by Tho. Tillam
To which may be added Christ’s promise that the blessed Spirit shall be ever with us to instruct us in all his truths. And since this infallible guide does constantly call the Seventh day the Sabbath, it must be received as a word of truth from God that cannot lie.
And truly tis’ high presumption to alter the perfect word of God in calling any day the Lord’s Sabbath which the Lord never dignified with any such honorable appellation. Let but the least authority be produced for honoring any other day as a Sabbath day (in the Gospel) besides the Lords honorable seventh day, and the controversy will soon be ended.
I know what some have endeavored to pacify their perplexed spirits about the Sabbath; who would persuade themselves that the first day of the week was thus honoured by the Evangelists in terming it (mia sabbaton) “the first of the Sabbath.” Matt 18:1
But first, here is no blessing mentioned, the glory of the Sabbath DAY is only given to the seventh day, while the first day of the week is termed (like other common days) the first of the sabbath, Monday would be the second of the sabbath, Tuesday, the third of the sabbath, etc.
Page 91 "mia Sabbaton"
Whether they take this (mia sabbaton) for one of the Sabbaths, or the first of the Sabbaths, to be sure “tis not any one of the sanctified Sabbaths, instituted or authorized by the Lord our God, Father, Son or Spirit; neither can it be the first of the Sabbaths in their sense, for the seventh day was undeniably the first Sabbath. If they say it was the first individual Gospel Sabbath, then I suppose that first day in the 1 Cor. 16:1 may be the twentieth Sabbath (at least) and yet that also is (mia sabbaton)
As for the proper signification and sense of the word, it is the first of the week in English; for “sabbaton” is an Hebrew (not an English) word, and must be rendered week where ever it points at any time except the seventh day, or some ceremonial Sabbath) as the Pharisees vaunt shows (Luke 18:12) “(nçsteuô dis sabbaton) “I fast twice a Sabbath” that is, not twice in one day, but twice a week. The Evangelist fairly follows that form of expression used by the Septuagint, (which the Apostles more frequently observed then the Hebrew, as being more common amongst the Gentiles, where especially their work lay,) terming the week days, the first of the Sabbath, the second of the Sabbath, etc. instead of the heathen names of Sunday, Moon day, etc. which I hope may satisfy all such as had rather use scripture then heathen names.
Page 92 The Pattern in the Mount
As in the title of Psalm 24
(mia sabbaton) the first of the Sabbath or Week: Psalms 48 (deuteros sabbaton) the second of the Sabbath or Week, Psalms 94, (tetartos sabbaton) the fourth of the Sabbath, or the fourth of the Week etc. The Sabbath day is the peculiar honour given to seventh day alone, Luke 4:16, Acts 13:14 and 16:13 etc.
(Editor’s note: According to tradition, Ps. 24 was sung as part of the morning worship in the Temple on the first day of the week. This is suggested by the LXX which has for the heading to the psalm “A psalm of David, of the first day of the week.” (SDABC vol. 3, p.689) Psalm 94 the LXX has in the superscription the phrase, “for the fourth day of the week”. Ibid 847)
So that if we be followers of God as dear children, and take the blessed spirit for our guide in all our expressions and actions, we must honour the Sabbath with holy devotion, which he has so honoured; with highest Encomiums we must reverence that day above all days, in which he so gloriously descended upon the first pure Church solemnly assembled: If this be not the pattern showed Christians in the Mount, I desire them to show me some other pattern of some pure Church?? But if this be the undoubted pattern shown this blessed day in the Mount, then Christian look well to thy walk: See that thou make all things according to the Pattern shown thee in the Mount. (Heb 8:5)
And since the spirits appellation is a further approbation of the seventh day, which is the only day he honours with the royal name of Sabbath day; see thou presume not to call any day the Sabbath day
Page 93 Demon Days
but that which he has so called. See thou observe that for the Sabbath day, which he has so crowned. It is the presumption of the little Horn, not only to change times, but that this time of God’s solemn worship might be forever buried in oblivion, he has divested it of this royal appellation of the Sabbath day, and obscured its glory under the detestable name of Saturday, i.e. Saturn’s day, and so shows himself to be that Antichrist, mysteriously opposite to Christ, devoting that very day to the father of demons or chief of idolized devils, which our Lord has designed, owned, crowned and approved as his chief day for Gospel worship.
