CHAP. V. The fourth Commandment.
THese words contain the fourth Commandment of the Decalogue, being* the last of the first Table concerning our duty to God immediately. The Summe of it is to appoint unto men a set and solemn time wherein they should wholly give themselves to the study of holinesse, and to the perfor∣mance of holy exercises necessary for that purpose.
The Sanctity of the whole man required in the first Commandment, is the chief thing which God looketh for, to the attaining and increasing whereof the Lord saw good to require some special kindes of services, viz. solemn in the second Commandment, and common in the third, and the addicting and bestowing of a special time, viz. every seventh day. The end therefore of this Commandment is the maintaining and increasing of sanctity in men, the Summe, that every se∣venth day must be specially set apart to this purpose.
Let us proceed to handle this Commandment, and to that end,
- 1. Explicate the words of the Commandment.
- 2. Speak something of the perpetuity of the Commandment.
- 3. Shew the duties herein required, and the sins forbidden.*
For the first, the Commandment hath two parts, as the words themselves do plainly shew to each attentive reader.
First, The Precept is briefly propounded.
Secondly, It is somewhat inlarged.
It is propounded in these words, Remember the Sabbath-day to sanctifie it. Re∣membrance is properly of things past, but here according to the usual acceptation Page 812 of the word, it signifies a diligent consideration of the thing before hand, as where the young man is commanded, Eccles. 12. 1. To remember his Creatour in the dayes of his youth, that is, seriously to consider of him. It is all one as if he should say, diligently observe, for so he interprets himself Deut. 5. 12. Think upon and ac∣cordingly provide for the observation of this holy rest, by dispatching all the works of thy calling, that nothing might be undone which providence and diligence might prevent, that might hinder thy rest on the seventh day. Men are apt to for∣get the Creation of the world, therefore the Lord appointed the fourth Com∣mandment; and to forget Christ, therefore he appointed the standing Ordinance of the Lords Supper, Luk. 22. 19.
The Sabbath-day] or the day of rest, and ceasing from labour, as the word* properly signifieth, which is repeated again in the conclusion of the Command∣ment. It must not be bestowed as other dayes, but then they ought conscionably to forbear those things which on other dayes they might lawfully perform, for rest is a cessation from doing things.
To sanctifie it] or keep it holy, that is, to imploy the day in holy duties of Gods immediate worship, to sanctifie it, to set it a part to holy uses and purposes. So two things are required, 1. The remembrance of the time, which is a serious preconsideration to prepare for it. 2. A carefull celebration, consisting in resting and sanctifying it, for a bare rest is not enough, but such a rest as tendeth to and endeth in the sanctifying of it.
Thus the duty is briefly propounded, it is further enlarged, and that two wayes:
- 1. By an explication of some things which might seem doubtfull.
- 2. By an argument of confirmation or reason to ratifie the precept.
The Explication shews two things answering unto two Questions, which upon hearing of the precept so briefly delivered, must needs arise in the minde of the hearer, needing therein to be satisfied. The one, Which is the day of rest? The other, What must be rested from; and who must rest?
To the former the Lord makes a full answer, by shewing the time as distinctly as might be, saying, Six dayes thou shalta (that is, thou maist, I warrant thee, and give thee good allowance for it) labour and do all thy businesses, that is, all the works of thy particular calling for thy profit, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, that is, which the Lord thy God requireth thee to rest in. So the matter is defined particularly, after six dayes bestowed in labour, and the works of thy calling of all sorts, followeth the seventh day, and that is the day of rest, which I appoint thee to observe. Here you have the matter of the Com∣mandment explicated, every seventh day succeeding six of labour in a constant course of reckoning must be given to God for a day of rest. The seventh day b following six of labour and still coming between six of labour, must in a setled and Page 813 constant course be yeelded unto God for an holy rest, the time being particularly determined.
Seneca saith, the Iews were a foolish people, because they lost the seventh part of their lives.
