Page [unnumbered] THE SABBATHS Sanctification. Herein
- I. The Grounds of the morality of the Sabbath.
- II. Directions for sanctifying it.
- III. Proofs that the Lords day is the Christians Sabbath.
- IIII. Aberrations about the Sabbath.
- V. Motives to sanctifie the Sabbath.
By W. G.
LONDON, Printed by G. M. for Joshua Kirton, and Thomas Warren, at their shop in Pauls Church-yard at the white Horse, 1641.
To the Reader.
THis Treatise of the Sab∣baths Sanctification, hath in the private family of the Author, and in other families of his pious Friends beene taught, and learned many yeares together. They who have beene made partakers thereof, and made con∣science of well using it, have found a singular help thereby for a comfortable and profitable passing thorow that day, which unto too too many seemeth very tedious, and (if at least they be under the Ministery or government of such as restraine them from those sensuall workes that satisfie the flesh) makes them complaine, and say as the Iewes of old did (Amos 8. 5.) when will the Sabbath be gone? But they who Page [unnumbered] take notice of the variety of duties therein set downe, and of their fit dependance one upon ano∣ther, shall rather find want of time for a due per∣formance of them, then superfluity. By care and conscience in aright observing of them, the Lords day will prove an holy spirituall mar∣ket day, wherein we may procure, weeke after weeke, such spirituall provision for our soules, as will nourish and cherish them unto eternall life. The very life of piety is preserved by a due san∣ctification of the Lords day. They put a knife to the throat of religion, that hinder the same. Let such as desire and expect the blessed fru∣ition of the eternall Sabbath to come, make con∣science of well sanctifying the Christian Sabbath while here they live: for an help whereunto, this Treatise of the Sabbaths Sanctification is published. To it is added another Treatise a∣bout Apostasy: which two may fitly goe toge∣ther, because a conscionable sanctifying of the Lords day will be an especiall meanes to keepe men from Apostasy.Page 1
THE SABBATHS SANCTIFI∣CATION.
1 Q. IS the Sabbath morall, or ceremo∣niall?
That is accounted morall, which (as a rule of life) bin∣deth all persons, in all places, at all times.
2 Q. How appeares it to be morall?
A. 1 It was sanctified in Adams innocency. Gen. 2. 2, 3. Adam in his innocent estate was a publick per∣son, and bore in his loynes all man-kinde: and that without distinction of Jew and Gentile. That therefore which was given to him in chardge, appertained to all that in any age should come from him.
Page 2 2 It is one of the ten precepts of the morall law. Ex. 20. 8. It is not an appendix to another precept: but an intire precept in it selfe. If it be abrogated, or made ceremoniall, there are but nine pre∣cepts of the morall law: contrary to these ex∣presse Scriptures, Exod, 34. 28. Deut. 4. 13. & 10. 4.
3 Q. Of how many houres doth the Sabbath day consist?
A. Of foure and twenty. Gen. 2. 3.
The Sabbath is called the seventh day: so as it is a seventh part of the weeke: therefore so ma∣ny houres as make up every of the other dayes (which are foure and twenty) must be accounted to this day.
4 Q. Are all those houres to be sanctified?
A. Yes. Exod. 20. 11.
The Lord rested the whole seventh day: and all the time wherein he rested he sanctified. Gen. 2. 2, 3.
5 Q. How can all that time be sanctified?
A. 1. By observing things commanded. Jer. 17. 22.
2. By observing things permitted. Exod. 12. 16.
Duties commanded, by reason of Gods supreme soveraignty must be done. They are so proper to the day, as in a right performing of them, the sanctification of the Sabbath consisteth.
Matters permitted, by reason of Gods tender indulgency, having respect to our infirmity and necessity, may be done. And though the Sabbath be not properly sanctified in them, yet is it the bet∣ter sanctified by them.
6 Q. What are the heads of Duties commanded?
- 1. Duties of Piety. Luk. 4. 16.
- 2. Duties of Mercy. Mark. 3. 4.
Duties of Piery are such as immediately tend to Gods honour, wherein and whereby he is wor∣shipped: and withall they are such as directly Page 3 tend to our spirituall edification. Wherefore the wise Lord, who affordeth us six dayes for secular and temporall affaires, seeth it meet that every seventh day should be set apart for di∣vine and spirituall matters.
And because the workes of our calling (wherein we are most employed in the six dayes) tend es∣pecially to our owne profit, God will have us on his day to shew mercy to others that stand in need of our helpe. Many are the works of mercy which Christ did on Sabbath dayes, as appeareth, Mark. 1. 21, 25, 29, 34. & 3. 2, 5. Luk. 13. 10, 11. & 14. 1, &c. Joh. 5. 9. & 7. 23. & 9. 14.
7 Q. What kindes are there of workes of Piety?
A. 1 Publick. Act. 15. 21.
2. Private. Act. 16. 13.
3. Secret. Mar. 1. 35.
The severall duties of piety which are comprised under these heads, are very helpfull one to ano∣ther, and cause the Sabbath to be more comfor∣tably passed over, without any seeming tedious∣nesse, or wearisomenesse.
8 Q. Where are publick duties of piety done?
A. In the Church. 1 Cor. 4. 17. & 11. 20, 22, & 14. 19, 28. Heb. 2. 12.
Churches are publick places, where many of se∣verall families meete together. There use to be most frequent assemblies to worship God. The doores of Churches use to stand open, for any that will to enter in. There the most solemne duties of piety are performed.
9 Q. By Whom are they performed?
A. 1 By the Minister. Act. 13. 16.
2 By the People. Act. 20. 7.
3 By all together. 1 Cor. 14. 24, 25.
A Minister on the one side, and people on the other, make up a true Church. The Minister is Page 4 the mouth of God, in whose roome he stands, to the people: and by reason thereof he declares out of Gods word, Gods will to the people.
A Minister is also the peoples mouth unto God: presenting their mind to God: which he doth for order sake. For if all should utter their owne mind together, by their own severall voices, what confusion would there be?
Yet are there also duties to be performed by the people joyntly among themselves, but distinctly from the Minister: els that which the Minister doth will be in vaine.
Yea there are also some duties wherein the Mi∣nister joyneth with the people, and the people with the Minister, even in the same manner of performing them: as the particulars following will shew.
10 Q. What duties are done by the Minister?
A. 1 Reading the Word. Act. 13. 27. Col. 4. 16.
2 Preaching it. Luk. 4. 20, 21. Act. 13. 15.
3 Praying and praising God. 1 Cor. 14. 15, 16. Neh. 8. 6. & 9. 5. 6.
4 Administring Sacraments. Mat. 28. 19. & 26. 26. Act. 20. 11.
5. Blessing the people. Num. 6. 23.
In performing the two first (reading and prea∣ching the word) and the two last (administring Sacraments, and blessing the people) the Mi∣nister stands in Gods roome, and is his mouth: but in the middlemost duty (praying to God and praising him) he is the peoples mouth to God.
11 Q What duties are done by the people?
A. 1 Attending to the Word read and preached. Act. 10. 33.
2 Assenting to the prayers and praises. 1 Cor. 14. 16.
3 Partaking of the Sacraments. Mat. 3. 6. 1 Cor. 12. 13.
Page 5 4 Saying AMEN, audibly to all. Neh. 8. 6.
If people attend not to the Word, it is like the seed sowne in the way side, which the soules soone pick up, Mat. 13. 4, 19.
If they assent not to the prayers and praises, they are like those that draw neere to God with their lipps, but have their hearts farre off. Mat. 15. 8.
If they partake not of the Sacraments, they cast themselves out of the communion of Saints. Gen. 17. 14. Num. 9. 13. Luk. 14. 24.
