by Tho. Tillam
The Hebrew "Shabbat", signifies a cessation from common work, and where it is first found it is God’s rest, and the day for ever separated and consecrated for the honour of the Most High, in memorial of his most glorious works of Creation, the benefit whereof is extended even unto us, and morally engages us to the Religious Observation of it which can never be truly sanctified until all false rests be removed,
such as National customs, humane tradition, shady speculation (all which are but vain worship Matt 15:9) and as for natural or civil relations, carnal encumbrances, with those sensual pleasures which steal away the soul from God’s Sabbath, they are all but Egyptian reeds; and therefore let the Prophets alarm rouse up the self-denying Disciple from every deceit.
Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest, because it is polluted it shall destroy you with a sore destruction. (Micah 2:10)
And so taking up the Cross of Christ, with spouse like affections, enquire, as for the place, so for the Time of rest. Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at Noon. (Song Sol. 1:7) Observe, the Spouse of Christ enquires not only where, but when; not only for his flocks resting place (which is His bosom Isa. 40:11) but also for the Time, the rest at Noon; Christ has his Gospel seasons to fit in State; Meridian heights like the Sun in his circuit weekly returns to beam forth his grace to his beloved, which the Spirit terms, In Season.
I have heard of a silly shift to shuffle off God’s Sabbath, in making Christ the bolster of disobedience, unscriptural asserting that Christ is the Sabbath, thus confounding resting place with resting time.
Page 9 Three-fold Mystery
But as for this time of rest placed in the midst of the Royal Law, it is truly Moral and so termed, as Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are termed Sacraments, in distinction from inferior Ordinances, though neither of the terms Moral or Sacrament be found in Scripture.
The “Moralie” signifies belonging to manners, and therefore the ten Commandments are fitly termed Moral, as being indeed an exact rule of good manners, informing us how to demean ourselves toward God and men, and it is in all things equal, holy, just and good; yea and every way suitable to pure Nature and Grace, and though the Bishop see not a suitableness in the Sabbath to pure Adam, yet those who are better learned, can see it suitable to the glorious Creator; who in observing it, made himself a pattern to his Creature, and surely nothing can be more lovely and delightful to a person principled, then to follow his gracious God in a precedent so pleasant; Indeed Natures light as now ‘tis blurred and clouded is not capable of judging in the things of God, every man is naturally Popish, framing Idea’s of the Deity, setting up images of imaginations, ‘tis therefore most absurd to try the morality of the Second or of the Fourth Commandment at corrupt natures Tribunal. (1 Cor. 2:14)
But this threefold mystery may possibly add strength to the Sabbath Morality, if it be observed:
1. That innocent Adam had all the ten Commandments written in his heart, whiles his heart was flesh (Rom2)
He that sees not through this threefold mystery, depths of wisdom, with unsearchable riches of mercy, may well suspect an unchanged stony heart, whiles the renewed soul beholds the revived glory of God’s seventh-day Sabbath, as a Moral duty suitable to Adam in his pure nature, and good for Saints in the present state of grace, freely concurring with this conclusion touching the morality of a Law; That a moral Law is not merely good because commanded; but is therefore commanded because it is good;
Page 11 The Morality Vindicated
And such is the nature of the seventh day whereon God rested purely good, and therefore commanded; though depraved Nature cannot discern it.
As the nature of a moral Law doth thus confirm God’s Sabbath and none other; so the title of the moral Law, involves and secures the blessed day amongst the ten precepts, termed in Hebrew [ ] in Greek [ ] in English it has borrowed the title of Decalogue, or the Law of ten words or Commandments, all of equal honour and dignity; though Satan’s delusions have prevailed with licentious spirits to slight and censure one of the these ten Moral commands as ceremonial, and from hence to ascend even to blasphemy, in reckoning this Moral precept amongst beggarly Elements, and so charging the glorious God with the observation of a base Ceremony, since nothing is more certain then that the Highest Himself did both sanctify and celebrate the seventh-day Sabbath, and that before sin, and consequently before any need of a Saviour, or Ceremony shadowing him. As for the arguments leveled against the Morality of the Sabbath, they do most of them strike at the morality of the whole Decalogue.