And truly Christians, the Holy Spirit would not that you should have fellowship with Devils (1 Cor. 10:20) Our English laws have somewhat lessened this impiety (wherein the secret hand of providence eminently appears in preserving the honourable memory of the seventh day Sabbath) for whereas the Heathenish names of Week’s days are still retained in the decrees of the highest courts, passed on the seventh day; the Acts have the proper appellation, Die Sabbati.
But ‘tis sad that such as so honour it with their pen, should profane it so openly in their practice.
Page 94 A Warning to Senators
And though Satan should prevail with them to become my persecutors, I cannot but in faithfulness remember them, that as their laws look for obedience, till by the same power that enacted them they shall be repealed; so it is most equal they should cease from profanation of this royal Law of Jehovah, till a repeal from the same power can be proved, or that the blessed spirit has in any way altered or changed it. How sad would a sentence of this import be, when ‘tis too late to reform? O thou Prince and Parliament! Out of thy own acts I will judge thee, who have recorded the seventh day “Die Sabbati” and yet have proclaimed thy chief Markets upon this my Sabbath. You profess it in words, but profane it in works; you honour it in your Laws, but shame it in your lives. Oh can it be hoped that a Josiah like spirit (2King 22) should set upon reformation instead of persecution, instead of penalties to begin with Sabbath practice. Is there no other way to confuse Sabbath Keepers, then by fine or imprisonments? Must Prelatical principles appear, after so many engagements and solemn protestations of liberty? Why yet here this remedy: The will of the Lord be done.
(Editor’s note: Tillim wrote this book while in prison because of his stand for the Sabbath)
And so I have done with my three first Proposals for the authority of this truth:
Page 95 Saints Observations
1. The Father’s Institution.
1. Whereunto the Saints’ observation, I have already made some entrance: As first the precious women’s practice after our Savior’s sufferings, when all ceremonies were abolished. “They rested the seventh day according to the commandment.” (Luke 23:56) And doubtless ‘tis a blessed thing to be found obedient to God’s Commandments.
2. It has been clearly and plainly shown that even after our Lord’s highest exaltation, the most glorious assembly of saints that ever the world saw was upon the seventh day Sabbath most exemplarily celebrated with prayer, preaching, baptizing, incorporating communicating, and all the eminently approved and sealed by the spirits miraculous and special grace in the conversion of thousands: such a day no age ever produced. Well may this day deserve the honour of a pattern (in the Mount) and to be exemplary to all posterity.
3. The great wisdom of God eminently shines in concealing the practice of the Apostles deputed to serve the Circumcision; since it must be acknowledged, that if the Apostle of the Gentiles (who was the great rejecter of ceremonies) did constantly celebrate
Page 96 Paul's Practice
the seventh day Sabbath, then much more those Apostles among the Jews whose forbearance was much even in ceremonials. The Gospel then being the Epitome of things most necessary, only presents us with Paul’s practice for our Christian pattern who expressly requires our conformity in these words, “Those things which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Phil. 4:9)
Here is a general injunction, which must be observed only with these limitation, that Paul’s practice be plain, possible, peaceable, Evangelical, and unrepealed, or else it binds not.
1. It must be plain, such as our Lord has promised to his lambs; we must take heed of philosophy and vain deceits of men who set up ordinances by consequences; and have some plain precepts or precedent for our practice; and such is the seventh day Sabbath. There is not a plainer precept in all the scripture, nor anything more plain then Paul’s practice herein, and therefore to be observed by saints who desire the presence of the God of peace. (John 16:25, 2 Cor. 3:12, Col. 2:8)
2. It must be possible’ for some things Paul practiced impossible for saints, as mighty miracles, travels, etc. But for the seventh day Sabbath
Page 97 Conditions of Conformity
Though flesh and blood think it a bondage to be detained a day from the dunghill, yet to the self denying Saint ‘tis a most pleasant season, and his soul can seal to it as an easy yoke , a light burden, a day exceeding a thousand, therefore in this Paul is to be followed.
