food, no more can the soul be without the Sabbath; so that we see, there must be a solemn day Page 172 set a part for Gods Worship and Service.
The Fifth Proposition is this, That as there* must be a set day for Gods Worship and Service, so this day must be one of seven, not one of eight, or nine, or five, or four, but one of seven; and this, though it be not naturally moral, yet it is positively moral, though it be not natural, written in the heart of man, as a man: if he had no teach∣ing, his conscience would find out that he should not be idle, and steal, and commit murther; the Conscience will grope out these Ordinances and Statutes of God; and the Conscience will find out that there must be a set day for Gods Worship and Service; the light of nature will find out that, but that it must be one day of seven, that it can∣not find out; but I say, that it is the positive law of God, that it must be one of seven.
Now, Because it is not written in the heart of* man, but in the Commandment of God positive∣ly delivered to us, and required of us; I can give no other Reason for it, but only the reason taken out of the Scripture; there can be no rea∣son taken from the judgment of man, as other Lawes, the very law of Reason will enforce them; but there can be no other reason for this, but only out of the Word of God. The Lord hath com∣manded, six dayes thou shalt labour, and being his Will, it must be performed; for God might re∣quire six dayes for himself, and leave us but one day; God might have ordained it so; but God intending we should live by the sweat of our brows the Lord was pleased to allow us six dayes; now he giving us six dayes, doth reserve unto himself one of seven.
Page 173Secondly, Another Reason is this, As the Lord* hath commanded this seventh day, so he saith it is his day, The seventh day, is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; Now then if the seventh day be the Sabbath of the Lord our God, then we must not divert any of the hours, or any part of the day away; when our minds run into the world, we must curbe them, and remember that the se∣venth day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God.
Thirdly, Another Reason is, That our Cattel,* and Servants, and Children, may rest as well as our selves, they are to labour six dayes, and one of seven they are to rest.
Another Reason is, Because he hath sanctified* it; therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it. Now then, if the Lord hath sancti∣fied the seventh day, and appointed it, if he hath set it a part for that purpose, for spiritual em∣ployments, and not to be filled up with any thing else, we are guilty of Sacriledge, if we do not give him this, as Levit. 27. 28. the Lord saith, Whatsoever is devoted unto the Lord, that is most holy unto him; now God saith, he hath devoted the seventh day to himself, therefore we are to keep it holy: Nebuchadnezzar, a very heathen, when he knew that the Vessels came out of the Temple of the Lord, he would not employ them to a common use, Dan. 1. 2. He put them into the house of his god; which was the holiest place he had.
Fifthly, This is necessary, because we are apt* to be worldly, and carnal, and non-resident from Prayer, and from the Word, and serious humbling Page 166〈1 page duplicate〉Page 167〈1 page duplicate〉Page 168〈1 page duplicate〉Page 169〈1 page duplicate〉Page 170〈1 page duplicate〉Page 171〈1 page duplicate〉Page 172〈1 page duplicate〉Page 173〈1 page duplicate〉Page 174 of our selves before God, if we be never so little taken off; how suddenly do our minds cleave un∣to the world, and grow vain, and unfit, and di∣stempered? Now if God should not once in se∣ven dayes, have a day to take us off from the world; as six dayes are employed in worldly af∣fairs, so if there were not a seventh day to take us off, there would be no hoe with us; therefore there must be a whole day to accustom us, and habituate us to the Service of God, otherwise we should drown our selves in the world.
The Sixth Proposition is this, That as it must be* one of seven, so it is not indifferent which of the seven dayes we keep holy, but it must be that day whereupon God rested, therefore it hath the name of a Sabbath; Sabbath is nothing but rest: The reason of the name is Two-fold, First, Be∣cause God rested upon that day; And Secondly, Because we are to rest upon that day.
The Seventh Proposition is this, That all that* is in the fourth Commandment, is not essential to the Commandment, the fourth Commandment delivers only these Two things, First, That God will have a seventh day; Secondly, That this se∣venth day is to be the day of Gods rest: This is the whole meaning of the fourth Commandment: now all other particulars in the fourth Command∣ment, are not essential to the fourth Command∣ment; as that God made Heaven and Earth in six dayes, and rested the seventh day, &c. It is not essential to the fourth Commandment, but be∣cause at that time when God delivered the Deca∣logue, there was no greater work then the Crea∣tion; and the rest from that work, was the rest Page 175 from the greatest work in the world; therefore it was kept upon the last day of the week, upon which God rested from the Creation: Now the meaning of the fourth Commandment, is in the eighth Verse; all the other particulars, are but Commentaries to open it to the Jewes, Remem∣ber the Sabbath day to keep it holy; this is the fourth Commandment: The Sabbath, that is, the day that God rested on and the day that we are to rest upon: this is the holy day that is devoted to the Lord; now it was kept upon the last day of the week, because God created heaven and earth, and rested upon that day; and the Creation of heaven and earth was the greatest work that God then had done.