Another question remains, What must be rested from, and who must rest? To which the Lord also makes answer, saying, In it thou shalt do no work; that is, none of thy works or businesses, none of the labours of thy calling wherein thou dost warrantably bestow thy time upon the six daies, and the rest must be celebrated by the master of the family and his wife, comprehended both under the name [thou:]* nay the King, Magistrate, Father, or any Superiour, is meant by sons and daughters, by men-servants and maid-servants, yea and by the cattel too, because their labour will require the labour of men attending them; and by all strangers within thy gates, whose labour will induce thee to labour, and be an occasion of thy labour∣ing also. Turbasset ordinem civilem, & damnum attulisset Israelitis, si alii inter ipsos viventes permissi essent opus facere. Grotius in Exod. 20. So have we the Commandment explicated; now it is confirmed by a reason taken from Gods institution, and of this institution we have the ground and parts, the ground from Gods behaviour in the beginning, who in six daies did make heaven and earth, this Universe, as in Gen. 1. the seas and all things in them, and upon the seventh day did rest from creating any more things; and out of a will to have the Creation kept in a perpetual memory to the worlds end, did institute a day of rest, which institution standeth in blessing the day of rest and sanctifying it. The Holy Ghost saith that twice of the Sabbath, Gen. 2. 3. & Exod. 20. 11. that he never said of any other day, that the Lord blessed that day. To blesse is to appoint and make it effectual for a means of blessing; see Isa. 65. 6, 7. & 58. 13, 14. and to san∣ctifie is to sequester or set apart for holy purposes. So the whole argument stands thus, If God having himself made all things in six daies, and rested from making on the seventh, did hereupon appoint the day of rest * by blessing and sanctifying it, then must thou remember the day of rest to sanctifie it, as I said at first; but so hath the Lord done, therefore must thou remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Now having expounded the words of the Commandment, let us come briefly to handle the question, Whether this Commandment be perpetual, binding all men in all ages, or whether temporary binding onely the men which lived before the resurrection of Christ, and no further? It is manifest that the Laws given in* the old Testament are to be distinguished in regard of their continuance into these two kinds. For the will of the Law-giver (from which the force, extent, and con∣tinuance of the Law hath its original) was that some of them should be observed but till the resurrection of Christ and no longer, and again that some should continue in force from the time of their making to the worlds end.
Now concerning this fourth Commandment, it is apparent that the Law-giver did intend that it should binde all men for ever from the time that he gave it. For how could he declare his minde in this behalf more plainly then by equalling it in all things with those precepts which are known to be of everlasting continuance, and by separating it from, and exalting it above all those other which are known to have been but Temporary. It was promulgated in the same majestick manner Page 814 with the same voice, at the same time, and in the same place that the other nine. It was delivered to the same person to be laid up together in the same Ark, and so is a part of the same Covenant, whence those Tables are called the Tables of the Co∣venant, and that Ark the Ark of the Covenant. What Commandment, therefore is a part of the eternal Covenant, and is by God graced and commended with all those signs of commendation wherewith all the rest are graced, cannot, I think, be made of less continuance then the rest; for what did their writing in Tables of stone, and laying up in the Ark signifie, but their durablenesse and eternal conti∣nuance, and full accomplishment for us in Christ. The Lord hath separated this precept from all temporary precepts, by giving it those priviledges, as it were, and notes of honour, which all of them wanted, and God hath equalled it with the perpetual and everlasting precepts, by communicating to it all those testimonies of force and continuance which they had, therefore we are bound to believe that he would have this to continue in force as much and as long as the rest, even to all men in all ages, so long as this world shall last. There is one argument that carries some shew of force for the overthrowing of this Doctrine of the perpetuity of the fourth Commandment, viz. That we are not now bound to do the thing it requi∣reth,* nay we are bound not to do it. For our Sabbath is not the seventh but the eighth from the Creation. To which I answer, That this fourth Commandment doth not require to rest and sanctifie the seventh from the creation, nor from any other period or date of time, but alone the seventh after six of labour, or coming betwixt six of labour, in a setled course of numbring from any period that God should appoint; and so in the meaning of the Commandment we do now and ever must rest the seventh day, for the seventh is that part in order of numbring which doth still come betwixt six, having six before it and six after continually, and so our day of rest hath, and therefore we also rest the seventh day. Indeed the period from which we take the beginning of our account, is not the same but another, for they did reckon from the beginning of the Creation and so forward, we from the Resurrection and so forward; but ours is as truly and surely the seventh as theirs, though reckoned from another period; and for the period from whence the count must be made, we have no word at all in this precept. He saith not six daies from the creation thou shalt labour, and the seventh from the creation is the Sabbath of the Lord, in it thou shalt do no work, but six daies shalt thou labour; and he saith not after, the Lord blessed and sanctified the seventh day from the creation, but the Sabbath day; that is, the seventh after six of labour. Indeed the Lord by a special institution given to Adam, Gen. 2. 1. had for the times before Christ ap∣pointed that they should reckon from the creation, which was the cause of that special institution; but this is no part of the Commandment; and in that institu∣tion God did two things:
