THE DOCTRINE OF THE FOURTH Commandement, Deformed by Popery; Reformed & Restored to its Primitive purity.
Wherein is clearely proved by Scripture, Arguments, and Reasons, that the Seventh day of the week, and not the first, viz. the day called Saturday [and not the day called Sunday] is the true Christian Sabbath, the time Instituted and commanded by God him∣self, for the day, or time, of his publique wor∣ship, in the time of the Gospel, as it was in the time of the Law.
Objections answered, and the truth cleared, by Gods unworthy Servant, J. O.
The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt do no work, &c.
Blessed is the man that doth this, and the Son of man which layeth hold on it, and keepeth the Sabbath from polluting of it,
Be doers of the word, & not hearers only, deceiving your own selvs.
For not the hearers of the law are justified before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified,
London, Printed by G. Dawson, and are to be sold by Iohn Hides in Blew Anchre Alley neer Pauls Alley. 1650.
The Author to his Booke.
GOE little Book perform thy work, thou mayest be blamed, but not shamed; thou wilt meet with Enimies, feare not, for there are more with us, then with them, 2 Kings 6.16.
I would not intrude thee into the world in an obscure, or doubtfull Cause, because of many inconveniences that might insue.
But thou carriest with thee, the absolute truth of God, conteined in his written law, Exod. 20.8, 9, 10, 11. In which regard thou art assisted and defended with the whole armour of righteousnesse, the undoubt∣ed truth of God, revealed by Moses, and the Prophets, and by Jesus Christ, and his Apo∣stles, against all assaults of thy Enemies. If any reprove me because of thee, I desire it may be in love, without racking my words, or perverting my meaning; but an∣swer as the matter lyeth, granting, or de∣nying the particular assertions herein con∣tained, that the Impartiall reader may Page [unnumbered] profit thereby; and not with scoffes, or reproachfull terms: If any so doe let it be a signe to all men, that he maintaineth a bad Cause with an ill Conscience; and that the truth standeth with me and not with him. Goe, goe, and cause all men to know, that the Law of God is perfect, Exod. 20. and that there is no unnecessary thing required by any Expression therein con∣tained. In which regard make known, I say, that we, and all men, are as absolutely bound [in love] to the literall Expression of the fourth Commandement, as we are to the literall Expression of either the 1, 2, or 3. Commandements of that law, or to a∣ny other of the Six: To the end that God may be duly honoured, and our obedience to his holy law enlarged. As also to the end that our non-conformity to the law of God in working when we are to rest, and our resting when we are for to work, may not be an obstruction to the Jewes conversion, which is the thing I desire may be per∣formed by thee. Farewell.
Be prosperous, so be it, The blessing of Iehovah go with thee, Amen.
To the discreet and sincere Reader, be Salvation in the way of Righte∣ousnesse, Amen.
OVT of a true Devotion to God, and sincere affection to thee; I have presented to thy consideration, a Duty, which my Conscience telleth me, thou oughtest to perform to the Lord thy God, for the furtherance of his honour and thy salvation. Namely, the duty of Observation, and Sanctification of the Lords seventh day-Sabbath [the day called Saturday] com∣manded by the Lord himself, Exod. 20.8. Which duty we and our Fathers have neglected neer 1300. Yeers. Yea, and rejected it as a ceremoniall Element, or beggerly Rudiment. And therefore we may well complaine with the Prophet Jeremy, 3.25. We lye down in confusion, for our shame covereth us, for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our Fathers from our youth unto Page [unnumbered] this day and have not obeyed the voyce of the Lord our God.
The truth of this doth clearly appeare in this ensuing Subject; Therefore I desire thee to read it with an honest and good Heart, without par∣tiallity, and consider what is said in it, before thou blamest it, or censurest me; least thou speak good of evill, and evill of good, and bring woe upon thy selfe, Isay 5.20. For cer∣tain it is no man knoweth so much, but he may know more; and no man so perfect, but that he may erre. Therefore, ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy wayes be ordered a∣right; turne not to the right hand, nor to the left, but remove thy foot from evill, Prov. 4.26, 27.
Thy soules well-wishing friend. JAMES OCKFORD.
The Doctrine of the Fourth COMMANDEMENT, Deformed by Popery; Reformed and Restored to its Primitive PURITIE.
CHAP I. The Decalogue is Morall and perpetuall, nothing is to be added thereto, nor diminished from it.
THe Law, whereof I Treat, of which the Fourth Commandement is a part, was given of God on Mount Sinai, Exod. 19. & 20. Cap. And written with his owne Finger in Tables of Stone, Exod. 31.18. Deut. 5.22. The Effect of which Heavenly Law was engraven in nature at mans Creation, which Divine Good∣nesse remaineth in the nature of man, and teach∣eth him to doe in some measure, that which God by the Law of the Letter requireth of him, Rom. 2.14 & 15. Although the custome of sinning, and the deceitfulnesse of mans heart, hath blot∣ted, Page 2 stained and darkned in him, that which we ought to discerne, know, and doe: But such is the Mercy and Goodnesse of God unto us, that he hath not left us without a plaine Demonstration of His holy Will by His holy Law, the Decalogue; which Holy Law bindeth us to all Duties tend∣ing to life and Godliness.* Which Decalogue, or Morall Law, remaineth absolutely unchangeable, as it appeareth by the words of the Prophet, Psalm. 111. vers. 7, 8, 9. where he alluding to the Law written in Tables of Stone, (speaking of God) saith, The Worke of His Hands are Veritie and Judgment: All his Com∣mandements are sure, they stand fast for ever and ever, &c. A note of per∣petuall unchangeablenesse. And in this regard, they are said to be Faithfull, Psal. 119. ver. 86. Yea, Righteous, and very Faithfull, vers. 138.
This Law, is Gods Covenant, Exod. 19.5. Deut. 4.13. which God hath given to man to be observed for ever, Deu. 4.9.10. 2 Kings 17.37. Deut. 29 29. without adding to it, or diminishing Page 3 ought from it, Deut 4.2. Chap. 12.23. Eccles. 3.14. Prov. 30.6. Gal. 3.15.
This Law, or Covenant, consisteth of Ten Precepts, Sentences, or Words, Exod. 20, Deut. 10.4. Heb. 12.19.
Which Precepts, Sentences, or Words, are un∣separably joyned together: Comparatively, as a Chaine of ten links; Or as a compleat name, con∣sisting of ten Syllables, or Letters; So that if one Link be broken, the whole Chaine is broken; If one Syllable, or Letter, be removed, or changed, the whole name is altered, changed, or broken.
Even so it standeth with the Law of Gods Ten Commandements; for when one Precept hath been transgressed, or broken, (yea, of the Sabbath by name) God hath reproved the of∣fenders for breaking of His Commandements, Exod. 16.28. That one Act of Transgression, is the breach of Gods Law, or Covenant. See I pray Deut. 17.2, 3. 1 Cor. 15.56. 1 John 3.4. This truth St. James knew well, and would have us to know it also; and therefore he saith, Chap. 2. vers. 10. Whosoever keepeth the whole Law, and faileth in one point, is guilty of all. And his Reason is, Because he that said, Thou shalt not commit Adultery, said also, Thou shalt not kill. Now (saith he) If thou commit not Adultery, Page 4 yet if thou Kill, thou art become a Transgressour of the Law, vers. 11.
Our Saviour treating of this Law in Mat. 5.19. saith: Whosoever therefore shall breake one of these least Commandements, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdome of Hea∣ven. Note, I pray, these words of our Saviour are grounded upon a Two-fold Reason: The one is, because in vers. 17. He had made known to his Disciples, That he came not to destroy the Law or Propets, but to fulfill them. The second Reason is, because in vers. 18. He had ratified e∣very jot and tittle of the Law, till all things be fulfilled; to wit, to the end of the World.
Thus was Gods Law ratified for Instruction of obedience to Beleevers, in the time of the Gospel, according to the Prophesie of old, Isa. 8.16.
Our Saviour, to possess our minds of the truth of this in Luke 16.17. He saith, It is easier for Heaven and Earth to passe away, than one tittle of the Law to faile. As if he should have said, deceive not your selves, nor let any deceive you, and cause you to thinke my comming in the flesh doth make any part of my Fathers Law void; for I assure you, Heaven may sooner, or easier, cease to be Heaven; or the Earth may sooner, or easi∣er, cease to be Earth, than any jot, or tittle of my Page 5 Fathers Law cease to be of Force, in not requi∣ring obedience to my Father, according to the ex∣pressions therein contained.
This doth clearely demonstrate, that Jesus Christ hath not abrogated the Decalogue, nor any part thereof, but ratified it to be a rule of Righte∣ousness, for performance of duties both towards God and man, while we live on Earth: There∣fore, what God hath joyned together, let no man separate, nor neglect any obedience to any ex∣pression therein contained. For certainly, Jesus Christ hath not abrogated this Law, nor any part thereof, as touching obedience; but only as touch∣ing the curse, Gal. 3.13. Chap. 4. vers. 4. And hence it is, that true Believers are not held under the terror and condemnation thereof, 2 Cor. 184.108.40.206. because Jesus Christ hath performed for them, that which God by the strictness of the Law requireth of them, Rom. 8.3, 4. Ephes. 2.16. 1 Cor. 1.30. And in this sence, Jesus Christ is said to be the end of the Law, for Righteous∣nesse to every one that beleeveth, Rom. 10.4. And in this sence, Believers are said not to be un∣der the Law, but under Grace, Rom. 6.14. As also, to be delivered from the Law, Chap. 7.6. And in this sence it is said, The Righteousnesse of God without the Law is manifested, Rom. 3.21.22. This grace wrought by Jesus Christ for Be∣leevers, Page 6 is not for their obedience, either to Law, or Gospel, nor without their obedience (in some measure) to both, but by their Faith in Christ: Thus all those, which by Faith receive the Holy Spirit, are not under the Law, Gal. 5.18. to wit, to condemne them, Rom. 8.1, 2. Yet are they not without the Law as appertaineth to God, but in the Law through Christ, 1 Cor. 9.21. So that although Believers are quit, freed, or delive∣red from the Curses or Terrour of the Law, by Jesus Christ; yet hath he not discharged, or freed them from their obedience to it: For this, read Mat. 220.127.116.11. Rom. 3.31. Chap. 13.9. 1 Cor. 7.19. Ephes. 18.104.22.168. Iames 22.214.171.124. Therefore, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandements, Mat. 19.17. And they are Ten, Exod. 20. Deut. 10.4.
It being so, I doe not see how it is possible, that the Decalogue, or any Precept, Sentence, or Word of it, was abrogated by Jesus Christ. As was Circumcision, the Passeover, and Priesthood of Aaron, Sacrifices, Offerings, and burnt Offe∣rings, Monthly, and Yearly Festivals, which were shadowes of good things to come, Heb. 10.1. And served as a Schoolemaster to lead men to Christ, Gal. 3.24. In whom it had its end, Colos. 126.96.36.199.16.17. Heb. 188.8.131.52. Ephes. 2.14.15. But the Decalogue, nor any part thereof, fi∣gured Page 7 not out Jesus Christ, either in Person, or Office; But being morall and perpetuall, it bind∣eth all men, in all ages, to the duties therein ex∣pressed, or contained, both in body and Spirit: Gentiles as well as Jewes; Believers, and Unbe∣lievers, Exod. 20. Deut. 5 Mat. 184.108.40.206. 1 Cor. 7.19. Rom. 13.9. For God is not the God of the Jewes only, but of the Gentiles also, Rom. 3.29. Now, seeing God requireth obedience of all men unto it, it followeth, Jesus Christ by his fulfilling of it, hath not delivered, or discharged us from our obedience to it.