As for an audible pronouncing of Amen, if the * mind of them that pronounce it, have beene up∣on that which the Minister uttered, and their heart have given consent thereto, it compriseth alltogether as much as the Minister hath uttered. This is the only warrantable meanes for people to utter their mind in a Congregation. It must therefore be uttered by every one, altogether, so loud, as the Minister may heare their con∣sent, as well as they heare what he hath uttered in their name. For the one is as requisite as the other.
12 Q. What duties of piety are done by Minister and people all together?
A. Singing Psalmes. Mat. 26. 30.
Singing of Psalmes was alwaies used by Gods people, not onely in the Tabernacle, Temple and Synagogue of the Jewes, but also in Chri∣stian Churches. Christ used it with his Dis∣ciples (Mat. 26. 30.) It is enjoyned by the Apostle (Eph. 5. 19. Col. 3. 16.) and it was practised by the primitive Church, (1. Cor. 14. 15, 26.) By this duty joyntly performed by all, as our owne spirits are quickned, so we quicken the spirits of others: and we are all made the more cheerfull in serving God. On this Page 6 ground they who are merry are enjoyned to sing. Jam. 5. 13.
13 Q. Where are private duties of Piety done?
A. In a family or some other private place.
Herein lieth a difference betwixt performing publick and private duties, that from the pub∣lick none are excluded: but private are done by the mutuall consent of a certaine number: ei∣ther of such as are under one roofe (Josh. 24. 15. Act. 10. 2, 30.) or else of others that agree toge∣ther for that end (Act. 16. 13.) By private meetings of such as are of the same minde and piously affected, Christians doe bring much sweet consolation and mutuall edification one to another: and the power and profit of publicke duties is much promoted there∣by.
14 Q. What are private duties of Piety?
A. 1. Reading Gods Word. 1. Tim. 4. 13.
2. Praying and praising God. Act. 16. 13.
3. Catechising, Deut. 6. 7.
4. Repeating Sermons. Act. 17. 11.
5. Holy conference. Luk. 24. 14.
6. Singing Psalmes. Act. 16. 25. Jam. 5. 13.
By a conscionable and constant performance of these private duties, a private house is made Gods Church: and God will be there present, as he was in the house of Obed-edom (2. Sam. 6. 12.) to blesse them. Yea wheresoever two or three duly meet for such purposes, Christ by his Spirit will be among them. Mat. 18. 20.
In performing these, it is requisite, that some one of ability be as it were, the mouth of the rest, in reading the Word, praying to God and prai∣sing him, instructing in the grounds of Re∣ligion, which is catechising, and repeating Ser∣mons: and the governour of the family if he be Page 7 able, is the fittest to performe those duties.
By such kind of duties of piety performed, as we can, before we go to Church, we are the better fitted to the publick, and after we come from Church, by these will publick duties be made the more profitable: yea by these, much of that time wherein we are absent from Church, is sanctified.
15 Q Where are secret duties of piety done?
A. In some secret place betweene God and ones selfe alone. Mat. 14. 23.
No place is exempted from secret duties, so as a Christian may be there alone, and none with him; In relation to such duties, thus saith the Lord, enter into thy Chamber, and when thou hast shut thy doore, pray, Mat. 6. 6. Secret du∣ties ought so to be performed, as none but God should know what we are about: so will thy soule be the more upright, and freed from hy∣pocrisy and vaine-glory: so will the duties bring the more comfort to the performers there∣of.
16 Q. What are secret duties of Piety?
A. 1 Reading Gods word. Act. 8. 28.
2 Praying and praising God. Mar. 1. 35. Act. 10. 9. Psal. 119. 164.
3 Meditating. Gen. 24. 63. Psal. 63. 6.
4 Examining ones selfe. Psal. 4. 4. 1 Cor. 11. 28.
The two former of these secret duties, are such as may be performed both in private and pub∣lick: but the difference is in the manner of performing them. But the two latter (medi∣tation and examination of ones selfe) are most proper to be performed in the most secret places that may be: because they are actions of the mind, and concerne a mans owne selfe in par∣ticular.
Page 8 These secret duties of piety would especially be performed first in the morning, and last in the evening; that the Lords day may be begun with them, (for a better preparation to the other duties) and ended with them, as a means of attonement for all our failings past. The forenamed secret duties are of excellent use to both those purposes.
They who are conscionable in performing all the fore-mentioned duties of piety, publick, private and secret, shall finde time little enough from their rising up to their lying downe: so as they shall have no cause to complaine of the ma∣ny houres, or to say, they know not what to doe, or how to spend their time: especially if to those sundry duties of piety, they adde duties of mercy.
17 Q. What kindes are there of workes of mercy?
A. 1 Such as concerne the soule. Joh. 7. 22, 23.
2 Such as concerne the body. Mar. 1. 29, 30, 31.
Man consists of two parts: Soul and Body, and both of them are subject to many maladies, and many necessities: we may therefore afford much succour, and shew much mercy one to another, both in soul and body.
18 Q. What are the workes of mercy which concerne the soule?
A. 1 Instructing the ignorant. 1 Cor. 12. 1.
2 Establishing the weake. Act. 20. 35.
3 Resolving the doubtfull. Luk. 24. 38, 39.
4 Comforting troubled soules. Joh. 11. 31, & 14. 1. 2 Cor. 2. 7. 1 Thes. 5. 14.
5 Informing such as are in errour. Mar. 22. 29. & Jam. 5. 19, 20.
6 Reproving the sinner. Mar. 8. 33. Luk. 3. 19. 2 Cor. 2. 6.
7 Every way edifying others. 1 Thes. 5. 11. Rom. 15. 2.
Page 9 These in one respect may be accounted workes of piety, namely as they are instructions, di∣rections and reprehensions gathered out of Gods word: but in another respect they are workes of mercy, namely as they tend to the reliefe of our brother in regard of his spirituall distresse and need of his soule. The matter of them makes them workes of piety, the end whereto they tend makes them workes of mercy.
There is therefore a double bond to tye us to a diligent performance of all these on the Lords day, as we can finde any occasion of doing them: one, the bond of piety: the other, the bond of mercy. Yea as the soule is more excellent then the body, and the good of the soule more ne∣cessary then the good of the body, so these works of mercy which so much concerne the good of the soule, ought with more diligence to be done, then those which concerne the good of the body: which yet we must not neglect. These we ought to doe, and not leave the other undone.
19 Q. What are the workes of mercy which concerne the body?
A. 1 Visiting the sick, and such as are otherwayes re∣strained of liberty. Mark. 1. 29, 30. Mat. 25. 36.
2 Relieving the needy with what they want. Isa. 58. 7. 1 Cor. 16. 2. Mat. 25. 35, 36.
3 Pulling out of danger such as are therein. Mat. 12. 11. Luk. 13. 16.
4 Affording all other seasonable succour. Mat. 12. 1, 4.
These may be so ordered, as none of the fore∣mentioned duties of piety need to be omitted for them. If Christians rise in any seasonable time, they may performe both private and Page 10 secret duties of piety before they goe to Church in the fore-noone: and if they spend not too much time at dinner, they may doe the like be∣fore Church-time in the afternoone. And when they come from the after-noone publick service of the Church, either before, or after, the like private duties of piety, they may doe some of the fore-mentioned workes of mercy: and those such as concerne the body. If they prove such as hinder workes of piety, they belong to workes permitted, which are hereafter distinctly set downe.
20 Q. Are not duties of piety and mercy to be done on other dayes also.
A. Yes. Act. 2. 46. 2 Tim. 4. 2. 1 Thes. 5. 17, 18. Prov. 3. 28.
God every day continues the same God: and an∣swerably he is to be so acknowledged: and in testimony thereof divine worship is every day to be performed. Under the law they had their morning and evening sacrifices every day, Exod. 29. 38, 39. By duties of piety to God, are our secular affaires sanctified and seasoned. Every day therefore are they to be performed. And because every day the necessities of some or other require workes of mercy, we must be ready every day to doe them so farre as we are able. The rules for shewing mercy are especially these three,
- 1 Our brothers necessity.