1. He appointed the period from whence the seventh should be accounted, which else Adam according to the Law infused into him would have taken other∣wise, for those ten were written in Adams heart, as is signified by the writing them in Tables of Stone, and calling them the Tables of the Covenant, for God did not make one Covenant with Israel another with Adam but one and the same with both. Indeed the Covenant made with Israel was put in the Ark, to shew Christ to be the end of the Law, but yet it was the same Covenant for matter, and so all the parts of it were written in Adams heart. But Adam looking to the Law of his heart, and finding it written there (as some hold) I must labour six daies and rest the seventh, would have begun his life with six daies labour, and then in course have consecrated the seventh, but the Lord by a speciall institution pre∣vented him, requiring him to begin his life with an holy rest, and to sanctifie that Page 815 seventh day from the Creation, and so forward. This was of speciall institu∣tion, the assigning of that speciall date or period. And in this another thing was done, viz. the establishing also of the Law of sanctifying the seventh after six of labour; wherefore in the reason confirming the Commandment God seem∣eth to have reference to this institution, but so that he maketh it manifest he looked not to that period, but to the number and order of the day; and so saith, He blessed and sanctified the Sabbath day (which he had before determined to be the seventh after six of labour) not the seventh day, as it is said in the words of that institution. And the Lords reason is not this, What day I rested that thou must rest, but I rested the seventh from the Creation, therefore so must thou; but thus, What day I upon occasion of my labouring six and resting the seventh did blesse and san∣ctifie, that day thou must rest: But I upon occasion of my so labouring and rest∣ing, did blesse and sanctifie the Sabbath day, that is, the seventh after six of la∣bour indefinitely, as the words before expresse, not from the creation onely, There∣fore thou must remember the Sabbath day to sanctifie it. So then this reason I take to be fully answered. And for our better satisfaction we must know, that we keep the Sabbath just according to this Commandment word for word, in that we la∣bour six and rest the seventh, and so must do to the worlds end, but that we have taken up a new reckoning from a new period, even the resurrection; we have it from Christs appointment, as is plainly shewed us, because this day is called the Lords day, that is, the day which he appointed to be kept constantly. This name* of the day shews the Authour of the day the Lord, and the end the remembrance of him our Lord, as the Lords Supper by that name is signified to be also from him and to him. And so by the wisdome of God it cometh to passe, that because men do labour six and rest the seventh, we do eternize the memorial of the Creation ac∣cording to this fourth Commandment; and because we reckon from the resurrecti∣on, we do also eternize the memorial of that work, which is greater then the creation. We must not think any thing more to be commanded then what the words do set down expresly or intimate. Now neither expresly, nor by any neces∣sary consequence or intimation are we pointed to a set period of numbring, or to a seventh from this or that date, but alone to the seventh after six of labour. As for the period, it being established by the institution mentioned Gen. 3. no questi∣on needed to arise about that▪ If any still argue, That day which God did rest, blesse, and sanctifie, is here commanded: But God did rest, blesse, sanctifie the seventh day from the Creation, ergo, that is here ratified: We answer, That the Proposition is to be understood with limitation, The same day which God did rest, blesse, and sanctifie, the same for order and number, not the same for the period or point from whence the number is beginning. For so himself doth shew his meaning to be, in that he insists upon this order and number, saying, Six daies shalt thou labour, the seventh shalt thou do no work, and doth not once mention the period from the Creation, as he could and would have done had that been his intention. Now the same point concerning the perpetuity of this Law is confirmed plainly by S. Iames Iam. 2 9. where he saith, He that keepeth the whole Law, and faileth in one point, is guilty of all. Whence I reason, the whole Law and every point of it was of force when S. Iames wrote this Epistle, for how can a man break a Law that is abroga∣ted, or be guilty of all by breaking any one point, if the whole be not, and each part equally in force. Now this Epistle was written by S. Iames to those which li∣ved under the