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    Dia< dusfhmi>av kai< eujfhmi>av.— 2 Corinthians 6:8.

    Search the Scriptures, — John 5:39.

    TO THE READER. CHRISTIAN READER, THERE are two great concerns of that religion whose name thou bearest, — the profession of its truth, and the practice or exercise of its power. And these are mutually assistant unto each other. Without the profession of faith in its truth, no man can express its power in obedience; and without obedience profession is little worth. Whatever, therefore, doth contribute help and assistance unto us in either of these, according to the mind of God, is to be highly prized and valued. Especially it is so in such a season as this, wherein the former of them is greatly questioned, and the latter greatly neglected, if not despised. But if there be any thing which doth equally confirm and strengthen them both, it is certainly of great necessity in and unto religion, and will be so esteemed by them who place their principal concerns in these things. Now, such is the solemn observation of a sacred weekly day of rest unto God; for amongst all the outward means of conveying to the present generation that religion which was at first taught and delivered unto men by Jesus Christ and his apostles, there hath been none more effectual than the catholic, uninterrupted observation of such a day for the celebration of the religious worship appointed in the gospel. And many material parts of it were unquestionably preserved by the successively-continued agreement of Christians in this practice. So far, then, the profession of our Christian religion in the world at this day doth depend upon it. How much it tends to the exercise and expression of the power of religion cannot but be evident unto all, unless they be such as hate it, — who are not a few. With others it will quickly appear unto a sober and unprejudicated consideration; for no small part hereof doth consist in the constant payment of that homage of spiritual worship which we owe unto God in Jesus Christ. And the duties designed thereunto are the means which he hath appointed for the communication of grace and spiritual strength unto the due performance of the remainder of our obedience. In these things consist the services of this day; and the end of its observation is their duo performance, unto the glory of God and the advantage of our own souls. Whereas, therefore, Christian religion may be considered two ways ; — first, as it is publicly and solemnly professed in the world, whereon the glory of God and the honor of Jesus Christ do greatly depend; and, secondly, as it prevails and rules in the minds and lives of private men, — neither of them can be maintained without a due observance of a stated day of sacred rest. Take this away, neglect and confusion will quickly cast out all regard unto solemn worship. Neither did it ever thrive or flourish in the world from the foundation of it, nor will do so unto its end, without a due religious attendance unto such a day. Any man may easily foresee the disorder and profaneness which would ensue upon the taking away of that whereby our solemn assemblies are guided and preserved. Wherefore, by God’s own appointment, it had its beginning and will have its end with his public worship in this world. And take this off from the basis whereon God hath fixed it, and all human substitutions of any thing in the like kind to the same purposes will quickly discover their own vanity. Nor without the advantage which it affords, as it is the sacred repository of all sanctifying ordinances, will religion long prevail in the minds and lives of private men; for it would be just with God to leave them to their own weaknesses and decays, — which are sufficient to ruin them, — who despise the assistance which he hath provided for them, and which he tenders unto them. Thus, also, we have known it to have fallen out with many in our days, whose apostasies from God have hence taken their rise and occasion. This being the ease of a weekly sacred day of rest unto the Lord, it must needs be our duty to inquire and discern aright, both what warrant we have for the religious observance of such a day, as also what day it is in the hebdomadal revolution that ought so to be observed. About these things there is an inquiry made in the ensuing discourses, and some determinations on that inquiry. My design in them was to discover the fundamental principles of this duty, and what ground conscience had to stand upon in its attendance thereunto; for what is from God in these things is assuredly accepted with him. The discovery hereof I have endeavored to make, and therewithal a safe rule for Christians to walk by in this matter, so that for want thereof they may not lose the things which they have wrought. What I have attained unto of light and truth herein is submitted to the judgment of men learned and judicious. The censures of persons heady, ignorant, and proud, who speak evil of those things which they know not, and in what they naturally know corrupt themselves, I neither fear nor value. If any discourses seem somewhat dark or obscure unto ordinary readers, I desire they would consider that the foundations of the things discoursed of lie deep, and that no expression will render them more familiar and obvious unto all understandings than their nature will allow. Nor must we in any ease quit the strengths of truth because the minds of some cannot easily possess themselves of them. However, I hope nothing will occur but what an attentive reader, though otherwise but of an ordinary capacity, may receive and digest. And they to whom the argument seems hard may find those directions which will make the practice of the duty insisted on easy and beneficial. The especial occasion of my present handling this subject is declared afterwards. I shall only add, that here is no design of contending with any, of opposing or contradicting any, of censuring or reflecting on those whose thoughts and judgments in these things differ from ours, begun or carried on. Even those by whom a holy day of rest under the gospel and its services are laughed to scorn are by me left unto God and themselves. My whole endeavor is to find out what is agreeable unto truth about the observance of such a day unto the Lord; what is the mind and will of God concerning it; on what foundation we may attend unto the services of it, as that God may be glorified in us and by us, and the interest of religion, in purity, holiness, and righteousness, be promoted amongst men. J.O.

    January 11, 1671.


    DIFFERENCES CONCERNING A DAY OF SACRED REST — PRINCIPLES DIRECTING TO THE OBSERVANCE OF IT — THE NAME OF THE DAY CONSIDERED. ‘]Ara ajpokeipetai sabbatusmov tw~| law~| tou~ Qeou~ . — <580409>Hebrews 4:9. 1. Trouble and confusion from men’s inventions; 2. Instanced in doctrines and practices of a sabbatical rest. 3. Reason of their present consideration. 4. Extent of the controversies about such a rest. 5. A particular enumeration of them. 6. Special instances of particular differences, upon an agreement in more general principles. 7. Evil consequences of these controversies in Christian practice. 8. Principles and rules proposed, for the right investigation of the truth in this matter. 9. Names of a sacred day of rest, y[iybiV]hæ µwOy, JH ebdo>mh, Jiera< ebdo>mh, Genesis 2:3, Hebrews 4:4. 10. ˆwOtB;væ tB;v]mi tB;v]mi tB;væ tB;Væhæ µwOy, Genesis 2:2; Exodus 16:23, 35:2; Lamentations 1:7 — Saturn called ytbç and yatbç by the Jews, and why — The word doubled — ˆwOtB;væ tBævæ — Reason of it. 11. Translation of this word into the Greek and Latin languages — Mi>a sabba>twn. 12. All Judaical feasts called sabbata by the heathen — Suetonius, Horace, Juvenal, cited to this purpose. 13. JHme>ra hJli>ou, Sunday — Used by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Eusebius — Blamed by Austin, Jerome, and Philastrius. 14. Use of the names of the days of the week derived from the heathen of old — Custom of the Roman church. 15. First day of the week — Lord’s day — Lord’s-day Sabbath. 1. SOLOMON tells us that in his disquisition after the nature and state of things in the world, this alone he had found out, that is, absolutely and unto his satisfaction, namely, that “God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions,” Ecclesiastes 7:29. And the truth hereof we also find by woful experience, not only in sundry particular instances, but in the whole course of men in this world, and in all their concerns with respect unto God and themselves. There is not any thing wherein and whereabout they have not found out many inventions, to the disturbance and perverting of that state of peace and quietness wherein all things were made of God. Yea, with the fruits and effects of this perverse apostasy, and relinquishment of that universally harmonious state of things wherein we were created, not only is the whole world as it lies in evil filled, and as it were overwhelmed, but we have the relics of it to conflict withal, in that reparation of our condition which in this life, by grace, we are made partakers of. In all our ways, actions, and duties, some of these inventions are ready to immix themselves, unto our own disturbance, and the perverting of the right ways of God. 2. An evident instance we have hereof in the business of a day of sacred rest, and the worship of God therein required. God originally, out of his infinite goodness, when suitably thereunto, by his own eternal wisdom and power, he had made all things good, gave unto men a day of rest , as to express unto them his own rest, satisfaction, and complacency in the works of his hands, so to be a day of rest and composure to themselves, and a means of their entrance into and enjoyment of that rest with himself, here and for ever, which he had ordained for them. Hence it became unto them a principle and pledge, a cause and means, of quietness and rest, and that in and with God himself. So might it be still unto the sons of men, but that they are in all things continually finding out new inventions, or immixing themselves in various questions and accounts; for so saith the wise man, µyBiræ twOnboV]ji Wvq]bi hM;je , — “Themselves have sought out many computations.”

    And hence it is that whereas there are two general concernments of such a day, — the doctrine and the practice of it, or the duties to be performed unto God thereon, — they are both of them solicited by such various questions, through the many inventions which men have found out, as have rendered this day of rest a matter of endless strife, disquietment, and contention. And whereas all doctrines of truth do tend unto practice, as their immediate use and end, the whole Scripture being ajlh>qeia h[ kat j eujse>zeian , Tit. 1:1, “the truth which is after godliness,” the contentions which have been raised about the doctrine of the holy day of rest have greatly influenced the minds of men, and weakened them in that practice of godliness which all men confess to be necessary in the observation of such a day of rest unto the Lord, if such a day of rest there be, on what foundation soever it is to be observed. For Christians in general, under one notion or other, do agree that a day of rest should be observed, in and for the celebration of the worship of God. But whereas many controversies have been raised about the grounds of this observance, and the nature of the obligation thereunto, advantage hath been taken thereby to introduce a great neglect of the duties themselves for whose sakes the day is to be observed, whilst one questions the reasons and grounds of another for its observation, and finds his own by others despised. And this hath been no small nor ineffectual means of promoting that general profaneness and apostasy from strict and holy walking before God which at this day are everywhere so justly complained of. 3. It is far from my thoughts and hopes that I should be able to contribute much unto the composing of these differences and controversies, as agitated amongst men of all sorts. The known pertinacy of inveterate opinions, the many prejudices that the minds of most in this matter are already possessed withal, and the particular engagements that not a few are under to defend the pretensions and persuasions which they have published and contended for, will not allow any great expectation of a change in the minds of many from what I have to offer. Besides, there are almost innumerable critical discourses on this subject in the hands of many, to whom perhaps the report of our endeavors will not arrive. But yet these and the like considerations, of the darkness, prejudices, and interests of many, ought not to discourage any man from the discharge of that duty which he owes to the truths of God, nor cause him to cry with the sluggard, “There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”

    Should they do so, no truth should evermore be taught or contended for; for the declaration of them all is attended with the same difficulties, and liable to the same kind of opposition. Wherefore, an inquiry into this matter being unavoidably cast upon me, from the work wherein I am engaged, in the exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, I could not on any such accounts waive the pursuit of it; for this discourse, though upon the desires of many now published by itself, is but a part of our remaining Exercitations on that Epistle. Nor am I without all hopes but that what shall be declared and proved on this subject may be blessed to an usefulness unto them who would willingly learn, or be established in the truth. An attempt also will be made herein for the conviction of others, who have been seduced into paths inconsistent with the communion of saints, the peace of the churches of Christ, or opinions hurtful to the practice of godliness; and left unto the blessing of Him who, when he hath supplied seed to the sower, doth himself also give the increase. And these considerations have prevailed with me to cast my mite into this sanctuary, and to endeavor the right stating and confirmation of that doctrine whereon so important a part of our duty towards God doth depend, as is generally confessed, and will be found by experience, that there doth on this concerning a day of sacred rest. 4. The controversies about the Sabbath (as we call it at present for distinction’s sake, and to determine a subject of our discourse), which have been publicly agitated, are universal; as unto all its concerns. Neither name nor thing is by all agreed on. For whereas most Christians acknowledge (we may say all, for those by whom it is denied are of no weight, nor scarce of any number) that a day on one account or other, in a hebdomadal revolution of time, is to be set apart for the public worship of God, yet how that day is to be called is not agreed amongst them. Neither is it granted that it hath any name affixed unto it, by any such means that should cause it justly to be preferred unto any other, that men should arbitrarily consent to call it by. The names which have been, and amongst some .are still, in use for its denotation and distinction, are, the seventh day, the Sabbath, the Lord’s day , the first day of the week, Sunday. So was the day now commonly observed called o£ old by the Grecians and Romans, before the introduction of religion into its observation; and this name some still retain, as a thing indifferent; others suppose it were better left unto utter disuse. 5. Those about the thing itself are various, and respect all the concerns of the day inquired after. Nothing that relates unto it, no part of its respect to the worship of God, is admitted by all uncontended about. For it is debated amongst all sorts of persons, — (1.) Whether any part of time be naturally and morally to be separated and set apart to the solemn worship of God; or, which is the same, whether it be natural and moral duty to separate any part of time, in any revolution of it, unto divine service, — I mean, so as it should be stated and fixed in a periodical revolution. Otherwise, to say that God is solemnly to be worshipped, and yet that no time is required thereunto, is an open contradiction. (2.) Whether such a time supposed be absolutely and originally moral, or made so by positive command, suited unto general principles and intimations of nature. And under this consideration also a part of time is called moral metonymically from the duty of its observance. (3.) Whether, on supposition of some part of time so designed, the space or quantity of it have its determination or limitation morally, or merely by law positive or arbitrary; for the observation of some part of time may be moral, and the “quota pars” arbitrary. (4.) Whether every law positive of the old testament was absolutely ceremonial, or whether there may not be a law moral-positive , as given to and obligatory on all mankind, though not absolutely written in the heart of man by nature; that is, whether there be no morality in any law but what is a part of the law of creation. (5.) Whether the institution of the seventh-day Sabbath was from the beginning of the world, and before the fall of man, or whether it was first appointed when the Israelites came into the wilderness. This in itself is only a matter of fact, yet such as whereon the determination of the point of right, as to the universal obligation unto the observation of such a day, doth much depend; and therefore hath the investigation and true stating of it been much labored in and after by learned men. (6.) Upon a supposition of the institution of the Sabbath from the beginning, whether the additions made and observances annexed unto it at the giving of the law on mount Sinai, with the ends whereunto it was then designed, and the uses whereunto it was employed, gave unto the seventh day a new state, distinct from what it had before , although naturally the same day was continued as before; for if they did so, that new state of the day seems only to be taken away under the new testament. If not, the day itself seems to be abolished; for that some change is made therein from what was fixed under the Judaical economy cannot modestly be denied. (7.) Whether in the fourth commandment there be a foundation of a distinction between a seventh day in general, or one day in seven , and that seventh day which was the same numerically and precisely from the foundation of the world. For whereas an obligation unto the strict observation of that day precisely is, as we shall prove, plainly taken away in the gospel, if the distinction intimated be not allowed there can be nothing remaining obligatory unto us in that command, whilst it is supposed that that day is at all required therein. (8.) Hence it is especially inquired, whether a seventh day, or one day in seven, or in the hebdomadal cycle, be to be observed holy unto the Lord, on the account of the fourth commandment. (9.) Whether, under the new testament, all religious observation of days be so taken away as that there is no divine obligation remaining for the observance of any one day at all, but that as all days are alike in themselves, so are they equally free to be disposed of and used by us, as occasion shall require; for if the observation of one day in seven be not founded in the law of nature, expressed in the original positive command concerning it, and if it be not seated morally in the fourth commandment, it is certain that the necessary observance of it is now taken away. (10.) On the other extreme, whether the seventh day from the creation of the world, or the last day of the week, be to be observed precisely under the new testament, by virtue of the fourth commandment, and no other.

    The assertion hereof supposeth that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, hath neither changed nor reformed any thing in or about the religious observation of a holy day of rest unto the Lord; whence it follows that such an observation can be no part or act of evangelical worship properly so called, but only a moral duty of the law. (11.) Whether on the supposition of a non-obligation in the law unto the observance of the seventh day precisely, and of a new day to be observed weekly under the new testament, as the Sabbath of the Lord, on what ground it is so to be observed. (12.) Whether of the fourth commandment as unto one day in seven, or only as unto some part or portion of time, or whether without any respect unto that command, as purely ceremonial: for granting, as most do, the necessity of the observation of such a day, yet some say that it hath no respect at all to the fourth decalogical precept, which was totally and absolutely abolished with the residue of Mosaical institutions; others, that there is yet remaining in it an obligation unto the sacred separation of some portion of our time unto the solemn service of God, but undetermined; and some, that it yet precisely requires the sanctification of one day in seven. (13.) If a day be so to be observed, it is inquired on what ground , or by what authority, there is an alteration made from the day observed under the old testament unto that nosy in use, — that is, from the last to the first day of the week; whether was this translation of the solemn worship of God made by Christ and his apostles, or by the primitive church; for the same day might have been still continued, though the duty of its observation might have been fixed on a new reason and foundation. For although our Lord Jesus Christ totally abolished the old solemn worship required by the “law of commandments contained in ordinances,” and by his own authority introduced a new law of worship, according unto institutions of his own, yet might obedience unto it in a solemn manner have been fixed unto the former day (14.) If this was done by the authority of Christ and his apostles, or be supposed so to be, then it is inquired whether it was done by the express institution of a new day, or by a directive example sufficient to design a particular day, no institution of a new day being needful: for if we shall suppose that there is no obligation unto the observance of one day in seven indispensably abiding on us from the morality of the fourth commandment, we must have an express institution of a new day, or the authority of it is not divine; but on the supposition that that is so, no such institution is necessary, or can be properly made, as to the whole nature of it. (15.) If this alteration of the day were introduced by the primitive church, then whether the continuance of the observation of one day in seven be necessary or no; for what was appointed thereby seems to be no further obligatory unto the churches of succeeding ages than their concernment lies in the occasions and reasons of their determinations. (16.) If the continuance of one day in seven for the solemn worship of God be esteemed necessary in the present state of the church, then, whether the continuance of that now in general use, namely, the first day in the week, be necessary or no, or whether it may not be lawfully changed to some other day. And sundry other the like inquiries are made about the original, institution, nature, use, and continuance, of a day of sacred rest unto the Lord. 6. Moreover, amongst those who do grant that it is necessary, and that indispensably so, as to the present church-state, which is under an obligation, from whencesoever it arise, neither to alter nor omit the observation of a day weekly for the public worship of God, wherein a cessation from labor and a joint attendance unto the most solemn duties of religion are required of us, it is not agreed whether the day itself, or the separation of it to its proper use and end, be any part in itself of divine worship, or be so merely relatively, with respect unto the duties to be performed therein. And as to those duties themselves, they are not only variously represented, but great contention hath been about them and the manner of their performance, as likewise concerning the causes and occasions which may dispense with our attendance unto them. Indeed, herein lies secretly the mh~lon e]ridov and principal cause of all the strife that hath been and is in the world about this matter. Men may teach the doctrine of a sabbatical rest on what principles they please, de-dace it from what original they think good, if they plead not for an exactness of duty in its observance, if they bind not a religious, careful attendance on the worship of God, in public and private, on the consciences of other men, if they require not a watchfulness against all diversions and avocations from the duties of the day, they may do it without much fear of opposition; for all the concern-meats of doctrines and opinions which tend unto practice are regulated thereby, and embraced or rejected as the practice pleaseth or displeaseth that they lead unto.

    Lastly, On a precise supposition that the observation of such a day is necessary upon divine precept or institution, yet there is a controversy remaining about fixing its proper bounds as to its beginning and ending.

    For some would have this day of rest measured by the first constitution and limitation of time unto a day from the creation, namely, from the evening of the day preceding unto its own, as the evening and morning were said to be dj;a, µwOy , “one day,” Genesis 1:5. Others admit only of that proportion of time which is ordinarily assigned to our labor on the six days of the week; that is, from its own morning to its own evening, with the interposition of such diversions as our labor on other days doth admit and require. 7. And thus is it come to pass, that although God made man upright, and gave him the Sabbath, or day of rest, as a token of that condition, and pledge of a future eternal rest with himself, yet, through his finding out many inventions, that very day is become amongst us an occasion and means of much disquietment and many contentions. And that which is the worst consequent in things of this nature, that belong unto religion and the worship of God, these differences, and the way of their agitation, whilst the several parties litigant have sought to weaken and invalidate their adversaries’ principles, have apparently influenced the minds of all sorts of men unto a neglect in the practice of those duties which they severally acknowledged to be incumbent on them, upon those principles and reasons for the observation of such a day which themselves allow. For whilst some have hotly disputed that there is now no especial day of rest to be observed unto the Lord, by virtue of any divine precept or institution, and others have granted that if it be to be observed only by virtue of ecclesiastical constitution, men may have various pretences for dispensations from the duties of it, the whole due observation of it is much lost among Christians.

    Neither is it a small evil amongst us, that the disputes of some against the divine warranty of one day in seven to be separated unto sacred uses, and the pretense of others to an equal regard unto all days from their Christian liberty, together with an open, visible neglect in the most of any conscientious care in the observance of it, have cast not a few unwary and unadvised persons to take up with the Judaical Sabbath, both as to its institution and manner of its observation. Now, whereas the solemn worship of God is the spring, rule, and measure of all our obedience unto him, it may justly be thought that the neglect thereof, so brought about as hath been declared, hath been a great, if not a principal, occasion of that sad degeneracy from the power, purity, and glory of Christian religion, which all men may see, and many do complain of at this day in the world.

    The truth is, most of the different apprehensions recounted have been entertained and contended for by persons learned and godly, all equally pretending to a love unto truth, and care for the preservation and promotion of holiness and godliness amongst men. And it were to be wished that this were the only instance whereby we might evince that the best of men in this world do “know but in part, and prophesy but in part.” But they are too many to be recounted, although most men act in themselves and towards others as if they were themselves liable to no mistakes, and that it is an inexpiable crime in others to be in any thing mistaken. But as this should make us jealous over ourselves and our own apprehensions in this matter, so ought the consideration of it to affect us with tenderness and forbearance towards those who dissent from us, and whom we therefore judge to err and be mistaken.

    But that which principally we are to learn from this consideration is, with what care and diligence we ought to inquire into the certain rule of truth in this matter. For whatever we do determine, we shall be sure to find men learned and godly otherwise minded. And yet in our determinations are the consciences of the disciples of Christ greatly concerned, which ought not by us to be causelessly burdened, nor yet countenanced in the neglect of any duty that God doth require. Slight and perfunctory disquisitions will be of little use in this matter; nor are men to think that their opinions are firm and established when they have obtained a seeming countenance unto them from two or three doubtful texts of Scripture. The principles and foundations of truth in this matter lie deep, and require a diligent investigation. And this is the design wherein we are now engaged. Whether we shall contribute any thing to the declaration or vindication of the truth depends wholly on the assistance which God is pleased to give or withhold. Our part it is to use what diligence we are able; neither ought we to avoid any thing more than the assuming or ascribing of any thing unto ourselves. It is enough for us if in any thing, or by any means, God will use us, not as “lords over the faith of men, but as helpers of their joy.”

    Now, for the particular controversies before mentioned, I shall not insist upon them all, for that were endless, but shall reduce them unto those general heads under which they may be comprehended, and by the right stating whereof they will be determined. Nor shall I enter into any especial contest, unless it be occasionally only, with any particular persons who of old or of late have critically handled this subject. Some of them have, I confess, given great provocations thereunto, especially of the Belgic divines, whose late writings are full of reflections on the learned writers of this nation. Our only design is protima~|n th~n ajlh>qeian . And herein I shall lay down the general regulating principles of the doctrine of the Scriptures in this matter, confirming them with such arguments as occur to my mind, and vindicating them from such exceptions as they either seem liable unto or have met withal; all with respect unto the declaration given of the doctrine and practice of the Sabbath in the different ages of the church by our apostle, chap. iv, of the Epistle to the Hebrews. 8. The principles that I shall proceed upon, or the rules that I shall proceed by, are,— (1.) Express testimonies of Scripture, which are not wanting in this cause.

    Where this light doth not go before us, our best course is to sit still; and where the word of God doth not speak in the things of God, it is our wisdom to be silent. Nothing, I confess, is more nauseous to me than magisterial dictates in sacred things, without an evident deduction and confirmation of assertions from Scripture testimonies. Some men write as if they were inspired, or dreamed that they had obtained to themselves Pythagorean reverence. Their writings are full of strong, authoritative assertions, arguing the good opinion they have of themselves, which I wish did not include an equal contempt of others. But any thing may be easily affirmed, and as easily rejected. (2.) The analogy of faith in the interpretation, exposition, and application, of such testimonies as are pleadable in this cause. “Hic labor, hoc opus.”

    Herein the writer’s diligence and the reader’s judgment are principally to be exercised. I have of late been much surprised with the plea of some for the use of reason in religion and sacred things; not at all that such a plea is insisted on, but that it is by them built expressly on a supposition that it is by others, whom they reflect upon, denied; whereas some probably intended in those reflections have pleaded for it against the Papists (to speak within the bounds of sobriety) with as much reason and no less effectually than any amongst themselves. I cannot but suppose their mistake to arise from what they have heard, but not well considered, that some do teach about the darkness of the mind of man by nature with respect unto spiritual things, with his disability, by the utmost use of his rational faculties, as corrupted or unrenewed, spiritually and savingly to apprehend the things of God, without the especial assistance of the Holy Ghost. Now, as no truth is more plainly or evidently confirmed in the Scripture than this, so to suppose that those by whom it is believed and asserted do therefore deny the use of reason in religion, is a most fond imagination. No doubt but whatever we do or have to do towards God, or in the things of God, we do it all as rational creatures; that is, in and by the use of our reason. And not to make use of it in its utmost improvement, in all that we have to do in religion or the worship of God, is to reject it, as to the principal end for which it is bestowed upon us. In particular, in the pursuit of the rule now laid down is the utmost exercise of our reason required of us. To understand aright the sense and importance of the words in Scripture testimonies, the nature of the propositions and assertions contained in them, the lawful deduction of inferences from them, to judge and determine aright of what is proposed or deduced by just consequence from direct propositions, to compare what in one place seems to be affirmed with what in others seems to be asserted to the same purpose or denied, with other instances innumerable of the exercise of our minds about the interpretation of Scripture, are all of them acts of our reason, and as such are managed by us. But I must not here further divert unto the consideration of these things. Only I fear that some men write books about them because, they read none. This I know, that they miserably mistake what is in controversy, and set up to themselves men of straw as their adversaries, and then cast stones at them. (3.) The dictates of general and uncorrupted reason, suitable unto and explained by Scripture light, is another principle that we shall in our progress have a due regard unto; for whereas it is confessed that the separation of some portion of time to the worship of God is a part of the law of our creation, the light of nature doth and must still, on that supposition, continue to give testimony unto our duty therein. And although this light is exceedingly weakened and impaired by sin in the things of the greatest importance, and as to many things truly belonging unto it in our original constitution so overwhelmed with prejudices and contrary usages that of itself it owns them not at oil, yet let it be excited, quickened, rectified, by Scripture light, it will return to perform its office of testifying unto that duty, a sense whereof and a direction whereunto were concreated with it. We shall therefore inquire what intimations the light of nature hath continued to give concerning a day of sacred rest to be observed unto God; and what uncontrollable testimonies we have of those intimations, in the knowledge, confessions, and expressions of them, in and by those who had no other way to come to an acquaintance with them. And where there is a common or prevailing suffrage given amongst mankind unto any truth, and that, to free us from entanglements about it, declared to be such in the Scripture, it must be acknowledged to proceed from that light of nature which is common unto all, though the actings of it be stifled in many. (4.) The custom and practice of the church of God in all ages is to be inquired into. I intend not merely the church of Christ under the gospel, but the whole church from the beginning of the world, in the various dispensations of the will and grace of God unto it, before the giving of the law, under the yoke of it, and since the promulgation of the gospel. And great weight may’ certainly be laid upon its harmonious consent in any practice relating to the worship of God. Nay, what may be so confirmed will thence appear not to be an institution peculiar to any especial mode of worship, that may belong unto one season and not unto another, but to have an everlasting obligation in it, on all that worship God, as such never to be altered or dispensed withal. And if every particular church be the pillar and ground of truth, whose testimony thereunto is much to be esteemed, how much more is the universal church of all ages so to be accounted! And it is a brutish apprehension, to suppose that God would permit a persuasion to befall the church in all ages, with respect unto his worship, which was not from himself, and the expression of its practice accepted with him. This, therefore, is diligently to be inquired into, as far as we may have certain light into things involved in so much darkness, as are all things of so great antiquity. (5.) A due consideration of the spirit and liberty of the gospel, with the nature of its worship, the reasons of it, and the manner of its performance, is to be had in this matter. No particular instance of worship is to be introduced or admitted contrary to the nature, genius, and reason of the whole. If, therefore, such a sabbatical rest, or such an observation of it, be urged, as is inconsistent with the principles and reasons of evangelical worship, as is built upon motives not taken from the gospel, and in the manner of its observance interferes with the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, it discovers itself not to belong unto the present state of the worshippers of God in Christ. Nor is any thing to commend itself unto us under the mere notion of strictness or preciseness, or the appearance of more than ordinary severity in religion. It is only walking according unto rule that will please God, justify us unto others, and give us peace in ourselves. Other seeming duties that may be recommended, because they have lo>gou sofi>av ejn ejqeloqrhskei>a| , kai< tapeinofrosu>nh| kai< ajfeidi>a| sw>matov , “a pretense of wisdom in doing even more than is required of us, through humility and mortification,” are of no price with God, nor useful unto men. And commonly those who are most ready to overdo in one thing are prone also to underdo in others. And this rule we shall find plainly rejecting the rigid observation of the seventh day as a Sabbath out of the verge of gospel order and worship. (6.) The tendency of principles, doctrines, and practices, to the promotion or hinderance of piety, godliness, and universal holy obedience unto God, is to be inquired into. This is the end of all religious worship, and of all the institutions thereof. And a due observation of the regular tendency of things unto this end will give a great discovery of their nature and acceptance with God. Let things be urged under never so specious pretences, if they be found by experience not to promote gospel holiness in the hearts and lives of men, they discover themselves not to be of God.

    Much more when principles and practices conformable unto them shall be evidenced to obstruct and hinder it, to introduce profaneness, and countenance licentiousness of life, to prejudice the due reverence of God and his worship, do they manifest themselves to be of the tares sowed by the evil one. And by this rule we may try the opinion which denies all divine institution unto a day of holy rest under the new testament.

    These are the principal rules which, in this disquisition after a sabbatical rest, we shall attend unto. And they are such as will not fail to direct us aright in our course, if through negligence or prejudice we miss not of a due regard unto them. These the reader is desired to have respect unto in his perusal of the ensuing discourses; and if what is proposed or concluded be not found suitable unto them, let it be rejected: for I can assure him that no self-assuming, no contempt of others, no prejudicing adherence to any way or party, no pretense of certainty above evidence produced, have had any influence into those inquiries after the truth in this matter, which, suaddress ourselves unto. 9. In the first place, it will be necessary to premise something about the name whereby this day may be called; for that also among some hath been controverted. Under the old testament it had a double appellation; the one taken from the natural order of the day, then separated with respect unto other days; the other from its nature and use. On the first account it was called y[iybiV]hæ µwOy , “the seventh day:” Genesis 2:3, y[iybiV]hæ µwOyAtya, µyhiloa’ Ër,b;y]wæ ; — “ And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.”

    So also Exodus 20:11. Upon its first institution, and on the reintroduction of its observation, it is so called. But it is a mere description of the day from its relation to the six precedent days of the creation that is herein intended; absolutely it is not so called anywhere. Yet hence by the Hellenists it was termed hJ ebdomh , “the sacred seventh day.” So is mention made of it by Philo, Josephus, and others. And our apostle maketh use of this name as that which was commonly in use to denote the Sabbath of the Jews: Chap. 4:4, Ei]rhke garav is not added, because eJbdo>mh was used technically to denote that day. And he educes the reason of this denomination from Genesis 2:2. Being, as was said, the day that ensued immediately after the six distinct days wherein the world was created, and putting a period unto a measure of time by a numeration of days, always to return in its cycle, it was called “the seventh day.” And from that course of time completed in seven days, thence recurring to its beginning, is the name of eJbdoma>v , “hebdomas,” “a week,” which the Hebrews call only [æWbv; , “a seven.” And the same word sometimes signifieth the seventh day, or one day in seven. ]Agein thda is “septimum diem celebrare,” “to celebrate the” (or “a”) “seventh day.” And the Latins used the word in the same manner for seven days, or one day in seven. But this appellation, as we shall see, the apostle casts out of consideration and use, as to the day to be observed under the new testament: for that which was first so is passed away, and another instituted in the room thereof; which although it be also eJbdoGenesis 2:3, “God blessed the seventh day, tbæv; wOb yKi ,” — “because he rested” (“shabath”) “that day.” It is called rest, the rest because on that day God rested. And in the decalogue, it is tB;Væhæ µwOy tae , “the day of the Sabbath,” or of God’s rest and ours. And absolutely tB;væ , “the Sabbath,” Isaiah 56:2; where also God, from his institution of it, calls it “my Sabbath,” verse 4.

    This being a thing so plain and evident, it were mere loss of time to insist upon the feigned etymologies of this name, afar it came to be taken notice of in the world; I shall only name them. Apion the Alexandrian would have it derived from the Egyptian word “sabbo,” as Josephus informs us, cont.

    Ap. lib. ii.; and what the signification of that word is the reader may see in the same place. Plutarch derives it from “sabboi” a word that was used to be howled in the furious services of Bacchus; for his priests and devotees used in their bacchanals to cry out, “Evoi, Sabboi,” Sympos. lib. vii. cap. xiv; which things are ridiculous. Lactantius, with sundry others of the ancients, fell into no less, though a 1ess offensive mistake. “Hic,” saith he, “est dies Sabbati, qui lingua Hebræorum à numero nomen accepit; unde septenarius numerus legitimus et plenus est,” Insitut. lib. vii. cap. xiv.

    Procopius Gazæus on the Pentateuch hath a singular conceit. Speaking of the tenth of the month Tizri, termed sabbaton sabbat, he calls it, Sullh>yin tou~ prodro>mou , dio< kai< sa>bbata sabba>twn eJorth< , kaq j h[n e]mellen oJ th~v ajfe>Sewv kai< th~v metanoi>av kairoyewv tou~ prodro>mou ; o[qen ejstian tou~ Sabba>tou ; o[ti sabacqa< kalei~tai hJ a]fesiv? ajfia~si de< J au+thw| , o[ti eJbdo .

    He would have it to be the day of the conception of John Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, when the remission and repentance that he preached began; and thence conjectures the etymology of the Sabbath to be from “sabachta” (that is, the Syriac atqbç ), which signifies “remission,” that day being remitted holy unto the Lord, being the seventh day, which is Sabaa, that is [bæv, ; the vanity of which conjectures is apparent to all. The reason and rise of this appellation are manifest.

    Hence this was the proper and usual name of this day under the old testament, being expressive of its occasion, nature, and end. The word hath also other forms; as ˆwOtB;væ , Exodus 16:23, 35:2, “sabbaton;” and tb;v]mi , Lamentations 1:7, “mishbat;” the signification of the word being still retained. Neither yet is this word peculiarly sacred as to what it denotes, but is used to express things common or profane, even any cessation, resting, or giving over. The first time it occurs, Genesis 2:2, it is rendered in Targum by jn , a common word signifying to rest. See Isaiah 14:4, 24:8, and many other places. It is also applied to signify a week, because every week, or seven days, had a Sabbath or day of rest necessarily included in it: Leviticus 23:15, “Ye shall count to yourselves tmoymiT] twOtB;væ [bæv, “seven complete sabbaths;” that is, weeks, each having a Sabbath in it for its close: for the reckoning was to expire on the end of the seventh Sabbath, verse 16. And this place being expounded by Onkelos, in his Targum, of a week, Nachmanides says upon it, that if it be so (which he also grants and pleads), then qwspb twnwçl ytç wyhy dja , “there will be two tongues in one verse,” or the same word used twice in the same verse with different significations, — namely, that the word tB;væ should denote both the holy day of rest and also a week of days. And he gives another instance to the same purpose in the word µyriy;[\ , Judges 10:4, “Jair the Gileadite had thirty sons,” µh,l; µyriy;[\ µyvilv]W µyriy;[\ µyvilv]Al[æ µybik]wO; where the word µyriy;[\ signifies in the former place “colts of asses,” and in the latter “cities.” And the common number of seven is expressed by it, Leviticus 25:8, “Thou shalt number unto thee µyniv; ttoB]væ [bæv, ,” “seven sabbaths of years ;” that is, as it is expounded in the next words, [bæv, µyniv; [bv, µymi[;P] , seven times seven years;” seven years being called a sabbath of years, because of the land’s resting every seventh year, in answer to the rest of the church every seventh day. See the Tar-gum on Isaiah 58:13; Esth. 2:9. Moreover, because of the rest that was common to the weekly Sabbath, with all other sacred feasts of Moses’ institution in their stated monthly or annual revolution, they were also called sabbaths, as shall be proved afterwards. And as the Greeks and Latins made use of this word, borrowed from the Hebrew, so the Jews, observing that their Sabbath day had amongst them its name from Saturn, “dies Saturni,” as amongst us it is still thence called “Saturday,” they called him, or the planet of that name, yfbç , “Shibti,” and yatbç , “Shabbetai.” And even from hence some of the Jews take advantage to please themselves with vain imaginations. So R. Isaac Caro, commending the excellency of the seventh day, says, “that Saturn is the planet of that -day, the whole being nominated from the first hour;” whereof afterwards. “He therefore,” saith he, “hath power on that day to renew the strength of our bodies, as also to influence our minds to understand the mysteries of God. He is the planet of Israel, as the astrologers acknowledge,” (doubtless!); “and in his portion is the rational soul; and in the parts of the earth, the house of the sanctuary; and among tongues, the Hebrew tongue; and among laws, the law of Israel” So far he; but whether he can make good his claim to the relation of the Jews unto Saturn, or their pretended advantage on supposition thereof, I leave to our astrologers to determine, seeing I know nothing of these things. And on the same account, of their rest falling on the day under that planetary denomination, many of the heathen thought they dedicated the day and the religion of it unto Saturn. So Tacitus, Hist., lib. v.: “Alii honorem eum Saturno haberi. Seu principia religionis tradentibus idæis quos cum Saturno pulsos et conditores gentis accepimus; seu quod e septem sideribus queis mortales reguntur, altissimo orbe et præcipua potentia stella Saturni feratur; ac pleraque cœlestium vim suam et cursum septimos per numeros conficiant.” Such fables did the most diligent of the heathen suffer themselves to be deluded withal, whereby a prejudice was kept up in their minds against the only true God and his worship. The word is also sometimes doubled, by a pure Hebraism: 1 Chronicles 9:32, tB;væ tBævæ , “Shabbath, Shabbath,” — that is, “every Sabbath ;” and is somewhat variously used in the conjunction of another form: tB;væ ˆwOtB;væ , Exodus 16:23, 35:2; and ˆwOtB;væ tBævæ , Exodus 31:15; Leviticus 25:4. We render ˆwOtB;væ , by “rest,” “the rest of the Sabbath,” and “a Sabbath of rest.” Where “sabbaton” is preposed at least, it seems to be as much as “sabbatulum,” and to denote the entrance into the Sabbath or the preparation for it, such as was more solemn, when tbç lwdgh , “a great Sabbath,” a high (lay ensued. Such was the Sabbath before the passover, for the miracle, as the Jews say, which befell their forefathers that day in Egypt. The time between the two evenings was the “sabbatulum.”

    This, then, was the name of the day of rest under the old testament; yet was not the word appropriated to the denotation of that day only, but is used sometimes naturally to express any rest or cessation, sometimes as it were artificially in numeration for a week, or any other season whose composition was by, and resolution into seven, though this was merely occasional, from the first limitation of a periodical revolution of time by a Sabbath of rest; of which before. 11. And this various use of the word was taken up among the Grecians and Latins also. As they borrowed the word from the Jews, so they did its use. The Greek sa>bbaton is merely the Hebrew ˆwOtB;væ , or perhaps formed by the addition of their usual termination from tB;væ ; whence also our apostle frames his sabbatismo>v . The Latin “sabbatum” is the same.

    And they use this word, though rarely, to express the last day of the week. So Suetonius in Tiber., “Diogenes grammaticus sabbatis disputare Rhodi solitus.” And the LXX. always so express the seventh-day Sabbath; and frequently they use it for a week also. And so in the New Testament, Nhsteu>w ditou , Luke 18:12; — “I fast twice in the sabbath;” that is, two days in the week. And hJ hJme>ra tw~n Sabba>twn Acts 13:14, “the day of the Sabbath,” is that day of the week which was set apart for a sabbatical rest. Hence mi>a sabba>twn , “one day of the sabbaths,” which frequently occurs, is the same with prw>th eJzdoma>dov , “the first day of the week,” ei=v or mi>a being often put for prw~tov , prw>th , the ordinal for the cardinal. 12. About the time of the writing of the books of the New Testament, both the Jews themselves and all the heathen that took notice of them called all their feasts and solemn assemblies their sabbaths, because they did no servile work in them They had the general nature of the weekly Sabbath, in a cessation from labor. So the first day of the feast of trumpets, which was to be on the first day of the second month, what day soever of the week it happened to be on, was called a sabbath, Leviticus 23:24. This Scaliger well observes and well proves, Emendat, Tempor. lib. iii., Canon. Isagog. lib. iii. p. 213: “Omnem festivitatem Judaicam, non solum Judæi sed et Gentiles sabbatum vocant; Judi quidem cure dicunt Tizri. nunquam incipere a feria prima, quarta, sexta, ne duo sabbata continuentur; Gentiles autem non alio nomine omnes eorum solennitates vocabant.”

    And this is evident from the frequent mention of the sabbatical fasts of the Jews, when they did not, nor was it lawful for them to fast on the weekly Sabbath. So speaks Augustus to Tiberius in Suetonius, Octav. August. cap. lxxvi.: “Ne Judæus quidem, mi Tiberi, tam diligenter sabbatis jejunium servat, quam ego hodie servavi.”

    And Juvenal, Sat. iv:158, — “Observant ubi festa mero perle sabbata reges.” And Martial, — “Et non jejuna sabbata lege premet;” speaking in contradiction, as he thought, unto them. And so Horace mentions their “tricesima sabbata;” which were no other but their new moons. And to this usual manner of speaking in those days doth our apostle accommodate his expressions, Colossians 2:16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in part of an holy day” (any part of it, or respect unto it), “or of the new moon, or of the sabbath ;” that is, any of the Judaical feasts whatever, then commonly called sabbaths. So Maimonides, Tract. De Sabb. cap. xxix., speaking of their µybwf µymy , “good days” or “feasts,” says expressly, yyd twtbç µlwkç , — “They are all sabbaths to the Lord.”

    And from this usage some think to expound that vexed expression, Sa>bbaton deutero>prwton? ejpeidh< deu>teron mesca , prw~ton de< tw~n ajzu>mwn? eij ou+n sa>bbaton ei]rhtai , mh< qauma>shv? sa>bbaton galoun , — Luke 6:1; which we render, “The second Sabbath after the first.” So Suidas, Sa>bbaton deutero>prwton? ejpeidh< deu>teron mesca , prw~ton de< tw~n ajzu>mwn? eij ou+n sa>bbaton ei]rhtai , mh< zauma>shv? sa>bbaton galoun — “ It was the second day of the passover, and the first of unleavened bread. And wonder not that it is called a sabbath, for they called every feast day a sabbath.” Theophylact gives us another day, but on the same reason. Saith he, OiJ jIoudai~oi pa~san eJorthbbaton wjno>mazon? ajna>pausiv gakiv ou+n ajph>nta hJ eJorth< ejn th~| paraskeuh~| , kai< ejka>loun thbbaton dia< thn? ei=ta to< kuri>wv Sa>bbaton wjno>mazon deutero>prwton , wJv deu>teron o[n ¸ prohghsame>nhv a]llhv kai< Sabba>tou —”The Jews call every feast a sabbath, for sabbath is as much as rest.

    Ofttimes, therefore, there fell out a feast on the day before the weekly Sabbath; and they called it a sabbath bemuse it was a feast. And therefore that which was the proper Sabbath at that time was called ‘ the second Sabbath after the first,’ being the second from that which went before.”

    Chrysostom allows of the same reason, Hom. XXXix. in Matt. Isidore of Pelusium fixeth on another day, but still for the same reason: Epist. cx.

    Lib.iii., Deutero>prwton ei]rhtai , ejpeidh< deu>teron mesca , prw~ton de< tw~n ajzu>mwn? —”It is called the deuteroproton, because it was the second day from the sacrificing of the passover, and the flint day of unleavened bread;” which he shows was called a sabbath upon the general account of all the Jewish feasts being so called: for so he saith, Eij de< sa>bbaton ei[rhtai mh< zauma>shv? sa>bbaton gaday spoken of to be the proper weekly Sabbath, as it is called without any addition, Matthew 12:11, whereon depended the questions that ensued about its observation. But we are beholden to Scaliger for the tree meaning of this expression, which so puzzled the ancients, and concerning which Gregory Nazianzen turned off Jerome with a scoff scarce becoming his gravity, when he inquired of him what might be the meaning of it. Scaliger, therefore, conjectures that it is called Sa>bbaton deutero>prwton , because it was the first Sabbath ajpo< th~v deute>rav tw~n ajzu>mwn , “from the second day of unleavened bread.” For on that day they offered the handful or sheaf of new fruits; and from that day they counted seven weeks unto Pentecost. And the Sabbaths of thee weeks were reckoned ajpo< th~v deute>rav tw~n ajzu>mwn and the first that followed was called deutero>prwton . So he, both in his Emendat.

    Tempor. lib. vi, and Isagog. Canon. p. 218. And this is subscribed unto by his mortal adversary, Dionysius Petavius, Animad. in Epiphan. n. 31, p. 64, who will not allow him ever to have spoken rightly, but in what the wit of man can find no tolerable objection against. But this calling of their feasts “sabbaths,” with the reason of it, is given us by all their principal anthem So Lib. Tseror. Hammor. on Levit. p. 102: µyarqn µyd[wmhç yplw tbçh ˆklw çdq arq arqnç tbçh ˆm µyawrq µh µyd[wmh lkç wçwrypç çdq yarqm ˆwtbç tbç wmçb warqn µlwkw µlwk µyd[wmh çar awh —”Because all solemn days are called holy convocations, they are all called so the Sabbath, which is called holy; wherefore the Sabbath is the head of all solemn feasts, and they are all of them called by the name thereof, sabbaths of rest ;” whereof he gives instances. 13. Some of the ancient Christians, dealing with the heathens, called that day which the Christians then observed in the room of the Jewish seventh day, hJme>ran hJli>on , or “diem sells,” “Sunday;” as those who treat and deal with others must express things by the names that are current amongst them, unless they intend to be barbarians unto them. So speaks Justin Martyr, Apol. ii., Thou hJme>ran , koinh~ pa>ntev thleusin poiou~meqa? — “We meet” (for the worship of God) “in common on Sunday.” Had he said” the Sabbath,” the Gentiles would have concluded it to have been the Judaical Sabbath. To have called it to them “the Lord’s day,” had been to design no determinate day; they would not have known what day he meant. And the name of “the first day of the week,” taken up signally by Christians upon the resurrection of Christ, was not in use amongst them. Wherefore he called the day he intended to determine, as was necessary for him, by the name in use amongst them to whom he spake, “Sunday.” In like manner, Tertullian, treating with the same sort of men, calls it “diem solis,” Apol. cap. xvi. And Eusebius, reporting the edicts of Constantine for the obviation of the Lord’s day, as it is termed in them, adds that is the day which we call hJme>ran hJli>ou , or “Sunday.”

    But yet among Christians themselves this name was not in common use, but by some was rejected, as were also all the rest of the names of the days used among the Pagans. So speaks Austin in Psalm xcii.: “Quarta sabbatorum, quarta feria, quæ Mercurii dies dicitur a Paganis, et a mullets Christians. Sed noluimus ut dicant, et utinam corrigantur ut non dicant.”

    And Jerome, Epist ad Algas. “Una sabbati, dies dominica intelligenda est; quia hebdomada in sabbatum, ut in primam, et secundam, et tertiam, et quartam, et quintam, et sextam sabbati dividitur; quam ethnici idolorum et planetarum nominibus appellant.” He rejects the use of the ordinary names unto the heathens. And Philastrius makes the usage of them amongst Christians almost heretical, Num. 14. All the eastern nations also, amongst whom the planetary nomination of the days of the week first began, have, since their casting off that kind of idolatry, rejected the use of those names; being therein more religious or more superstitious, than the most of Christians. So is it done by the Arabians and Persians, and those that are joined unto them in religious observances. The day of their worship, which is our Friday, the Arabians call “Giuma,” the Persians “Adina.” The rest of the days of the week they discriminate by their natural order within their hebdomadal revolution, — the first, the second, the third, etc.; only some of them in some places have some special name occasionally imposed on them. The church of Rome, from a decree, as they suppose or pretend, of Pope Sylvester, reckons all the days of the week by “Feria prima, secunda,” and so onwards; only their writers for the most part retain the name of “sabbatum,” and use “dies dominica” for the first day. And the Rhemists, on Revelation 1:10, condemn the name of Sunday as heathenish. And Polydore Virgil before them says, “Profecto pudendum est, simulque dolendum, quod non antehac data sunt istis diebus Christiana nomina; ne dii gentium tam memorabile, inter nos, monumentum haberent,” De Invent. Rer. lib. vi. cap. v.

