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3. By vain, and idle discourse or thoughts. We must give an account of every idle word spoken on any day, far more for those spoken on the Lord's day, which are doubly finful.
Fourthly, The fabbath is profaned by doing that which is in itself linful. To do those things on the Lord's day that ought not to be done any day, is a fin highly aggravated. Thus the fabbath is profaned by people's discouraging others from attending ordinances, instead of attending them themselves ; swear. ing or cursing on that day, instead of praising God. The better the day, the worse is the deed, How fearful muft their doom be who wait that time for their wicked pranks, as some dishonest servants and other naughty persons who chuse the time that others are at church, for their hidden works of diihonesty ; because then they get most secrecy? And indeed the devil is very busy that way, and has brought some on to commit such things on the fabbath-day as have brought them to an ill end,
Lastly, By unnecessary thoughts, words, or works about worldly employments or recreations. The fabbath is profaned,
1. By carnal recreations, nowise necessary nor suite able to the work of the fabbath; such as all carnal pleasures, sports, plays, and pastimes, Il. lviii. 13.
2, By following of worldly employments on that day, working or going about ordinary business, except in cases of neceflity and mercy, Matth. xxiv. 20, Though where real necessity or mercy is, it is an abule of that day to forbear such things, as sometimes the Jews did, who being attacked on the Lord's day would not defend themselves.
3. By unnecessary thoughts or discourse about them; for that day is a day of rest from them every way; and we should neither think of nor talk about them.
O let us be deeply humbled before the Lord under the fenfe of our profanations of the fabbath : for who can plead innocent here? We are all guilty in fome
shape or other, and had need to flee to the atoning blood of Jesus for the expiation of this and all our Other fins.
V. I come now to consider the reafons annexed to the fourth commandment. And there, according to the catechism, are, “ God's allowing us fix days of 6: the week for our own employments; his challen$i ging a special propriety in the seventh ; his own “ example; and his blefling the fabbath-day.”
This command God has enforced by four reasons.
1. The first reason is taken from the equity of this command. God has allowed us fix days of feven for our own business, and reserved but one for himself. Ia dividing our time betwixt himfelf and us, he has made our share great, fix for óné. Consider the force of this reason,
ist, We have time enough to serve ourselves in the fix days, and shall we not serve God on the seventh? They that will not be satisfied with fix, would as little be satisfied with fixteen. But carnal hcarts are like a fand bed to devour that which is holy. Nay,
2dly, We have time enough to tire ourfcives on the fix days in our own employments; it is a kindness that we are obliged to rest on the Lord's day. Our interest is our duty, and our duty is our interest. It is a kindness to our bodies and fouls too. And Mall we not be engaged by it to fanctify the fabbath ?
3dly, There is time enough to raise the appetite for the fabbath. It comes fo seldom, though so sweet to the exercised soul, that we may long for it, and rejoice at the return of it. It is sad if fix days interval cannot make us find our stomach.
4thly, God might have allowed us but one day, and taken fix to himself. Who could have quarrelled the Lord of time? Has he reserved but one for fix, and shall we grudge it him? The sentence of David in the parable against the rich man that took away the poor man's one ewe-lamb, is applicable here. The man
that hath done this thing fhall surely die ; and he fall restore the lamb fourfold, &c. 2 Sam. xii.
2. The fecond reason is taken from God's challenging a special propriety in the fabbath-day: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. All days are his; but this is his in a peculiar manner, Rev. i. 10. He has fet a mark on it for himself, to be reserved for himself. Consider the force of this reason.
ist, If we have a God, it is reasonable that God should have a time set apart for his service, the fabbath of the Lord thy God. The Heatliens had days set apart for the honour of their idols ; though the dumb idols could not demand them, yet they gave them. Papists have days set apart for faints, who are to thern a fort of gods, though some of them, as Paul, has forbidden it. And wilt thou not keep holy the fabbath of the Lord thy God?
