Tillam, The Seventh-Day Sabbath
The Seventh-Day Sabbath

by Tho. Tillam


Introduction and pages 1-6
Pages 7-35
Pages 36-54
Pages 55-67
Pages 67-89
Pages 90-100
Pages 100-110
Pages 113-137
Pages 137-161
Pages 161-177
Pages 177-208



Page 101 "Metaxy" Measured

Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.

But here it is objected, that the Greek (eis metaxy sabbaton) signifies the week between or Sabbath between.

1. I demand between what? The fairest conjecture is, that the Gentiles might beseech Paul to preach the Sabbath between their desire and his departure; and without some such supposition, this translation of (metaxy) will scarce be good sense.
2. If we may rely on the scholarship of Arim Mentanus (who was a professed enemy to the seventh day Sabbath) he will tell us, the (sequens Sabbatum) the following Sabbath.
3. However, this is manifest, that the next Sabbath day Paul did preach, and either it was in answer to the request made, or else if the Gentiles desired him to preach to them on some week day, and yet the Apostle deferred it to the known Sabbath day, this will much more abundantly satisfy his special respect to the seventh day Sabbath.

So that beyond all contradictions the Apostle and the Christians with him did as constantly observe the seventh day Sabbath as Christ Himselfí and if none other ground

Page 102 Sabbath and Supper

(next to Godís command) be given as why they did so, but that we should be followers of Paul as he was of Christ, we must either press after our pattern, or resolve to rest in disobedience to so great a Commandment.

Me thinks ingenious saints should even read Christís confirmation of the seventh day Sabbath in the Apostleís practice, for undoubtedly such as Paulís constant custom was, such was his Commission. It was not only in the Lordís Supper that Paul delivered the same to the Church (by precept or president) which he received of the Lord; but his constancy was equal in observing the Lordís Sabbath as the Lordís Supper; and in requiring the same Church in the same chapter to follow him as he followed Christ in all things. (See 1 Cor. 11:1-2) There is a heavenly harmony between Christís commission, and Paulís custom, both in the observation of the Lordís Supper and the Lordís Sabbath.

And seeing it is so manifest that Paul and the saints with him did constantly observe the known seventh day Sabbath, both amongst Jews and Gentiles, and that the blessed Sprit give us none other reason of Paulís custom, but that we should be followers of that blessed Apostle even as he also was of Christ,

Page 103 Gentiles Pattern

Let us not coin or invent reasons (without book) of the Apostleís constant observation of the Sabbath, to justify our own profaneness, but bethink ourselves what we shall answer in the day of judgment when it shall be set fairly before us, that as it was Christís custom to observe the Sabbath, even so it was Paulís custom with his companions punctually to tread in the same steps; and since the spirit of truth never gave other reason why the Apostle did so, but that we should follow him as he followed Christ in this divine duty, which is so plain, possible, peaceable, evangelical, unrepealed.

Ah Christian, ask thy conscience if thou canst judge this a sufficient answer for thy weekly pollution of the seventh day Sabbath; that thou hadst thought Paul had only practised it to please the Jews when it will appear plainly that he did it purposely for a pattern to the Gentiles. That thou mayest be utterly silent, and forever left without excuse, take notice (if thy spirit be not too much prejudiced, and they heart hardened against this truth) that one of the fairest patterns of the Apostles (for Sabbath keeping) was set before these very Gentile Corinthians, whom he so strictly enjoins to follow him as he followed Christ.

Page 104 Primitive Practice

For in their famous city it was that the blessed man abode, and preached in the Synagogue EVERY Sabbath day, (Acts 18:1,3,4) and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. If any should contend that I term that preaching which is here translated ďreasoningĒ, let them mind, that the word is the very same which is rendered preaching in Acts 20:7. Well, to these Greeks he gives that pattern, which he commands them to follow, and truly Christian our best way will be to walk with them in the same narrow path to the New Jerusalem, especially seeing their Epistle is expressly directed to us, as well as to them.

Under this fourth point of the Saints observation of the seventh day Sabbath, next to the Apostleís constant custom, I shall offer the practice of the purest times, as the best antiquity affords. And in the first place that blessed Clement (whose name is written in the book of life-Phil 4:3) instructs us in that undoubted Epistle of his to the Corinthians, How God has ordered that oblations and other duties of worship, be preformed according to the APPOINTED SEASONS: not as it happens and disorderly but at SET TIMES and hours Ė they therefore that perform their oblation according to the APPOINTED TIMES are accepted and blessed. (First Epistle of Clement to Corinthians Chapter 40)

Page 105 Appointed Times

Here observe how this blessed Minister of Christ seconds the Apostle in labouring to reform that great disorder amongst the Corinthians, who came as they listed to the lordís Supper, some sooner, some later, whence sprang that confusion, transgression and woeful desolation amongst them. (1 Cor. 11:20-30)

Wherefore he informs them and us that our oblations (or sacrifices of praise) are not to be performed at our liberty, but that the Lord himself has ordered and appointed set times and hours, which undoubtedly is the sum of the Apostleís mighty charge to Timothy, That he should be instant in preaching in season, out of season. (2 Tim. 4:2) The holy Clement assures us, that in observing the appointed seasons we shall be accounted blessed.