    And indeed, among sundry of thee ancients, there do many severe expressions occur against the use of the common planetary names. And at the first relinquishment of Gentilism, it had no doubt been well if those names of Baalim had been taken away out of the mouths of men, especially considering that the retaining of them hath been of no use nor advantage. As they are now rivetted into custom and usage, claiming their station on such a prescription as in some measure takes away the corruption of their use, I judge that they are not to be contended about; for as they are vulgarly used, these names are mere notes of distinction, of no more signification than first, second, and third, the original and occasioned imposition of them being amongst the many utterly unknown. Only I must add, that the severe reflections and contemptuous reproaches which I have heard made upon and poured out against them who, it may be out of weakness, it may be out of a better judgment than our own, do abstain from the using of them, argue a want of due charity and that condescension in love which become those who judge themselves strong; for the truth is, they have a plea sufficient at least to vindicate them from the contempt of any. For there are some places of Scripture which seem so far to give countenance unto them, that if they mistake in their application, it is a mistake of no other nature but what others are liable unto in things of greater importance; for it is given as the will of God, Exodus 23:13, “In all things,” saith he, “that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”

    And it cannot be denied but that the names of the days of the week were the names of gods among the heathen. The prohibition is renewed, Joshua 23:7, “Neither make mention of the name of their gods:” which is yet. extended further, Deuteronomy 12:3, to a command “to destroy and blot out the names of the gods of the people ;” which by this means are retained. Accordingly, the children of-Reuben, building the cities formerly called Nebo and Baal-meon, changed their names, because they were the names of heathen idols, Numbers 32:38. And David mentioneth it as a part of his integrity, that he would not take up the names of idols into his lips, Psalm 16:4. And some of the ancients, as hath been observed, confirm what by some at present is concluded from these places. Saith Jerome, “Absit ab ore Christiano dicere, Jupiter omnipotens, Mehercule, et Mecastor, et cætera magis portenta quam nomina,” Epist. ad Damas. Now, be it granted that the objections against the use of the planetary names of the days of the week from these places may be answered from consideration of the change of times and the circumstances of things, .yet certainly there is an appearance of warranty in them sufficient to secure them from contempt and reproach who are prevailed on by them to another use. 15. But of a day of rest there is a peculiar reason. If there be a name given in the Scripture unto such a day, by that name it is to be called, and not otherwise. So it was unquestionably under the old testament. God himself had assigned a name unto the day of sacred rest then enjoined the church unto observation, and it was not lawful for the Jews to call it by any other name given unto it or in use among the heathen. It was and was to be called “the Sabbath day,” “the Sabbath of theLORD.” In the new testament there is, as we shall see afterwards, a signal note put on “the first day of the week.” So thence do some call their day of rest or solemn worship, and contend that so it ought to be called. But this only respects the order and relation of such a day to the other days of the week, which is natural, and hath no respect unto any thing that is sacred. It may be allowed, then, for the indigitation of such a day, and the discrimination of it from the other days of the week, but it is no proper name for a day of sacred rest. And the first use of it, upon the resurrection of our Lord, was only peculiarly to denote the time. There is a day mentioned by John, in the Revelation, (which we shall afterwards consider,) that he calleth hJme>ran kuriakh>n , “diem dominicam,” “the Lord’s day.” This appellation, what day soever is designed, is neither natural nor civil, nor doth it relate unto any thing in nature or in the common usage of men. It must therefore be sacred; and it is, or may be, very comprehensive of various respects. It is “the Lord’s day,” the day that he hath taken to be his lot or especial portion among the days of the week; as he took, as it were, possession of it in his resurrection. So his people are his lot and portion in the world, therefore called his people. It is also, or may be, his day subjectively, or the day whereon his businesses and affairs are principally transacted. So the poet, Statius, Theb. viii:664, — “Tydeos illa dies;” that was Tydeus’ day, because he was principally concerned in the affairs of it. This is the day wherein the affairs of the Lord Jesus Christ are transacted, his person and mediation being the principal subjects and objects of its work and worship. And it is, or may be, called his, “the Lord’s day,” because enjoined and appointed to be observed by him or his authority over the church. So the ordinance of the supper is called “the supper of the Lord” on the same account. On supposition, therefore, that such a day of rest there is to be observed under the new testament, the name whereby it ought to be called is “the Lord’s day ;” which is peculiarly expressive of its relation unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the sole author and immediate object of all gospel worship. But whereas the general notion of a sabbatical rest is still included in such a day, a super-addition of its relation to the Lord Christ will entitle it unto the appellation of “the Lord’s-day Sabbath ;” that is, the day of sacred rest appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ. And thus, most probably, in the continuation of the old testament phraseology, it is called “the Sabbath day,” Matthew 24:20, and in our Epistle comes under the general notion of a sabbatism, chap. 4:9.


    OF THE ORIGINAL OF THE SABBATH. 1. Of the original of the Sabbath — The importance of this disquisition. 2. Opinion of some of the Jewish masters about the original of the Sabbath, that it began in Marah. 3. The station in Marah, and the occurrences thereof — Tacitus noted — Exodus 15:25,26; Jews’ exposition of it. 4. These opinions refuted by testimonies and reasons. 5. Another opinion of the ancient Jews about the original of the Sabbath, and of the Mohammedans. 6. Opinions of Christians about the original of the Sabbath proposed. 7. That of its original from the foundation of the world asserted — The first testimony given unto it, <010201>Genesis 2:1-3, vindicated — Exceptions of Heidegger answered. 8. What intended by “sanctifying” and “blessing the seventh day.” 9. Other exceptions removed — Series and dependence of the discourse in Moses cleared — The whole testimony vindicated. 10. Hebrews 4:3,4, vindicated. 11. Observation of the Sabbath by the patriarchs before the giving of the law — Instances hereof collected by Manasseh Ben Israel — Further confirmation of it. 12. Tradition among the Gentiles concerning it — Sacredness of the septenary number. 13. Testimonies of the heathen, collected by Aristobulus, Clemens, Eusebius. 14. Importance of these testimonies examined and vindicated. 15. Ground of the hebdomadal revolution of time — Its observation catholic. 16. Planetary denominations of the days of the week, whence. 17. The contrary opinion, of the original of the Sabbath in the wilderness, proposed and examined. 18-26. Arguments against this original of the Sabbath answered, etc. 1. HAVING fixed the name, the thing itself falls nextly under consideration.

    And the order of our investigation shall be, to inquire first into its original, and then into its causes. And the true stating of the former will give great light into the latter, as also into its duration. For if it began with the world, probably it had a cause cognate to the existence of the world and the ends of it, and so must in duration be commensurate unto it. If it owed its rise to succeeding generations, amongst some peculiar sort of men, its cause was arbitrary and occasional, and its continuance uncertain; for every thing which had such a beginning in the worship of God was limited to some seasons only, and had a time determined for its expiration. This, therefore, is first to be stated. And, indeed, no concern of this day hath fallen under more diligent, severe, and learned dissertations, Very learned men have here engaged into contrary opinions, and defended them with much learning and variety of reading. “Summa sequar fastigia rerum,” and I shall briefly call the different apprehensions both of Jews and Christians in this matter unto a just examination. Neither shall I omit the consideration of any opinion whose antiquity or the authority of its defenders did ever give it reputation, though now generally exploded, as not knowing, in that revolution of opinions which we are under, how soon it may have a revival. 2. The Jews (that we may begin with them with whom some think the Sabbath began) are divided among themselves about the original of the Sabbath no less than Christians; yea, to speak the truth, their divisions and different apprehensions about this matter of fact have been the occasion of ours, and their authority is pleaded to countenance the mistakes of others.

    Many, therefore, of them assign the original or first revelation of the Sabbath unto the wilderness station of the people in Marah; others of them make it coeval with the world.

    The first opinion hath countenance given unto it in the Talmud. Gemar.

    Babyon. Tit. Sab. cap. ix., and Tit. Sanhed. cap. vii. And the tradition of it is embraced by so many of their masters and commentators that our learned Seedless, de Jur. Gen. apud Heb. lib. iii. cap. xii.-xiv., contends for it as the common and prevailing opinion amongst them, and endeavors an answer unto all instances or testimonies that are or may be urged to the contrary. And, indeed, there is scarce any thing of moment to be observed in all antiquity, as to matter of fact about the Sabbath, whether it be Jewish, Christian, or heathen, but what he hath heaped together, or rather treasured up, in the learned discourses of that third book of his, Jus Gentium aped Hebraeos. Whether the questions of right belonging thereunto have been duly determined by him is yet left unto further inquiry. That which at present we are in the consideration of, is the opinion of the Jews about the original of the Sabbath at the station of Marah, which he so largely confirms with testimonies out of all sorts of their authors, and those duly alleged, according to their own sense and conceptions. 3. Marah was the first station that the children of Israel fixed in the wilderness of Shut, five days after their coming up out of the Red sea.

    Before their coming hither, they had wandered three days in the wilderness without finding any water, until they were ready to faint. The report of this their thirst and wandering was famous amongst the heathen, and mixed by them with vain and monstrous fables. One of the wisest amongst them puts as many lies together about it as so few words can well contain. “Effigiem,” saith he, “animalis, quo monstrante errorem sitimque depulerant, penetrali sacravere,” Tacit. Hist., lib. v. cap. iv. He feigns that by following some wild asses they were led to waters, and so made an end of their thirst and wandering; on the account whereof they afterwards consecrated in their temple the image of an ass. Others of them besides him say that they wandered six days, and finding water on the seventh, that was the occasion and reason of their perpetual observation of the seventh day’s rest. In their journey from the Red sea to Marah, they were particularly pressed with wandering and thirst, Exodus 15:22; but this was only for three days, not seven: “They went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.” The story of the ass’s image or head consecrated amongst them was taken from what fell out afterwards about the golden calf. This made them vile among the nations, and exposed them to their obloquy and reproaches. Upon the third day, therefore, after their coming from the Red sea, they came to Marah; that is, the place so called afterwards from what there befell them, for the waters which there they found being µyrim; , “bitter,” they called the name of the place hr;m; , or “bitterness.” Hither they came on the third day; for although it is said that “they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water,” Exodus 15:22, after which mention is made of their coming to Marah, verse 23, yet it was in the evening of the third day, for they pitched that night in Marah, Numbers 33:8. There, after their murmuring for the bitterness of the waters, and the miraculous cure of them, it is added in the story, “There theLORD made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, and said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of theLORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am theLORD that healeth thee,” Exodus 15:25,26.

    It is said that he gave them fP;v]miW qjo , the words whereby sacred ordinances and institutions are expressed. What this “statute and ordinance” were in particular is not declared. These, therefore, are suggested by the Talmudical masters. One of them, they say, was the ordinance concerning the Sabbath. About the other they are not so well agreed. Some refer it to the fifth commandment, of honoring father and mother; others to the ceremonies of the red heifer, with whose ashes the water of sprinkling was to be mingled: for which conjectures they want not such reasons as are usual amongst them. The two first they confirm from the repetition of the law, Deuteronomy 5:12,15; for there these words, “As theLORD thy God hath commanded thee,” are distinctly added to those two precepts, the fourth and fifth, and to no other. And this could arise from no other cause but because God had before given them unto the people in Marah, where he said he had given them fP;v]miW qjo ; that is, the ordinance and law of the Sabbath, and the judgment of obedience to parents and superiors! This is one of the principal ways whereby they confirm their imaginations. And fully to establish the truth hereof, Baal Hatturim, or the small gematrical annotations on the Masoretical Bibles, adds, that in these words, Úyh,loa’ hwO;hy] ÚW]xi rv,a\Kæ , the final numeral letters make up the same number with hr;m; , the name of the place where these laws were given. And this is the sum of what is pleaded in this case. 4. But every one may easily seethe vanity of these pretences, and how easy it is for any one to frame a thousand of them who knows not how better to spend his time. Aben Ezra and Abarbanel both confess that the words used in the repetition of the law, Deuteronomy 5, do refer to the giving of it on mount Sinai. And if we must seek for especial reasons for the inserting of those words, besides the sovereign pleasure of God, they are not wanting which are far more probable than these of the masters. (1.) The one of these commandments closing up the first table, concerning the worship of God, and the other heading the second table, concerning our duties amongst ourselves and towards others, this memorial, “As the\parLORD thy God hath commanded thee,” is on that account expressly annexed unto them, being to be distinctly applied unto all the rest. (2.) The fourth commandment is, as it were, “custos primæ tabulæ,” the keeper-of the whole first table, seeing our owning of God to be our God, and our worship of him according to his mind, were solemnly to be expressed on the day of rest commanded to be observed for that purpose, and in the neglect whereof they will be sure enough neglected; whence also a remembrance to observe this day is so strictly enjoined. And the fifth commandment is apparently “custos secundæ tabulæ,” as appointed of God to contain the means of exacting the observation of all the duties of the second table, or of punishing the neglect of them and disobedience unto them. And therefore it may be the memorial is not peculiarly annexed unto them on their own distinct account, but equally upon that of the other commandments whereunto they do refer. (3.) There is yet an especial reason for the peculiar appropriation of these two precepts by that memorial unto this people; for they had now given unto them an especial typical concern in them, which did not at all belong unto the rest of mankind, who were otherwise equally concerned in the decalogue with themselves. For in the fourth commandment, whereas no more was before required but that one day in seven should be observed as a sacred rest, they were now precisely confined to the seventh day in order from the finishing of the creation, or the establishing of the law and covenant of works, or a day answering thereunto; for the determination of the day in the hebdomadal revolution was added in the law decalogical to the law of nature. And this was with respect unto and in the confirmation of that ordinance which gave them the seventh-day Sabbath in a peculiar manner, — that is, the seventh day after six days’ raining of manna, Exodus 16:And in the other, the promise annexed unto it of prolonging their days had peculiar respect unto the land of Canaan. There is neither of these but is a far more probable reason of the annexing these words, “As theLORD thy God commanded thee,” unto those two commandments, than that fixed on by the Talmudical masters. Herein only I agree with them that both those commands were given alike in Marah; and one of them I suppose none will deny to be a. principal dictate of the law of nature. For the words mentioned, fP;v]miW qjo , “a statute and an ordinance,” the meaning of them is plainly expounded, Exodus 15:26.

    God then declared this unto them as his unchangeable ordinance and institution, that he would bless them on their obedience, and punish them upon their unbelief and rebellion; wherein they had experience of his faithfulness to their cost. The reader may see this fiction further disproved in Tostatus on the place., though I confess some of his reasons are inconstringent and frivolous.

    Moreover, this station at Marah was reached on or about the twentyfourth day of Nisan, or April; and the first solemn observation of the Sabbath in the wilderness was upon the twenty-second of Iyar, the month following, as may easily be evinced from Moses’ journal. There were therefore twenty-seven days between this fictitious institution of the Sabbath and the first solemn observation of it, which was at their station in Alush, as is generally supposed, certainly in the wilderness of Sin, after they had left Marah and Elim, and the coast of the Red sea, whereunto they returned from Elim, Exodus 16:1; Numbers 33:8-14. For they first began their journey out of Egypt on the fifteenth day of Nisan, or the first month, Exodus 12:37, Numbers 33:3; and they passed through the sea into the wilderness about the nineteenth day of the month, as is evident from their journeyings, Numbers 33:5-8. On the twenty-fourth of that month they pitched in Marah; and it was the fifteenth day of Iyar, or the second month, before they entered the wilderness of Sin, where is the first mention of their solemn observation of the Sabbath, upon the occasion of the gathering of manna, Between these two seasons three Sabbaths must needs intervene, and those immediately upon its first institution, if this fancy may be admitted. And yet the rulers of the congregation looked upon the people’s preparation for its observation as an unusual thing, Exodus 16:22, which could not have fallen out had it received so fresh an institution.

    Besides, these masters themselves, and Rashi in particular, who in his comment on the place promotes this fancy, grants that Abraham observed the Sabbath. But the law and ordinance hereof, they say, he received on peculiar favor and by especial revelation. But be it so; it was the great commendation of Abraham, and that given him by God himself, that he would “command his children and his household after him” to “keep the way of theLORD,” Genesis 18:19. Whatever ordinance, therefore, he received from God of any thing to be observed in his worship, it was a part of his fidelity to communicate the knowledge of it unto his posterity, and to teach them its observance. They must, therefore, of necessity, on those men’s principles, be instructed in the doctrine and observation of the Sabbath before this pretended institution of it. Should we, then, allow that the generality of the Jewish masters and Talmudical rabbis do assert that the law of the Sabbath was first given in Marsh, yet the whole of what they assert being a mere curious, groundless conjecture, it may and ought to be rejected. Not what these men say, but what they prove, is to be admitted. And he who, with much diligence, hath collected testimonies out of them unto this purpose, hath only proved what they thought, but not what is the truth. And upon this fond imagination is built their general opinion, that the Sabbath was given only unto Israel, is the “spouse of the synagogue,’’ and that it belongs not to the rest of mankind. Such dreams they may be permitted to please themselves withal; but that these things should be pleaded by Christians against the true original and use of the Sabbath is somewhat strange. If any think their assertions in this matter to be of any weight, they ought to admit what they add thereunto, namely, that all the Gentiles shall once a week keep a Sabbath in hell. 5. Neither is this opinion amongst them universal. Some of their most famous masters are otherwise minded; for they both judge that the Sabbath was instituted in paradise, and that the law of it was equally obligatory unto all nations in the world. Of this mind are Maimonides, Aben Ezra, Abarbanel, and others; for they expressly refer the revelation of the Sabbath unto the sanctification and benediction of the first seventh day, Genesis 2:3. The Targum on the title of Psalm xcii. ascribes that psalm to Adam, as spoken by him on the Sabbath day; whence Austin esteemed this rather the general opinion of the Jews, Tractat. 20 in Johan. And Manasseh Ben Israel, lib. de Creat. Problem. 8, proves out of sundry of their own authors that the Sabbath was given unto and observed by the patriarchs, before the coming of the people into the wilderness. In particular, that it was so by Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, he confirms by testimonies out of the Scripture not to be despised. Philo Judæus and Josephus, both of them more ancient and more learned than any of the Talmudical doctors, expressly assign the original of the Sabbath unto that of the world. Philo calls it, Tou~ ko>smou gene>sion , “The day of the world’s nativity;” and JEorthlewv h[ cw>rav ajlla< tou~ panto>v , “A feast not of one city or country, but of the whole world,” De Opificio Mundi, et de Vita Mos lib. 2. To the same purpose speaks Josephus, lib. 2. cont. Apion. And the words of Abarbanel are sufficiently express in this matter: çdq tkalm hrmgnw hmlçn wtsnkhbç rwb[b y[ybçh µwy ta traptlw dwbkl lydbhw gws µwyw htçm htrymg dha hç[y hrqy hkalm wtwç[b µdah wmk Åraw µymç ;—”He sanctified and separated the seventh day unto glory and honor, because on its approach the work of heaven and earth was perfected and finished,..., even as a man when he hath performed an honorable work and perfected it maketh a banquet and a day of feasting.”

    And yet more evident is that of Maimon. Tract. Kiddush Hakkodesh cap. i.; hçç hnwm dja lkç tyçarb tbç wmk µda lkl hrwsm jryh tyar ˆya µwyh wtwa y[bqzw ˆyd tyb whwçdqyç d[ rwsm rbdh ˆyyd tybl ala y[ybçb tbwçw çdj çar hyhyç awh çdj çar ; — “The vision or sight of the moon is not delivered to all men, as was the Sabbath bereschith” (or “in the beginning”). “For every man can number six [days] and rest on the seventh: but it is committed to the house of judgment” (the sanhedrin), that is, to observe the appearances of the moon; “and when the sanhedrin declareth and pronounceth that it is the new moon, or the beginning of the month, then it is to be taken so to be.”

    He distinguisheth their sacred feasts into the weekly Sabbath and the new moons, or those that depended ajpo< th~v fa>sewv th~v selh>nhv “upon the appearing of the new moon.” The first he calls tbç tyçarb , “Sabbath bereschith,” the Sabbath instituted at the creation; for so, from the first of Genesis, they often express technically the work of the creation. This, he says, was given to every man; for there is no more required to the due observation of it, in point of time, but that a man be able to reckon six days, and so rest on the seventh. But now for the observation of the new moons, for all feasts that depended on the variations of her appearances, this was peculiar to themselves, and the determination of it left unto the sanhedrin. For they trusted not unto astrological computations merely as to the changes of the moon, but sent persons unto sundry high places to watch and observe her first appearances; which if they answered the general established rules, then they proclaimed the beginning of the feast to be. So Maimon. Kiddush Hakkodesh, cap. ii.

    And Philippus Guadagnolus, Apol. pro Christiana Relig., part. 1:cap. viii., shows that Ahmed Ben Zin, a Persian Mohammedan, whom he confutes, affirmed that the institution of the Sabbath was from the creation of the world. This, indeed, he reflects upon in his adversary with a saying out of the Koran, Azoar. 3, where those that sabbatize are cursed: which yet will not serve his purpose; for in the Koran respect is had to the Jewish Sabbath, or the seventh day of the week precisely, while one day of seven only is pleaded by Ahmed to have been appointed from the foundation of the world. I know some learned men have endeavored to elude most of the testimonies which are produced to manifest the opinion of the most ancient Jews in this matter; but I know also that their exceptions might be easily removed, would the nature of our present design admit of a contest to that purpose. 6. We come now to the consideration of those different opinions concerning the original of the Sabbath which are embraced and contended about amongst learned men, yea, and unlearned also, of the present age and church. And rejecting the conceit of the Jews about the station in Marah, which very few think to have any probability attending it, there are two opinions in this matter that are yet pleaded for. The first is, that the Sabbath had its institution, precept, or warranty for its observation, in paradise, before the fall of man, immediately upon the finishing of the works of creation. This is thought by many to be plainly and positively asserted, Genesis 2:3; and our apostle seems directly to confirm it, by placing the blessing of the seventh day as the immediate consequent of the finishing of the works of God from the foundation of the world, Hebrews 4:3,4. Others refer the institution of the Sabbath to the precept given about its observation in the wilderness of Sin, Exodus 16:22-26; for those who deny its original from the beginning, or a morality in its law, cannot assert that it was first given on Sinai, or had its spring in the decalogue, nor can give any peculiar reason why it should be inserted therein, seeing express mention is made of its observation some while before the giving of the law there. These, therefore, make it a mere typical institution, given, and that without the solemnity of the giving of other solemn institutions, to the church of the Hebrews only. And those of this judgment, some of them, contend that in these words of Moses, Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested .from all his work,” a prolepsis is to be admitted; that is, that what is there occasionally inserted in the narrative, and to be read in a parenthesis, came not to pass indeed until above two thousand years after, namely, in the wilderness of Sin, where and which God first blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. And the reason given for the supposed intersertion of the words in the story of Moses is, because when it came to pass indeed that God so blessed the seventh day, he did it on the account of what he was then relating of the works that he made, and the rest that ensued thereon. Others give such an interpretation of the words as that they should contain no appointment of a day of rest, as we shall see. Those who assert the former opinion deny that the precept, or rather directions, about the observation of the Sabbath given unto the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sin, Exodus 16, was its first original institution; but affirm that it was either a new declaration of the law and usage of it unto them, who in their long bondage had lost both its doctrine and practice, with a renewed re-enforcement of it, by an especial circumstance of the manna not falling on that day, or rather a particular application of a catholic moral command unto the economy of that church unto whose state the people were then under a preludium, in the occasional institution of sundry particular ordinances, as hath been declared in our former Exercitations. This is the plain state of the present controversy about the original of the Sabbath as to time and place, wherein what is according unto truth is now to be inquired after. 7. The opinion of the institution of the Sabbath from the beginning of the world is founded principally on a double testimony, one in the Old Testament, and the other in the New. And both of them seem to me of so uncontrollable an evidence that I have often wondered how ever any sober and learned persons undertook evade their force or efficacy in this cause.

    The first is that of Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all host of them, And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

    There is, indeed, somewhat in this text which hath given difficulty unto the Jews, and somewhat that the heathen took offense at. That which troubles the Jews is, that God is said to have finished his work on the seventh day; for they fear that somewhat might be, hence drawn to the prejudice of their absolute rest on the seventh day, whereon it seems God himself wrought in the finishing of his work. And Jerome judged that they might be justly charged with this consideration. “Arctabimus,” saith he, “Judos, qui de otio sabbati gloriantur, quod jam tunc in principio Sabbatum dissolutum sit; dun Deus operatur in Sabbato complens opera sua in eo, et benedicens ipsi diei, quia in illo universa complevit;” — “ We will urge the Jews with this, who glory of their sabbatical rest, in that the Sabbath was broken” (or “dissolved “)” from the beginning, whilst God wrought in it, finishing his work, and blessing the day, because in it he finished all things” Hence the LXX. read the words, by an open corruption, ejn th~| hJme>ra| th~ e[kth , “on the sixth day ;” wherein they are followed by the Syriac and Samaritan versions. And the rabbins grant that this was done on purpose that it might not be thought that God made any thing on the seventh day. But this scruple was every way needless; for, do but suppose that lkæy]wæ , which expresseth the time past, doth intend the preterpluperfect tense, — as the preterperfect in the Hebrew must do where occasion requires, seeing they have no other to express that which at any time is past by, — and it is plain that God had perfected his work before the beginning of the seventh-day’s rest. And so are the words well rendered by Junius, “Quum autem perfecisset Deus die septimo, opus suum quod fecerat.” Or we may say, “Compleverat die septimo.”

    That which the heathen took offense at, was the rest here ascribed unto God, as though he boa been wearied with his work. Hence was that of Rutilius in his Itinerary: — “Septima, quæque dies turpi damnata veterne, Ut delassati mollis imago Dei.” The sense of this expression we shall afterwards explain. In the meantime, it is certain that the word here used doth often signify only to cease, or give over, without respect either to weariness or rest, as Job 32:1; 1 Samuel 25:9: so that no just cause of offense was given in the application of it to God himself. However, Philo, lib. de Opific. Mund., refers this of God’s rest to his contemplation of the works of his hands, and that not unmeetly, as we shall see. But set aside prejudices and preconceived opinions, and any man would think that the institution of the Sabbath is here as plainly expressed as in the fourth commandment. The words are the continuation of a plain historical narration. Having finished the account of the creation of the world in the first chapter, and given a recapitulation of it in the first-verse of this, Moses declares what immediately ensued thereon, — namely, the rest of God on the seventh day, and his blessing and sanctifying that day whereon he so rested. That day on which he rested he blessed and sanctified, even that individual day in the first place, and a day in the revolution of the same space of time for succeeding generations. This is plain in the words, or nothing can be thought to be plainly expressed. And if there be any appearance of difficulty in these words, “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,” it is wholly taken away in the explication given of them by himself afterwards in the fourth commandment, where they are plainly declared to intend its setting apart and consecration to be a day of sacred rest. But yet exceptions are put in to this plain, open sense of the words. Thus it is lately pleaded by Heidegger, Theol. Patriarch. Exerc. iii. sect. 58, “Deus die septimo cessaverat facere opus novum, quia sex diebus omnia consummata erant. Ei dici benedixit eo ipso quod cessans ab opere suo, ostendit, quod homo in cujus creatione quievit, factus sit propter nominis sui glorificationem; quod cure mains fuerit cæteris quæ hactenus creata sunt, vocatur benedictio; eundem diem cui sic benedixit sanctificavit, quia et illo die, et reliquo toto tempore constituerat se in homine sanctificare tanquam in corona et gloria sui operis. Sanctificare enim est, eum qui sanctus est, sanctum dicere et testari. Dies igitur et tempus sanctum erat et agnoscebatur, non per se, sed per sanctitatem hominis, qui in tempore se sanctificat, et cogitationes, et studia, et actiones suas Deo, qui sanctus est, vindicat et consecrate” I understand not how God can be said to bless the seventh day because man, who was created on the sixth day, was made for the glory of his name; for all things, as well as man, were made for the glory of God. He “made all things for himself,” Proverbs 16:4; and they all “declare his glory,” Psalm 19:1. Nor is it said that God rested on the seventh day from making’ of man, but “from all his work which he had made.”

    Granting man, who was last made, to have been the most eminent part of the visible creation, and most capable of immediate giving of glory to God, yet it is plainly said that the rest of God respected “all his work which he had made,” which is twice repeated; besides that the works themselves are summed up into the making of “the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them.” And wherein doth this include the blessing of the seventh day?

    It may he better applied to the sixth, wherein man was made; for on the seventh God did no more make man than he did the sun and moon, which were made on the fourth. Nor is there here any distinction supposed between God’s resting on the seventh day and his blessing of it, which yet are plainly distinguished in the text. To say he blessed and sanctified it merely by resting on it, is evidently to confound the things that are not only distinctly proposed in the text, but so proposed as that one is laid down as the cause of the other; for because God rested on the seventh day, therefore he blessed it. Nor is the sanctification of the day any better expressed. “God,” saith he, “had appointed on that day, and always, to sanctify himself in man, as the crown and glory of his work.” I wish this learned man had more clearly expressed himself. What act of God is it that can be here intended? It must be the purpose of his will. This, therefore, is given us as the sense of this place: God sanctified the seventh day; that is, God purposed from eternity to sanctify himself always in man, whom on the sixth day he would create for his glory. These things are so forced as that they scarcely afford a tolerable sense. 8. Neither is the sense given by this author and some others of that expression, “to sanctify,’ — that is, to declare or testify any person or thing to be holy, — being spoken by God, and not of him objectively, usual, or to be justified. In reference unto God, our sanctifying him, or hisname, is indeed to testify or declare his holiness, by our giving honor and glory to him in our holy obedience. But as to men and things, to sanctify them, is either really to sanctify them, by making them internally holy, or to separate and dedicate them unto holy uses; the former peculiar to persons, the latter common to them with other things made sacred, by an authoritative separation from profane or common uses, unto a peculiar, sacred, or holy use in the worship of God. Nor are the following words in our author, that “the day is sanctified and made holy, not in itself, but by the holiness of man,” any more to the purpose; for as man was no more created on that day than the beasts of the field, — so that from his holiness no color can be taken to ascribe holiness unto the day, — so it is not consistent with what was before asserted, that the sanctification intended is the holiness of God himself as declared in his works, for now it is made the holiness of man.

    The sense of the words is plain, and is but darkened by these circumlocutions: wOtao vDeqæy]wæ y[iybiV]hæ µwOyAta, µyhiola’ Ër,b;y]wæ . The Jews do well express the general sense of the words, when they say of the day, that µlw[h yqs[m ldkn , “It was divided” (or “distinguished ) “from the common nature of things in the world,” namely, by having a new, sacred relation added unto it; for that the day itself is the subject spoken of, as the object of God’s blessing and sanctification, nothing but unallowable prejudice will deny. And this to be the sense of the expressions both the words used to declare the acts of God about it do declare. (1.) Ër,b;y]wæ , “He blessed it.” God’s blessing, as the Jews say, and they say well therein, is tbwf tpswt , — “an addition of good.” It relates to some thing that hath a real present existence, to which it makes an addition of some further good than it was before partaker of. Hereof, as we said, the day in this place was the direct and immediate object: “God blessed it.”

    Some peculiar good was added unto it. Let this be inquired into, what it was and wherein it did consist, and the meaning of the words will be evident. It must be somewhat whereby it was preferred unto or exalted above other days. When any thing of that nature is assigned, besides a relation given unto it to the worship of God, it shall be considered. That this was it, is plain from the nature of the thing itself, and from the actual separation and use of it to that purpose which did ensue. (2.) The other word, vDeqæy]wæ , “And sanctified it,” is further instructive in the intention of God, and is also exegetical of the former. Suppose still, as the text will not allow us to do otherwise, that the day is the object of this sanctification, and it is not possible to assign any other sense of the words but that God set apart, by his institution, that day to be the day of his worship, to be spent in a sacred rest unto himself. And this is declared to be the intendment of the word in the decalogue, where it is used again to the same purpose; for none ever doubted that the meaning of vDeqæy]wæ , “And he sanctified it,” therein, is any other but that by his institution and command he set it apart for a day of holy rest. And this signification of that word is not only most common, but solely to be admitted in the Old Testament, if cogent reason be not given to the contrary; as where it denotes a dedication and separation to civil uses, and not to sacred, as it sometimes doth, still retaining its general nature of separation. And therefore I will not deny but that these two words may signify the same thing, the one being merely exegetical of the other. He blessed it by sanctifying of it; as Numbers 7:1, µt;aO vDeqæy]wæ µjev;m]Yiwæ , “And he anointed them and sanctified them ;” that is, he sanctified them by anointing them, or by their unction set them apart unto a holy use: which is the instance of Abarbanel on this place. This, then, is that which is affirmed by Moses: On the seventh day, after he had .finished his work, God rested, or ceased from working, and thereon blessed and sanctified the seventh day, or set it apart unto holy uses, for their observance by whom he was to be worshipped in this world, and whom he had newly made for that purpose. God then sanctified this day: not that he kept it holy himself, which in no sense the divine nature is capable of; nor that he purified it, and made it inherently holy, which the nature of the day is incapable of; nor that he celebrated that which in itself was holy, as we sanctify his name, which is the act of an inferior towards a superior; but that he set it apart to sacred use authoritatively, requiring us to sanctify it in that use obedientially . And if you allow not this original sanctification of the seventh day, the first instance of its solemn, joint, national observation is introduced with a strange abruptness. It is said, Exodus 16, where this instance is given, that “on the sixth day the people gathered twice as much bread” as on any other day, namely, “two omers for one man ;” which the rulers taking notice of acquainted Moses with it, verse 22. And Moses, in answer to the rulers of the congregation, who had made the information, gives the reason of it: “To-morrow,” saith he, “is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto theLORD,” verse 23. Many of the Jews can give some color to this manner of expression; for they assign, as we have showed, the revelation and institution of the Sabbath unto the station in Marah, Exodus 15, which was almost a month before. So they think that no more is here intended but a direction for the solemn observance of that day which was before instituted, with particular respect unto the gathering of manna; which the people being commanded in general before to gather every day according to their eating, and not to keep any of it until the next day, the rulers might well doubt whether they ought not to have gathered it on the Sabbath also, not being able to reconcile a seeming contradiction between those two commands, of gathering manna every day, and of resting on the seventh- But those by whom the fancy about the station in Marah is rejected, as it is rejected by most Christians, and who will not admit of its original institution from the beginning, can scarce give a tolerable account of this manner of expression. Without the least intimation of institution and command, it is only said, “To-morrow is the Sabbath holy to the\parLORD ;” that is, ‘ for you to keep holy.’ Bat on the supposition contended for, the discourse in that place, with the reason of it, is plain and evident; for there being a previous institution of the seventh day’s rest, the observation whereof was partly gone into disuse, and the day itself being then to receive a new, peculiar application to the church-state of that people, the reason both of the people’s act, and the rulers’ doubt, and Moses’ resolution, is plain and obvious. 9. Wherefore, granting the sense of the words contended for, there is yet another exception put in to invalidate this testimony as to the original of a seventh day’s sabbatical rest from the foundation of the world. And this is taken, not from the signification of the words, but the connection and disposition of them in the discourse of Moses. For suppose that by God’s blessing and sanctifying the seventh day, the separation of it unto sacred uses is intended, yet this doth not prove that it was so sanctified immediately upon the finishing of the work of creation. For, say some learned men, these words of Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh, day, and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made,” are inserted occasionally into the discourse of Moses, from what afterwards came to pass, They are not therefore, as they suppose, a continned part of the historical narration there insisted on, but are inserted into it by way of prolepsis or anticipation, and are to be read as it were in a parenthesis. For supposing that Moses wrote not the book of Genesis until after the giving of the law (which I will not contend about, though it be assumed gratis in this discourse), there being a respect had unto the rest of God when his works were finished in the institution of the Sabbath, upon the historical relation of that rest Moses interserts what so long after was done and appointed on the account thereof. And so the sense of the words must be, that “God rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made ;” that is, the next day after the finishing of the works of creation: wherefore, two thousand four hundred years after, “God blessed the seventh day, and ‘sanctified it,” — not that seventh day where, on he rested, with them that succeeded in the like revolution of time, but a seventh day that felt out so long after, which was not blessed nor sanctified before ! I know not well how men learned and sober can offer more hardship unto a text than is put upon this before us by this interpretation. The connection of the words is plain and equal: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” You may as well break off the order and continuation of the words and discourse in any other place as in that pretended. And it may be as well feigned that God finished his work on the seventh day, and afterwards rested another seventh day, as that he rested the seventh day, and afterwards blessed and sanctified another. It is true, there may be sundry instances given out of the Scripture of sundry things inserted in historical narrations by way of anticipation, which fell not out until after the time wherein mention is made of them; but they are mostly such as fell out in the same age or generation, the matter of the whole narration being entire within the memory of men. But of so monstrous and uncouth a prolepsis as this would be, which is supposed, no instance can be given in the Scripture or any sober author, especially without the least notice given that such it is And such schemes of writing are not to be imagined, unless necessity from the things, themselves spoken of compel us to admit them, much less where the matter treated of and the coherence of the words do necessarily exclude such an imagination, as it is in this. place; for without the introduction of the words mentioned, neither is the discourse complete nor the matter of tract absolved. And what lieth against our construction and interpretation of these words, from the arguments insisted on to prove the institution of the Sabbath in the wilderness, shall be afterwards considered. 10. The testimony, to the same purpose with the former, taken out of the New Testament, is that of our apostle: Hebrews 4:3,4, “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I sware in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he speaketh somewhere concerning the seventh day on this wise, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” having insisted at large on this place, with the whole ensuing discourse, in our exposition of the chapter itself, I shall here but briefly reflect upon it, refereeing the reader for its full vindication unto its proper place. The present design is to convince the Hebrews of their concernment in the promise of entering into the rest of God, namely, that promised rest which yet remained, and was prophesied of, Psalm 95. To this purpose he manifests, that notwithstanding any other rest of God that was mentioned in the Scripture, there yet remained another rest, for them that did or would believe in Christ through the gospel. In the proof and confirmation hereof he takes into consideration the several rests of God, under the several states of the church which were now past and gone. And first he fixeth upon the sabbatical rest of the seventh day, as that which was the first in order, first instituted, first enjoyed or observed. And this, he says, ensued upon the finishing of the works of creation. This the order of the words and coherence of them require: “Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he speaketh concerning the seventh day on this wise.” The works and the finishing of them did not at all belong to the apostle’s discourse or purpose, but only as they denoted the beginning of the seventh day’s sabbatical rest; for it is the several rests of God alone that he is inquiring after. ‘ The first rest mentioned,’ saith he, ‘ cannot be that intended in the psalm; because that rest began from the foundation of .the world, but this mentioned by David is promised,’ as he speaketh, ‘so long a time after.’ And what was this rest? Was it merely God’s ceasing from his own works? This the apostle had no concernment in; for he treateth of no rest of God absolutely, but of such a rest as men by faith and obedience might enter into, — such as was that afterwards in the land of Canaan, and that also which he now proposed to them in the promise of the gospel, both which God calleth his rests, and inviteth others unto an entrance into them. Such, therefore, must be the rest of God here intended; for concerning his rest absolutely, or his mere cessation from working, he had no reason to treat: for his design was only to show that notwithstanding the other rests that were proposed unto men for to obtain an entrance into them, there yet remained another rest, to be entered into and enjoyed under the gospel Such a rest, therefore, there was instituted and appointed of God from the foundation of the world immediately upon the finishing of the works of creation; which fixeth immovably the beginning of the sabbatical rest. The full vindication of this testimony the reader may find in the Exposition itself, whither he is referred. And I do suppose that no cause can be confirmed with more clear and undeniable testimonies. The observation and tradition of this institution, whereby it will be further confirmed, are next to be inquired after. 11. That this divine original institution of the seventh-day Sabbath was piously observed by the patriarchs, who retained a due remembrance of divine revelations, is out of controversy amongst all that acknowledge the institution itself; by others it is denied, that they may not be forced to acknowledge such an institution. And indeed it is so fallen out with the two great ordinances of divine worship before the giving of the law, the one instituted before the fall, the other immediately upon it, that they should have contrary lots in this matter, — namely, the Sabbath, and sacrifices. The Sabbath we find expressly instituted; and therefore do and may justly conclude that it was constantly observed, although that observation be not directly and in terms mentioned. Sacrifices we find constantly observed by holy men of old, although we read not of their express institution; but from their observation we do and may conclude that they were instituted, although that institution be not expressly recorded. But yet as there is such light into the institution of sacrifices as may enable us to justify them by whom they were used, that they acted therein according to the mind of God and in obedience unto his will, as we have elsewhere demonstrated; so there want not such instances of the observation of the Sabbath as may confirm the original divine institution of it pleaded for. This, therefore, I shall a little inquire into.

    Many of the Jewish masters, as we observed before, ascribe the original of the Sabbath unto the statute given them in Marah, Exodus 15:And yet the same persons grant that it was observed by the religious patriarchs before, especially by Abraham, unto whom the knowledge of it was granted by peculiar privilege. But these things are mutually destructive of each other.

    For they have .nothing to prove the institution of the Sabbath in Marah but these words of verse 25, fP;v]miW qjo wOl µc; µv; , — “There he made for them a statute and an ordinance.” And it is said of Abraham that he “commanded his children and his household after him” to “keep the way of theLORD, to do justice and judgment,” Genesis 18:19. If, then, the observation of the Sabbath be a “statute” or “ordinance,” and. was made known to Abraham, it is certain that he instructed his household and children, all his posterity, in their duty with respect thereunto. And if so, it could not be first revealed unto them at Marah. Others, therefore, of their masters do grant, as we observed also, the original of the Sabbath from the creation, and do assert the patriarchal observation of it upon that foundation. The instances, I confess, which they make use of are not absolutely cogent; but yet, considered with other circumstances wherewith they are strengthened, they may be allowed to conclude unto a high probability. Some of them are collected by Manasseh Ben Israel, Lib. de Creat. Problem. 8. Saith he, “Dico quemadmodum traditio creationis mundi penes Abrahamum et ejus posteros tantum fuit; ita etiam ex dictamine legis naturalis Sabbatum ab iis solis culture fuisse. De Abrahamo dicit sacra Scriptura, ‘Observavit cultum meum’ ( yTir]mæv]mi ), Genesis 26:5; quo loco custodia Sabbati intelligitur. De Jacobo idem affirmant veteres, ex eo loco quo dicitur venisse ad Salem, et castra posuisse e regione vel ad conspectum civitatis ( ry[ih; yneP]Ata, ), Genesis 33:18. Quia enim Sabbatum, inquiunt, instabat, non licebat ei ulterius proficisci, sed subsistebat ante urbem. Idem asserunt de Josepho, quando dicitur jussisse servis suis ut mactarent et præpararent, id propter Sabbatum factum fuisse. Ad hoc refertur in fera et Rabba Mosem petiisse a Pharaone in Ægypto, ut afflicto populo suo permitteret uno die cessare à laboribus; eoque impetrato, ex traditione elegisse Sabbatum; ex his omnibus colligitur Sabbatum ante datam legem observatum fuisse.” So far he. Of the observation of the Sabbath by the light of nature we shall treat afterwards.

    As to the instances mentioned by him, that concerning Abraham is not destitute of good probability. That expression, yTir]mæv]mi rmov]Ywæ , “And kept my charge,” seems to have peculiar respect unto the Sabbath, called elsewhere “The charge of theLORD.” Hence some of those amongst Christians who contend for the wilderness original of the Sabbath, yet grant that probably there was a free observation of it among the patriarchs, from the tradition they had of the rest of God upon the creation of the world. So Tornellius, Annal. Vet. Test.; Suarez de Religione, lib. ii. cap. i. sect. 3; Prideaux Orat. de Sabbat. For as there is no doubt but that the creation of the world was one of the principal articles of their faith, as our apostle also asserts, Hebrews 11:3, so it is fond to imagine that they had utterly lost the tradition of the rest of God upon the finishing of his works; and it may easily be conceived what that would influence them unto, should you suppose that they had lost the remembrance of its express institution, which will not be granted. What, therefore, may be certainly judged or determined of their practice in this matter shall be briefly declared.

    That all the ancient patriarchs before the giving of the law diligently observed the solemn worship of God in and with their families, and those under their rule or any way belonging to their care and disposal, both their own piety forbids us to question, and the testimony given them that they walked with God, and by faith therein obtained a good report, gives us the highest assurance. Now, of all obedience unto God faith is the principle and foundation, without which it is impossible to please him, Hebrews 11:6. This faith doth always (and must always so do) respect the command and promise of God, which gives it its formal nature; for no other principle, though it may produce the like actions with it, is divine faith but what respects the command and promise of God, so as to be steered, directed, guided, and bounded by them. Unto this solemn worship of God, which in faith they thus attended unto, some stated time is indispensably necessary; and therefore that some portion of time should be set apart to that purpose is acknowledged almost by all to be a dictate of the law of nature, and we shall afterwards prove it so to be. What ground have we now to imagine that the “holy men of old” were left without divine direction in this matter? That a designation and limitation of this time was, or would have been, of great use and advantage unto them, none can deny. Considering, therefore, the dealings of God with them, and how frequently he renewed-unto them the knowledge of his will by occasional revelations, it cannot be supposed that divine grace was wanting unto them herein. Besides, in what-they did in this kind, they are expressly said to “keep the way of theLORD,” Genesis 18:19; and in particular, “his charge, his commandments, his statutes, and his laws,” chap. 26:5, — which comprise all the institutions and ordinances of divine worship. That they did any thing of themselves, from their own wisdom and invention, in the worship of God, is nowhere intimated, nor are they anywhere commended on the account thereof; yea, to do a thing in faith, as they did whatever of this kind they did, and that as a part of the worship of God, is to do it upon the command of God. And the institution mentioned, upon the reason of God’s rest joined with it, is so express as that none can doubt a practice conformable unto it by all that truly feared the Lord, although the particulars of it should not be recorded. 12. It was from no other original that the tradition of the sacredness of the septenary number, and the fixing of the first period of time (next unto that which is absolutely natural, and appearing so to the senses, of night and day, with the composition of the night and day into one measure of time, which was also from the original creation and Conjunction of evening and morning into one day) unto a septenary revolution of days, was so catholic in the world, and that both amongst nations in general, and particularly amongst individual persons that were inquiring and contemplative. Not only that sort of philosophers who expressed their apprehensions mystically by numbers, as the Pythagoreans. and some of the Platonics, who from hence took the occasion of that way of teaching and instruction, esteemed the septenary number sacred, but those also did so who resolved their observations into things natural or physical; for in all their notions and speculations about the Pleiades and Triones in heaven, lunar changes, sounds of instruments, variations in the age of man, critical days in bodily distempers, and transaction of affairs private and public, they found a respect thereunto. It must therefore be granted, that there is a great impression left on the whole creation of a regard to this number, whereof instances might be multiplied. The ground hereof was no other but an emanation from the old tradition of the creation of the world, and the rest that ensued on the seventh day. So say the ancient verses, which some ascribe to Linus, others to Callimachus: — JEpta< de< pa>nta te>tuktai ejn oujranw~| ajstero>enti JEn kukloi~v fane>nt j ejpitellome>noiv ejniautoi~v? — “In seven all things were perfected in the starry heavens, which appear in their orbs or circles, in the rolling or voluble years.” This was the true original of their notions concerning the sacredness of the number seven. But when this was obscured or lost amongst them, as were the greatest and most important sacred truths communicated unto man in his creation, they, many of them, retaining the principle of the sacred number, invented other reasons for it of no importance. Some of these were arithmetical, some harmonical or musical notions. But were their reasons for it never so infirm, the thing itself they still retained. Hence were their notations of this number. It was termed by them the Virgin, and Pallas, and Karo>v , which sacredly is, saith Hesychius, oJ tw~n eJpta< ajriqmo>v , “the number of seven.” It is hard to give any-other account whence all these conceptions should arise besides that insisted on. From the original impression made on the minds of men by the instruction of the law of creation, which they were made under, and the tradition of the creation of the world in six days, dosed with an additional day of sacred rest, did these notions and obscure remembrances of the specialty of that number arise. And although we have not yet inquired what influence into the law of creation, as instructive and directive of our actions, the six days’ work had, with its consequential day of rest, yet all will grant that whatever it was, it was far more clear and cogent unto man in innocency, directly obliged by that law, and able to understand its voice in all things, than it could be to them who, by the effects of it, made some dark inquiries after it; who were yet able to conclude that there was somewhat sacred in the number of seven, though they knew not well what. 13. Neither was the number of seven only in general sacred amongst them, but there are testimonies produced out of the most ancient writers amongst the heathen expressing a notion of a seventh day’s sacred feast and rest. Many of these were of old collected by Clemens Alexandrinus and by Eusebius out of Aristobulus, a learned Jew. They have by many been insisted on, and yet I think it not amiss here once more to report them. The words of Aristobulus, wherewith he prefaceth his allegation of them, are in Eusebius, Præpar. Evangel., lib. xiii. cap. xii., speaking of the seventh day, Diasa>fei [Omhrov kai< Jhsi>odov meteilhfo>tev ejk tw~n hJmete>rwn bizli>wn iJeraaffirm that it is sacred.” That what they affirm herein was taken from the Jewish books I much question, nor do I think that in their time, when the Law only was written, the nations of the world had any the least acquaintance with their writing, nor much until after the Babylonish captivity, when they began to be taken notice of; which [knowledge of them] was principally diffused under the Persian empire, by their commerce with the Grecians, who inquired into all things of that nature, and that had an appearance of secret wisdom. But these apprehensions, whatever they were, they seem rather to have taken up from the secret insinuations of the law of creation, and the tradition that was in the world of the matter of fact. Out of Hesiod, therefore, he cites the following testimonies, j jErg . kai< jHm . 770: — Prw~ton e[nh , tetra>v te , kai< eJzdo>mh , iJero“The first, the fourth and the seventh day, is sacred.” Again, — JEzdoma>th d j au+tiv lamproov hjeli>oio? — “The seventh again the sacred or illustrious light of the sun.” And out of Homer, — JEzdoma>th d j h]peita kath>luqen iJero“Then came the seventh day, that is sacred.” Again, — \Ezdoma>th| dh< oiJ li>pomen rJo>on ejx jAce>rontov? — “It was the seventh day, wherein al1 things were finished, or perfected.” Again, — JEzdoma>Th| dh< oiJ li>pomen rJo>on ejx jAce>rontov? — “We left the flood of Acheron on the seventh day.” Whereunto he subjoins an ingenious exposition about the relinquishment of the oblivion of error, by virtue of the sacredness of the number seven.

    He adds also out of Linus: — JEzdoma>th| dh< oiJ tetele>smena pa>nta te>tuktai? — “The seventh day, wherein all things were finished.” Again,— JEzdo>mh ei+n ajgaqoi~v , kai< eJzdo gene>qlh , Ezdo>mh ejn prwtoi~si , kai < eJzdo>mh ejsti< telei>v? — “The seventh day among the best things, the seventh is the nativity of all things The seventh is among the chiefest, and is the perfect day.” Again, — JEpta< de< panta te>tuktai ejn oujranw~| ajstero>enti jEn kukloi~si fane>nt j ejpitellome>noiv ejniautoi~v? of which before.