I doubt not, but most men devoted to God∣linesse, will assent with me, as touching the du∣ties of the second Table of the Divine Law, that it is Morall, and bindeth every man to the par∣ticular duties therein expressed. But few men there are as yet, that doth assent with me, that the Precepts of the first Table have such authority over us, in binding us to every particular Expres∣sion therein contained. For Papists doe deny the second Commandement, against worshipping of I∣mages to be Morall, and appertaine not to Chri∣stians, as Mr.Brabourne → saith (on the Sabbath Page 519) out of Polanus Syntag. page 353.
Others there are, which deny the affirmative part of the third Commandement, (in that they refuse to take an oath in any right cause) through Page 8 a mis-apprehension of our Saviours words, in Mat. 5.34, 35, 36. and the words of St. James, Chap. 5.12. Yea, Papists, and all differing opinions among men, professing Christ, by what name so∣ever they are called, do deny the Morality of the Fourth Commandement, or at least, part thereof, in practice, though not in words; the errour of which opinion I shall refute by Scripture, Argu∣ments and Reasons.
But first I will reason against them in that man∣ner as the Apostle reasoned against those Corin∣thians which denied the resurrection of the dead, 1 Cor. 13.14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
CHAP. II. Manifesteth 12 Absurdities which doe follow up∣on the Doctrine or Assertion that the Fourth Commandement, or any part thereof is abroga∣ted, which are not suitable with Godlinesse, or with the holinesse, truth, or integrity of the Decalogue.
THe First Absurditie which doth follow on the Doctrine that the Fourth Commande∣ment is abrogated, or part thereof, is to affirme (consequently) that there are but 9 Commande∣mentsPage 9 in the morall Law, which expresly speaketh to us, in requiring duties of us, contrary to Exod, 20. Deut. 4.13.
Secondly, It is to affirme, that Gods Law of the ten Commandements, are not perpetually mo∣rall, the fourth standeth as a Cifer.
Thirdly, All the duties commanded in the de∣calogue appertaineth not to us.
Fourthly, God never intended that we should walke in the obedience thereof.
Fiftly, Jesus Christ nor his Apostles, never taught us so to doe; nor never ratified any such thing for us to observe, contrary to Mat. 5.18. Rom. 3.31.
Sixtly, It is no rule of righteous walking for us.
Seventhly, It is not for us the way to walke in to obtain Justification by Jesus Christ.
Eightly, It hath not a correspondency with the Gospel.
Ninthly, It taught the Jewes to worke six dayes, successively, from the Creation, and to rest the seventh, after Gods example; which thing we ought not to doe contrary to Exod. 20.11.
Tenthly, He that followeth the literall ex∣pression of the decalogue, or morrall law, erreth.
Eleventhly, For any to say, we are not to ob∣serve the seventh day Sabbath, because the duty Page 10 thereof is abrogated; It is to affirme, that Gods law is changed, contrary to Psal. 111.7. & 8.
Twelfly, Those which affirme the seventh day-Sabbath, was to be kept before our Saviours Death, and Resurrection, and is not to be obser∣ved since by Christians: doe thereby avouch, that Gods Testimonies, his Law, his Covenant, is Yea, and Nay; contrary to the nature of Gods Law, and many texts of Scripture. See Psal. 119.138, 142, 152. Psal. 89.2. Luke 16.17. 2 Cor. 1.20.
If these, and the like assertions, may not be ad∣mitted for truth, but rejected for errour, by all men professing Christianity and the feare of God; then all men professing Christianity and the feare of God, are for ever to confesse, that the fourth Commandement, and every jot, and title thereof is morall, and remaineth in force, and bindeth all men as unchangeably, to the observation of the seventh day-Sabbaths, since our Saviours Ascen∣sion, as ever it did any men before his Ascension.
In which regard I professe in the feare or God, I doe not see but that it is as great a sinne to doe contrary to the literall expression of the fourth Commandement, as it is to doe contrary to the li∣terall expression of either the first, second, or third Commandements of the divine Law, except ne∣cessity hinder it: for sure it is, Whosoever keep∣eth Page 11 the whole Law, and faileth in one point, is guilty of all, James 2.10.
If this will not be assented unto, I desire to know of him that will oppose me, whether our Saviour in Mat. 5.18. did ratifie the Decalogue, or Law of ten Commandements, to remain till all things be fulfilled, yea, or nay? If nay, what Law was it that he ratified? If yea, then he ratified the fourth Commandement, to remaine for In∣structions to Godlinesse, in the literall expressions thereof, as unchangeable as to any other expressi∣ons of that law; If any will deny it, let him shew how our Saviour did ratifie the whole Law, yea, every jot and title of it, and did not ratifie the fourth Commandement, which is a tenth part of that law, which consisteth of more then 80. words. And if our Saviour ratified the fourth Commandement, I desire to know why it ought not to be as conscionably observed, as any of the other nine Commandements; but if any say, it was repealed again by Christ, let him shew how he could doe it, and not diminish any thing from the morall Law: As also, when he did it, and what are his words of repealing it, and then also, prove it was no part of the Law which the Apo∣stles established, Rom. 3.31. As also that we may omit the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, and not fall under the transgression of the Law, spoken of by Saint James, Chap. 2. v. 10.
CHAP. III. Containeth 10. Reasons, demonstrating that the fourth Commandement is morall, and not cere∣moniall. Secondly, Objections answered.
THe first Reason is, why the duty of the se∣venth dayes rest is morall, and not ceremoni∣all, is because it differeth in its nature from a Cere∣moniall precept.
A Ceremoniall precept, or precepts, was given of God, and used of men, to set forth some good thing to be wrought, or brought by Jesus Christ, after mans fall, and the promise of the Messias, Heb. 9. chap. 10. But the seventh day-Sabbath, was made by Christ, the Word of God, John 1.2, 3. before there was any need, or use of any Cere∣monie, Gen, 1.2, 3. Ergo, the fourth Commande∣ment is morall.
Secondly, That the seventh dayes rest is mo∣rall, doth appeare from the Ground, or Reason, wherefore God gave to man the holy Sabbath, expressed by Moses, Ezod. 31.17. chap. 20.11. The grounds, or reasons being morall and perpe∣tuall, whereon the duty was founded, it argu∣eth the perpetuity of the day it selfe.
Page 13Thirdly, That the duty of observing the se∣venth dayes rest, is morall, doth appeare from a further use of the day, for Gods publique wor∣ship, to be performed on it, Levit. 23.3. Psal. 92. Acts 13.14, 15, 42. Chap. 15.21. Luke 4.16, 31. Mark 6.2. Acts 16.13. The usefulnesse of pious duties, requireth a usefull, and perpetuall day, and no day so fit as that day, which God instituted, blessed, and sanctified, for that end; Er∣go, the seventh dayes rest is morall.
Fourthly, That the duty of the seventh dayes rest is morall, doth appeare, by that the wilfull transgressours of it were to be put to death, by the hand of the Magistrate, as those were which wil∣fully transgressed any of the other three Precepts of the first Table, Exod. 31.15. Numb. 15.32, 35, 36. But the transgressours of Ceremoniall pre∣cepts, God himselfe punished them, Numb. 16.32, 35. 2 Sam. 6.6, 7. Ergo, the fourth Com∣mandement is morall.
Fiftly, The fourth Commandement was gi∣ven with the other nine Precepts, with Power, Majesty, and Terror, Exod. 19. There was never a Ceremoniall precept given after that manner; Ergo, the fourth Commandement is morall.
Sixtly, The fourth Commandement was writ∣ten in a table of stone, & put into the Arke, Deut. 10.5. But there was no Ceremoniall precept written in a table of stone, nor put into the Arke, Page 14 1 King. 8.9. Ergo, the duty of the seventh days rest is Morall, and not Ceremoniall. The truth of this is also affirmed by Dr. Bayly, in the practice of Pi∣ety, Pag. 159. and by Mr. Bisco, in his glorious Mistery, page 60.
Seventhly, God himselfe kept the seventh day-Sabbath, Gen. 2.1. Exod. 20.11. Can it be shewn that ever God kept a Ceremoniall Pre∣cept? O no! Ergo, it is an Everlasting Du∣ty.
Eighthly, The fourth Commandement (where∣in the Seventh day-Sabbath is commanded) is a tenth part of the Morall Law; the Law being Morall, the dutie of the seventh dayes rest must needs be Morall also.
Ninthly, Our Saviour Christ would not that his Disciples should breake the Sabbath at the de∣struction of Jerusalem, Mat. 24.20. which was 38 years after his Passion. Can it be shewen, that ever his will was, that his Disciples should keepe a ceremoniall Precept so long after his Pas∣sion? If any can, let them doe it, or else let them confesse the duty of the seventh dayes rest is Morall.
Tenthly, and lastly, If the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath is abrogated, then it is not meet nor fit that it should stand in Parish Churches, or publique Assemblies with the other nine Com∣mandements of the Morall Law; for as it stand∣eth Page 15 with, or amongst those Morall Precepts, it reacheth, and commandeth obedience to the du∣ties of the seventh dayes-Sabbath, (the day cal∣led Saturday, which men say is abrogated) as expresly, and as absolutely, as the First, Second, or Third Commandements of that Law doe teach the expresse duties commanded in them, or any other of the 6 Commandements doth teach that which is expressed in them.
But indeed, and in truth, the dutie of the se∣venth dayes-Sabbath, commanded in the fourth Commandement, is Morall and Perpetuall, as any of the other 9 Commandements, and there∣fore doth as absolutely binde us, and all men, to the due obedience thereof, as any of the other nine do to the duties expressed in them: Therefore it is meet and fit it should stand with the other nine Commandements, to teach men their du∣ty to the seventh dayes-Sabbath, to wit, the day called Saturday, for that indeed is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, whereon he hath forbid thee to do any servile work, as hath been shewn; which duty all men are enjoyned unto untill the end of the World, for till then the Sabbath shall conti∣nue, Exod. 31.17. Isa. 66.23, 24. Ergo, its Mo∣rall and Perpetuall.
If the Fourth Commandement be an abroga∣ted Ceremony, and therefore we are not to walk in the obedience thereof; then we are as really Page 16 discharged from working 6 dayes, as we are from resting the seventh: And if it be sin to ob∣serve the seventh day-Sabbath, because the 4th Commandement is abrogated, which command∣ed it; then it is sinne also to worke 6 dayes, be∣cause the fourth Commandement is abrogated, which commanded it.
The reason is, because when any Ceremoniall Precept, or Precepts, were abrogated, every part or branch thereof, was abrogated also, Gen. 17.11, 12. Exod 12.3, 4. &c.
Againe, if it be errour to say, mens working six dayes is abrogated; then it is errour to say, mens resting the seventh day is abrogated, or done away.