But then you will say, Why doth the Command∣ment*say, That in six dayes God created Heaven and Earth, and rested the seventh day?
I Answer, It is no strange thing, to see some* things in the Commandments which are not essen∣tial to them, because the Commandments were delivered to the Jewes: though they concern the whole world, yet the persons, that actually stood before God, when the Decalogue was delivered, were only the Jewes, Deut. 5. 22. God spake to the Jewes; now no wonder, God speaking to the Jewes, did speak divers particulars according to them, and in their phrase, which if we had been alive, and they to succeed us, God would have spoken according to us, as he did according to them.
2. Secondly, We see plainly, there are some things in the Commandments, which do not con∣cern the whole world, but only the Nation of the Page 176 Jewes, as in the first Commandment, I have brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, out of the house of Bondage: [Thou shalt have no other gods but me:] That is the Commandment; but though they, together with the other, were put into the Tables of Stone, yet it concerns only the Jewes. 'Tis true indeed, it is a type of our deliverance, that we are delivered from Hell, and Sin, and Satan, as they were delivered out of Egypt, and the house of Bondage; but literally these words be∣long only to the Jews; and the Commandment is this, Thou shalt have no other gods but me; So it is for the fourth Commandment.
Again, There is something in the Fifth Com∣mandment, that doth not concern us, but only them, Honour thy Father and thy Mother, &c. [That thy dayes may be long in the Land which the thy God giveth thee] that belongs only to the Jews, it is meant particularly of the Land of Canaan. This then is the effect of the Commandment, Honour thy Father and thy Mother, that thy dayes may be long in the Land of Canaan. So that the first words are the Commandment, and the latter part belongs only to the Jewes: So Deut. 5. 14. the Fourth Commandment, it was put into the Tables of Stone thus, Remember the seventh day to keep it holy, for the seventh day is the Sab∣bath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou nor thy Son nor thy Daugh∣ter, &c. that thy man-servant, and thy maid∣servant may rest as well as thou; that belongs to us, as well as to them; but then it follows, Re∣member thou wert a servant in the Land of Egypt: Here you see the Jewes have another Argument, Page 177 besides the Arguments that we have; but though we have not that Argument, yet the Command∣ment stands still, and the Commandment is only thus much; namely, That there must be a Seventh day, and that seventh day God rested upon: now whereas the Jewes kept the last day of the week, that was only by a temporary Commandment, because the making of heaven and earth, was the greatest thing that God had then done, and God rested from that upon that day; but now if God work a greater work then the Creating of heaven and earth, and rest from that, then by ver∣tue of the fourth Commandment, we are to keep that day holy, upon which he rested from that work.
Now I come to the Eighth Proposition, That* this Fourth Commandment, concerning a Sabbath day, concerning the keeping of a Seventh day ho∣ly, it is a continual Commandment, alwayes to abide in the Church of God; I will prove it by divers Arguments, that it was not to continue on∣ly in the time of the Jewes, but it is to abide al∣wayes in the Church to the coming of the Son of man; there is not a jot of Ceremony in the fourth Commandment.