    The same testimonies he repeats again in his next chapter out of Clemens, with an alteration of some few words not of any importance; and the verses ascribed to Linus in Aristobulus are said to be the work of Callimachus in Clemens, — which is not of our concernment. Testimonies to the same purpose may be taken out of some of the Roman writers. So Tibullus, giving an account of the excuses he made for his unwillingness to leave Rome, — “Aut ego sum causatus aves, aut omina, dira Saturni sacra me tenuisse die;” — “Either I laid it on the birds” (he had no encouraging augury), “or that bad omens had detained me on the sacred day of Saturn,” lib. 1:eleg. iii. 14. I shall not, from these and the like testimonies, contend that the heathens did generally allow and observe themselves one day sacred in the week. Nor can I grant, on the other hand, that those ancient assertions of Hesiod, Homer, and Linus, are to be measured by the late Roman writers, poets or others, who ascribe the seventh day’s sacred feast to the Jews in way of reproach; as Ovid,— ——”Nec to peregrina morentur Sabbata,” Remed. Amoris v. 219; — “Stay not” (thy journey) “for foreign Sabbaths.” And Artis Amator lib. 1. 416, — “Culta Palæstino septima festa Syro;” — “The seventh day feast observed by the Jew.” Nor shall I plead the testimony of Lampridius, concerning the Emperor Alexander Severus going into the Capitol and the temples on the seventh day, seeing in those times he might learn that observance from the Jews, whose customs he had occasion to be acquainted with; for all ancient traditions were before this time utterly worn out or inextricably corrupted.

    And when the Jews by their conversation with the Romans, after the wars of Pompey, began to present them unto them again, the generality despised them all, out of their hatred and contempt of that people. And I do know that sundry learned men, especially two of late, Gomarus and Selden, have endeavored to show that the testimonies usually produced in this case do not prove what they are urged for. Great pains they have taken to refer them all to the sacredness of the septenary number before mentioned, or to the seventh day of the month, sacred, as is pretended, on the account of the birth of Apollo; whereunto, indeed, it is evident that Hesiod hath respect in his e[zdomon iJerostate of things in the world in their own days and those that went before; and they do not only instance in the testimonies before rehearsed, but also assert that the sacredness of one of the seven days was generally admitted by all. And the testimonies of Philo and Josephus are so express to that purpose as that their force cannot be waived without offering violence unto their words. The words of Philo we expressed before. And Josephus, in his second book against Apion, chap.

    XXXix., says positively, Oujd j e]stin ouj po>liv JEllh>nwn , oujdhtisou~n oujde< barzarov , oujde< e[n e]qnov , e]nqa mh< to< th~v eJzdoma>dov h[n ajrgou~men hJmei~v , to< e]qov ouj diapefoi>thke? — “There is neither any city of the Greeks, nor barbarians, nor any nation whatever, to whom our custom of resting on the seventh day is not come.” And this, in the words foregoing, he affirmeth to have been ejk makrou~ , from a long time before, as not taken up by an occasional acquaintance with them. And Lucian his Pseudologista tells us that children at school were exempted from studying ejn tai~v eJzdocap. xvi., tells the Gentiles of their sabbaths or on Saturday. But yet, as was intimated, I shall grant that the observation of a weekly sacred feast is not proved by the testimonies produced; which is all that those who oppose them do labor to disprove. But I desire to know from what original these traditions were derived, and whether any can be assigned unto them but that of the original institution of the sabbatical rest. It is known that this was common amongst them, that when they had a general notion or tradition of any thing, whose true cause, reason, and beginning, they knew not, they would feign a reason or occasion of accommodated to their present apprehensions and practices, as I have elsewhere evinced and cleared. Having, therefore, amongst them the tradition of a seventh day’s sacred rest, which was originally catholic, and having long lost the practice and observance of it, well as its cause and reason, they laid hold on any thing to affix it unto which might have any resemblance unto what was vulgarly received amongst them, or what they could divine in their more curious speculations. 15. The hebdomadal revolution of time, generally admitted in the world, is also a great testimony unto the original institution of the Sabbath. Of old it was catholic, and is at present received among those nations whose converse was not begun until of late with any of those parts of the world where there is a light gone forth in these things from the Scripture. All nations, I say, in all ages, have from time immemorial made the revolution of seven days to be the second stated period of time. And this observation is still continued throughout the world, unless amongst them who in other things are openly degenerated from the law of nature; as those barbarous Indians who have no computation of times, but by sleeps, moons, and winters. The measure of time by a day and night is directed unto sense by the diurnal course of the sun: lunar months and solar years are of an unavoidable observation unto all rational creatures. Whence, therefore, all men have reckoned time by days, months, and years, is obvious unto all But whence the hebdomadal revolution, or weekly period of time, should make its entrance and obtain a catholic admittance, no man can give an account, but with respect to some impressions on the minds of men from the constitution and law of our nature, with the tradition of a sabbatical rest instituted from the foundation of the world. Other original, whether artificial and arbitrary or occasional, it could not have. Nothing of any such thing hath left the least footsteps of its ever being in any of the memorials of times past. Neither could any thing of so low an original or spring be elevated to such a height as to diffuse itself through the whole world. A derivation of this observation from the Chaldeans and Egyptians, who retained the deepest tincture of original traditions, hath been manifested by others. And so fixed was this computation of time on their minds, who knew not the reason of it, that when they made a disposition of the days of the year into any other period, on accounts civil or sacred, yet they still retained this also. So the Romans, as appears by the fragments of their old kalendars, had their nundinæ, which were days of vacation from labor, on the eighth, or, as some think, the ninth day’s recurring; but yet still made use of the stated weekly period. It is of some consideration in this cause, and is usually urged to this purpose, that Noah observed the septenary revolution of days in sending forth the dove out of the ark, Genesis 8:10,12. That this was done casually is not to be imagined. Nor can any reason be given why, notwithstanding the disappointment he met with the first and second time, he should still abide seven days before he sent again, if’ you consider only the natural condition of the flood, or the waters in their abatement. A revolution of days, and that upon a sacred account, was doubtless attended unto by him. And I should suppose that he still sent out the dove the next day after the Sabbath, to see, as it were, whether God had returned again to rest in the works of his hands. And, Genesis 29:27, a week is spoken of as a known account of days or time: “Fulfil her week;” that is, not a week of years, as he had done for Rachel, but fulfill a week of days in the festival of his marriage with Leah; for taz [æbuv] can have no other sense, seeing taOz , of the feminine gender, relates unto Leah, whose nuptials were to be celebrated, and not to [æbuv] , “a week,” which is of the masculine. And it was the custom, in those ancient times of the world, to continue the celebration of a marriage feast for seven days, or a week; as Judges 14:12,15,17. “The seven days of the feast” is spoken of as a thing commonly known and in vulgar use. 16. Let us, therefore, consider what is offered to weaken the force of this observation. It is pretended that the ancient heathen, or the contemplative persons amongst them, observing the unfixed, various motions of the seven planetary luminaries, as they used and abused it to other ends, so they applied their number and names unto so many days, which were thereby as it were dedicated unto them, which shut them up in that septenary number. But that the observation of the weekly revolution of time was from the philosophers, and not the common consent of the people, doth not appear; for those observed also the twelve signs of the zodiac, and yet made that no rule to reckon time or days by. Besides, the observation of the site and posture of the seven planets, as to their height or elevation with respect unto one another, is as ancient as the observation of their peculiar and various motions. And upon the first discovery thereof, all granted this to be their order, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, Luna. What alteration is made herein by the late hypothesis, fixing the sun as in the center of the world, built on fallible phenomena, and advanced by many arbitrary presumptions, against evident testimonies of Scripture and reasons as probable as any that are produced in its confirmation, is here of no consideration: for it is certain that all the world in former ages was otherwise minded; and our argument is not taken, in this matter, from what really was true , but from what was universally apprehended so to be . Now, whence should it be, that, if this limiting the first revolution of time unto seven days proceeded from the planetary denominations fixed to the days of the year arbitrarily, the order among the planets should be so changed as every one sees it to be? For in the assignation of the names of the planets to the days of the week, the midst is taken out first, and so the fourth in order inclusive falls to be next, until the whole cycle be finished. Some would take the reason hereof from the proportion of harmony, some from the diurnal ascension of the planets; which is ridiculous. So Dio Cassius, in the thirty-seventh book of his History (the third of them that remain), treating of the taking of Jerusalem by Pompey on the seventh day of the week, when the people, out of their superstition, made not their wonted resistance, inquires on that occasion of the reason of the assignation of the planetary names to the days of the week; which he affirms to have had its original from the Egyptians. And two reasons he tells us that he had heard of the especial assignation of their several names unto the several days, in the order wherein they are commonly used. The first is, that it was taken from the harmony dai< tessa>rwn , or the musical note of diatessaron. For beginning, saith he, with Saturn in the highest sphere, and so passing unto the fourth in order, it is the Sun, and so throughout in the whole revolution. His other reason is, that taking the day and night, beginning with the first hour, and assigning the name of a planet to each hour, beginning with Saturn for the reason before mentioned, and the succeeding hours to the other planets in their order, so renewing the numerations to the end of the four and twenty hours, the first hour of the next day falls to the Sun, and so of the day following to the moon, and the remainder to the other planets in the order commonly ascribed unto them. What there is in these conjectures I know not; but both of them give the precedency of the first day, as they are fixed, unto that which, in the true and natural order of the days, is the last.

    There is a good account given us of this matter by Johannes Philoponus, peri< kosmopoii~>av , or de Creation. Mund. Lib. vii. cap. xiv.: j jEkei~no ge mhnhtai pa~sin ajnqrw>poiv eJppa< mo>nov ei+nai hJme>rav , ai[tinev eijv eJautanai pa~sin ajnqrw>poiv eJpta< mo>nav ei+nai hJme>rav , ai[tinev eijv eJautanai tonon . “This,” saith he, “is consented unto amongst all men, that there are only seven days, which, by a revolution into themselves, compose the whole of time; whereof we can assign no other reason but that only which is given by Moses. The Grecians, indeed, ascribe the seven days to the seven planets, — the first to the Sun, the second to the Moon, the third to Mars, the fourth to Mercury, the fifth to Jupiter, the sixth to Venus, the seventh to Saturn; and hereby they first acknowledge that there are but seven days, whereof al1 time consisteth: but further they can give no reason why the days are so dished of unto the planets; for why did they not rather constitute twelve days, from the twelve parts of the zodiac, through which the sun passing perfecteth the year? Nor can any reason be assigned from the motions of the planets why any one of the days is inscribed to any of them. It is most likely, therefore, that the Gentiles, as they without just reason or cause dedicated the planets by the names of demons and heroes, so when they observed that there were seven days acknowledged by all, and that the planets were so many in number, they did according to their pleasure, in the two equal numbers, assigning one day to one planet, another to another.” To which he adds truly, Mo>nov a]ra than tou~ ejzdomadikou~ tw~n hJme>rwn ajriqmou~ zeo>qen ejmpneusqeigav toi~v ajnqrw>poiv ajpode>dwke Mwush~v? — “ Only the great Moses, being divinely inspired, hath delivered unto men the true reason of the septenary number of the days.” So far he. There seems to be some reason for assigning the conduct of time to the sun, or calling the first day by his name, as also of adjoining the moon unto him in the next place; for the succession of the sun, though created the fourth day, in point of use, unto that diffused light which was created the first day, with its being the instrumental cause and measure of every day, with the tradition of the appointment of sun and moon to rule and distinguish times and seasons, with the sensible effects and operations of them, might easily give them the pre-eminence by common consent in giving names unto the days of the week. The other names were added and applied according to some prevailing fictions concerning the planets, and their respect unto men and their actions. But the hebdomadal period of time was fixed long before the imposition of those names prevailed among the Grecians and the Romans; which perhaps is not very anciently, as Dio thinks, though they derived them from the Chaldeans and Egyptians. And that the acknowledgment of seven days gave occasion to fix unto them the names of the seven planets, and not that the observation of the seven planets gave occasion to compute the days of the world by sevens, is manifest from hence, in that many nations admitting of the hebdomadal revolution of time gave the days in it quite other names, as various reasons or occasions did suggest them unto them. In the ancient Celtic or German tongue, and all languages thence deriving, the sun and moon only, on the reasons before mentioned, giving name to the leading days of the week, the rest of the days are distinguished and signalized with the names of the conductors of their first great colonies in the north-western parts of the world; for to fancy that Tuisco is the same with Mars, Woden with Mercury, Thor with Jupiter, and Frea with Venus, is to fancy what we please, without the least ground of probability. Nor did the Celtic ever call the planets by those names. So that if there be any allusion in those names unto those of the Grecians and Romans, it was not taken .from their natural speculation about the planets, but from their pleasing fictions about deified heroes, wherein they were imitated by most nations of the world. The English and Dutch have taken in Saturday from Saturn; other nations of the same extract retain their own occasional names. The observation, therefore, of the seven planets gave neither rise, reason, cause, nor occasion, to this original period of time in a hebdomadal revolution of days. And hence Theophilus Antiochenus, lib. ii. ad Antolychum, affirms that “all mortal men agreed in the appellation of the seventh day;” whose testimony is of good force, though himself mistake the original of that appellation. For he tells us that par j JEbrai>oiv kalei~tai sa>bbaton , JEllhnisti> ejrmhneu>etai eJbdoma>v , by an error common to many of the ancients, who could not distinguish between tB;væ and [bæv, . It is also to this purpose observed by Rivet and Selden, from Salmasius, out of Georgius Syncellus, in his Chronology, that the patriarchs reckoned the times or distinguished them kaq j ejzdoma>dav , by weeks only. This, therefore, is to me no small evidence of the institution and observation of the Sabbath from the foundation of the world; for hence did this periodical revolution of time prevail amongst the nations, even those which had not the least converse with or knowledge of the Jews or their customs, after the command and observation of it was renewed amongst them. Not that this evidence is of itself a sufficient testimony unto its original institution, nor that going before, but that the piety of the patriarchs and traditions of the apostate Gentiles do confirm the time of that institution, which is so expressly recorded. 17. It remaineth that we take a view of the opinion advanced by many learned men in opposition unto what we have been pleading for; and this is, that the command concerning the Sabbath was peculiar to the Jews alone, and that it was given unto them in the wilderness, and not at all before. Many of the Jews, as was declared, are of this judgment, and thence call the Sabbath the “bride of their nation,” that which, God gave to them, as he did Eve to Adam, and to no other. Abulensis contends for this opinion in his comment on Exodus 16; who is followed by some expositors of the Roman church, and opposed by others, as Cornelius à Lapide, etc. The same difference in judgment is found amongst the protestant divines. The dissertations of Rivet and Gomarus on this subject are well known. The controversy being of late renewed, especially among some of the Belgic divines, I shall take under consideration the arguments of one of them, who hath last of all defended this cause, and weigh of what importance they are, separating as much as we can between the matter of our present dispute, which is the original of the Sabbath, and that of the causes of it, which we shall nextly inquire into. 18. The design is to prove that the Sabbath was first given to the Jews, and that in the wilderness. And to this purpose, after having repeated the words of the fourth commandment, he adds: “Quis vero dicere audebit, verba hæc convenire in hominem ab initio creationis, sicut hic statuitur?” (that is, by his adversary) “an illi incumbebat opus et quidem servile, idque per sex dies? an ipsi erant servi et ancillae? an jumenta requietis indigentia? an peregrini inter portas ejus? quis non videt ad solum Israelitarum statum in toto illo præcepto respici? Ita Calvinus in Genesis 2 Postea in lege novum de Sabbato præceptum datum est, quod Judæis et quidem ad tempus peculiare foret; fuit enim legalis ceremonia, spiritualem quietem adumbrans, cujus in Christe apparuit veritas. Quo nihil efficacius dici poterat. Hanc vero præcepti mentem esse patet ex aliis testimoniis Scripturæ apertissime, in quibus Judæis tantum datum esse Sabbatum constanter docetur: Exodus 16:29, ‘Videte, quod Jehovah dedit vobis illud Sabbatum, idcirco dat vobis cibum bidui.’ Et Ezech. 20:12, ‘Sabbata dedi eis, ut essent signum inter me et ipsos, ad sciendum me Jehovam sanctificare ipsos.’ Denique Nehemiah 9:14, ‘Sabbatum quoque sanctum notum fecisti eis; quum præcepta, statutaque, et leges, præciperes eis per Mosem servum tuum.’ In quibus locis uniformiter docetur tanta cum emphasi, per Mosem Deum dedisse Judæis Sabbatum, non ergo aliis gentibus datum fuit; ant ipsis etiam per majores ipsorum ante illud tempus ab origine mundi,” Disquisit. cap. ii. p. 50. Ans. (1.) It is by all confessed that the command of the Sabbath, in the renewal of it in the wilderness, was accommodated unto the pedagogical state of the church of the Israelites. There were also such additions made unto it, in the manner of its observance and the sanction of it , as might adapt its observation unto their civil and political estate, or that theocratical government which was then erected amongst them. So was it to bear a part in that ceremonial instruction which God in all his dealings with them intended. To this end also the manner of the delivery of the whole law and the preservation of its tables in the ark were designed. And divers expressions in the explicatory parts of the decalogue have the same reason and foundation. For there is mention of fathers and children to the third and fourth generation, and of their sins, in the second commandment; of the land given to the people of God, in the fifth; of servants and handmaids, in the tenth. Shall we therefore say that the moral law was not before given unto mankind, because it had a peculiar delivery, for special ends and purposes, unto the Jews? It is no argument, therefore, that this command was not, for the substance of it, given before to mankind in general, because it hath some modifications added in the decalogue, to accommodate it to the present church and civil state of the Hebrews, as likewise had the fifth commandment in particular. (2.) For those expressions insisted on, of “work,” “servile work,” “work for six days,” of “servants and handmaids,” of “the stranger within the gates,” they were necessary explications of the command in its application unto that people, and yet such as had a just proportion unto what was enjoined at the first giving of this command, occasioned from the outward change of the state of things amongst men from what it was in innocency.

    For in that state God signed man to work, and that in the tilling of the ground, whilst he abode in it: Genesis 2:15, “He put the man in the garden Hd;b][;l] ,” “to work in it;” the same word whereby work is enjoined in the decalogue. And whereas God had sanctified the seventh day to be a day of rest, and thereon put man into the garden Hd;b][;l] , “to till it,” by work and labor, he did virtually say unto him, as in the command, ÚT,k]alæm]AlK; t;yci[;w] dbo[\Tæ µymiy; tv,ve ; — “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work.” Neither was this in the least inconsistent with the condition wherein he was created; for man being constituted and composed partly of an immortal soul, of a divine extract and heavenly original, and partly of a body made out of the earth, he was a middle creature between those which were purely spiritual, as the angels, and those which were purely terrestrial , as the beasts of the field. Hence when God had made man hm;d;a\h;Aˆmi rp;[; , “of dust from out of the earth,” as all the beasts of the field were made, and had given him distinctly µyYHæ tmæv]ni , “a breath of life,” in a distinct substance, answerable to that of the angels above, whose creation was not out of any pre-existing matter, but they were the product of an immediate emanation of divine power, as was the soul of man, there was no meet help to be associated unto him in the whole creation of God.

    For the angels were not meet for his help and individual converse, on the account of what was terrene and mortal in him; and the beasts were much more unsuited unto him, as having nothing in them to answer his divine and more noble part. And as his nature was thus constituted, that he should converse, as it were amphibiously, between the upper and inferior sort of creatures, so he was divided in his works and operations, suitably unto the principles of his nature and peculiar constitution; for they were partly to be divine and spiritual, partly terrene and earthly, though under the government of the sovereign divine principle in him. Hence it was required that in this condition, being not absolutely fitted, as the angels, for constant contemplation, he should work and labor in the earth whilst; he continued in it, and his terrene part not refined or made spiritual and heavenly. This made a certain time of rest necessary unto him, and that upon a double account, flowing from the principles of his own nature. For his earthly constitution could not always hold out to labor with its own satisfaction, and his intellectual and divine part was not to be always diverted, but to be furthered in and unto its own peculiar operations. This made a sacred rest necessary to him And in that addition of sweat and travail which befell him in his labor afterwards, there was not a new course of life enjoined him, but a curse was mixed with that course and labor which was originally allotted unto him. So, then, although there is a different manner of working more necessary, and supposed in the giving of the law, than was at the first institution of a sabbatical rest, yet the change is not in the law or command for labor, but in the state or condition of man himself.

    The same may be spoken concerning the addition about servants and handmaids; for in the state of innocency there would have been a superiority of some over others, in that government which is economical or paternal. Hence all duties of persons in subordination are built on the law of nature; and what is not resolved thereinto is force and violence.

    And herein lies the foundation of what is ordained with reference unto servants and strangers, which is expressed in the fourth commandment, with an especial application to the state of the Judaical church and people.

    Wherefore, although there should have been no such servants or strangers as are intended in the decalogue in the ‘state of innocency, when we plead that the law of the Sabbath was first given, yet this proves no more but that this precept, in the renovation and repetition of it unto the Jews, was accommodated to the present state of things amongst them, that state being such as had its foundation in the law of creation itself.

    The places adjoined of Exodus 16:29, 31:17, Ezekiel 20:12, do prove sufficiently and undeniably that in the Mosaical pedagogy, the observation of the seventh day being precisely enjoined, there were additions of signification given unto it, that is, to the seventh day precisely, by divine institution, as amongst them it was to be observed. And therefore unto the utmost extent of the determination of the day of rest unto the seventh day precisely, and all the significancy annexed unto it, to that people, we acknowledge that the Sabbath was absolutely commensurate to the churchstate of the Jews, beginning and ending with it. But the argument hence educed, namely, that “God gave the Sabbath, that is, the law of it, in a peculiar manner unto the Jews, therefore he had not given the same law for the substance of it before unto all mankind,” is infirm: for God gave the whole law to the Jews in an especial manner, and enforced the observation of it with a reason or motive peculiar to them, namely, “I am theLORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage ;” and yet this law was before given unto them who never were in Egypt, nor never thence delivered. And upon the account of this peculiar appropriation of the law unto the Jews, it is spoken of in the Scripture in places innumerable as if it had been given unto them only, and to no others at all. So speaks the psalmist, Psalm 147:19, bqo[\yæl] wr;b;D] dyGmæ laer;c]yil] wyf;P;v]miW wyQ;ju ; — “Declaring his words unto Jacob, his statutes and judgments unto Israel;” where as by µyQiju and µymiP;v]mi , the ceremonial and judicial laws are intended, so by wr;b;D] , “his words,” are the µyrib;D]hæ tr,v,[\ “the ten words,” as Moses calls the decalogue. And of them all the psalmist adds, verse 20, ywON lk;l] zke hc;[;Aalo , — “He hath not done so unto any nation,” namely, not in the same manner; for none will deny hut that nine precepts at least were given unto all mankind in Adam. 19. It is added by the same learned author, “Præterea (p. 51) si quies septimi diei omnibus ab origine mundi hominibus injuncta fuisset, non autem solis Israelitis a tempore Mosis, Deus non solum Israelitas ob neglectum illius præcepti sed et Gentiles, semel saltem eadem de causa reprehendisset. Cum vero Israelitas ea de causa reprehendat sæpissime, Gentiles tamen nuspiam reprehendere hoc nomine legitur, qui propter peccata in legem naturalem commissa toties et tam arciter à Deo reprehenduntur. Luculentum ejus rei exemplum est, Nehemiah 13.

    Tyrii asserunt Hierosolymas et omnes res venales quas vendebant ipso Sabbato Judæis, et quidem Hierosolymis, ver. 16. Non tamen Nehemias peccati violati Sabbati reos arguit Tyrios sed Judæos, ver. 17. Tyrios autem clausis portis pridie Sabbati à vespera usque urbem excludit, et ita compescit, et tandem à muris urbis abigit, ver. 19-21. Si vero Tyrii hi una cure Judæis lege Sabbati communi præcepto fuissent obstricti; nonne à viro sanctissimo ejus peccati nomine quoque reprehensi fuissent? quod tamen factum non apparet. Quum præterea Scriptura impia Gentilium festa graviter reprehendat, an sancti Sabbati neglectum, si id quoque ipsis observandum fuisset, tam constanti silentio dissimulasset?”

    The force of this argument consists in this assertion, that whatever we find God did not reprove in the Gentiles, therein they did not sin, nor had they any law given unto them concerning it, no, not even in Adam: which will by no means be granted. For, — (1.) The times are spoken of wherein God “suffered them to walk in their own ways, and winked at their ignorance?’ Hence, as he gave them no reproofs for their sins by his revealed word, so those which he gave them by his providence are not recorded. We may not therefore say, they sinned in nothing but what we find them reproved for in particular. (2.) Other instances may be given of sins against the light of nature among the Gentiles, and that in things belonging to the second table, wherein that light hath a greater evidence accompanying it than in those of the first, the first precept only excepted, which yet we find them not rebuked for. Such were the sins of concubinacy and fornication. (3.) After the renovation or giving of this command unto the Jews, it was the duty of the nations to whom the knowledge thereof did come to take up the observation of it. For it was doubtless their duty to join themselves to God and his people, and with them to observe his statutes and judgments; and their not so doing was their sin; which, as is pretended, they were not reproved for, or God was not displeased with them on that account. (4.) The publication of God’s commands is to be stated from giving of them, and not from the instances of men’s transgressing of them. Nor is it any rule, that a law is then first given when men’s sins against it are first reproved. For the instance insisted on of Nehemiah and the Tyrians, with his different dealing with them and the Jews about the breach of the law of the Sabbath, chap. xiii., it is of no force in this matter; for when the Tyrians knew the command of the Sabbath among the Jews, — which was a sufficient revelation of the will of God concerning his worship, — it was their duty to observe it. I do not say that it was their duty immediately, and abiding in their Gentilism , to observe the Sabbath according to the institution it had among the Jews; but it was their duty to know, own, and obey the true God, and to join themselves to his people, — to do and observe all his commands If this was not their duty, upon that discovery and revelation which those had of the will God who came up to Jerusalem, as they did concerning whom we speak, then was it not their sin to abide in their Gentilism; which I suppose will not be asserted. It was therefore, on one account or other, a sin in the Tyrians to profane the Sabbath. It will be said, Why then did not Nehemiah reprove them as well as he did the Jews? The answer is easy. He was the head and governor of the state and polity of the Jews, unto whom it belonged to see that things amongst them were observed and done according to God’s law and appointment; and this he was to do with authority, having the warrant of God for it. With the Tyrians he had nothing to do; no care of them, no jurisdiction over them, no intercourse with them, but according to the law of nations. On these accounts he charged not them with sin or a moral evil, which they would not have regarded, having no regard to the true God, much less to his worship but he threatened them with war and punishment for disturbing his government of the people according to the law of God.

    It is well observed, that God reproved the profane feasts of the heathen, and therein unquestionably the neglect of them that were of his own appointment. For this is the nature and method of negative precepts and condemnatory sentences in divine things, that they assert what is contrary to that which is forbidden, and recommend that which is opposite unto what is condemned. Thus, the worship of God according to his own institution is commanded in the prohibition of making to ourselves or finding out ways of religious worship and honor of our own. For whereas it is a prime dictate of the law of nature, that God is to be worshipped according to his own appointment, — which was from the light of it acknowledged among the heathen themselves, —it is not anywhere asserted or intimated in the decalogical compendium of it, unless it be in that prohibition. It sufficeth, then, that even among the Gentiles God vindicated the authority of his own Sabbaths, by condemning their impious feasts and abominable practices in them. 20. By the same learned writer (p. 52), the testimony of the Jews in this case is pleaded. They generally affirm that the Sabbath was given unto them only, and not to the rest of the nations, Hence it is by them called the “bride of the synagogue.” Nor do they reckon the command of it amongst the Noachical precepts, which they esteem all men obliged unto, and whose observation they imposed on the proselytes of the gate, or the uncircumcised strangers that lived amongst them. Nay, they say that others were liable to punishment if they did observe it. For that part of the command, “Nor the stranger that is within thy gates,” they say, it intends no more but that no Israelite should compel him to work, or make any advantage of his labor; but for himself, he was not bound to abstain from labor, but might exercise himself therein at his own discretion for his advantage. These things are pleaded at large, and confirmed with many testimonies and instances, by the learned Selden; and from him are they again by others insisted on. But the truth is, there is not any thing of force in the conceits of these Talmudical Jews in the least to weaken the principle we have laid down and established; for, — (1.) As hath been showed, this opinion is not indeed catholic amongst them; but many, and those of the most learned of the masters, do oppose it, as we have proved already. And others may be added to them, whose opinion, although it be peculiar, yet it wanteth not a fair probability of truth; for they say that the first part of the precept, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” hath respect to the glorifying of God on the account of his original work and rest. This, therefore, belongs unto all mankind. But as for that which follows, about the six days’ labor, and the seventh day’s cessation or quiet, it had respect unto the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt, and their deliverance thence, and was therefore peculiar unto them. So R. Ephraim in Keli Jacar. And hence, it may be, the word “remember” hath respect unto the command of the Sabbath from the foundation of the world. And therefore when the command is repeated again, with peculiar respect to the church of Israel, as the motive from the Egyptian bondage and deliverance is expressed, so the caution of remembering is omitted, Deuteronomy 5:12, and transferred to this other occasion, “Remember that thou wast a servant,” verse 15. (2.) The sole foundation of it is laid in a corrupt and false tradition or conceit of the giving of the law of the Sabbath in Marsh; which we have before disproved, and which is despised as vain and foolish by most learned men. (3.) The assertors of this opinion do wofully contradict themselves, in that they generally acknowledge that the Sabbath was observed by Abraham and other patriarchs, as it should seem, at least four hundred years before its institution. (4.) It is none of the seven called “Noachical precepts,” for they contain not the whole law of nature, or precepts of the decalogue, and one of them is ceremonial in their sense; so that nothing can hence be concluded against the original or nature of this law. (5.) That an uncircumcised stranger was liable to punishment if he observed the Sabbath is a foolish imagination, not inferior unto that of some others of them, who affirm that “all the Gentiles shall keep the Sabbath one day in seven in hell.” (6.) For the distinction which they have invented, that a proselyte of the gate might work for himself, but not for his master, it is one of the many whereby they make void the law of God through their traditions. Those who of old amongst them feared God, knowing their duty to instruct their households and families, — that is, their children and servants, — in the ways and worship of God, walked by another rule. 21. It is further pleaded by the same author (p. 53), “That the Gentiles knew nothing of this sabbatical feast, but that when it came to their knowledge they derided and exploded it as a particular superstition of the Jews.” To this purpose many instances out of the historians and poets who wrote in the time of the first Roman emperors are collected by Selden, which we are again directed unto. “Now it could not be, if it had been originally appointed unto all mankind, that they should have been such strangers unto it.” But this matter hath been discoursed before. And we have showed that sundry of the first writers of the Christian church were otherwise minded: for they judged and proved that there was a notion at least of the “seventh day’s sacred rest” diffused throughout the world; and they lived nearer the times of the Gentiles’ practice than those by whom their judgment and testimony are so peremptorily rejected. It is not unlikely but that they might be mistaken in some of the testimonies whereby they confirm their observation; yet this hinders not but that the observation itself may be true, and sufficiently confirmed by other instances which they make use of.

    For my part, as I have said, I will not, nor, for the security of the principle laid down, need I to contend that the seventh day was observed as a sacred feast amongst them. It is enough that there were such notices of it in the world as could proceed from no other original but that pleaded for, which was common unto all. The Roman writers, poets and others, do speak of and contemn the Judaical sabbaths; under which name they comprehended all their sacred feasts and solemn abstinences. Hence they reproached them with their sabbatical fasts; of which number the seventh-day, hebdomadal Sabbath was not. But they never endeavored to come to any real acquaintance with their religious rites, but took up vulgar reports concerning them; as did their historians also, who in the affairs of other nations are supposed to have been curious and diligent. 22. Indeed, after the conquest of Jerusalem by Pompey, when the people of the Jews began to be known among the Romans, and to disperse themselves throughout their provinces, they began every day more and more to hate them, and to east all manner of reproaches on them, without regard to truth or honesty. And it may not be amiss here a little, by the way, to inquire into the reasons of it. The principal cause hereof, no doubt, was from the God they worshipped, and the manner of his worship observed amongst them; for finding them to acknowledge and adore one only (the true) God, and that without the use of any kind of images, they perceived their own idolatry and superstition to be condemned thereby.

    And this had been the condition of that people under the former empires, of the Chaldeans, Persians, and Grecians. God had appointed them to be his witnesses in the world that he was God, and that there was none other: Isaiah 44:8, “Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

    As also chap. 43:10-12, “Ye are my witnesses,” that “before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am theLORD; and beside me there is no savior. ...... Therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the\parLORD, that I am God.”

    This greatly provoked, as other nations of old, so at length the Romans, as bidding defiance to all their gods and their worship of them, wherein they greatly boasted; for they thought that it was merely by the help of their gods, and on the account of their religion, that they conquered all other nations. So Cicero, Orat. de Harusp. Respon., cap. ix.: “Quam volumus licet ipsi nos amemus, tamen nec numero Hispanos, nec robore Gallos, nee calliditate Pœnos, nec artibus Græcos; sed pietate ac religione, atque hae una sapientia, quod deorum immortalium numine omnia regi, gubernarique perspeximus, omnes gentes nationesque superavimus;” — “Let us love and please ourselves as we think meet, yet we outgo neither the Spaniards in number, nor the Gauls in strength, nor the Africans in craft, nor the Grecians in arts; but it is by our piety and religion, and this only wisdom, that we refer all to the government of the immortal gods, that we have overcome all countries and nations.” And Dionysius Halicarnassæus, Antiq. Romans lib. ii., having given an account of their sacred rites and worship, adds that he did it i[na toi~v ajgnoou~si tw~n JRwmai>wn eujse>qeian , h[n oiJ a]ndrev ejpeth>deuon , mh< para>doxon fanh~| to< pa>ntav aujtoi~v to< ka>lliston lazei~n toupolelov , — “that those who knew not before the piety or religion of the Romans might not now think it strange that they should have such success in all their wars.” To be judged and condemned those things, by the contrary witness of the Jews, they could not bear. This made them reflect on God himself, as the God which they worshipped. They called him incertum and ignotum, affirming the rites of his worship to be absurd, and contrary to the common consent of mankind, as Tacitus expressly, Hist. lib. v. cap. iv.

    The best they could afford when they spake of him was, \Ov ti>v pote oi=tov ejsti>n , “Whoever he be.” And Tully will not allow that it was any respect to their God or their religion which caused Pompey to forbear spoiling the temple when he took it by force. “Non credo,” saith he, “religionem et Judæorum, et hostium, impedimento præstantissimo imperatori fuisse (quod victor ex illo fano nihil attigerit),” Orat. pro Flacc., cap. xxviii.; whereunto he adds as high a reproach of them and their religion as he could devise: “Stantibus Hiero-solymis, pacatisque Judæis, tamen istorum religio sacrorum a splendore hujus imperii, gravitate nominis nostri majorum institutis, ahorrebat: nunc vero hoc magis, quod illa gens, quid de nostro imperio sentiret ostendit armis: quam cara diis immortalibus esset docuit, quod victa est, quod elocata, quod servata.” — “Whilst Jerusalem stood” (that is, in its own power), “and the Jews were peaceable, yet their religion was unworthy the splendor of this empire, the gravity of our name, and abhorrent from the ordinances of our ancestor. How much more now, when that nation hath showed what esteem it hath of our empire by its arms, and how dear it is to the immoral gods, that it is conquered, and set out under tribute!” The like reflections yea worse, may be seen in Trogus, Tacitus, Plutarch, Strabo, and Democritus in Suidas, with others. 23. Another ground of their hatred was, that the Jews, whilst the temple stood, gathered great sums of money out of all their provinces, which they sent unto the sacred treasury. So the same person informs us in the same place: “Cum aurum Judæorum nomine, quotas ex Italia, et ex omnibus vestris provinciis Hierosolymam exportari soleret;” — “ Out of Italy, and all other provinces of the empire, there was gold wont to be sent by the Jews to Jerusalem;” as now the European Jews do contribute to the maintenance of their synagogues in the same place. And this is acknowledged by Philo, Legat. ad Caium, and Josephus, Antiq. lib. xiv. cap. xi., to have been yearly a very great sum. But by his “Judæorum nomine,” he seems not only to express that the returns of the gold mentioned were in the name of the Jews, but also to intimate that it might be raised by others also, who had taken on them the profession of their religion; for this was the third and principal cause of their hatred and animosity, namely, that they drew over multitudes of all sorts of persons to the profession of the law of Moses. And a good work this was, though vitiated by the wickedness and corrupt ends of them who employed themselves therein, as our Savior declares, Matthew 23:15. This greatly provoked the Romans in those days, and on every occasion they severely complain of it. So Die Cassius speaking of them adds, Kai< ejsti< kai< para< toi~v jRwmai>oiv to< ge>nov tou~to , kolasqekiv , aujxhqen , w[ste kai< ejv parjrJhsi>an th~v nomi>sewv nikh~sai? — “And this kind of men” (that is, men of this profession, not natural Jews) “is found also among the Romans; which though they have been frequently punished, yet have for the most part increased, so as to take the liberty of making laws to themselves.” As for their punishments, an account is given, in Suetonius in Domit., and others, of the inquisition and search made after such as were circumcised. And as to their making of laws unto themselves, he respects their feasts, Sabbaths, abstinences, and such like observances as the Jews obliged their proselytes unto. In like manner complaineth Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 100, — ‘Romanas autem soliti contemnere leges, Judaicum ediscunt, et servant, ac metuunt jus, Tradidit arcano quodcunque volumine Moses;”— “Contemning the Roman laws, they learn the rites and customs of the Jews, observing and learning the whole right or law delivered in the secret writing of Moses.”

    Seneca is yet more severe: “Cum interim usque eo sceleratissima gentis consuetudo convaluit, ut per omnes jam terras recepta sit; victi victoribus leges dederunt;” — “The custom of this wicked nation hath so far prevailed that it is now received among all. nations; the conquered have given laws to the conquerors.” And Tacitus, Hist. lib. v. cap. v.: “Pessimus quisque, spretis religionibus patriis, tributa et stipes illuc” (that is, to Jerusalem) “gerebant.” The like revengeful spirit appears in those verses of Rutilius, lib. 1. Itinerar., though he lived afterwards, under the Christian emperors : — “O utinam nunquam Judæa victa fuisset Pompeii bellis imperioque Titi; Lætius excisæ pestis contagia serpunt Victoresque suos natio victa premit.” But it is not unlikely that he reflects on Christians also. 24. We may add hereunto, that for the most part the conversation of the Jews amongst them was wicked and provoking. They were a people that had, for many generations, been harassed and oppressed by all the principal empires in the world; this caused them to hate them, and to have their minds always possessed with revengeful thoughts. When our apostle affirmed of them, “that they pleased not God, and were contrary to all men,” 1 Thess. 2:15, he intended not their opposition to the gospel and the preachers of it, which he had before expressed, hut that envious contrariety unto mankind in general which they were possessed with. And this evil frame the nations ascribed’ to their law itself. “Moses novos ritus contrariosque cæteris mortalibus indidit,” saith Tacitus, Hist., lib. v. cap. iv. But this most falsely. No law of men ever taught such benignity, kindness, and general usefulness in the world, as theirs did. The people themselves being grown wicked and corrupt, “pleased not God, and were contrary to all men.” Hence they were looked on as such who observed not so much as the law of nature towards any but themselves, as resolving “Quæsitum ad fontem solos diducere verpes,” Juv., xiv. 104; — “Not to direct a thirsty person to a common spring if uncircumcised.” Whence was that censure of Tacitus, “Apud ipsos tides obstinata, misericordia in promptu, adversus omnes alios hostile odium;” — “Faithful and merciful among themselves, towards all others they were acted with irreconcilable hatred:” which well expresseth what our Savior charged them with, as a corrupt principle among them, Matthew 5:43, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy ;” into which two sorts they distributed all mankind, — that is, in their sense, their own countrymen and strangers.

    Their corrupt and wicked conversation also made them a reproach, and their religion contemned. So was it with them from their first dispersion, as God declares: Ezekiel 36:20, “When they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of theLORD.”

    And their wickedness increased with their time; for they still learned the corrupt and evil arts, with all ways of deceit, used in the nations where they lived, until, for the crimes of many, the whole nation became the common hatred of mankind. And, that we may return from this digression, this being the state of things then in the world, we may not wonder if the writers of those days were very supinely negligent or maliciously envious in reporting their ways, customs, and religious observances. And it is acknowledged that, before those times, the long course of idolatry and impiety wherein the whole world had been engaged had utterly corrupted and lost the tradition of a sabbatical rest. What notices of it continued in former ages hath been before declared. 25. But it is further pleaded (p. 54), “That indeed the Gentiles could be no way obliged to the observation of the fourth commandment, seeing they had no indication of it, nor any means to free them from their ignorance of the being of any such law. That they had once had, and had lost the knowledge of it, in and by their progenitors, is rejected as a vain pretence.”

    And so much weight is laid on this consideration, that a demand is made of somewhat to be returned in answer that may give any satisfaction unto conscience. But I understand not the force of this pretended argument.

    Those who had absolutely lost the knowledge of the true God (in and by their progenitors), as the Gentiles had done, might ‘well also lose the knowledge of all the concernments of his worship. And so they had done, excepting only that they had traduced some of his institutions, as sacrifices, into their own superstition; and so had they corrupted the use of his sabbaths into that of their idolatrous feasts. But when the true God had no other acknowledgment amongst them but what answered the title of “The unknown God,” is it any wonder that his ways and worship might be unknown amongst them also? And it is but pretended that they had no indication of a sabbatical rest, nor any means to free them from their ignorance. Man’s duty is both to be learned and observed in order. It is in vain to expect that any should have indications of a holy rest unto God before they are brought to the knowledge of God himself. When this is obtained, — when the true God upon just grounds is owned and acknowledged, — then that some time be set apart for his solemn worship is of moral and natural right. That this is included in the very first notion of the true God and our dependence upon him, all men do confess. And this principle was abused among the heathen to be the foundation of all their stated annual and monthly sacred solemnities, after they had nefariously lost the only object of all religious worship. Where this progress is made, as it might have been, by attending to the directive light of nature, and the impressions of the law of it left upon the souls of men, there will not be wanting sufficient indicatives of the meetest season for that worship. However, these things were and are to be considered and admitted in their order; and with respect unto that order is their obligation.

    The heathen were bound first to know and own the true God, and him alone; then to worship him solemnly; and after that, in order of nature, to have some solemn time separated unto the observance of that worship.

    Without an admission of these, all which were neglected and rejected by them, there is no place to inquire after the obligation of a hebdomadal rest.

    And their nonobservance of it was their sin, not firstly, directly, and immediately, but consequentially , as all others are that arise from an ignorance or rejection of those greater principles whereon they do depend. 26. The trivial exception from the difference of the meridians is yet pleaded also; for hence it is pretended to be impossible that all men should precisely observe the same day. For if a man should sail round the world by the east, he will at his return home have gotten a day by his continual approach towards the rising sun; and if he steer his course westward, he will lose a day in the annual revolution, as it is gotten the other way: so did the Hollanders, anno 1615. And hence the posterity of Noah, gradually spreading themselves over the world, must have gradually come to the observation of different seasons, if we shall suppose a day of sacred rest required of them or appointed to them. “Apage, nugas.” If men might sail eastward or westward, and not continually have seven days succeeding one another, there would be some force in this trifle. On our hypothesis, wherever men are, a seventh part of their time, or a seventh day, is to be separated to the remembrance of the rest of God, and the other ends of the Sabbath. That the observance of this portion of time shall in all places begin and end at the same instants, the law and order of God’s creation will not permit. It is enough that amongst all who can assemble for the worship of God there is no difference in general, but that they all observe the same proportion of time. And he who, by circumnavigation of the world, (such rare and extraordinary instances being not to be provided for in a general law,) getteth or loseth a day, may at his return, with a good conscience, give up again what he hath not, or retrieve what he hath lost, with those with whom he fixeth; for all such occasional accidents are to. be reduced unto the common standard. All the difficulty, therefore, in this objection relates to the precise observation of the seventh day from the creation, and not in the least unto one day in seven. And although the seventh day was appointed principally for the land of Palestine, the seat of the church of old, wherein there was no such alteration of meridians, yet I doubt not but that a wandering Jew might have observed the foregoing rule, and reduced his time to order upon his return home. What other exceptions of the like nature occur in this cause, they shall be removed and satisfied in our next inquiry, which is after the causes of the Sabbath, and the morality of the observation of one day in seven.


    OF THE CAUSES OF THE SABBATH. 1. Of the causes of the Sabbath. 2. God the absolute original cause of it — Distinction of divine laws into moral and positive. 3. Divine laws of a mixed nature; partly moral, partly positive. 4. Opinion of some that the law of the Sabbath was purely positive — Difficulties of that opinion. 5. Opinion of them who maintain the observation of one day in seven to be moral. 6. Opinion of them who make the observation of the seventh day precisely to be a moral duty. 7. The second opinion asserted. 8. The common notion of the Sabbath explained. 9, The true notion of it further inquired into. 10. Continuation of the same disquisition. 11. The law of nature, wherein it consists – Opinion of the philosophers. 12. Not comprised in the dictates of reason – No obliging authority in them formally considered. 13. Uncertainty and disagreement about the dictates of reason – Opinions of the Magi. Zeno, Chrysippus, Plato, Archelaus, Aristippus, Carneades, Brennus, etc. 14. Things may belong to the law of nature not discoverable to the common reason of the most. 15. The law of nature, wherein it does really consist. 16. Light given unto a septenary. sacred rest in the law of nature. 17. Further instances thereof. 18. The observation of the Sabbath on the same foundation with monogamy. 19. The seventh day an appendage of the covenant of works. 20. How far the whole notion of a weekly sacred rest was of the law of nature. 21. Natural light obscured by the entrance of sin. 22. The sum of what is proposed. 23. The inquiry about the causes of the Sabbath renewed. 24. The command of it, in what sense a Iaw moral, and how evidenced so to be. 25. To worship God in associations and assemblies of moral duty. 26. 0ne day in seven required unto solemn worship by the law of our creation 27. What is necessary to warrant the. ascription of any duty to the law of creation. 28. (1.) That it be congruous to the known principles of it. 29. (2.) That it have a general principle in the light of nature. 30. (3.) That it be taught by the works of creation. 31. (4.) Direction for its observance, by superadded revelation, no impeachment of it. 32. How far the same duty may be required by a law moral and by a law positive. 33. Vindication of the truths laid down from an objection. 34. Other evidences of the morality of this duty. 35. Required in all states of the church. 36. These varied states. 37. Command for the Sabbath before the fall. 38. Before and at the giving of the law, and under the gospel. 39. Whether appointed by the church. 40. Of the fourth commandment in the decalogue. 41. The proper subject of it. 42. The seventh day precisely not primarily required therein. 43. Somewhat moral in the granted by all. 44. The matter of this command a moral duty by the law of creation. 45. The morality of the precept itself proved from its interest in the decalogue, in various instances. 46. The law of the Sabbath only preferred above all ceremonial and judicial laws. 47. The words of our Savior, Matthew 24:20, considered. 48. The whole law of the decalogue established by Christ. 49. Objections proposed. 50. The first answered, 51. The second answered. 52. The third answered. 53. One day in seven, not the seventh day precisely, required in the decalogue. 54. An objection from the sense of the law. 55. Answered. 56, 57. Other objections answered. 58, 59. Colossians 2:16,17, considered. 1. WE have fixed the original of the sabbatical rest, according to the best light we have received into these things, and confirmed the reasons of it with the consent of mankind. The next step in our progress must be an inquiry into its causes. And here also we fall immediately into those difficulties and entanglements which the various apprehensions of learned men, promoted and defended with much diligence have occasioned. I have no design to oppose or contend with any, although a modest examination of the reasons of some will be indispensably necessary unto me. All that I crave is the liberty of proposing my own thoughts and judgement in this matter, with the reasons and grounds of them. When that is done, I shall humbly submit the whole to the examination and judgment of all that call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, their Lord and ours. 2. First, it is agreed by all that God alone is the supreme, original, and absolute cause of the Sabbath. Whenever it began, whenever it ends, be it expired or still in force, of what kind soever were its institution, the law of it was from God. It was from heaven, and not of men; and the will of God is the sole rule and mea-sure of our observation of it, and obedience to him therein. What may or may not be done, in reference unto the observation of a day of holy rest, by any inferior authority comes not here under consideration. But whereas there are two sorts of laws whereby God requires the obedience of his rational creatures, which are commonly called moral and positive, it is greatly questioned and disputed to whether of these sorts does belong the command of a sabbatical rest. Positive laws are taken to be such as have no reason for them in themselves,–nothing of the matter of them is taken from the things themselves commanded,— but do depend merely and solely on the sovereign will and pleasure of God. Such were the laws and institutions of the sacrifices of old; and such are those which concern the sacraments and other things of the like nature under the new testament Moral laws are such as have the reasons of them taken from the nature of the things themselves required in them; for they are good from their respect to the nature of God himself, and from that nature and order of all things which he has placed in the creation. So that this sort of laws is but declarative of the absolute goodness of what they do require; the other is constitutive of it, as unto some certain ends. Laws positive, as they are occasionally given, so they are esteemed alterable at pleasure.