- 2 Our owne ability.
- 3 Gods opportunity: that is, the occasion which by the divine providence is offered unto us. Luk. 10. 33, 34. 1 Joh. 3. 17.
21 Q. Wherein lyeth the difference betwixt doing workes of piety on the Sabbath, and on other dayes?
A. They are on the Sabbath as meat: on other dayes as sauce. Numb. 28. 9, 10.
Page 11 We use to fill our bellies with meate: and to eate as much as we can (I speake of such as eate for strength and not for gluttony) but we take a little sauce, no more then will give a rellish to the meate, and sharpen appetite. So on the Sabbath we ought to doe as many duties of piety thereon as conveniently we can. To secret duties, private must be added: to secret and private, publick. The greater part of the Sabbath day must be spent in these. But it is sufficient on other dayes, to performe se∣cret and private duties of piety, morning and evening, to season and sanctifie the workes of our calling thereby: and that by craving pardon of sinne, assistance and blessing, and by giving praise to God, yea and by learning directions out of Gods word. For which end, some part of the holy Scripture is to be read: and some opportunities are to be taken where they may be had, to heare Sermons on weeke dayes. But the greatest part of every of the six dayes is to be spent in the workes of our calling, Exod. 20. 6.
22 Q. Wherein lyeth the difference betwixt doing works of mercy on the Sabbath and on other dayes?
A. Opportunities for works of mercy, are to be sought on the Sabbath, and taken on other daies, 1. Cor. 16. 2.
No Sabbath ought to passe over our heads wher∣in some worke of mercy (if at least we be able) is not done. The time that we spare from du∣ties of piety, and from a lawfull refreshing of our bodies, ought to be spent in works of mercy. For which end it is requisite that we take due notice of such as are sicke, or in prison, or other∣wise restrained of liberty, or any way troubled and perplexed, and of such as are poore, and in want: yea if we know none such, to enquire Page 12 after them, and to goe to visit them, and com∣fort them, and relieve them. Where the Apo∣stle enjoyneth to lay up something in store eve∣ry first day in the weeke (which is the Lords day) he implies that that is a very fit season not on∣ly to doe workes of mercy which then are offe∣red to us, but also to prepare on that day for other times.
Surely if every one would every Lords day lay something aside, as God hath prospered him, for a stocke to give to the poore, much good might be done thereby. Thus will men have more to give: thus will they have in a readi∣nesse to give: (it being a sacred stock by their voluntary setting it apart to such an use, their conscience will account it sacriledge to lay it out any other way:) thus will they more cheereful∣ly give, because the stock out of which they give is prepared before hand: and thus will their be∣nevolence on another day be a Sabbath-daies work, because it is out of the stock which on the Sabbath day was laid aside. If poore men that live on their daies labour, if servants that live on their wages would every Lords day lay up some tokens or pence for this end, they might have, without any sensible dammage to them∣selves a stock for the poore: how much greater stoare would be for the poore, if rich men accor∣ding to Gods blessing on them, would so doe?
23 Q. What servil workes are permitted on the Sabbath?
A. 1. Such as further the proper works of the Sabbath, Mat. 12. 3, 4, 5.
2. Such as hinder them, Mat. 12. 11.
Such is Gods wisedome, as in all things that he requires, he affords all meanes that may further the same. And withall, such is Gods tender respect to us, as he ordaines and orders all things for our good. For our good, namely for the Page 13 spirituall edification of our soules, he first ordai∣ned the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for man, Mar. 2. 27. Therefore those ordinances wherein and whereby he is worshipped and honoured, are the meanes of edifying and saving our soules.
But God did so aime at our spirituall good, as he would not on his day have the temporall good of our bodies neglected. If therefore our bodies stand in need of present succour, for the affording whereof duties of piety must be omit∣ted, he suffers us to forbeare the externall works of piety: and thereby verifies that, which the Prophet of old testified (Hos. 6. 6.) and Christ once and againe confirmed (Mat. 9. 13 and 12. 7.) I will have mercy and not sacrifice.
24 Q. What servil things may further the proper works of the Sabbath?
A. First, externall rites about the performing of them, Levit. 24. 8. Num. 18. 9, 10.
Vnder the Law there were sundry rites which required much bodily labour that tended to that worship which God then required: as slaying sacrifices, fleaing and cutting them in peeces, laying wood on the altar, and the sacrifices there∣on, renewing the lamps, setting the shew-bread on the table: and many other the like: concer∣ning which Christ thus saith of the performers thereof, The Priests in the Temple prophane the Sabbath and are blamelesse. Mat. 12. 5. that is, they do such things, as in other cases, not concerning the Worship of God, would be a profanation of the Sabbath. (If a butcher in his slaughter-house should so slay, slea, and cut beasts in peeces on the Sabbath, he would therein prophane the Sab∣bath:) But in the case of Gods worship they are no profanation, and therefore the performers thereof may justly be acquitted of all blame therein. Thus Church-Wardens, and Clearkes Page 14 may provide good Bread and Wine for the Com∣munion, and Water for Baptisme, and bring them to Church. Thus Collectors may receive, tell out, and distribute money to the poore. Thus Ministers may studie for their Sermons. And other like works may be done that tend to the principall duties of the Sabbath.
25 Q. What other servil things may further the proper workes of the Sabbath?
A. Such as our weake bodies doe stand in need of. Exod. 12. 16. Mat. 12. 1.
Man by sinne hath brought many infirmities upon his body. By them is he much disabled and hindered from performing good duties. The Lord therefore every way endeavouring with his goodnesse to overcome mans wretchednesse, hath by his providence afforded him sufficient meanes to support and redresse his infirmities. These meanes God is willing that man should use at all times, on all accasions, so farre forth as may be needfull and usefull for him. The Lord is not like that cruell Tyrant who laid up∣on the Israelites, whom he held in hard bondage, * as much as they could doe, if not more, and yet would not afford them ordinary meanes to doe it. He rather will have his work intermitted, then man oppressed thereby.
26. Q. What are those particulars which our weake bo∣dies doe most need?
A. 1. Sleepe. Eccles. 5. 12.
2. Foode. Luke 14. 1.
3. Apparell. 2. Sam. 12. 20.
4. All other occasionall helps. Mar. 2. 3, 4.
27. Q. Why is sleepe requisite?
A. If we have not seasonable sleepe the night im∣mediately before the Sabbath (the latter part whereof, namely from midnight to the time we rise, is part of the Sabbath) the duties of the Page 15 day will be so drousily performed (if at all they be performed) as they cannot be acceptable to God, nor advantageable to our spirituall edifi∣cation. Sleep doth much refresh our drowsie bodies, and cheere our dull spirits: and so make us much better performe the duties of the Sab∣bath. Therefore sleep is said to be sweet, Eccles. 5. 12.
28 Q. Why is food needfull?
A. Food is of speciall use to refresh the body and quicken the spirit, if it be seasonably, and mode∣rately taken. Many mens spirits will be ready to faint if they be not in due season refreshed with convenient food. Christ therefore on the Sab∣bath tooke his ordinary repast, Luke 14. 1. and made an apology for his Disciples refreshing themselves on that day, Luke 6. 1, &c. yea he sheweth that such mercy ought to be afforded to Beasts. Luke 13. 15.
29 Q. To what use is apparell?
A. Apparell also is needfull and usefull for refre∣shing the body, and for comelinesse. It keepeth the body warme, it covereth our uncomely parts. Then especially are wee to make our selves comely when we go into great assemblies: and greatest assemblies use to be in Churches, on the Lords day. Of old they were wont to put on their best apparell when they went to the House of God (2. Sam. 12. 20) unlesse it were a time of humiliation, Exod. 33. 4, 5.