Gospel, wherefore at that time, and to those persons the whole Law and each part of it was in force. And if any doubt grow what S. Iames mea∣neth by the Law; it is plain, he meaneth the Decalogue or ten Commandments, thus; He that speaketh of a whole Law, and after instanceth in particular members of the Law, must needs mean the whole number of Precepts, whereof those two brought in for instance are members and parts. Now for instance, S. Iames brings in two members of the Decalogue; ergo, by the whole Law and each point, he must needs mean the Decalogue and every precept thereof, as will appear further by his manner of speaking and reasoning after, for he saith thus, He that said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also, Thou shalt not kill; if then thou commit not adul∣tery, but killest, thou art a transgressor of the Law. Here we have a plain Enthy∣meme, Page 816 and a proposition must needs be understood to make up the argument, and having one proposition and the conclusion, no man which hath reason can choose but adde the proposition understood, viz. To this effect, What things were spoken by the same Lawgiver, do binde so equally, that though a man keep one of them, and yet break another, he is a transgressor of that Law given by that Law-giver. Now these two, Thou shalt not commit adultery, and Thou shalt not kill, were so spoken. May not one adde to the same proposition, But this, Thou shalt sanctifie the Sabbath, was so spoken, and so conclude, Therefore if thou keep all the rest, and break this, thou art a transgressor. It is therefore I think manifest by this place, that the fourth Commandment as well as any other point of the Law is now in force. I confess that all the Jewish Sabbaths are abrogated according to the speech of Paul elsewhere, but not the Sabbath in general. The Jewish weekly* Sabbath is abrogated, viz. the seventh from the Creation, but the Sabbath in general, that is, the seventh after six of labour, is not abrogated. If the Sabbath in general were abrogated, viz. the resting and sanctifying of the seventh day after six of labour, then neither the Apostles nor the Church could have appointed the Lords day, nay nor Christ himself, unlesse he would be contrary to himself. Indeed he might have appointed a day of publick service, but he must have altered the number and order, and not have taken the seventh in constant course after six of labour for a new date, for this would have been still to have appointed a Sabbath, but to appoint a Sabbath and abrogate all Sabbaths, are contradictory.
And so much for the clearing of the perpetuity of this precept. Now I come to handle the things therein commanded and forbidden.
The things required in this Commandment are of two sorts:
- 1. Preparation to it.
- 2. Celebration of it.
The preparation to it is required in the Word Remember, for such is the nature of this Commandment, that it cannot be well kept unlesse ca•e be had of it be∣fore hand.
Now this preparation is twofold,
The general standeth in a due ordering of our businesses, that we may not bring* upon our selves any occasion of interruption and disturbance in the sanctifying of the Sabbath, by moderating our selves in our businesses, not clogging our selves with so much as we cannot dispatch without incroaching upon the Sabbath; for seeing God hath said, Six daies shalt thou labour and do all thy businesse, it is requi∣site, and we are hereby tied to frame and order our affairs so, what in us lieth, that they may be dispatched in the compasse of six daies, which will not be so if we over-fill our hands with work.
2. That businesse we have we must with diligence and foresight dispatch in the compasse of six daies, for so we are wished, six daies shalt thou do all thy busines∣ses, which doth so serve to limit out the day of rest, that it doth also direct us to preparation for this rest, for seeing God hath allowed us to labour six daies, it fol∣lows that we must wisely and diligently follow our businesses therein, that (as far as may be attained by our care) all may fitly fall within that compasse of time, and nothing may remain to disquiet, clog and disturbe us in the day of rest.
The more special preparation is on the end of the Saturday, by making all things ready for that day, and so a seasonable betaking our selves to rest, that we may be fitter for the sanctifying of it. What ordinary businesses may be dispatched before all the week we must do, what special things are to be made ready against the Page 817 Sabbath, that so much as may be no labour may be put upon us on that day, must also be done. And so it appeareth that the Church of the Iews did understand this precept, and had on the day before the Sabbath a time of preparation for the Sabbath *, Luke 23. 54. That day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. We ought to be as careful of preparing for our Sabbath called the Lords day, as they for theirs surely; and this we are not, if we do not take care the evening before to set all things in a readinesse for the preventing of occasions of labour that day, as by fitting our houses, our attire, our food, so far as may be conveniently, so as lit∣tle or no more then needs may, remain to be done about them, for our comforta∣ble use of them on the Lords day, and fitting our bodies with convenient sleep for the whole work then to be done. All this is injoyned in the word Remember, for it must not be a carelesse remembrance, but remembrance joyned with a care of do∣ing the thing to be remembred, and therefore also with all needful preparati∣on to it.