    Being fixed by mere will and prerogative, without respect to any thing that should make them necessary antecedent to their giving, they may by the same authority at any time be taken away and abolished. Such, I say, are they in their own nature, and as to any firmitude that they have from their own subject-matter. But with respect unto God’s determination, positive divine laws may become eventually unalterable. And this difference is there between legal and evangelical institutions. The laws of both are positive only, equally proceeding from sovereign will and pleasure, and in their own natures equally alterable; but to the former God had in his purpose fixed a determinate time and season wherein they should expire or be altered by his authority; the latter he has fixed a perpetuity and unchangeableness unto, during the state and condition of his church in this world. The other sort of laws are perpetual and un-alterable in themselves, so far as they are of that sort, —that is, moral. For although a law of that kind may have an especial injunction, with such circumstances as may be changed and varied (as had the whole decalogue in the commonwealth of Israel), yet so far as it is moral, —that is, as its commands or prohibitions are necessary emergencies, or expressions of the good or evil of the things it commands or forbids, —it is invariable. And in these things there is an agreement, unless sometimes, through mutual oppositions, men are chafed into some exceptions or distinctions 3. Unto these two sorts do all divine laws belong, and unto these heads they may be all reduced. And it is pleaded by some that these kinds of laws are contradistinct, so that a law of one kind can in no sense be a law of the other. And this doubtless is true reduplicatively, because they have especial formal reasons. As far and wherein any laws are positive, they are not moral; and as far as they are purely moral, they are not formally positive, though given after the manner of positive commands. Howbeit this hinders not but that some do judge that there may be and are divine laws of a mixed nature; for there may be in a divine law a foundation in and respect unto somewhat that is moral, which yet may stand in need of the superaddition of a positive command for its due observation unto its proper end. Yea, the moral reason of things commanded, which arises out of a due natural respect unto God and the order of the universe, may be so deep and hidden, as that God, who would make the way of his creatures plain and easy, gives out express positive commands for the observance of what is antecedently necessary by the law of our creation. Hence a law may partake of both these considerations, and both of them have an equal influence into its obligatory power. And by this means sundry duties, some moral, some positive, are as it were compounded in one observance; as may be instanced in the great duty of prayer. Hence the whole law of that observance becomes of a mixed nature; which yet God can separate at his pleasure, and taking away that which is positive, leave only that which is absolutely moral in force. And this kind of laws, which have their foundation in the nature of things themselves, which yet stand in need of further direction for their due observation, which is added unto them by positive institution, some call moral-positive. 4. According to these distinctions of the nature of the laws which God expresses his will in and by, are men’s apprehensions different about the immediate and instrumental cause of the sabbatical rest. That God was the author of it is, as was said, by all agreed But, say some, the law whereby he appointed it was purely positive, them matter of it being arbitrary, stated and determined only in the command itself; and so the whole nature of the law and that commanded in it are changeable. And because positive laws did, and always do, respect some other things besides and beyond themselves, it is pleaded that this law was ceremonial and typical; that is, it was an institution of an outward, present religious observation, to signify and represent something not present nor yet come. Such were all the particulars of the whole system of Mosaical worship, whereof this law of the Sabbath was a part and an instance. In brief, some say that the whole law of the Sabbath was, as to its general nature, positive and arbitrary, and so changeable; and in particular, ceremonial and typical, and so actually changed and abolished. But yet it is so fallen out, that those who are most positive in these assertions cannot but acknowledge that this law is so ingrafted into, and so closed up with somewhat that is moral and unalterable, that it is no easy thing to hit the joint aright, and make a separation of the one from the other. But concerning any other law expressly and confessedly ceremonial, no such thing can be observed.

    They were all evidently and entirely arbitrary institutions, without any such near relation to what is moral as might trouble any one to make a distinction between them. For instance, the law of sacrifices has indeed an answerableness in it to a great principle of the law of nature, namely, that we must honor God with our substance and the best of our increase; yet that this might be done many other ways, and riot by sacrifice, if God had pleased so to ordain, every one is able to apprehend. It is otherwise in this matter; for none will deny but that it is required of us, in and by the law of nature, that some time be set apart and dedicated unto God, for the observation of his solemn worship in the world; and it is plain to every one that this natural dictate is inseparably included in the law of the Sabbath. It will therefore surely he difficult to make it absolutely and universally positive. I know some begin to whisper things inconsistent with this concession. But we have as yet the universal consent of all divines, ancient and modern, fathers, schoolmen, and casuists, concurring in this matter; for they all unanimously affirm, that the separation of some part of our time to sacred uses, and the solemn honoring of God, is required of us in the light and by the law of nature. And herein lies the fundamental notion of the law now inquired after. This also may be further added, that whereas this natural dictate for the observation of some time in the solemn worship of God has been accompanied with a declaration of his will from the foundation of the world, that this time should be one day in seven, it will be a matter of no small difficulty to find out what is purely positive therein. 5. Others building on this foundation, that the dedication of some part of our time to the worship of God is a duty natural or moral, as required by the law of our creation (not that time in itself, which is but a circumstance of other things, can be esteemed moral, but that our observation of time may be a moral duty), do add that the determination of one day in seven to be that portion of time so to be dedicated is inseparable from the same foundation, and is of the same nature with it; that is, that the sabbatical observation of one day’s holy rest in seven has a moral precept for its warranty, or that which has the nature of a moral precept in it: so that although the revolution of time in seven days, and the confining of the day to that determined season, do depend on revelation and a positive command of God for its observance, yet on supposition thereof the moral precept prevails in the whole, and is everlastingly obligatory. And there are some divines of great piety and learning who do judge that a command of God given unto all men, and equally obligatory unto all respecting their manner of living unto God, is to be esteemed a moral command, and that indispensable and unchangeable, although we should not be able to discover the reason of it in the light and law of nature. Nor can such a command be reckoned amongst them that are merely positive, arbitrary, and changeable; all which depend on sundry other things, and do not firstly affect men as men in general. And it is probable that God would not give out any such catholic command, which comprised not somewhat naturally good and right in it And this is the best measure and determination of what is moral, and not our ability of discovering by reason what is so and what is not, as we shall see afterwards. 6. Moreover, there are some who stay not here, but contend that the precise observation of the seventh day in the hebdomadal revelation lies under a command moral and indispensable for God, they say, who is the sovereign Lord of us and our times, has taken, by an everlasting law, this day unto himself, for his honor and service; and he has therein obliged all men to a holy rest, not merely on some certain fixed and stated time, not on one day in seven originally, as the first intention of his command, but on the seventh day precisely, whereunto those other considerations of some stated and fixed time and of one day in seven are consequential, and far from previous foundations of it The seventh day, as the seventh day, is, they say, the first proper object of the command; the other things mentioned, of a stated time and of one day in seven, do only follow thereon, and by virtue thereof belong to the command of the Sabbath, and no otherwise. Herein great honor indeed is done unto the seventh day, above all other ordinances of worship whatever, even of the gospel itself, but whether with sufficient warranty we must afterwards inquire. At present I shall only observe, that this observation of the seventh day precisely is resolved into the sovereignty of God over us and our times, and into an occasion respecting purely the covenant of works; on which bottoms it is hard to fix it in an absolute, unvariable station. 7. It is the second opinion, for the substance of it, which I shall endeavor to explain and confirm; and therein prove a sacred sabbatical rest unto God, of one day in seven, to be enjoined unto all that fear him, by a law perpetual and indispensable, upon the account of what is moral therein.

    The reason, I say, of the obligation of the law of the Sabbath is moral, and thence the obligation itself universal; however,. the determination and declaration of the day itself depend on arbitrary revelation and a law merely positive. These things being explained and confirmed, the other opinions proposed will fall under our consideration.

    To obtain a distinct light into the truth in this matter, we must consider both the true notion of the sacred rest, as also of the law of our creation, whereby we affirm that fundamentally and virtually it is required. 8. The general notion of the Sabbath is, “a portion of time set apart, by divine appointment, for the observance and performance of the solemn worship of God.” The worship of God is that which we are made for, as to our station in this world, and is the means and condition of our enjoyment of him in glory, wherein consists the ultimate end, as unto us, of our creation. This worship, therefore, is required of us by the law of our creation; and it is upon the matter all that is required of us thereby, seeing we are obliged by it to do all things to the glory of God. And therefore is the solemn expression of that worship required of us in the same manner; for the end of it being our glorifying him as God, and the nature of it consisting in the profession of our universal subjection unto him and dependence upon him, the solemn expression of it is as necessary as the worship itself which we are to perform. No man, therefore, ever doubted but that by the law of nature we were bound to worship God, and solemnly to express that worship; for else wherefore were we brought forth in this world? These things are inseparable from our nature; and where this order is disturbed by sin we fall into another, which the properties of God, on the supposition of transgressing our first natural order, do render no less necessary unto his glory than the other, namely, that of punishment.

    Moreover, in this worship it is required, by the same law of our being, that we should serve God with all that we do receive from him. No man can think otherwise. For is there any thing that we have received from God that shall yield him no revenue of glory, whereof we ought to make no acknowledgment unto him? Who dare once so to imagine? Among the things thus given us of God is our time. And this falls under a double consideration in this matter: —First, As it is an inseparable moral circumstance of the worship required of us; so it is necessarily included in the command of worship itself, not directly, but consequentially.

    Secondly, It is in itself a part of our vouchsafements from God, for our own use and purposes in this world. So upon its own account, firstly and directly, a separation of a part of it unto God and his solemn worship is required of us. It remains only to inquire what part of time it is that is and will be accepted with God. This is declared and determined in the fourth commandment to be the seventh part of it, or one day in seven. And this is that which is positive in the command; which yet, as to the foundation, formal reason, and main substance of it, is moral. And these things are true, but yet do not express the whole nature of the Sabbath, which we must further inquire into. 9. And, first, it must be observed, that wherever there is mention of a sabbatical rest, as enjoined unto men for their observation there is still respect unto a rest of God that preceded it, and the cause and foundation of it. In its first mention, God’s rest is given as the reason of his sanctifying and blessing a day of rest for us, whence also it has its name: Genesis 2:3, “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, tbæv; wOb yKi ,”—” because he sabbatized thereon himself.” And so it is expressed, and the same reason is given of it, in the fourth commandment. God wrought six days, and rested the seventh; therefore must we rest, Exodus 20:11. The same is observed in the new creation, as we shall see afterwards and more fully in our exposition of Hebrews 4. Now, that God may he said to rest, it is necessary that some signal work of his do go before; for rest, in the first notion of it, includes a respect to an antecedent work or labor. And so it is everywhere declared. God wrought his works and finished them, and then rested; he made all things in six days; and rested on the seventh. And he that is entered into rest ceases from his work. And both these, the work of God and the rest of God, must in this matter be considered. For the work of God, it is that of the old and whole creation, as is directly expressed, Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:11, which I desire may be borne in mind.

    And this work of God may he considered two ways:First, Naturally or physically, as it consisted in the mere production of the effects of his power, wisdom, and goodness. So all things are the work of God. Secondly, Morally, as God ordered and designed all his works to be a means of glorifying himself, in and by the obedience of his rational creatures. This consideration, both the nature of it, and the order and end of the whole creation, do make necessary. For God first made all the inanimate, then animate and sensitive creatures, in their glory, order, and beauty. In and on all these he implanted a teaching and instructive power: for “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork,” Psalm 19:1; and all creatures are frequently called on to give praise and glory to him. And this expresses that in their nature and order which reveals and manifests him and the glorious excellencies of his nature, which man is to contemplate in their effects in them, and give glory unto him; for after them all was man made, to consider and use them all for the end for which they were made, and was a kind of mediator between God and the rest of the creatures, by and through whom he would receive all his glory from them. This is that which our apostle discourses about, Romans 1:19,20. The design of God, as he declares, was to manifest and show himself in his works to man. Man learning from them “the invisible things of God,” was to “glorify him as God,” as he disputes. The ordering and disposal of things to this purpose is principally to be considered in the works of God, as his rest did ensue upon them.

    Secondly, The rest of God is to be considered as that which completes the foundation of the sabbatical rest inquired after; for it is built on God’s working and entering into his rest. Now, this is not a mere cessation from working. It is not absolutely so; for “ God works hitherto.” And the expression of God’s rest is of a moral and not a natural signification; for it consists in the satisfaction and complacency that he took in his works, as effects of his goodness, power, and wisdom, disposed in the order and unto the ends mentioned. Hence, as it is said that upon the finishing of them, he looked on “every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” Genesis 1:31, —that is, he was satisfied in his works and their disposal, and pronounced concerning them that they became his infinite wisdom and power; so it is added that he not only “ rested on the seventh day,” but also that he was “refreshed,” Exodus 31:17, —that is, be took great complacency in what he had done, as that which was suited unto the end aimed at namely, the expression of his greatness, goodness, and wisdom, unto his rational creatures, and his glory through their obedience thereon, as on the like occasion he is said to “rest in his love,” arrd to “rejoice with singing,” Zephaniah 3:17.

    Now, in the work and rest of God thus stated did the whole rule of the obedience of man originally consist; and therein was he to seek also his own rest, as his happiness and blessedness; for God had not declared any other way for his instruction in the ends of his creation, —that is, his obedience unto him and blessedness in him, —but in and by his own works and rest, This, then, is the first end of this holy rest And it must always be born in mind, as that without which we can give no glory to God as rational creatures, made under a moral law in a dependence on him; for this he indispensably requires of us, and this is the sum of what be requires of us, namely, that we glorify him according to the revelation that he makes of himself unto us, whether by his works of nature or of grace.

    To the solemnity hereof the day inquired after is necessary. To express these things is the general end of the sabbatical rest prescribed unto us and our observation; for so it is said God wrought and rested, and then requires us so to do.

    And it has sundry particular ends or reasons: —First, That we might learn the satisfaction and complacency that God has in his own works, Genesis 2:2,3; that is, to consider the impressions of his excellencies upon them, and to glorify him as God on that account, Romans 1:19-21.

    For hence was man originally taught to fear, love, trust, obey, and honor him absolutely, even from the manifestation that he had made of himself in his works, wherein he rested And had not God thus rested in them, and been refreshed upon their completing and finishing, they would not have been a sufficient means to instruct man in those duties. And our observation of the evangelical Sabbath has the same respect unto the works of Christ and his rest thereon, when he saw of the travail of his soul and was satisfied, as shall afterwards be declared.

    Secondly, Another end of the original sabbatical rest was, that it might be a pledge unto man of his rest in and with God; for in and by the law of his creation, man had an end of rest proposed unto him, and that in God. This he was to be directed unto and encouraged to look after. Herein God by his works and rest had instructed him. And by giving him the Sabbath, as he gave him a pledge thereof, so he required of him his approbation of the covenant way of attaining it; whereof afterwards. Hence Psalm 92, whose title is, tB;Væhæ µwOyl] ryvi rwOmz]mi , “A psalm or song for the Sabbath day,” —which some of the Jews ascribe unto Adam, —as it principally consists in contemplations of ‘the works of God, with holy admiration of his greatness and power manifested in them, with praises unto him on their account, so it expresses the destruction of ungodly sinners and the salvation of the righteous, whereof in that day’s rest they had a pledge.

    And this belonged unto that state of man wherein he was created, namely, that he should have a pledge of eternal rest. Neither could his duty and capacity be otherwise answered or esteemed reasonable. His duty, which was working in moral obedience, had a natural relation unto a reward; and his capacity was such as could not be satisfied, nor himself attain absolute rest, but in the enjoyment of God. A pledge hereof therefore, belonged unto his condition.

    Thirdly, Consideration was had of the way and means whereby man might enter into the rest of God proposed unto him. And this was by that obedience and worship of God which the covenant wherein he was created required of him. The solemn expression of this obedience and exercise of this worship were indispensably required of him and his posterity, in all their societies and communion with one another. This cannot be denied, unless we shall say that God making man to be a sociable creature, and capable of sundry relations, did not require of him to honor him in the societies and relations whereof he was capable; which would certainly overthrow the whole Jaw of his creation with respect unto the end for which he was made, and render all societies sinful and rebellious against God. Hereunto the sabbatical rest was absolutely necessary; (or without some such rest, fixed or variable, those things could not be. This is a time or season for man to express and solemnly pay that homage which he owes to his Creator; and this is by most esteemed the great, if not the only end of the Sabbath. But it is evident that it falls under sundry precedent considerations. 10. These being the proper ends and reasons of the original sabbatical rest, which contain the true notion of it, we may next inquire after the law whereby it was prescribed and commanded. To this purpose we must first consider the state wherein man was created, and then the law of his creation. And for the state and condition wherein man was created, it falls under a threefold consideration: for man may be considered either, — (1.) Absolutely as a rational creature; or, (2.) As made under a covenant of rewards and punishments; or, (3.) With respect unto the special nature of that covenant.

    First, He was made a rational creature, and thereby necessarily in a moral dependence on God for being endowed with intellectual faculties, in an immortal soul, capable of eternal blessedness or misery, able to know God, and to regard him as the first cause and last end of all, as the author of his being and object of his blessedness, it was naturally and necessarily incumbent on him, without any further considerations, to love, fear, and obey him, and to trust in him as a preserver and rewarder. And this the order of his nature, called “the image of God,” inclined and enabled him unto. For it was not possible that such a creature should be produced, and lie under an obligation unto all those duties which the nature of God and his own, and the relation of the one to the other, made necessary. Under this consideration alone, it was required, by the law of man’s creation, that some time should be separated unto the solemn expression of his obedience, and due performance of the worship that God required of him; for in vain was he endued with intellectual faculties and appointed unto society, if he were not to honor God by them in all his relations, and openly express the homage which he owed him. And this could not be done but in a time appointed for that purpose; the neglect whereof must be a deviation from the law of the creation. And as this is generally acknowledged, so no man can fancy the contrary. Here, then, do we fix the necessity of the separation of some time to the ends of a sabbatical rest, even on the nature of God and man, with the relation of one to the other; for who can say no part of our time is due to God, or so to be disposed?

    Secondly, Man in his creation, with respect unto the ends of God therein, was constituted under a covenant. That is the law of his obedience was attended with promises and threatenings, rewards and punishments, suited unto the goodness and holiness of God; for every law with rewards and recompenses annexed has the nature of a covenant. And in this case, although the promise wherewith man was encouraged unto obedience, which was that of eternal life with God, did in strict justice exceed the worth of the obedience required, and so was a superadded effect of goodness and grace, yet was it suited unto the constitution of a covenant meet for man to serve God in unto his glory; and, on the other side, the punishment threatened unto disobedience, in death and an everlasting separation from God, was such as the righteousness and holiness of God, as his supreme governor, and Lord of him and the covenant, did require.

    Now, this covenant belonged unto the law of creation; for although God might have dealt with man in a way of absolute sovereignty, requiring obedience of him without a covenant of a reward infinitely exceeding it yet having done so in his creation, it belongs unto and is inseparable from the law thereof. And under this consideration, the time required in general for a rest unto God, under the first general notion of the nature and being of man, is determined unto one day in seven; for as we shall find that in the various dispensations of the covenant with man and the change of its nature, so long as God is pleased to establish any covenant with man, he has and does invariably require one day in seven to be set apart unto the assignation of praise and glory to himself; so we shall see afterwards that there are indications of his mind to this purpose in the covenant itself.

    Thirdly, Man is to be considered with special respect unto that covenant under which he was created, which was a covenant of works; for herein rest with God was proposed unto him as the end or reward of his own works, or of his personal obedience unto God, by absolute strict righteousness and holiness. And the peculiar form of this covenant, as relating unto the way of God’s entering into it upon the finishing of his own works, designed the seventh day from the beginning of the creation to be the day precisely for the observation of a holy rest.

    As men, then, are always rational creatures, so some portion of time is by them necessarily to be set apart to the solemn worship of God. As they are under a covenant, so this time was originally limited unto one day in seven. And as the covenant may be varied, so may this day also; which under the covenant of works was precisely limited unto the seventh day.

    And these things must be further illustrated and proved. 11. This was the state and condition wherein man was originally created.

    Our next inquiry is after the law of his creation, commonly called the law of nature, with what belongs thereunto, or what is required of us by virtue thereof. Now, by the law of nature most understand the dictates of right reason, which all men, or men generally, consent in and agree about; for we exclude wholly from this consideration the instinct of brute creatures, which has some appearance of a rule unto them. So Hesiod of old determined this matter speaking of them, jErg . kai < JHm . 278, — “They devour one another, because they have no right or law amongst them.” Hence the prophet complaining of force and violence amongst men, with a neglect of right, justice, and equity, says, “Men are as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them,” Hab. 1:14. They devour one another, without regard to rule or fight; as he in Varro,— “Natura humanis omnia sunt paria.

    Qui pote plus, urget; pisces ut sæpe minutos Magnu’ comest, ut aves enecat accipiter.” Most learned men, therefore, conclude that there is no such thing as “jus,” or “lex naturæ,” among irrational creature; and consequently nothing of good or evil in their actions. But the consent of men in the dictates of reason is esteemed the law of nature. So Cicero, Tusc. 1:cap. xiii, “Omni in re consensio omnium gentium lex naturæ putanda est;”—”The common consent of all nations in any thing is to be thought the law of nature.” And Aristotle also, Rhet lib. 1:cap. xiv., calls it no>mou koino>n “a common law, unwritten,” pertaining unto all, whose description he adds: Koinosin? e]sti gaontai> ti pa>ntev fu>sei koinokaion h[ ajdikoa koinwni>a prolouv , ka\|n h+ , mh>de sunqh>kh? —That which is common is according to nature; for there is somewhat which all men think, and this is common right or injustice by nature, although there should be neither society nor compact between them.” And this he confirms out of Empedocles, that it is that ou+ tisi< mekaion , tisi< de< ouj di>kaion ,— “not which is just to some, and unjust to others.”

    JAlla< to< mentwn no>mimon , dia< eujrume>dontov Aijqe>rov hjneke>wv te>tatai dia< th~v ajple>tou aujgh~v? — “But it in right amongst all, spread out with immense right by the broad ruling sky” The like he affirms in his Ethics, lib. 5:cap. vii., defining it to be that which pantacou~ th~n aujthnamin , kai< ouj tw~| do>kein h[ mh> ,— “that which has always, or everywhere, the same force or power, and does not seem or not seem so to be” [and not because it has been so decreed or not].

    This his expositors affirm to be para< toi~v plei>stoiv , kai< ajdiafo>roiv kai< kata< fu>sin e]cousin ,—”amongst the most of men who live according to the light of nature, with the principles of it uncorrupted.”

    This kata< fu>sin is the same with meta< lo>gou , “according to the dictates of reason.” So lo>gov oJ ojrqo>v , “right reason, is the same with many as “jus naturæ,” or “naturale.” Tully in his first de Legib., cam xii., pursues this at large. “Est unum jus,” says he, “quo devincta est hominum societas, et quod lex constituit una Quæ lex est recta ratio imperandi atque prohibendi;” —”There is one common right, which is the bond of human society, and which depends on one law. And this law is the right reason of forbidding and commanding.” This, then, is generally received,— namely, that the law of nature consists in the dictates of reason, which men sober, and otherwise uncorrupted, do assent unto and agree in. But there are sundry things which will not allow us to acquiesce in this description of it; for,— 12. First, the law of nature is a constant and perfect law. It must be so, because it is the fountain and rule of all other laws whatever; for they are but deductions from it and applications of it. Now, unto a complete law it is required, not only that it be instructive, but also that it have a binding force, or be coactive; that is, it does not only teach, guide, and direct what is to be done, persuading by the reason of the things themselves which it requires, but also it must have authority to exact obedience, so far as that those who are under the power of it can give themselves no dispensation from its observance. But thus it is not with these dictates of reason. They go no further than direction and persuasion; and these always have, and always will have, a respect unto occasions, emergencies, and circumstances. When these fall under any alterations, they will put reason on new considerations of what it ought to determine with respect unto them; and this the nature of a universal law will not admit. Whatever, then, men determine by reason, they may alter on new considerations, such as occasioned their original determination. I do not extend this unto all instances of natural light, but to some only; which suffices to demonstrate that the unalterable law of nature does not consist in these dictates of reason only. Suppose men do coalesce into any civil society on the mere dictates of reason that it is meet and best for them so to do, if this be the supreme reason thereof, no obligation arises from thence to preserve the society so entered into but what is liable unto a dissolution from contrary considerations. If it be said that reason dictates and commands in the name of God, whence an indissoluble obligation attends it, it will be answered, that this introduces a new respect, which is not formally included in the nature of reason itself. Let a man indeed use and improve his own reason without prejudice, — let him collect what resolutions, determinations, instructions, laws, have proceeded from the reason of other men,— it will both exceedingly advance his understanding, and enable him to judge of many things that are congruous to the light and law of nature; but to suppose the law of nature to consist in a system or collection of such instances and observations is altogether unwarrantable. 13. The event of things, in the disagreement of the wisest men about the dictates of reason, utterly everts this opinion. The law of nature, whatever it be, must in itself be one, uniform, unalterable, the same in and unto all; for by these properties it differs from all other laws. But if it have no higher nor more noble original to be resolved into but mere human reason, it will be found, if not in all things, yet in most, fluctuating and uncertain.

    For about what is agreeable to reason in things moral, and what is not there have been differences innumerable from time immemorial, and that amongst them who searched most diligently after them, and boasted themselves to be wise upon their self-pleasing discoveries. This gave the greatest occasion unto the two hundred and eighty-eight sects of philosophers, as Austin reports them out of Varro, who was “disertissimus nepotum Romuli,” lib. 19:de Civit. Dei. Yea, and some of the most learned and contemplative authors did not only mistake in many instances what natural light required, but also asserted things in direct opposition unto what is judged so to be. The saying produced out of Empedocles by Aristotle, before mentioned, is to prove that the killing of any living creature is openly against the universally prevailing law of nature. Others maintained such things to be natural as the most did abominate. Incest in the nearest instances, with sodomy, were asserted lawful by the Magi, and some of the most learned Greeks, as Zeno and Chrysippus. And it was the judgment of Theodorus that a wise man ought kai< kle>yein te kai< moiceu>ein , kai< iJerosulh>sein ejn kairw~| , mhdesei aijscrolife. He thought that neither theft, nor adultery, nor sacrilege, had any thing evil or filthy in them in their own nature, so that a wise man ought to have respect unto them, according to circumstances and occasions. Plato’s promiscuous use of wives was confirmed by law at Sparta. And Archelaus at once determined kai< to< di>kaion ei+nai , kai< to< aijscromw| , as Diogenes in his life, who likewise reports the same of Aristippus and Carneades. Naturally they thought nothing just or unjust, good or evil, but by virtue of some arbitrary law. And there are yet those in the world, partakers of human nature in common with us all, who know no other rule of their actions towards others but power, as the cannibals, and those Indians who suppose they may justly spoil all that are afraid of them. Yea some, who of late have pretended a severe inquisition into these things, seem to incline unto an opinion that power and self-advantage are the rule of men’s conversation among themselves in this world. So it was the principle of Brennus, in his time the terror of Europe, that there was no other law of nature but that the weaker should obey the stronger.” And the commander of the Gauls who besieged the Roman Capitol, when he was on a composition to depart upon the giving to him such a weight of gold, threw his sword and helmet into the scale against it, giving no other reason for what he did but “Væ victis.” Neither will another rule which they had of assigning things to the law of nature hold firm, namely, a general usage of mankind from time immemorial. This Antigone pleads in Sophocles for her burying of Polynices, j jAntig .— Ouj ga>r ti nu~n ge kajcqe pote Zh~| pau~ta kojudeinh? — “This (right) arose not today nor yesterday, but was in force ever of old, nor does any man know from whence it arose.” For all nations, from beyond the records of the original of things, had consented unto practices directly contrary to the light of nature, as is now acknowledged. And hence were all the disputes of old about the nature, bounds, and ends of good and evil, duty and vice, honest and filthy, just and unjust,. that could never be determined. This Plato observing, affirms in his Phædo, “That if any one name either silver or iron, presently all men agree what it is that is intended; but if they speak of that which is just and good, presently we are at variance with others and among ourselves.” So great uncertainty is there in human reason, under its best natural improvements, in its judgment of what does or does not belong to the principles and condition of our nature, so far is it from being comprehensive of the whole law thereof. 14. When, therefore, we plead any thing to belong unto or to proceed from the law of nature, it is no impeachment of our assertion to say that it does not appear so to the common reason of mankind, or that right reason has not found it out or discovered it, provided it contain nothing repugnant thereunto; for it will never be universally agreed what does so appear to the common reason of all, nor what is, has been, or may be discovered thereby. And although it should be true, which some say, that moral and natural duties depend on and have their formal reason from the nature of God and man, yet it does not thence follow that we do, or may, by the sole light of nature, know what does so arise, with the due bounds and just consequences of it. But there is, as we shall. see, something yet further required in and unto the law of nature, which is the adequate rule of all such duties. I shall not, therefore, endeavor to prove that the mere dictates of reason do evince a sacred hebdomadal rest as knowing that the law of nature, unto which we say it does belong, does not absolutely consist in them; nor did they ever since the fall, steadily and universally, as acted in men possessed of reason, either comprehend or express all that belongs thereunto. 15. By the law of nature, then, I intend, not a law which our nature gives unto all our actions , but a law given unto our nature , as a rule and measure unto our moral actions. It is “lex naturæ naturantis,” and not “naturæ naturæ” It respects the efficient cause of nature, and not the effects of it.

    And this respect alone can give it the nature of a law,— that is, an obliging force and power; for this must be always from the act of a superior, seeing “par in parem jus non habet,”— “equals have no right one over another.”

    This law, therefore, is that rule which God has given unto human nature, in all the individual partakers of it, for all its moral actions, in the state and condition wherein it was by him created and placed, with respect unto his own government of it and judgment concerning it; which rule is made known in them and to them by their inward constitution and outward condition wherein they were placed of God. And the very heathens acknowledged that the common law of mankind was God’s prescription unto them. So Tully, lib. 2:de Legibe. cap. iv., “Hanc video sapientissimorum fuisse sententiam, legem neque hominum ingenus excogitatam, nec scitum aliquod esse populoruim, sed æternuni quiddam, quod universum mundum regeret, imperandi prohibendique sapientia. Ita principem legem illam et ultimam, mentem esse dicebant, omnia ratione aut cogentis, aut vetantis Dei.” Take this law, therefore, actively , and it is the will of God commanding; take it passively , and it is the conscience of man complying with it; take it instrumentally , and it is the inbred notions of our minds, with other documents from the works of God, proposed unto us.

    The supreme original of it, as of all authority, law, and obligation, is the will of God, constituting, appointing, and ordering the nature of things; the means of its revelation, is the effect of the will, wisdom, and power of God, creating man and all other things wherein he is concerned, in their order, place, and condition; and the observation of it, as far as individual persons are therein concerned, is committed to the care of the conscience of every man, which naturally is the mind’s acting itself towards God as the author of this law. 16. These things being premised, we shall consider what light is given unto this sacred duty from the law of our creation. The first end of any law is to instruct, direct, and guide them in their duty unto whom it is given. A law which is not in its own nature instructive and directive, is no way meet to he prescribed unto rational creatures. What has an influence upon any creature of any other kind, if it be internal, is instinct , and not properly a law; if it be external, it is force and compulsion. The law of creation, therefore, comprised every thing whereby God instructed man, in the creation of himself and of the universe, unto his works or obedience, and his rest or reward. And whatever tended unto that end belonged unto that law. It is, then, as has been proved, unduly confined unto the ingrafted notions of his mind concerning God and his duty towards him, though they are a principal part thereof. Whatever was designed to give improvement unto those notions and his natural light, to excite or direct them,— I mean in the works of nature, not superadded positive institutions,— does also belong thereunto. Wherefore the whole instruction that God intended to give unto man by the works of creation, with their order and end, is, as was said, included herein. What he might learn from them, or what God taught him by them, was no less his duty than what his own inbred light directed him unto, Romans 1:18-20.

    Thus the framing of the world in six days , in six days of work , was intended to be instructive unto man, as well as the consideration of the things materially that were made. God could have immediately produced all out of nothing, ejn ajto>mw| ejn rJiph~| ojfqalmou~ ,— in the shortest measure of time conceivable; but he not only made all things for himself, or his glory, but disposed also the order of their production unto the same end. And herein consisted part of that covenant instruction which he gave unto man in that condition wherein he was made, that through him he might have glory ascribed unto him on the account of his works themselves, as also of the order and manner of their creation; for it is vain to imagine that the world was made in six days, and those closed with a day of rest, without an especial respect unto the obedience of rational creatures, seeing absolutely with respect unto God himself neither of them was necessary. And what he intended to teach them thereby, it was their duty to inquire and know. Hereby, then, man in general was taught obedience and working before be entered into rest; for being created in the image of God, he was to conform himself unto God. As God wrought before he rested, so was he to work before his rest, his condition rendering that working in him obedience, as it was in God an effect of sovereignty.

    And by the rest of God, or his satisfaction and complacency in what he had made and done, he was instructed to seek rest with God, or to enter into that rest of God, by his compliance with the ends intended. 17. And whereas the innate light and principles of his own mind informed him that some time was to be set apart to the solemn worship of God, as he was a rational creature made to give glory unto him, so the instruction he received by the works and rest of God, as made under a covenant, taught him that one day in seven was required unto that purpose, as also to be a pledge of his resting with God. It may be, it will be said that man could not know that the world was made in six days, and that the rest of God ensued on the seventh, without some especial revelation. I answer,— (1.) That I know not. He that knew the nature of all the creatures, and could give them names suited thereunto upon his first sight and view of them, might know more of the order of their creation than we can well imagine; for we know no more, in our lapsed condition, what the light of nature directed man unto as walking before God in a covenant, than men merely natural do know of the guidance and conduct of the light and law of grace in them who are taken into the new covenant. (2.) However, what God instructed him in, even by revelation, as to the due consideration and improvement of the things that belonged unto the law of his creation, that is to be esteemed as a part thereof. Institutions of things by special revelation, that had no foundation in the law or light of nature, were merely positive; such were the commands concerning the trees of life and of the knowledge of good and evil. But such as were directive of natural light and of the order of the creation were moral, and belonged unto the general law of obedience; such was the especial command given unto man to till and keep the garden, Genesis 2:15, or to dress and improve the place of his habitation, for this in general the law of his creation required. Now this God did, both as to his works and his rest.

    Neither do I know any one as yet that questions whether Adam and the patriarchs that ensued before the giving of the law knew that the world was created in six days. Though some seem to speak doubtfully hereof, and some by direct consequent deny it, yet I suppose that hitherto it passes as granted. Nor have they who dispute that the Sabbath was neither instituted, known, nor observed, before the people of Israel were in the wilderness, once attempted to confirm their opinion with this supposition, that the patriarchs from the foundation of the world knew not that the world was made in six days, which yet alone would be effectual unto their purpose. Nor, on the other side, can it be once rationally imagined that if they had knowledge hereof, and therewithal of the rest which ensued thereon, they had no regard unto it in the worship of God. 18. And thus was the Sabbath, or the observation of one day in seven as a sacred rest, fixed on the same moral grounds with monogamy , or the marriage of one man to one woman only at the same time; which, from the very fact and order of the creation, our Savior proves to have been an unchangeable part of the law of it. For because God made them two single persons, male and female, fit for individual conjunction, he concludes that this course of life they were everlastingly obliged not to alter nor transgress. As, therefore, men may dispute that polygamy is not against the law of nature, because it was allowed and practiced by many, by most of those who of old observed and improved the light and rule thereof to the uttermost, when yet the very “factum” and order of the creation is sufficient to evince the contrary; so although men should dispute that the observation of one day’s sacred rest in seven is not of the light or law of nature,— all whose rules and dictates, they say, are of an easy discovery, and prone to the observation of all men, which this is not,— yet the order of the creation, and the rest of God that ensued thereon, are sufficient to evince the contrary. And in the renewing of the law upon mount Sinai, God taught the people not only by the words that he spake, but also by the works that he wrought Yea, he instructed them in a moral duty, not only by what he did, but by what he did not; for he declares that they ought to make no images of or unto him, because he made no representation of himself unto them. “They saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spoke unto them in Horeb out of the midst of the fire,” Deuteronomy 4:15,16. 19. But now, to shut up this discourse, whereas the covenant which man originally was taken into was a covenant of works, wherein his obtaining rest with God depended absolutely on his doing all the work he had to do in a way of legal obedience, he was during the dispensation of that covenant tied up precisely to the observation of the seventh day, or that which followed the whole work of creation. And the seventh day, as such, is a pledge and token of the rest promised in the covenant of works, and no other. And those who would advance that day again into a necessary observation do consequentially introduce the whole covenant of works, and are become debtors into the whole law; for the. works of God which preceded the seventh day precisely were those whereby man was initiated into and instructed in the covenant of works, and the day itself was a token and pledge of the righteousness thereof, or a moral and natural sign of it, and of the rest of God therein, and the rest of man with God thereby.

    And it is no service to the church of God, nor has any tendency into the honor of Christ in the gospel, to endeavor a reduction of us unto the covenant of nature. 20. Thus was man instructed in the whole notion of a weekly sacred rest, by all the ways and means which God was pleased to use in giving him an acquaintance with his will, and that obedience unto his glory which he expected from him: for this knowledge he had partly by the law of his creation, as innate unto him or con-created with the principles of his nature, being the necessary exsurgency of his rational constitution; and partly by the works and rest of God , thereon proposed unto his consideration; both firmed by God’s declaration of his sanctification of the seventh day. Hence did he know that it was his duty to express and celebrate the rest of God, or the complacency that he had in the works of his hands, in reference unto their great and proper end, or his glory, in the honor, praise, and obedience of them unto whose contemplation they were proposed for those ends. This followed immediately from the time spent in the creation , and the rest that ensued thereon, which were so ordered for his instruction, and not from any other cause or reason, taken either from the nature of God or of the things themselves, which required neither six days to make the world in, nor any rest to follow thereon; for that rest was not a cessation from working absolutely, much less merely so. Hence did he learn the nature of the covenant that he was taken into, namely, how he was first to work in obedience, and then to enter into God’s rest in blessedness; for so had God appointed, and so did he understand his will, from his own present state and condition. Hence was he instructed to dedicate to God, and to his own more immediate communion with him, one day in a weekly revolution, wherein the whole law of his creation was consummated, as a pledge and means of entering eternally into God’s rest, which from hence he understood to be his end and happiness. And for the sanctification of the seventh day of the week precisely , he had it by revelation, or God’s sanctification of it; which had unto him the nature of a positive law, being a determination of the day suited unto the nature and tenor of that covenant wherein he walked with God. 21. And by this superadded command or institution, the mind of man was confirmed in the meaning and intention of his innate principles, and other instructions to the same purpose in general. All these things, I say, the last only excepted, was he directed unto in and by the innate principles of light and obedience wherewith the faculties of his soul were furnished, every way suited to guide him in the whole of the duty required of him, and by the further instruction he had from the other works of God, and his rest upon the whole. And although, it may be, we cannot now discern how in particular his natural light might conduct and guide him to the observance of all these things, yet ought we not therefore to deny that so it did, seeing there is evidence in the things themselves, and we know not well what that light was which was in him; for although we may have some due apprehensions of the substance of it, from its remaining ruins and materials in our lapsed condition, yet we have no acquaintance with that light and glorious luster, that extent of its directive beams, which it was accompanied withal, when it was in him as he came immediately from the hand of God, created in his image. We have lost more by the fall than the best and wisest in the world can apprehend whilst they are in it,— much more than most will acknowledge, whose principal design seems to be to extenuate the sin and misery of man; which issues necessarily in an undervaluation of the love and grace of Jesus Christ. But if a natural or carnal man cannot discern how the Spirit or grace of the new covenant, which succeeds into the room of our first innate light, as unto the end of our living unto God’s glory in a new way, directs and guides those in whom it is unto the observance of all the duties of it, let us not wonder if we cannot easily and readily comprehend the brightness, and extent, and conduct of that light which was suited unto an estate of things that never was in the world since the fall, but only in the man Christ Jesus; whose wisdom and knowledge in the mind and will of God even thereby, without his superadded peculiar assistance, we may rather admire than think to understand. 22. Thus, then, were the foundations of the old world laid, and the covenant of man’s obedience established, when all the sons of God sang for joy, even in the first rest of God, and in the expression of it by the sanctification of a sacred rest, made to return unto him a revenue of glory in man’s observance of it. And on these grounds I do affirm that the weekly observation of a day to God for sabbath ends is a duty natural and moral , which we are under a perpetual and indispensable obligation unto,— namely, from that command of God, which, being a part of the law of our creation, is moral, indispensable, and perpetual. And these things, with the different apprehensions of others about them, and oppositions unto them, must now be further explained and considered; and that we now enter·upon,— namely, the consideration of the judgment and opinions of others about these things, with the confirmation of our own. 23. In the inquiry after the causes of the Sabbath, the first question usually insisted on is concerning the nature of the law whereby its observation is commanded. This some affirm to be moral, some only positive, as we have showed before. And many disputes there have been about the true notion and distinction of laws moral and positive. But whereas these terms are invented to express the conceptions of men’s minds, and that of moral, at least, includes not any absolute determinate sense in the meaning of the word, those at variance about them cannot impose their sense and understanding of them upon one another; for seeing this denomination of moral, applied unto a law, is taken from the subject-matter of it, which is the manners or duties of them to whom the law is given, if any one will assert that every command of God which respects the manners of men, that is, of all men absolutely as men, is moral, I know not how any one can compel him to speak or think otherwise, for he has his liberty to use the word in that sense which he judges most proper. And if it can be proved that there is a law, and ever was, binding all men universally to the observation of a hebdomadal sacred rest, I shall not contend with any how that law ought to be called, whether moral or positive. This contest, therefore, I shall not engage into, though I have used, and shall yet further use, those terms in their common sense and acceptation. My way shall be plainly to inquire what force there is in the law of our creation unto the observation of a weekly Sabbath, and what is superadded there-unto by the vocal declaration of the will of God concerning it. 24. And here, in the first place, it is generally agreed,— so that the opposition unto it is not considerable, nor any way deserving our notice,— that in and by the light of nature, or the law of our creation, some time ought to be separated unto the observance of the solemn worship of God; for be that worship what it will, merely natural, or any thing superadded by voluntary and arbitrary institutions, the law for its observance is natural, and requires that time be set apart for its celebration, seeing in time it is to be performed. When there was but one man and woman, this was their duty; and so it continued to be the duty of their whole race and posterity, in all the societies, associations, and assemblies whereof they were capable. But the first object of this law or command is the worship of God itself ; time falls under it only consequentially and reductively. Wherefore the law of nature does also distinctly respect time itself; for we are bound thereby to serve God with all that is ours, and with “the first fruits of our substance” in every kind. Somewhat of whatever God has given unto us is to be set apart from our own use, and given up absolutely to him, as a homage due unto him, and a necessary acknowledgment of him. To deny this, is to contradict one of the principal dictates of the law of nature; for God has given us nothing ultimately for ourselves, seeing we and all that we have are wholly his. And to have any thing whereof no part as such is to be spent in his service, is to have it with his displeasure. Let any one endeavor to assert and prove this position, ‘No part of our time is to be set apart to the worship of God and his service in a holy and peculiar manner,’ and he will quickly find himself setting up in a full contradiction to the law of nature, and the whole light of the knowledge of God in his mind and conscience. Those who have attempted any such thing have done it under this deceitful pretense, that all our time is to he spent unto God, and every day is to be a Sabbath. But whereas, notwithstanding this pretense, they spend most of their time directly and immediately to themselves and their own occasions, it is evident that they do but make use of it to rob God of that which is his due directly and immediately; for unto the holy separation of any thing unto God, it is required as well that it be taken from ourselves as that it be given unto him. This, therefore, the law of our creation requires as unto the separation of some part of our time unto God. And if this does not at first consideration discover itself in its directive power , it will quickly do so in its condemning power, upon a contradiction of it. Thus far, then, we have attained. 25. Moreover, men are to worship God in assemblies and societies, such as he appoints, or such as by his providence they are cast into. This will not be denied, seeing it stands upon as good, yea, better evidence, than the associations of mankind for ends political unto their own good by government and order, which all men confess to be a direction of the law of nature. For what concerns our living to God naturally is as clear in that light and conduct as what concerns our living among ourselves. Now, a part of this worship it is that we honor him with what by his gift is made ours. Such is our time in this world. Nor can the worship itself be performed and celebrated in a due manner without the designation and separation of some time unto that purpose. And thereby, secondly, this separation of time becomes a branch of the law of nature, by an immediate, natural, and unavoidable consequence. And what is so is no less to he reckoned among the rules of it than the very first notions or impressions that it gives us concerning the nature of any thing, good or evil; for whatever reason can educe from the principles of reason, is no less reason than those principles themselves from whence it is educed. And we aim at no more from this discourse but that the separation of some time to the worship of God, according to the ends before insisted on, is reasonable; so that the contrary in its first conception is unreasonable and foolish. And this, I suppose, is evident to all; I am sure by most men it is granted.

    Could men hereupon acquiesce in the authority and wisdom of God indigitating and measuring out that portion of time in all seasons and ages of the church, there might be a natural rest from these contentions about a rest sacred and holy. However, I cannot but admire at the liberty which some men take, positively to affirm and contend that the command for the observation of the Sabbath, when or however it was given, was wholly umbratile and ceremonial; for there is that in it confessedly, as its foundation, and that which all its concernments are educed from, which is as direct an impression on the mind of man from the law of creation as any other instance that can be given thereof 26. Upon this foundation, therefore, we may proceed. And I say, in the next place, that the stated time directed unto for the ends of a sacred rest unto God by the light and law of nature,— that is, God’s command impressed on the mind of man in and by his own creation, and that of the rest of the works of God, intended for his direction in obedience,— is, that it be one day in seven . For the confirmation hereof; what we have discoursed concerning the law of creation and the covenant ratified with man therein is to be remembered. On the supposition thereof; the advancement or constitution of any other portion of time, in the stead and to the exclusion thereof; as a determination and limitation of the time required in general in the first instance of that law, is and would appear a contradiction unto it God having finished his works in six days, and rested on the seventh, giving man thereby and therein the rule and law of his obedience and rewards, for him to assign any other measure or portion of time for his rest unto God in his solemn worship, is to decline the authority of God for the sake of his own inventions; and to assign no portion at all unto that end, is openly to transgress a principal dictate of the law of nature, as has been proved. Neither this direction nor transgression, I confess, will evidently manifest themselves in the mere light of nature, as now depraved and corrupted; no more will sundry instances of its authority, unless its voice be diligently attended unto, and its light cultivated and improved in the minds of men, by the advantage of consequential revelations, given unto us for that purpose. For, that by the assistance of Scripture light, and rational considerations thence arising, we may discover many things to be dictates of, and to be directed unto by, the law of nature, which those who are left unto the mere guidance and conduct of it could not discover so to be, may be easily proved, from the open transgression of it in sundry instances, which they lived and approved themselves in, who seemed most to have lived according unto it, and professed themselves to be wise in following the light and conduct of reason in all things, as was before at large discoursed. The polytheism that prevailed amongst the best of the heathens, their open profession of living unto themselves, and seeking after their happiness in themselves, with many other instances, make this evident. And if revelation, or Scripture light, contributed no more to the discovery of the postulata of the law of nature, but by a removal of those prejudices which the manner and fashion of the world amongst men, and a corrupt conversation received by tradition from one generation to another, had fixed on and possessed their minds withal, yet were the advantages we had by it unto this end unspeakable. Let, then, this help be supposed, and let a judgment be made of the injunctions of the law of nature rather by its condemning right and power than by its directive light (for that, in our lapsed estate, is a better krith>rion of its commands than the other), and we shall find it manifesting itself in this matter. For on this supposition, let those who will not acknowledge that the separation of one day in seven is to be observed unto God for the ends declared, allowing the assertion before laid down of the necessity of the separation of some stated time to that purpose, fix to themselves any other time in a certain revolution of days, and they will undoubtedly find themselves pressed with so many considerations from the law of their creation to the contrary, as will give them little rest or satisfaction in their minds in what they do. 27. Further to manifest this, we may inquire what is necessary unto any duty of obedience towards God, to evince it to be a requisite of the law of our creation. And here our diligence is required; for it must be said again expressly, what was before intimated, that it is a childish mistake to imagine that whatever is required by the law of nature is easily discernible, and always known to all. Some of its directions it may be are so, especially such as are inculcated on the minds of men by their common interest and advantage. Such are “neminem lædere,” and “jus suum cuique tribuera.” But it is far from being true that all the dictates of the law of nature and requisites of right reason are evident and incapable of controversy, as they would have been unto man had he continued in his integrity. Many things there are between men themselves, concerning which, after all helps and advantages, and a continued observation of the course of the world unto this day, it is still disputed what is the sense of the law of nature about them, and wherein or how far they belong unto it.

    The law of nations among themselves with respect unto one another, on which is founded the peace and order of mankind, is nothing but the law of nature, as it has been expressed in instances, by the customs and usages of them who are supposed to have most diligently attended unto its directions. And how many differences, never to be determined by common consent, there are in and about these things, is known; for there are degrees of evidence in the things that are of natural light. And many things that are so are yet in practice accompanied with the consideration of positive laws, as also of civil usages and customs amongst men. And it is not easy to distinguish in many observances what is of the law of nature, and what of law positive, or of useful custom. But of these things we have discoursed before in general. We are now to inquire what is requisite to warrant the ascription of any thing unto this law. 28. And, (1.) It is required that it be congruous unto the law of nature , and all the other known principles of it. Unto us it may be enjoined by law positive, or be otherwise made necessary for us to observe; but it must in itself; or materially, hold a good correspondency with all the known instances of the law of our creation, and this manifested with satisfying evidence, before its assignation thereunto. It is of natural light that we should obey God in all his commands; but this does not cause every command of God to belong to the law of nature. It is, as was said, moreover required thereunto, that it be in itself; and the subject-matter of it, congruous unto the principles of that law, whereof there is nothing in things merely arbitrary and positive, setting aside that general notion that God is to be obeyed in all his laws, which belongs not to this question. Now, when this congruity unto the law of nature or right reason, in the matter of any law or command, is discovered and made evident, it will greatly direct the mind in its inquiry after its whole nature, and manifest what is superadded unto it by positive command. And this will not be denied unto the Sabbath, its command and observation. Let the ends of it before laid down be considered, and let them be compared with any other guidances or directions which we have by natural light concerning our living to God, and there will not only a harmony appear amongst them, but also that they contribute help and assistance to one another towards the same ultimate end. 29. (2.) It is required that it have a general principle in the light of nature and dictates of right reason, from whence it may be educed, or which it will necessarily follow upon, supposing that principle rightly and duly improved. It is not enough that it be at agreement, that it no way interfere with other principles; it must also have one of its own, from whence it does naturally arise. So does the second commandment of the decalogue belong to the law of nature. Its principle lies in that acknowledgment of the being of God which is required in the first; for therein is God manifested to be of that nature, to be such a being, that it is, and must be, an absurd, unreasonable, foolish, and impious thing in itself, implying a renunciation of the former acknowledgment, to make any images or limited representations of his being, or to adore him any way otherwise than himself has declared. So is it here also. The separation of a stated time unto the solemn worship of God is so fixed on the mind of man, by its own inbred light, as that it cannot be omitted without open sin against it in those who have not utterly sinned away all the efficacy of that light itself.