30 Q. What other helps are there?
A. There are sundry other helps, which occasio∣nally arise from sundry accidents. As in case of lamenesse, or weakenesse of limmes by gout, spraining, or any other meanes, it is a great helpe to be carried to Church: and that carrying may prove to the bearers a laborious worke: So where the Church is remote, the Page 16 help of horse and coach by land, and boate by water is needfull. It appeares that many brought such friends to Christ as could not come of them∣selves, on the Sabbath, Mar. 1. 32. & 2. 3.
31 Q. How doe the fore-mentioned meanes further duties of piety?
A. By enabling us the better to doe them, Psal. 104. 14, 15.
We heard how they refresh our bodies, cheere our spirits, and support, yea and redresse our ma∣nifold infirmities: thereby they enable us to doe the things which we take in hand the more cheerefully, and steddily, and thereby further the same. A man that hath a long journey to ride, by resting some-time in an Inne, by ta∣king repast himselfe, and giving his horse pro∣vinder, enableth himselfe and horse to goe further then other-wise they could: and so doth further his journey. Though in baiting he doth not travell, or goe any whit of his way, but abide in his Inne, yet hee helpeth forward his journey, and shall by that meanes better come to the end thereof. Even so, though in doing those servill things which are need∣full for our bodies the Sabbath be not pro∣perly sanctified, yet by them the sanctification thereof is furthered, in that the services tending thereto, are thereby better perfor∣med.
32 Q. What cautions are to be observed, for well using these on the Sabbath day?
A. First, no more time then needs, must be spent on them, Exod. 34. 4.
The Lord testifieth his respect to us, in offording us liberty to use the things whereof we stand in need: and time convenient therein to use them. It becommeth us therefore to testifie our respect to God, by giving to him and his service Page 17 as much time as we can: and not to abuse his indulgency by spending on our selves more time then is needfull. Wherefore having had quiet rest in the night, we ought to rise be∣times in the morning, and to be quick and speedy in attiring our selves, that we may have the more time to serve God on his day. The like must be done by servants in the needfull services which they doe. So in sitting at table to eate meate, wee must use all convenient speed. To rise the sooner from bed and table, and to doe all needfull servile workes the more speedily, because it is the Lords day, argueth a good respect to God and his service.
33 Q. What other caution is to be observed?
A. Such servil workes as are permitted on the Sab∣bath must be performed as Sabbath daies workes.
Such respect must be had to this sacred time, as we ought to endeavour to turne all things, so farre as wee can, to a sanctification of that day.
34 Q. How may they be so done?
A. 1. With due respect to the end.
2. With like respect to the manner.
The end and manner make much to the quali∣fying of that we doe. An evill end and man∣ner much pervert the things we doe: but a good end and manner adde much to the glory of war∣rantable things.
35 Q. What is the end to be aimed at?
A. To be better enabled to workes of piety. 1. King. 19. 7.
This end (especially if indeed we doe the bet∣ter what we are enabled to doe, which is the right use and proper effect of the end) this end maketh servile works to become Sabbath works. For instance, if going to bed the evening before the Sabbath, we pray to have quiet rest for this Page 18 end that we may more cheerefully doe the du∣ties of the Sabbath, that sleep is a Sabbath sleep: so to eat and drinke for that end is a Sabbath eating and drinking. So in other things.
36 Q. After what manner must they be done?
A. With raising matter of spirituall meditation from them. Luk. 14. 7.
On the Lords day our mind ought to be so hea∣venly, as thereby every thing should be done after an heavenly manner: not onely workes of piety, but also every other worke that we doe thereon, should be so done. When we first wake, we should call to mind what day it is, and desire God to sanctifie us to the duties thereof. Rising out of bed, should bring to our minde the first resurrection out of sinne, and the se∣cond out of the grave. In apparelling our selves, we should meditate on the adorning of our soules. In washing face and hands, thinke on the cleansing of our soules. Servants in making and blowing the fire, should thence take occa∣sion of stirring up the fire of Gods Spirit in them. In preparing meate, they should thinke of the food of their soules. There is no∣thing which may lawfully be done, from which a pious minde may not draw mat∣ter of heavenly meditation: whereby the things from which meditation is drawne, are sanctified.
37 Q. May servil works be done on the Sabbath, though they hinder duties of piety?
A. Yea. Mat. 12. 7.
God doth not so strictly tie us, as fall what will, or can fall out, we must goe to Church. This phrase, not sacrifice (Hos. 6. 6.) implieth that there may be cases, wherein God doth not expect sarcrifices, that is, externall duties of piety to be performed by us.
Page 19 38 Q. What are those servil works which may be done though they hinder duties of piety?
A. Such as are of an absolute necessity.
This absolute necessity hath relation to mans need: namely, that it is necessary that such and such things be done, or els some great dam∣mage or prejudice will come to man.
39 Q. How may that absolute necessity be knowne?
A. If that which must needs be done could not be done the day before, nor can be put off to the day af∣ter.
This implies a necessity of the present perfor∣mance, even upon the Sabbath day. This first is laid downe as a ground, that it must needs be done: then it is taken for grant, that it could not be done the day before, and also, that it cannot be put off to the day after: therefore it remaines that it must be done on the Lords day. For instance. A tile falls on a mans head and soare∣ly wounds him on the Lords day. It is necessa∣ry that succour be afforded to this man. The day before nothing could be done for his cure, because no man knew he would be hurt. Suc∣cour must not be put off to the day after, least the man perish for want of succour. Such therefore as are able to helpe him, must doe it, though thereby the duties of piety be hindred. Note for this purpose, Joh. 7. 23.
40 Q. Of what sorts are those workes of absolute ne∣cessity?
A. 1. Ordinary.
Ordinary are such as for the most part happen every Sabbath: and some-where or other are performed on that day.
Extraordinary are such as may fall out, and sometimes do fall out: but very seldome: and it is a lamentable accident when any of them Page 20 doe fall out.
41 Q. What instances may be given of ordinary servil works which hinder duties of piety?
A. 1. Tending young children.
2. Keeping sick and impotent persons.
3. Helping women in travell.
Most families have some young children which cannot looke to themselves nor be brought to Church without disturbance of the whole Con∣gregation.
Very oft it falls out in every City and Towne that some be sicke, or otherwise im∣potent by age, or some casualty, so as they can∣not goe to Church, but require some to tarry with them, and to attend upon them. And in what day of the yeare doth it not fall out that some women in one place or other fall in travell? If every day, then also every Lords day. But it is requisite that more then one or two assist them in their travell.
All these therefore are ordinary servil works whereby some are kept from duties of pie∣ty, and yet are blamelesse. Instance Han∣nah who tarried from the Temple till her child was weined (1 Sam. 1. 22.) and was blamelesse.
42 Q. What instances may be given of extraordinary servil workes which hinder duties of piety?
A. 1. Quenching fire on houses.
2. Making up breaches of water.
3. Withstanding enemies.
4. Freeing living creatures out of present dan∣ger.
The three first of these concerning Fire, Water, and Enemies, are so violent, that if present helpe be not afforded against them, irrecoverable dam∣mage may soone follow thereupon. If there∣fore, in any cases that rule hold, mercy and Page 21 not sacrifice (Hos. 6. 6. Mat. 12. 7.) most of all in these.
As for freeing living creatures out of danger, we have Christs expresse warrant, Mat. 13. 11. Luke 14. 5. If unreasonable creatures are instant∣ly to be pulled out of danger, much more reaso∣nable. Luk. 13. 15, 16.