Hitherto of preparation. The celebration of the Sabbath stands in two things:
The Rest of the day is appointed in regard of the Sanctification chiefly, being of it self nothing acceptable to God; for a meer rest, that is, a cessation from do∣ing work if it be not referred to an holy end, and joyned with a holy use, is idle∣nesse, and so rather a sin then a duty, and therefore he saith, Remember the day of rest to sanctifie it, Exod. 20. 8. see Deut. 5. 12. Ezek. 28. 12. shewing that the rest must have reference to the sanctification.
About which rest it will be needfull to shew,
- 1. Who must rest, and these are the Governours and all under their govern∣ment, both publick and private; and not onely so, but even also the Beasts, and consequently all other things of the like nature, which must be attended and fol∣lowed by the labour of man, such as are Mills, Fire-works, and the like, in which God aimed lesse principally at the benefit of the Creatures, but chiefly at mans good, by following these things he must not be hindered from the sanctifying of this day.
- 2. From what they must rest, and that is
- 1. From labours.
- 2. From sports.
From labours first.
All labours or works are of two sorts, some religious, tending to the service of God, these are not understood here, as not being our works * but Gods, and therefore they are not forbidden. Some are civil or natural, tending to the com∣modity of this present life, such as are specially the labours of our ordinary cal∣lings, buying, selling, travelling, pleading, making any handy-work, or the like. Now all these are here forbidden, yet not simply but with limitation. For
- 1. Works of mercy may be done on the Lords day without sin, and might ever, for mercy must take the upper hand of all external acts of Religion, as being more essentially and intrinsecally good then any of them, hence Christ saith, It is law∣full to do good on the Sabbath day, meaning by good works works of mercy, and so* he justifieth the pulling of an Oxe or an Asse out of a ditch upon the Sabbath day, and himself did cure those diseased people which came unto him on the Sabbath day; so that if either man or beast be in distresse, it is lawful to work, labour, and Page 818 take pains for their help, succour and relief; and this prohibition must be understood not to reach to such things, and therefore the lawfulnesse of doing them cannot impeach the perpetuity of this Commandment.
- 2. Works of necessity may be done, such I mean as are requisite for the preven∣ting* of imminent danger, as Elijah did flie for his life divers dayes, whereof some must needs fall out on the Sabbath; and in the time of warre men may fight on the Sabbath-day, and so they may quench a fire if it happen, or the like, or stop an inundation of the Sea, or prevent any other like imminent peril which cannot be prevented without labouring presently.
- 3. Works needfull for the comfortable passing of the Sabbath, as dressing of moderate food, and the like, may be done on the Sabbath-day; for seeing Christ allows us to lead the Ox to the water, and requireth not to fetch in water for him over night, he alloweth us to dresse meat, and requireth not to dresse it over night. For the order in the Law of not kindling a fire pertained alone to the busi∣nesse of the Tabernacle, and that order of dressing what they would dresse on the sixth day, pertained alone to the matter of Manna. And for this we have Christs clear example, who being invited went to a feast on the Sabbath-day, which he might not have done if it had been unlawfull to dresse meat and drink on the Lords day, for a feast sure was not kept without some preparation of warm a meat. This example of Christ we have Luke 14. 1, 8, 12. which verses compared make it appa∣rent that it was a feast whereto he was bidden amongst divers others. So then all labours and businesses except in these three cases are unlawful, for mercy, necessi∣ty, and present needfull comfort. And not alone the labour of the hand about these things, but also the labour of the tongue and of the heart, in speaking and thinking of these businesses out of the cases excepted, is condemned, as the Pro∣phet Isaiah doth plainly shew b, commanding to sanctifie the Sabbath to the Lord, not doing thine own wayes, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; our own words must be forborn, and our own pleasure, and consequently our own thoughts, for indeed words and thoughts of worldly businesses are as op∣posite to the sanctifying of the Sabbath as works, seeing the soul can no better be imployed in holy exercises if it give it self to them, then if the whole body were so bestowed. So the true keeping of the Sabbath requireth the turning of hand, tongue and heart from our own wayes, and thoughts, and words, that is, such as concern our own worldly matters and affairs.