    However, that this is required of us by the law of our creation may be proved against all contradiction. Hence, whatever guiding, directing, determining, positive law may ensue or be superadded, about the limitation of this time so to be separated, it being only the application of this natural and moral principle, as to some circumstance of it, it hinders not but that the law itself concerning it is of the law of nature, and moral; for the original power unto obligation of such a superadded law lies in the natural principle before mentioned. 30. (3.) What all men are taught by the works of creation themselves , their order, harmony, and mutual respect to each other, with reference unto their duty towards God and among themselves, is of the law of nature, although there be not an absolute distinct notion of it inbred in the mind discoverable. It is enough that the mind of man is so disposed as to be ready and fit to receive the discovery and revelation of it. For the very creation itself is a law unto us, and speaks out that duty that God requires of us towards himself; for he has not only so ordered all the works of it that they should be meet to instruct us, or contain an instructive power towards rational creatures, made in that state and condition wherein man was created, which was before described, which has in it the first notion of a law; but it was the will of God that we should learn our duty thereby, which gives it its complement as a law obliging unto obedience. And it is not only thus in general, with respect unto the whole work of creation in itself, but the ordering and disposal of the parts of it is alike directive and instructive to the nature of man, and has the force of a law morally and everlastingly obligatory. Thus, the pre-eminence of the man above the woman, which is moral, ensues upon the order of the creation, in that the man was first made, and “the woman for the man,” as the apostle argues, 1 Corinthians 11:8,9, 1 Timothy 2:12,13. And all nations ought to be obliged hereby, though many of them, through their apostasy from natural light knew not that either man or woman was created, but, it may be, supposed them to have grown out of the earth like mushrooms; and yet an effect of the secret original impression hereof influenced their minds and practices. So the creation of one man and one woman gave the natural law of marriage, whence polygamy and fornication became transgressions of the law of nature. It will be hard to prove that about these and the like things there is a clear and undoubted principle of directive light in the mind of man, separate from the consideration of the order of creation; but therein a law, and that moral, is given unto us, not to be referred unto any other head of laws but that of nature. And here, as was before pleaded, the creation of the world in six days, with the rest of God on the seventh, and that declared, gives unto all men an everlasting law of separating one day in seven unto a sacred rest; for he that was made in the image of God was made to imitate him and conform himself unto him, God in this order of things saying as it were unto him, ‘What I have done, in your station do ye likewise.’ Especially was this made effectual by his innate apprehension that his happiness consisted in entering into the rest of God, the pledge whereof it was his unquestionable duty to embrace. 31. (4.) In this state of things, a direction by a revelation, in the way of a precept, for the due and just exercise of the principles, rules, and documents before mentioned, is so far from impeaching the morality of any command or duty, as that it completes the law of it, with the addition of a formal obligatory power and efficacy. The light and law of creation, so far as it was innate, or concreated with the faculties of our souls, and completing our state of dependence on God, has only the general nature of a principle, inclining unto actions suitable unto it, and directing us therein.

    The documents also that were originally given unto that light from without, by the other works and order of the creation, had only in their own nature the force of an instruction. The will of God, and an act of sovereignty therein, formally constituted them a law. But now, man being made to live unto God, and under his conduct and guidance in all things, that he might come to the enjoyment of him, no prejudice arises unto, nor alteration is made in the dictates of, the law of creation, by the superadding any positive commands for the performance of the duties that it does require, and regulating of them, as to the especial manner and ends of their performance. And where such a positive law is interposed or superadded, it is the highest folly. to imagine that the whole obligation unto the duty depends on that command, as though the authority of the law of nature were superseded thereby, or that the whole command about it were now grown positive and arbitrary; for although the same law cannot be moral and positive in the same respect, yet the same duty may be required by a law moral and a law positive. It is thus with many observances of the gospel. We may, for example, instance in excommunication, according to the common received notion of it. There is a positive command in the gospel for the exercise of the sentence of it in the churches of Christ But this hinders not but that it is natural for all societies of men to exclude from their societies those that refractorily refuse to observe the laws and orders of the society, that it may be preserved unto its proper end. And according to the rule of this natural equity, that it should be so, have all rational societies amongst men, that knew nothing of the gospel, proceeded, for their own good and preservation. Neither does the superadded institution in the gospel derogate from the general reason hereof, or change the nature of the duty, but only direct its practice, and make application of it to the uses and ends of the gospel itself. 32. I do not plead that every law that God prescribes unto me is moral because my obedience unto it is a moral duty; for the morality of this obedience does not arise from, nor depend upon, the especial command of it, which, it may he, is positive and arbitrary, but from the respect that it has unto our dependence, in all things which we have to do, absolutely and universally on God. To obey God in all things is unquestionably our moral duty. But when the substance of the command itself, that is, the duty required, is moral, the addition of a positive command does no way impeach its morality, nor suspend the influence of that law whereon its morality does depend. It is, therefore, unduly pretended by some, that because there is a positive command for the observation of the Sabbath,— supposing there should be such a command for the whole of it, which is nothing else but an explanation and enforcement or the original moral precept of it (as in every state of the church something relating unto it, namely, the precise determination of the day itself in the hebdomadal revolution, depended on a law positive),— therefore the law of it is not moral. It is not so, indeed, so far and in that respect wherein it is positive; but it is so from itself, for the substance of it and antecedently unto that positive command. The whole law, therefore, of the Sabbath and its observation may be said to be moral-positive ; which expression has been used by some learned divines in this case, and that not unduly. For a law may be said to be so on a double account:— First, When the positive part of the law is declarative, and accumulative with respect unto a precedent law of nature, as when some additions are made to the duties therein required, as to the manner of their performance. Secondly, When the foundation of a duty only is laid in the law of nature, but its entire practice is regulated by a positive law. From all the instances insisted on, it is manifest that the law of the sabbatical observation is moral, a branch of the law of nature, however it be enforced, directed, and the especial day in seven be limited and determined, by positive command. 33. These things by many are denied. They will not grant that there is any rule or direction in the law of creation for a sacred rest unto God on one day in seven; for they say that no such [rule] can be made to appear with that evidence which the common anticipations of the minds of men are accompanied withal. But this objection has been sufficiently obviated by a due stating of the law of nature, which is not to be confined unto inbred natural anticipations only. And it is certain also that some say the very same concerning the being of God himself, and of the difference between good and evil, namely, that there are no manifest and steadfast presumptions of them in the mind of man; which yet hinders not but that the acknowledgment of a Divine Being, as also the difference that is between good and evil, is natural, and inseparable from the faculties of our souls. Hence Julian in Cyril. lib. 5:con. Jul. joins the first and fourth precept together. Saith he, Poi~on e]qnov ejsti< , proseiv qeoi~v eJte>roiv , kai< tou~ mnh>sqhti tw~n Sabba>twn , oj mh< tattein ejntola>v? — “ He says” (and swears) “that all nations judged that the commandments” (of the decalogue) “ought to be kept excepting the first, forbidding other gods, and the other of remembering the Sabbath to keep it.” The one may be rejected as well as the other.

    Besides, the law of nature, as to an obligatory indication of our duty, is not, no, not in the extent insisted on, as comprising the objective documents that are in the works and order of the creation, to be considered alone by itself in this matter, but in conjunction with the covenant that it was the rule of; for whatever was required of man by virtue of that covenant was part of the moral law of God, or belonged unto the law of his creation. From all which the rest pleaded for to be moral does arise.

    And considering the nature of this duty, with the divine positive direction whereby its first practice was regulated, and stood in need so to be, when “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,” it is marvelous that the remaining light of nature about it should put forth itself by so many intimations as it does, and in so many instances, to express the first impression that it had from God in this matter; for I think we have manifested that they are many, and those pleadable against any probability of contradiction. In a word, we may in all ages find the generality of mankind feeling, and as it were groping in the dark, after a stated sacred rest to be observed unto God. And however the most of men destitute of divine revelation missed the season, the ends, and the object of this rest, yet they were plainly influenced unto all their stated sacred or religious solemnities, both feasts and abstinences, by the remainders of an innate persuasion that such a rest was to be observed. Besides, we know that the present indications of nature, as corrupt, are no just rule and measure of its original abilities, with respect unto living to God. And they do but woefully bewray their ignorance and impudence, who begin to plead that our minds or understandings were no way impaired or worsted by the fall, but that the principles or abilities in them, in reference unto God and ourselves, are the same as originally, and that unimpaired. Either such men design to overthrow the gospel and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, or they know not what they say, nor whereof they do affirm. But hereof we shall treat elsewhere, by God’s assistance. At present we know that the light of nature is so defective, or so impotent in giving indications of itself, that many nations left destitute of divine revelation, or wilfully rejecting it, have lived and approved themselves in open transgression of the law of it, as has been showed. The apostle gives sundry instances of that kind amongst them who most boasted themselves to attend to the dictates of right reason, Romans 1. All idolaters, polygamists, fornicators, and those who constantly lived on spoil and rapine, approving themselves, or not condemning themselves in what they did, are testimonies hereof.

    That alone, then, is not to be pretended to be of the law of nature which all men acknowledge to be a part of it; nor is every thing to be rejected from having a place therein which some have lived in a secure transgression of, and others say that it gives no indications of itself; but that is to be understood to belong thereunto which, by the diligent consideration of all means and advantages of knowledge, may be found to be congruous to all the other known and allowed principles and maxims of it, and to have its foundation in it, being what originally God by any means instructed our nature in, as that which belonged unto our living unto him. And, it may be, a man may sooner learn what is natural duty to God, in and from corrupted nature, by the opposition that it will make unto its practice, as it is corrupted, than by the light and guidance it will give unto it as nature.

    It is also, as we have. observed, more discernible in its judging and condemning what is done contrary unto it, than in directing unto what it did originally require. 34. Having given evidence unto the morality of the Sabbath from the indications of it and directions unto it in the light and law of nature,— which will be found to be such as not to be by any modest or sober man contemned,— we proceed to add those other consequential confirmations of the same truth, which God has given us in the following revelations of his will about it. And, first, this gives no small countenance unto an apprehension of an unchangeable morality in the law of the Sabbath, that in all estates of the church, from the foundation of the world, under the several covenants wherein it has walked with God, and the various dispensations of them, there is a full evidence that in them all God has still required of his people the observation of a sacred rest unto himself in a hebdomadal revolution of time or days. A full confirmation hereof; with its proofs and illustrations, the reader will find at large in our exposition of the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, so soon as God shall give an opportunity to have it communicated unto him. At present I shall touch only on the heads of things. 35. That any religious observance has been required through all estates of the church, having no foundation but only in arbitrary institution, cannot be proved by any one single instance. The institutions of the state of innocency, in the matters of the garden, with the trees of life and of the knowledge of good and evil, ceased, as all men confess, with that estate.

    And although God did not immediately upon the sin of man destroy that garden, — no, nor it may be until the flood, leaving it as a testimony against the wickedness of that apostate generation for whose sins the world was destroyed,— yet was neither it nor the trees of it of any use, or lawful to be used, as to any significancy in the worship of God. And the reason is, because all institutions are appendixes, and things annexed unto a covenant; and when that covenant ceases, or is broken, they are of no use or signification at all. 36. There was a new state of the church erected presently after the fall, and this also attended with sundry new institutions, especially with that concerning sacrifices. In this church-state some alterations were made, and sundry additional institutions given unto it upon the erection of the peculiar church-state of the Israelites in the wilderness; which yet hindered not but that it was in general the same church-state, and the same dispensation of the covenant, that the people of God before and after the giving of the law enjoyed and lived under. Hence it was that sundry institutions of worship were equally in force both before and after the giving of the law on mount Sinai; as is evident in sacrifices, and some other instances may be given. But now, when the state of the church and the dispensation of the covenant came to be wholly altered, as they were by the gospel, not any one of the old institutions was continued, or to be continued, but they were all abolished and taken away. Nothing at all was traduced over from the old church-states, neither from that in innocency nor from that which ensued on the fall in all its variations, with any obligatory power, but what was founded in the law of nature, and had its force from thence. We may then confidently assert, that what God requires equally in all estates of the church, that is moral, and of an everlasting obligation unto us and all men. And this is the state of matters with the Sabbath and the law thereof. 37. Of the command of the Sabbath in the state of innocency we have before treated, and vindicated the testimony given unto it, Genesis 2:2,3. It will, God assisting, be further discoursed and confirmed in our exposition of the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The observation of it by virtue of its original law and command, before the promulgation of the decalogue in Sinai, or the first wilderness observation of the Sabbath, recorded on the occasion of giving manna, has also been before confirmed. Many exceptions, I acknowledge, are laid in against the testimonies insisted on for the proof of these things; but those such as, I suppose, are not able to invalidate them in the minds of men void of prejudice. And the pretense of the obscurity that is in the command will be easily removed, by the consideration of another instance of the same antiquity. All men acknowledge that a promise of Christ, for the object and guide of the faith of the ancient patriarchs, was given in those words of God immediately spoken unto the serpent, Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

    The words in themselves seem obscure unto any such end or purpose. But yet there is such light given into them; and the mind of God in them, from the circumstances of time, place, persons, occasion, from the nature of the things treated of; from the whole ensuing economy, or dealing of God with men, revealed in the Scripture, as that no sober man doubts of the promissory nature of those words, nor of the intention of them in general, nor of the proper subject of the promise, nor of the grace intended in it.

    This promise, therefore, was the immediate object of the faith of the patriarchs of old, the great motive and encouragement unto and of their obedience. But yet it will be hard, from the records of Scripture, to prove that any particular patriarch did believe in, trust, or plead that promise, which yet we know that they did all and every one; nor was there any need, for our instruction, that any such practice of theirs should be recorded, seeing it is a general rule that those holy men of God did observe and do whatever he did command them. Wherefore, from the record of a command, we may conclude unto a suitable practice, though it be not recorded; and from a recorded approved practice, on the other side, we may conclude unto the command or institution of the thing practiced, though it be nowhere plainly recorded. Let unprejudiced men consider those words, Genesis 2:2,3, and they will find the command and institution of the Sabbath as clear and conspicuous in them, as the promise of grace in Christ is in those before considered, especially as they are attended with the interpretation given of them in God’s following dealings with his church. And therefore, although particular instances of the obedience of the old patriarchs in this part of it, or the observation of the Sabbath, could not be given and evinced, yet we ought no more on that account to deny that they did observe it, than we ought to deny their faith in the promised Seed, because it is nowhere expressly recorded in the story of their lives. 38. Under the law,— that is, after the giving of it in the wilderness,— it is granted that the portion of time insisted on was precisely required to be dedicated unto God, although, it may be, for some ages, it will be hard to meet with a recorded instance of its observation; but yet none dares take any countenance from thence to question whether it was so observed or no.

    All, therefore, is secure unto the great alteration that was made in instituted worship under the gospel. And to proceed unto that season, there is no practice in any part of God’s public worship that appears earlier in the records of the New Testament, as to what was peculiar thereunto, than the observation of one day in seven for the celebration of it. Hereof more must be spoken afterwards. Some say, indeed, that the appointment of one day in seven, and that the first day of the week, for the worship of God, was only a voluntary agreement, or a matter consented unto by the apostolical or first churches, merely eujtaxi>av gratia , or to keep good order and decorum amongst them, without respect unto any moral command of God to that purpose. This they say directly with respect to the first day of the week, or the Lord’s day, and its religious observation. But those who appoint the first day of every week to be so observed, do without doubt appoint that that should be the condition of one day in seven. Now, I could incline to this apprehension, if; besides sundry other invincible reasons that lie against it, I did not find that God had always before, in all states of the church from the foundation of the world, invariably required the observation of one day in seven; and I know no reason why what had been observed all along so far upon his own authority, he would have observed still, but no longer on his command, but on the invention and consent of men. Had the. religious observance of one day in seven been utterly laid aside and abolished, it would and ought to have been concluded that the law of it was expired in the cross of Christ., as were those of circumcision, the sacrifices, and the whole temple-worship; but to have this observation continued by the whole church, in and under the approbation of God, whereof none ever doubted, by a reassumption of it through the authority of the church, after God had taken off his own from it is a most vain imagination. 39. I dispute not of what the church may appoint, for good order’s sake, to be observed in religions assemblies; but this I dare say confidently, that no church nor churches, not all the churches in the world, have power by common consent to ordain any thing in the worship of God, as a part of it, which God had once ordained, commanded, and required, but now under the gospel ceases so to do, as circumcision and sacrifices. But this is the state of the religious observance of one day in seven! None can deny but that formerly it was ordained and appointed of God. And it should seem, according to this opinion, that he took off the authority of his own command, that the same observance might be continued upon the authority of the church . “Credat Apella!” Neither do the footsteps of the occasion of any such ecclesiastical institution appear anywhere on record in the Scripture, where all things of an absolute new and arbitrary institution, whether occasional or durable, are taken notice of. There is, indeed, mention made, and that frequently, of the first day of the week being set apart for the assembling of believers for the worship of God, and a solid reason is insinuated why that especial day in particular ought so to be; but why one day in seven should be constantly observed to the purpose mentioned, no reason, no account is given in the New Testament, other than why men should not lie or steal. Nor has any man a ground to imagine that there was an intercision of a sabbatical observance, by the interposition of any time, between the observation of the seventh day and of the first of the week, for the same ends and purposes, though not absolutely in the same manner. If there be any indications, proofs, evidences, that the first churches continued without the observation of one day in seven, after they desisted from having a religious respect unto the seventh day, before they had the same regard to the first of the week unto this purpose, I wish they might be produced, for they would be of good weight in this matter; but as yet no such thing is made to appear. For if the obligation of the precept for observing one day in seven, as a sacred rest to God, may be suspended in any change of the outward state and condition of the church, it cannot be esteemed to be moral. I speak not of the actual observance of the thing commanded,— which, for many causes, may occasionally and temporarily be superseded,— but of the obliging force and power in the command itself, which, if it be moral, is perpetual , and not capable of interruption. Now, testimonies we have that sundry persons, not sufficiently instructed in the liberty of the gospel and the law of its obedience, observed both the days, the seventh and the first,— yea, it may be that for a while some observed the one day, and some the other; but that any Christians of old thought themselves de facto set at liberty from the religious observation of one day in seven, this neither is nor can be proved. This practice, then, was universal, and that approved of God, as we shall see afterwards and further in another discourse, now more than once directed unto. Now, what can any man conceive to be the ground of this unvariableness in the commanded and approved observation of one day in seven, in all states, conditions, and alterations, in and of the church, but that the command for it is part of the moral,. unchangeable law?

    Hereby, therefore, it is confirmed unto us so to be. And, indeed, if every state of the church be founded in an especial work of God, and his rest thereon and complacency therein, as a pledge or testimony of giving his church rest in himself, as elsewhere shall be fully confirmed, a sabbatical rest must be necessary unto the church in every state and condition. And although absolutely another day might have been fixed on under the new testament, and not one in a hebdomadal revolution, because its peculiar works were not precisely finished in six days, yet that season being before fixed and determined by the law of creation, no innovation nor alteration would be allowed therein. 40. There is yet remaining that which is principally to be pleaded in this cause, and which of itself is sufficient to bear the weight of the whole.

    Now, this is the place which the command for the observation of a Sabbath unto God holds in the decalogue. Concerning this we have no more to inquire, but whether it have obtained a station therein in its own right, or were on some other occasion advanced to that privilege: for if it be free of that society in its own right, or on the account of its origin and birth, the morality of it can never be impeached; if it had only an occasional interest therein, and held it by a lease of time, it may ere this be long since disseized of it Now, we do not yet dispute whether the seventh day precisely be ordained in the fourth commandment, and do take up the whole nature of it, as the only subject of it, and only required in it. Only, I take it for granted that the observation of one day in seven is required in the command; which is so, because the seventh day, or a seventh day in a septenary revolution, is expressly commanded. 41. It is, indeed, by many pretended that the command firstly and directly respects the seventh day precisely, and one day in seven no otherwise than as it necessarily follows thereon; for where the seventh day is required, one in seven is so consequentially. And they who thus pretend have a double design, the one absolutely contradictory to the other: for those do so who from thence conclude that the seventh day precisely comprising the whole nature of the Sabbath, that day is indispensably and everlastingly to be observed; and those do so who, with equal confidence, draw their conclusion to the utter abolition of the whole Sabbath and the law of it, in the taking away of the seventh day itself. Such different apprehensions have men of the use and improvement that may be made of the same principles and concessions. For those of the latter sort hope that if they can prove the observation of the seventh day precisely , and not one of seven but only consequentially, to be the whole of what is intended in the fourth commandment, by virtue of the apostle’s rule, Colossians 2:16 (to which purpose he often elsewhere expresses himself), they shall be able to prove that it is utterly abolished. Those of the other sort suppose that, if they can make this to be the sense of the commandment, they shall prevail to fix a perpetual obligation on all men from thence unto the observation of the seventh day precisely, although the words of the apostle seem to lie expressly against it. 42. But the supposition itself that both parties proceed upon is not only uncertain, but certainly false; for the very order of nature itself disposes these things into that series and mutual respect which can never be interrupted. The command is about the separation of time unto the service of God. This he tacitly grants, nor will deny, if he be pressed, who contends for the seventh day. Here, therefore, it is natural and necessary that time be indefinitely considered and required, antecedently unto the designation and limitation of the portion of time that is required. This the order of nature requires; for if it be time indefinitely that is limited in the command unto the seventh day, time indefinitely is the first object of that limitation. And the case is the same with reference unto one day in seven.

    This also has, and must have, a natural priority unto the seventh day; for the seventh day is one day of the seven. And these things are separable.

    Some part of time may be separated unto religious worship, and yet not one day in seven, but any other portion, in a certain revolution of days, weeks, months, or years, if there be not a distinct reason for it. And one day in seven may be so separated, wherein the seventh day precisely may have no interest. And these things the very nature of them does assert, distinguish, and determine. Whatever morality, therefore, or obligation unto a perpetual observance, can be fancied by any to be in the command as to the seventh day, it is but consequential unto, dependent upon, and separable from, the command and duty for the observance of one day in seven. And this suffices as to our present purpose; for I do not yet treat with them who contend for the precise observation of the seventh day now under the gospel. It Is enough that here we prove that the fourth commandment requires the sacred observation of one day in seven , and that so far as it does so it is moral and unchangeable. 43. All men, as we have often observed, do allow that there is something moral in the fourth commandment, namely, that either some part of it or the general nature of it is so, I do not, therefore, well understand them and him of late who have pleaded that the seventh day only is required in that command, and yet that this seventh day was absolutely ceremonial and typical, being accordingly abolished. The consistency of these assertions does not yet appear unto me; for if the whole matter of the command be ceremonial, the command itself must needs be so also. For a relief against this contradiction, it is said that the morality of this command consists in this, that we should look after and take up our spiritual rest in God. But this will not allow that it should be a distinct commandment of itself, distinguished from all the rest of the decalogue, nor indeed scarcely from any one of them; for the primitive end of all the commandments was to direct us and bring us into rest with God,— of the first table immediately, and of the second in and by the performance of the duties of it among ourselves. And of the first precept this is the sum; so that it is unduly assigned to be the peculiar morality of the fourth, instead of the solemn expression of that rest as our end and happiness. Neither is there any way possible to manifest an especial intention in and of any law, that is not found in this. The words and letter of it, in their proper and only sense, require a day, or an especial season, to be appointed for a sacred rest; and so does the nature of religious worship, which undoubtedly is directed therein; the rest of God, proposed in the command as the reason of it, which was on the seventh day, after six of working, requires the same intention in the words; so does also the exact limitation of time mentioned in it: all in compliance with the order and place that it holds in the decalogue, wherein nothing in general is left unrequired in the natural and instituted worship of God, but only the setting apart, with the determination and limitation, of some time unto the solemn observation of it. Few, therefore, have ever denied but that the morality of this command, if it be moral, does extend itself unto the separation of some part of our time to the solemn recognizing of God and our subjection unto him; and this in the letter of the law is limited, on the reasons before insisted on, unto one day in seven, in their perpetual revolution. The sole inquiry, therefore, remaining is, whether this precept be moral or no, and so continue to he possessed of a power perpetually obligatory to all the sons of men. And this is that which we are now inquiring into. 44. Here, therefore, we must have respect unto what has been discoursed concerning the subject-matter of the precept itself; for if that be not only congruous to the law of nature, but that also which, by the creation of ourselves and all other things, we are taught and obliged unto the observation of; the law whereby it is required must be moral. For the descriptive or distinctive term, “moral,” does first belong unto the things themselves required by any law, and thence to the law whereby they are commanded. If; then, we have proved that the thing itself required in the fourth commandment, or the religious observation of a sacred rest unto God, for the ends mentioned, in the periodical revolution of seven days, is natural and moral, from the relation that it has unto the law of creation, then there can be no question of the morality of that command. What has been performed therein is left unto the judgment of the sober and judicious readers; for no man can be more remote from a pertinacious adherence to his own sentiments, or a magisterial imposition of his judgment and apprehensions upon the minds, thoughts, or practice of other men, than I desire to be. For however we may please ourselves in our light, knowledge, learning, and sincerity; yet, when we have done all, they are not constituted of God to be the rule or measure of other men’s faith, persuasions, apprehensions, and conversations. And others, whom, for some defects,— at least so supposed by us,— we may be apt to despise, may be yet taught the truth of God in things wherein we may be out of the way. That, then, which we have to do in these cases, is first to endeavor after a full persuasion in our own minds; then to communicate the principles of reason and Scripture testimony which we ground our persuasion upon unto others; laboring with meekness and gentleness to instruct them whom we apprehend to be out of the way; so submitting the whole to the judgment of all that fear the Lord, and shall take notice of such things. And these rules have I, and shall I attend unto, as abhorring nothing more than a proud, magisterial imposing of our apprehensions and inclinations on the minds and practices of other men; which I judge far more intolerable in particular persons than in churches and societies,— in both contrary to that royal law of love and liberty which all believers ought to walk by. And therefore, as we said, what has been spoken on this subject, or shall yet further be added, I humbly submit to the judgment of the sober and indifferent readers; only assuring them that I teach as I have learned, speak because I believe, and declare nothing but whereof I am fully persuaded in my own mind. 45. The nature of the decalogue, and the distinction of its precepts from all commands, ceremonial or political, comes now under consideration. The whole decalogue, I acknowledge, as given on mount Sinai to the Israelites, had a political use, as being made the principal instrument or rule of the polity and government of their nation, as peculiarly under the rule of God.

    It had a place also in that economy or dispensation of the covenant which that church was then brought under; wherein, by God’s dealing with them and instructing of them; they were taught to look out after a further and greater good in the promise than they were. yet come to the enjoyment of.

    Hence the decalogue itself, in that dispensation of it, was a schoolmaster unto Christ. But in itself, and materially considered, it was wholly, and in all the preceptive. parts of it, absolutely moral. Some, indeed, of the precepts of it, as the first, fourth, and fifth, have either prefaces, enlargements, or additions, which belonged peculiarly to the then present and future state of that church in the land of Canaan; but these especial applications of it unto them change not the nature of its commands or precepts, which are all moral, and, as far as they are esteemed to belong to the decalogue, are unquestionably acknowledged so to be. Let us, therefore, consider the pleas for morality in the fourth command upon the account of its interest in the decalogue, and the manifest evidences of that interest. As, therefore, the giving, writing, use, and disposal of the decalogue, were peculiar and distinct from the whole system of the rest of the laws and statutes, which, being with it given to the church of Israel, were either ceremonial or judicial; so the precept concerning the Sabbath, or the sacred observance of one day in seven, has an equal share with the other nine in all the privileges of the whole; as, — (1.) It was spoken immediately by the voice of God , in the hearing of all the people, Exodus 20:1, whereas all the other laws, whether ceremonial or judicial, were given peculiarly to Moses, and by him declared unto the rest of the people. What weight is laid hereon, see Exodus 19:10,11,17,18; Deuteronomy 4:33,34, 33:2: in the former whereof the. work itself is declared; in the latter, a distinguishing greatness and glory, above all other legislations, is ascribed unto it. And it is worth the inquiry what might be the cause of this difference. No other appears to me but that God thereby declared that the law of the decalogue belonged immediately and personally unto them all and every one, upon the original light of the law of nature, which it did represent and express; whereas all the other laws and statutes given unto them by the mediation of Moses belonged unto that peculiar church-state and economy of the covenant which they were then initiated into, and which was to abide unto the time of the reformation of all things by Jesus Christ. And here it may be remembered, and so in all the ensuing instances, that we have proved the matter of this command to be, first, the separation of some time indefinitely to the worship of God, and then the limitation of that time unto one day in seven; for this it requires, or nothing at all which should be peculiar unto a distinct precept is required in it, as we have before manifested. And this one consideration alone is sufficient to evince its morality. (2.) This command, as all the rest of the decalogue, was written twice by the finger of God in tables of stone . And hereof there was a double reason: — First, That it was a stable renovation and objective representation of that law, which being implanted on the heart of man, and communicated unto him in his creation, was variously defaced; — partly by the corruption and loss of that light, through the entrance of sin, which should have guided us in the right apprehension and understanding of its dictates, and of the obedience that it required; partly through a long course of a corrupt conversation, which the world had, in the pursuit of the first apostasy, and according to the principles of it, plunged itself into. God now again fixed that law objectively, in a way of durable preservation, which in its primitive seat and subject was so impaired and defaced. And hereof the additions mentioned, with peculiar respect unto the application of the whole, or any part of it, unto that people, were no impeachment, as is acknowledged in the preface given unto them all containing a motive unto their dutiful observance of the whole. And hence this law must necessarily be esteemed a part of the antecedent law of nature; neither can any otter reason he given why God wrote it himself with those and only those that are so, in tables of stone Secondly, This was done as an emblem that the whole decalogue was a representation of that law which, by his Spirit, he would write in the fleshy tables of the hearts of his elect. And this is well observed by the church of England, which, after the reading of the whole decalogue, the fourth command among the rest, directs the people to pray that God would write all these laws in their hearts. Now, this concerns only the moral law; for although obedience unto all God’s ceremonial and typical institutions, while they were in force, was moral, and a part of the law written in the heart, or required in general in the precepts of the first table of the decalogue, yet those laws themselves had no place in the promise of the covenant that they should be written in our hearts; for if it should be so, especial grace would lie yet administered for the observation of those laws now they are abolished, which would not only be vain and useless, but contradictory to the whole design of the grace bestowed upon us, which is to be improved in a due and genuine exercise of it. Neither does God bestow any grace upon men but withal he requires the exercise of it at their hands. If, then, this law was written in tables of stone together with the other nine, that we might pray and endeavor to have it written in our hearts , according to the promise of the covenant, it is, and must be, of the nature of the rest,— that is, moral, and everlastingly obligatory. (3.) As all the rest of the moral precepts, it was preserved in the ark , whereas the law of ceremonial ordinances, written by Moses, was placed in a book by the side of the ark, separable from it, or whence it might be removed. The ark on many accounts was called “the ark of the covenant;” whereof, God assisting, I shall treat elsewhere. One of them was, that it contained in it nothing but that moral law which was the rule of the covenant. And this was placed therein to manifest that it was to have its accomplishment in Him who was “the end of the law,” Romans 10:3,4; for the ark with the propitiatory was a type of Jesus Christ, chap. 3:25.

    And the reason of the different disposal, of the moral law in the ark, and of the ceremonial in a book by the side of it, was to manifest, as the inseparableness of the law from the covenant, so the establishing, accomplishment, and answering of the one law in Christ, with the removal and abolishing of the other by him. As for the law kept in the ark, the type of him, he was to fulfill it in obedience, to answer its curse, and to restore it unto its proper use in the new covenant,— not that which it had originally, when it was itself the whole of the covenant, but that which the nature of it requires, in the moral obedience of rational creatures, whereof it is a complete and adequate rule,— when the other law was utterly removed and taken away. And if that had been the end whereunto the law of the Sabbath had been designed, had it been absolutely capable of abolition in this world, it had not been safeguarded in the ark with the other nine, which are inseparable from man’s covenant obedience unto God, but had been left with other ceremonial ordinances at the side of the ark, in a readiness to be removed, when the appointed time should come. (4.) God himself separates this command from them which were ceremonial in their principal intention and whole subject-matter, when he calls the whole system of precepts in the two tables by the name of the ten words or commandments: Deuteronomy 10:4, tr,c,[\ tae lh;Q;hæ µwyB] vaeh; ËwOTmi rh;B; µk,ylea\ hwO;hy] rB,Di rv,a\ µyrib;D]hæ ; — “Those ten words, which the LORD spoke unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.”

    No considering person can read these words, but he will find a most signal emphasis in the several parts of them. “The day of the assembly,” lh;Q;hæ µwOy is that which the Jews so celebrate under the name of “the station in Sinai;” the day that was the foundation of their church-state, when they solemnly covenanted with God about the observation of the law, Deuteronomy 5:24-27. And the Lord himself spoke these words, —that is, in an immediate and especial manner; which is still observed where any mention is made of them, as Exodus 20:1, Deut 5:22, and 10:4, And saith Moses, “He spoke them unto you, “— that is, immediately unto “all the assembly,” Deuteronomy 5:22; where it is added, that he spoke them out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick darkness, with a great voice,” (that every individual person might hear it:) “and he added no more.” He spake not one word more, gave not one precept more immediately unto the whole people, but the whole solemnity, of fire, thunder; lightning, earthquake, and sound of trumpet, immediately ceased and disappeared; whereon God entered on his treaty with Moses, wherein he revealed unto him and instructed him in the ceremonial and judicial laws, for the use of the people, who had now taken upon themselves the religious observance of what he should so reveal and appoint. Now, as the whole decalogue was hereby signalized, and sufficiently distinguished from the other laws and institutions which were of another nature, so, in particular, this precept concerning the Sabbath is distinguished from all those which were of the Mosaical pedagogy, in whose declaration Moses was the mediator between God and the people. And this was only upon the account of its participation in the same nature with the rest of the commands, however it may and do contain something in it that was peculiar to that people, as shall be showed afterwards. (5.) Whereas there is a frequent opposition made in the Old Testament between moral obedience and the outward observance of ordinances of a mere arbitrary institution, there is no mention made of the weekly Sabbath in that case, though all ceremonial institutions are in one place or other enumerated. It is true, Isaiah 1:13, the Sabbath is joined with the new moons, and its observation rejected in comparison of holiness and righteousness; but as this is expounded in the next verse to be intended principally of the appointed annual feasts or sabbaths, so we do grant that the Sabbath, as relating unto temple-worship, there intended and described, had that accompanying it which was peculiar to the Jews and ceremonial, as we shall show hereafter. But absolutely the observation of the Sabbath is not opposed unto, nor rejected in comparison of; other or any moral duties. (6.) The observation of the Sabbath is pressed on the church on the same grounds and with the same promises as the greatest and most indispensable moral duties, and together with them opposed unto those fasts which belonged unto ceremonial institutions. To this purpose is the nature and use of it at large discoursed, Isaiah 58:6-1.4. 46. Now, it is assuredly worth our inquiry what are the just reasons of the preference of the Sabbath above all positive institutions, both by the place given unto it in the decalogue, as also on the account of the other especial instances insisted on. Suppose the command of it to be ceremonial, and one of these two reasons, or both of them, must be alleged as the cause hereof For this exaltation of it must arise either from the excellency of it in itself and service, or excellency of its signification, or from both of them jointly. But these things cannot he pleaded or made use of unto the purpose intended. For the service of it, as it was observed among the Jews, it is now earnestly pleaded that it consisted in mere bodily rest ; which is scarcely to be reckoned as any part of divine service at all. What is further in it is said to be only a mere circumstance of time, not in any thing better than that of place, which had an arbitrary determination also for a season. It cannot, therefore, be thus exalted and preferred above all other ordinances of worship upon the account of its service, seeing it is apprehended to be only a mere adjunct of other services; which were therefore more worthy than it, as every thing which is for itself is more worthy than that which is only for another. And take it absolutely, place is a more noble circumstance than time in this case, considering that place, being determined by an arbitrary institution in the building of the temple, became the most glorious and significant part of divine worship; yet had it no place in the decalogue, but only in the Samaritan corruption added unto it. It must therefore be upon the account of its signification that it was thus peculiarly exalted and honored; for the dignity, worth, and use of all ceremonial institutions depended on their significancy, or their fitness and aptness to represent the things whereof they were types, with the especial worth of what they did peculiarly typify. And herein the Sabbath, even with the application it had unto the Judaical church-state, came short of many other divine services, especially the solemn sacrifices, wherein the Lord Christ, with all the benefits of his death, was, as it were, evidently set forth crucified before their eyes. Neither, therefore, of these reasons, nor both of them in conjunction, can be pleaded as the cause of the manifold preference of the Sabbath above all ceremonial institutions. It remains, therefore, that it is solely upon the account of its morality, and the invariable obligation thence arising unto its observation, that it is so joined with the precepts of the same nature; and such we have now, as I suppose, sufficiently confirmed it to be. 47. I cannot but judge yet further, that in the caution given by our Savior unto his disciples, about praying that their flight should not be on the Sabbath day, Matthew 24:20, he does declare the continued obligation of the law of the Sabbath, as a moral precept, upon all. It is answered by some, that it is the Judaical Sabbath alone that is intended, which he knew that some of his own disciples would be kept for a season in bondage unto. For the ease, therefore, of their consciences in that matter, he gives them this direction. But many things on the other side are certain and indubitable, which render this conjecture altogether improbable: for,— (1.) All real obligation unto Judaical institutions was then absolutely taken away; and it is not to be supposed that our Lord Jesus Christ would before-hand lay-in provision for the edification of any of his disciples in error. (2.) Before that time came they were sufficiently instructed doctrinally in the dissolution of all obligation in ceremonial institutions. This was done principally by St Paul, in all his epistles, especially in that unto the Hebrews themselves at Jerusalem. (3.) Those who may be supposed to have continued a conscientious respect unto the Judaical Sabbath could be no otherwise persuaded of it than were the Jews themselves in those days. But they all accounted themselves absolved in conscience from the law of the Sabbath upon imminent danger in time of war, so that they might lawfully either fight or flee, as their safety did require. This is evident from the decree made by them under the Asmonæans. And such imminent danger is now supposed by our Savior; for he instructs them to forego all consideration of their enjoyments, and to shift merely for their lives. There was not, therefore, any danger, in point of conscience with respect unto the Judaical Sabbath, to be then feared or prevented. But, in general, those in whose hearts are the ways of God do know what an addition it is to the greatest of their earthly troubles, if they befall them in such seasons as to deprive them of the opportunity of the sacred ordinances of God’s worship, and indispensably engage them in ways and works quite of another nature, then when they stand in most need of them. There is therefore another answer invented,— namely, that our Lord Jesus in these words respected not the consciences of the disciples, but their trouble, and therefore joins the Sabbath day and the winter together, in directing them to pray for an ease and accommodation of that flight which was inevitable; for as the winter is unseasonable for such an occasion, so the law concerning the Sabbath was such as that if any one traveled on that day above a commonly-allowed Sabbath day’s journey he was to be put to death. But neither is there any more appearance of truth in this pretense: for,— (1.) The power of capital punishments was before this time utterly taken away from the Jews, and all their remaining courts interdicted from proceeding in any cause wherein the lives of men were concerned. (2.) The times intended were such as wherein there was no course of law, justice, or equity amongst them, but all things were filled with rapine, confusion, and hostility; so that it is a vain imagination, that any cognizance was taken about such cases as journeying on the Sabbath. (3.) The dangers they were in had made it free to them as to legal punishments, upon their own principles, as was declared; so that these cannot be the reasons of the caution here given. It is at least, therefore, most probable that our Savior speaks to his disciples upon a supposition of the perpetual obligation of the law of the Sabbath; that they should pray to be delivered from the necessity of a flight on the day whereon the duties of it were to be observed, lest it falling out otherwise should prove a great aggravation of their distress. 48. From these particular instances we may return to the consideration of the law of the decalogue in general, and the perpetual power of exacting obedience wherewith it is accompanied. That in the Old Testament it is frequently declared to be universally obligatory, and has the same efficacy ascribed unto it, without putting in any exceptions to any of its commands or limitations of its number, I suppose will be granted. The authority of it is no less fully asserted in the New Testament, and that also absolutely without distinction, or the least intimation of excepting the fourth command from what is affirmed concerning the whole. It is of the law of the decalogue that our Savior treats, Matthew 5:17-19. This he affirms that he came not to dissolve, as he did the ceremonial law, but to fulfill it; and then affirms that not one jot or tittle of it shall pass away. And making thereon a distribution of the whole into its several commands, he declares his disapprobation of them who shall break, or teach men to break, any one of them. And men make bold with him, when they so confidently assert that they may break one of them, and teach others so to do, without offense. That this reaches not to the confirmation of the seventh day precisely, we shall after-wards abundantly demonstrate. In like manner St James treats concerning “the whole law” and all the commands of it, chap. 2:10, 11. And the argument he insists on for the observance of the whole,-namely, the giving of it by the same authority,-is confined to the decalogue, and the way of God’s giving the law thereof or else it may be extended to all Mosaical institutions, expressly contrary to his intention. 49. It is known that many things are usually objected against the truth we have been pleading for, namely, the morality of a sacred rest to God on one day in seven, from its relation to the law of creation, and the command for it in the decalogue; and it is known, also, that what is so objected has been by others solidly answered and removed: but because those objections or arguments have been lately renewed and pressed by a person of good learning and reputation, and a new re-enforcement endeavored to be given unto them, I shall give them a new examination, and remove them out of our way. 50. It is then objected, in the first place, Disquisit de Moralitate Sabbati, f9 p.7, “That the command for the observation of the Sabbath is a command of time, or concerning time only, namely, that some certain and determinate time be assigned to the worship of God, and this may be granted to be moral; but time is no part of moral worship, but only a circumstance of it, even as place is also: therefore the command that requires them in particular cannot be moral, for these and the like circumstances must necessarily be of a positive determination.” Ans . (1.) The whole force of this argument consists in this, that time is but a help, instrument, or circumstance of worship, and therefore is not moral worship itself, nor a part of moral worship, nor can so be. But this argument is not valid; for whatever God requires by his command to be religiously observed, with immediate respect unto himself; is a part of his worship. And this worship, as to the kind of it, follows the nature of the law whereby it is commanded. If that law be merely positive, so is the worship commanded, however it be a duty required by the law of nature that we duly observe it when it is commanded; for by the law of nature God is to be obeyed in all his commands, of what sort soever they are. If that law be moral, so is the duty required by it, and so is our obedience unto it. The only way, then, to prove that the observation of time is no part of moral worship is this, namely, to manifest that the law whereby it is required is positive, and not moral; for that it is required by divine command, of the one sort or the other, is now supposed. And, on the other side, from the consideration of the thing itself naturally, as that it is an adjunct or circumstance of other things, no consequence arises to the determination of the nature of the law whereby it is required. (2.) Time abstractedly, or one day in seven absolutely, is not the adequate object of the precept, or the fourth commandment, but it is a holy rest to be observed unto God in his worship on such a day; and this not a holy rest unto God in general, as the tendency and end of all our obedience and living unto him, but as an especial remembrance and representation of the rest of God himself, with his complacency and satisfaction in his works, as establishing a covenant between himself and us. This is the principal subject of the command, or a stated day of a holy rest unto God in ‘such a revolution of days or time. This we have proved to be moral from the foundation and reason of it laid and given in the law of nature, revived and represented in the fourth command of the decalogue. Now, though place be an inseparable circumstance of all actions, and so capable of being made a circumstance of divine worship by divine positive command, as it was of old in the instance of the temple, yet no especial or particular place had the least guidance or direction unto it in the law of nature, by any works or acts of God whose instructive virtue belonged thereunto; and therefore all places were alike free by nature, and every place wherein the worship of God was celebrated was a natural circumstance of the action performed, and not a religious circumstance of worship, until a particular place was assigned and determined by positive command for that purpose. It is otherwise with time, as has been showed at large. And therefore, although any place, notwithstanding any thing in the law of nature, might have been separated by positive institution unto the solemn worship of God, it does not thence follow, as is pretended, that any time, a day in a monthly or annual revolution, might have been separated unto the like purpose, seeing God had given us indication of another limitation of it in the law of creation. 51. It is further objected, Disquisit. p. 8, “That in the fourth commandment not one in seven, but the seventh day precisely, is enjoined.

    The day was before made known unto the Israelites in the station at Marah, or afterwards at Alush, namely, the seventh day from the foundation of the world. This in the command they are required to observe. Hence the words of it are, that they should remember tB;Væhæ µwOyAta, , that same Sabbath day, or that day of the Sabbath, which was newly revealed unto them This command, therefore, cannot be moral, as to the limitation of time specified therein, seeing it only confirms the observation of the seventh-day Sabbath, which was before given unto the Hebrews in a temporary institution.” And this is insisted on as the principal strength against the morality of the command. I shall first give you in my answer in general, and then consider the especial improvements that are made of it (1.) Instances may be given, and have been given by all writers concerning the Hebrew tongue, wherein the prefixed letters, sometimes answering the Greek prepositive articles, are redundant; and if at all emphatical, yet they do not at all limit, specify, or determine. See Psalm 1:4; Ecclesiastes 2:14; Leviticus 18:5. The observation, therefore, of prefixing hæ to tB;væ ,— which may possibly denote an excellency in the thing itself, but tends nothing to the determination of a certain day, but as it is afterwards declared to be one of seven,— is too weak to bear the weight of the inference intended. Nor will this be denied by any who ever aright considered the various use and frequent redundancy of that prefix. (2.) The Sabbath, or rest of a seventh day, was known and observed from the foundation of the world, as has been proved. And therefore if from the prefix we are to conclude a limitation or do-termination to be intended in the words, “Remember the Sabbath day,” yet it respects only the original Sabbath, or the Sabbath in respect of its original, and not any new institution of it; for supposing the observation of the Sabbath to have been before in use, whether that use were only of late, or a few days before, or of more ancient times, even from the beginning of the world, the command concerning it may be well expressed by tB;Væhæ µwOyAta, rwOkiz; ;— “Remember the Sabbath day.” (3.) Suppose that the Sabbath had received a limitation to the seventh day precisely, in the ordinance given unto that people in the first raining of manna, then does the observation of that day precisely, by virtue of this command, necessarily take place. And yet the command, which is but the revival of what was required from the foundation of the world, cannot be said to intend that day precisely in the first place: for the reason of and in the original command for a sabbatical rest, was God’s making the world in six days, and resting on the seventh; which requires no more but that in the continual revolution of seven days, six being allowed unto work, one should be observed a sacred rest to God. These words, therefore, “Remember the Sabbath day,” referring unto the primitive command and reason of it as is afterwards declared in the body of the law, require no more but a weekly day of rest, whereunto the seventh day is reduced, as added by an especial ordinance. And the reason of this commandment from the works of God and the order of them, is repeated in the decalogue, because the instruction given us by them being a part of the law of our creation more subject unto a neglect, disregard, and forgetfulness, than those other parts of it which were wholly innate to the principles of our own nature, it was necessary that the remembrance of it should be so expressly revived, when in the other precepts there is only a tacit excitation of our own inbred light and principles. (4.) The emphatical expression insisted on, “Remember the Sabbath day,” has respect unto the singular necessity, use, and benefit of this holy observance, as also to that neglect and decay in its observation which, partly through their own sin, partly through the hardships that it met withal in the world, the church of former ages had fallen into. And what it had lately received of a new institution, with reference unto the Israelites, falls also under this command, or is reduced unto it, as a ceremonial branch under its proper moral head, whereunto it is annexed. And whereas it is greatly urged, “That the command of the seventh day precisely is not the command of one day in seven, and that what God has determined, as in this matter the day is, ought not to be indefinitely by us considered,” it may be all granted without the least prejudice unto the cause wherein we are engaged; for although the institution of the seventh day precisely be somewhat distinct from one day in seven, as containing a determinate limitation of that which is the other notion is left indefinite, yet this hinders not but that God may appoint the one and the other, the one in the moral reason of the law, the other by an especial determination and institution. And this especial institution is to continue, unless it be abrogated or changed by his own authority; which it may be without the least impeachment of the moral reason of the whole law, and a new day be limited by the same authority, which has been done accordingly, as we shall afterwards declare. 52. It is yet further pleaded, Disquisit, p.9-12, “That no distinction can be made between a weekly Sabbath and the seventh day precisely. And if any such difference be asserted, then if one of them be appointed in the fourth commandment, the other is not; for there are not two Sabbaths enjoined in it, but one. And it is evident that there never was of old but one Sabbath.

    The Sabbath observed under the old testament was that required and prescribed in the fourth commandment; and so, on the other side, the Sabbath required in the decalogue was that which was observed under the old testament, and that only. Two Sabbaths, one of one day in seven, and the other of the seventh day precisely, are not to be fancied. The seventh day, and that only, was the Sabbath of the old testament and of the decalogue.” These things, I say, are at large pleaded by the forementioned author. Ans . (1.) These objections are framed against a distinction used by another learned person, about the Sabbath as absolutely commanded in the; decalogue, and as enjoined to practice under the old testament. But neither he nor any other sober person ever fancied that there were two Sabbaths of old, one enjoined unto the church of the Israelites, the other required in the decalogue. But any man may, nay, every prudent man ought to distinguish between the Sabbath as enjoined absolutely, in words expressive of the law of our creation and rule of our moral dependence on God, in the fourth command, and the same Sabbath as it had a temporary, occasional determination to the seventh day in the church of the Jews, by virtue of an especial intimation of the will of God, suited unto that administration of the covenant which that church and people were then admitted into. I see, therefore, no difficulty in these things. The fourth commandment does not contain only the moral equity that some time should always be set apart unto the celebration of the worship of God, nor only the original instruction given us by the law of creation, and the covenant obedience required of us thereon, wherein the substance of the command does consist; but it expresses, moreover, the peculiar application of this command, by the will of God, to the state of the church then erected by him, with respect unto the seventh day precisely, as before instituted and commanded, Exodus 16. Nor is here the least appearance of two Sabbaths, but one only is absolutely commanded unto all, and determined unto a certain day for the use of some for a season. 53. (2.) That one day in seven only, and not the seventh day precisely, is directly and immediately enjoined in the decalogue, and the seventh only with respect unto an antecedent Mosaical institution, with the nature of that administration of the covenant which the people of Israel were then taken into, has been evinced in our preceding investigation of the causes and ends of the Sabbath, and been cleared by many. And it seems evident to an impartial consideration. For the observation of one day in seven belongs unto every covenant of God with man. And the decalogue is the invariable rule of man’s walking before God and living unto him, of what nature soever, on other reasons, the covenant be between them, whether that of works, or that of grace by Jesus Christ The seventh day precisely belonging unto the covenant of works, cannot therefore be firstly, but only occasionally intended in the decalogue Nor does it, nor can it, invariably belong unto our absolute obedience unto God, because it is not of the substance of it, but is only an occasional determination of a duty, such as all other positive laws do give us. And hence there is in the command itself a difference put between a Sabbath day, and the arbitrary limitation of the seventh day to be that day; for we are commanded to “remember the Sabbath day,” not the seventh day; and the reason given (as is elsewhere observed) is, because “the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (in the close of the command, where the formal reason of our obedience is expressed), not the seventh day. Nor is, indeed, the joint observation of the seventh day precisely unto all to whom this command is given,-that is, to all who take the Lord to be their God,— possible, though it was to the Jews in the land of Palestine, who were obliged to keep that day; for the difference of the climate in the world will not allow it. Nor did the Jews ever know whether the day they observed was the seventh from the creation; only they knew it was so from the day whereon manna was first given unto them. And the whole revolution and computation of time by days was sufficiently interrupted in the days of Joshua and Hezekiah, from allowing us to think the observation of the seventh day to be moral.