Evident it is, by that which is already said, the Decalogue being Morall, the fourth Comman∣dement being part of the Decalogue, is Mo∣rall also. It being so, let him that will oppose me, prove that it is our duty to doe servile work on the seventh day, called Saturday, if he can: But if he cannot shew me any Precept for it, then let him shew me what dispensation there is vouchsafed to men to doe common worke on the Lords seventh day-Sabbath, and who it was which first granted the dispensation: This doe, and faile not, or else cease from a weekly propha∣nation of the Lords seventh day-Sabbaths. Ve∣rily, for my part, I believe the Morall Law ma∣keth Page 17 knowne unto us the minde, or will of God, concerning our duty, both towards Himself, and our Neighbour. And therefore, I say with the Apostle, I had not known lust, if the Law had not said, Thou shall not covet, Rom. 7.7.
In like manner, I say, I had not knowne I should not have other Gods before God, had not the Law so said, Exod. 20.3.
Neither had I knowne I should not make to my self any Graven Image, &c.
Nor that I should not bow downe, nor wor∣ship them, had not the Law forbid it, Exod. 20.5.
Neither had I known that it is my duty to keep ho∣ly the seventh day-Sabbath (to wit, the day called Saturday) whereon no work is to be done, had not God by his Law commanded the one, and forbid the other, Exod 20.8, 9, 10, 11.
O know, and believe, the Precepts of the Mo∣rall Law speaketh as well to thee, as to me. Hast thou endeavoured to walke in the obedience of the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Commandements of Gods Law? and hast thou wholy neglected thy duty to the fourth Commandement, in not keeping holy the seventh day-Sabbath? and hast thou done servile work thereon, which thing God hath foabidden thee? If yea, surely thou art a transgressor of Gods Law. Be instructed there∣fore, and repent of Sabbath-breaking, and for Page 18 time to come, keep holy the Sabbath day, the day called Saturday, and doe no work thereon, thou, nor thy sonne, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, thy cattell, not the stranger that is n within thy Gates, &c. for it is the Will of God that they should rest as well as thou, Deut. 5.14
For, Whatsoever the Law saith, it saith to them that are under it, Rom. 3.19. Thou art under it, and not above it, therefore thou ought∣st not to transgresse it, for the Law hath domi∣ion over a man as long as he liveth, Rom. 7.1. Therefore, if thou wilt not be condemned by it, conform unto it: For, whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth also the Law, 1 John 3.4. Yea, surely, the sting of death is sinne, and the strength of sinne is the Law, 1 Cor. 15.56.
Therefore, deceive not thy selfe, nor let any deceive thee, or cause thee to beleeve, that it was sinne to doe any thing contrary to the Morall Law, before our Saviours Death and Resurrecti∣on, and that it is not so now, but that Christian men may doe something which God by His Di∣vine Law doth forbid, and not sin.
Certainly, Jesus Christ, nor his Apostles, hath not left Christians any such dispensation. Errour therefore it is for any to affirme, that they may doe servile worke on the Lords seventh day-Sab∣bath, (where necessity is not) contrary to his Page 19 Holy Law, and not sinne. Therefore, know, and beleeve, that as the Morall Law was Holy, Righ∣teous, Just, and Good, before our Saviour came in the Flesh, and taught men their duty toward God, and man, in an unerring way: Even so, the Mo∣rall Law is Holy, Righteous, Just, and Good, e∣ver since our Saviour came in the Flesh, and teach∣eth us our duties toward God and man in a right and unerring way, and so it shall for ever. There∣fore, if thou wilt enter into life, keepe the Com∣mandements, Matth. 19.17. And they are ten, Deut. 10.4.
As I would not be mistaken in any thing, I desire I may not be mistaken in this; viz. for any to thinke I meane men may obtaine Righte∣ousnesse to justification by the works of the Law: Oh no, that I doe not, that is impossible, Gal. 2.16. Chap. 3.10.11. Rom. 3.20. Errour it is to the Jewes, or any else, that expect to receive Righteousnesse by, or for their obedience there∣to; But I presse men to the obedience of it, be∣cause men cannot be saved without obedience to it, in some measure, through faith, Matth. 5.19. Chap. 19.17. 1 Cor. 7.19. But I doe be∣leeve in my heart, and confesse with my mouth, that justification to salvation, is freely bestowed on the Beleever wholy undeserved. It is not of workes, but by Grace through Faith, that men are saved; and not of our selves, it is the Page 20 gift of God, Ephes. 2.8. 2 Tim. 1.9.
The Gospel, published by Jesus Christ, brought not a new way of Righteousnesse and Salvation into the World, which was not spoken of, or taught before in the Law and Prophets, John 5.46, 47. Acts 26.22.
*But it is a fuller manifesta∣tion of that which was con∣tained in the Law and Prophets; so that our con∣formitie to the Decalogue, is not destructive, or prejudiciall to our obedience to the Gospel, but highly advanceth it: For the Law is not against the Promise of God, Gal. 3.21. Neither is the Gospel contrary to the Law, for the preaching of faith doth establish it, Rom. 3.31. Yea, such is the Vnion betweene the Law and the Gospel, that the same words which Moses used to com∣mand obedience to God by the Law, in the time of the Law, Deut. 6.5. the same words our Sa∣viour useth in the Gospel, to command obedience to God, according to the Law, Mat. 22 37. Yea, such Union and communion there is between the Law and the Gospel, that as Moses sendeth us to be instructed by Christ, Deut. 18.15. Acts 3.22. Even so Jesus Christ sendeth us to be instructed by Moses, John 220.127.116.11. Luke 16.29.31. Mat. 7.12.
It being so, it followeth, that seeing by the Page 21 Law me••re commanded to keepe a holy rest, and to abstaine from servile work on the seventh day; the Gospel doth not say nay. Thou shalt keep a holy rest, and abstaine from servile work on the first day of the week: Oh no, there is no such word; therefore, sure it is, the selfe same Law which commanded men to keep a holy rest on the seventh day, in the time of the Law, the selfe same Law requireth us to keepe a holy rest on the seventh day in the time of the Gospel. Therefore, Remember to keepe holy the Sabbath day, the day called Saturday, the seventh, and last day of the weeke, for that is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, which he commandeth thee to consecrate to his Service, in worshipping him on it, in spirit and truth, as the Gospel requireth of thee, and neglect it not.
As the Word of God doth manifest the seventh and last day of the weeke to be the Sabbath; So doth both Ancient and Moderne Writers con∣fesse it so to be. Yea, Doctor Hylyn doth affirm, in his History of the Sabbath, par. 2. chap. 2. pag. 62. that when ever (for a thousand yeares and upward) we meet with Sabbatum in any Wri∣ter, of what name soever, must be understood of no other day then the Saturday. And Doctor White on the Sabbath, pag. 202. saith, when the Ancient Fathers distinguish, and give proper names to the particular dayes of the weeke, they Page 22 alwayes stile the Saturday, Sabbatum, to wit, the Sabbath, &c.
That the Saturday, the last day of the week is the Sabbath day; the truth thereof is confessed by all Judicature Courts in England; for when they write on the Saturday, the last day of the weeke, they stile it, di•s Sabbathi; to wit, the Sabbath day▪ At the end of which Sabbath, the first day of the week beginneth, Mat. 28.1. Mark 16.1, 2, which is the day commonly called Sun∣day, (which is highly extolled, although there is no word of God, which commandeth the observa∣tion of it, as now it is.)
Sure it is, we know no [other] name in Scrip∣ture, for the seventh day, but the Sabbath day; neither know we any other name for Sunday, but the first day of the week; for this see Luke 24.1. John 20.1.
Object. If it be objected, that the seventh day-Sabbath, was given to the Jewes only, and not to the Gentiles, in that the Jewes were charged with the keeping of it, in remembrance of their deli∣verance out of Egypts bondage, Deut. 5.15. which the Gentiles were not. Ergo,
I answer, It is true, they were delivered out of Aegypts bondage [through the great mer∣cy of God unto them] and thereon were enjoyn∣ed to keep the Sabbath, as a motive to stir them up to a more devout observation thereof.
Page 23But was it so given to the Jewes, that the obe∣dience thereof doth not appertain to us, Oh no! there is no Scripture that so saith; neither doth it follow, that we owe no obedience to it, because they were enjoyned to keepe it, in remembrance of their deliverance 〈◊〉 of Egypt; because then it would follow, we are not enjoyned to the o∣bedience of the other nine Commandements nei∣ther.
For on the same ground, or consideration, they were enjoyned to keep the seventh day-Sabbath, upon the same ground they were enjoyned to keep the other 9 Commandements also, for this see Exod. 20.2, 3. &c. Deut. 5.6. chap. 7.8, 9, 10, 11. It being so, it followeth, If we may not omit our duty to the 9. Commandements of the morall Law, we ought not to the fourth Com∣mandement neither.
Again, If men will exempt themselves from the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, because it was given to the Jewes, then on the same ground, they may exempt themselves from all duties taught by our Saviour on the Mount, Mat. 5. chap. 6, chap. 7. and also from all duties taught in the Epistle to the Hebrewes; and also from all duties taught by by Saint James in his Epistle on the same ground.
Now if it be errour to exempt our selves from these, and many other heavenly Instructions, be∣cause Page 24 they were given to the Jewes, then it is er∣rour to exempt our selves from the duty of the fourth Commandement, because it was given to the Jewes.
Object. If it be further objected, the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, belongeth not to us, because our Saviour hath not commanded it to be observed in the Gospel.
I answer, It is an ignorant Cavill, against the duty commanded in the fourth Commandement, because our Saviour doth as absolutely require obedience of us, to the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, inclusively (in Mat. 22.37, 38.39.) as he doth to the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Commandements of the morall Law.
Again, If it be a sufficient plea, to exempt our selves from the duty of the fourth Commande∣ment, because it is not expresly repeated by our Saviour in the Gospel: then upon the same conside∣ration, we may as well exempt our selves from the duties taught by the 1, 2, and 3, Commande∣ments of the same Law; for neither of those precepts are in expresse words laid down by our Saviour in the Gospel: therefore, I say, If it be an errour to exempt our selves from the duties of the 1, 2, and 3. Commandements, because the ex∣presse words are not laid down by our Saviour, in the Gospel; then errour it is, for any to exempt themselves from the duties of the fourth Com∣mandement,Page 25 although the duty of it is not in ex∣presse words laid downe in the Gospel. Yea, a truth it is, Whosoever keepeth the whole Law, and faileth in one point, is guilty of all.
CHAP. IV. Of the Antiquity and Morality, of the seventh day-Sabbath, which is the day to be observed, and not a seventh day instead of it.
THe seventh day-Sabbath, whereof I treat, which was made for man, Mark 2.27, and given to man [Exod. 16.29.] was blessed and sanctified, the first seventh day of the worlds Cre∣ation, [Gen. 2.2, 3. Exod. 20.8, 9, 10, 11.] was obeyed, and disobeyed, before the Law was given on Mount Sinai, Exod. 16.27, 28, 30. Which Precept being repeated on the Mount, with the other nine Precepts; it had a memoran∣dum annexed it, in regard of a former neglect to it; as also the more to incite the Jewes, and us Gentiles, to a diligent observation thereof, for time to come.
This seventh day God instituted, and comman∣ded to be a selected, or peculiar time, for his pub∣lique worship, Leuit. 23.3. Acts 15.21.