The First Reason is, Because God did institute* the Sabbath before there was any room for Cere∣monies; it was commanded to Adam in his In∣nocency: Now all Ceremonies did prefigure Christ; and before Adam fell, there was no Pro∣mise of the Seed of the Woman, nor no need of it, and so no need of a Figure to represent it; but before Adam fell, the Sabbath was prescribed, Gen. 2. 2, 3. On the seventh day God rested fromPage 178all that he had made, so that God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: So that you see God having rested upon this day, he sanctified it, and put ho∣liness upon it; therefore we are not to name that Common, which he hath named Holy; now though we do not read of Adams keeping this day, nor Abels, nor Enochs, nor Noahs, nor Abrahams, nor Isaacs, nor Jacobs; yet it doth not follow it was not kept: for Moses doth not take in hand to set down the actions of the Fa∣thers, but only generally: for you see what a short story we have of Methushelah a good man, though he lived a thousand years almost, yet we have scarce Three Syllables concerning him. Now sith Moses did not undertake to set down all that they did, therefore they might keep the Sabbath, though he did not set it down: neither afterwards doth he set it down for 319. years, and 111. years, which 430. years, to the time of the Judges, we have nothing spoken of concerning the Sabbath; therefore seeing God did Institute it to Adam in his Innocency, that is enough; but what though the Fathers had not kept it holy, doth it there∣fore follow that we must not keep it holy? They had many wives, doth it therefore follow that we must have many wives? So, suppose they did not sanctifie the seventh day, (though we can see no proof that they did not) yet this is enough, That God did sanctifie it before any Ceremony was.
Again, Though we do not read that they practi∣sed this, yet the Scripture doth intimate to us that they did it.
The Second Argument to prove this, is out of*Page 179Exod. 16. 23. before the Law was delivered upon Mount Sinai, before the Commandment was spoken from Horeb; yet you may see that the Sabbath is spoken of, and the Lord doth finde fault with Israel, for not keeping of it, which in∣timateth it was a day they well knew, and the Lord saith afterwards to Moses, How long will ye refuse to keep my Laws and Statutes? As in the 28. vers. the Lord there speaks of a Sabbath, as a day well known unto them, that it was com∣manded to be sanctified by them, and this was be∣fore the delivering of the Ceremonial Law; there∣fore it is not a ceremonial Law, but a positive Law, equipollent with the moral Law.
A Third Reason is, Because it was written by* the finger of God in Tabels of stone and put in∣to the Ark, Exod. 31. 18. and Deut. 10. 12. the Commandments were written upon Two tables of stone, and by the finger of God; Now all Divines, in all ages, agree upon this, that the writing of this Commandment in the Two tables of stone, is an evident Argument of the morality of it. For as a Reverend Divine saith, Not to think the Fourth Commandment to be moral, is the way to all Atheisme, for if one should say the Fourth Commandment is not moral, but cere∣monial; another might step up the next year and say the Second, and the Fifth, is not: So that whereas the Law is written by the finger of God in tables of stone, if we root it out of the tables of stone, we shall root it out of the heart of man; therefore the writing of it in the tables of stone, is an evident Argument of the morality of it to all ages.
Page 180A Fourth Argument is this, The Lord doth urge* this Commandment, more then any other Com∣mandment in the Decalogue; so that a man may question the First, or Second, or any of the Ten as well as this; for first we know that God hath made this Commandment larger then any of the rest: Secondly hee hath made it stronger, and urged it with more arguments then any of the rest. 3. he hath fixed a memento, remember be∣fore it: As who should say, Be carefull of this, and take heed of forgetting it, take heed of those that shall teach you the contrary, that this Com∣mandment is not morall. 4. It is negatively de∣livered, and affirmatively; the other delivered on∣ly one way; either affirmatively only, as the Fifth, Honour thy Father and Mother: or else negative∣ly only, as all the rest: There is never a Com∣mandment delivered both negatively and affirma∣tively, but only the Fourth, as, Remember the Sab∣bath day, to keep it holy; there it is delivered af∣firmatively: And afterwards it is delivered nega∣tively, In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, &c. The Lord hath delivered it both wayes; noting, that this Com∣mandment is equall and equipollent with the o∣ther: and the Lord did this in infinite wisdome, because he had not written this Commandment in the heart of man by the light of nature, there∣fore the Lord did urge it more with Arguments, that what was wanting in the light of nature, might be supplyed by the pressing of Arguments.
5. Another Argument is, Because if this be* not morall, then we have not Ten morall Com∣mandments, there are but Nine: now this is false; Page 181 for the Scripture tels us, that the Commandments are Ten, as Deut. 10. 4. it is not an Ecclesiasti∣call thing, but the Lord hath said it, as you may see there: And he wrote upon the Tables ac∣cording to the first writing, the Ten Command∣ments, which the Lord spake unto you in the Mount, out of the midst of the fire. The Lord spake Ten Commandments; now if the Fourth Commandment be not morall, there be not ten Commandments: And you may as well deny the Articles of the Faith, and the Petitions of the Lords Prayer, as the ten Commandments.