    And it is a rule to judge of the intention of all laws, divine and human, that the meaning of the preceptive part of them is to be collected from the reasons annexed to them or inserted in them. Now, the reasons for a sacred rest that are intimated and stated in this command do no more respect the seventh day than any other in seven. Six days are granted to labor, that is in number, and not more, in septenary revolution. Nor does the command say any thing whether these six days shall be the first or the last in the order of them. And any day is as meet for the performance of the duties of the Sabbath as the seventh, if in an alike manner designed thereunto; which things are at large pleaded by others. 54. It has hitherto been allowed generally that the fourth commandment does at least include something in it that is moral, or else, indeed, no color can be given unto its association with them that are absolutely so in the decalogue. This is commonly said to be, that some part of our time be dedicated to the public worship of God. But as this would overthrow the pretension before mentioned, that there can be no moral command about time, which is but a circumstance of moral duties, so the limitation of that time unto one day in seven is so evidently a perpetually binding law, that it will not be hard to prove the unchangeable obligation that is upon all men unto the observance of it; which is all, for the substance, that is contended for. To avoid this it is now affirmed, Disquisit., p.14, that “Morale quarti præcepti est, non unum diem sed totum tempus vitæ nostræ quantum id fieri potest, impendendum esse cultui Dei, quærendo regnum Dei et justitiam ejus, atque inserviendo ædificationi proximi: quo pertinet ut Deo serviamus, ejus beneficia agnoscamus et celebremus, eum invocemus spiritu, fidem nostram testemur confessione ens,” etc.; — “This is that which is moral in the fourth commandment, namely, that not one day, but as much as may be our whole lives, be spent in the worship of God, seeking his kingdom and the righteousness thereof, and furthering the edification of our neighbor. Hereunto it belongs that we should serve God, acknowledge and celebrate his benefits, pray unto him in spirit, and testify our faith by our confession.” 55. Ans . It is hard to discover how any of these things have the least respect to the fourth commandment, much more how the morality of it should consist in them; for all the instances mentioned are indeed required in the first precept of the decalogue, that only excepted of taking care to promote the edification of our neighbor, which is the sum and substance of the second table, expressed by our Savior by loving our neighbor as ourselves. To live unto God, to believe and trust in him, to acknowledge his benefits, to make confession of him in the world, are all especial moral duties of the first commandment. It cannot therefore be apprehended how the morality of the fourth commandment should consist in them. And if there be nothing else moral in it, there is certainly nothing moral in it at all; for these things and the like are claimed from it, and taken out of its possession by the first precept. And thereunto does the general consideration of time with respect unto these duties belong, namely, that we should live unto God while we live in this world; for we live in time, and that is the measure of our duration and continuance. Something else, therefore, must be found out to be moral in the fourth commandment, or it must be denied plainly to have any thing moral in it. 56. It is further yet pleaded, ‘That the Sabbath was a type of our spiritual rest in Christ, both that which we have in him at present by grace, and that which remains for us in heaven. Hence it was a shadow of good things to come, as were all other ceremonial institutions. But that the same thing should be moral and a shadow is a contradiction. That which is a shadow can in no sense be said to be moral, nor on the contrary. The Sabbath, therefore, was merely ceremonial.”

    Ans. It does not appear, it cannot be proved, that the Sabbath, either as to its first original, or as to the substance of the command of it in the decalogue, was typical, or instituted to prefigure any thing that was future: yea, the contrary is evident; for the law of it was given before the first promise of Christ, as we have proved, and that in the state of innocency, and under the covenant of works in perfect force, wherein there was no respect unto the mediation of Christ. I do acknowledge that God did so order all his works in the first creation and under the law of nature as that they might he suitable morally to represent his works under the new creation, which from the analogy of our redemption to the creation of all things is so called. And hence, according to the eternal counsel of God, were all things meet to be gathered unto a head in Christ Jesus. On this account there is an instructive resemblance between the works of the one sort and of the other. So the rest of God after the works of the old creation is answered by the rest of the Son of God upon his laying the foundation of the new heavens and new earth in his resurrection. But that the Sabbath originally, and in its whole nature, should be a free institution, to prefigure and as in a shadow to represent any thing spiritual or mystical, afterwards to be introduced, is not nor can be proved. It was, indeed, originally a moral pledge of God’s rest and of our interest therein, according to the tenor of the covenant of works; which things belong unto our relation unto God by virtue of the law of our creation. It continues to retain the same nature with respect unto the covenant of grace. What it had annexed unto it, what applications it received unto the state of the Mosaical pedagogy, which were temporary and umbratile, shall be declared afterwards. 57. But it is yet pleaded, from an enumeration of the parts of the fourth commandment, that there can be nothing moral as to our purpose in it.

    And these are said to be three:— First, The determination of the seventh day to be a day of rest. Secondly, The rest itself commanded on that day.

    Thirdly, The sanctification of that rest unto holy worship. “Now neither of these can be said to be moral Not the first, for it is confessedly ceremonial.

    The second is a thing in its own nature indifferent, having nothing of morality in it, antecedent unto a positive command. Neither is the third moral, being only the means or manner of performing that worship which is moral.” Ans. (1.) It will not be granted that this is a sufficient analysis or distribution of the parts of this command. The principal subject-matter of it is omitted, namely, the observation of one day in seven unto the ends of a sacred rest; for we are required in it to sanctify the Sabbath of the Lord our God, which was a seventh day in a hebdomadal revolution of days.

    Supply this in the first place, in the room of the determination of the seventh day to be that day, which evidently follows it in the order of nature, and this argument vanishes.. Now, it is here only tacitly supposed, not at all proved, that one day in seven is not required. (2.) Rest in itself, absolutely considered, is no part of divine worship, antecedently unto a divine positive command. But a rest from our own works, which might be of use and advantage unto us, which by the law of our creation we are to attend unto in this world, that we may attend and apply ourselves to the worship of God, and solemnly express our universal dependence upon him in all things; a rest representing the rest of God in his covenant with us, and observed as a pledge of our entering into his rest by virtue of that covenant, and according to the law of it, such as is the rest here enjoined, is a part of the worship of God. This is the rest which we are directed unto by the law of our creation, and which by the moral reason of this command is enjoined unto us on one day in seven; and in these things consists the morality of this precept, on whose account it has a place in the decalogue, which, on all the considerations before mentioned, could not admit of an association with one that was purely ceremonial. (3.) Granting the dedication of some time or part of time unto the solemn worship of God to be required in this command, as is by all generally acknowledged, and let a position be practically advanced against this we insist on, namely, that one day in seven is the time determined an limited for that purpose, and we shall quickly perceive the mischievous consequents of it; for when men have taken out of the hand of God the division between the time that is allowed unto us for our own occasions and what is to be spent in his service, and have cast off all influencing direction from his example of work mg six days and resting the seventh, and all guidance from that seemingly perpetual direction that is given us of employing ordinarily six days in the necessary affairs of this life, they will find themselves at no small loss what to fix upon or wherein to acquiesce in this matter. It must either be left to every individual man to do herein as seems good unto him, or there must an umpirage of it be committed unto others, either the church or the magistrate. And hence we may expect as many different determinations and limitations of time as there are distinct ecclesiastical or political powers amongst Christians. What variety and changeableness would hence ensue, what confusion this would cast all the disciples of Christ into, according to the prevalence of superstition or profaneness in the minds of those who claim this power of determining and limiting the time of public worship, is evident unto all. The instance of “holy days,” as they are commonly called, will further manifest what of itself lies naked under every rational eye. The institution and observation of them was ever resolved into the moral part of this command for the dedicating of some part of our time unto God: but the determination hereof being not of God, but left unto the church, as it is said, one church multiplies them without end, until they grow an insupportable yoke unto the people; another reduces this number into a narrower compass; a third rejects them all; and no two churches, that are independent ecclesiastically and politically one on the other, do agree about them. And so will and must the matter fall out as to the especial day whereof we discourse, when once the determination of it by divine authority is practically rejected. As yet men deceive themselves in this matter, and pretend that they believe otherwise than indeed they do. Let them come once soberly to join their opinion of their liberty and their practice together, actually rejecting the divine limitation of one day in seven, and they will find their own consciences under more disorder than yet they are aware of.

    Again, if there be no day determined in the fourth command but only the seventh precisely, which is ceremonial, with a general rule that some time is to be dedicated to the service of God, there is no more of morality in this command than in any of those for the observation of new moons and annual feasts, with jubilees, and the like; in all which the same general equity is supposed, and a ceremonial day limited and determined. And if it be so, as far as I can understand, we may as lawfully observe new moons and jubilees as a weekly day of rest, according to the custom of all churches. 58. The words of the apostle Paul Colossians 2:16,17, are at large insisted on to prove that the Sabbath was only typical and a shadow of things future: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon” (h\ sabba>twn), “or of the sabbaths” (or, “sabbath days”), “which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” For hence, they say, it will follow that there is nothing moral in the observation of the Sabbath, seeing it was a mere type and shadow, as were other Mosaical institutions, as also that it was absolutely abolished and taken away in Christ Ans. This place must be afterwards considered; I shall here only briefly speak unto it And, (1.) It is known and confessed, that at that time all Judaical observations of days, or the days which they religiously observed, whether feasts or fasts, weekly, monthly, or annual, were by themselves and all others called their sabbaths, as we have before evinced. And that kind of speech which was then in common use is here observed by our apostle. It must, therefore, necessarily be allowed that there were two sorts of sabbaths among them. The first and principal was the weekly Sabbath, so called from the rest of God upon the finishing of his works. This being designed for sacred and religious uses, other days separated unto the same ends in general came, from their analogy thereunto, to be called sabbaths also, yea, were so called by God himself, as has been declared. But the distinction and difference between these sabbaths was great The one of them was ordained from the foundation of the world, before the entrance of sin, or giving of the promises, and so belonged unto all mankind in general; the others were appointed in the wilderness as a part of the peculiar church worship of the Israelites, and so belonged unto them only. The one of them was directly commanded in the decalogue, wherein the law of our creation was revived and expressed; the others have their institution expressly among the residue of ceremonial, temporary ordinances. Hence they cannot be both comprised under the same denomination, unless upon some reason that is common to both sorts alike. So when God saith of them all, “Ye shall observe my sabbaths,” it is upon a reason common to them all namely, that they were all commanded of God which is the formal reason of our obedience, of what nature soever his commands are, whether moral or positive. Nor can both these sorts be here understood under the same name, unless it be with respect unto something that is common unto both. Allow therefore, the distinctions between them before mentioned, which cannot soberly be denied, and as to what they agree in, namely, what is or was in the weekly primary Sabbath of the same nature with those days of rest which were so called in allusion there-unto, and they may be allowed to have the same sentence given concerning them; that is, so far the weekly Sabbath may be said to be a shadow, and to he abolished. (2.) . It is evident that the apostle in this place deals with them who endeavored to introduce Judaism absolutely, or the whole system of Mosaical ceremonies, into the observation of the Christian church.

    Circumcision, their feasts and new moons, their distinctions of meats and drinks he mentions directly in this place. And therefore he deals about these things so far as they were Judaical, or belonged unto the economy of Moses, and no otherwise. If any of them fell under any other consideration, so far as they did so he designs not to speak of them. Now, those things only were Mosaical, which being instituted by Moses, were figurative of good things to come; or the things which, being of the same nature with the residue of his ceremonies, were before appointed, but accommodated by him to the use of the church which he built, such as sacrifices and circumcision: for they were all of them nothing else but an obscure adumbration of the things whereof Christ was the body. So far, then, as the weekly Sabbath had any additions made unto it or limitation given of it, or directions for the manner of its observance, or respected the services then to be performed in it, and by all accommodated unto that dispensation of the covenant which the posterity of Abraham were then brought into, it was a shadow, and is taken away by Christ Therewith falls its limitation to the seventh day, its rigorous observation, its penal sanction, its being a sign between God and that people,— in a word, every thing in it and about it that belonged unto the then present administration of the covenant, or was accommodated to the Judaical church or state, But now, if it be proved that a septenary sacred rest was appointed in paradise, that it has its foundation in the law of creation, that thereon it was observed antecedently unto the institution of Mosaical ceremonies, and that God renewed the command concerning it in his system of moral precepts, manifoldly distinguished from all ceremonial ordinances, so far and in these respects it has no concern in these words of the apostle. (3.) It cannot be said that the religious observance of one day in seven, as a holy rest unto God, is. abolished by Christ, without casting a great reflection of presumption on all the churches of Christ in the world,— I mean that now are, or ever were so; for they all have observed and do still observe such a day. I shall not now dispute about the authority of the church to appoint days unto holy or religious uses, to make “holy days,”— let it be granted to be whatever any yet has pretended or pleaded that it is; but this I say, that when God by his authority had commanded the observation of a day to himself and the Lord Christ by the same authority has taken off that command, and abolished that institution, it is not in the power of all the churches in the world to take up the religions observance of that day to the same ends and purposes. It is certain that God did appoint that a Sabbath of rest should be observed unto him, and for the celebration of his solemn worship, on one day in seven. The whole command of God hereof is now pleaded to be dissolved, and all obligation from thence unto its observation to be abolished, in and by Christ. Then say I, it is unlawful for any church or churches in the world to resume this practice, and to impose the observance of it on the disciples of Christ. Be it that the church may appoint holy days of its own, that have no foundation in nor relation to the law of Moses, yet doubtless it ought not to dig any of his ceremonies out of their grave, and impose them on the necks of the disciples of Christ; yet so must it be thought to do on this hypothesis, that the religious observance of one day in seven ]s absolutely abolished by Christ, as a mere part of the law of commandments contained in ordinances, which was nailed to his cross and buried with him, by the constant practice and injunction thereof. (4.) Herewith fall the arguments taken from the apostle’s calling the Sabbath in this place “a shadow;” for it is said that “nothing which is moral can be a shadow.” It is true, that which is moral, so far as it is moral, cannot be a shadow. We therefore say, that the weekly observation of a day of rest from the foundation of the world, whereunto a general obligation was laid on all men unto its observation, the command whereof was a part of the moral law of God, was no shadow, nor is so called by the apostle, nor did typify good things to come. But that which is in its own nature moral, may, in respect of some peculiar manner of its observance, in such’ a time or season, and some adjuncts annexed unto it, in respect whereof it becomes a part of ceremonial worship, be so far and in those respects esteemed a shadow, and as such pass away. In brief the command itself, of observing one day in seven as a holy rest unto God, has nothing Aaronical or typical in it but has its foundation in the light of nature, as directed by the works of God and his rest thereon. [As] for its limitation precisely to the last day of the week, with other directions and injunctions for and in the manner of its observance, they were Mosaical, and as a shadow are departed, as we shall manifest in our ensuing Exercitation. 59. But yet neither can it be absolutely proved, if we would insist thereon, that the weekly Sabbath is in any sense intended in these words of the apostle; for he may design the sabbatical years which were instituted among that people, and probably now pressed by the Judaizing teachers on the Gentile proselytes. Nor will the exception put in from some of the rabbins, that the sabbatical years were not to be observed out of the land of Canaan, from which Colosse was far enough distant, re-enforce the argument to this purpose: for as men in one place may have their consciences exercised and bound with the opinion of what is to be done in another, though they cannot engage in the practice of it whilst they are absent, so our apostle chargeth the Galatians, — as far distant from Canaan as the Colossians, — that when they began to Judaize, they observed years, as well as days, and months, and times; which could respect only the sabbatical years that were instituted by the law of Mosea EXERCITATION 4.

    OF THE JUDAICAL SABBATH, 1. The Sabbath, how required by the law of nature as a covenant. 2. Explanation of the law of the Sabbath in the fourth precept of the decalogue. 3. The law of creation and covenant of works renewed in the church of Israel; with what alterations. 4. The Sabbath, why said to be given peculiarly to the Israelites. 5. Change in the covenant introduceth a change in the Sabbath. 6. The whole nature of the Judaical Sabbath, and how it is abolished. 7. Jews’ sense of the original of the Sabbath rejected. 8. The first appropriation of the law of the Sabbath to that people, Exodus 9. Their mistakes about its observation. 10. The giving of the law on mount Sinai, with the ends of it. 11. Nature of the fourth commandment thereon; what Mosaical in it. 12. Renovation of the command of the Sabbath, Exodus 31:12-17. 13. Occasion hereof. 14. Appropriations made of the Sabbath to the church of Israel in this renovation. 15. The commandment renewed again, Exodus 34:21 — New additions made to it. 16. So also Exodus 35:2,3. 17. The whole matter stated, Deuteronomy 5:15,18,19. The conclusion. 1. WE have declared how the observation of a septenary sacred rest is required by the moral law, or the law of our creation. Now, this is not absolutely and merely as it is a law, but as it contained a covenant between God and man. A law it might have been, and yet not have had the nature of a covenant, which doth not necessarily follow upon either its instructive or preceptive power. Yet it was originally given in the counsel of God to that end, and accompanied with promises and threatenings; whence it had the nature of a covenant. By virtue of this law as a covenant was the observation of a Sabbath prescribed and required, as a token and pledge of God’s rest in that covenant, in the performance of the works whereon it was constituted, and of the interest of man in that rest, as also to be a means of entrance into it. On this ground it should have been observed in the state of innocency, wherein the law of it was given and declared; for it was nb less necessary unto that state and condition than unto any other wherein God requireth covenant obedience of men; nor, considering the nature and ends of a holy rest or Sabbath, can any reason be given why it should be thought accommodated only to the administration of the covenant under the old testament after the giving of the law, whereunto by some it is appropriated. 2. It is true, indeed, that in the fourth commandment there is an explanation of the rest of the Sabbath, so far as it consisteth in a cessation from our own works that are of use and advantage to the outward man in this life, suited as unto the state and condition of mankind in general since the fall, so unto the especial state of the Jews at that time when the law was given; as there was also in the additional appendix of the first commandment. But, for the substance of it, the same kind of rest was to be observed in the state of innocency, and was necessary thereunto, on the grounds before insisted on. Servile labor, with trouble, sweat, and vexation, was occasioned by the curse, Genesis 3:17-19. The state also of servants and handmaids, such as was then and is still in use, followed on the entrance of sin; though merely to serve be no part of the curse, Corinthians 7:20,21, as having its foundation in that subordination which is natural; and the government of servants ought not to be despotical, but paternal, Genesis 18:19. In these things there was some variation supposed in the giving of the decalogue, as to their outward manner, from the original state of things amongst mankind. But there was also work required of man, or labor in the earth, with reference unto his natural life and subsistence in this world, in the state of innocency; for it is said expressly, that God put man into the garden, Hr;m]v;l]W Hd;b][;l] Genesis 2:15, — to labor in it, and to preserve it by labor for his use. A cessation, therefore, from bodily labor was consistent with, and useful unto, that condition, that men thereby might be enabled to give themselves (in the season they were directed unto by the works and example of God) wholly unto the especial end of living unto him, according to the covenant made with them.

    There is nothing, therefore, in the fourth commandment, directing unto six days of labor, and requiring a seventh unto rest, that is inconsistent or not compliant with the law of our creation, and the state of living unto God constituted thereby, although the manner of that work and labor be varied from what originally it was. Likewise in that state of mankind there was to be a superiority of some over others. This the natural relation of parents and children makes manifest. And these latter were in the worship of God to be under the government and direction of the others. And unto this natural equity is all subjection to magistrates in subjects, and to masters in servants, reduced in the fifth commandment. So, then, the outward variations which are in these things supposed in the fourth commandment do not in the least impeach its morality, or hinder but that, for the substance of it, it may be judged a law natural and moral, and a true representation of a part of the law of our creation. 3. Seeing, therefore, that the moral law, as a covenant between God and man, required this sacred rest, as we have proved, we must inquire what place, as such, it had in the Mosaical economy, whereon the true reason and notion of the Sabbath as peculiarly Judaical doth depend; for the Sabbath being originally annexed to the covenant between God and man, the renovation of the covenant doth necessarily require an especial renovation of the Sabbath, and the change of the covenant as to the nature of it must in like manner introduce a change of the Sabbath. And we shall find that the covenant of the law, or of works, had a twofold renovation in the church of Israel, in the framing and constitution of it. These rendered it their especial covenant, although it was not absolutely a new covenant, nor is it so called, but is everywhere called the old, and hence the Sabbath became peculiarly theirs.

    First, It was renewed unto them materially. It was originally written in the heart of man, or co-created with the faculties of his soul; where its light and principles, being excited, guided, and variously affected with the consideration of the works of God (proposed unto him with an instructive ability for that end, whose directions concurred to the making up of the entire law of creation), were evidently directive unto all the duties which God in the first covenant required at our hands. By the entrance of sin, with the corruption and debasing of the faculties of our souls which ensued thereon, — whereby the alteration in our nature, the principal seat and subject of this law, was so great as that we lost the image of God, or that light and knowledge unto our duty with respect unto him which was necessary for us in that covenant, — the law itself became insufficient, a lame and imperfect guide unto the ends of the covenant. Besides, the aspectable creation, — the outward medium of instructing man in the knowledge of the goodness, power, and wisdom of God, — being for our sin brought under the curse, and the creature into bondage, the contemplation of it would not so clearly, distinctly, and perfectly represent him unto us as formerly. Let men fancy what they please, and please themselves whilst they will with their fancies, all things both within and without, in the whole creation, were brought into such disorder and confusion by the entrance of sin, as that the law of nature was utterly insufficient to enable us unto, or to guide us in, our living unto God according to the tenor of the first covenant.

    There were and are, indeed, general notions of good and evil indelibly planted on the faculties of our souls, with a power of judging concerning our actions and moral practices, whether they are conformable unto those notions with respect unto the superior judgment of God. But besides the impairing of the principles of these notions, before mentioned, they were of old variously obscured, perverted, and stifled, by customs, prejudices, and the power of sin in the world, so as that they were of little use as unto a due performance of covenant duties, indeed of none at all in reference unto any acceptation with God.

    Wherefore, God erecting his church, and renewing the knowledge of himself and man’s duty towards him, in the posterity of Abraham, he gave unto them afresh, in the first place, the precepts of the law and covenant of nature, for the guide and rule of their obedience. And that this might now be permanent, he reduced the substance of the whole law unto “ten words,” or commands, writing them in tables of stone, which he appointed to be sacredly kept amongst them. The law thus declared and written by him was the same, I say, materially, and for the substance of it, with the law of our creation, or the original rule of our covenant obedience unto God. Yet in it, as thus transcribed, there was an innovation both in its form and principle of obligation. For as to its form or directive power, it was now made external and objective unto the mind of man, which before was principally internal and subjective. And the immediate obligation unto its observation among that people was now from the promulgation of it on Mount Sinai, and the delivery of it unto them thereon. Hence it was prefaced with motives peculiar to their state and condition, and its observation continually pressed on them afterwards with arguments taken from their peculiar relation unto God, with his love and benefits unto them. This gave it a new respect, because there was nothing originally in it nor belonging unto it but what was equally common unto all mankind.

    Now, this alteration in the law and covenant of creation, as applied unto the church of the Israelites, did also affect the law of the Sabbath, which was a part of it, It was now no more to them a mere moral command only, equally regarding all mankind; but had a temporary respect given unto it, which was afterwards to be abolished and taken away. So was it with the whole law, and so was it with the Sabbath in particular. To take up, therefore, the observation of it, as appointed in the decalogue, not as a material transcript of the law of nature merely, but as under its renovation to the church of Israel, is a groundless and unwarrantable going over into a part of abolished Judaism; for, — Secondly, The law was renewed as an ingredient into that economy under which God was pleased to bring his church at that time, before the exhibition of the promise, or the accomplishment of it. And sundry things are to be observed herein: — (1.) That God did not absolutely bring that people under the covenant of works in all the rigor of it, according to its whole law and tenor, to stand or fall absolutely by its promises or threatenings; for although the law contained the whole rule of the covenant, and on the considerations to be afterwards mentioned it is often called the “covenant of God” with that people, yet were they not absolutely tied up unto it and concluded by it, as to the eternal issue of living unto God. This arose from the interposition of the promise; for the promise of grace in Christ being given upon the first entrance of sin, for the relief and salvation of the elect, and being solemnly renewed unto Abraham and his seed four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law unto his posterity, there was a blessed relief provided therein against the curse and threatenings annexed to the first covenant for all them that betook themselves unto it and made use of it. Notwithstanding, I say, this renovation of the first covenant materially unto them, they were so far freed from its covenant terms as that they had a relief provided against what they could not answer in it, with the consequences thereof. (2.) From the nature and tenor of the covenant of works, so renewed amongst that people, there was begotten in their minds such a respect unto the rigor of its commands, the manner of their observance, or of obedience unto them, with the dread of its curse, awfully denounced amongst them, as brought a servile and bondage frame of spirit upon them in all wherein they had to do with God, by virtue of the law and rule of that covenant.

    This frame of spirit, as that which stands in direct opposition unto the freedom and liberty purchased for us by Jesus Christ, to serve God in righteousness and holiness without fear all our days, is much insisted on by the apostle Paul, especially in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians. And in their observation of the Sabbath in particular they were under this bondage, filling them with many scrupulous anxieties, which arose, not from the law of the Sabbath itself, as originally given unto man in the state of innocency, but from the accommodation of the law thereof unto them after the entrance of sin. And hereby their Sabbath rest became unto them a great part of their wearying, burdensome yoke, which is taken off in Christ. (3.) This law was yet proposed to that church and people in the manner and form of a covenant, and not only materially as a law or rule. This it had from the promises and threatenings which it was attended withal.

    There was adjoined unto it, “Do this, and live;” and, “The man that doeth these things shall live in them;” as also, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the law, to do them.” Not that it was hereby absolutely constituted a covenant, which eventually and finally they were to live or die by (for, as we showed before, there was a relief provided against that condition in the promise), but God gave the old covenant an especial revival, though with respect unto other ends than were originally intended in it. Hence the covenant form given unto it tendered the obedience of that people in a great measure servile, for it gendered unto bondage. (4.) The law, being attended with various explanations and many ordinances of judgment, deduced from the principles of moral right and equity contained in it, was made the rule of the polity and government of that people, as a holy nation under the rule of God himself, who was their king; for their polity, for the kind of it, was a theocracy, over which God in an especial manner presided, as their governor and king. And hence he affirms, that when they would choose another king over them, after the manner of the nations, they rejected him from reigning over them, though they resolved to adhere to his laws and the manner of government prescribed to them. And this was peculiar to that people. Hence the Sabbath amongst them came to have an absolute necessity accompanying it of an outward, carnal observance, the neglect whereof, or acting any thing against the law of it, was to be punished with death. (5.) Unto this renovation of the covenant, in the manner and for the ends expressed, there was added a typical church-state, with a great number of religious laws and ordinances, in themselves carnal and weak, but mystically significant of spiritual and heavenly things, and instructive how to use the promise, that was before given, for their relief from the rigor and curse of the law or covenant now proposed unto them. And in all these things did the covenant of God, made with that people in the wilderness, consist. The foundation, matter, manner of administration, promises, and threatenings of it, were the same with the covenant of works; but they were all accommodated to their ecclesiastical and political estate, with especial respect unto their approaching condition in the land of Canaan: only there was, in the promise, new ends and a new use given unto it, with a relief against its rigor and curse. 4. On the account of the accessions that were thus made to the law, and especially unto the observation of the Sabbath, it is often mentioned in the Scripture as that which God had in a peculiar manner given unto the Israelites, in whose especial worship it had so great a place, many of their principal ordinances having a great respect unto it, it being also the only means of keeping up the solemnity of national worship in their synagogues among the people, Acts 15:21. Thus God says concerning them, that he gave them his Sabbaths in the wilderness, to be a sign between him and them, Ezekiel 20:10-12; and it is said of the same time, Nehemiah 9:14, that he “made known unto them his holy Sabbath,” — that is, in the manner and for the ends expressed. Nor is there any need why we should say that “He gave them” intends no more but that he restored the knowledge of the Sabbath amongst them, the memory whereof they had almost lost, although that interpretation of the expression might be justified; for he says nowhere that he then gave his Sabbaths, but that he then peculiarly gave them unto that people, and that for the ends mentioned. For the Sabbath was originally a moral pledge and expression of God’s covenant rest, and of our rest in God; and now was it appointed of God to be a sign of the especial administration of the covenant which was then enacted. Hence it is said that he gave it them as “a perpetual covenant,” Exodus 31:16, “that they might know him to be theLORD that sanctified them,” verse 13, — that is, their God according to the tenor of that covenant, which was to continue throughout their generations; that is, until the new covenant should be brought in and established by Christ.

    Thus was it peculiarly given unto them; and so far as it was so, as it was a sign of their covenant, as it was then first given, so it is now abolished: for, — 5. The renovation and change of the covenant must and did introduce a change in the rest annexed unto it; for a Sabbath, or a holy rest, belongs unto every covenant between God and man. But as for the kind and nature of it, as to its ends, use, and manner of observation, it follows the especial kind or nature of that covenant wherein we at any season walk before God. Now, the original covenant of works being, in this representation of it on Sinai, not absolutely changed or abolished, but afresh presented unto the people, only with a relief provided for the covenanters against its curse and severity, with a direction how to use it to another end than was first given unto it, it follows that the day of the sabbatical rest could not be changed. And therefore was the observation of the seventh day precisely continued, because it was a moral pledge of the rest of God in the first covenant; for this the instructive part of the law of our creation, from God’s making the world in six days, and resting on the seventh, did require. The observation of this day, therefore, was still continued among the Israelites, because the first covenant was again presented unto them.

    But when that covenant was absolutely, and in all respects as a covenant, taken away and disannulled, and that not only as to its formal efficacy, but also as to the manner of the administration of God’s covenant with men, as it is under the gospel, there was a necessity that the day of rest should also be changed, as I have more fully showed elsewhere. I say, then, that the precise observation of the seventh day enjoined unto the Israelites had respect unto the covenant of works, wherein the foundation of it was laid, as hath been demonstrated. And the whole controversy about what day is to be observed now as a day of holy rest unto the Lord, is resolved fully into this inquiry, namely, what covenant we do walk before God in. 6. And that we may understand the whole nature of the Judaical Sabbath, it must moreover be considered, that the law in general, and all the precepts of it, were the instrument of the polity of the people under the government of God, as we before observed; for all the judgments relating unto civil things were but an application of the moral law to their state and condition. Hence was the sanction of the transgression of it to be punished with death. So was it in particular with respect unto the Sabbath, Numbers 15:32-36, partly that it might represent unto them the original sanction of the whole law as a covenant of works, and partly to keep that stubborn people by this severity within due bounds of government. Nor was any thing punished by death judicially in the law but the transgression of some moral command. µymçh dy , “the hand of heaven,” is threatened against their presumptuous transgression of the ceremonial law, where no sacrifice was allowed: “I theLORD will set my face against that man, and cut him off.” This also made the Sabbath a yoke and a burden, that wherein their consciences could never find perfect rest. And in this sense also it is abolished and taken away.

    Again, it was made a part of their law for religious worship in their typical church-state; in which and whereby the whole dispensation of the covenant which they were under was directed unto other ends. And so it had the nature of a shadow, representing the good things to come, whereby the people were to be relieved from the rigor and curse of the whole law as a covenant. And on these reasons new commands were given for the observation of the Sabbath, and new motives, ends, and uses were added thereunto, every way to accommodate it to the dispensation of the covenant then in force, which was afterwards to be removed and taken away, and therewithal the Sabbath itself, so far as it had relation thereunto; for the continuation of the seventh day precisely belonged unto the new representation that was made of the covenant of works. The representation of that covenant, with the sanction given unto it amongst the judgments of righteousness in the government of the people in the land of Canaan, which was the Lord’s, and not theirs, made it a yoke and burden; and the use it was put unto amongst ceremonial observances made it a shadow: in all which respects it is abolished by Christ. To say that the Sabbath as given unto the Jews is not abolished, is to introduce the whole system of Mosaical ordinances, which stand on the same bottom with it.

    And particularly, the observation of the seventh day precisely lieth as it were in the heart of the economy. And these things will the more clearly appear if we consider the dealing of God with that people about the Sabbath from first to last. 7. The Jews, some of them at least, as was before discoursed, would have not only the first revelation of the Sabbath unto them, or the renovation of its command, but its first institution absolutely, to have been in their station at Marah, Exodus 15. The vanity of this pretense we have before sufficiently discovered. And whereas this was the opinion of the Talmudical masters of the middle ages since Christ, they seem to have embraced it on the same account whereon they have invented many other fancies; for observing that a Sabbath was in esteem amongst the Christians, in opposition unto them they began to contend that the Sabbath was, as they called it, “the bride of the synagogue,” and belonged to themselves alone, being given secretly to them only. The vanity of this pretense we have before laid open, and so shall not again insist upon it. 8. The first peculiar dealing of God with them about the Sabbath was evidently in their first station at Alush, Exodus 16. The occasion of the whole is laid down, verses 4,5, “Then said theLORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” Here is no mention of the Sabbath, nor any reason given why they should gather a double portion on the sixth day. This command, therefore, must needs have seemed somewhat strange unto them, if they had before no notion at all of a seventh day’s sacred rest.

    They must otherwise have been at a great loss in themselves why they must double their measure on the sixth day. However, it is apparent that either they had lost the true day they were to observe, through their long bondage in Egypt, or knew not what belonged to the due observation and sanctification of it; for when the people had observed this command, and gathered a double portion of manna, to keep one part of it for the next day, — although they had experience that if at another season it were kept above one day it would putrefy and stink, verse 20, — the rulers of the congregation, fearing some mistake in the matter, go and acquaint Moses with what was done amongst them, verse 22. Hereon Moses replieth unto them, verse 23, “This is that which theLORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto theLORD: bake that which ye will bake,” etc.

    This is the first express mention of the Sabbath unto and amongst that people; and it sufficiently declares that this was not the absolute original of a sabbatical rest. It is only an appropriation and application of the old command unto them; for the words are not preceptive, but directive. They do not institute any thing new, but direct in the practice of what was before. Hence it is affirmed, verse 29, that God gave them the Sabbath, — namely, in this new confirmation of it, and accommodation of it to their present condition; for this new confirmation of it, by withholding of manna on that day, belonged merely and solely unto them, and was the especial limitation of the seventh day precisely, wherein we are not concerned who do live on the “true bread” that came down from heaven. In these words, therefore, “To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto theLORD,” there is a certain limitation of the day, a direction for its sanctification, as confirmed by the new sign of withholding manna, all which belonged to them peculiarly; for this was the first time that, as a people, they observed the Sabbath, which in Egypt they could not do. And into this institution and the authority of it must they resolve their practice who adhere unto the observation of the seventh day precisely; for that day is no otherwise confirmed in the decalogue but as it had relation hereunto. 9. The Jews in this place fall into a double mistake about the practical observation of their Sabbath; for from these words, “Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe, and that which remaineth lay up for you to be kept until the morning,” verse 23, they conclude it to be unlawful to bake or seethe any thing on the Sabbath day, whereas the words have respect only to the manna that was to be preserved. And from the words of verse 29, “See, for that theLORD hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days, abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day,” they have made a rule, yea, many rules, about what motions or removals are lawful on the Sabbath day, and what not. And hence they have bound themselves with many anxious and scrupulous observances, though the injunction itself do purely and solely respect the people in the wilderness, that they should not go out into the fields to look for manna on that day; which some of them having done, verse 27, an occasion was taken irom thence for this injunction. And hereunto do some of the heathen writers ascribe the original of the sabbatical rest among the Jews, supposing that the seventh day after their departure out of Egypt they came to a place of rest, in remembrance whereof they consecrated one day in seven to rest and idleness ever after; whereunto they add other fictions of a like nature.

    See Tacit. Hist. lib. 5. 10. Not long after ensued the giving of the law on Sinai, Exodus 20. That the decalogue is a summary of the law of nature, or the moral law, is by all Christians acknowledged, nor could the heathens of old deny it. And it is so perfectly. Nothing belongs unto the law which is not comprised therein; nor can any one instance be given to the contrary. Nor is there any thing directly and immediately in it but what belongs unto that law. Only God now made in it an especial accommodation of the law of their creation unto that people, whom he was in a second work now forming for himself, Isaiah 43:19-21, 51:15,16. And this he did, as every part of it was capable of being so accommodated. To this purpose he prefaceth the whole with an intimation of his particular covenant with them, “I am the\parLORD thy God;” and addeth thereunto the remembrance of an especial benefit, that they, and they alone, were made partakers of, “that brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,” — which he did in the pursuit of his especial covenant with Abraham and his seed.

    This made the obligation to obedience unto the law, as promulgated on mount Sinai, to belong unto them peculiarly. To us it is only an everlasting rule, as declarative of the will of God and the law of our creation. The obligation, I say, that arose unto obedience from the promulgation of the law on mount Sinai was peculiar unto the Israelites; and sundry things were then and there mixed with it that belonged unto them alone. And whereas the mercy, the consideration whereof he proposeth as the great motive unto obedience, — which was his bringing them out of Egypt, with reference unto his settling of them in the land of Canaan, — was a typical mercy, it gave the whole law a station in the typical church-state which they were now bringing into. It altered not the nature of the things commanded, which, for the substance of them, were all moral; but it gave their obedience unto it a new and typical respect, even as it was the tenor of the covenant made with them in Sinai, with respect unto the promised land of Canaan, and their typical state therein. 11. This in an especial manner was the condition of the fourth commandment. Three things are distinctly proposed in it: — (1.) The command for an observance of a Sabbath day: Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” This contains the whole substance of the command; the formal reason whereof is contained in the last clause of it: “Wherefore theLORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” And upon the neglect of the observance of the Sabbath in former generations, with a prospect of the many difficulties that would arise among the people in the observation of it for the future; as also because the foundation and reason of it in the law of creation, being principally external, in the works and rest of God that ensued thereon, were not so absolutely ingrafted in the minds of men as continually to evidence and manifest themselves, as do those of the other precepts, there is an especial note put upon it for remembrance. And whereas it is a positive precept, as is that which follows it, all the rest being negatives, it stood more in need than they of a particular charge and special motives; of which motives one is added also to the next command, being in like manner a positive enunciation. (2.) There is an express determination of this Sabbath to the seventh day, without which it was only included in the original reason of it: Verses 9,10, “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of theLORD thy God.” And herein the day originally fixed in the covenant of works is again limited unto this people, to continue unto the time of the full introduction and establishment of the new covenant. And this limitation of the seventh day was but the renovation of the command when given unto them in the way of an especial ordinance, Exodus 16, and belongs not to the substance of the command itself. Yea, take the command itself without respect unto its explications elsewhere, and it expresseth no such limitation, though virtually, because of the precedent institution, Exodus 16, it be contained in it. Hence, (3.) There is a prescription for the manner of its observance, accommodated unto the state and condition of that people; and that two ways, — [1.] In comprehending things spiritual under things carnal, when yet the carnal are of no consideration in the worship of God, but as they necessarily attend upon things spiritual. Hence that part of the command which concerns the manner of the observation of the Sabbath, to be kept holy, is given out in a prohibition of bodily labor and work, or a command of bodily rest. But it is the expression of the rest of God and his complacency in his works and covenant, with the sanctification of the day in obedience to his command, in and by the holy duties of his worship, that is principally intended in it. And this he further intimates afterwards unto them, by his institution of a double sacrifice, to be offered morning and evening on that day. [2.] In the distribution of the people into the capital persons, with their relations, servants, and strangers, that God would have to live amongst them and join themselves unto them on the whole, it appears that the Sabbath is not now commanded to be observed because it is the seventh day, as though the seventh day were firstly and principally intended in the command, which, as we have showed, neither the substance of the command nor the reason of it, with which the whole of the precept is begun and ended, will admit of; but the seventh day is commanded to be observed, because by an antecedent institution it was made to be the Sabbath unto that people, Exodus 16 (whence it came to fall under the command, not primarily, but reductively), as it had been on another account from the foundation of the world. The Sabbath, therefore, is originally commanded as one day in seven to be dedicated unto a holy rest; and the seventh day, if we respect the order of the days, is added as that especial day which God had declared that he would have at that time his Sabbath to be observed on.

    Now, all these things in the law of the Sabbath are Mosaical, — namely, the obligation that arose unto its observation from the promulgation of the law unto that people on Sinai; the limitation of the day unto the seventh or last of the week, which was necessary unto that administration of the covenant which God then made use of, and had a respect unto a previous institution; the manner of its observance, suited unto that servile and bondage frame of mind which the giving of the law on mount Sinai did ingenerate in them, as being designed of God so to do; the ingrafting it into the system and series of religious worship then in force, by the double sacrifice annexed unto it, with the various uses in and accommodations it had unto the rule of government in the commonwealth of Israel; — in all which respects it is abolished and taken away. 12. God having disposed and settled the Sabbath, as to the seventh day, and the manner of its observation, as a part of the covenant then made with that people, he hereon makes use of it in the same manner and unto the same ends with the residue of the institutions and ordinances which he had then prescribed unto them. This he doth, Exodus 31:12-17, “And theLORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily, my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am theLORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from amongst his people.

    Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to theLORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days theLORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

    This is the next mention of the Sabbath amongst that people, wherein all that we have before laid down is fully confirmed. God had now by Moses appointed other sabbaths, that is, monthly and annual sacred rests, to be observed unto himself. With these he now joins the weekly Sabbath, in allusion whereunto they have that name also given unto them. He had sufficiently manifested a difference between them before: for the one he pronounced himself on mount Sinai, as part of his universal and eternal law; the others he instituted by revelation unto Moses, as that which peculiarly belonged unto them. The one was grounded on a reason wherein they had no more concern or interest than all the rest of mankind, — namely, God’s rest in his works, and being refreshed thereon, upon the creation of the world, and the establishment of his covenant with man; the others all built on reasons peculiar unto themselves and that church-state whereinto they were admitted. But here the sabbaths of both these kinds are brought under the same command, and designed unto the same ends and purposes. Now, the sole reason hereof lies in those temporary and ceremonial additions which we have manifested to have been made unto the original law of the Sabbath, in its accommodation to their church-state, with the place which it held therein, as we shall see yet further in particular. 13. The occasion of this renovation of the command was the building of the tabernacle, which was now designed, and forthwith to be undertaken.

    And with respect hereunto there was a double reason for the repetition of this command: — First, Because that work was for a holy end, and so upon the matter a holy work, and whereon the people were very intent Hence they might have supposed that it would have been lawful for them to have attended unto it on the Sabbath days, This, therefore, God expressly forbids, that they might have no pretense for the transgression of his command; and therefore is the penalty annexed unto it so expressly here appointed and mentioned. Secondly, As the tabernacle now to be built was the only seat of that solemn instituted worship which God was now setting up amongst them, so the Sabbath being the great means of its continuance and performance, this they were now to be severely minded of, lest by their neglect and forgetfulness thereof they might come to a neglect and contempt of all that worship which was as it were built upon it. And, as we have observed before more than once, the weekly Sabbath being inserted into the economy of their laws, as to the matter of works and rest, it is comprised in the general with other feasts, called sabbaths also: “Verily, my sabbaths ye shall keep.” And in this regard they are all cast together by our apostle, Colossians 2:16: “The sabbath days.” And they who, by virtue of this and the like commands, would bind us up to the Judaical Sabbath, do certainly lose both that and all other ground for the observance of any sabbath at all; for look in what respects it is joined with the other sabbaths by Moses, in the same it is taken away with them by the apostle. 14. There is a treble appropriation of the weekly Sabbath in this place made unto the church of the Israelites: — (1.) In that the observation of it is required of them in their generations, — that is, during the continuance of that church-state, which was to abide to the coming of Christ; for what was required of them in their generations, as it was required, was then to expire and be abolished. (2.) That they were to observe it as a perpetual covenant, or as a part of that covenant which God then made with them, which is called everlasting, because it was to be so unto them, seeing God would never make any other peculiar covenant with them. And whereas all the statutes and ordinances that God then gave them belonged unto and altogether entirely made up that covenant, some of these, as this especial command for the Sabbath, and that for circumcision, are distinctly called the covenant, and ceased with it. (3.) It was given unto them as an especial pledge of the covenant that God then made with them, wherein he rested in his worship, and brought them to rest therein in the land of Canaan, whereby they entered into God’s rest. Hence it is called “a sign” between them, Exodus 31:13,17; which is repeated and explained, Ezekiel 20:12. A sign it was, or an evident expression of the present covenant of God between him and them; not a sacramental or typical sign of future grace in particular, any otherwise than as their whole church constitution and their worship in general, whereof by these means it was made a part, were so, — that is, not in itself or its own nature, but as prescribed unto them.

    And a present sign between God and them it was upon a double account: — [1.] On the part of the people. Their assembling on that day for the celebration of the worship of God, and the avowing him alone therein to be their God, was a sign, or an evident express acknowledgment that they were the people of the Lord. And this doth not in the least impeach its original morality, seeing there is no moral duty but in its exercise or actual performance may be so made a sign. [2.] On the part of God, — namely, that it was he who sanctified them; for by this observance they had a visible pledge that God had separated them unto and for himself, and therefore bad given them his word and ordinances as the outward means of their further sanctification, to be peculiarly attended to on that day. And on these grounds it is that God is elsewhere said to give them his Sabbaths, to reveal them unto them, as their peculiar privilege and advantage. And their privilege it was; for although, in comparison of the substance and glory of things to be brought in by Christ, with the liberty and spirituality of gospel worship, all their ordinances and institutions were a yoke of bondage, yet considering their use, with their end and tendency, compared with the rest of the world at that time, they were an unspeakable privilege, <19E719> Psalm 147:19,20.

    However, therefore, the Sabbath was originally given before unto all mankind, yet God now, by the addition of his institutions to be observed on that day, whereby he sanctified the people, made an enclosure of it so far unto them alone.

    Lastly, Here is added a peculiar sanction under the penalty of death: “Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death,” Exodus 31:14.

    God sometimes threateneth cutting off or extermination unto persons, concerning whom yet the people had no warranty to proceed capitally against them; only he took it upon himself, as the supreme legislator and rector of that people, to destroy them and cut them off, as they speak, “by the hand of heaven.” But wherever this expression is used, “He shall surely be put to death,” tm;Wy twOm , “Dying he shall die,” there the people, or the judges among them, are not only warranted but commanded to proceed judicially against such an offender. And in this respect it belonged unto that severe government which that people stood in need of, as also to mind them of the sanction of the whole law of creation as a covenant of works, with the same commination of death unto all transgressions. In all these regards the Sabbath was Judaical, and is absolutely abolished and taken away. 15. The command is renewed again, Exodus 34:21, “Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest; in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.”

    Earing time and harvest are the seasons wherein those who till the ground are most intent upon their occasions, and do most hardly bear with intermissions, because they may be greatly to their damage. Wherefore they are insisted on or specified, to manifest that no avocation nor pretense can justify men in working or labor on that day; for by expressing earing and harvest, all those intervenings also are intended in those seasons whereon damage and loss might redound unto men by omitting the gathering in of their corn. And it should seem, on this ground, that on that day they might not labor, neither to take it away before a flood, nor remove it from an approaching fire. So some of the masters think, although our Savior convinces them, from their own practice, in relieving cattle fallen into pits on that day, Luke 14:5, and by loosing them that were tied, to lead them to watering, chapter 13:15, that they did not conceive this universally to be the intendment of that law, that in no case any work was to be done. And it seems they were wiser for their asses in those days than the poor wretch was for himself in a later age, who, falling into the jakes at Tewkesbury on that day, would not suffer himself to be drawn out, — if the story be truly reported in our chronicles. In general, I doubt not but that this additional explanation in a way of severity is in its proper sense purely Judaical, and contains something more of rigidness than is required by the law of the Sabbath as purely moral. 16. Mentioned it is again, with a new addition, Exodus 35:2,3, “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to theLORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day.” Here again the penalty and the prohibition of kindling fire are Mosaical, and so on their account is the whole command as here renewed, though there be that in it which, for the substance of it, is moral.

    And here the seventh day precisely is made vd,qo , “holiness,” unto them (or, vd,qo yaer;q]mi , “a convocation of holiness,” “an holy convocation,’’ as it is expressed, Leviticus 23:2, where these words are again repeated); whose profanation was to be avenged with death. The prohibition also added about kindling of fire in their habitations hath been the occasion of many anxious observances among the Jews. They all agree that the kindling of fire for profit and advantage in kilns and oasts, for the making of brick, or drying of corn, or for founding or melting metals, is here forbidden. But what need was there that so it should be, seeing all these things are expressly forbidden in the command in general, “Thou shalt do no manner of work?” Somewhat more is intended. They say, therefore, that it is the kindling of fire for the dressing of victuals; and this indeed seems to be the intendment of this especial law, as the manna that was to be eaten on the Sabbath was to be prepared on the parascune. But withal I say, this is a new additional law, and purely Mosaical, the original law of the Sabbath making no intrenchment on the ordinary duties of human life, as we shall see afterwards. Whether it forbade the kindling of fire for light and heat, I much question. The present Jews in most places employ Christian servants about such works; for the poor wretches care not what is done to their advantage, so they do it not themselves. But these and the like precepts belonged unquestionably unto their pedagogy, and were separable from the original law of the Sabbath. 17. Lastly, The whole matter is stated, Deuteronomy 5:15; where, after the repetition of the commandment, it is added, “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that theLORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore theLORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.”