This Sabbath our Saviour unviolably kept,Page 26 and spent in the administration of the Word, Luke 4.16, 31. Mark 6.2. and in other holy ex∣ercises of piety and charity, glorifying his Father by Miracles, Mat. 12.9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Iohn 5.8, 9.
This Sabbath our Saviours Disciples obser∣ved after his death, to Gods honour and their e∣ver laudable memoriall: For it is recorded of them, Luke 23.56. That they rested the seventh day, according to the Commandement. Yea, it evidently apeareth, that the Apostles and Disci∣ples, Gentiles as well as Jewes, constantly spent the seventh day-Sabbaths, in holy and religious exercise. For this see Acts 13.14, 15, 16. vers. 27, 42, 43, 44. chap 16.13, 14. chap. 17.2, 3. chap. 24.14.* Yea, some Christian Churches observed it, for more then the space 400. yeares after Christ; of this Socrates in∣formes us, lib. 6. chap. 8.
Yea, albeit the Church of Rome was one of the first Churches [or rather the first] which discerted the seventh day-Sabbath; yet they kept it a certain space of time, after the de∣cease of the Apostles. For Justin Martyr living in Rome, about the yeare 150. saith [Apologie, second pro] The manner was on the Sabbath day when the people were gathered together, to have Page 27 the Scriptures read in the publique congregation in the time of publique prayer, the space of a whole hower; as Dr. Whitguift hath it in his Booke a∣gainst Cartwright, pag. 578.
Yea, I finde by Socrates, Eccle. hist. lib. 5. cap. 21. that for the space of 200. yeares, almost, all Christian Churches, throughout the whole world, did keep every Sabbath-day after other, whereon they did administer the misteries of our Saviour (or Sacraments) except Rome and Alexandria, who of an old tradition did not use it, &c.
Which holy Sabbath ought to have been spent in holy exercise to this time; yea, and for ever, Exod. 31.17. Isay 66.23.
That the seventh day-Sabbath ought to have been kept, and spent in the worship and service of God. Severall men of note, doth confesse the truth thereof; although their practice answered not with it, no, nor their words at some times neither: And therefore I looke upon their Expressions, as justifying the truth against themselves.
First, I will beginne with Mr, Beza in his margent, on Deut. 5. vers. 13. who saith, Since God permitteth six dayes to our laboures, that we ought willingly, to dedicate the seventh, to serve him, wholly.
Secondly, Mr. Perkins on Gal. 4. vers. 10. saith, Six dayes thou shalt labour, and the seventh Page 28 day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God, is morall, and containeth a perpetuall truth.
Thirdly, Doctor Whitguift [against Cart∣wright, page 553.] saith, Six dayes shalt thou labour, &c. The meaning of which words is this, That seeing God hath admitted us six dayes to doe our own work in, we ought the seventh day to serve him, &c.
Fourthly, Muskulus [in his Book of common Places, fol. 60.] speaking of the seventh day-Sab∣bath, saith, Secondly, he apppointed the day, so that it should not be at his peoples liberty: Six dayes (saith he) thou shalt doe all thy worke, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. So he doth especially note, the dayes to worke, and he doth expresse that day, in which the Sab∣bath should be hallowed, &c. Six dayes are appoin∣ted thee, in which thou mayest work all things, touching thy selfe and thy own affaires; but the seventh day is not so: for that day is a great while agoe determined, and hallowed by God him∣selfe, unto rest; and therefore that day shall not serve for thy workes, but thou shalt hallow him to the Lord thy God.
Fifthly, Dr. Willet on the fourth Comman∣dement, [question 13 pag. 360.] saith, God is said to rest, both that his rest might be a monument of the Creation, perfected; and that God, by his ex∣ample, might induce us in like manner to rest upon his Sabbaths.
Page 29Sixtly, Dod, and Clever, on the Commande∣ments, speaking of the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, in pag. 118. saith; The third reason is taken from Gods Example, &c. As if he should have said, If thou wilt follow Example, then fol∣low the Example of the best. What Example can there be better, than God himself, who, when he made the World, rested on the seventh day. There∣fore, from his Example, learne thou, that on the seventh day, thou give thy selfe to the duties of sanctification, &c. See pag. 119.
Seventhly, Bayly (in Pract. Piety, page 255.) saith, To sanctifie the Sabbath on the seventh day, is not a ceremoniall Law abrogated, but the Morall and Perpetuall Law perfected; So that (saith he) the same perpetuall Commandement which bound the Jewes to keepe the Sabbath on the seventh day, to celebrate the Worlds Creation, binds Christians to solemnize the Sabbath on the seventh day. And in page 257. Therefore God planted this Commandement in the middest of the two Tables, because the keeping of it, is the best help in keeping all the rest. The conscionable keep∣ing of the Sabbath, is the Mother of all Religion, &c. And in pag. 259. saith, It is one of the Com∣mandements which God spake with his own mouth, and twice wrote with his owne fingers, in Tables of stone, to signifie their Authority, and perpe∣tuity. All that God wrote, were Morall and Page 30 perpetuall Commandements, and they are reckoned ten in number. If this were now an abrogated Ceremony, then there were but nine Comman∣dements. And, in pag. 287. thus, The Ceremo∣niall Law was injoyned to the Jewes only, and not to the Gentiles: But this Commandement of the Holy Sabbath (as Matrimony) was institu∣ted of God in the state of innocency, when there was but one estate of men; therefore enjoyneth the Gentiles, aswell as the Jewes: So that all Ma∣gistrates, all House-holders, were commanded to constraine all strangers, (as well as their own sub∣jects and familie) to observe the Holy Sabbath, &c.
I will forbeare to produce further Testimo∣ny of men, the Word, or Law of God, is sufficient to teach the godly minded their duty; therefore obey it, and keep holy the Sabbath day, to wit, the seventh day, and not a seventh day, as many men doe thinke, that if they keepe a seventh day, they performe that duty which God re∣quireth of them by the Morall Law, although they keep not the 7th day successively from the Creation, a great mistake: For surely, as God hath not given men liberty to worship in what they please; neither hath God given them liberty to omit their duty of the seventh dayes rest, and worship when they please; but they are to doe that when he hath appointed, and commanded it, Page 31 which indeed is the seventh day, called Satur∣day, the last day of the week; which day, God blessed and sanctified, for men to performe pub∣lique worship on it, as hath been shewn. Er∣rour therefore it is, to say, we obey Gods Law, if we keep one day in seven, if it be not the seventh day, commanded in the Law. Againe, no man can account the first day of the week to be a seventh day, unlesse men will presumptu∣ously crosse the order of Gods appointment, and overslip the first day of the worlds Creation; and what warrant is there in Gods Word, for mor∣tall men so to doe, let all rationall men judge. Unlesse men doe so, they cannot by any account conclude, that the first day of the week, is, or can be a seventh day; and therefore, in observing it for a Sabbath, they stand not firme to their own Principle, by keeping one day in 7. seeing it is the 8. day, in relation to the Creation, and therefore it cannot properly be said to be one day in se∣ven. If men will refuse to keep their Sabbath on the seventh day, which day, God hath ap∣pointed and commanded by his holy Law, and will keep one day in seven, according to Gods place∣ing the dayes in the week, and stand firm to their own Principle, then they are to keep the sixth day of the week, called Friday, as Turkes doe, or else, some day or other before it, if the day be left to their owne choise.
Page 32The Errour of this opinion may also thus ap∣peare: God commanded the Israelites to Cir∣cumcise their male children on the eighth day, Gen 17.12. Had they obeyed Gods Law, and performed their duty, had they overslipt the first day, and circumcised the ninth, and accounted it for the eighth, (if necessity forced them not thereto,) certainely they had not, neither could they properly have said, they Circumcised one day in eight, nor the eighth day: Even so, it now standeth with mens observation of the first day of the week, for the seventh day, which indeed in order from the Creation, is the eight; and therefore they which observe it, keep one day after seven, and not one day in seven. The like instance I will give, concerning the command of God, given to the Israelites, for their Eating of the Passeover on the fourteenth day of the first Month, Exod. 12. Had they eaten it the fifteenth day, whether had they obeyed Gods Law, where necessity hindreth not, certainly they had not: Even so it standeth with mens observing the first day in stead of the seventh; or, Sunday, in stead of Saturday. Let wise men take this into their consideration, for, indeed, men doe deceive themselves, to thinke they obey Gods Law, if they keep one day in seven, accounting it the e∣quitie of the fourth Commandement, which thing indeed, is not in observing the first day of the Page 33 week, which, according to godly order, is the eighth day, and therefore, mens practise in this particular, hath neither sound, nor sence, for to be the equitie of the fourth Commandement. If men will keep a Sabbath, or day of rest, ac∣cording to the Equitie of the fourth Comman∣dement; then they are to keep it on the seventh day, which God commandeth, Exod. 20.8, 9, 10, 11. for, that indeed is the equitie of the fourth Commandement, and not keeping a day of rest, either before, or after the seventh day; for men so to doe, is meer will-worship, a thing forbid∣den by the Apostle, Colos. 2.20, 21, 22, 23.
Againe, we shall never finde in any of the E∣vangelists, or Apostles writings, that ever the Law of the Sabbath was repealed; or, that ever it should be transferred to the first day of the week; or, that ever the first day of the week was a Sab∣bath, or should be observed in stead of the Sab∣bath by Christians.
Well saith Dr. Prideaux in this point, in the Doctrine of the Sabbath, pag. 24. sec. 6. Our Saviour (saith he) oft times disputed with the Pharisees of the * Sabbath day; and many times explained the meaning of that Commandement: But where is there any of the least suspition of his abrogating it? Where any mention that the Lords day was instituted in the place thereof. Well (saith he) Christ ascended up on high, and left behind Page 34 him his Apostles, and what did they? did they not keep the Jewish Sabbath without noise, or scru∣ple, and gladly teach the people congregated, on the Sabbath dayes. (* Mat. 12. Mark 2. Luke 6. Joon 5.
Answerable unto this, Dr White, saith, On the Sabbath, the Apostles, and likewise many successi∣ons of the Apostles, for many ages, at least 300. yeares, kept holy the Saterday of every week, in some Churches. Yea, Socrates lib. 6, cap. 8. de∣clareth, That some Christians after 400 yeares, observed the Sabbath weekly, with the first day of the weeke.
Mr Perkins saith on Gal. 4.10. Some men both godly and learned, are of an opinion, that the first day of the week, was appointed by the Apostles, for order sake, &c. It seemes, saith he, a truth more probable, that every seventh day of the weeke, must, be set a part, in holy rest, unto God, for this is the substance of the fourth Commande∣ment, &c.
That the seventh day-Sabbath is to be obser∣ved in the time of the Gospel, as it was in the time of the Law; I will briefly give five Rea∣sons.
The first is, because it was given to man, in his Innocency, Gen. 2.2, 3. and therein to all the world; to wit, to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jewes: this truth is confessed by Mr. Ainsworth,Page 35 in his Annotations, Exod. 31.17. As also by Baily, in the Practice of Piety, pag. 258, 259. And also by Dod, on the fourth Commandement, pag. 125, 127.
2. Because it is commanded by a divine and po∣sitive law, Exod 20.
3. Because God rested on the seventh day, and blessed, and sanctified it, for us to rest, after his example, Exod. 20.11. Ephes. 5.1.