Page 12 The Whole Man
For if the Sabbath be ceremonial because the Jews were obliged by their deliverance from Egypt to observe it; upon the same account the whole Decalogue is ceremonial, since they are laid under equal engagements to the whole Law; (Deut. 5:15) I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the Land of Egypt from the house of Servants, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me etc. (Exo 20)
Wherefore let such as are experienced of their greater deliverance from all the slavery of spiritual Egypt, religiously observe every jot and tittle of this Moral, holy, just spiritual Law, as spiritually as is possible and God will teach such sincere souls that ‘tis a strong delusion to talk of keeping that seventh day Sabbath spiritually, while ‘tis profaned literally.
“Tis true our Lord Jesus enjoined a more intrinsical and spiritual observation of the Decalogue, but withal he ratifieth and establisheth every tittle, he that dare be so deluded as to profane the Seventh day under pretence of keeping a spiritual Sabbath, dare not commit corporal uncleanness or murder under the like color of the spiritual observation of these Laws. The truth is, such consciences dare be bolder with God in robbing Him of holy time, then they dare be with Man in stealing his common goods.
Page 13 England's Engagements
Christian, thy Redeemer has obtained as well corporal as spiritual mercies for thee; Wherefore glorify thy God (in sanctifying his Sabbath with the whole Law) both with thy body and with thy Spirit which he hath purchased. (1 Cor. 6:20)
Such who study contention instead of obedience, labour to undermine the Morality of the Law from the promise (which they say was peculiar to Israel) of long life in the Land which the Lord they God giveth thee.
1. But first, this finites at the whole Law out of hatred to Gods seventh day Sabbath.
Page 14 Eden's Glory
Both in the Wilderness and in Babylon, yea and to the Gentile Proselytes in all Nations, (Acts 2:5) and ‘tis worthy our consideration how the Apostle render it. “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Eph. 6:2) Not land, but earth, that thou mayest live long on the earth; and so the word [ ] properly signifies. Thereby freeing obedient children from untimely death, and investing them with the comforts of life; Hence ‘tis manifest that both Jews and Gentiles are bound to improve their blessings unto obedience, and no longer endeavour to defile the whole Decalogue, rather than to set to the sanctification of God’s true Sabbath. (Ex. 21:15,17; Pro. 20:20; Mat. 15:4,6,9)
But the Sabbath has another fort of adversaries, who affect the whole Law’s morality, and yet plead the Sabbaths mutability (which scarce favours of rationality) And that the depraved creature may sin with an high hand, against the very place where first he sinned, he endeavors to divert Paradise of the glory of the Sabbath institution, boldly asserting that man’s sin was more ancient then God’s Sabbath. And this fancy is being fathered upon the Psalmist, whence ‘tis asserted, That Adam being in honour did not abide a night (Psa,49;12) therefore his sin prevented the Sabbath.
Page 15 The Sabbaths Antiquity
[Added note – KJV and other modern Bibles omit the phrase “a night” though the word “luwn” h3885 can mean “abide the night”]]
But the text is abused. Man’s honor shall not abide a night, that is, such as the context mentions, that trust in their wealth etc. But He shall go to the generation of his fathers they shall never see the light; (Ps. 49:19) this cannot be applied to Adam, unless the Preacher of Peter’s Colchester, or some of the same fancy (whom I would modestly provoke to a reply) can show what fathers Adam could go to.
But to prove that the Sabbath was instituted before sin, and consequently no ceremony leading to a Savior, take notice that man (the last and best piece of the visible creation) yea and Angels also stood in their integrity with the closure of the sixth day, for then all things were very good. (Gen. 1:31, Job 38:7)
And no sooner did the sixth day end, and the seventh begin, but God rested, sanctified, and celebrated his holy Sabbath, in which he was refreshed, or exceedingly well satisfied with the goodness of all his creature. This must needs precede sin,, by which the creatures became very bad. (Ex. 31:17)
Some time must be allowed for the sin of Angels, and after that for the parley with the woman; It was no little space wherein Adam gave significant names to every creature one by one.