By these particulars which are permitted, we may see, that a conscionable observing of the Sabbath is not so heavy a yoke, as many imagine it to be.
43 Q. Is our Lords day now the true Sabbath?
44 Q. What grounds are there to prove it to be so?
A. 1. Divine authority.
This is the best ground that can be: even that which is sufficient to settle a mans judgement and conscience. Divine authority is that which is set downe in the holy Scriptures, either by expresse precept, or by approved practice. This later is it which is most apparent in Scrip∣ture. For it is noted, that Christs Disciples were assembled together the first day of the weeke (which is our Lords day) and so againe eight daies after (John 20. 19, 6.) which * inclu∣sively was the first day of the next weeke. It was also the first day of the weeke, when after Christs Ascention they were with one accord in one place (Acts 2. 1.) and the Holy Ghost de∣scended upon them in cloven tongues. Many yeares after that, it is noted of Christians, that on the first day of the weeke they came together to breake bread (meaning Sacramentall bread) and that Paul tooke that occasion to preach unto them (Acts 20. 7.) The manner of setting downe their assembling together implieth their custome therein: which is yet more manifest (1. Cor. 16. 2.) where the Apostle adviseth them to take that opportunity of their assembling Page 22 together, for laying up a stock to relieve such as were in distresse. It is not set downe as an act of one time, once onely to be observed, but as a weekely act, to be observed every first day of the weeke. And why that day? Surely because of their great assembly whereby they might whet on one another, and their contri∣bution be the more liberall: yea also because then was the time of observing Gods Ordi∣nances, whereby their soules must needs be incited to more bountifullnesse and cheerefull∣nesse therein. The title of the Lords day, Rev. 1. 10. can be applied to no other day so well as to this. For by LORD, without all question is ment the Lord Christ (1. Cor. 8. 6.) It is an usuall title given to him in the New Testa∣ment. Now what day can so fitly be applied to Christ, to have a denomination from him, and to be dedicated to the honour of his name, as the day of his Resurrection, whereon the Church so accustomed to meet together, as we heard before. On this ground, the first day of the weeke is stiled the Lords day, to this very day. Now this day being by the Church dedicated to the honour of the Lord Christ, John gave himselfe to holy devotion, and the Spirit took that opportunity on that ho∣ly day to shew him the divine revelations men∣tioned in that book.
45 Q. What other ground is there for our Lords. day?
A. The constant custome of Christs Church.
From the Apostles time hitherto hath the Church celebrated, as holy, the Lords day, and that under this title, The Lords day. Now the constant custome of the Church is not to be sleighted. This Apostolicall phrase (1. Cor. 11. 16.) If any man seeme to be contentious, we Page 23 have no such custome, neither the Churches of God, sheweth that the custome of the Church is a matter to be regarded.
46 Q. What third ground is there?
A. Christs Resurrection which made all things new. 2. Cor. 5. 17.
This as it gives a ground for celebrating the day, so it shewes the reason of altering it. Christs resurrection gave evidence of his full conquest over death, the punishment of sinne; and over him that had the power of death, the Divell: yea it gave evidence of a full sa∣tisfaction to the justice of God, and of a cleare pacification of the wrath of God. In these respects Christ is said to be raised againe for our iustification. Rom. 4. 25. For Gods justice be∣ing satisfied, and wrath pacified, death and Di∣vell being over-come, what can hinder our full redemption and justification.
This then is a worke that farre surpasseth the Creation: and much more deserveth a weeke∣ly memoriall. Yea this greater work hath swal∣lowed up the former, as the Temple did the Tabernacle (1. King. 8. 4.) And we that live after Christs Resurrection are as much bound to the celebration of the first of the weeke, as they that lived before, to the last.
47 Q. What fourth ground is there?
A. The substance of the Law which requireth a se∣venth day.
The words of the Law are these, The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. I denie not but that the Law hath a speciall relation to the first seventh day: but so as it was a memoriall of that great worke of Creation. When that was swallowed up with a greater, then the substance of the Law is to be observed in a se∣venths day memoriall of that greater worke.
Page 24 And it is observable, that the seventh which we celebrate is so ordered, as in the change no weeke had two Sabbaths, nor any weeke, as part of a weeke was without a Sabbath. Their Sabbath concluded their last weeke: and our Sabbath began our first weeke. The change could not have beene so fit to any other day.
48 Q. When begins the Lords day?
A. In the morning. Act. 20. 7.
When Paul came to the Church at Troas, he had a mind to spend a Lords day with them, though he was in great haste to depart so soone as he could. He came therefore to their assem∣bly at the time that they came together accor∣ding to their custome: but he kept them till the end of that day: (for he would not travell on the Lords day) and having dismissed the assembly, he departed. Now it is said, that he continued his speech till midnight (Acts 20. 7) even till breake of day (ver. 11.) and then departed: which departure of his is said to be on the morrow. By this punctuall expression of the time it appeares that the first day of the weeke, the Lords day, ended at midnight: and that then the morrow beganne. Now to make a naturall day which consisteth of twenty foure houres, it must begin and end at the same time: for the end of one day is the beginning of ano∣ther. There is not a minute betwixt them. As therfore the Lords day ended at midnight, so it must begin at midnight: when we count the morning to begin. Which is yet more evident by this phrase (Mat. 28. 1.) In the end of the Sab∣bath (namely of the weeke before, which was the former Sabbath) as it began to dawne (name∣ly) on the next day, which was the Lords day) or (as Joh. 20. 1.) when it was yet darke there came divers to annoint the body of Jesus, but Page 25 they found him not in the grave: he was risen before: so as Christ rose before the Sunne.
49 Q. What reasons may be given of the Lords daies be∣ginning in the morning?
A. Other daies then begin.
That they doe so with us, is evident by the ac∣count of our houres. For midnight ended, we begin with one a clock: then the first houre of the day beginneth. And it appeares to be so among the Jewes: for when Aaron proclai∣med (Exod. 32. 5, 6.) To morrow shall be a feast to the Lord, They rose up early on the morrow. I denie not but that sundry of the Jewish feasts began in the evening: as the Passeover (Exod. 12. 6.) But it cannot be proved that their week∣ly Sabbaths so began. There were speciall rea∣sons for the beginning of those feasts in the evening, which did then begin. As for the sup∣posed beginnings of the first daies gathered out of this phrase, (the evening and the morning were the first day) they cannot be necessarily concluded to be at evening. For the evening and the morning there importeth the moment of the evening and morning parting one from another, and the returne to the same period: which moment is rather at the beginning of the morning then of the evening. The evening useth to be referred to the end of the day, and the morning to the beginning, as Exod. 29. 38, 39. 1. Sam. 17. 16. and 30. 17. Joh. 20. 19.
50 Q. What other reason is there of the Lords daies be∣ginning in the morning?
A. Christ then rose. Mar. 16. 2, 9.
Of Christs rising in the morning no question can be made, all the Evangelists agree in the narration thereof. Now the Lords day being a memoriall of Christs Resurrection, if it should Page 26 begin in the evening, the memoriall would be before the thing it selfe: which is absurd to imagine. As all Gods workes were finished before the first Sabbath, so all Christs suffe∣rings before the Lords day. His lying dead in the grave was a part of his suffering: there∣fore by his Resurrection was all ended. With his Resurrection therfore must the Lords day begin.
To make the evening before the Lords day a time of preparation thereunto, is a point of piety and prudence: but to make it a part of the Lords day is erroneous, and in many respects very inconvenient.
Hitherto of Directions. Aberrations follow.
Aberrations concerne Mens
Some mens opinion is erroneous in too much loose∣nesse: others in too much strictnesse.
Errors in too much loosenesse are foure.
- 1. Denying the morality of the Sabbath.
- 2. Accounting the Lords day a matter arbitrary.
