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3. It belongs only to God to make a holy day; for who can sanctify a creature but the Creator, or time but the Lord of time? He only can give the bleffing: why should they then fanctify a day that cannot bless it? The Lord abbhors holy days devised out of mens own hearts, 2 Kings xii. 33.
4. Lastly, What reason is there to think that when God has taken away from the church's neck a great many holy days appointed by himself, he has left the gospel-church to be burdened with as many, pay and more of mens invention, than he himself had appointed?
Secondly, This command requires one day in seven to be kept as a holy fabbath unto the Lord : Six days Soalt thou labour, and do all thy work : but the seventh day is the fabbath of the Lord thy God. Thus the Lord determines the quantity of time that is to be his own in a peculiar manner, that is, the seventh part of our time. After six days working a seventh is to be a fabbath. This is moral, binding all perfons in all ages, and not a ceremony abrogated by Chrift.
1. This command of appointing one day in seven for a fabbath is one of the commands of that law, consisting of ten commands, which cannot be made out without this; was written on tables of stone, to thew the perpetuity of it; and of which Christ says, Matth. v. 17. 18. 19. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one little Mall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fullfiled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and mall teach men so, be shall be least in the kingdom of heaven : but whosoever shall do, and teach them, the same shall be called great in the king, dom of heaven.
2. It was appointed and given of God to Adam in innocency, before there was any ceremony to be taken away by the coming of Christ, Gen. ii. 3.
3. All the reasons annexed to this command are moral, respecting all men as well as the Jews, to whom the ceremonial law was given. And we find strangers obliged to the observation of it as well as the Jews; but they were not so to ceremonial laws.
4. Lastly, Jesus Christ speaks of it as a thing perpetually to endure, even after the Jewish fabbath was over and gone, Matth. xxiv. 20.
And so although the sabbath of the seventh day in order from the creation was changed into the first day, yet still it was kept a seventh day,
Thirdly, The day to be kept holy is one whole day, Not a few hours while the public worship lasts, but a whole day. There is an artificial day betwixt sun.ri, sing and sun-setting, John xi. 9. ; and a natural day of twenty-four hours, Gen. i, which is the day here meant. This day we begin in the morning immediately after midnight; and so does the fabbath begin, and not in the evening, as is clear, if ye conlider,
Į. John xx. 19. The same day at evening, being the first day of the week : where ye fee that the evening following, not going before this first day of the week, is called the evening of the first day.
2. Our fabbath begins where the Jewith fabbath * ended; but the Jewish sabbath did not end towards
the evening, but towards the morning, Matth. xxviii.
Our fabbath is held in memory of Christ's resur: rection, and it is certain that Chrilt rose early in the morning of the first day of the week.
Let us therefore take the utmost care to give God the whole day, spending it in the manner he has appointed, and not look on all the time besides what is spent in public worship, as our own; which is tco much the case in these degenerate times wherein we live.
II. ! come now to lhęw which day of the seven God
hath appointed to be the weekly fabbath. According to our catechism, “ From the beginning of the world 6 to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the Össeventh day of the week to be the weekly fabbath; “ and the first day of the week ever since, to conti. “ nue to the end of the world, which is the Chri6 ftian fabbath.”
We have heard that this command requires a sabbath to be kept, and that one whole day in seven ; we are now to consider what day that is. The scripture teaches us, that there are two days which have by divine appointment had this honour, the seventh day, and the first day of the week.
First, As to the seventh day, it is acknowledged by all, that that was the Jewish fabbath. And concerning it consider,
1. Who 'appointed the seventh day to be the fabbath. It was God himself that appointed the seventh, which is the last day of the week, by us called Satur, day, to be the fabbath ; The seventh day is the fabbath of the Lord thy God. He that was the Lord of tinie made this designation of the time at first.
2. Wherefore did God at first appoint the seventh? The reason of this was, that as God rested that day from all his works of creation, men might after his example rest on that day from their own works, that they might remember his, and celebrate the praises of the Creator. For in fix days the Lord made heaven and earth, -- and rested the Seventh day. The work of creation was performed in the six days, and nothing was made on the seventh day; so that the first new day that man faw, was a holy day, a fabbath, that he might know the great end of his creation was to ferve the Lord.
3. How long did that appointment of the seventh day last? To the resurrection of Christ. This was its lait period, at which time it was to give place to a new inftitution, as will afterwards appear. The day of Chritt's resurrection was the day of the finifhing of
the new creation, the restoration of a marred world:
4. When was the fabbath of the seventh day appointed first? Some who detract from the honour of the fabbath, contend that it was not appointed till the promulgating of the law on mount Sinai, and that its first institution was in the wilderness. We hold that it was appointed from the beginning of the world. For proof whereof consider,
(1.) Moses tells us plainly, that God, immediately after perfecting of the works of creation, blessed and hallowed the seventh day, Gen. ii. 2. 3. Now, how could it be blessed and hallowed bụt by an appointing of it to be the fabbath, setting it apart from common works to the work of God's folemn worship? The words run on in a continued history, without the least shadow of anticipating upwards of two thousand years, as some would have it.
(2.) The fabbath of the seventh day was observed before the promulgation of the law from Sinai, and is spoke of, Exod. xvi. not as a new, but an ancient institution. So, ver. 5. preparation for the fabbath is called for, before any mention of it is made, clearly importing that it was known before. See ver. 236 where the fabbath is given for a reason why they should prepare the double quantity of manna on the fixth day; which says that folemn day had not its inftitution then first. And the breach of the fabbath is, ver.28. exposed as the violating of a law formerly given.
(3.) In the fourth command, they are called to remember the fabbath-day, as a day that was not then first appointed, but had been appointed before, altho' it had gone out of ute, and had been much forgotten when they were in Egypt. Besides, the realons of this command, God's reiting the feventh day, and bleffing and hallowing it, being from the beginning of the world, fay, that the law had then place wheir the reason of the law took place.
(4.) This is evident from Heb. iv. 3.--9. The au pottle there proves, that there remains a labback or se!
to the people of God, into which they are to enter by faith, from this, that the scripture fpeaks only of three fabbatisms or rests, one after the works of creation, another after the coming into Canaan; and David's words cannot be understood of the firft, for that was over, ver. 3. and so was the other; therefore there remaineth a reft for the people of God, ver. 9.
Some allege againft this, that the patriarchs did not observe the fabbath, because there is no mention made of it in the scriptures. But this is no juft prejudice ; for at that rate we might as well conclude it was not obferved all the time of the judges. Suuel and Saul; for it is no where recorded in that history that they did. Yea, though the patriarchs had not observed it, yet that could no more militate against the first institution, than their polygamy againit the first inftitution of marriage. But as from the patriarchs fa. crificing we infer the divine appointment of sacrifice, fo from the institution of the fabbath, we may infer their keeping it. And their counting by weeks, as Noah did, Gen. viii. 10. 12. and Laban with Jacob, Gen. xxix. 27. 28. doth not obscurely shew it: for to what end did they use this computation, but that the fıbbath might be distinguished from other days ? And the piety of the patriarchs perfuades us, that they observed that folemn day for worship; and if any day, what but that designed of God?
Secondly, As to the fabbath of the first day of the week,
1. Consider the date of it, which was from the refurrection of Christ, to continue to the end of the world ; for the days of the gospel are the last days,
2. How the fabbath could be changed from the ferenth to the firit day of the week. The fourth command holds out a fabbath to be kept, and that one in fcyen. As for the dclignation of the day, he that defigncd one could defign another; and the lubftituting of a new day is the repealing of the old.
3. Wherefore this change was made. Upon the