The Sixth Argument is this; Christ tels us* plainely, that it is a morall Commandment, Matth. 24. 20. Pray (saith he) that your flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day. Our Saviour Christ here prophesied of the destructi∣on of Jerusalem, which was forty yeares after Christs Ascension, when all Ceremonies were ceased, as Paul had proclaimed before the de∣struction of Jerusalem, That if any man would*be circumcised, Christ should profit him nothing, Galat. 5. 2. That is, if he would keep the Cere∣monial Law: Now Christ bids those that should live forty years after the Ceremonies were cea∣sed, I would have you have a care of the Sab∣bath, and delight in hearing of the word of God, and meditating upon it, and so forth; and if a∣ny occasion come that you fall into the hands of your enemies, pray that your flight be not in the Winter, nor on the Sabbath day: as who should say, If it be in the Winter, that will do hurt, and be troublesome to your bodies: and so if you fly upon the Sabbath day, that will Page 182 trouble your consciences, if you regard Gods commandment and the good of your own con∣sciences; if you regard or fear Gods name, it will grieve you to fly on the Sabbath day, whereby you shall be deprived of the Congre∣gation of Gods Saints; therefore pray that your flight be not upon that day: Intimating, that it was Morall; for if it had been Ceremoniall, he would not have wished them to pray that it might not be upon that day.
Now whereas our Saviour doth so often con∣demn the Pharisees in regard of their strictnesse of the Sabbath; it is not as if he did disallow the keeping of it; but they were foolishly pre∣cise, they strained at a gnat, and swallowed a camel; they crowded out, and regarded not Mer∣cy and Judgment, they would not pull a poor beast out of a pit, or relieve a poor man upon the Sabbath day: they found fault that a man should be helped from deaths door by our Saviour upon the Sabbath, this was their folly. Now our Sa∣viour did not condemn strict keeping of the Sab∣bath, but he did condemn their Superstition; for ever since Adams time, it was lawful to do works of Mercy on the Sabbath, it was Lawful to pull a beast out of the pit, and do works of Mercy, and Necessity upon the Sabbath day. And, whereas the Law saith, The Jews might not kindle a fire* on the Sabbath day, if we were in their case, we might not neither; for they were in the Wilder∣nesse, in an hot Countrey, where they needed no Fire, and having their Food provided to their hands. And being in an hot Countrey, if they kindled a Fire, it was out of wantonnesse; but if Page 183 it had been a cold Countrey, in Adams time, and Abrahams time, and in all times, it was lawful to kindle a Fire.
Againe, another Argument is this, The very* Heathen themselves have ever kept a Sabbath day, though they could not tell which the day was; some kept the Eighth day, and some the Ninth, yet they ever kept a Sabbath day: Yea, it is cer∣tain, many of the Heathen themselves kept the Sabbath after their manner. Alexandrinus, a godly Father, that lived but a little after Christ, saith, That the Heathen did count the Seventh day, an Holy day. And it is related of Alexan∣der Severus Emperour of Rome, though he were a Pagan, and Infidel, yet every Sabbath day, he retired from his Warlike affaires, and went up in∣to the Capitol to worship his gods. And it is re∣ported againe in Heathen Histories, our boyes go not to School upon the Sabbath day, neither are Humane Arts taught on that day; but we have a Rest upon that day: Nay, some of the Hea∣thens tell us, That they keep it from the Creation; therefore Philo tells us, That the Sabbath day, is the Creation day: and divers other poor people, that never had Scripture, or Prophet, or Mini∣ster among them, but went meerly by the light of Nature, and what they had learned from their Ancestors and Fathers, they did keep the Sabbath day. Nay, one of them saith, That on the Se∣venth day, all the Host of Heaven and Earth was finished. Therefore seeing the very Heathen have learned to keep this day Holy, it is an Evident Ar∣gument, that this is a Moral Commandement. I conclude the Proof of this Point, with the say∣ing Page 184 of our Saviour Christ, Mat. 5. 18. Hea∣ven and Earth shall passe away, but not one jot or title of the Law shall passe away: Marke, our Sa∣viour saith there, that there shall not one jot or title of the Decalogue passe away. As for the Ceremonial, and Judicial law → , they stand not still, but the whole compasse of them is removed, the Ceremonial Law is quite and clean ← abolished → ; and the ← Judicial Law, in many particulars; there∣fore our Saviour meant it not of those two Laws, but he speaks of the Decalogue, and he saith, Hea∣ven and Earth shall passe away, before one jot of it shall passe away, much lesse an whole branch be rooted out. And Gal. 3. 10. the Apostle saith, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things that are written in this Law to do them: not only he that continueth not in the first, or second, or third Commandment, but he that continueth not in the fourth, and fifth, and all the rest. And Jam. 2. 10. the Apostle there saith, If a man should keep the whole Law of God, and be guilty only in one point, he is guilty of all. Suppose thou didst keep the Three first Commandments, and all the Six last, if thou keepest not the Fourth Com∣mandment, thou art guilty of the breach of all the Commandments.