Page 16 Sin Against Light
But enough is shewed of the Sabbaths precedence of sin, and so for the vanishing of this invention.
But ‘tis further objected (though faintly) that Adam having no servants etc. was not in a capacity of keeping the fourth Commandment.
This is such a shift that it opens the door of licentiousness too wide for all persons that have no servants, rich Citizens that use no cattle etc. So that God’s first, and mans best and most delightful Law for spiritual solace, shines in full glory out of Paradise and though the decayed Prelates would render it improper for pure Adam, yet since ‘twas observed by the pure God, and declared by Christ to be made for Man (Mar. 2:27) doubtless if Adam were a man ‘twas made for him. Yea and for all his posterity that bare the image of God, and are called Man or Woman.
The first invention thus failing and no possibility of expelling the Sabbath out of Paradise, a second design is endeavored, Viz, to confine this royal Law within the precincts of Palestine, as a legal ceremony peculiar to the Jews. This was the account given of a pretended conference at Peters Colchester, where they were careful to prevent opposition, by continued dictates far differing from the nature of a conference.
Page 17 The Saints Sign
The Person chiefly engaged was a Tradesman, a sad Omen to the decayed Clergy, who silently admired his invention whiles he opposed his own New England principles, manifestly sinning against his light, in rendering the Sabbath ceremonial, because given to the Jews for a sign; over whose deplorable condition New England thus laments.
“It may affect one’s heart with great mourning to see the many inventions of men’s hearts to blot out this remembrance of the Sabbath day; they first cast it out of paradise, and shut it out of the world until Moses time, when in Moses time ‘tis published as Law, and crowned in the same manner as all Moral Laws, yet then they make it to be but a ceremonial Law, continuing only till the coming of Christ Jesus.
Thus New England mourns over such impieties, and ‘tis cause of grief indeed, that one of their own professed Members should so openly oppose their impregnable doctrine of the morality of the Sabbath.
It is truth that the Sabbath was given to the Jews for a sign and so was Christ himself (Ex. 31:13, Isa. 7:14; Eze. 2:11,34) but it follows not that either Sabbath or Savior must be therefore ceremonial. The Saints
are set for signs, so is the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:13, Is. 8:18) Yea for the very same sign as the Sabbath is, viz. That you may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you (Eze 20:12,20) There the same honour is put upon the Sabbath, as upon the Holy Spirit; yea let the self denying Disciple know, that in the conscientious observance of God’s Sabbath, he shall not long want for the blessed sign of God’s sanctifying presence.
The Sabbath is indeed a sign of good things formerly produced, at the world’s creation, or else of good things at present enjoyed, as God’s sanctifying grace; but never was it set for a sign of good things to come, like the ceremonial Sabbaths. (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:13 Comp.. Col 3:17 with Luke 4:18,19, 21 Deut. 6:5-8,13, 18; Mat 22:17) I might here retort the vaunting language of the Preacher of Peter’s (of cutting off Goliaths head with his own sword) for if the Morality of the Sabbath cease by being a sign to the Jews in their generations upon the same account must the whole Law cease to be Moral, since Gods Spirit has set it also for such a sign.
Thus while vain man finds out inventions to slight God’s Sabbath, as a Jewish ceremony because it was given to that people as a sign, he rejects the Holy Spirit, Scriptures, Christ and all, as so many Jewish ceremonies.
Page 19 Sabbath Slighters Snared
Neither is it possible to escape the Dilemma by saying that the Sabbath is Moral, but the seventh day Ceremonial, for though the seventh day and Sabbath be terms convertible in the fourth Commandment, yet even in the place mentioned the term seventh day is not set for the sign, but the term Sabbath.
That if we observe the Jews Sabbath we must also offer the Jews sacrifices.