Secondly, Sports and pastimes, and natural wonted recreations, such as may be used on the week day are also forbidden, and therefore in the place alledged before, it is forbidden to seek ones own pleasure c or will, and sure he that taketh leave to use pastimes seeks his own pleasure as he that followeth his businesse. In∣deed when work is forbidden, sports can hardly be allowed which are never law∣full, but as sauce for work, only the spiritual pastimes of singing holy Psalms and Songs as a spiritual recreation is allowed to prevent all wearinesse. Indeed the exercises of the day are of such divers kindes, that nothing but meer fleshlinesse can cause a man to be weary.
But it must be shew'd thirdly, how long this rest must continue, to which the answer is For a whole natural day d, for of what quantity the foregoing six are, of that must the seventh be which cometh betwixt six in numbring, even four and twenty hours. If it be demanded at what time the day must begin and end: it is Page 819 answered, when the first of the six following beginneth, and seeing Gods inten∣tion was not to binde all Nations to begin and end their dayes at one period, and that we cannot tie the seventh day, but we must in like manner tie the daies before, and after, to a set period of beginning and ending; it is apparent that by this Com∣mandment we are not tied to any set beginning or ending, but must follow the com∣mon computation and reckoning of other daies which is amongst us, from twelve of the clock at night to twelve the next night, for we say twelve at night, and one a clock in the morning. Neither is it any inconvenience that in some Countreys the Sabbath shall be in being before and after the being of it in others, for the same inconvenience must needs follow upon any kinde of beginning or ending either by Sun-set or Sun-rising (unlesse God had named a special hour which he hath not) for the Sunne riseth and setteth in some places three or four, five or six hours soon∣er then in others, for a good space of the year at least. Yea in some Countreys they have but two Sun-risings and Sun-settings in one year, that is, one half-year day, the other night. See Cartw. Catechism.
And so have we one part of the celebration of the Sabbath-day concerning re∣sting, the next follows concerning the sanctification of it. Time is sanctified by bestowing it in holy exercises tending to work, increase, and exercise sanctity in man. So this day is sanctified when the time wherein men surcease the labour of their callings (which they followed all the six daies before) is imployed in exer∣cises of holiness.
These exercises are of two sorts:
- 1. Publick.
- 2. Private.*
For the publick they are the hearing and reading of the Word, praying, parta∣king of the Sacraments and all such like services of God, for the reverend and or∣derly performing of which men are bound on this day as God giveth opportunity to assemble together, and each man is to appear before God in the Land of the living, as David saith. It is manifest that our Saviour Christs custome was still to go into the Synagogues, and teach them on the Sabbath-daies, as appears Luke 4. 16. And it is apparent that Moses was read and preached in the Synagogues every Sabbath∣day, Act. 15. 21. See Act. 15. 14, 15. and that the custome of the ancient Church was on their Sabbaths to meet as we now do twice a day, it is to be seen in the Or∣dinance of the morning and evening Sacrifices which were appointed to be as many more for the Sabbath as for the other daies. Upon the Lords-day God is to be publickly served of the whole Church in their several Congregations, and all the particular members of each Church are bound, unlesse they have some very just cause to come in due season to the Congregations, and attentively and reverently to joyn with them, and continue so doing till the end, and that not only in the Morning but also in the Evening.
Secondly, The Churches are then to make collections for the use and behalf of the poor and other acts of mercy, as the Apostle appointed them to do in Corinth, 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2, 3. and as he saith, He had ordained in all Churches.
These are publick duties. The private are some with reference to the publick to* prepare for it, and make use of it before and after, fitting our hearts to hear by prayer and meditation, and the like, and by praying and meditation applying that to our selves which we have heard, as the Bereans examined the Doctrine of Paul; some again without such reference, as all holy exercises of singing of Psalms▪ prayer, meditation, reading, together with actions of mercy, in laying aside as God hath blessed us for the use of the poor, and in visiting and relieving the sick, comfortlesse, needy, and the like; all which are acts as well of holinesse toward God, as of mercy toward men. Especially we must know that it is our duty to meditate upon the great works of our Creation and Redemption, and our eternal rest in heaven, seeing the Sabbath is given us as a memorial of the two former, and Page 820 an assurance of the later, that being the excellent rest, our entring into which this holy rest doth point at and help unto.