4. Our Saviour kept the Sabbath, Luke 4.16, 31. Mark 6.2. and we are to imitate him, Iohn 12.26. 1 Iohn 2.6.
5. The Apostle Paul kept it, and other Chri∣stians, Acts 13.14, 15, 16, 37, 42, 43, 44, chap. 16.13, 14. chap. 17.2. and we are to imitate them, 2 Cor. 11.1. Phil. 3.17. Heb. 6.12. Blessed is the man that doth this, and the sonne of man which layeth hold on it, and keepeth the Sab∣bath, from polluting of it, Isay 56.3, 4, 5, 6.
CHAP. V. Severall Authors produced, which affirme, the Church changed the Sabbath; and why they did it. 2. Three Reasons given, to manifest when it was done. 3. Answers given to se∣verall texts of Scripture, urged to prove the first day of the weeke, to be of a divine Institu∣tion. 4. Four Reasons given, to manifest, it is not of a divine Institution.
EVident it is, that in some tract of time, af∣ter the death of the Apostles, the Romish Church layd aside the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, and observed the first day of the weeke, instead of it.
Of this Socrates gives us notice, lib. 5. chap. 21. Where speaking of Customes, he saith, Though in manner all Christian Churches throughout the whole world, doe celebrate and receive the holy misteries, every Sabbath day after other: Yet the people, inhabiting Alexandria, and Rome, of an old tradition doth not use it.
The Aegyptians adjoyning to Alexandria, to∣gether with the Inhabitants of Thebaes, use to ce∣lebrate on the Sunday, &c.
2. Mr. Brabourn, in the defence of the Sab∣bathPage 37 (against the ten Ministers, page 481) de∣clares out of the Centuries, Centure 4. chap. 6. page 477. layeth it down thus, There was no Ecclesiasticall, or Church Assemblies at Rome, as there was at other Churches, &c.
3. Iustin Martyr [living in Rome, in the yeare 150.] Apol. 2. saith, Ʋpon the Sunday, all of us, assemble in the Congregation, &c. See Dr. Hylyn on the Sabbath, part. 2, chap. 2, sect, 6.
4. Athenasius saith, The observation of the Lords day, was taken up by a voluntary usage in the Church. as Dr. Hylyn in his history on the Sab∣bath, declareth, part 2. chap, 1. Sect. 3. page 8.
5. Mr. Perkins [on Gal, 4. verse 10. spea∣king of the superstition of the popish Church, in observation of holy dayes] saith, First, besides the Lords day, they appointed many other Sab∣baths, &c,
6. Mr. Calvin [in his Institutions, lib. 2. chap, 8. sect, 33.] saith, The old Fathers, not without choyce of their owne, put in place of the Sabbath, the day we call Sunday, &c. And a lit∣tle after exhorteth us, to follow the order, by the Church apointed; &c.
7. Bullenger [in his Book of godly Sermons, page 140.] saith, They of the Primitive Church did change the Sabbath day, least peradventure, they should have seemed to imitate the Jewes; and still to have retained their orders, and cere∣monie, Page 38 and made their assemblies and holy meet∣ings, on the first day of Sabbaths; (to wit) the first day of the weeke called Sunday.
8. John Frith [Declare▪ Bapt. page 96] saith, Our Fathers which were in the beginning of the Church, did abrogate the Sabbath, to the intent, that Christians might have an example of Christi∣an Liberty, and that they might know, that neither the keeping of the Sabbath, nor any other day is necessary: That a day should be reserved, in that the people might come together, to heare the Word of God; they ordained instead of the Sabbath, which was Saturdy, the next day following; and although they might have kept Saturday with the Jewes, as a thing indifferent; yet did they much better, to over set the day, to a perpetuall memory, that we are free and not bound to any day, but that we may doe any worke to the pleasure of God, and the profit of our Neighbour, &c. See Dr. White on the Sabbath, page 5.
9. Mr. Tindals answer to Dr. Moore, chap. 25. thus saith, We be Lords over the Sabbath, and may change it to munday, or any other day, as we see need; or may make every tenth day, holy day, if we see cause why; we may make two every weeke, if it were expedient, and one not enough to teach the people. Neither was there any cause to change it from the Saturday, then to put difference between us and the Jewes; least we should be∣come Page 39 servants to the day, after their superstition. As Dr. White hath it, Ibid. page 5.
10. Ʋrsinus on the Catti. part. 3. page 989. saith, The Apostolicall Church, to distin∣guish its selfe from the Jewish Synagogue, &c. Hath, on good reason, made choyce of the first day, &c.
11. Dr. Willet [in his Comment. on Exod. chap. 20. page 360.] saith, The Apostolique Church changed the holy day of rest from the seventh day to the first, which is the Lords day, in remembrance of our redemption by Christ.
12. Dr. White, on the Sabbath, page 109. thus saith. Although the Sunday, or Lords day, in the time of the Law, was an ordinary working-day; yet in the time under the Gospel, the same is an holy day, by a perpetuall Ordinance of the Catholique Church. And in pag. 212, he saith. It is apparent, that Christian people made the Lords day of every week, an ordinary Holy-day, &c. See also Dr. Prideaux on the Sabbath, pag. 24. Sect. 6.
I hasten, and shall take further occasion, to manifest by larger Testimonies, that the first day of the weeke is not of a Divine Instituti∣on, but an Ordinance of the Church: But first I will briefly describe the time when it was done, as near as I can.
I confesse, I have not met with any Author Page 40 which hath pointed out the time, except Mr. ← Brabourne → , who, in defence of the Sabbath, pag. 485. speaking of the Counsell held at Laodicea, Anno 364. he saith, now the Sabbath began to be rejected, and the Lords day to be set up as the sole Sabbath, without any other. Now (saith he) the Lords day must forsooth be preferred above the Sabbath, &c.
Mr. Perkins, in his Exposition on the Reve∣lation, Chap. 1. vers. 10. moveth a question, to know who changed the Jewish Sabbath; and then his answer is thus. It is commonly thought (saith he) the Jewish Sabbath was changed into the Lords day by Christian Emperours, long after the Ascension of Christ, &c.
I doe not much dissent from these mens ap∣prehensions, for there is much truth, no doubt, in both their expressions; yet I am not fully, of of their opinions, for, indeed I conceive it was first contrived, yea, and concluded on, inclusively, though not expressed, in the first Nicen Coun∣sell, Anno 326. or thereabout, and my Reasons are three.
The first Reason is, because before that Coun∣sell, there was not any Law, which commanded Christians to keep the first day of the week, in performance of Religious worship; neither before that time were Christians commanded to forbear labour on the Lords day. But this was done by Page 41 the Emperour Constantine his Edict, after the Counsell was dissolved. Eusebius in the life of Constant. Lib. 4. Chap. 18.19.
The second Reason is, because after that Coun∣sell was dissolved, Constantine sent an Edict to all Governours of Provinces in his Roman Em∣pire, that they should forthwith observe the Lords day, and honour Holy-daies, consecrated to the memoriall of Martyrs, and solemnly observe the Feasts of the Church,*Ibid. Chap. 23. Note, I doe not say the first day of the week was not obser∣ved till this time; for evi∣dent it is, it was observed by many Churches, in few years after the decease of the Apostles. Yea, Dr. White on the Sabbath pag. 193. saith. The Vniversall Church, before the decree of any Generall, or Nationall Counsell, made the Sunday, or Lords Day, a weekely Festivall. But I endeavour to denote, when it was that the Church rejected the Sabbath, and observed the first day of the week in stead of it.
The third Reason why it is probable; the put∣ting down of the Sabbath, and the setting up of the first day of the week in stead of it, was con∣trived in the Nicen Councel, is, because Christians, Page 42 before that Counsell, were not forbid to observe the seventh day-Sabbath, nor threatned to bee Excommunicated if they did observe it; for that was not done till the Counsell held at Laodicea, Anno 364. which was about 38 yeares after the Nicen Councell, where they made a Law, that Christians should not Jewdize, and rest upon the Sabbath day, but rather worke upon it, and that they should prefer the Lords day above the Sab∣bath day; and, if any were found observing the Jewish Sabbath, they should be excommunicated, or accursed, as Mr. Brabourn hath it in his fore∣mentioned Book, pag. 482. Out of Hospine de Origen Fast. Chap. 9 pag. 27. about this time many other Errours were set a foot; for, Mr. Brabourn in his forementioned Book, pag. 482. saith, you may read in Mr. Perkins his Demon∣stration of the Probleme, about the 300 and 400 years after Christ: Then began Images to creep into Churches; the Crosse to be adored; Invo∣cation of Saints; praiers for the dead; Pilgri∣mage; Purgatory; single life of Ministers; Monkery, and Monasticall profession, &c. Thus have I shewn the time, or neere about, when the Lords holy seventh day-Sabbath was rejected, and the first day of the week instituted in its stead, which causeth me to say with the Pro∣phet, Psal. 119.126. It is time for thee Lord to worke, for they have made void thy Law. Yea, Page 43 it appeareth to me, to be a great cause of Gods Judgments on the World, Isa. 24.4, 5.
Lamentable it is, that the Learned of this Land, which professe themselvs to be guids to the blind, and lights of them which are in darknesse, and teachers of them which want knowledge, and to have the forme of knowledge, and truth of the Law, that they should teach men to observe the first day of the week in stead of the seventh, contrary to the Law, upon a pretence that Je∣sus Christ abrogated the Sabbath; and that he, and his Apostles instituted the first day of the week in its stead, when there is not any Word of God that teacheth either the one, or the o∣ther.
I confesse there are many weak reasons, pro∣duced by many men, to prove their doctrine and practice;* both for the abrogation of the Sab∣bath, as also for manifesting that the first day of the week is of a divine institution, some principall places of Scripture produced, and perverted by them: I will briefly weigh and examine, com∣mitting it to wise mens consideration, and the Almighties blessing.
Anti-sabatharians say, Our Saviour to ma∣nifest the change of the Sabbath day, did plead for, and performe some things, that the Jewes up∣on Page 44 the Sabbath might not doe: and to prove it they urge two Scriptures, the one Mark 2.23, 24. Where it is said, our Saviours Disciples, plucked the eares of Corne on the Sabbath day, and the Pharises urged at our Saviour for that fact. Now say they, Our Saviour justified that fact, although it was a doing of that which the law of the Sabbath forbids, Ergo, the Sabbath was to be changed. Answer,
Our Saviour did not justifie them in that act, as an vnlawfull fact, but justified them in it as a lawfull or justifiable fact, as the cause stood with them, they being hungry, and that from a president in David, and those that were with him, who in the like case did eat the shew bread, &c. As also from that, Of the Priests in the Temple, which brake the Sabbath and were blamelesse, Mat. 12.4, 5. which words of our Saviour doe imply, that had there not bene a necessity, their action had not been lawfull; but being a cause of necessity (as Davids, and the Priests was, the one having a relation to Charity, and the other to Piety) they were blamelesse. And therefore in answer to the necessity of his Disciples, our Saviour said to his Adversaries, If you had known what this meaned, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, Math. 12 7. A repulse to their cavill: And withall our Saviour caused them to know, that the sonne of man is Lord, Page 45 also of the Sabbath. Which words of our Saviour doe imply, he being Lord of the Sabbath, knew the extent of the Sabbath better then they; for had they known the extent of the Sabbath, they would not have condemned the innocent, Mat. 12.7. Let no man thinke, that our Saviour, ei∣ther by his goodnesse, or greatnesse, did vouchsafe a dispensation to his Disciples, to act that which was in its nature evill, for that he did not: nei∣ther doth those words of our Saviour, in saying, he was Lord of the Sabbath, import, that he had changed the Sabbath, or would doe it. But those words are to be understood far otherwise, and that very proper to.