I let this passe, and come now to the last Pro∣position,* which is this, That though the last day of the week were kept for the Sabbath, till the coming of Christ, yet the first day of the week, that seventh day, is now the Lords Day, and is so to continue to the end of the World: I frame it thus, The change of the seventh day, to the first day of the week, is not by Ecclesiastical Law, Page 185 or by the Law of man, or Apostolical Tradition, but it is by the Institution, and express Command∣ment of God.
The first Argument to prove it, is taken out of*Psal. 118. 24. It is an Argument used by the Church of God in all Ages, ever since twelve hundred years agoe. Saint Austin did use it in his time, the Psalmist Prophecieth of the Resur∣rection of Christ, the Stone which the builders re∣fused,*is become the Head-stone of the Corner, this is the Lords doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. (Our Saviour Christ, Mat. 21. doth expound it of his Crucifying, and Resurrection) This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will be glad and rejoyce in it. The Psalmist speaks here of the Re∣surrection of Christ; now speaking of this very day, saith he, This is The day that the Lord hath made: And we for our part, that are godly, and desire to be built upon this Corner Stone, we will be glad, and rejoyce in it; we will keep it as a glo∣rious day; a day of Thanksgiving, and Rejoy∣cing in God. The thing is plain, see Isa. 56. 1, 2 the Prophet Prophecyeth of the Day of Christ, and saith, They are blessed that keep the Sab∣bath, thus saith the Lord, Keep Judgement, and Justice, for my Salvation is at hand to come, and my Righteousness is to be revealed: Blessed is the man that doth this, and keepeth my Sabbaths. This is a Prophecie of the day of our Lord and Savi∣our Jesus Christ; and he pronounceth a blessing upon those that keep the Sabbath in those dayes. Again, Isa. 11. 10. it was Prophecied of old, that the first day of the week, should be the Sabbath day, the Lords day: In that day, there shall bePage 186a Root of Jesse, which shall stand up for an Ensigne to the people, and the Nations shall flie unto it, and his Rest shall be Glorious: Not only the Fa∣thers Rest shall be glorious, when he had Crea∣ted Heaven, and Earth, and rested the seventh day, but Christs Rest also shall be glorious; for all Divines agree, that the Prophet speaks of the Rest of Christ, from the work of Redemption; now his Rest shall be glorious. As God the Fa∣ther Rested from his work, and his Rest was glo∣rious for four thousand years together; so Christs Rest from his work shall be glorious, there shall be glory and honour put upon it, as well as upon the Rest of the Father, when he Rested from make∣ing of Heaven and Earth.
Secondly, Another Argument to prove this,* is out of Rev. 1. 10. there Saint John speaking of the first day of the week, the Spirit of the Lord calls it the Lords Day, I was in the Spirit on the Lords Day, so that it is not by Apostolical Tra∣dition only, but by the Institution of God him∣self, he doth call it the Lords Day, I was in the Spirit upon the Lords Day; he calls the first day of the week the Lords Day, by the same reason that the Sacrament is called the Lords Supper. Now the Sacrament is so called, because the Lord Instituted it, and therefore it must be Holy: so the Lords Day is called so, because the Lord Instituted it, and therefore it must be kept Holy.
Another Argument is this, Our Saviour Christ* himself doth Intitle himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath, and therefore able to alter it, and change it, and appoint what businesse is to be Page 187 done, and what not to be done, upon that day; he doth openly profess, that he is Lord of the Sabbath, Mark 2. 28. and John 5. 23. he saith, They shall Honour the Son, as they Honour the Fa∣ther; As they honour the Father with a Sabbath, in regard of his Rest from the work of Creation, so they shall honour the Son with a Sabbath, in regard of his Rest from the work of Redemption, which being compared with Rev. 1. 10. where it is called the Lords Day: These two being put together, do plainly prove it.