We must not onely keep the Sabbath in the Church-meetings and solemn Assemblies (though it be specially appointed for the publick worship) but at home in our houses, Levit. 23. 3. We must awake with God in the morning, begin with him, rise early, spend not much time in dressing of our selves that day, it is the Sabbath of the Lord, have holy thoughts while we are dressing our selves, pray to the Lord to pardon all our sins, and to put us into a holy frame, and yet finish all this so soon that we may be with the first in the publick Assembly. We may after the first Sermon eat and drink, but for spiritual ends and purposes, that our bodies being refreshed we may be the fitter to serve God, but must take heed of spending too much time, or feeding too liberally, which may cause drou∣sinesse. We must then season all with heavenly discourse, Luke 4. from v. 1. to 25. We must not speak our own words. After the publick worship is ended we must* call our Families together and repeat what we have heard, and catechize them in the principles of Religion, Heb. 2. 1, 3. the fourth Commandment, sing Psalmes and pray. At night we should blesse God for the mercies of the day, lie down with a great deal of soul-refreshment, sleeping in the bosom of Jesus Christ.
And this is the matter of the duties to be performed, the manner is to conse∣crate the same as a delight f unto God, with comfort and joy serving him on that day, as we do with comfort and cheerfulnesse follow our common businesse on the week dayes, as the Prophet Isaiah chap. 58. 13. expresly requireth. And call the Sabbath a delight] Call, that is, make or count, an Hebrew phrase often used in Isaiah: Sabbath; Some by it understand the extraordinary Sabbath or day of Fast, because in the beginning of the Chapter there is an expostulation about it, Levit. 16. 31. but the Lord is now speaking of an entire reformation; My holy day, the Sabbath, agree not so properly to an arbitrary Sabbath: A delight] LXX thy delicate things, i. one of the choisest priviledges God hath given thee.
These are common duties. The duty of Superiours specially is to look to their Inferiours, and at least to keep them from prophanation of the Sabbath, and so farre as their authority will bear, to drive them at least to the outward celebration of it, by resting and by joyning in the publick exercises of religion, as the good Nehemiah did cause the people to sanctifie the Sabbath in his time, and forbad Merchants to bring wares to Ierusalem on that day, and as we see in the very words of the Commandment, the Governour is appointed to rest, and not himself alone, but his whole Family.
There is 1. No liberty granted more to the Superiour then to the Inferiour, but all of what state or condition soever must sanctifie the Lords day.
2. Every Superiour standeth charged before God, not onely for himself, but for all those which the Lord hath put under his government, that both he and all they sanctifie the Lords Sabbath or day of rest. Ford on Command. 4.
This delight is spiritual in God as the proper object, and in the Ordinances, as the onely means to lead us unto God, Iob 27. 10. Psalm. 43. 4. Cantic. 2. 3. Isa. 56. 7.
Reasons. 1. Because the duties of that day are higher, we have then all the means of Communion with God:
- 1. We have them in a more raised solemn way without any interruption, there is then a double Institution, not only of the worship but the time.
- 2. Its a spiritual Feast, a day of Gods appointment, our recompence as well as our duty, Neh. 2. 26. Ordinances are fodinae gratiae, Isa. 12. 3.
- 3. This day we come to remember the highest favours of God to the creature, to contemplate the works of Creation, Gods rest, and of Redemption, Christs rest, 1 Pet. 4. 1. and our own eternal rest, Heb. 4. 9. the Sabbaths of the faithful are the suburbs of heaven, Heb. 12. 23. the Lords Supper is heaven in a map, Luke 14. 15. Mat. 26. 29.
- 4. Many of the duties of the day are but spiritual recreations; meditation is the solace of the minde in the contemplation of Gods works, Psa. 104. 34. Singing Page 821 of Psalms is a vent for spiritual mirth, Iam. 5. Eph. 5. 18, 19. then God should be solemnly praised, Ps. 92. 1, 2.
- 5. It is the temper of the people of God to delight in his solemn worship, Psa. 2. 1 Cor. 2. 12. Male concordat canticum novum & vetus homo. Aug. Psal. 84. 1, 10. Psal. 122. 1.