- 3. Judging externall rest and rites sufficient.
- 4. Supposing servil works in case of hazard to be lawfull.
The error in too much strictnesse is this, Thinking needfull works to be unlawfull.
Aberrations in practise respect others, or themselves.
Two respect others, viz.
- Keeping others from sanctifying the day.
- Scoffing at such as make conscience thereof.
Foure respect men themselves.
- Doing servil works openly.
- Deviding the Lords day betwixt God and themselves.
- Waxing weary of holy duties.
- Profaning the Lords day under a pre∣tence of keeping it.
Page 27 51 Q. What aberrations are contrary to the Law of the Sabbath?
1. Deniall of the morality and equity thereof.
There be many that account it no morall pre∣cept, but reckon it among the ceremonies which were appropriated to the Jewes. Here∣in they may justly be reckoned in the number of those who make void the law of God, Psal. 119. 126. Much more they who account it too heavy a yoke for Christians to beare. Indeed the sacrifices and other legall rites which were enjoyned to the Jewes, for the manner of so∣lemnizing the Sabbath, are too heavy a burden now to be laid on Christians. But none of those are mentioned in the Morall Law. That which we account Morall, and to have a perpetuall equity, is the substance of the Law. Yet a∣gainst this doe many also except, as a wrong done to Christians, in that thereby (as they al∣leadge) they are deprived of a seventh part of their time. Is man deprived of that time which is best spent? which is spent in serving God, edifying his soule, and promoting the eternall salvation thereof? Fie on such sensuall and un∣reasonable conceits? who complaines of be∣ing deprived of that time which is spent, or rather mispent in idlenesse and wicked∣nesse?
52 Q. What is a second aberration?
A. Making it a matter arbitrary.
There be that grant it to be a very meet and equall thing, that a day should be set apart to Gods honour, and our spirituall edification: but they hold it too strait a bond to be tied to a set and certaine day: they would have it left to the liberty, if not of particular men, yet of the Church to set apart what time they thinke fit. What is this, but to suppose t•at Page 28 men may be wiser then God? or at least, that men who live in after ages, when the Spirit hath withheld his extraordinary assi∣stance and immediate inspiration, may better know how to order times, then they who were in speciall manner inspired and assisted by the Holy Ghost? yea what is this but to give li∣berty to man to breake the Lords bonds, and to cast away his cords from them. This is a ready way to bring man to teach for doctrines the commandements of men: and so to worship God in vaine, Mat. 15. 9.
53 Q. What is the third aberration?
A Judging externall rest and rites sufficient.
This was one of the reasons, and that an especi∣all one, which moved the Prophets to cry out against the Jewes, for observing those ordi∣nances which God himselfe had enjoyned: namely, that they rested onely in doing the outward workes. In this respect, saith the Lord (Isa. 1. 13.) The Sabbath and calling of assemblies I cannot away with. Yet herewith doe most content themselves. The externall rites are onely meanes and helpes for sanctifying the day; the sanctification thereof doth not simply consist in them: much lesse in sneere rest, and cessation from labour: for then a beast might sanctifie the Sabbath.
54 Q. What is the fourth aberration?
A. Supposing servil workes in case of Hazzard to be lawfull.
Thus they pretend unwarrantable workes of necessity, that is, such workes to be of ne∣cessity, which are not so. What are to be ac∣counted workes of necessity, we heard before: namely such as require a present performance, in that they could not be done the day before, nor put off to the day after. To them many Page 29 add such things as are in hazard, or whereof there is feare that they may be spoiled: as in harvest, if the weather have beene foule a day or two before the Lords day, they thinke they may on the Lords day, if it be faire, make hay, reape corne, gather fruit, and do other like servile workes. But these are not of an absolute ne∣cessity. For the weather may be faire after the Lords day, as well as upon it. The Law there∣fore hath expressely forbidden this. Exod. 34. 21. In earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest on the seventh day. To worke on the Lords day on feare that the next day will be foule, is to distrust the divine providence.
These foure are errors in overmuch loosenesse.
55 Q. What is the fift aberration?
A. Thinking needfull workes to be unlawfull on the Lords day.
This is an error in over-much strictnesse. For some are so over-strict, as they will not suffer a fire to be kindled on that day, nor any hot meate to be drest, nor sundry workes of mercy to be done: like the Jewes who blamed Christ for the manifold cures he did on the Sabbath: and his Disciples for plucking and rubbing eares of corne, and eating the graine. The many proofes which Christ alleadgeth in defence of himselfe, and of his Disciples, and the many evidences which he giveth of the Jewes super∣stition herein, are a sufficient refutation of this erroneous opinon. For this purpose reade Mat. 12. 1, 2, &c. Luke 13. 15, 16. & 14. 4, 5. Joh. 7. 23.
These five are errours in opinion.
Aberrations in practise follow, whereof two con∣cerne others.
56 Q. What is the sixt aberration?
A. Keeping others from sanctifying the Lords day.Page 30 The Law layeth the charge of sanctifying the Sabbath on men, not onely for themselves, but also for others, especially for such as are under their charge. For the Law thus expresseth the prohibition of servile workes, In it thou shalt not doe any Worke, thou, nor thy Sonne, nor thy Daughter, nor thy man-servant nor thy maid-ser∣vant, nor thy cattell, nor thy stranger Which is With∣in thy gates. Yet there be many so farre from procuring others, and those under their charge, to sanctifie the Lords day, as they hinder them, and suffer them not to doe it. Such are they that use to make great feasts on the Lords day, rather for pomp, then necessity, or to re∣lieve the poore; or set out enterludes or such kinde of solemnities for meere pleasure: and they who having others to attend upon them, spend all the fore-noone in attiring and ador∣ning themselves: and all they who imploy servants or others upon secular affaires contra∣ry to the commandement. These, and other like to these, pull their owne and others blood upon their owne soules. They have cause to feare the doome denounced, Jer. 34. 16, 17.
57 Q. What is the seventh aberration?
A. Scossing at such as make conscience of sanctifying the Lords day.
There are many not onely deceived in their un∣derstanding, but also so perverted in their will, and so impious in their heart, as they cannot en∣dure such as are better enformed then them∣selves: or that beare and shew a better respect to God, and his worship then they doe.
Therefore to discourage men from their pious courses, they brand them with ignomi∣nious titles, as Precisians, Puritanes, Sabbata∣rians and Jewes. Herein they doe exceedingly aggravate their sinne: and shew themselves like Page 31 him that was borne after the flesh, whose doome was to be cast out, Gen. 25. 9, 10. Gal. 4. 29, 30. David was troubled with such in his daies: for thus he complaines, Psal. 119. 51. The proud have had me greatly in derision. But yet marke his resolution in this that follows, yet have I not declined from thy Law. To which purpose note also 2. Sam. 6. 16, 20, 21, 22.
These two last aberrations in practise have respect to others. The soure last that follow have respect to men themselves.
58 What is the eight aberration?
A. Doing servile Workes openly on the Lords day.
Many that are convinced in their judgements concerning the equity of sanctifying the Lords day, yet have their hearts so possessed with co∣vetousnesse, and their minds so filled with the affaires of this world, as they are loath to spare a day from their worldly employments to the honour of God, and the spirituall edification of their owne soules. They are like those who being invited to a great supper, made their ex∣cuses from their secular affaires, Luke 14. 16, 18. Great was the zeale of Nehemiah against such, Neh. 13. 15, 16, 17. The faires that in many pla∣ces are kept, and open selling of commodities, are too publicke and open profanations of the Lords day.
59 Q. What is the ninth aberration?
A. Deviding the Lords day betwixt God and themselves.
Some thinke they doe sufficiently sanctifie the Lords day, if they goe to Church, and serve God some part of the day, though they spend the other part thereof in their owne affaires. Herein they shew themselves like to those who set their threshold by Gods thresholds, and their posts by Gods posts, whereby they defile Gods holy name, Ezek. 43. 8.