Our Saviour may be rightly said, to be Lord of the Sabbath, in a threefold respect.
1. In that as he was God, Iohn 1.1, 2, 3. In which sence, the Sabbath was made by him.
2. In respect it was upheld by him, Iohn 5 17. Col. 1.20.
3. He is rightly said, to be Lord of the Sab∣bath, in that he only holily kept it, in his person, for the perfecting of the Saints imperfect obedi∣ence to it, Rom. 8.3, 4. chap, 10.4. Had our Sa∣viour abolished the law of the Sabbath, he had diminished from the morall Law, which thing he did not, Mat. 5.17. For being man, and cir∣cumcised, he was bound to keep the whole Law, Gal. 5.3. In which regard he was a subject to it, Page 46 and so he acknowledged himselfe to be, Mat. 4.7, 10. Yea, I say, It was impossible, that he could, or did diminish from the morall Law, in regard, circumcised men were forbid so to doe, Deut. 4.2. chap. 12 32. It being so, I affirme, that who∣soever doth teach, or affirme, that Jesus Christ did diminish from the holy law, the decalogue, doe charge our Saviour with sinne, although they deserue it not. But to defend his Innocen∣cy therein, I doe affirme, our Saviour Christ did not before his death, nor at his death, nor by his resurrection, diminish any precept of that Law, nor any part thereof: Therefore it followes, that we are as firmly, and as unchangeably bound to the observation of the seventh day-Sabbath, as we are to any duty commanded in that Law.
A second Scripture oft urged by them is, Iohn 5. where mention is made of our Saviours cu∣ring the Impotent man, and bidding him, take up his Bed and walke, verse 18. It being the Sab∣bath day: a thing fordidden by the Law [as they say] therefore they infer, it manifested, that the Sabbath was, or should be changed.
Answer, Surely it is a very weake and slender ground to bear so weighty a matter: yea, so weake it is, that they know not well, what to in∣fer; something they would have to prove their purpose, if they knew what; but surely there is nothing of any force to be gathered from thence, Page 47 to prove, that either the Sabbath was, or should be abrogated; and therefore I passe over this Objection, as not worth the answering.
3. Anti-sabatharians, to prove the change of the Sabbath, and to manifest the first day of the week to be of a divine institution. They say, The Apostles assembled on the first day of the weeke, the day of our Saviours Resurrection, and our Saviour honoured them with his presence, Mark 16.19. Ergo, the Sabbath was changed, &c.
Answer, The inference is not to be proved by Scripture; the premises proveth not the thing intended, and therefore I say, not any of this doth prove the change of the Sabbath; nor that the first day of the week, is of a divine institution, not in the least. Neither did their assembling prove, that it was for the celebration of that day, in re∣membrance of any Grace that was brought to the Church, or World, by the resurrection of our Saviour from the dead, as some doe surmise, and that for two Reasons.
The first is, because Saint John saith [chap. 20.19.] That they assembled together for feare of the Iewes; had it been for any other end, doubtlesse, he would have made it known unto us.
2 Because when they assembled they knew not that he was risen from the dead: no, neither did they believe the testimony of the Disciples Page 48 which Reported it to them after they were as∣sembled. Mar. 16, 11. for which cause our Saviour reprehended them, v. 14.
4 Our Saviour appearing to his disciples after eight days, Joh. 20.26. is oft vrged to prove the change of the Sabbath, and that the first day of the weeke to be of a Divine Institution, but this helpeth to prove their purpose as the former; in regard, it was not upon the next first day as many do think: But it was upon some one day, after the first day of the week; had it been on the first day of the week that our Saviour appear∣ed to his Disciples, it had been on the eighth day: But, St. John expresly saith, it was after eight dayes, therefore not on the first day, which was the eighth day: It being so, this serveth not in a∣ny wise, to prove the abrogating of the seventh day-Sabbath; nor that the first day of the weeke is of a Divine Institution, for performance of pub∣lique Worship.
5. Another Scripture urged to prove the first day of the week to be a set time for performance of publick worship, is, Act. 20.7. where it is said, when the disciples came together to break bread, upon the first day of the week, Paul preached un∣to them, &c. This doth not prove the first day of the week to be of a Divine institution, nor that their breaking of bread, was the communion of the Misteries of the Lord in the Sacrament, seeing Page 49 it was an usuall thing for the Disciples to assemble together, to break bread daily, Acts 2.46. Chap. 5.42.
6. Neither did the Apostles Ordination for Collection at Corinth and Galatia, on the first day of the week, 1 Cor. 16.1. prove that the Churches then were to assemble on the first day of the week, to performe publique worship. Surely there is no such word to be found in the Text, or elsewhere; but that which the Apostle did appoint in Corinth, and at Galatia, was, that every one, on the first day of the week, should lay a part by himself, as God had prospered him, &c. Or this it may be read for our more proper under∣standing of the Apostles meaning, upon one of the week daies, let every one of you lay apart by him∣selfe, &c. Note, not at Church, there is no such word; but at home: And so doth Mr. Tindall, and Tremelius Translate it: It being so, what doth this serve to prove, that all Christian Churches, then, and ever since, were to assemble, for performance of publique worship, on the first day of the week; or, that those words of the Apostles, did either in∣stitute, or constitute it to be a Sabbath. Sure∣ly, nothing at all; See Dr. Prideaux on the Sab∣bath, pag. 28. And also, Dr. Hylyns History up∣on the Sabbath, Part. 2. Ch. 1. Sect. 10. Nei∣ther did the Apostles, or Evangelists ever call the first day of the week, by name of a Sabbath, in Page 50 relation to a day of Rest; nor when ever they spake of the first day of the week, they never cald it by the name of the Lords day, or Sunday: Had these Titles appertained to it, doubtlesse they would not have been slack to have bestowed them on it.
7. To prove the Sabbath abrogated, Anti-Sabbatharians doe oft urge the Apostles words, Col. 2.16.17. Let no man condemne you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a Holy day, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath dayes, &c.
Answ. The Apostle speaketh not in this place of the seventh day-Sabbath, Exod. 20.8. which our Saviour ratified, Mat. 5. It being a part of the Morall Law; yea, and also commanded obe∣dience to God by it inclusively, Mat. 22.37, 38. But of the Ceremoniall Sabbaths, forementioned; which were shadows of good things to come, as Meats, Drinks, and New Moons were, which be∣ing abolished by Christ, became beggerly Rudi∣ments, Gal. 4.9. and frustrateth the work of Grace in the observers thereof, v. 11. Chap. 5.4.
Evident it is, these things there mentioned by the Apostle, were not written in Tables of stone, therefore, serveth not to prove the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath abrogated. Yea, I say, cer∣tain it is, there is no appearance in the New Te∣stament, that the seventh day-Sabbath was abro∣gated by Christ, or should be, after his death: Or, Page 51 that ever the first day of the weeke was instituted, or commanded, by him, or his Apostles, to be ob∣served, for performance of publique worship: Neither did God, or Christ, ever sanctifie that day to that end, as many doe imagine; nor never instituted, nor commanded his Church to observe it in stead of the Sabbath. Therefore, I say, see∣ing we are not to presume above what is written, 1 Cor. 4.6. what reason is there, that the first day of the week should be held more high, and holy, than the seventh day-Sabbath, which God instituted, blessed, and sanctified, and commanded us, and all men to observe, by the Morall Law: Yea, what reason is there, or, what word of God is there to be produced, to prove, that it is our du∣ty to abstain from common work on the first day of the week, called Sunday? As also, that we ought to doe common work on the seventh day-Sabbath, called Saturday. Deceive not thy self, nor let any man deceive thee, or cause thee to believe, that it was the practice of Christian Churches, to assemhle every first day of the week, to per∣form publique worship, in the Apostles dayes, for that they did not. Yea, I say, it is not to be proved by Scripture, that ever any one Congre∣gation, did three times assemble successively, to perform publique worship on the first day of the week, called Sunday: Yea, I suppose, that not any Anti-Sabbatharian can prove, that ever Page 52 any one Congregation did assemble two first days successively, in the Apostles daies; or, that ever it was by them esteemed more holy, or more honou∣rable, than any other of the 6 daies. Yet, I say, what if it could be proved, that any Congregation in the Apostles days, did assemble 6 first days successively to perform worship on it; yet it would not prove the seventh day-Sabbath abrogated; nor, that the first day of the week was designed for pub∣lique Worship, seeing Christians in those daies, did daily assemble, Acts 2.46. Ch. 5.42. Yea, I say, if such a thing could be proved, (which none can doe) it would bind us no more to the constant performance of the former, than of the latter.
That the first day of the week is not of a Di∣vine Institution, nor is to be observed as a Sab∣bath, I will give 3. Reasons.
The first Reason is; Because if men keep the first day of the week for a Sabbath, and the se∣venth day for a working day, it is to doe ex∣presly against a Precept, both Affirmative, and Negative, Exod, 20.8, 9, 10.
Secondly; It cannot be, that the first day of the week, is an Ordinance of the Gospel; because then, the preaching of Faith, would make void the Law, contrary to Rom. 3.31.
Thirdly; The first day of the week cannot be of a Divine Institution, because then the Law, Page 53 which commandeth the seventh dayes rest, would crosse the Gospels Institution, contrary to Gal. 3.31.
I need not to insist to give more reasons, to prove that the first day of the week is not of a Divine Institution, seeing the truth is plentifully confessed by many wise, and learned men, whose understandings are not eclipsed with errour in this particular. Yea, I say, Papists themselves, doe confesse, the observation of the Sunday is not to be proved by the written word of God; and therefore, oftentimes in their writings, they urge at Protestants, because they cry Scripture, Scrip∣ture, to be the Rule of their Faith, and Practice, in the way of Religion, when they observe the first day of the week, which is called Sunday, in stead of the Sabbath, called Saturday, when there is no Word of God to prove, that so they ought to doe.
Christians ought to make the Word of God the Rule of their Faith, and Life, and not the Tra∣ditions of men, though never so ancient, or uni∣versally received; no, nor the sayings of Men, though wise, grave, and learned, if they speake not according to the Law of God, 1 John 4.1. Isa. 8.10. and therefore good it is for every one which loveth truth, and hateth errour, to fol∣low the Councel of Gracehop (placed at the Beginning of the Bible, Printed Anno 1603.) Page 54 who saith; Refuse all sence of Scripture, contra∣ry to the First and Second Tables of Gods Com∣mandements. Imbrace his Counsell, for it is good, it tendeth to further men in the way of Godlinesse; for certainly, mens well meaning, or acting in the way of Religion, will not stand them in stead, to bring them into acceptation with God, except it be in the way that God re∣quireth of them, for he will not accept of any worship, or service, which he hath not appoint∣ed, or commanded, Numb. 1. to 41. 2 Chron. 26.18.19. Isa. 66.3.4. Mark 18.104.22.168. Col. 2.20, 21, 22. And therefore, It is not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdome of Heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father, saith Christ, Mat. 7.21.