Fourthly, Christ himself did command his* Apostles to keep this day, it was not by the A∣postles counsel, as if they would set up this day in the Church, as some would have it, but Christ did command them so to do; for the Apostles did deliver nothing Generally to the Church, but what they received from the Lord, as Paul saith, What I have received from the Lord, that I declare unto you, 1 Cor. 11. But I will prove it was the Commandment of Christ to them, by this Argument, Because the first day of the week was alwayes kept for the assemblies of the people of God, before the Apostles durst order any thing in the Church: the Apostles never durst un∣dertake to set up any order in the Church, until the Holy Ghost fell upon them in fiery tongues, and that was fourty dayes after. Now the first day of the week was kept long before this, John 20. 19. they kept the first day of the week: and again the next week, ver. 26. they kept the first day of the week; and Luke 24. they kept the first day of the week. And if you compare three or four places of Scripture together, as Mat. 28. Page 188 16. 20. together with John 20. 19. 26. we shall see plainly in John, that they did meet upon the first day of the week, and in Mat. 28. we shall see that Christ appointed them so to do, it was by his Commandment.
Fifthly, Another Argument to prove that it* is by Divine Institution, and not by Humane Or∣dinance, is this, Because the Wisdome of Jesus Christ, would never have committed such a weighty thing as this is to the Judgement of man. Certainly the Lord Jesus Christ, before his ascending up unto his Father, would never have left things so raw, and uncertain, and imper∣fect, as to leave such a Branch of such a Sacred Ordinance, to be at the Arbitrament of men, be∣ing so apt to take liberty, and so negligent to keep any day Holy, surely the Lord would ne∣ver have left it to the Arbitrament of men. There∣fore we may well conclude, it is to be found in Scripture by Ordination of God; for mark what the Apostle saith, As▪ Moses was faithful in all his house, so Christ is faithful in all his house, Heb. 3. 2, 3. He proves that Christ is more faithful then Moses: Now Moses was faithful, for he delivered the whole mind of God to the people of Israel, there was nothing left out, for time, or place, or manner; there was not any Ceremony in the worship of God left out, but he delivered all to them, he was faithful. So Christ is faithful in his house, therefore seeing Christ knew how ready men were to neglect, and prophane the Sabbath, plain reason tells us, that he would order it himself.
Again, Another Argument is this, It hath* been the Practice of all holy men since the A∣postles daies, to keep this day. That it was the practice of the Apostles, that you will grant, that they kept the first day of the week. Now if there were no Argument but this, that the Apo∣stles did keep it, this were enough to prove the change of the day, when we find that the Apo∣stles did sanctifie this day, this were proof enough to stay our mindes; for certainly they had a more Infallible guidance and direction then we have, and they insisted upon this day, 1 Cor. 16. 1. 2. They, or∣dained, and John the Divine kept this day, though he were in the place of his banishment, where he could hear no Sermon, but was all alone, yet he would keep the Sabbath, on the first day of the week, and the Lord rewarded his sanctify∣ing of this day, by declaring the Revelation unto him, to incourage all good people to go on in keeping this day. But to leave these, and come to the time of the ancient Fathers, immediately after the Apostles; they all agree upon the first day of the week: Ignatius doth so; and Saint Austin saith, as the Virgin Mary is among women, so is the first day of the week, among dayes; as she was blessed above women, so is the first day of the week blessed above daies: No man that makes conscience of his wayes, but shall find a blessing upon every day; but God hath blessed this day in a more peculiar manner, and the soul that makes conscience of the keeping of it, may by the Covenant of God expect a blessing.
Page 190Now to come to the dead times of Popery, If ever the Sabbath was out of memory, and out of date, then was the time; for then there was a great falling away, a great forsaking, a great declining, and people hearkned to Doctrines of Divels, and Damnable Heresies, and the whole world groaned under Popery: Yet in the dead times of Popery there were abundance of Pro∣phets, the Lord did keep their Judgements en∣tire in this thing, as Gregory, and Silvester, and others, though they were Superstitious Papists, yet they say, That the change of the Sabbath, from the last day of the week to the first, is by Divine Institution. Now to come to the times of Reformation, here we have abundance of Re∣verend men beyond the sea, both in Germany, and France, that maintain it is by Divine Insti∣tution.