Page 32 60 Q. What is the tenth aberration?
A. Wearisomenesse in the duties of the Lords day.
Many that live in Countries, Cities, Townes, Parishes and Families, where good orders for sanctifying the Lords day are strictly observed, are thereby brought to performe the duties tending thereto, but because they have no delight therein they are exceeding weary thereof, and thinke it the longest, and most tedious day in the weeke, saying, When Will the Sabbath be gone, Amos 8. 5. This wearisomnesse takes away all the glory and comfort of what they doe: it is neither acceptable to God, nor profitable to their owne owne soules. Therefore let us not be weary in well-doing, Gal. 6. 9.
61 Q. What is the eleventh aberration?
A. Profaning the Lords day under a pretence of keeping it.
The Government under which men live, and the lawes of their Governours which they dare not transgresse, make many to forbeare the ordi∣nary workes of their calling, the doing whereof is in all mens opinions an apparent profanation of the Lords day: therefore Lawyers will for∣beare to pleade at the barre: Tradesmen will shut up their shops: Husbandmen will forbeare the ordinary tillage of their ground; work-men their usuall labour, and others that which in the sixe daies they busie themselves about: But yet under pretence of that externall keeping the Lords day, they will take advantage of doing sundry other things which are plaine prophana∣tions of the day: wherein they doe not cele∣brate the Sabbath of the Lord, but the Sabbath of sundry other things: all which may be brought to foure heads: and under them, all profanations of the Sabbath may be comprised, as the particulars following will shew.
Page 33 62 Q. What is the first kinde of Sabbath that is not the Lords?
A. The Sabbath of worldlings.
Worldlings are such as have their minds so set upon the things of this world, as they take all the advantages that possibly they can to get and heape up the things of this world: and to that end they will turne those things that are ordai∣ned to another end, even the meanes which are afforded to attaine to eternall life, to their world∣ly advantages.
63 Q. What is the Sabbath of worldlings?
A. Doing his works on it.
In that ordinary works of a calling are forborne, there is a shew of keeping a Sabbath: but that for∣bearing of such works giveth occasion to world∣lings to do other things that prove as advantage∣able to them, and which must be done at other times, if they were not then done. For instance, the Lawyer will on the Lords day (when he pleads not at the barre, because the Law suffers it not) appoint his Clients to come to him to informe him in their causes. The Trades-man that shuts up his shop, will then cast up his books, and send his servants to his Creditors to require his debts. The Farmer will then take his time to meet with his neighbours, to make bargaines, to buy and sell their commodities. So in other cases advantages being taken for the things of this world from a shew of keeping the Lords Sab∣bath, makes it to be, not the Sabbath of the Lord, but the Sabbath of worldlings.
64 Q. What is a second kind of Sabbath that is not the Lords?
A. The Sabbath of Epicures.
There was a Philosopher called Epicurus, who held pleasure to be mans summum bonum, his grea∣test happinesse. Thereupon they that pursue their pleasures with all the might and maine they can, Page 34 and place a kind of content therein are called Epicures.
65 Q. What is the Sabbath of Epicures?
A. Satisfying mens owne delights in it.
They who are given to their pleasures, being on the Lords day restrained from their ordinary cal∣ling and the workes thereof, take that opportu∣nity to make pompous feasts, to follow their sports and pastimes, and other waies to satisfie their fleshly delights, neglecting Gods service. Thus the Sabbath which they keepe, is not the Sabbath of the Lord, but the Sabbath of Epi∣cures.
66 Q. What is the third kind of Sabbath that is not the Lords?
A. The Sabbath of Beasts.
Beasts being unreasonable creatures do not con∣ceive any difference of daies, nor the end why they rest from their accustomed labour and work. Thereupon that time wherein they are not put to work they spend in sleeping, grazing, or other∣wise feeding, in standing still, or going idly here and there.
67 Q. What is the Sabbath of beasts?
A. Passing it over in idlenosse.
There be very many that do no more consider the end of intermitting the duties of their calling then beasts. But because they may not do them, they spend the Lords day in lying a bed, or other∣wise sleeping, in attiring themselves, in eating and drinking, in vaine talke, in sitting at doores to behold what comes to their eyes, in walking up and down, and such other idle courses. This is not to keep the Lords Sabbath, but the Sabbath of Beasts.
68 Q. What is the fourth kind of Sabbath that is not the Lords?
A. The Sabbath of Divels.
Page 35 Divels are spirits of wickednesse, doing all the evill they can, and taking all the occasions they can to doe evill.
69 Q. What is the Sabbath of Divels?
A. Making it a day of sin.
Many that by their calling are all the six daies re∣strained from outward notorious evill acts, make the Lords day a time to let loose the reines to all sin. Whoremongers and whores appoint the Lords day to meet on to commit their lewdnesse. Theeves set that day apart to breake into houses, to rob and steale. Then drunkards meet together to make one another drunk. Others that have mis∣chievous plots in their heads, will then meete to advise about the execution of them: and animate one another thereunto. Thus they serve the Divel: they doe his works: they shew themselves here∣in like the very Divels. This therfore is to keep, not the Sabbath of the Lord, but the Sabbath of divels.
70 Q. What motives may be given for sanctifying the Sabbath?
A. 1. Expresse precept. Deut. 5. 12.
Were there no other motive, this were sufficient to a pious mind, that knoweth God to be the only Lord, the highest Soveraigne over all: who hath an absolute power to command: to whose com∣mandement obedience is expected, yea shall be exacted, and severe vengeance executed on such as refuse to obey.
71 Q. What other motive.
A. The item before that precept. Exod. 20. 8.
The item prefixed before the Precept concerning the Sabbath is this, Remember (remember the Sab∣bath day.) Where among sundry precepts a memēto is set upon one, without question it implieth an especiall heed to be given to it: as if more largely it were said, Of all that is given in charge let not Page 36 this be forgotten: especially remember this, and give good heed thereto.
74 Q. Why is a MEMENTO especially set before the fourth Commandement?
A. First, the fourth Commandement bringeth a singular help to all the other precepts, as shall be distinctly shewed on the seventh motive.
Secondly, it intimates mans aversenesse against this precept. The morality of none of the tenne Commandements, written with Gods owne fin∣gers in the two Tables of stone, was ever que∣stioned by such as professed themselves Christi∣ans, but this of the Sabbath. Indeed Papists in set∣ting downe the ten Commandements (whether in * Catechismes or els-where) do leave out the words of the second Commandement: yet they do not denie the morality of it: for they render this rea∣son of leaving out the words, The substance of the words left out is in the first Commandement: all that is left out is but an exposition of the first. Though the reason be not sound, much lesse sufficient to justi∣fie so audacious a fact, as the leaving out of that which God hath so expressely with his own fin∣gers set downe, yet it sheweth that, they denie not the morality of that precept. The memento then intends thus much, That though there may be many that deny the morality of the Sabbath, yet let such as beare a due respect to whatsoever is given in charge by the Law, remember this part thereof. Remember the Sabbath day to sancti∣fie it. Thus we see that this is a motive of mo∣ment.
75 Q. What third motive?
A. Gods honour. Isa. 58. 13.
To have one of the seven daies weekely set apart for the worship of God, and to dedicate the same wholy thereunto, must needs make much to the honour of God. And who would not, who should Page 37 not do all that he can, especially all that that is appointed by God himself, to the honour of God. Them that honour me, will I honour, saith the Lord, 1. Sam. 2. 30.