    The mercy and benefit they had received in their deliverance from Egypt is given as the reason, not why they should keep the Sabbath, as it was proposed as a motive unto the observation of the whole law in the preface of the decalogue, but wherefore God gave them the law of it, to keep and observe: “Therefore theLORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath.” Now, the reason of the command of a sabbatical rest absolutely, God had everywhere declared to be his making the world in six days, and resting on the seventh; the mention whereof in this place is wholly omitted, because an especial application of the law unto that people is intended. So that it is evident that the Mosaical Sabbath was, on many accounts and in many things, distinguished from that of the decalogue, which is a moral duty. For the deliverance of the people out of Egypt, which was a benefit peculiar unto themselves, and typical of spiritual mercies unto others, was the reason of the institution of the Sabbath as it was Mosaical, which it was not, nor could be, of the Sabbath absolutely, although it might be pressed on that people as a considerable motive why they ought to endeavor the keeping of the whole law. 18. From all that hath been discoursed, it appears that the observation of the seventh day precisely from the beginning of the world belonged unto the covenant of works, not as a covenant, but as a covenant of works, founded in the law of creation; and that in the administration of that covenant, which was revived, and unto certain ends re-enforced unto the church of Israel in the wilderness, it was bound on them by an especial ordinance, to be observed throughout their generations, or during the continuance of their church-state. Moreover, that as to the manner of its observance required by the law, as delivered on mount Sinai, it was a yoke and burden to the people, because that dispensation of the law gendered unto bondage, Galatians 4:24; for it begot a spirit of fear and bondage in all that were its children and subject unto its power. In this condition of things it was applied unto sundry ends in their typical state; in which regard it was a shadow of good things to come.” And so also was it in respect of those other additional institutions and prohibitions which were inseparable from its observation amongst them, whereof we have spoken.

    On all these accounts I doubt not but that the Mosaical Sabbath, and the manner of its observation, are under the gospel utterly taken away. But as for the weekly Sabbath, as required by the law of our creation, and reenforced in the decalogue, the summary representation of that great original law, the observation of it is a moral duty, which by divine authority is translated unto another day. 19. The ancient Jews have a saying, which by the later masters is abused, but a truth is contained in it, yrbd lkl qzwjz µwyq ˆtn tbçh µlw[h ; — “The Sabbath gives firmitude and strength to all the affairs of this world;” for it may be understood of the blessing of God on the due observation of his worship on that day. Hence it was, they say, that any young clean beast that was to be offered in sacrifice must continue seven days with the dam, and not be offered until the eighth, Leviticus 22:27, and that a child was not to be circumcised until the eighth day, that there might be an interposition of a Sabbath for their benediction. And it is not unlikely that the eighth day was also signalized hereby, as that which was to succeed in the room of the seventh, as shall be manifested in our next discourse.


    OF THE LORD’S DAY. 1. A summary of what hath been proved — A progress to the Lord’s day. 2. The new creation of all things in Christ the foundation of gospel obedience and worship. 3. The old and new creation compared. 4. The old and new covenant. 5. Distinct ends of these covenants. 6. Supposition of the heads of things before confirmed. 7. Foundation of the Lord’s day on those suppositions. 8. Christ the author of the new creation; his works therein. 9. His rest from his works the indication of a new day of rest. 10. Observed by the apostles. 11. Proof of the Lord’s day from Hebrews 4 proposed. 12. The words of the text. 13. Design of the apostle in general. 14. His answer unto an objection, with his general argument. 15. The nature of the rests treated of by him. 16. The church under the law of nature, and its rest. 17. The church under the law of institutions, and its rest. 18. The church under the gospel, and its rest. 19. The foundation of it. 20. Christ, his works and his rest, intended Hebrews 4:10. 21. This further proved by sundry arguments. 22. What were his works whereby the church was founded. 23. His entrance into his rest, not in his death, but in his resurrection. 24. The day of rest limited and determined hereby. 25. The sabbatism that remains for the people of God. 26. The sending of the Holy Ghost. 27. Church assemblies on the first day of the week. 28. The Lord’s day, Revelation 1:10. 29. The sum of the preceding discourse. 30. Necessity of the religions observation of one day in seven. 31. Blessing of God on the church-worship on the first day. 32. Of the seventh-day Sabbath — Judaism restored in it — Of the Ebionites. 33. Schisms perpetuated by the opinion of the seventh-day Sabbath. 34. Penalty of the law re-enforced with it. 35. The whole legal. 1. HOW the creation of all things was finished, and how the rest of God and man ensued thereon, hath been declared. It hath also in part, and sufficiently as unto our present purpose, been evidenced how the great ends of the creation of all, in the glory of God, and the blessedness of man in him, with the pledge thereof in a sabbatical rest, were for a season as it were defeated and disappointed, by the entrance of sin, which brake the covenant that was founded in the law of creation, and rendered it useless unto those ends; for the law became weak through sin and the flesh, or the corruption of our nature that ensued thereon, Romans 8:3. Hence it could no more bring man to rest in God. But yet a continuation of the obligatory force of that law and covenant, with the direction of it unto other ends and purposes than at first given unto them, was under the old testament designed of God, and hath been declared also. Hence was the continuation of the original sabbatical rest in the church of Israel, with the especial application of its command unto that people, insisted on in the preceding discourse. In this state of things God had of old determined the renovation of all by a new creation, a new law of that creation, a new covenant, and a new sabbatical rest, unto his own glory, by Jesus Christ; and these things are now to be discussed. 2. The renovation of all things by Jesus Christ is prophesied of and foretold as a new creation of all, even of the heavens and the earth, and all things contained in them, Isaiah 65:17,18, 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13. Hence the state of things to be introduced thereby was under the old testament called “The world to come,” Hebrews 2:5. So it is still called by the Jewish masters, anh µlw[ , and µlw[ dyt[ . So Kimchi, among other expositions of the title of Psalm 92, “A psalm or song for the Sabbath day,” adds this, as that which the most ancient rabbins fixed on µhw hjwnmw tbç wlwkç µlw[l abl dyt[h l[ jyçmh ymy ;” — “They interpreted it of the world to come, which shall be wholly sabbath or rest; and these are the days of the Messiah.” A spiritual rest it is they intend, and not a cessation of a Sabbath day in particular, seeing in the prophecy of the new temple, or church-state, in those days there is especial direction given for the service of the Sabbath day, Ezekiel 46:4.

    And this renovation of all things is said, accordingly, to be accomplished in Christ: 2 Corinthians 5:17,18, “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The old law, old covenant, old worship, old Sabbath, all that was peculiar unto the covenant of works as such, in the first institution of it and its renewed declaration on mount Sinai, are all antiquated and gone. What now remains of them, as to any usefulness in our living to God, does not abide on the old foundation, but on a new disposition of them, by the renovation of all things in Christ; for “in the dispensation of the fullness of times,” God gathered unto a head “all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him,” Ephesians 1:10. The whole old creation, as far as it had any thing in itself or its order that belonged unto or contributed anything towards our living unto God and his glory, is disposed anew in Christ Jesus unto that end.

    But this renovation of all, which is the foundation of all our acceptable obedience unto God and of his present worship, consists principally in the regeneration of the elect, making them new creatures, and the erection of a new church-state thereby, to the glory of God. Now, this new creation of all must answer unto all the ends of the old, in reference unto the glory of God and the good of them who are partakers of it; otherwise it would not be so rightly called, nor answer the declared end of it, which was to gather all things to a head in Christ Jesus; for what was lost by sin, as to the glory of God in the old creation, in this was to be repaired and recovered. 3. We may, then, as the foundation of our present discourse, consider how these things answer unto one another : — First, The old creation comprised in it the law of the obedience of all creatures unto God. This was therein and thereby implanted on their natures, with inclinations natural or moral unto the observation of it. And thus must it be also in the new creation, as unto the subject of it, which is the church. The law of the old creation unto man consisted principally in the image of God in him and concreated with him; for hereby did he both know his duty and was enabled to perform it, and was acquainted with his relation unto God and dependence upon him, which rendered it necessary and indispensable. But this law in the state of creation fell under a double consideration, or had a double use, — first as a rule , and then as a principle. As a rule, the light that was in the mind of man, which was a principal part of the image of God in him, acquainted him with his whole duty, and directed him in the right performance of it. As a principle, it respected the ability that the whole man was endowed withal to live to God according to his duty. This law, as to its first use, being much impaired, weakened, and in a great measure made useless by sin, God was pleased to restore it in the vocal revelation of his will, especially in the decalogue, which with his own finger he wrote in tables of stone. In answer hereunto a new law of obedience is introduced by the new creation in Christ Jesus. And this principally consisteth in the renovation of the image of God in the new creatures, which was lost by sin; for they are “renewed in the spirit of their mind,” and do “put on that new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Ephesians 4:23,24. And this fully answers the first law, as it was a principle of light and power unto obedience. And in a great measure it supplies the loss of it as it was a rule also; for there is a great renovation thereof, in God’s writing his law in our hearts, not here to be insisted on. But in this new creation God designed to gather up all that was past in the old, and in the law thereof, and in the continuation of it by writing under the old testament, unto one head in Christ. Wherefore he brings over into this state the use of the first law, as renewed and represented in tables of stone, for a directive rule of obedience unto the new creature, whereby the first original law is wholly supplied. Hereunto he makes an addition of what positive laws he thinks meet, as he did also under the old law of creation, for the trial of our obedience and our furtherance in it. So the moral law of our obedience is in each condition, the old and the new, materially the same; nor is it possible that it should be otherwise. But yet this old law, as brought over into this new estate, is new also; for “all things are become new.” And it is now the rule of our obedience, not merely and absolutely unto God as the creator, the first cause and last end of all, but as unto God in Christ bringing us into a new relation unto himself. In the renovation, then, of the image of God in our souls, and the transferring over of the moral law as a rule, accompanied with new distinct principles, motives, and ends, does the law of the new creation consist, and fully answer the law of the first, as it was a principle and a rule, each of them having their peculiar positive laws annexed unto them. 4. Secondly, The law of creation had a covenant included in it, or inseparably annexed unto it. This also we have before declared, and what belonged thereunto or ensued necessarily thereon. Thus, therefore, must it be also in the new creation and the law thereof. Yea, because the covenant is that which as it were gathers all things together, both in the works and law of God, and in our obedience, disposing them into that order which tends to the glory of God and the blessedness of the creatures in him, this is that which in both creations is principally to be considered; for without this, no end of God in his works or law could be attained, nor man be made blessed in a way of righteousness and goodness unto his glory. And the law of creation no otherwise failed, or became useless as to its first end by sin, but that the covenant of it was thereby broken, and rendered useless as to the bringing of man unto the enjoyment of God. This, therefore, was principally regarded in the new creation, — namely, the making, confirming, and ratifying, of a new covenant. And the doing hereof was the great promise under the old testament, Jeremiah 31:31-34, whereby the believers who then lived were made partakers of the benefits of it. And the confirming of this covenant in and by Christ is expressed as a part of the new creation, Hebrews 8:8-13, and it is indeed comprehensive of the whole work of it. 5. Thirdly, The immediate end of the old covenant was to bring man by due obedience unto the rest of God. This God declared in and unto his inbred, native light, by his works and his rest that ensued thereon; and also by the day of rest which he instituted as a pledge thereof, and as a means of attaining it, by that obedience which was required in the covenant. This we have before declared, and this was the true original and end of the first sabbatical rest. All these things, therefore, must have place also in the new covenant, belonging unto the new creation. The immediate end of it is our entering into the rest of God, as the apostle proves at large, Hebrews 4.

    But herein we are not absolutely to enter into God’s rest as a creator and rewarder, but into the rest of God in Christ, the nature whereof will be fully explained in our exposition of that chapter; for obedience is now to be yielded unto God, not absolutely, but to God in Christ, and with that respect, therefore, are we to enter into rest. The foundation hereof must lie in the works of God in the new creation, and the complacency with rest which he took therein; for all our rest in God is founded in his own rest in his works. For a pledge hereof, a day of rest must be given and observed, the reasons and necessity whereof we have explained and confirmed in our preceding discourses. This, as has been showed, was originally the seventh day of the week; but, as the apostle tells us in another case, “The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law,” so the covenant being changed, and the rest which was the end of it being changed, and the way of entering into the rest of God being changed, a change of the day of rest must of necessity thereon ensue. And no man can assert the same day of rest precisely to abide as of old, but he must likewise assert the same law, the same covenant, the same rest of God, the same way of entering into it; which yet, as all acknowledge, are changed.

    The day first annexed unto the covenant of works, — that is, the seventh day, — was continued under the old testament, because the outward administration of that covenant was continued. A relief, indeed, was provided against the curse and penalty of it; but in the administration of it, the nature, promises, and threatenings of that covenant, though with other ends and purposes, were represented unto the people. But now that covenant being absolutely abolished, both as to its nature, use, efficacy, and power, no more to be represented or proposed unto believers, the whole of it and its renewed administration under the old testament being removed, taken away, and disappearing, Hebrews 8:13, the precise day of rest belonging unto it was to be changed also; and so it is come to pass. 6. We must here suppose what has been before proved and confirmed, — that there was a day of holy rest unto God necessary to be observed, by the law, and by the covenant of nature or works; neither was nor could either of them be complete without it, looking on them as the rule and means of man’s living unto God, and of his coming to the enjoyment of him: and that this day was, in the innate light of nature, as directed by the works of God, designed and proposed unto it for that purpose, to be one day in seven. This was it to learn, and this it did learn, from God’s creating the world in six days, and resting on the seventh; for God affirms everywhere that because he did so, therefore it was the duty of man to labor on six days, as his occasions do require, and to rest on the seventh.

    This, therefore, they were taught by those works and rest of God, or it could not be proposed as the reason of their suitable practice; and for this end did God so work and rest. The law, therefore, of this holy rest he reneweth in the decalogue, amongst those other laws, which being of the same nature and original, — namely, branches of the law of our creation, — were to be unto us moral and eternal; for God would no longer intrust his mind and will in that law unto the depraved nature of man, — wherein if he had not, in the best, often guided and directed it by fresh extraordinary revelations, it would have been of little use to his glory, — but committed it, by vocal revelation, to the minds of the people, as the doctrinal object of their consideration, and recorded it in tables of stone.

    Moreover, the nature of the first covenant, and the way of God’s instructing man in the condition of it, by his works and rest, had limited this holy day unto the seventh day, the observation whereof was to be commensurate unto that covenant and its administration, however the outward forms thereof might be varied. 7. On these suppositions we lay, and ought to lay, the observation of the Lord’s day under the new testament, according to the institution of it, or declaration of the mind of Christ, who is our Lord and Lawgiver, concerning it. (1.) A new work of creation, or a work of a new creation, is undertaken and completed, Isaiah 65:17,18, 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1; Romans 8:19,20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Gal-vi. 15. (2.) This new creation is accompanied with a new law and a new covenant, or the law of faith and the covenant of grace, Romans 3:27, 8:2-4; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-13. (3.) Unto this law and covenant a day of holy rest unto the Lord does belong; which cannot be the same day with the former, no more than it is the same law or the same covenant which were originally given unto us, Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 1:10. (4.) That this day was limited and determined to the first day of the week by our Lord Jesus Christ, is that which shall now further be confirmed.

    Only I must desire the reader to consider, that whereas the topical arguments whereby this truth is confirmed have been pleaded, improved, and vindicated, by many of late, I shall but briefly mention them, and insist principally on the declaration of the proper grounds and foundations of it. 8. As our Lord Jesus Christ, as the eternal Son and Wisdom of the Father, was the immediate cause and author of the old creation, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2,10, so as Mediator he was the author of this new creation, Hebrews 3:3-4. He built the house of God; he built all these things, and is God. Herein he wrought, and in the accomplishment of it “saw of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied,” Isaiah 53:11; that is, “he rested, and was refreshed.” Herein he gave a new law of life, faith, and obedience unto God, Isaiah 42:4; not by an addition of new precepts to the moral law of God not virtually comprised therein, and distinct from his own positive institutions of worship, but in his revelation of that new way of obedience unto God in and by himself, with the especial causes, means, and ends of it, — which supplies the use and end whereunto the moral law was at first designed, Romans 8:2-3, 10:3- 4, — whereby he becomes “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him,” Hebrews 5:9. This law of life and obedience he writes by his Spirit in the hearts of his people, that they may be “willing in the day of his power,” <19B003> Psalm 110:3, 2 Corinthians 3:3,6, Hebrews 8:10; not at once and in the foundation of his work actually, but only in the causes of it. For as the law of nature should have been implanted in the hearts of men in their conception and natural nativity, had that dispensation of righteousness continued, so in the new birth of them that believe in him is this law written in their hearts in all generations, John 3:6. Hereon was the covenant established and all the promises thereof, of which he was the mediator, Hebrews 8:6. And for a holy day of rest, for the ends before declared, and on the suppositions before laid down evincing the necessity of such a day, he determined the observation of the first day of the week; for, — 9. First, on this day he rested from his works, in and by his resurrection; for then had he laid the foundation of the new heavens and new earth, and finished the works of the new creation, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” On this day he rested from his works, and was refreshed, as God did and was from his. For although he “worketh hitherto,” in the communication of his Spirit and graces, as the Father continued to do in his works of providence, after the finishing of the works of the old creation, though these works belonged thereunto, yet he ceased absolutely from that kind of work whereby he laid the foundation of the new creation. Henceforth he dieth no more. And on this day was he refreshed in the view of his work; for he saw that it was exceeding good. Now, as God’s rest, and his being refreshed in his work, on the seventh day of old, was a sufficient indication of the precise day of rest which he would have observed under the administration of that original law and covenant, so the rest of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his being refreshed in and from his works, on the first day, is a sufficient indication of the precise day of rest to be observed under the dispensation of the new covenant, now confirmed and established.

    And the church of Christ could not pass one week under the new testament, or in a gospel state of worship, without this indication; for the Judaical Sabbath, as sure as it was so, and as sure as it was annexed unto the Mosaical administration of the covenant, was so far abolished as not really to oblige the disciples of Christ in conscience unto the observation of it, whatever any of them might for a season apprehend. And if a new day was not now determined, there was no day or season appointed for the observance of a holy rest unto the Lord, nor any pledge given us of our entering into the rest of Christ. And those who say that it is required that some time be set apart unto the ends of a sabbatical rest, but that there is no divine indication of that time, when nor what it is or shall be, if we consider what are the ends of such a rest, as before declared, must allow us to expect firmer proofs of their uncouth assertion than any as yet we have met withal. 10. Accordingly: this indication of the gospel day of rest and worship was embraced by the apostles, who were to be as the chief cornerstones, the foundation of the Christian church; for immediately hereon they assembled themselves on that day, and were confirmed in their obedience by the grace of our Lord, in meeting with them thereon, John 20:19,26. And it seems that on this day only he appeared unto them when they were assembled together, although occasionally he showed himself to sundry of them at other seasons Hence he left Thomas under his doubts a whole week before he gave him his gracious conviction, that he might do it in the assembly of his disciples on the first day of the week; from which time forward this day was never without its solemn assemblies, as shall further be cleared afterwards. 11. Now, because I am persuaded that the substance of all that we have laid down and pleaded for in all the preceding discourses, especially in what we have proposed concerning the foundation and causes of the Lord’s day, is taught by the apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. 4, I shall present unto the reader the sum of his design and scope in that place, from verse 3 to verse 10, with an application of it unto our present purpose, referring him yet, for further satisfaction, unto our full exposition of the chapter itself; for this place is touched on by all who have contended about the original and duration of the sabbatical rest, but has not yet, that I know of, been diligently examined by any. I shall not fear to lay much of the weight of the cause wherein I am engaged upon it, and therefore shall take a view of the whole context and the design of the apostle therein. 12. The words of the apostle are: “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: (again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his,”) Hebrews 4:3-10. 13. The design of the apostle in this discourse, is to confirm what he had laid down and positively asserted in the beginning of the chapter. Now this is, that there is yet, under the gospel, a promise of entering into the rest of God left or remaining unto believers; and that they do enter into that rest by mixing the promise of it with faith. This he declares; and the declaration of it was useful unto, and necessary for the Hebrews. For he lets them know, that notwithstanding their present and ancient enjoyment of the land of Canaan, with the worship and rest of God therein, which their forefathers fell short of by their unbelief, they were under a new trial, a new rest being proposed unto them in the promise. This he proves by a testimony out of the 95th Psalm, the words whereof he had insisted on at large chap. 3, and does so again in this. But the application of that testimony unto his purpose is obnoxious to a great objection; for the rest mentioned in that psalm seems to be a rest long since past and enjoyed, either by themselves or others. They, therefore, could have no new or fresh concernment in it, nor be in danger of coming short of it. And if this were so, all the arguments and exhortations of the apostle in this place must needs be weak and incogent, as drawn from a mistaken and misapplied testimony. 14. To remove this objection, and thereby confirm his former assertions and exhortations thereon, is the design of the apostle in this discourse.

    To this end he proceeds unto the exposition and vindication of the testimony itself which he had cited out of the Psalms. And herein he shows, from the proper signification of the words, from the time when they were spoken, and the persons to whom, that no other rest was intended in them but what was now by him proposed unto them as the rest of God and his people in the gospel.

    The general argument which to this purpose he insists upon, consists in an enumeration of all the several rests of God and his people which are mentioned in the Scriptures; for from the consideration of them all he proves that no other rest could be intended in the words of David but only the rest of the gospel, whereinto they enter who do believe.

    Moreover, from that respect which the words of the psalmist have unto the other foregoing rests of God and his people, he manifests that they also were appointed of God to be representations of that spiritual rest which was now brought in and established. This is the general design of this discourse.

    In pursuit hereof he declares in particular, — (1.) That the rest mentioned in the psalm is not that which ensued immediately on the creation of all things. This he evinceth, because it was spoken of afterwards, a long time after, and that to another purpose, Hebrews 4:4-5. (2.) That it was not the rest of the land of Canaan, because that was not entered into by them unto whom it was first proposed and promised, for they came short of it by their unbelief, and perished in the wilderness; but this rest, which is now afresh proposed, is such as the people of God must and will enter into, verses 6, 7. (3.) Whereas it may be objected, that although the wilderness generation entered not in, yet their posterity did so, under the conduct of Joshua, verse 8; he answers, that this rest in the psalm being proposed and promised in David so long a time (above four hundred years) after the people had quietly possessed the land whereinto they were conducted by Joshua, it must needs be that another rest, then yet to come, was intended in those words of the psalmist, verse 9. And, (4.) to conclude his argument, he declareth that this new rest had a new, peculiar foundation, which the other had no interest or concernment in, — namely, his ceasing from his works and entering into his rest who is the author of it, verse 10. This is his way and manner of arguing for the proof of what he had before laid down, and which he issueth in that conclusion, verse 9, “There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God.” 15. But we must yet further consider the nature of the several rests here discoursed of by the apostle, which will give light and confirmation unto what we have before discoursed. To this purpose will the ensuing propositions, taken from the words, conduce; as,— (1.) The rest of God is the foundation and principal cause of our rest.

    Hence in general it is still called “God’s rest:” “If they shall enter into my rest.” It is, on some account or other, God’s rest before it is ours; not the rest only which he hath appointed, commanded, and promised unto us, but the rest wherewith himself rested, as is plainly declared on every head of the rests here treated of. And this confirms that foundation and reason of a sabbatical rest which we have laid down in our third Exercitation. (2.) God’s rest is not spoken of absolutely with respect unto himself only, but with reference unto an appointed rest that ensued thereon, for the church to rest with him in. Hence it follows that the rests here mentioned are as it were double, — namely, the rest of God himself, and the rest that ensued thereon for us to enter into. For instance, at the finishing of the works of creation, which is first proposed, God ceased from his works, and rested. This was his own rest, the nature whereof hath been before declared. “He rested on the seventh day.” But this was not all: “he blessed it” for the rest of man, a rest for us ensuing on his rest, — an expressive representation of it, and a pledge of our entering into, or being taken into a participation of the rest of God. (3.) The apostle proposeth the threefold state of the church unto consideration: — [1.] The state of it under the law of nature or creation; [2.] The state of it under the law of institutions and carnal ordinances; [3.] That then introducing under the gospel. Accordingly have we distinguished our discourses concerning a sabbatical rest, in our third, and fourth, and this present Exercitation. To each of these he assigns a distinct rest of God, a rest of the church, entering into God’s rest, and a day of rest, as the means and pledge thereof. And withal he manifests that the two former were ordered to be previous representations of the latter, though not equally nor on the same account. 16. FIRST, He considers the church and the state of it under the law of nature, before the entrance of sin. And herein he shows first that there was a rest of God in it; for saith he, “The works were finished from the foundation of the world .... And God did rest the seventh day from all his works,” verses 3, 4. As the foundation of all, he layeth down first the works of God; for the church, and every peculiar state of the church, is founded in the work, some especial work of God, and not merely in a law or command. “The works,” saith he, “were finished from the foundation of the world.” Ta< e]rga , “the works,” hc,[\mæ , “the work,” that is, of God, the effect of his creating power, “was finished,” or completed, ajpo< katazolh~v ko>smou , “from the foundation of the world;” a periphrasis for the six original days, wherein time and all things measured by it and existent with it had their beginning. This work of God, as has been proved, Exerc. 3, was the foundation of the church in the state of nature, and gave unto it the entire law of its obedience.

    On this work and the completing of it ensued the rest of God himself:

    Verse 4, “God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” This rest of God, and the refreshment he took in his works, as comprising the law and covenant of our obedience, have been explained already.

    But this alone does not confirm, nor indeed come near, the purpose or argument of the apostle: for he is to speak of such a rest of God as men might enter into, as was a foundation of rest unto them, or otherwise his discourse is not concerned in it; whereupon, by a citation of the words of Moses from Genesis 2:2, he tells us that this rest of God was on the seventh day, which God accordingly blessed and sanctified to be a day of rest unto man. So that in this state of the church there were three things considerable : — (1.) The rest of God himself in his works, wherein the foundation of the church was laid; (2.) A rest proposed unto man to enter into with God, wherein lay the duty of the church; and, (3.) A day of rest, the seventh day, as a remembrance of the one and a means and pledge of the other. And herewith we principally confirm our judgment on the Sabbath’s beginning with the world; for without this supposition the mentioning of God’s work and his rest no way belonged to the purpose of our apostle. For he discourseth only of such rests as men might enter into and have a pledge of; and there was no such thing from the foundation of the world, unless the Sabbath was then revealed.

    Nor is it absolutely the work and rest of God, but the obedience of men and their duty with respect unto them, which he considers; and this could not. be, unless the rest of God was proposed unto men to enter into from the foundation of the world. 17. SECONDLY, The apostle considers the church under the law of institutions; and herein he presenteth the rest of the land of Canaan, wherein also the three distinct rests before mentioned do occur : — (1.) There was in it a rest of God. This gives denomination to the whole.

    He still calls it his rest: “If they shall enter into my rest.” And the prayer about it was, “Arise, O LORD, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength,” or the pledge of his presence and power. And this rest also ensued upon his work; for God wrought about it works great and mighty, and only ceased from them when they were finished. And this work of his answered in its greatness unto the work of creation, whereunto it is compared by himself: Isaiah 51:15,16, “I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.”

    The dividing of the sea, whose waves roared, is put by a synecdoche for the whole work of God in preparing a way for the church-state of that people in the land of Canaan. And this he compares to the work of creation, in planting the heavens, and laying the foundations of the earth; for although these words are but a metaphorical expression of the political and church state of that people, yet there is an evident allusion in them unto the original creation of all things. This was the work of God, upon the finishing whereof he entered into his rest, in the satisfaction and complacency that he had therein; for after the erection of his worship in the land of Canaan, he says of it, “This is my rest, and here will I dwell.”

    God being thus entered into his rest, in like manner as formerly two things ensue thereon: — (2.) That the people are invited and encouraged to enter into the rest of God. This the apostle treats concerning in this and the foregoing chapter.

    And this their entrance into rest, was their coming by faith and obedience into a participation of the worship of God wherein he rested, as a means and pledge of their everlasting rest in him. And although some of them came short hereof, by reason of their unbelief, yet others entered into it under the conduct of Joshua. (3.) Both these, his own rest and the rest of the people, God expressed by appointing a day of rest. This he did, that it might be a token, sign, and pledge, not now, as given to this people absolutely, of his first rest at the creation, but of his present rest in his instituted worship, and to be a means, in the solemn observation of that worship, to further their entrance into his rest eternally. Hence had the seventh day a peculiar institution among that people, whereby it was made to them a sign and token that he was their God, and that they were his people. And here lies the foundation of all that we have before discoursed concerning the Judaical Sabbath in our fourth Exercitation.

    It is true, this day was the same in order of the days with that before observed, namely, the seventh day of the week; but it was now reestablished upon new considerations, and unto new ends and purposes.

    The time of the change of the day was not yet come; for this work was but preparatory for a greater. And the covenant whereunto the seventh day was originally annexed being not yet to be abolished, that day was not to be yet changed, nor another to be substituted in the room of it. Hence this day came now to fall under a double consideration, — first, As it was such a proportion of time as was requisite unto the worship of God, and appointed as a pledge of his rest in his covenant; secondly, As it received a new institution, with superadded ends and significations, as a token and pledge of God’s rest in the law of institutions, and the worship erected therein.

    So both these states of the church had these three things distinctly; — a rest of God in his works, for their foundation; a rest in obedience and worship, for man to enter into; and a day of rest, as a pledge and token of both the others. 18. THIRDLY, The apostle proves, from the words of the psalmist, that there was yet to be a third state of the church, an especial state under the Messiah, which he now proposed unto the Hebrews, and exhorted them to enter into. And in this church-state there is to be also a peculiar state of rest, distinct from them which went before. To the constitution hereof there are three things required :— First, That there be some signal work of God completed and finished, whereon he enters into his rest. This was to be the foundation of the whole new church-state, and of the rest to be obtained therein. Secondly, That there be a spiritual rest ensuing thereon and arising thence, for them that believe to enter into. Thirdly, That there be a new or renewed day of rest, to express that rest of God, and to be a pledge of our entering into it. If any of these, or either of them, be wanting, the whole structure of the apostle’s discourse will be dissolved, neither will there be any color remaining for his mentioning the seventh day and the rest thereof. These things, therefore, we must further inquire into. 19. First, the apostle showeth that there was a great work of God, and that finished, for the foundation of the whole. This he had made way for, chap. 3:4-5, where he both expressly asserts the Son to be God, and shows the analogy that is between the creation of all things and the building of the church, — that is, the works of the old and new creation. As, then, God wrought in the creation of all, so Christ, who is God, wrought in the setting up of this new church-state. And upon his finishing of it he entered into his rest, as God did into his, whereby he limited a certain day of rest unto his people. So he speaks, “There remaineth therefore a sabbatism for the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his works, as God did from his own.” A new day of rest, accommodated unto this new church-state, arises from the rest that the Lord Christ entered into upon his ceasing from his works. And as to this day, we may observe, — (1.) That it has this in common with the former days, that it is a sabbatism, or one day in seven, which that name in the whole Scripture use is limited unto; for this portion of time to be dedicated unto sacred rest, having its foundation in the light and law of nature, was equally to be observed in every state of the church. (2.) That although both the former states of the church had one and the same day, though varied in some ends of it, now the day itself is changed, as belonging to another covenant, and having its foundation in a work of another nature than what they had respect unto. (3.) That the observation of it is suited unto the spiritual state of the church under the gospel, delivered from the bondage frame of spirit wherewith it was observed under the law. And these things must be further confirmed from the context. 20. The foundation of the whole is laid down, verse 10, “For he that has entered into his rest, is ceased from his works, as God from his own.”

    Expositors generally apply these words unto believers, and their entering into the rest of God; whether satisfactorily to themselves and others, as to their design, coherence, scope, or signification of particular expressions, I know not. The contrary appears with good evidence to me; for what are the works that believers should be said here to rest from? Their sins, say some; their labors, sorrows, and sufferings, say others. But how can they be said to rest from these works as God rested from his own? for God so rested from his as to take the greatest delight and satisfaction in them, — to be “refreshed” by them: “In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed,” Exodus 31:17.

    He so rested from them as that he rested in them and blessed them, and blessed and sanctified the time wherein they were finished. We have showed before that the rest of God was not only a cessation from working, nor principally so, but the satisfaction and complacency that he had in his works. But now if those mentioned be the works here intended, men cannot so rest from them as God did from his; but they cease from them with a detestation of them so far as they are sinful, and joy for their deliverance from them so far as they are sorrowful. This is not to rest as God rested. Again; when are believers supposed to rest from these works?

    It cannot be in this world: for here we rest not at all from temptations, sufferings, and sorrows; and in that mortification of sin which we attain unto, yet the conflict is still continued, and that with severity, unto death, Romans 7:24. It must therefore be in heaven that they thus rest; and so it is affirmed accordingly. But this excludes the rest in and of the gospel from the apostle’s discourse, which renders it altogether unsuitable to his purpose. This I have so fully demonstrated in the exposition of the chapter, as that I hope it will not be gainsaid. Thirdly, There is no comparison in the whole discourse between the works of God and the works of men, but between the works of God in the creation and under the law on the one side, and those in and under the gospel on the other; and the whole comparison is summed up and closed in this verse. 21. It appears, therefore, that the subject of the apostle’s proposition in this place hath been mistaken. It is another who is intended, even Christ himself, the Son of God, and his rest from his works, which is here compared with the rest of God from his at the foundation of the world, to which end alone the mention of them was introduced, Hebrews 4:3-4; for, — (1.) The conjunction gawords gives an account whence it is that there is a new sabbatism remaining for the people of God: “There remaineth a Sabbath-keeping for the people of God; for he that is entered into his rest is ceased from his works.” Had there not been a work laying the foundation of the gospel church-state, and a rest of God in it and ensuing thereon, there could have been no such sabbatism for believers, for these things are required unto a Sabbath. He had proved before that there could be no such rest but what was founded in the works of God, and his rest that ensued thereon; such a foundation, therefore, he saith, this new rest must have, and it has it. This must be, and is, in the works and rest of him by whom the church was built; that is Christ, who is God, as it is expressly argued, chap. 3:3-4. For as that rest which all the world was to observe was founded in his works and rest who made the world and all things in it, so the rest of the church under the gospel is to be founded in his works and rest by whom the church was built, — that is Jesus Christ; for he, on the account of his works and rest, is also “Lord of the Sabbath,” to abrogate one day of rest,, and to institute another. (2.) The apostle here changeth the manner of his expression from the plural absolutely, “We who believe,” or virtually in the name of a multitude, “The people of God,” into that which is absolutely singular, JO eijselqw“his rest” absolutely. As God, speaking of the former rest, calls it “My rest,” so this is the “My rest” of another, — namely, the rest of Christ: whereas when the entering of believers into rest is spoken of, it is called either God’s rest, “They shall enter into my rest,” or rest absolutely, “We that believe do enter into rest,” but not their rest, or our rest; for it is not our own absolutely, but God’s rest whereinto we enter and wherein we rest. But the rest here is the rest of him whose it is, and who is the author of ours (4.) There is a direct parallel in the words between the works of the old creation and those of the new, which are compared by the apostle; for, — [1.] There are the authors of them; which on the one side is said to be God, “As God did from his own,” — that is, God the Creator, or God as Creator; on the other, “He,” aujtowords a transition is made unto his treating of the person of Christ. [2.] The works of the one and the other are expressed. The works of the Creator are i]dia e]rga , “his proper works,” “his own works,” — the works of the old creation, w[sper ajpo< tw~n ijdi>wn oJ Qeo. And there are the works of him of whom he speaks, ta< e]rga aujtou~ , “his works,” those which he wrought in like manner as God did his own at the beginning; that is, the work of building the church: for these works must answer each other, and have the same respect unto their authors. They must be good and complete in their kind, and such as rest and refreshment may be taken in and on them. To compare the sins and sufferings of men with the works of God, our apostle did not intend. [3.] There is the rest of the one and the other; and these also have their mutual proportion. Now, God rested from his own works of creation, — 1st. By ceasing from creating, only continuing all things by his power in their order, and propagating them unto his glory. 2dly. By his respect unto them and refreshment in them, as those which expressed his excellencies and set forth his praise, and so satisfied his glorious design. So also must he rest who is spoken of. 1st. He must cease from working in the like kind of works. He must suffer no more, die no more, but only continue the work of his grace and power in the preservation of the new creature, and the orderly increase and propagation of it by his Spirit. 2dly. He takes delight and satisfaction in the works that he hath wrought; for he sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied, and is in the possession of that glory which was set before him while he was engaged in this work.

    And these things sufficiently clear the subject here spoken of, namely, that it is Jesus Christ, the mediator. 22. The works that the rest mentioned respects have been sufficiently intimated, and I have so fully insisted on them in the exposition of the third and fourth verses of the third chapter of this Epistle, that I shall not here again repeat them. In brief, all that he did and suffered, in and from his incarnation to his resurrection, as the mediator of the covenant, with all the fruits, effects, and consequences of what he so did and suffered, whereby the church was built and the new creation finished, belongs unto these works, His rest that ensued on these works has two parts; — (1.) A cessation from his works, which was eminent, and answered God’s rest from his own; (2.) Satisfaction in his works, and the glorious product of them, as those which had an impression on them of his love and grace, Psalm 16:7. 23. It remains only that we inquire into his entrance into his rest, both how and when he did so, even as God entered into his on the seventh day; for this must limit and determine a day of rest to the gospel church. Now, this was not his lying down in the grave. His body, indeed, there rested for a while, but that was no part of his mediatory rest, as he was the founder and builder of the church: for, — (1.) It was a part of his humiliation. Not only his death, but his abode and continuance in the state of death, was so, and that a principal part of it; for after the whole human nature was personally united unto the Son of God, to have it brought into a state of dissolution, to have the body and soul separated from each other, was a great humiliation. And every thing of this nature belonged unto his works, and not his rest. (2.) This separation of body and soul under the power of death was penal , a part of the sentence of the law which he underwent; and therefore Peter declares that the pains of death were not loosed but in his resurrection: Acts 2:24, “Whom God,” saith he, “hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

    While he was held of it, he was under it penally. This, therefore, could not be his rest, nor any part of it; nor did he in it enter into his rest, but continued in his work. Nor, secondly, did he first enter into his rest at his ascension. Then, indeed, he took actual possession of his glory, as to the full, public manifestation of it. But to enter into rest is one thing, and to take possession of glory another; and it is placed by our apostle as a consequent of his being “justified in the Spirit” when he entered into rest, I Timothy 3:16. But this his entrance into rest was in, by, and at his resurrection from the dead; for, — (1.) Then and therein was he freed from the sentence, power, and stroke of the law, being discharged of all the debts of our sins, which he had undertaken to make satisfaction for, Acts 2:24. (2.) Then and therein were all types, all predictions and prophecies fulfilled, which concern the work of our redemption. (3.) Then, therefore, his work was done, — I mean that which answereth God’s creating work; though he still continues that which answers his work of preservation. Then was the law fulfilled and satisfied, Satan subdued, peace with God made, the price of our redemption paid, the promise of the Spirit received, and the whole foundation of the church of God gloriously laid on his person, in his works and rest. (4.) Then and therein was he “declared to be the Son of God with power,” Romans 1:4; God manifesting unto all that this was he concerning and unto whom he said, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” Acts 13:33. 24. Thus did the author of the new creation, the Son of God, the builder of the church, having finished his works, enter into his rest. And this was, as all know, on the morning of the first day of the week. And hereby did he limit and determine the day for a sacred sabbatical rest under the new testament; for now was the old covenant utterly abolished, and therefore the day which was the pledge of God and man’s rest therein was to be taken away, and was so accordingly, as we have showed. As the rest from the beginning of the world had its foundation from the works of God, and his rest which ensued thereon, which was determined unto the seventh day, because that was the day wherein God ceased from those works, which day was continued under the legal administration of the covenant by Moses; so the rest of the Lord Christ, the Son of God, is the foundation of our rest; which, changing the old covenant and the day annexed unto it, he hath limited unto the first day of the week, whereon he ceased from his works and entered into his rest. And hereby the apostle completes the due analogy that is between the several rests of God and his people, which he hath discoursed of in this chapter. For as in the beginning of the world, there was, first, the work of God and his rest thereon; which made way unto a rest for his people in himself and in his worship, by the contemplation of his works that he had made, on whose finishing he rested; and a day designed, determined, blessed, and sanctified, to express that rest of God, — whence mention is made of those works in the command for the observation of that day, seeing the worship of God in and on it consisted principally in the glorifying of him by and for those works of his, as also to be a means to further men in their entrance into eternal rest, whereunto all these things do tend: and as at the giving of the law there was a great work of God, and his rest thereon, in his establishing his worship in the land of Canaan; which made way for the people’s entering into his rest in that worship and country; who had a day of rest enjoined unto them, to express the one and the other, as also to help them to enter finally into the rest of God: so now, under the gospel, there is a rest answering all these, in and by the instances which we have given. 25. And this is that which the apostle affirms, as the substance of all which he has evinced, namely, that there is a sabbatism for the people of God, Hebrews 4:9, sabbatismo>v . The word is framed by our apostle from a Hebrew original, with a Greek termination. And he uses it as that which is comprehensive of his whole sense, which no other word could be; for he would show that there is a sabbatical rest, founded in the rest of God, remaining for the church, and therefore makes use of that word whereby God expressed his own rest when he sanctified the seventh day for a day of rest thereon. That day of rest being removed, and another on a new foundation, namely, the rest of Christ upon his works, introduced, he calls it a “sabbatism,” or a “sabbath-keeping.” He does not do this only and separately, averring the necessity of a Sabbath observation in the first place, distinctly from a spiritual rest in Christ, with an eternal rest ensuing thereon, but in the manner and order before laid down, wherein the necessity of such a day is included. And besides the evidence that ariseth from the consideration of the whole context, there are two things which make it undeniably evident that our apostle asserts an evangelical Sabbath, or day of rest, to be constantly observed in and for the worship of God under the gospel. For, first, without this design there can be no tolerable reason assigned why he should mention the works of God from the foundation of the world, with his rest that ensued thereon, and refer us to the seventh day, which, without respect unto another day to be introduced, doth greatly involve his whole discourse. Again, his use of this word, sabbatismo>v , “a sabbatism,” — which is framed, and as it were coined on purpose, that it might both comprise the spiritual rest aimed at, and also a sabbath-keeping, or observation of a sabbath rest, — manifests his purpose. When he speaks of our rest in general, he still does it by sabbatismo>v , adding that there was an especial day for its enjoyment.

    Here he introduces sabbatismo>v , “a sabbatism;” which his way of arguing would not have allowed had he not designed to express the Christian Sabbath. Add hereunto that he subjoins the especial reason of such a day’s observation in the next verse, as we have declared. And here do we fix the foundation and reason of the Lord’s day, or the holy observation of the first day of the week, the obligation of the fourth commandment unto a weekly sacred rest being put off from the seventh day to the first, on the same ground and reason whereon the state of the church is altered from what it was under the law unto what it is now under the gospel. And the covenant itself also is changed; whence the seventh day is now of no more force than the old covenant and the old law of institutions contained in ordinances, because the Lord Christ hath ceased from his works and entered into his rest on the first day. 26. Here we have fixed the foundation of the observation of the Lord’s day, on the supposition of what has been proved concerning our duty in the holy observance of one day in seven from the law of our creation, as renewed in the decalogue. The remaining arguments, evincing the change of the day from the seventh unto the first by divine authority, shall be but briefly touched on by me, because they have been lately copiously handled and fully vindicated by others. Wherefore, first, when the Lord Christ intended conspicuously to build his church upon the foundation of his works and rest, by sending the Holy Ghost with his miraculous gifts upon the apostles, he did it on this day, which was then among the Jews the feast of Pentecost or of weeks. Then were the disciples gathered together “with one accord,” in the observance of the day signalized to them by his resurrection, Acts 2:1. And by this does their obedience receive a blessed confirmation, as well as their persons a glorious endowment, with abilities for the work which they were immediately to apply themselves unto. And hereon did they set out unto the whole work of building the church on that foundation, and promoting the worship of it, which on that day was especially to be celebrated. 27. The practice of the apostles and the apostolical churches owned the authority of Christ in this change of the day of sacred rest; for henceforward, whatever apprehensions any of them might have of the continuance of the Judaical Sabbath, as some of them judged that the whole service of it was still to be continued, yet they observed this day of the Lord as the time of their assemblies and solemn worship. One or two instances hereof may be called over: Acts 20:6-7, “We came to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

    I doubt not but in the seven days that the apostle abode there, he taught and preached as he had occasion in the houses of the believers; but it was the first day of the week when they used, according to their duty, to assemble the whole body of them for the celebration of the solemn ordinances of the church, synecdochically expressed by breaking of bread.

    This they did without an extraordinary warning or calling together; for in answer to their duty they were accustomed so to do. Such is the account that Justin Martyr gives of the practice of all churches in the next age: Th~| tou~ hJli>ou legome>nh| hJme>ra| pa>ntwn kata< po>leiv h\ ajgrountwn ejpi< to< aujto< sune>leusiv gi>netai . “On the day called Sunday, there is an assembly of all Christians, whether living in the city or country.” And because of their constant breaking of bread on this day, it was called “dies panis,” August. Epist. cxviii. And Athanasius proved that he brake not a chalice at such a time, because it was not the first day of the week, when it was to be used, Socrat. lib. 5:cap. 22: And whosoever reads this passage without prejudice will grant that it is a marvelously abrupt and uncouth expression, if it do not signify that which was in common observance amongst all the disciples of Christ; which could have no other foundation but only that before laid down, of the authority of the Lord Christ requiring it of them. And I doubt not but that Paul preached his farewell sermon unto them, which continued until midnight, after all the ordinary service of the church was performed. And all the objections which I have met withal against this instance amount to no more but this, that although the Scripture says that the disciples met for their worship on the first day of the week, yet indeed they did not so do.

    In 1 Corinthians 16:2 the same practice is exemplified: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” The constant day of the churches’ solemn assemblies being fixed he here takes it for granted, and directs them unto the observance of an especial duty on that day. What some except, that here is no mention of any such assembly, but only that every one on that day should lay by himself what he would give, which every one might do at home or where they pleased, is exceeding weak, and unsuitable unto the mind of the apostle; for to what end should they be limited unto a day, and that the first day of the week, for the doing of that which might be as well, to as good purpose and advantage, performed at any other time, on any other day of the week whatever?

    Besides, it was to be such a laying aside, such a treasuring of it in a common stock, as that there should be no need of any collection when the apostle came. But if this was done only privately, it would not of itself come together at his advent, but must be collected. But all exceptions against these testimonies have been so lately removed by others, that I shall not insist further on them. 28. That from those times downwards the first day of the week had a solemn observation in all the churches of Christ, whereby they owned its substitution in the room of the seventh, day, applying the duties and services of the Sabbath unto it, hath also been demonstrated. And that this was owned from the authority of the Lord, is declared by John in the Revelation, who calls it “The Lord’s day,” Revelation 1:10; whereby he did not surprise the churches with a new name, but denoted to them the time of his visions by the name of the day, which was well known unto them. And there is no solid reason why it should be so called, but that it owes its pre-eminence and observation unto his institution and authority.

    And no man who shall deny these things can give any tolerable account how, when, or from whence, this day came to be so observed and so called. It is hJme>ra kuriakh> , “the Lord’s day,” “the day of the Lord,” as the holy supper is dei~pnon kuriako>n , 1 Corinthians 11:20, “the Lord’s supper,” by reason of his institution, hwO;hy] µwOy , “the day of the LORD,” in the Old Testament, which the LXX. render hJme>ra Kuri>ou , nowhere hJme>ra kuriakh> , signifies indeed some illustrious appearance of God, in a way of judgment or mercy. And so also in the person of Christ, this was the day of his appearance, Mark 16:9. So was it still called by the ancient writers of the church, Ignatius in Epist. ad Trall., ad Magnes., etc.; Dionysius of Corinth. Epist. ad Romans in Euseb. Hist. lib. 4:cap. xxi.; Theophilus Antioch. lib. 1:in 4:Evangel.; Clemens Alex., Stromat. lib. 7:cap. vii.; Origen, lib. 8:con. Cels.; Tertul. de Coron. Milit. cap. iii. As for those who assign the institution of this day to the apostles, although the supposition be false, yet it weakens not the divine original of it; for an obligation lying on all believers to observe a Sabbath unto the Lord, and the day observed under the law of Moses being removed, it is not to be imagined that the apostles fixed on another day without immediate direction from the Lord Christ; for indeed they delivered nothing to be constantly observed in the worship of God but what they had his authority for, 1 Corinthians 11:23. In all things of this nature, as they had the infallible guidance of the Holy Ghost, so they acted immediately in the name and authority of Christ, where what they ordained was no less of divine institution than if it had been appointed by Christ in his own person. It is true, they themselves did for a season, while their ministry was to have a peculiar regard to the Jews, for the calling and conversion of the remnant that was amongst them according to the election of grace, go frequently into their synagogues on the seventh day to preach the gospel, Acts 13:14, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4; but it is evident that they did so only to take the opportunity of their assemblies, that they might preach unto the greater numbers of them, and that at such a season wherein they were prepared to attend unto sacred things. Upon the same ground Paul labored if it were possible to be at Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost, Acts 20:16. But that they at any time assembled the disciples of Christ on that day for the worship of God, that we read not. 29. We may now look back, and take a view of what we have passed through. That one day in seven is, by virtue of a divine law, to be observed holy unto the Lord, the original of such an observation, Genesis 2:2, the letter of the fourth commandment, with the nature of the covenant between God and man, do prove and evince. And hereunto is there a considerable suffrage given by learned men of all parties. The doctrine of the reformed divines hereabout hath been largely represented by others.