1. New England Divinity might have instructed him. But if sacrifices could make the Sabbath ceremonial, then they may make that day and every day ceremonial, but sacrifices make not the Sabbath ceremonial, therefore not the day.
When these fancies fail and the Sabbath can neither be expelled from Paradise, nor confined to Canaan, a third invention is found,
Page 20 Christ Traduced (Disgraced)
to make Christ a bolster to disobedience, by proclaiming him a Sabbath breaker. Who never transgressed, no not a tittle of God’s Law; for had he failed of the smallest service, he could never have been the Savior of the world. God must have a Lamb without spot of blemish.
The charge brought against Christ is
If the Pharisees were righteous over much [Eccl 7:16] (who had so deeply suffered for slighting the Sabbath formerly Eze. 20:13) shall the Lord of the Sabbath be censured for allowing that to his hungry Disciples, which even the hypocrites themselves did not deny their beasts? That is, necessary food.
If Professors are not ashamed to join with Scribes and Pharisees in censoring our Savior as a Sabbath-breaker, yet let not these continue bold, while Christ’s words make the others blush. (Luke 13:17)
And while our Advocate performs his office in pleading the cause of his Disciples, let Christians learn to content themselves (by the Apostles examples) with a slender Sabbath days Dinner,
Page 21 Sure Sustenance
rather than profane the sanctified season to make provision for their perishing bodies. Trust to his word who hath promised to such as first seek His kingdom, that all things needful shall be supplied, he will never leave thee nor forsake thee, (Matt. 6:35) but rather then fail, he will put forth a breath of His Divinity to feed thee, who dost faithfully follow him. Wherefore resolve to serve him, though He feed thee but ears of corn; and this also be grudged by superstitious Pharisees.
A second charge jointly brought by the hypocrites of old, and present Professors against our innocent Savior, is about the Cripples miraculous cure, and carrying his bed on the Sabbath. Whereas they were no more capable of understanding the supposed violated Scripture, then of discerning the person they quarreled with.
The scope of the scriptures is only to restrain traffic and travel for gain in our ordinary callings, but not to obstruct any work simply for God’s glory and spiritual profit; neither did the man transgress any letter of the Law, for ‘tis Thy work the Law forbids, but this was properly the Lords work to confirm the miracle wrought upon a helpless and almost hopeless creature.
Page 22 Lawful Liberty
The Word of God freely allows bearing of Burdens for His own honour even on the Sabbath, as in Circumcision (John 7:23) and Sacrifices, in the miraculous taking of Jericho ,(Joshua 6:2) and in war. (1 Kin 20:28,29) And so far was our dear Redeemer from slighting the Sabbath that he singled out that Sanctified season to honour it with his chief miracles. God’s Spirit enjoins exact obedience to those truths that were confirmed by miracles, (Heb. 2:1-4) and as the woes pronounced against those ungrateful cities where his chief miracles were wrought, so it will be sad for such as will persist in slighting the holy Sabbath which he hath so eminently surrounded with his wonders.
After labour hath been spent in vain to fasten some defamation on the Lord of the Sabbath, the next invention is to fall upon his servants. And first they seek some shelter for Sabbath breaking from the Apostles words; One Man esteemeth one day above another; Another esteemeth every day alike. (Rom. 14:5)
The Apostle does not here expose God’s moral Sabbath to our censure, or to be esteemed or not esteemed as we please; for he had before firmly established the moral Law and cannot be thought to destroy what he has settled in the same epistle. (Romans 3:31) Only in meats and days ceremonial, he leaves weaklings to liberty.
Page 23 The Apostles Impleaded
For since Christ has taken down the wall of partition, the persons places, meats and days which did support it are all level’d but the seventh day Sabbath was instituted long before that partition wall was raised. So that is not in our liberty to esteem it as we please, for God himself has made it holy and so esteems it whether we do or not.
He cannot here condemn the observing of all days since Fasting and Feasting days are approved by Christ and his Church, only weak and beggarly seasons are condemned. If any dare be so bold to reproach the seventh day Sabbath (instituted and observed by God Himself) as weak and beggarly elements, at his peril be it. “Tis a royal Law, and will be the joy of a royal people.