3. His practice must be peaceable, if we tread in his steps, for Paul was but a man, and sometimes a very angry man, (Acts 15:39) his precept may possibly exceed his practice herein; “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all men; and let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” (Romans 12:18) Now the seventh day Sabbath is a day of rest and peace, which sweetly calms the perplexed Spirit; so that thus far we may freely follow Paul’s practice.
4. I must be Evangelical, for we may not follow Paul in his compliance with the Jews in ceremonials, no not to gain the Jews, (1 Cor. 9:20) and there let Paul pass into the Temple to purify himself with his Votaries, this is no president for me. But for the sacred seventh day Sabbath, as it was instituted before any ceremony was in the world, so was confirmed Evangelically by the Son of God, and by his holy spirit; and therefore in this Evangelical duty I shall attend Paul
Page 98 Christ and Paul
5. It must be unrepealed, if it oblige Saints for something Paul did which he himself after repealed, as the Circumcision of Timothy, (Acts 16:3, Gal. 5:1-3) which he solemnly declares to be utterly destructive to Christianity; and therefore waving that, let Christians conform to the Apostles practice of the seventh day Sabbath which is proved to be plain, possible, peaceable, truly Evangelical, and never in the least tittle repealed, or any way altered. And thus doing, we shall follow Paul as Paul followed Christ. For as it was undeniably Christ’s custom to celebrate the seventh day Sabbath, so it was Paul’s manner to observe the same day. The words are the same in the Greek both of Christ’s practice and Paul’s, the Penman is the same, and all the difference (English) is only this; Christ’s custom and Paul’s manner. Christ as his custom was went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16) And Paul as his manner was did the same thing (Acts 17:2) Christ preached, and Paul preached, and where lies the difference between Christ’s observation of the seventh day Sabbath and Paul’s observation of the seventh day Sabbath?
Page 99 Paul's Company
It is made a great argument for the observation of the first day that Paul once preached on the day, but it is as clearly declared (Acts 18:4) that Paul preached every Sabbath day, only the translators have not dealt so clearly; for in Acts 20:7 they tell us that Paul preached on the first day, but in Acts 18:4 they say Paul reasoned every Sabbath day, and yet the Greek word is the very same in both places.
Neither was this Paul’s single practice but the constant custom of all the Disciples that ever accompanied him. We find one companion with Paul (Acts 13:13,14 who solemnly observed the Sabbath in holy duties. Other associates he selects (Acts 15:40) and these celebrate the Sabbath Acts 16:13,17, and 17:1,2.
Thus we may follow Paul and his companions from place to place, and constantly find them observing the Seventh day Sabbath; and though he solemnly professed, He had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) yet this great slighter of ceremonies never gives the least hint of a change, which undoubtedly he would have done, had it been any way altered. No, he strictly requires all believers to follow his example as he followed Christ’s; and certainly, in the observation of the Sabbath, he
Page 100 Gentiles Glory
followed Christ as close as in any ordinance whatsoever.
There are conceits that Paul only took that opportunity to preach to the people.
Such as assert that Paul only observed the Sabbath among the Jews, and not as among the Gentiles, may be better informed. In Acts 18:4 and 13:42 where it is evident, “that when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath”. Here the Apostle had the fairest opportunity that possibly could be desired (in the Jews absence) to instruct the Gentiles in a first day Sabbath, if ever such a change had been intended; for why should public preaching be deterred till the next seventh day Sabbath (especially to the Gentiles) if the first day had been a Sabbath? The Apostles silence at this time and occasion, will not allow any rational conjecture of such an intention of a first day Sabbath.
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