Another Argument is taken from the Judge∣ments* of God; If men will not hearken to rea∣son, and the examples of the Saints, and Judge∣ment of Divines in all ages, yet the Lord will make it appear from heaven, that this is the Lords Day, and the Lord hath sealed it.
First by his Judgements, for the wrath of God hath been revealed from heaven upon those that have prophaned this day: the Stories in all ages shew it. In the Councel of Paris, where Di∣vines out of all Countries in Christendome were met together, to consult about matters of Reli∣gion; Ministers stepped up, and made complaint, concernining the Sabbath, Let us make a Canon for the sanctifying of the Sabbath day, for to Page 191 our knowledg, the Lords wrath hath broken out upon the Countrey for the breach of this day▪ and one related one story, and another, another; as one told a Story of a Miller, that grinding upon the Sabbath day, a fire brake out, and burnt Mill, and Man, and all. Another, of an Hus∣bandman, that going into the field to fetch home his Corn upon the Sabbath day, thunder and lightning brake forth, and burnt him and his corn. Many such stories were related in that Councel, and the Magdenbergs have a story of a Noble∣man, that using to Hunt upon the Sabbath day, the Lord brought it so to passe, that his Wife brought forth a child, with a head just like a dog. I could relate abundance of Stories beyond sea, but we have enough here at home; the Town of Stratford, in Warwick shire, as it is related in the Practice of Piety, was Burnt three times upon this day. And the Story of the Parris Garden, 1683. they were gathered together this day, to see the sport of the Beasts fighting together, and the Scaffold fell down, and eight were slain, and abundance hurt. So there are many more such Examples, I remember my self above a dozen within this half year; the Lord hath revealed his displeasure from heaven, for the breach of this day.
Secondly, Again the Lord hath sealed this in the conscience of his people. For who are they that break this day, but loose, and vain, and pro∣phane men? And who make conscience of it, but those that most fear God, those that God hath most crowned with Righteousnesse and san∣ctification? they delight in this, and Sanctifie it, Page 192 and count it Holy to the Lord; and the more a man fears God, the more careful he is of the keeping of this day, and the more he is grieved to see it prophaned, either by himself or others, be∣cause he hath experience of the blessings of God upon the keeping of this day; no man doth San∣ctifie this day conscionably, but he shall find a blessing, therefore it is surely from the Lord.
The First Ʋse is this, Is the first day of the week* the Sabbath by Divine Institution? then here we see, that we are to keep a whole day. The Divel, if he cannot make men keep no day, then it is his po∣licy to make them keep it by halves. Oh, say they, Do we not keep the Sabbath? Do we not come to Church, and hear the word, and Divine Service Morning and Evening? Is not this to keep the Sabbath? But if the Lord hath Instituted this day, then certainly he hath Insti∣tuted a whole day. It is madnesse, and want of reason for a man to think the contrary. Sup∣pose I hire a man to labour with me for a day, do I not make account he should work one whole day? Suppose I hire a Servant for a year, do I not mean an whole year, though I put not in the word Whole, yet I suppose he must dwell an whole year with me. And if I hire a man for a day, it is for an whole day? so that in Gram∣matical sense, when the Scripture saith, Thou shalt Sanctifie the Sabbath day, it is meant a whole day. It is not in this, as in other words; any piece of a stone, is stone: but in things that signifie the whole, it is not the same, as a day; a part of a day, is not a day: the least part of wa∣ter Page 193 is water, or of fire is fire; but a part of a day, is not a day; Remember thou keep holy the Sab∣bath day; and, I was in the Spirit on the Lords day; and, they met together on the first day of the week: it is a day, therefore the meaning of the scripture is, that it should be a whole day, and it is so in reason, and therefore we are to keep an whole day: therefore we should not curtail the Lords day, as the servants of Hanun did the gar∣ments of Davids servants. You know what be∣came of Ananias, and Saphira, that brought but, part, when they should have brought the whole; they should have brought the whole price of their inheritance, but they brought but part, therefore the Lord smote them with death: so when the Lord requires a whole day, and we give him but a part, we shall bring vengeance upon our own heads.
There are divers arguments for it: First the* weeke consists of seven dayes, and he hath given six to us and reserves one day to himself: now we wil grant that we have not part of six dayes, but six whole dayes. If you aske a man what, do you work all day? Why yea, the Lord hath given us six dayes, therefore six whole dayes. Now by the same reason God must have an whole day; if we take any part of the seventh day then we have more then six dayes, which is contrary to the scripture.