- 6. Delight in the Sabbath is the best way to discharge the duties, 1. With com∣fort, delight sweetens all, how will men toil at their sport? Neh. 11. 8. 2. With profit, Isa. 64. 5. God will not send them away sad which come into his presence with joy.
Means to delight in the Sabbath:
- 1. Labour after the assurance of the pardon of your sins.*
- 2. Solemnly prepare for the duties of the Sabbath.
- 3. Wean the heart from temporal pleasures, Psal. 26. 8. & 119. 37.
- 4. Esteem the Sabbath a priviledge, that after six dayes of labour, God should appoint us a day of rest, he might have taken all our time.
- 5. Treasure up the experience of former Sabbaths, Psal. 63. begin.
- 6. In case of deadnesse plead with your souls, as David doth Psal. 42. Shall I go with grudging in the highest Communion that a creature is capable of.
The fourth Commandment then requireth,
- 1. Preparation.
- 1. General,
- 1. Diligence in our businesse all the week.
- 2. Discretion in our businesse all the week.
- 3. Moderation in our businesse all the week.
- 2. Special, by fitting all things for the Sabbath on the end of the day precedent.
- 1. General,
- 2. Celebration of it, which is both
- 1. Common to all, for
- 1. Matter, both to
- 1. Rest
- 1 From what
- 1 Labors.
- 2 Sports.
- 2 Who, all.
- 3 How long, one whole day.
- 1 From what
- 2. Sanctification, to do all with delight
- 1. Rest
- 2. Manner.
- 1. Matter, both to
- 2. Special, to Superiours, to look to Inferiours.
- 1. Common to all, for
Six Arguments prove the Commandment of the Sabbath to be moral:
- 1. It was delivered to Adam before the fall, when there was no Ceremony, Gen. 2. 2. which is not spoken by anticipation, but the context sheweth it was then sanctified to him, v. 3.
- 2. Moses takes it for granted, it was known to be moral, and known before the Law was given, Exod. 16. 25.
- 3. Unlesse this be moral there cannot be ten Commandments, Deut. 10. 4.
- 4. God would not put a Ceremonial Law in the midst of the Morals, and urge it with more words, reasons, repetitions, and particulars, then any of the Morals, as he doth the Sabbath, Exod. 20. 8, 9, 10, 11.
- 5. Christ speaking of those daies when all the ceremonial Law was dead and bu∣ried, sheweth the Sabbath stands still, Matth. 24. 20.
- 6. The Prophet prophesying of the dayes of the Gospel when Christ should be revealed, Isa. 56. 1. pronounceth a blessing on them in those times that keep the Sabbath from polluting it, vers. 2. and putteth the keeping of the Sabbath for the whole obedience of the Covenant, vers. 6. which he would not do if it were cere∣monial, 1 Sam. 15. 22. M. Fenner on the Command.
There is one general way of breaking this Commandment by denying the mora∣lity of this Law, and cashiering it among other Levitical Ceremonies. Indeed the Sabbath is in part ceremonial, figuring both our rest of Sanctification here, and glory hereafter, but that contradicts not the perpetuity of it, for it is not a Cere∣mony Page 822 leading to Christ, and at his coming to determine, as appears Matth. 15. 17. I came not to dissolve the Law, vers. 19. He that shall break the least of these Command∣ments, where each of the ten Commandments is ratified, and consequently this fourth: Luke 23. 56. They rested according to the Commandment; and Luke writ that divers years after the Resurrection of Christ, the things were done after his death when all Levitical institutions lost their power of binding, Iames 2. 10. Therefore the whole Law and each principle thereof doth binde us under the Go∣spel, as the time of instituting a particular date of time for the beginning of the Sabbath of the old Law, viz. in innocency. 2. The writing of it in Tables of stone. 3. Putting of it into the Ark prove it moral.
That term is not given to any other thing in the New Testament, but to the Supper, and the day 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 1 Cor. 11. 20. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Revel. 1. 10. This day was so sacred among Christians, that it was made the Question of inquisitors of Christianity, Dominicum servasti? Hast thou kept the Lords-day? To which was answered, Christianus sum, intermittere non possum. I am a Christian, I cannot intermit it. See Act. 20. 7. 1 Cor. 16. 1.
So much of the Commandments of the first Table enjoyning our duty to God;* now follow the precepts of the second Table concerning our duty to our selves and our neighbours.