Had men that due respect to the Law of God, as is meet, there would not be any need to use Scripture Arguments and Reasons to move them to the obedience thereof; or to manifest, they are not to walke in a way contrary to it, as men doe, in observing the first day in stead of the se∣venth, out of a blind Devotion, through a mis∣apprehension, that it is a Gospel-Ordinance, when indeed it is not, but a meer humane In∣vention, or Ecclesiasticall Institution, or Po∣pish Tradition; and to manifest the truth thereof, I will produce the testimony of severall Authors, for an addition to the former, which affirme the same.Page 55
13. Dr. Whitguift against Cartwright, page 553. citeth the words of Saint Agustine (ad Romana Janu) Thus, that the Passion of Christ and his Resurrection [note, that is the first day of the weeke] and the day of the comming down of the holy Ghost is (saith he) not celebrated by any command writen, but by the determination of the Church.
14. In the Harmony of Confessions, I finde ma∣many notable expressions of this nature, in page 479. is said, We see, that in ancient Churches, there were not only set houres for meetings, but that also,*even the Lords day, ever since the Apostles time, was consecrated to religious exercise, &c We doe celebrate and keepe the Lords day, and not the Sabbath, and that of a free observation.
15 Out of the Confession of Auspurge, page 493. in their fourth Article, speaking of Tradi∣tions about holy dayes, saith, Of which sort is, the Lords day, the Nativity, Passover, and the rest, &c. And again, thus, because it was necessary to appoint a certain day, that the people might know when to come together: It seemes that the Church for that purpose, did appoint the Lords day, &c. Look the first observation on the Confession.
16. Dr. White on the Sabbath [page 242.] speaking of the Apostles, saith, Immediately Page 56 after them, it is apparent, the Christian people made the Lords day of every weeke, an ordinary Festivall. See also page 217, and in page 218. he saith, Constantine, among many other religious constitutions, he ordained the weekly Sabbath of the Lords day, &c.
17. The translator of Dr. Predeaux on the Sabbath, in his Preface, doth affirm, that Dr. Ri∣vet one of the four Professours in Leyden, doth affirm, that the appointing of the Lords day for Gods publicke service, was neither done by God himselfe, nor by his Apostles, but by the authority of the Church.
18. Dr. Hylyn saith, The Emperour Constan∣tine was the first that made any law for the keep∣ing of the Lords day: see his History on the Sabbath, part. 2. chap. 3. sect. 1. And again, ibid. part. 2. chap. 1. sect. 3. speaking of Christ and of the Sabbath, saith, Neither did Christ, nor his Apostles, ordain another Sabbath instead of this; as if they had intended, onely to shift the day, and to transferre this honour to another time; their doctrine and their practice, are directly contrary to so new a fancy. It is true (saith he) in some tract of time, the Church; in honour, to his Resur∣rection, did set apart that day, on which he rose, to holy exercise; but this on their own authority, and without any warrant from above, that we heare of.Page 57
19. Muskulous in his Book of Common places, fol. 66. thus saith, We Christian men leaving the Jewes Sabbath, doe keepe our holy rest upon the first day, &c.
20. Know also what the originall Actors, or Authors, of changing the Lords holy Sabbath to the first day of the week, in the Remish Anno∣tations, on Apocalips chap. 1. verse 10. saith, If the Church had authority and inspiration from God, to make Sunday (being a working day) an everlasting holy day; and the Saturday, which was before a holy day, now a common working day: Why may not the same Church prescribe and ap∣point the other Feasts. Easter, Whitsuntide, Christmas and the rest, for the same warrant she had for the one, that she had for the o∣ther &c.
I need not produce larger testimony, to de∣monstrate who it was, that abolished the Lords seventh day-Sabbath, or who it was, that insti∣tuted the first day of the week in its stead; but that which is already said, doth sufficiently de∣clare, who were the originall Authors of it, and of all other superstitious holy dayes, to the disho∣nour of God, and the destruction of the world, without Gods especiall and abundant mercy. But blessed be God, we have yet time to fly unto the Lord for mercy, and to conforme our selves to Page 58 the obedience of his will, and let it be our comfort he is abundantly pardonfull, Isa. 55.6.7. James 1.21.
To be short, as it is well known, the Church changed the Sabbath to the first day of the weeke, so also it is known and acknowledged, the Church hath power to change the day to some other day. For, Dr. Prideaux in his Book of the Sabbath, page 34. affirmes, that Calvin, Bullinger, Bu∣cerius Brentius, Chimnitius, Ʋrsinus, and o∣thers of the reformed Churches, still affirmes, the Church hath power to change the Lords day to some other day. Yea, happy shall the Church be, that worshippeth God according to his Law, and giveth him his due, by placing on the seventh day, the honour which God requireth to be perfor∣med on it, which hath been taken from it this 1300. yeares: for greatly hath God been disho∣noured by mens consecrating the first day of the week, to be a holy rest instead of the Sabbath, seeing God never instituted it, nor commanded it to be: and therefore, I say, with Dr. Prideaux [on the Sabbath, page 22, sect. 7.] The instituti∣on of the Lords day, out of the Scripture, either expresly, or by necessary consequence, shew me he that can.
As I have disavowed, That the honour due to God on the seventh day-Sabbath, to be placed on the first day of the week, called Sunday, or Lords Page 59 day, (or Sabbath, as mens opinions leads them) So I doe disavow the Title of the Lords day, pro∣perly to belong to the first day of the week, and therefore I say, very improperly are the words of St. John, Revel. 1.10. applied to it, for there is no such thing there manifested in the Text, that the Apostle had any such meaning. Yea, I say, there is no more reason that that Title should be given to the first day of the week, the day of our Saviours Resurrection, than to the day of his Birth, Death, or Ascension, unlesse because it was anciently given to it; or else, because men will have something to credit that which they will have Honourable.
Ignatius, calling it by the name of the Lords Day, proves not, that that Title is due to it by a Divine institution, no more than his bringing in of Anthemes into the Church, doth prove that it was of a Divine institution, Socrat. Lib. 6 Chap. 8.
Yea, I say, there is more reason to be given, that St. John meant the seventh day of the week, rather than the first, because it was knowne by name the Lords day, Isa. 58.13. Exod. 20.11. But the first day of the week was never knowne by that name: Yet, I doe not say, that St. John spake of that day neither; but of the day of Christ, or time of his Reign in Power and Glo∣ry, or of the day, or time of Judgment, 2 Thes.Page 60 2.2. 2 Pet. 2.9. 1 Cor: 5.5. who being in the Spirit, saw it in his Vision, as if the day had been present.
What if the Roman Church hath, and doth observe the first day of the week, in remembrance of our Saviours Resurrection, as they doe the Wednesday, in remembrance that he was betray∣ed; and the Friday, in remembrance of his Pas∣sion: Ought we therefore to follow their vain Idolatrous custome and tradition in these things? Oh no, we ought not; for certainly, God doth not require these things at our hands, neither by Law, nor Gospel.
If this, which hath been said in this Subject, will not satisfie men, viz. that it is our duty to rest the seventh day, to wit, Saturday; and worship God on it, which is Gods Sabbath, Exod. 20.9, 10, 11. As also, that it is our duty to work the first day of the week, called Sun∣day; let it be proved either by Law, or Gos∣pel, that it is our duty to work Saturday, and to rest Sunday. If this, none can doe, I affirme, to the honour of God, and the advancement of his Holy Law; and for the beating off of all un∣righteous, and ungodly intrenching upon the Lords Holy Sabbaths; and for the awaking of all those out of errour, which would not wil∣lingly perish in it; and to reduce all that love Gods Law, to the due obedience of it. I af∣firme, Page 61 that it is as great a sinne, to observe the first day of the week, in stead of the seventh; as it is to worship an Image, in stead of the true God: For, to doe the one, is contrary to the Second Commandement of Gods Law; and, to doe the other, is contrary to the fourth Com∣mandement of the same Law: It being so, I de∣sire my Brethren, my Friends, yea, and all men, to consider of this, (which condemneth Idola∣try, and yet justifieth themselves in a weekly trangression of the Lords seventh day-Sabbaths) that they may cease to doe evill, and learn to doe well, Isa. 1.16, 17. For, their obtaining of grace here, and glory hereafter: For, the worke of Righteousnesse is Peace, and the effect of Righte∣ousnesse, is quietnesse, and assurance for ever, Isa. 32.17. And so I conclude with the saying of Solomon, Eccles. 12.13, 14.
Let us heare the conclusion of all, Fear God, and keep his Commandements; it is the whole duty of man.
CHAP. VI. A refutation of the opinion of those, which af∣firm, there is no Sabbath day, whereon Chri∣stians are to abstain from corporall labour. As also their saying, that holy walking e∣very day, is the keeping of the Christian Sab∣bath.
I Shall not need to be large in this particular, by reason I have already proved, that the se∣venth day, to wit, Saterday, is the Sabbath which Christians ought to keep holy to the Lord, and to abstain from servill work on it: therefore I shall be brief.
These men following the generall notion, that the seventh day-Sabbath is abrogated; and find∣ing no other day instituted in the new Testament, in its stead, for a day of publick worship, they con∣clude all dayes are alike to those that are in Christ, and no one day to be observed above another; ap∣prehending the Apostle affords them such a liberty, Rom. 14.6. From whence they infer, they are not oblieged to the observation of the seventh dayes-Sabbath, but that they have liberty to doe com∣mon work thereon. Great is their errour herein, the Lord disclose it unto them; for, doubtlesse, Page 63 the Apostles meaning was farre from theirs, for they shall never be able to prove, that ever the Apostle gave Christians liberty to walk in diso∣bedience to the morall law, the docalogue. And therefore it cannot be, that where the Apostle saith, he that observeth a day, observeth it to the Lord, and he that observeth not the day, obser∣ueth it not to the Lord: That he spake of rhe seventh day-Sabbath, there is not a word of any such thing, nor any sound of any such meaning, that the Apostle had. And therefore it must be, that he spake of observing a day, for acting com∣mon, or indifferent things; and not in keeping the Sabbath, or not keeping of it, and that for the avoiding of these absurdities.
If the seventh day-Sabbath be abrogated, and no other day of rest instituted in its stead; then there is one holy day lesse then God in the be∣ginning instituted, and one working day more; a very absurd thing, for any so to affirme. Yea, that which followeth thereon is worse: viz. That God is lesse mercifull to man and beast, since our Saviour suffered death, then he was before: In that before he suffered death, hee afforded man and beast, a day of rest, to refresh their bodies af∣ter their wearisome and toylsome labour. And since he came and suffered death, he hath not af∣forded them any at all. These things suiteth not with Gods ordering providence; therefore Page 64 to say, there is no day of rest, is an errour.
These men doe also apprehend, the seventh day-Sabbath figured out to us, faith in Christ, Hebr. 4.3. because the Apostle saith, We which have believed doe enter into rest. From whence they conclude, that when men beleeve, they have that sanctification in Christ, of which the Sab∣bath was a signe. If it be granted, or if it could be proved, that the seventh day-Sabbath, was a signe of our sanctification in Christ. It will not therefore follow, that when men beleeve, they are discharged from the duty of observing it, un∣lesse it can be proved a ceremoniall precept also; the reason is, because a sign properly, or simply differeth from a ceremony, and that shall thus ap∣peare.