A third argument aspersing the Apostles, is raised from Col. 2:16,17. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of part of a Feast, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.
Page 24 Apostles Vindicated
Here at first sight ‘tis evident that only such Sabbaths are ceased, as were a shadow of good things to come But the seventh day was never such a Sabbath; a sign indeed of good things past, and present, as is already shewed, but never termed a shadow of things to come.
The blessed Spirit by two other terms declares clearly what Sabbaths are ceased; 1. Such as were against us, 2. Contrary to us; and such were those annual Sabbaths, requiring great labour and travel in coming three times a year from all parts to Jerusalem, far from the sweet rest which the fourth Commandment enjoins upon the seventh day Sabbath, which never was in the least against us, or any way contrary to us, and therefore not here intended, though the Prelates by perverting the text would involve it; for unto the Greek [ ] (which only signifieth Sabbaths) they have deceitfully added [days] to the Text, as though there were no other Sabbaths but the Sabbath day, whereas the seventh year was also a Sabbath, and the seventh, seventh, the great ceremonial Sabbath or Jubilee.
And whereas by this bold and absurd addition some would cast off the seventh day as ceremonial, who yet plead strongly for the morality of the Sabbath, it is very considerable that this text touches not the Day at all, but the Duty,
Page 25 Seventh Day No Shadow
that is, the Sabbath, which even many enemies of the seventh day confess to be moral. Evidently it is, that as the seventh day points out the time of worship, so the Sabbath denotes the worship itself, and the Apostle mentions not the day or time as a shadow, but the Sabbaths; and so if anything in the fourth Commandment were a shadow of Christ, it must be only the Rest, which is the duty, and not the Time which is the seventh day.
As warrantably may they reject the moral Law upon the expression of the Law being changed as the seventh day upon this word of Sabbath being a shadow. We may as well distinguish of Sabbaths in this place as Laws in that.
Mr. Aspinwal pretends to reform the Bishops abuse of this Col. 2 and translates it rightly [Sabbaths] but renders the words “a Feast” which he knows is only part of a Feast; and from hence takes liberty (p.4) to descant upon Feasts, contrary to the words. Well, after all attempts the 7thh day Sabbath remains a glorious lively Oracle to Christians, it is no base ceremony, or beggarly rudiment, for God Himself observed it, and with his own voice with great Majesty enjoined and recorded it amongst the rest of his royal perpetual precepts; it requireth no toil nor trouble (like the ceremonial Sabbaths)
Page 26 Sabbath Sweets
but lovingly releases man from his labours. It is no way against us, or contrary to us, unless we be against God, and contrary to those heavenly Spirits, who prefer on day in God’s Courts before a thousand, in that dunghill drudgery wherein earthy, carnal, base-born muck worms delight to be toiling and moiling in this bewitching world.
It mounts the Dove-like Spouse from earth to heaven, where she obtains a taste of her eternal glory, dwelling this day in her Beloveds bosom, sweetly reposing her weather beaten Vessel (in this shining season of noon tide Rest) in the very arms of Christ. These are undeniably the sweet enjoyments, and soul-ravishing delights which this Royal Sabbath of Jehovah opens to the sincere obedient soul, and therefore only to be slighted by such, as observing lying vanities, forsake their own mercies. When restless Spirits find their fancies frustrate and that they have only wearied themselves with these inventions.
1. To expel the glorious Sabbath out of Paradise
Page 27 Dreadful Delusient
And finding the Sabbath’s luster breaking through these foggy inventions, Satan the Prince of darkness, transforming himself into an Angel of Light, furnishes them with the last invention, under the most specious pretence of a spiritual Sabbath, to live in the weekly pollution of that blessed day which the Father of Spirits has appointed for the inlet of all spiritual sweets into the soul.