76 Q. What fourth motive?
A. Gods example. Gen. 2. 2. Exod. 20. 11.
The example of God in this particular is for this end expressely produced in the Law, that we should the rather be induced thereby to sanctifie the Sabbath, Exod. 20. 11. To imitate God in that wherein he is to be imitated; must needs be ac∣ceptable to God: and most honourable it is in it selfe. It is a matter of good credit for a child to imitate a good Father, for a subject to imitate a prudent. Prince, yea for any to imitate those, whose example is worthy imitation. How much more to imitate God. This motive is much pressed in the holy Scriptures. Levit. 19. 2. Luk. 6. 35, 36. Eph. 5. 1.
77 Q. What fift motive?
A. The practise of Saints. Luk. 4. 16. Act. 16. 30. 1. Cor. 16. 1, 2.
This, though it be not equall to the former mo∣tive, yet it is a motive of great moment: and it is also much pressed in sacred Scripture, as Ps. 99. 6. Heb. 6. 12. Jam. 9. 10. Patterns of Saints, who were men, subject to like passions that we be, shew that what we endeavour after is no other then that which appertaineth to man. Now for this duty, of sanctifying to God a seventh day, we have the examples of Saints before the Law (Exod 16. 30.) under the Law (Neh. 13. 19, 22.) after the Law (Act. 20. 7.)
78 Q. What sixt motive?
A. The equity of the duty. Exod. 20. 9.
The Lord might exact of us every day to be dedicated to the honour of his name. But it pleaseth him in tender respect to our need to Page 38 afford us six daies to doe our owne worke there∣in. Is it not then most meet and equall, that we should give a seventh to God and to the ho∣nour of his Name? may not God in this case say, is not my demand equall? Doe not they who take this day to themselves, deale worse with God then he did with his neighbour, who had many sheepe of his owne, yet tooke from his poore neighbour the one onely one which he had. 2. Sam. 12. 4.
79 Q. What seventh motive?
A. The helpe it brings to keepe the other Comman∣dements?
An especiall part of sanctifying the Lords day consists in reading Gods Word, in hearing it preached, in conferring about it, in medita∣ting on it, and in calling upon God. Now by those duties which are about Gods Word we are instructed in God, and in our duties to him, how we may take him alone for our God, how we may worship him and honour his name aright: yea we are instructed also in all du∣ties which we owe to our neighbour. By Gods Word also we are perswaded and endu∣ced to endeavour after those things wherein we are instructed. And prayer is an especiall meanes to get the Holy Ghost (Luke 11. 13.) This pre∣cept therefore is to be observed, as simply in re∣gard of it selfe, so relatively in respect to all other the precepts: and thereupon an especi∣all memento is set before it alone.
80 Q. What eight motive?
A. The spirituall benefit thereof. Jer. 17. 26.
A conscionable sanctifying of the Lords day, by a due observing of those divine ordinances which God hath prescribed, is an especiall meanes to convert such as have formerly lived in their naturall corrupt estate, and to quicken Page 39 and increase the graces which have beene for∣merly wrought in us. We by reason of the flesh in us, are prone as heavy things to fall downe: and as water to waxe cold. But the Lords day by the ordinances thereof is an especiall meanes of renewing what is decaied. As waites of a clock by oft winding up are kept continually going, so grace by the fore∣said duties is kept in continuall exercise. The Lords day is a spirituall market day, wherein we may get such spirituall provision, as may feed and sustaine our soules the whole weeke fol∣lowing: and so weeke after weeke, while here we live in this world.
81 Q. What ninth motive?
A. The temporall benefit of it. Deut. 5. 14.
Surely a daies rest in every weeke is very need∣full and usefull for man and beast: especially for such as labour all the sixe daies. Experience gives good proofe thereof. Howsoever such as on no day take any great paines find no such benefit thereby: yet others doe. And the wise God saw it to be so. For which end he expresly commanded that the beast should rest (Exod. 20. 10.) Now the beast can reape no other then a temporall benefit. There is therefore a tempo∣rall benefit thence arising. Some masters are so covetous and gripulous, as if there were not a seventh day for rest set apart, they would ne∣ver afford any daies rest to servants or cattell: but so weary them, as their strength would quickly be exhausted. It remaines then that as the rest of every night, so the rest of every se∣venth day, is usefull and needfull: and a great temporall good is thereby brought to man and beast.
82 Q. What tenth motive?
A. Promises to observers thereof. Isa. 58. 13, 14.
Page 40 Promises, great and pretious promises being made by one that is able to performe what he promiseth, and withall is true and faithfull, and in that kind will not faile to make good his word, are a strong motive to stirre up men to doe with the uttermost of their power the things whereunto such and such pro∣mises are made. But promises, great and many, by God himselfe, of whose power, and truth no question can be made, are made to such as are conscionable in keeping the Sabbath: as appeares Isa. 56. 2, 4, 6. and 58. 13, 14. Jer. 17. 24, 25.
83 Q. What eleventh motive?
A. Threats against profaners of it.
What promises cannot do on hard hearts, threats may doe. For they are of force to affright men: and in a manner to force men to obedi∣ence. The Lord therefore being willing every way to try how men may be wrought upon, useth this remedy: and the rather he useth it, that judgement, and the execution thereof may be prevented. For this is the proper end of threatnings before hand, that after-judgements may be avoided: so as in regard of the end whereat they aime, they appeare to be evi∣dences of Gods favour. For these reade Exod. 31. 14, 15. Ier. 17. 27. Ezek. 20. 13, 21.
84 Q. What twelfth motive?
A. Judgements executed on such as violated it.
Execution of judgement hath a threefold end.
The first aimeth at him on whom the judge∣ment is executed: by the sence and smart there∣of to be drawne to repentance. Thus was Ma∣nasseh wrought upon by a fearefull judgement executed on him, 2. Chron. 33. 12, 13.
The second aimeth at others, that if they on Page 41 whom the judgement is executed be so hardned, as it move them not, yet others may be war∣ned thereby: For this end the judgements on impenitent sinners of old is set before Christi∣ans to admonish them. 1. Cor. 10. 6, &c. Heb. 3. 12. Jude ver. 5, 6, &c.
The third aimeth at God: that if neither they on whom judgements are executed, nor others that see them or heare of them, be wrought up∣on, yet God may be justified. In which respect he is said to be knowne by the iudgement which he executeth (Psal. 9. 16.) He thereby is knowne to be a mighty, a just, a wise God, a God that hateth iniquity. Read Dan. 9. 7. and Neh. 9. 32, 33. Now judgements being terrible to such as feele, and to such as see them, or heare of them, they must needs be a forcible motive to restraine men from profaning the Sabbath. Instances of fearefull judgements executed for this sinne are in Numb. 15. 32. and 2 Chron. 36. 21. Neh. 13. 18.
85 Q. What thirteenth motive?
A. The safety of sanctifying it. Act. 4. 19.
There is great question about the Sabbath, whether it ought now to be sanctified, and who∣ly dedicated to God or no. Now to one that is not perswaded one way or other, I would pro∣pound this question, whether may be the safer, to sanctifie it, or not to sanctifie it?
If on the one side it still remaine as a precept whereunto we are all bound, then it is a palpa∣ble transgression of the Law not to sanctifie it: and in this case, woe to the transgressors there∣of.
But suppose the precept doe not still absolute∣ly bind us, yet if voluntarily we set apart a seventh day to the honour of God, and the spi∣rituall edification of our owne soules (provided Page 36〈1 page duplicate〉Page 37〈1 page duplicate〉Page 38〈1 page duplicate〉Page 39〈1 page duplicate〉Page 40〈1 page duplicate〉Page 41〈1 page duplicate〉Page 42 that superstition be not placed in the keeping of the day) surely there is no sinne therein, nor any great inconvenience. So that questionlesse it must needs be the safest course to sanctifie the day. Among other motives let this also be well considered.