Ceremoniall Sabbaths spoken of, Levit. 23 & Col. 2.16, 17. which God gave to the Isralites, to be a signe, that the Lord sanctified them, Exod. 31.13. Ezek. 20.12. being signes and ceremo∣nies, was taken away by Christ, and nailed to his Crosse: of this kinde of signes was Circumcision, Gen. 17.11. and the Passover, Exod. 12.13. But signes which were not ceremoniall, being given of God, remaineth to the end of the world, Gen. 1.14. chap. 9.13. Mat. 24.29. And in this sence, indeed, the seventh dayes-Sabbath is a signe, Exod 31.17. But not as a signe, in relati∣on to a figurative ceremony.
Page 65Again, the seventh dayes-Sabbath, which was given to be a signe, that God made Heaven and Earth in six dayes, &c. was wrought in Tables of stone. But the Sabbath, which was given to be a signe, that the Lord sanctified them, was not. Therefore, although these Sabbaths were a∣brogated, it is no argument to prove, the other was abrogated also.
Secondly, These men which will have no Sab∣bath in that sence, which the fourth Comman∣dement requireth; namely, to abstaine from ser∣vile labour on the seventh day, doe apprehend, their ceasing from sinne, and growing in grace e∣very day, is the true keeping of the Christian Sabbath, and not ceasing from labour any one day, if it cannot with conveniency be omitted.
Answ. I doe very well approve of a holy walking every day, both for mortifying of sin, and grouth in godlinesse; and doe heartily desire, there may be a daily progresse therein by us all. But I must tell them, as the truth is, their holy devotion in the way they intend, doth not dis∣charge them of any duty that God requirerh of them by his Holy Law, the Decalogue, and wil∣ling I am that they should know it to. And therefore I desire to know of them, whether Gods people, before Christ suffered death, were not to walke holy every day as well as we? If yea, as doubtlesse they did. But had they omit∣ted Page 66 the duty of the seventh dayes rest, could they have been said to have walked holy every day? Oh no, they could not. Even so it stand∣eth with men ever since our Savtours death; for, the same Law which bound the Israelites to keep a holy rest on the seventh day, bindeth Christians now, as hath been shewn, pag. 34. 35. Therefore, surely men doe deceive them∣selves, to thinke they walk holy every day, when they doe directly contrary to the Law of God on the seventh day. Yea, I say, albeit they can∣not find any of the ancient six working dayes instituted, nor commanded in the Gospel to be a day for performance of publick worship; yet they may find Gods ancient Sabbath in the Law, where he commandeth them to keep the seventh day holy unto the Lord, whereon they are not to doe servile work, Exod. 20. Deut. 5. It be∣ing so, I desire that we may imploy it in his worship and service, and not after our owne wills, either for pleasure, or profit; but that we call the Sabbath a delight, to consecrate it as glorious to the Lord, and honour him, not do∣ing our owne wayes, nor seeking our owne wills, nor speaking a vaine word. This is the Sabbath to be observed, Isa. 58.13. And this let us doe; for, whosoever keepeth the whole Law, and fail∣eth in one point, is guilty of all, Jam. 2.10, 11. Mat. 5.19. Yea, certaine it is, Whosoever turneth Page 67 away his eare from hearing the Law, his Prayer shall be abominable. Prov. 28.9.
A Conclusion to the Work.
TO resist the duty of the seventh day-Sab∣bath, which God requireth by the fourth Commandement. Be not of those which say, the Law of Gods ten Commandements is not given to the Gentiles: Nor of those which say, Jesus Christ hath abrogated the whole Law: Nor of those which confesse, the morality of the 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. and denyeth the morality of the fourth: Nor of those which say, every day is a Sabbath, and keep no Sabbath at all: Neither say thou, what a stir is heare about the observation of a seventh day; as if peace here, and glory here∣after, did consist in a corporall abstaining from la∣bour on the seventh day; and so put off a duty which highly concerneth Gods honour, and thy owne salvation. Therefore know, the duty which thou owest to God, is not onely an abstaining from corporall labour on the seventh day; But also an abstaining from all actions, contrary to the law of God: as also a holy consecrating it to his service, by worshipping him on it, in spirit and truth, as God by the Gospel requireth of thee: Page 68 Therefore be not hasty to reject the duty of the seventh day-Sabbath, which God by his holy Law requireth of thee: Neither study to raise up ob∣jections against it, least thou be found a fighter a∣gainst God; and also become like unto the Scribes and Pharises, spoken of Mat. 23.13. which shut up the Kingdome of Heaven before men, & refuse to go in themselves, nor suffer them that would enter to come in: But be of those which have respect to all Gods Commande∣ments: and of those which have walked in all the Commandements and Ordinances of God without reproof, Luke 1.6. see Mat. 5.48. Love Gods Law as the Prophet did, Psal. 119.77, 97. and delight in it as the Apostle did, Rom. 7.22. and obtaine blessednesse, [Psal. 1.1, 2. Revel. 22.14.] to justification, Rom. 3.13. through faith, chap. 3.33. Hebr. 11.6.
Finally, There are many men which thinke they know much of God in the Gospel; and that they observing what Jesus Christ requireth of them by it; they performe what duties soever God requireth of them by the Law; and indeed so they did, if they did rightly understand the duties, which Jesus Christ by the Law, requireth of them; but in that they doe not, verily, they come shott of the duty of observation of the se∣venth dayes-Sabbatb, commanded in the first Table of Gods Law: The duties of which Page 69 Table, our Saviour in Mat. 22.37. compriseth into one Commandement, and in requiring obe∣dience to God by it, he doth as strictly command obedience to the seventh day-Sabbath, the duty commanded in the fourth Commandement, as he doth require performances to the duties com∣manded either in the 1, 2, or 3. commandements of that Law; see also Mat. 5.18, 19. Chap 19.17. 1 Cor. 7.19. James 2.10. Therefore let no man think, that by his love to Jesus Christ in the Gos∣pel, he doth fulfill the Law in that way spoken of, Rom. 13.10. Gal. 5.14.
If he refuse to perform that duty to God, which Iesus Christ in the Gospel requireth of him by the Law, (in some measure:) For, doubtless our obedience to the Commandements of God, is the fruit of true love, Iohn 14.15.21. compared with Ch. 10.30. For thus saith the Apostle; This is the love of God, that we keep his Commande∣ments, 1 Ioh. 5.3. which thing Iesus Christ did, Joh. 15.10. Yea, and we are to imitate him therein, 1 Joh. 2.6. Chap. 4.17. And he that so doth, in him dwelleth the love of God perfect indeed, 1 John 2.5. But he that saith he knoweth God, and kepeth not his Commandements, is a lyar, 1 Joh. 1.10. What union and communion there is be∣tweene the Law and the Gospel, see page 20. And he that walketh in that union, dwelleth in God, and God in him; and such a one brings Page 70 forth the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5.22. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is libertie, 2 Cor. 3.17. And against such there is no Law to condemn him, Rom. 8.1. For indeed it was not made to that end, 1 Tim. 1.9. But yet they are not delivered from the obedience of it, but injoyned to it, Mat, 19.17. Rom. 13.9. Eph. 22.214.171.124.5. James 2.10, 11, 12. But indeed the Law is made for the lawlesse, and disobedient; for the ungodly, and for sinners; for unholy, and pro∣phane, &c. 1 Tim. 1.9, as namely, for Anti-no∣mians, and Anti-Sabbatharians, and all Liber∣tines, which will be above Ordinances, wh••• make their boast, they have nothing to doe with the Law, nor the Law with them. I say, (as the Scriptures teach) for such men the Law was made, and it hath dominion over them, al∣though they will not beleeve it, yet surely they will know it, if they repent not of setting them∣selves against it, and refuse to conforme to the obedience of it, as Jesus Christ in the Gospell re∣quireth of them, Mat. 22.37. for their avoid∣ing of wrath, and obtaining of mercy through faith.
I am sorry for their delusions, and shall not cease to pray for their conversion; That their sinnes may be blotted out, when the time of re∣freshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. That they may be made partakers of that purcha∣sed Page 71 felicity, by the merit of Jesus Christ, through faith; which hath life without death; peace with∣out trouble, and joy without sorrow: which un∣speakable blessednesse, I desire may be confirmed on all those which love Jesus Christ in sincerity, Amen.
This also know, I am no Jew, nor inclined to any Jewish opinions; I seek not righteousnesse by the Law, but by faith in the Son of God, accord∣ing to the Gospel.* Yet, I know, I cannot ob∣taine righteousness by the Gospel, if I walke contrary to the express duties which God by his Law requireth of me; the reason is, because there is no way to blessed∣ness, contrary to the way of righteousness, Rom. 9.31.32, Mat. 19.17. which is the Law of Gods Ten Commandements. But if thou knowest a way to ob∣taine salvation without it, or contrary to it, declare it: But, if this thou canst not doe, then conforme to all duties commanded by it, and neglect it not, and have not any dis-respect to any truth in this Subject declared by me, because of any personall Page 72 failing which thou maist perceive in me: But this know, it is in me the manifestation of the words of truth, made known by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 1.17. That God hath chosen the foolish things of this world, to confound the wise. &c. and the things that are not, to bring to naught the things that are; for the foolishnesse of God is wiser than men, and the weaknesse of God is stronger than men, vers. 25. That no flesh may glory in his pre∣sence, vers. 29.
The Authors cited in this TREATISE.
- Iustin Martyr.
- Socrates Scholast.
- Mr. Perkins.
- The Confession of the Church of Helvetia.
- The Confession of Auspurgh.
- Mr. Frith.
- Dr. Whitgift.
- Mr. Gracehop.
- Mr. Ainsworth.
- Dod & Clever.
- Dr. Bayly.
- Dr. Prideaux,
- Mr. Revert.
- Mr.← Brabourne.
- Dr. Willet.
- Dr. White
- Dr. Hyling.
- Mr. Bisco,
- The Rhemist Anno∣tation.
A Table to find the principall points contained in this Treatise. Viz.
IN pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. is manifested, that 〈◊〉 Decalogue is morall, and bindeth Gentiles, 〈◊〉 well as Jewes, to the duties therein expressed.
In pages 8, 9, 10. are 12 absurdities, which 〈◊〉 follow on the Assertion, that the fourth command¦ment, or part thereof, is abrogated.
From the 12 page to the 35. is manifes•¦ed, that the observation of the 7th day-Sabbat• is morall, and we are injoyned to the duty of it.
In pages 36, 37, 38, 39. is manifested, that 〈◊〉 Church changed the 7th day-Sabbath to the fir•• day of the week, and why they did it.
In pages 40, 41, 42, is manifested the time whe•• the Church changed it, or neere about.
From page 43. to 52. is manifested, that our S••¦viour Christ did not abrogate the 7th day-Sa•¦bath: As also, that the first day of the week is 〈◊〉 of a divine institution.
Pages 59, 60, 61. manifesteth, that the Ti••• of the Lords day appertaineth not to the first d•• of the week.
Pages 63, 64. manifesteth, that every day is 〈◊〉 a Sabbath.