And the poor deceived Notionists, forgetting how the serpent beguiled Eve ( 2 Cor. 11:2,3, Gen. 3:5) through his subtility (under the very same bait of disobedience to God’s Commands promising most glorious Spiritual enjoyments) are so transformed with the glistering Alchemy of his sublime airy notions, that away goes all the tried Gold of the Law and the Testimony; and now no duties will down with these lawless Libertines , but all their devotion lies buried in the abyss of pretended Spiritual prayer, spiritual singing, spiritual fasting,, spiritual feasting, spiritual baptism, spiritual supper, spiritual Sabbath, leaving all literal obedience as too low for their bewitched fancies, as if Christ and primitive Christians were not as spiritual in obedience to these literal commands, as any of these pretenders; who notwithstanding all their boasted high attainments are most of them deeply drenched in earthly Dens:
Page 28 The Spring of Profaneness
while they promise liberty to others, many of themselves are the servants of corruption. (2 Peter 2:19)
Page 29 Revenge on Rebels
Being thus confounded with the contradictions of such as assert the Sabbath to be moral and yet mutable and withal blinded by Satan’s baits to construe all Scripture according to his custom (promising spiritual blessings upon literal disobedience) [Gen. 3:4,5 Matt. 4:4-6] they now endeavour to support their deceits by slandering our Saviors first Sermon; [Matt.5 ] (as if his prohibition of spiritual adultery, opened a gap to corporeal uncleanness, (which this principle has even hurried many to practice;) whereas the great Expositor detecting and detesting that Pharisaical outside service, then in esteem for true Religion, binds us over to spiritual obedience, without destroying one jot or tittle of the Law; severely threatening such as should transgress the least of those statutes. [Matt. 5:19]
And yet these deceived fools fear not to break all bands and bounds, so that they may drive on in disobedience without sense of sin; for where no Law is, there is no sin; and where no sin is, there can be no Savior; and where no Savior, no possibility of salvation, which they shall find too true that leave God’s moral Law, or put away or deprave any part thereof. They shall find, that if God’s Law be nothing to them, God himself will be nothing to them, but a severe Judge to condemn them by that Law they refused to rule their lives by.
Page 30 The Danger of Delusion
Sad will the sight of this sentence be to deceived souls in that dreadful day, (when Books and hearts shall be opened). Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of their God: [Isa. 30:8-9]
And whereas ‘tis objected that our Lord has fulfilled the Law; and that indeed one jot or tittle might not pass till he had fulfilled it, but that we need not no fulfill it –
Let such know, that ‘tis no more lawful now then before to be unclean, lie, steal, or covet; ‘tis as unlawful now as ever to blaspheme, make, or worship images, and it will one day be found as sinful now as ever it was, to slight God’s sanctified seventh-day Sabbath which Christ fulfilled; he fulfilled Baptism, and so must we; he observed his Supper, and so must we; he sanctified the seventh day Sabbath (and established it forever) and therefore so must we.
As to that objection that Christ mentions not the Sabbath in his Sermon, and therefore it may be neglected;
Page 31 Types Tried
Wherefore take heed of disobedience under pretence of spirituality. That principle which now prompts you to the weekly profanation of the Lord’s Sabbath will lead you by insensible degrees to as light esteem of the Lord’s Supper; and under a pretence of praying continually; force you from family prayer as formality. Christ delights in his Doves voice, and surely our voice is not too good for God, neither is man more spiritual then his Maker; he that made us prays often for us both with heart and voice, and so taught us to pray; and so he observed God’s seventh-day Sabbath both literally and spiritually, and left us an example that we should follow his steps in all Moral actions.
Some Sabbath slighters would fain affix a Type to the Sabbath, but are pitifully puzzled how to bring it to pass. One would have it a type of our Rest in Christ; but for want of Scripture this conceit is cashiered.
A second supposes, that the sacrifices annexed to the Sabbath made it typical upon which account every day must be typical, since sacrifices were enjoined every day.
A third thinks the Sabbath may be a type of Christ lying in the grave, but instead of maybes I shall prove in its place; that his rest in the grave on the Sabbath confirms this Law to Christians.