Another reason is this, God rested the seventh* day: now looke what time God rested, that time we must sanctifie: now God rested the seventh day, all of it, he left none of the creation Page 194 to do upon the seventh day; he had finished the creation in six dayes, and rested all the se∣venth day, therefore we must keep the whole day. Thirdly, because this is the nature of a Sab∣bath,* to be 24 houres, not to be an artificiall day, but to be a naturall day 24 houres toge∣ther, as you may see Lev. 23. 32. you shall keep the Sabbath from evening to evening; then the dayes were reckoned from evening to evening from the creation; though now under the gospel, because Christ arose in the morning, they are reckoned from morning to morning.
Fourthly another argument is this, God ne∣ver* ordained dayes half-holy in his Church: in∣deed the Church of Rome have halfe holy dayes, as Saint Blac•es day, which is to be kept in the fore noon: so they have other dayes that are to be kept in the after-noone, but in the fore-noone they may do what they list: so heathens did, as Ovid saith, the former part of the day is holy, the latter part of the day is not holy; the Lord hath no such days as these, but all holy dayes in scripture: if God ever appointed a fast, or new moon, or feast of Tabernacles, whatsoever holy day, he did institute, it was an whole day, and not a part of a day, therefore much more this so∣lemn day.
Again, the judgment of all Divines in all a∣ges* hath been concerning an whole day. I could instance in the fathers, as in Irenaeus, who saith, we are to continue in the Sabbath all the day long, for the Lord hath required all the day to be kept holy unto him, and the saints of God have alwayes kept an whole day: so Saint Au∣stinPage 195 saith, It is not enough, that wee keep three or four houres of the day, but that we rest the whole day. And what rest? not only to rest from our bodily labours, for the beasts keep this Sabbath; nor the rest of sport and pastime, for that is the Sabbath of the golden calfe, they ate and drink, and rose up to play: No, but that thou mayest be vacant to God all the day in prayer and serving of him. So in the Coun∣cell of Mexicon, there was an assembly of mini∣sters out of all nations in Christendome, and they ordained a canon, concerning the Lords day, We ordain, that people keep the whole Lords day holy, and that they set themselves the whole day to pray to God, and delight in God, and heare his word: and if a countreyman's servant breake this day, his punishment shall be to be beaten with severe blowes, [ictubus gravioribus, are the very words of the Councell;] and if a Lawyer offer to plead this day, he shall not have the benefit of his pleading or case; and if a minister breake this day, he shall be excommunicated half a year, and throwne out of the Church, and shall not be recei∣ved into the Church again, but upon great hu∣miliation. This was the judgment of Divines in all ages, and it is the observation of a reverend Divine, Musculus, upon Exod. 20. God doth not say, Remember the Sabbath, to keepe it holy; he that keeps it an hour or two, keeps it holy: but, Remember the Sabbath Day, to keepe it ho∣ly; he will have a day kept holy: Nay Calvin, whom they take to be on their side, to be a pa∣tron of their liberty, he himselfe writing upon Deut. 6. upon these words, Remember the Sab∣bathPage 196day, he saith, we are to keep this day, speak∣ing of himselfe, and all the people of God,) we are to keepe this day; and not a part of it, but all of it.
The second Use is this: we may hence see* that sports and pastimes are not agreeable to the Lords day; for if the Lord hath forbidden our weekly works on that day, then surely he hath forbidden sports and pastimes.
The reason is good, first because our weekly works, are things Commanded at other times, now sports and pastimes▪ are never Commanded by God, but onely permitted: now if things commanded, and things that are good at some∣times, if these notwithstanding may not be done upon the Lords day, then much lesse must those be done that are permitted onely
Secondly, because weekely works do lesse di∣stract a man from God, then sports and pastimes. I appeale to any man here present, if he be not more heavenly and better employed, and lesse distract from good thoughts, and gracious af∣fections, when he is plowing, or sowing, or threshing, then when he is diceing, and card∣ing; sports and pastimes beat a man further off from religion, and let a man go to prayer after sports and pastimes, he shall (find himselfe more unfit and unaffected a great deal, then he shall when he comes from the works of his calling. Now if those things that do lesse distract from Gods worship and service are forbidden upon the Sabbath day, then surely much more those things that do more distract, must needs be for∣bidden upon that day.