Now what these appointed seasons and time are, that this great God has ordered his Saints should observe; the same elect vessel declares in these words; ďYou must keep holy the Sabbath in memory of the Creation, and the Lordís day in memory of Christís Resurrection.Ē Certainly this ancient Disciple of Paul did clearly understand these days to be ordered and appointed of the Lord: and since a

Page 106 Mystical Madness

person so assuredly sanctified would not deceive us, let us follow follow Clement also as he followed Paul, and not think two days time too much for our souls whiles we have more then twice as many for our bodies.

Another famous Disciple of the Apostles, and holy Martyr of Jesus, even Ignatius, teaches the very same doctrine in this Dialect: ďBut let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law,... And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection-day.Ē (Ignatius to Magn, ch. 9)

And the same holy man (ad Philip 13) shows his detestation of Sabbath pollution saying, ďIf any one shall keep a fast on the Lordís day or on the Sabbath day, let him be accursed.Ē

Certainly he that shows such indignation against those that pervert the Law of the Sabbath from a Feast to a Fast, would much more abominate those that turn it from spiritual delight to corporal labour.

Thus were these two appointed days honored in the Virgin state of the unspotted Spouse; like lovely twins or natural brethren; the one born at the Creation, the other at the Redemption of the world.

But in the third Century man took upon him to be more spiritual then his Maker and some parts began to be infected

Page 107 The Horn's Decree

with origins allegorical Divinity, taking liberty to profane the seventh day, under pretence of keeping a mystical Sabbath, by cessation from sin; while they lived in the manifest sin of slighting the Sabbath. So that the mystery of iniquity got ground by this mystical notion making way for the rising of the presumptuous little Horn, to change Times and laws, till at last he prevailed with the Emperor (abolishing the seventh day Sabbath) by a decree to establish the first day of the week, for the great holy day, appointing a form of Latin prayers to be used upon it. (Eusebius vit.Constant. 4:17)

And this was done the 330 year after our Redemption. But maugre this presumptuous decree, many precious Churches still devoted themselves both days to Godís honor, as is evident in that of Ambrose "Upon the next day (saith he) being the Sabbath, and after that on the Lord's day I will treat of the order to be used in prayer." (segr### l.4.c.6)

And I wish I could entreat all that read this holy resolution to resolve to walk in the same order, and reject those Romish abominations, as Rome rejected the Christian custom of saints, witnessed by Socrates four hundred years after Christ. ď Though (saith he) in manner all the churches throughout

Page 108 Sabbath communion

the world, do celebrate and receive the holy mysteries every Sabbath day, after other, yet the people inhabiting Alexandria and Rome, of an old tradition do not use it. The Egyptians adjoining to Alexandria, use to celebrate the communion upon the Sunday.Ē (Socrates Scholasticus Book.5 chp. 21 )

Here you may see how long the Saints honored Godís Sabbath, for the generality of Christians almost throughout the world, did then communicate in the highest mysteries of the body and blood of our Redeemer upon the Sabbath day, whiles only the apostatizing Church of Rome (with some few of her adherents, did communicate upon the Sunday so called.)

Now which of the examples we should follow, the good Lord help us to consider, though me thinks it might easily be determined, if we well the pattern in the Mount (where we find the first pure Church breaking bread upon the seventh day Sabbath. (Acts 2)

I may not omit another instance of the same authentic Author (404 years after Christ) who being one of the best Historians we can boast of, thus writes:

ďWherefore when the festival meeting throughout every week was come, I mean (saith he) the Saturday and the Sunday, upon which days the Christian are wont solemnly to assemble in the Church. (Socrates Scholasticus Book. 6. Chp 8)

Page 109 Ethiopian Glory

Since therefore this was the Saints customs through those purest times, even 400. years after Christ, why should not we also be followers of Christ and his Scripture Spouse with them? Especially, if we consider that unto this very day those Christians that have lived from under the power of Rome, do constantly celebrate both these days. It is the testimony of Isidorus Mercator, Heylin, and other Historians of good account that the Ethiopians do constantly observe both the Sabbath day, and the Lord's day, without doing any work, according to the ancient manner of the Christians. {Mercator hist. mun. p. 827.}

This Ethiopia is described to be as large as all the Empire of Germany with France and Italy, having threescore and ten Kingdoms tributary; their King is called Presbyter John, exercising both the Legal and Ministerial functions. It was their Queen who travelled so far to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and shall rise up in judgment to condemn such as wilfully refuse to wait upon the Lord of the Sabbath. To this people did Godís spirit punctually fulfil that royal prophecy, (Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God. Ps. 68.31) directing the Evangelist to instruct,

Page 110 Presbyter John

convert, and baptize the treasurer to another of the Queens, so that the noble Eunuch returning with joy into his own country ( Acts 8:16.17.35) (as their historians inform us) converted and baptized his Prince, who with joint endeavors spread the Gospel through those large territories, likely to abide in the faith of Christ until his second coming, according to the ancient Prophecy, Zeph 3:9,10..

And thus I have faithfully performed my task, in vindicating the ample authority of the seventh day Sabbath, as being

Instituted by the Father
Established by the Son
Approved by the Spirit, and
Observed by the Saints.

And if these will not prevail with Christians so called, to break off their weekly profanation of this sanctified Sabbath, I shall leave them to the righteous judgment of the great day; and for their sake who obtain the grace of self denial, to cast off their carnal encumbrances, and join with the ancient Gospel saints in observing the Sabbath, I shall now descend to the 4th part of my general Position: and as I have confirmed the Sabbathís authority, so I doubt not through Christ strengthening me to prove its perpetuity.