Page 32 The Day of Glory
A fourth confesses, ‘tis very difficult to find out this supposed typicalness and yet adventures to affix the deliverance out of Egypt to the Sabbath, as a type of our deliverance by Christ; but every babe in Christ, at first blush beholds the very same deliverance affixed upon the front of the ten Commandments, which manifestly proves the Sabbath as free from being typical, as any other part of the Law.
A fifth (with whom my spirit joins) finding that the Sabbath was never any type of Christ, is persuaded if it were typical, it be such only since Christ, and that not Moses, but Paul makes it typical of that glorious Rest day which saints shall enjoy with Christ a thousand years, that as the weekly labour of six days ends in a rest day of grace, so the worlds 6000 years travel shall terminate in a Rest day in glory.
Now although I judge that as marriage (ordained in Paradise) is not a type but a similitude of Christ, so the Sabbath (of the same descent) does rather resemble then type out that Rest; yet I shall not contend but rather conclude that if the seventh day Sabbath be typical of that expected happy Rest then of necessity, the type must remain until it shall be swallowed up of the glorious Anti-type.
Page 33 Mercyless Opinions
A sixth (in the middle of such uncertainties) conceives the Sabbath may be typical of the Gospel of day of Grace.
But what an absurdity would this conceit put upon our Savior, as if he should direct his Disciples to pray, Then their flight might not be in the Winter nor on the Sabbath day of grace; (Matt. 24:20) i.e. that they might not flee at all, when as yet he had commanded them to flee.
Q. If the day of grace be our enjoined Sabbath, then we must be sure as long as the Gospel lasts to do no servile work according to the Commandment; but here it’s also conceived, that the works now prohibited are our sins.
Answ. The Law did no less prohibit sin then the Gospel.
Q. This conceit supposes God thus commanded: six days (of the Law’s duration) thou shalt or mayest labour and do all thy work of sin, but the day of grace is the Sabbath, in it thou shalt not sin, thou, thy son (which is extremely absurd) thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. Either this opinion must reject the rest of the fourth Commandment as it does
the seventh day, or else it puts itself upon more than an Egyptian task to keep his Son, Servants and strangers from sin. As for the poor cattle, they are incapable of such a rest as cessation from sin; and the merciless Notionist is reasoning them out of that natural rest wherewith the merciful God has privileged them. So that if there be no rest required but from sin, the poor bruits may rue the time of Christ’s coming into the world, ‘twere well for them that Peter had prevailed to build Tabernacles, that they might have still enjoyed the good days of Moses. As for English servants, their condition would be little different from Turkish slaves, so that they might well bewail MESSIAH’s birth should this opinion prevail, for the boundless desires of earthly minded Masters would seldom be weary of the way of getting wealth; neither would their pretended spirituality dictate what day to spare their wearied servants. Instead of the Angel’s good tidings of great joy to all people. Servants would soon cry out sad tidings of great sorrow, to be thus deprived of the happy rest for soul and body, and constrained to toil and travel on the Sabbath.
Page 35 Sad Absurdities
Thus by Origen’s allegorical Divinity, (making cessation from sin the only Gospel Sabbath) the letter of God’s law (which calls for corporal rest and spiritual service) is perverted, Christ’s Sermon abused, the Royal Sabbath (like a typical ceremony) rejected, the poor brutes wearied, servants defrauded, and manifold absurdities introduced; to the great dishonor of the great Law-giver, and grievous sin of such as assert the only Sabbath is to abstain from sin, which that soul shall do indeed who abstains from labour on God’s Sabbath, servile work being the know sin of the fourth Commandment.
Cease from thy shallow conceits thou deluded slighter of holy Sabbaths. The Saints day of eternal cessation from sin and sorrow is not yet come, we see Babylon yet in being, the Jews uncalled, all the earth in confusion; the day of peace is indeed approaching, when such only as are found in ways of obedience, shall enter in by the gate to the glorious City of everlasting Rest.
Thus having through Divine aid vindicated the Sabbath’s morality from those inventions and aspersions raised against it; I shall now proceed to the second part in the Position