    They also of the church of Rome, that is many of them, agree herein. It is asserted in the canon law itself, Tit. de Feriis, cap. Licet., where the words of Alexander the Third are, “Tam Veteris quam Novi Testamenti pagina sep-timum diem ad humanam quietem specialiter deputavit;” where by “septimus dies” he understands one day in seven, as Suarez showeth, de Relig., lib. 2:cap. 2. And it is so by sundry canonists, reckoned up by Covarruvias. The schoolmen also give in their consent, as Bannes in 2a 2ae, g. 44, a.1. Bellarmine contends expressly, de Cult. Sanct., lib. in. cap. xi., that “Jus divinum requirebat ut unus dies hebdomadae dicaretur cultui divino.” So doth Suarez, de Dieb. Sac., cap. i., and others might be added.

    We have the like common consent, that whatever, in the institution and observation of the Sabbath under the old testament, was peculiar unto that state of the church, either in its own nature or in its use and signification, or in its manner of observance, is taken away, by virtue of those rules, Romans 14:5; Galatians 4:10; Colossians 2:16-17. Nor can it be denied but that sundry things annexed unto the sabbatical rest, peculiar to that church-state which was to be removed, were wholly inconsistent with the spirit, grace, and liberty of the gospel I have also proved that the observation of the seventh day precisely was a pledge of God’s rest in the covenant of works, and of our rest in him and with him thereby; so that it cannot be retained without a re-introduction of that covenant and the righteousness thereof. And therefore, although the command for the observation of a Sabbath to the Lord, so far as it is moral, is put over into the rule of the new covenant, wherein grace is administered for the duty it requires, yet take the seventh day precisely as the seventh day, and it is an old testament arbitrary institution, which falls under no promise of spiritual assistance in or unto the observation of it Under the new testament we have found a new creation, a new law of creation, a new covenant: the rest of Christ in that work, law, and covenant: the limiting of a day of rest unto us, on the day wherein he entered into his rest; a new name given unto this day, with respect unto his authority by whom it was appointed; and an observation of it by all the churches; so that we may say of it, “This is the day which the LORD hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it,” as <19B824> Psalm 118:24. 30. These foundations being laid, I shall yet, by some important considerations, if I mistake not, give some further evidence unto the necessity of the religious observation of the first day of the week, in opposition unto the day of the law, by some contended for. It is, therefore, first acknowledged, that the observation of some certain day , in and for the solemn public worship of God, is of indispensable necessity. They are beneath our consideration by whom this is denied. Most acknowledge it to be a dictate of the law of nature, and the nature of these things does require it. We have proved, also, that there is such a determination of this time unto one day in seven, as it must needs be the highest impudence in any person, persons, or churches, to attempt any alteration herein. And notwithstanding the pretences of some about their liberty, none yet have been so hardy, from the foundation of the world, as practically to determine a day for the worship of God in any other revolution of days or times, to the neglect and exclusion of one day in seven. Yea, the light hereof is such, and the use of it is so great, that those who have taken up with the worst of superstitions instead of religion, as the Mohammedans, yet, complying in general with the performance of a solemn worship to God, have found it necessary to fix on one certain day in the hebdomadal revolution for that purpose. And, indeed, partly from the appointment of God, partly from the nature of the thing itself, the religious observation of such a day is the great preservative of all solemn profession of religion in the world. This the law of nature, this the written word directs unto, and this experience makes manifest unto all. Take away from amongst men a conscience of observing a fixed, stated day of sacred rest to God, and for the celebration of his worship in assemblies, and all religion will quickly decay, if not come to nothing in this world. And it may be observed, though it be not evident whether it be the cause or the effect, that where and amongst whom religion flourishes in its power, there and amongst them is conscience the most exercised, and the most diligence used in the observation of such a day. I will not say absolutely whether it is religion or other principles that teach men exactness in the observation of this day; nor on the other hand, that a conscience made of this observation does procure a universal strictness in other duties of religion; but this is evident, that they are mutually helpful unto one another. And therefore, though some have labored to divest this observation of any immediate divine authority, yet they are forced to supply such a constitution for the observation of one day in seven, as that they affirm that none can omit its observation without sin in ordinary cases. Whether they have done well to remove from it the command of God, and to substitute their own in the room of it, they may do well to consider. 31. Let, then, the state of things in reference unto the first day of the week, with the presence of God in, and his blessing upon, the worship of the church thereon, be considered. And this is a consideration, as I think, by no means to be despised. It is manifest to all unprejudiced persons, that the apostles and apostolical churches did religiously observe this day; and no man can with any modesty question the celebration of the worship of God therein in the next succeeding generations. In the possession of this practice are all the disciples of Christ at this day in the world, some very few only excepted, who sabbatize with the Jews, or please themselves with a vain pretense that every day is unto them a Sabbath. Nor is it simply the catholicism of this practice which I insist upon, though that be such, and hath such weight in things of this nature, as that for my part I shall not dissent from any practice that is so attested; but it is the blessing of God upon it, and the worship on this day performed, which is pleaded, as that which ought to be of a high esteem with all humble Christians. On this day, throughout all ages, has the edification of the churches been carried on, and that public revenue of glory been rendered unto God which is his due. On this day hath God given his presence unto all his solemn ordinances, for all the ends for which he hath appointed them: nor hath he, by any means, given the least intimation of his displeasure against his churches for their continuance in the observation of it. On the other side, not only have the wisest and holiest men, who have complained of the sins of their several times and ages wherein they lived, which procured the pouring out of the judgments of God upon them, constantly reckoned the neglect and profanation of the Lord’s day among them, but such instances have been given of particular severities against them who have openly profaned this day, and that upon unquestionable testimonies, as may well affect the minds and consciences of those who profess a reverence of God in the holy dispensations of his providence.

    Nor can any of these things be pleaded to give countenance unto any other day, that should be set up in competition with the Lord’s day, or the first day of the week. What of this nature can be spoken concerning the seventh day, now by some contended for, and that (which is grievous) by some persons holy and learned? Of what use has it ever been to the church of God, setting aside the occasional advantage taken from it by the apostles, of preaching the gospel in the synagogues of the Jews? What testimonies have we of the presence of God with any churches, in the administration of gospel ordinances and worship on that day? And if any lesser assemblies do at present pretend to give such a testimony, wherein is it to be compared with that of all the holy churches of Christ throughout the world in all ages, especially in those last past?

    Let men in whose hearts are the ways of God seriously consider the use that hath been made, under the blessing of God, of the conscientious observation of the Lord’s day, in the past and present ages, unto the promotion of holiness, righteousness, and religion universally, in the power of it; and if they are not under invincible prejudices, it will be very difficult for them to judge that it is a plant which our heavenly Father hath not planted. For my part, I must not only say, but plead while I live in this world, and leave this testimony to the present and future ages, if these papers see the light and do survive, that if I have ever seen anything in the ways and worship of God wherein the power of religion or godliness hath been expressed, anything that has represented the holiness of the gospel and the Author of it, anything that has looked like a preludium unto the everlasting sabbath and rest with God, which we aim through grace to come unto, it hath been there and with them where and amongst whom the Lord’s day hath been had in highest esteem, and a strict observation of it attended unto, as an ordinance of our Lord Jesus Christ. The remembrance of their ministry, their walking and conversation, their faith and love, who in this nation have most zealously pleaded for, and have been, in their persons, families, and churches or parishes, the most strict observers of this day, will be precious with them that fear the Lord while the sun and moon endure. Their doctrine also in this matter, with the blessing that attended it, was that which multitudes now at rest do bless God for, and many that are yet alive do greatly rejoice in. Let these things be despised by those who are otherwise minded; to me they are of great weight and importance. 32. Let us now a little consider the day that by some is set up, not only in competition with this, but to its utter exclusion. This is the seventh day of the week, or the old Judaical Sabbath, which some contend that we are perpetually obliged to the observation of, by virtue of the fourth commandment. The grounds whereon they proceed in their assertion have been already disproved, so far as the nature of our present undertaking will admit, and such evidences given unto the change of the day as will not easily be everted nor removed. The consequences of the observation of the seventh day, should the practice of it be resumed amongst Christians, is that which at present I shall a little inquire into, when we have summed up somewhat of what has been spoken: — (1.) It was not directly nor absolutely required in the decalogue, but consequentially only, by way of appropriation to the Mosaical economy, whereunto it was then annexed. The command is to observe the Sabbath day, and the blessing is upon the Sabbath day. “The LORD blessed the Sabbath day.” And the mention of the seventh day in the body of the command fixes the number of the days in whose revolution a sabbatical rest returns, but determines not an everlasting order in them, seeing the order relating to the old creation is inconsistent with the law, reason, and worship of the new. And if the seventh day and the Sabbath, as some pretend, are the same, the sense of the command in the enforcing part of it is, “But the seventh day is the seventh day of the LORD thy God,” — which is none at all. (2.) The state of the church and the administration of the covenant, whereunto the observation of this day was annexed, are removed; so that it cannot continue, no more than a house can stand without a foundation. (3.) The Lord Christ, who is the “Lord of the Sabbath,” and by assuming that title to himself manifested his authority as to the disposal of the day whereon a sabbatical rest was to be observed, has, in his own rest from his works, limited unto us another day of sacred rest, called, from his appointment of it, “The Lord’s day,” — his day who is the Lord of the Sabbath. (4.) The day so introduced by his authority hath from the day of his rest been observed without interruption, or any such difference about it as fell out among the churches of God about other feast days, whose observation was introduced among them they knew not well how, as of the Pascha, and the like. And whereas the due observation of it has been enjoined by councils, edicts of emperors, kings, and princes, laws of all sorts, advised and pressed by the ancient writers among Christians, and the practice of its observance taken notice of by all who from the beginning have committed the affairs of Christianity unto posterity, yet none of any sort pretend to give it any original, but all refer it unto Christ himself, mediately or immediately. The observation, then, of this day first, is an evident Judaizing, and a returnal unto those “rudiments of the world” which the apostle so severely cautioned us against. I know not how it is come to pass, but so it is fallen out, that the nearer Judaism is unto an absolute abolition and disappearance, the more some seem inclinable to its revival and continuance, or at least to fall back themselves into its antiquated observances. An end it had put to it morally and legally long ago, in the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we may say of it what the apostle said of idols when the world was full of idolatry, “We know that Judaism is nothing in the world,” — no such thing as by some it is esteemed. The actual abolition of it in the profession of the present Jews, by the removing of the veil from their hearts and eyes, and their turning unto God, we hope, is on its approach. And yet, as was said, there seems in many an inclination unto their rites and servile observances.

    It is apparent in the Acts and Epistles of the apostles, especially that to the Hebrews, that at the first preaching of the gospel there were very many Jews who came over to the faith and profession of it. Many of these continued “zealous of the law,” and would bring along with them all their Mosaical institutions, which they thought were to abide in force for ever.

    In this weakness and misapprehension they were forborne in the patience of God and wisdom of the Holy Ghost, guiding the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ. In this state things continued unto the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, when the chiefest cause of their contests was taken away. In the meantime they carried themselves very variously, according to the various tempers of their minds; for it is apparent that some of them were not content themselves to be indulged in their opinions and practices, but they endeavored by all means to impose the observance of the whole Mosaical law on the churches of the Gentiles. Their circumcision, their sabbaths, their feasts and fasts, their abstinences from this or that kind of meats, they were contending about, and thereby perverting the minds of the disciples. Some stop was put to the evil consequences hereof in the synod at Jerusalem, Acts 15; which yet determined nothing concerning the Jews’ own practice, but only concerning the liberty of the Gentile believers. After the destruction of Jerusalem, city and temple, these professing Jews fell into several distinct ways. Some of them, who, as is probable, had despised the heavenly warning of leaving the place, took up their lot amongst their unbelieving brethren, relinquishing the profession of the gospel which they had made; not, it may be, with any express renunciation of Christ, but with a disregard of the gospel, which brought them not those good things they looked for: of which mind Josephus the historian seems to be one. These in time became a part of that apostate brood which have since continued in their enmity to the gospel, and into whose new and old superstitions they introduced sundry customs which they had learned among the Christians.

    Some absolutely relinquished their old Judaism, and completely incorporated with the new Gentile churches, unto whom the promise and covenant of Abraham was transferred and made over. These were the genuine disciples of our great apostle. Others continued their profession of the gospel, but yet still thought themselves obliged unto the observation of the law of Moses and all its institutions. Hereupon they continued in a distinct and separate state from the believers and churches of the Gentiles, and that for some ages, as some say to the days of Adrian. These, it may be, were they whom Eusebius out of Hegesippus calls Maszwqai~oi , “Masbothaei,” whom he reckons as a sect of the Jews, Histor. lib. 4:22.

    The Jews call them yatwbçm , — that is, “Sabbatarians;” which must be from some observation of the Sabbath in a distinct manner or for different reasons from themselves. Buxtorf and our late learned lexicographer f11 render yatwbçm , by “Sabbatarii,” adding this explanation, “Qui secundum Christi doctrinam Sabbatum observabant,” by a mistake; for as they are reckoned unto the Jews by Hegesippus, so those who followed the doctrine of Christ did not sabbatize with the Jews, nor were ever called Sabbatarians by them. There was, indeed, a sort of persons among the Samaritans who are called Sabuaei, whom Epiphanius makes the third sect of them; but these were so called without any respect unto a sabbatical observation. ya[wbç the Jews call them, — that is, “Septenarii,” from [wbç ; unless we shall think, with Drusius, that they were so denominated from Sebaia, who came along with Dosthai to settle the new inhabitants of Samaria. Epiphanius says no more of them but that they observed the feast of Pentecost in autumn, and the feast of Tabernacles in the spring, at the time of the Jews’ Passover; but this gives no account why they should be so called. But perhaps they got this appellation from their observation of every day in the week between the Passover and the Pentecost, (that is for seven weeks, which began with the second day in the week of unleavened bread,) whereon the omer or sheaf of first-fruits was to be offered. But to return. After this many of them coalesced, and we hear no more of them. In the meantime, as there were great disputes and heats between the differing parties while the occasion of their difference continued, so the Gentile believers did in many things either condescend unto those of the Circumcision, or fell themselves in liking with their observances, and received them into practice. Hence it was that they embraced the paschal solemnity, with some other festivals, and also in many places admitted the sacredness of the seventh-day Sabbath, though still observing, according to the institution of Christ and his apostles, the Lord’s day also. And it is not improbable that they might be induced the rather to continue these observations, that they might thereby give a public testimony of their faith against the Marcionites, who began early to blaspheme the Old Testament and the God thereof; which blasphemy they thought to condemn by this practice. And hence in those writings which are falsely ascribed to the apostles, but suited to those times, Can. 66, and Constitut. lib. 7: cap. xxiv., the observation both of the Saturday and the Lord’s day is enjoined.

    Others of these Jews about the same season constituted a sect by themselves, compounding a religion out of the law and gospel, with additions and interpretations of their own. These the ancients call Ebionites. Circumcision, with all the sabbaths, feasts, and rites of Moses, they retained from the law. That the Messiah was come, and that Jesus Christ was he, they admitted from the gospel; that he was only a mere man, not God and man in one person, they added of their own, yet in compliance with the sense and expectation of the corrupt and carnal part of the church of the Jews, whereof originally they were. And this sect is that which in a long tract of time has brought forth Mohammedanism in the east; for the religion of the Mohammedans is nothing but that of the Ebionites, with a superaddition of the interests and fanatical brain-sick notions of the impostor himself.

    And yet so it is that some begin now to plead that these Ebionites were the only true and genuine believers of the Circumcision in those days.

    These, they say, and these alone, retained the doctrine preached by the apostles to the Jews, for they were the same and no other with those which were also called Nazarenes. Thus do the Socinians plead expressly, and have contended for it in sundry treatises published to that purpose.

    This they do, hoping to obtain from thence some countenance unto their impious doctrine about the person of Christ, wherein they agree with the Ebionites. But as to their sabbatizing with the Jews, and the rest of their ceremonial observances, they will have nothing to do with them, as not finding those things suited unto their interest and design. But herein do they now begin to be followed by some among ourselves, who apparently fall in with them in sundry things condemned by our apostle, and on the account whereof they declined him and rejected his authority; as others seem almost prepared to do, on other reasons not here to be mentioned. In particular, some begin to sabbatize with them, yea, to outgo them; for Ebion and his followers, although they observed the seventh-day Sabbath with the Jews, yet they observed also the Lord’s day with the Christians, in honor of Jesus Christ, as both Eusebius and Epiphanius testify: Tai~v Kuriakai~v hJme>raiv hJmi~n ta< paraplh>sia eijv mnh>mhn tou~ swthrisewv ejte>loun te>loun? — “They in like manner with us observe the Lord’s day, in remembrance of the saving resurrection.” How great a scandal these things are to Christian religion, how evidently tending to harden the Jews in their infidelity, is apparent unto all; for the introduction of any part of the old Mosaical system of ordinances is a tacit denial of Christ’s being come in the flesh, at least of his being the King, Lord, and Lawgiver of his church. And to lay the foundation of all religious, solemn gospel worship in the observation of a day which, as such, as the seventh day precisely, hath no relation unto any natural or moral precept, not instituted, not approved by Jesus Christ, cannot but be unpleasing to them who desire to have their consciences immediately influenced by his authority in all their approaches unto God. But Christ is herein supposed to have built the whole fabric of his worship on the foundation of Moses, and to have grafted all his institutions into a stock that was not of his own planting. 33. Moreover, it is evident that this opinion concerning the necessary observation of the seventh-day Sabbath tends to the increasing and perpetuating of schisms and differences amongst the disciples of Christ, — things in their own nature evil, and to be avoided by all lawful ways and means. It is known how many different opinions and practices there are amongst the professors of the gospel. That they should all be perfectly healed, or taken away, perhaps in this world is not to be expected; for the best know but in part, and prophesy but in part. That every good man and genuine disciple of Christ ought to endeavor his utmost for their removal, none will deny; for if it be our duty, so far as it is possible, and as much as in us lieth, to live peaceably with all men, in that peace which is the life of civil society, doubtless it is so much more to live so with all believers, in a peaceable agreement in the worship of God. And therefor, of all differences in judgment which lead unto practice, those are the worst and most pernicious which occasion or draw after them anything whereby men are hindered from joining together in the same public solemn worship, whereby they yield unto God that revenue of glory which is due unto him in this world. And that many of these are found at this day, is not so much from the nature of the things themselves about which men differ, as from the weakness, prejudices, and corrupt affections, of them who are possessed with different apprehensions about them. But now, upon a supposition of an adherence by any unto the seventh-day Sabbath, all communion amongst professors in solemn gospel ordinances is rendered impossible; for if those of that persuasion do expect that others will be brought unto a relinquishment of an evangelical observance of the Lord’sday Sabbath, they will find themselves mistaken. The evidence which they have of its appointment, and the experience they have had of the presence of God with them in its religious observation, will secure their faith and practice in this matter. Themselves, on the other hand, supposing that they are obliged to meet for all solemn worship on the seventh day (which the others account unwarrantable for them to do on the pretense of any binding law to that purpose), and esteeming it unlawful to assemble religiously with others on the first day on the plea of an evangelical warranty, they absolutely cut off themselves from all possibility of communion, in the administration of gospel ordinances, with all other churches of Christ. And whereas most other breaches as to such communion are in their own nature capable of healing, without a renunciation of those principles in the minds of men which seem to give countenance unto them, the difference is here made absolutely irreparable, while the opinion mentioned is owned by any. I will press this no further but only by affirming, that persons truly fearing the Lord ought to be very careful and jealous over their own understandings, before they embrace an opinion and practice which will shut them out from all visible communion with the generality of the saints of God in this world. 34. We have seen the least part of the inconveniences that attend this persuasion and its practice, nor do I intend to mention all of them, which readily offer themselves to consideration. One or two more may yet be touched on. For those by whom it is owned do not only affirm that the law of the seventh-day Sabbath is absotutely and universally in force, but also that the sanction of it, in its penalty against transgressors, is yet continued! This was, as is known, the death of the offender by stoning. So did God himself determine the application of the curse of the law unto the breach of this command, in the instance of the man that gathered wood on that day, who was stoned by his direction, Numbers 15:35. Now, the consideration of this penalty, as expressive of the curse of the law, influenced the minds of the Jews into that bondage frame wherein they observed the Sabbath; and this always put them upon many anxious arguings, how they might satisfy the law in keeping the day, so as not to incur the penalty of its transgression. Hence are the questions among the Jews no less endless than those about their genealogies of old, about what work may be done and what not, and how far they might journey on that day; which when they had with some indifferent consent reduced unto two thousand cubits, which they called “a Sabbath day’s journey,” yet where to begin their measure, from what part of the city, where a man dwelt, from his own house, or the synagogue, or the walls, or suburbs of it, they are not agreed. And the dread hereof was such among them of old, from the rigorous justice wherewith such laws with such penalties were imposed on them, that until they had by common consent, in the beginning of the rule of the Asmonaeans, agreed to defend themselves from their enemies on that day, they sat still in a neglect of the law of nature, requiring all men to look to their preservation against open violence, and suffered themselves to be slain, to their satiety who chose to assault them thereon. And certainly it is the greatest madness in the world, for a people to engage in war that do not think it at least lawful at all times to defend themselves. And yet they lost their city afterwards by some influence from this superstition. And do men know what they do, when they endeavor to introduce such a bondage into the observance of gospel worship, a yoke and bondage upon the persons and spirits of men which those before us were not able to bear? Is it according to the mind of Christ, that the worship of God, which ought to be “in spirit and in truth,” now under the gospel, should be enforced on men by capital penalties? And let men thus state their principles, ‘The seventh day is to be kept precisely a Sabbath unto the Lord, by virtue of the fourth commandment: for not one day in seven, but the seventh day itself, is rigorously and indispensably enjoined unto observation: and the transgression of this law, not as to the spiritual worship to be observed on it, but as to every outward transgression, by journeying or other bodily labor, is to be avenged with death :’ — undoubtedly, in the practice of these principles, besides that open contradiction which they will fall into unto the spirit, rule, and word of the gospel, they will find themselves in the same entanglements wherein the Jews were and are. And as the cases that may occur about what may be done and what not, what cases of necessity may interpose for relief, are not to be determined by private persons according to their own light and understanding, because they have respect unto the public law, but by them unto whom power is committed to judge upon it and to execute its penalty; so there will so many cases, and those almost inexplicable, emerge hereon, as will render the whole law an intolerable burden unto Christians.

    And what, then, is become of “the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free?” and wherein is the pre-eminence of the spiritual worship of the gospel above the carnal ordinances of the law ? 35. And this introduceth an evil of no less heinous importance than any of those before enumerated. The precise observation of the seventh day, as such, is undoubtedly no part of the law naturally moral. This we have sufficiently proved before, as I suppose. That law is written in the hearts of believers by virtue of the covenant of grace, and strength is administered thereby unto them for the due performance of the duties that it doth require. Nor is it an institution of the gospel; none ever pretended it so to be. If there be not much against it in the New Testament, yet surely there is nothing for it. In the things that are so, we have ground to expect the assistance of the Spirit of Christ to enable us for their right observation, to the glory of God, and our own edification or increase in grace. But it is a mere precept of the old law as such; and “what the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law.” In all its precepts, katakurieu>ei , it exercises a severe dominion over the souls and consciences of them that are under it. And we have no way to extricate ourselves from under that dominion, but by our being dead unto its power and authority as such through the death of Christ; or by an interest by faith in the benefits which, through his fulfilling and satisfying the law, do redound to the church. But what is required of any one, under the notion of the formal and absolute power of the law, is to be performed in and by that spirit which is administered by the law, and the strength which the law affords; and this indeed is great as to conviction of sin, nothing at all as unto obedience and righteousness. Do men in these things appeal unto the law? unto the law they must go; for I know not anything that we can expect assistance of gospel grace in or about, but only those things which are originally moral, or things superadded unto them in the gospel itself, to neither of which heads this observation of the seventh day as such can be referred. It is therefore a mere legal duty, properly so called; and in a bondage frame of spirit, without any especial assistance of grace, it must be performed. And how little we are beholden unto those who would, in any one instance, reduce us from the liberty of the gospel unto bondage under the law, our apostle hath so fully declared that it is altogether needless farther to attempt the manifestation of it.


    THE PRACTICAL OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD’S DAY. 1. Practice the end of instruction and learning. 2. Practical observation of the Sabbath handled by many. 3. Complaints concerning too much rigor and strictness in directions for the observation of the Sabbath. 4. Extremes to be avoided in directions of sacred duties — Extreme of the Pharisees. 5. The worse extreme of others, in giving liberty to sin. 6. Mistakes in directions about the observation of the Lord’s day. 7. General directions to that purpose proposed. 8. Of the beginning and ending of the Sabbath — The first rule about time. 9. The frame of spirit required under the gospel in the observation of the Lord’s day. 10. Rules and principles for its due observation. 11. Duties required thereunto of two sorts. 12. Preparatory duties, their necessity and nature. 13. Particular account of them. 14. Meditation. 15. Supplication. 16. Instruction. 17. Duties of the day itself. 18. Of public duties. 19. What refreshments and labor consistent with them. 20. Of private duties. 1. IT remains that something be briefly offered which may direct a practice suitable unto the principles laid down and pleaded; for this is the end of all sacred truth and all instruction therein. This that great rule of our blessed Savior both teaches us and obliges us to an answerable duty, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them,” John 13:17; — words so filled with his wisdom, that happy are they in whose hearts they are always abiding. The end, then, of our learning Scripture truths, is to obtain such an idea of them in our minds as may direct us unto a suitable practice.

    Without this they are to us of no use, or of none that is good. JH gnw~siv fusioi~ . Knowledge without practice puffs up, not builds up. For, as Austin speaks with reference to these words, Con. Faust. Man. lib. xv:cap. viii., “Multa quibusdam sunt noxia, quamvis non sint mala.”

    Things not evil, yea, good in themselves, may be hurtful unto others. And nothing is useful but as it is directed to its proper end. This practice is unto sacred truth. 2. I confess our endeavors herein may seem less necessary than in the foregoing discourses; for there are many treatises on this part of our present subject extant in our own language, and in the hands of those who esteem themselves concerned in these things. With some they meet, indeed, with no other entertainment than the posts did that were sent by Hezekiah through Ephraim, Manasseh, and Zebulun, to invite them to the passover; — they are laughed to scorn and mocked at, 2 Chronicles 30:10. “But Wisdom is justified of her children.” To some they are of great use, and in great esteem; and, for the most part, in the main of their design they do agree. So that the truth in them is established in the mouths of many witnesses, without danger of dividing the minds of men about it, But yet I cannot take myself to be discharged hereby from the consideration of this concern also of a sacred rest under the gospel, the nature of our design requiring it. And there are yet important directions for the right sanctifying of the name of God, in and by the due observance of a day of sacred rest, which I have not taken notice to have been insisted on by others; and whereas a due improvement may be expected of the peculiar principles before discussed, I shall go through this part of the work also. 3. Besides, there are not a few complaints, and those managed, at least some of them, by persons of sobriety and learning, pretending also a real care for the preservation and due observance of all duties of piety and religion, that there has been some excess in the directions of many given about the due sanctification of the Lord’s day. And there is no small danger of mistakes on this hand, while therein is a pretense of zeal and devotion to give them countenance. Of this nature some men do judge some rigorous prescriptions to be which have been given in this matter.

    And they say that a great disadvantage to religion has ensued hereon: for it is pretended that they are such as are beyond the constitution of human nature to comply withal; of which kind God certainly requires nothing at our hands. Hence it is pleaded, that men finding themselves no way able to come to a satisfaction, in answer to the severe directions for duties and the manner of their performance which by some are rigorously prescribed, have taken occasion to seek for relief by rejecting the whole command; which, if duly interpreted in such a condescension as they were capable of a compliance withal, they would have adhered to. On this account men have found out various inventions, to color their weariness of that strict course of duty which they were bound to. Hence have some taken up a plea that every day is to them a Sabbath, that so they might not keep any; some, that there is no such thing as a sacred rest on any day required of us by the authority of Christ, and therefore that all directions for the manner of the observance of such a day are to no purpose. And many by degrees have declined from that strictness which they could not come up to a delight in, until they have utterly lost all sense of duty towards God in this matter. And these things are true; only the reasons of them are not agreed on. 4. And in things of this nature those who are called to the instruction of others are careful to avoid extremes; for “he that justifies the wicked, and he that condemns the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.”

    And several instances there are of the miscarriages of men on the one hand and the other. On the one lay the sin of the Pharisees of old. When they had gotten the pretense of a command, they would burden it with so many rigid observances, in the manner of its performance, as should make it a yoke intolerable to their disciples, getting themselves the reputation of strict observers of the law. But, in truth, they were not so wanting to their own ease and interest as not to provide a secret dispensation for themselves. They would scarcely put a finger to the burdens which they bound and laid on the shoulders of others. And this is the condition of almost all that have an appearance of religion or devotion in the Papacy.

    And a fault of the same nature, though not of so signal a provocation, others may fall into unadvisedly, who are free from their hypocrisy. They may charge and press both their own consciences and other men’s above and beyond what God has appointed. And this they may do with a sincere intention to promote religion and holiness amongst men, by engaging them into the strictest ways of the profession of it. Now, in the direction of the consciences of men about their duties to God, this is carefully to be avoided; for peace is only to be obtained in keeping steady and even to the rule. To transgress on the right hand, whatever the pretense be, is to lie for God; which will not be accepted with him. 5. On the other hand there lies a rock of far greater danger; and this consists in the accommodation of the laws, precepts, and institutions of God, unto the lusts, and the present courses and practices of men. This evil we have had exemplified in some of late, no less conspicuously than the aforementioned was in them of old. A mystery of iniquity to this purpose has been discovered not long since and brought forth to light, tending to the utter debauchery of the consciences and lives of men. And in it lies the great contrivance whereby the famous sect of the Jesuits have prevailed on the minds of many, especially of potentates and great men in the earth, so as to get into their hands the conduct of the most important affairs of Europe. And this abomination, as it is known, has lately been laid open by the diligence of some; in which at once concurred a commendable care of Christian morality and a high provocation in other things by them who endeavored to corrupt it. A search has been made into the writings which that sort of men have published, for the direction of the consciences of men in the practice of moral duties, or unto their disciples, for their guidance upon confessions. And a man may say of the discovery what the poet said upon the opening of the house of Cacus, Æn., 8:262; 243 : — “Panditur extemplo foribus domus atra revulsis:

    Abstractaeque boves, abjurataeque rapinae Coelo ostenduntur.

    Non secus ac si qua penitus vi terra dehiscens, Infernas reseret sedes, et regna recludat Pallida” Such a loathsome appearance of vizards and pretenses for the extenuating of sin, and countenancing of men in the practice of it, was never before presented to the eyes of men. The main of their design, as is now manifest, has been so to interpret Scripture laws, rules, and precepts, as to accommodate them all to that course of corrupt conversation which prevails generally in the world, even among them who are called Christians, — “Gratum opus agricolis;” — a work exceedingly acceptable and obliging to all sorts of men, who, if not given up to open atheism, would rejoice in nothing more than in a reconciliation between the rule of their consciences and their lusts, that they might sin freely, without trouble or remorse. To this end, having learned the inclinations and temptations of men from their private confessions, and finding it a thing neither possible in itself, nor at all conducive to their own interest, to endeavor their reformation by and recovery to the fixed, stable rule of truth and duty, they have, by their false glosses, subtle distinctions, and refined imaginations, made it to justify and countenance them in the highest abominations, and in ways leading constantly to the practice of them. And there is nothing, in their whole course, which faithful interpreters of the mind of God ought more carefully to avoid, than a falling in any instance into that evil which these men have made it their design to promote and pursue. The world, indeed, seems to be weary of the just, righteous, holy ways of God, and of that exactness in walking according to his institutions and commands which it will be one day known that he does require. But the way to put a stop to this declension, is not by accommodating the commands of God to the corrupt courses and ways of men. The truths of God and the holiness of his precepts must be pleaded and defended, though the world dislike them here and perish hereafter. His law must not be made to lackey after the wills of men, nor be dissolved by vain interpretations, because they complain they cannot, indeed because they will not, comply with it. Our Lord Jesus Christ came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them, and to supply men with spiritual strength to fulfill them also.

    It is evil to break the least commandment; but there is a great aggravation of that evil in them that shall teach men so to do. And this cannot be done but by giving such expositions of them as by virtue whereof men may think themselves freed from an obligation to that obedience which indeed they do require. Wherefore, though some should say now, as they did of old, concerning any command of God, “Behold, what a weariness it is! and what profit is it to keep his ordinances?” yet the law of God is not to be changed to give them relief. We are therefore, in this matter, to have no consideration of the present course of the world, nor of the weariness of professors in the ways of strict obedience. The sacred truth and will of God in all his commands is singly and sincerely to be inquired after. 6. And yet I will not deny but that there have been and are mistakes in this matter leaning towards the other extreme. Directions have been given, and that not by a few, for the observation of a day of holy rest, which, either for the matter of them or the manner prescribed, have had no sufficient warrant or foundation in the Scripture. For whereas some have made no distinction between the Sabbath as moral and as Mosaical, unless it be merely in the change of the day, they have endeavored to introduce the whole practice required on the latter into the Lord’s day. But we have already showed that there were sundry additions made to the command, as to the manner of its observance, in its accommodation to the Mosaical pedagogy, besides that the whole required a frame of spirit suited thereunto. Others, again, have collected whatever they could think of that is good, pious, and useful in the practice of religion, and prescribed it all, in a multitude of instances, as necessary to the sanctification of this day; so that a man can scarcely in six days read over all the duties that are proposed to be observed on the seventh. And it has been also no small mistake, that men have labored more to multiply directions about external duties, giving them out as it were by number or tale, than to direct the mind or inward man in and to a due performance of the whole duty of the sanctification of the day, according to the spirit and genius of gospel obedience. And, lastly, it cannot be denied but that some, it may be measuring others by themselves and their own abilities, have been apt to tie them up to such long, tiresome duties, and rigid abstinences from refreshments, as have clogged their minds, and turned the whole service of the day into a wearisome bodily exercise, that profits little. 7. It is not in my design to insist upon any thing that is in controversy amongst persons learned and sober; nor will I now extend this discourse to a particular consideration of the especial duties required in the sanctification or services of this day. But whereas all sorts of men who wish well to the furtherance and promotion of piety and religion in the world, on what reasons or foundations soever they judge that this day ought to be observed a holy rest to the Lord, do agree that there is a great and sinful neglect of the due observation of it, — as may be seen in the writings of some of the principal of those who cannot grant to it an immediate divine institution, — I shall give such rules and general directions about it as due application whereof will give sufficient guidance in the whole of our duty herein. 8. It may seem to some necessary that something should be premised concerning the measure or continuance of the day to be set apart to a holy rest to the Lord; but it being a matter of controversy, and to me, on the reasons to be mentioned afterwards, of no great importance, I shall not insist upon the examination of it, but only give my judgment in a word concerning it. Some contend that it is a natural day, consisting of twentyfour hours, beginning with the evening of the preceding day, and ending with the same of its own. And accordingly so was the church of Israel directed, Leviticus 23:32, “From even unto even shall ye celebrate your Sabbath ;” although that does not seem to be a general direction for the observation of the weekly Sabbath, but to regard only that particular extraordinary Sabbath which was then instituted, namely, the day of atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh month, verse 27. However, suppose it to belong also to the weekly Sabbath, it is evidently an addition to the command, particularly suited to the Mosaical pedagogy, that the day might comprise the sacrifice of the preceding evening in the services of it; from an obedience whereunto we are freed by the gospel. Neither can I subscribe to this opinion; and that because, — (1.) In the description and limitation of the first original seven days, it is said of each of the six that it was constituted of an evening and a morning, but of the day of rest there is no such description; it is only called “the seventh day,” without any assignation of the preceding evening unto it. (2.) A day of rest, according to rules of natural equity, ought to be proportioned to a day of work or labor, which God has granted to us for our own use. Now, this is to be reckoned from morning to evening: <19A420> Psalm 104:20-23. “Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep” (from whose yelling the night has its name in the Hebrew tongue.) “The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun arises, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goes forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening.”

    The day of labor is from the removal of darkness and the night, by the light of the sun, until the return of them again; which, allowing for the alterations of the day in the several seasons of the year, seems to be the just measure of our day of rest. (3.) Our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his resurrection gave beginning and being to the especial day of holy rest under the gospel, rose not until “the morning of the first day of the week,” when the beamings of the light of the sun began to dispel the darkness of the night, or “when it dawned toward day,” as it is variously expressed by the evangelists. This, with me, determines this whole matter. (4.) Mere cessation from labor in the night seems to have no place in the spiritual rest of the gospel to be expressed on this day, nor to be by any thing distinguished from the nights of other days of the week. (5.) Supposing Christians under the obligation of the direction given by Moses before mentioned, and it may entangle them in the anxious, scrupulous intrigues which the Jews are subject to about the beginning of the evening itself, about which their greatest masters are at variance; which things belong not to the economy of the gospel. Upon the whole matter, I am inclined to judge, and do so, that the observation of the day is to be commensurate to the use of our natural strength on any other day, from morning to night And nothing is hereby lost that is needful to the due sanctification of it; for what is by some required as a part of its sanctification, is necessary and required as a due preparation thereunto.

    This, therefore, is our first rule or direction : — I. The first day of the week, or the Lord’s day, is to be set apart to the ends of a holy rest unto God, by every one, according as his natural strength will enable him to employ himself in his lawful occasions any other day of the week.

    There is no such certain standard or measure for the observance of the duties of this day, as that every one who exceeds it should by it be cut short, or that those who, on important reasons, come short of it should be stretched out thereunto. As God provided, in his services of old, that he who was not able to offer a bullock might offer a dove, with respect to their outward condition in the world; so here there is an allowance also for the natural temperaments and abilities of men. Only, whereas if persons of old had pretended poverty, to save their charge in the procuring of an offering, it would not have been acceptable, yea, they would themselves have fallen under the curse of the deceiver; so no more will now a pretense of weakness or natural inability be any excuse to any for neglect or profaneness Otherwise, God requires of us, and accepts from us, “according to what we have, and not according to what we have not,” And we see it by experience, that some men’s natural spirits will carry them out to a continuance in the outward observance of duties much beyond, nay, double perhaps to what others are able, who yet may observe a holy Sabbath unto the Lord with acceptation. And herein lies the spring of the accommodation of these duties to the sick, the aged, the young, the weak, or persons any way distempered. “God knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust ;” as also that that dust is more discomposed and weakly compacted in some than in others. As thus the people gathered manna of old, some more, some less, wOlk]a;Aypil] vyai , “every man according to his appetite,” yet “he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack,” Exodus 16:17,18; so is every one in sincerity, according to his own ability, to endeavor the sanctifying of the name of God in the duties of this day, not being obliged by the examples or prescriptions of others, according to their own measures. 9. II. Labour to observe this day, and to perform the duties required in it, with a frame of mind becoming and answering the spirit, freedom, and liberty of the gospel.

    We are now to serve God in all things “in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter,” Romans 7:6, — with a spirit of peace, delight, joy, liberty, and a sound mind. There were three reasons of the bondage, servile frame of spirit which was in the Judaical church, in their observance of the duties of the law, and consequently of the Sabbath : — (1.) The dreadful giving and promulgation of it on mount Sinai; which was not intended merely to strike a terror into that generation in the wilderness, but through all ages during that dispensation, to influence and awe the hearts of the people into a dread and terror of it. Hence the apostle tells us that “mount Sinai gendered unto bondage,” Galatians 4:24; — that is, the law, as given thereon, brought the people into a spiritually servile state; wherein, although secretly, on the account of the ends of the covenant, they were children and heirs, yet they differed nothing from servants, chap. 4:1-3. (2.) The renovation and re-enforcement of the old covenant, with the promises and threatenings of it, which was to be upon them during the continuance of that state and condition. And although the law had a new use and end now given unto it, yet they were so in the dark, and the proposal of them attended with so great an obscurity, that they could not clearly look into the comfort and liberty finally intended therein; for “the law made nothing perfect,” and what was of grace in the administration of it was so veiled with types, ceremonies, and shadows, that they could not see to the end of the things that were to be done away, 2 Corinthians 3:13. (3.) The sanction of the law by death increased their bondage; for as this in itself was a terror to them in their services, so it was expressive and a representation of the original curse of the whole law, Galatians 3:13.

    And hereby were they greatly awed and terrified, although some of them, by especial grace, were enabled to delight themselves in God and his ordinances.

    And in these things was administered “a spirit of bondage unto fear,” which by the apostle is opposed to “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” Romans 8:15; which where it is, there is liberty. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” 2 Corinthians 3:17, and there only. And therefore, although they boasted that they were the children of Abraham, and on that reason free and never in bondage, yet our Savior lets them know, that whatever they pretended, they were not free until the Son should make them so. And from these things arose those innumerable anxious scrupulosities which were upon them in the observation of this day, accompanied with the severe nature of those additions in its observation which were made unto the law of it, as appropriated to them for a season.

    Now, all these things we are freed from under the gospel; for, — (1.) We are not now brought to receive the law from mount Sinai , but are come unto mount Zion. So the apostle at large, Hebrews 12:18-24, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched” (that is, which naturally might be so by men’s hands, though morally the touching of it was forbidden), “and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more; for they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake;” which it seems were the words he used, where it is on this occasion said of him, “And Moses spake,” but nothing is added of what he said, Exodus 19:19. Which things are insisted on by him, to show the grounds of that bondage which the people were in under the law. Whereunto he adds, “But ye are come unto mount Zion, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem;” — “Jerusalem which is above, which is free, which is the mother of us all,” Galatians 4:26. That is, we receive the law of our obedience from Jesus Christ, who speaks from heaven, to be observed with a spirit of liberty. (2.) The old covenant is now absolutely abolished, nor is the remembrance of it any way revived, Hebrews 8:13. It has no influence into or upon the minds of believers. They are taken into a covenant full of grace, joy, and peace: for “the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” John 1:17. (3.) In this covenant they receive the Spirit of Christ, or adoption, to serve God without legal fear, Luke 1:74; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6.

    And there is not any thing more insisted on in the gospel, as the principal privilege thereof. It is, indeed, nothing to have liberty in the word and rule, unless we have it in the spirit and principle. And hereby are we delivered from that anxious solicitude about particular instances in outward duties, which was a great part of the yoke of the people of old; for, — [1.] Hence we may in all our duties look on God as a father. By the Spirit of his Son, we may in them all cry, “Abba, Father;” for “through Christ we have access by one Spirit unto the Father,” Ephesians 2:18, — to God as a father; as one that “will not always chide,” that does not watch our steps for our hurt, but “remembers that we are dust;” one who ties us not up to rigid exactness in outward things, while we act in a holy spirit of filial obedience, as his sons or children. And there is a great difference between the duties of servants and children, neither has a father the same measure of them. The consideration hereof, regulated by the general rules of the Scripture, will resolve a thousand of such scruples as the Jews of old, while servants, were perplexed withal. [2.] Hence we come to know that he will be worshiped “in spirit and in truth” Therefore he more minds the inward frame of our hearts, wherewith we serve him, than the mere performance of outward duties; which are only so far accepted with him as they are expressions and demonstrations thereof. If, then, in the observation of this day, our hearts are single and sincere in our aims at his glory with delight, it is of more price with him than the most rigid observation of outward duties by number and measure. [3.] Therefore, the minds of believers are no more influenced to this duty by the curse of the law and the terror thereof, as represented in the threatened penalty of death. The authority and love of Jesus Christ are the principal causes of our obedience. Hence our main duty lies in an endeavor to get spiritual joy and delight in the services of this day, which are the especial effects of spiritual liberty. So the prophet requires that we should “call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable;” as also, on the other side, that we should “not do our own ways, nor find our own pleasure, nor speak our own words,” Isaiah 58:13. And these cautions seem to regard the Sabbath absolutely, and not as Judaical. But I much question whether they have not, in the interpretation of some, been extended beyond their original intention; for the true meaning of them is no more but this, that we should so delight ourselves in the Lord on his holy day, as that, being expressly forbidden our usual labor, we should not need, for want of satisfaction in our duties, to turn aside unto our own pleasures and vain ways, which are only our own, to spend our time and pass over the Sabbath, — a thing complained of by many; whence sin and Satan have been more served on this day than on all the days of the week beside. But I no way think that here is a restraint laid on us from such words, ways, and works, as neither hinder the performance of any religious duties belonging to the due celebration of the worship of God on this day, nor are apt in themselves to unframe our spirits, or divert our affections from them. And those whose minds are fixed in a spirit of liberty to glorify God in and by this day of rest, seeking after communion with him in the ways of his worship, will be unto themselves a better rule for their words and actions than those who may aim to reckon over all they do or say; which may be done in such a manner as to become the Judaical Sabbath much more than the Lord’s day. 10. III. Be sure to bring good and right principles to the performance of the duty of keeping a day of rest holy unto the Lord. Some of these I shall name, as confirmed expressly in, or drawn evidently from, the preceding discourses : — (1.) Remember that there is a weekly rest, or a holy rest of one day in the week, due to the solemn work of glorifying God as God. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” We have had a week unto our own occasions, or we have a prospect of a week in the patience of God for them. Let us remember that God puts in for some time with us. All is not our own. We are not our own lords. Some time God will have to himself, from all that own him in the world; and this is that time, season, or day.

    He esteems not himself acknowledged, nor his sovereignty owned in the world, without it. And therefore this day of rest he required the first day as it were that the world stood upon its legs, has done so all along, and will do so to the last day of its duration. When he had made all things, and saw that they were good, and was refreshed in them, he required that we should own and acknowledge his goodness and power therein. This duty we owe to God as God. (2.) Remember that God appointed this day to teach us that as he rested therein, so we should seek after rest in him here, and look on this day as a pledge of eternal rest with him hereafter. So was it from the beginning.

    This was the end of the appointment of this day. Now, our rest in God in general consists in two things: — [1.] In our approbation of the works of God and the law of our obedience, with the covenant of God thereon. These things are expressive of and do represent unto us the goodness, righteousness, holiness, faithfulness, and power of God. For these, and with respect to them, are we to give glory to him. What God rests in, he requires that through it we should seek for our rest in him. As this was the duty of man in innocency, and under the law, so it is ours now much more; for God has now more eminently and gloriously unveiled and displayed the excellencies of his nature and the counsels of his wisdom, in and by Jesus Christ, than he had done under the first covenant. And this should work us to a greater and more holy admiration of them; for if we are to acknowledge that “the law is holy, just, and good,” as our apostle speaks, although it is now useless as to the bringing of us to rest in God, how much more ought we to own and subscribe to the gospel, and the declaration that God has made of himself therein, that so it is? [2.] In an actual solemn compliance with his will, expressed in his works, law, and covenant. This brings us to present satisfaction in him, and leads us to the full enjoyment of him. This is a day of rest, but we cannot rest in a day, nor in any thing that a day can afford; only it is a help and means of bringing us to rest in God. Without this design, all our observation of a Sabbath is of no use or advantage. Nothing will thence redound to the glory of God nor to the benefit of our own souls. And this they may do well to consider who plead for the observation of the seventh day precisely; for they do profess thereby that they seek for rest in God according to the tenor of the first covenant. That they approve of, and that they look (by that profession) to be brought to rest by; though really, and on other principles, they do otherwise. Whatever, then, be the covenant wherein we walk with God, the great principle which is to guide us in the holy observation of this day is, that we celebrate the rest of God in that covenant, approve of it, rejoice in it, and labor to be partakers of it, whereof the day itself is given us as a pledge. We must therefore, — (3.) Remember that we have lost our original rest in God by sin. God made us upright in his own image, meet to take our rest, satisfaction, and reward in himself, according to the tenor of the law of our creation, and the covenant of works established thereon. Hereof the seventh day was a token and pledge. All this we must consider that we have lost by sin. God might justly have left us in a wandering condition, without either rest or any pledge of it. Our reparation, indeed, is excellent and glorious; yet so as to mind us that on our part the loss of our former estate was shameful, and in the remembrance whereof we ought to be humbled. And hence we may know that it is in vain for us to lay hold of the seventh day again, which is but an attempt to return into the garden after we are shut out and kept out by a flaming sword; for although it was made use of as a type and shadow under the law, yet to us who must live on the substance of things, or not at all, it cannot be possessed without robbery, and it is of no use when attained. For we are to remember, — (4.) That the rest in God and with God, which we now seek after, enter into, and celebrate the pledge of, using the means for the further enjoyment of it in the observation of this day, is a rest by a recovery, by a reparation in Jesus Christ. There is now a new rest of God, and a new rest for us in God. God now rests and is refreshed in Christ, in his person, in his works, in his law, in the covenant of grace in him; in all these things is his soul well pleased. He is “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” making a far more glorious representation of him than did the works of creation of old; which yet he had left such impressions of his goodness, power, and wisdom upon, as that he rested in them, was refreshed with them, and appointed a day for man to rest in his approbation of them, and giving glory to him for them. How much more is it so with him, with respect unto this glorious image of the invisible God!

    This he now deals with us in. For as of old he commanded light to shine out of darkness, whereby we might see and behold his glory, which he had implanted and was implanting on the work of his hands; so now he “shines in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ,” 2 Corinthians 4:6 — that is, enables us to behold all the excellencies of his nature, made manifest in the person and works of Jesus Christ. The way, also, of bringing them to him, through Christ, who had by sin come short of his glory, is that which he approves of, is delighted with, and rests in, giving us a pledge thereof in this day of rest. Herein lies the principal duty of this day’s observances, — namely, to admire this retrieval of a rest with God, and of a rest for God in us. This is the fruit of eternal wisdom, grace, and goodness, love, and bounty. This, I say, belongs to the sanctification of this day, and this ought to be our principal design therein, — namely, in it to give glory unto God for the wonderful recovery of a rest for us with himself, and to endeavor to enter by faith and obedience into that rest.

    And for these ends and purposes are we to make use of all the sacred ordinances of worship wherein and whereby this day is sanctified unto the Lord. (5.) That in the observation of the Lord’s day, which is the first day of the week, we subject our consciences immediately to the authority of Jesus Christ, the mediator, whose day of rest originally it was, and which thereby and for that reason is made ours. And hereby, in the observation of this day, have we fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Of old there was nothing appeared in the day, whilst the seventh day