2dly, It is facrilege, the worst of theft, to profane the fabbath-day. It is a robbing of God, a stealing
of time from him that is confecrated to him, and that s is dangerous, Prov. xx. 25. We juftly blame the
churches of Rome and England, for robbing people of a great many days which God has given us : but
how may we blame ourselves for robbing God of the ů day he has kept from us, and taken to himself? Alas!
our zeal for God is far below our zeal for ourselves. They stick to their faints days, but how weary are we of our God's days ? Mal. iii. 8.
3. The third reason is taken from God's example, who though he could have perfected the world in a mo, ment, yet spent fix days in it, and but six days, reliing the seventh, taking a complacency in the work of his own hand; and this as an example to be imitated by us. Consider the force of this reaíon.
ist, God's example proposed for imitation is a most binding rule, Eph. v. 1. Be ye followers of God. What God does is best done, and we must labour to write
after his copy
2dly, The profaning of the fabbath is a most eminent and ügnal contempt of God and of his works. Did God rest on the fabbath, taking a complacency in the fis days works ? Our not doing so is an undervaluing of what God fo highly esteemed, slighting of what he so much prized, and consequently a contempt of himself and his works too.
4. The fourth reason is taken from his blessing the sabbath-day. His blefling of that day is his bleffing it as a mean of blessing us in the keeping of it. It imports,
ist, The Lord's putting a peculiar honour on it beyond all other days. It is the holy of the Lord and honourable. The King of heaven has made it the
of days. Therefore it should be our question, What fhall be done to that day the King delighteth to honour? Let us beware of levelling that with common things which God has so far advanced above them.
2dly, That the Lord has set it apart for a spiritual blessing to his people, so that in the sanctification of that day we may look for a blessing, Il. lvi. 6. 7. nay that the Lord will multiply his blessings on that day more on his people than any other days wherein they seek it. So that as the Lord requires more on that day than on any other days, he also gives more.
3dły, That the Lord will make it even a spring of temporal blessings. He will not let the day of bleflings be a curse to people in their temporal affairs. They shall be at no loss in their worldly things by the fabbath-rest, Lev. xxv. 20. 22. Conscientious keepers of the fabbath will be found to thrive as well otherwife as those who are not. The force of this reason is,
(1.) God's honour by keeping of that day, that we may get his blessings on it showered down upon us. So that the profanation of the fabbath is like profane Esau's rejecting the blessing.
(2.) Our own interest. Is it a special day for blets ing, and shall we not observe it? It is an unworthy mistake to look on the fabbath as so much loft time.
No time is fo gainful as a fabbath holily observed. And indeed the great reason of the profaning of the fabbath may be found to lie,
[1.] In carnality and worldly-mindedness. The fabbath is no delight to many. Why? Because heaven would be nonte to them, for they favour not the things of God. The heart that is drowned in the cares or pleasures of the world all the week over, is as hard to get in a fabbath-frame as wet wood to take fire.
[2.] Insensibleness of their need of spiritual blessings: - They are not sensible of their wants, and hence they despise the blessing. He that has nothing to buy or sell
, can stay at home on the market-day, and the full foul cares not for God's day:
[3.] The not believing of the blessing of that day. They that think they may come as good speed any day in the duties of the day as on the Lord's day, no wonder that they count God's day and the duties of it as common:
Use. Let me exhort you then to beware of profa: ning the fabbath. Learn to keep it holy. And therefore I would call you here to several duties.
1. Remember the fabbath-day, before it come, to prepare for it, and let your eye be on it before the week be done. Timeoully lay by your wordly employment, and go not near the borders of the Lord's day, and strive to get your hearts in a frame fuitable to the exercifes of this holy day.
2. Make conscience of attending the public ordinances, and waiting on God in his own houfe on his own day. Loiter not away the Lord's day at home unnecessarily, seeing the Lord trysts to meet his people there. This will bring leanness to your own fouls, and grief of heart to him who bears the Lord's meffage to you.
3. Before you come to the public, spend the morning in secret and private exercises, particularly in prayer, reading, and meditation ; remembering how