by Tho. Tillam
This royal Law was unto Israel a severe School-master, and strict husband (Gal. 4;3), requiring exact and punctual obedience, and denouncing dreadful curses upon the least transgression. But Christ having drawn out that terrible sting, and turned it from a fiery Serpent to a friendly Scepter, thereby measuring the Temple, the Altar, and them that worship therein, (Rev. 11:1,2) it is now the joy and solace of a sanctified soul, Thy rod, thy staff shall comfort me. (Ps. 23)
Page 178/148 Beauty and Bands
As a staff of Beauty it directs the new creature to obedience, (Zech. 11:14).
As a staff of Bands, it only engages as a rule of Righteousness, shewing our defects, that we may see our need of a Saviour: The thunders of Sinai, the blackness, darkness, and terrible trumpet, are now by Christ so sweetened, that all it can speak or say to Saints, is, If ye fulfill the Royal Law, according to the Scripture, ye shall do well. (James 1:8).
But what if we should fail of fulfilling it, through human frailty? Why if any man sin we have an advocate with the father. (1John 2:1)
Well may we say here is an easy yoke, a light burden indeed! , and yet too hard and heavy for Ranters, Quakers, Notionists, Antimonians, etc. who (though contrary to each other) will not admit of the royal Law, no not as a rule of righteousness, but pervert the Scripture, which says the Law was not made for a righteous man, and Pharisee like concluding themselves righteous, they utterly reject the precious Law of God, as not made for them (1Tim. 1:9; Luke 16:15),
Page 179/149 The Righteous Rule
To which I answer:
2. In the very same Scripture from whence this objection is made, it is manifest, That the Law is good, and to be used by Saints if they use it lawfully. Now the Objectors will not use it at all, but though it be proclaimed a good law, a holy, just, spiritual Law, yet they will have none of it; but will join with Antichrist in breaking bands asunder, and casting away Christ's cords from them (Ps. 2), after he has told them, that whosoever breaks and teaches to break the least of these lively Oracles given unto us shall be least in the Kingdom, I shall leave these Libertines to their lusts, and shew the orderly Saints how this good Law may be lawfully used, and how it is not made for a righteous man.
Page 180/150 The Laws Lawfulness
1. It is not made for a righteous man in Christ, as a ministration of condemnation, For there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2Cor. 3:9; Rom. 8:1).
2. It is not a covenant binding us to obedience without any ability given to obey, for we are now delivered from the Law, that being dead, wherein we were held (is a covenant) that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the Letter, he does not undervalue the letter of the Law (no not the least point or tittle) but reject the oldness of the Letter as a covenant. (Romans 7:6 )
3. The Law is not a foundation for our faith, it is neither under us, nor over us, we are not under the Law, but under grace, neither are we above the Law, except we belong to that Lawless one. As we must not reject the least point of the Law, unless we would be least in the Kingdom of God, neither must we rest upon the greatest duty of the Law, (no nor of the Gospel) since all rests short of Christ, are but Egyptian Reeds. (Gal. 3:12; Rom. 6:14; 8:3; 2Thes. 2; 1Cor. 3:11,12)
Page 381/151 Christ Our Only Righteousness
4. The Law is not made for the righteous man to give him life, or righteousness, But Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to all them that believe; He saies not that Christ is the end of the Law, but that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness, for the Law can neither give us life, nor righteousness, but Christ is made unto us of God, Wisdom and Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, in none of these respects is the law made for a righteous man, and yet we know the Law is good and may and must be used lawfully, (Gal. 3:11; 1Cor. 1:30).
Then it is utterly unlawful to destroy one Letter of the Law under a pretense of worshipping God in spirit, he that worships God in spirit must worship him also in truth by the Law of truth, it is a strong delusion for Papists to say they know God is a spirit, whiles they make his image, it is absurd to say we keep our hearts in the Spirit, if we transgress the letter, and commit corporal Fornication; it is no less ridiculous to assert we keep the Sabbath in the spirit whiles we live in the weekly pollution of the Letter.
Page 182/152 The New Creatures Rule
The lawful use of the Law is,
1. To make known sin to the most righteous soul, for faith that excellent Apostle, I had not known sin, but by the law; if there be no Law, there can be no sin, if there be no sin there is no Saviour for such a Soul, (Rom. 7:7; 4:15; Mt. 9:13,2; Isa. 8:20; Gal. 6:15,16; 5:6; 1Cor. 7:19,1; Joh. 5:3; ).
The good law of God is to the righteous man a perfect Law of liberty. As first it would be such a bondage to bow to any other God; that with the three children, the saint would rather be bound like a faggot for the fire.
2. Should he be confined to Spain or Italy, his spirit would be perplexed like Paul's, to see their abominable idolatry. O! what a righteous rule? O! what a Law of Liberty is that which calls the soul from the bondage of Babylon in breaking the second commandment (Acts 17:8,10,19)? And alas what a bondage is it to his blessed soul, to hear the third royal Law broken by Blasphemers, his flesh trembles, his hairs stand an end, his heart and soul is wounded to hear the name of God blasphemed.
Page 383 The Law of Liberty
But when he gets among righteous men and women walking by his most righteous rule, why he is out of prison and at perfect liberty, though his feet were ever so fast in the stocks.
But amongst all God's royal Laws none sets the righteous souls more at liberty then the fourth lively oracle, which therefore he cannot but esteem as his blessed Legacy. O how the setting of the sixth days sun comforts his soul! why now he is called (regularly) to cast off his carnal encumbrances, and to meet with his fellow citizens assembling to celebrate the seventh day sabbath which God has sanctified. Now he shall rest at noon in his beloved's bosom and get up two or three rounds more of Jacob's ladder towards new Jerusalem.
Here is the perfect Law of liberty, here is the righteous rule of a Christian, here is the lawful use of the good Law for a righteous man, who is the person, for whom the sabbath was specially made, which is
I have already fully shewed that the sabbath was made for Man, and it is evident that in the first institution it was made for righteous Man. Adam was not only Man but good man, upright Man, when the sabbath was made for him.
The proud Prelates have indeed confessed that Adam was then a righteous man, but they would persuade their proselytes, that the sabbath was not suitable for pure Adam, and that he had no need of the sabbath in the state of innocency. But surely every saint can see (further then such blind guides) that the sabbath was as suitable and needful for the pure creature, as for the transcendently pure Creator; neither can it enter into a wise man heart, that Adam should be dressing his garden, upon the seventh day, when God was sanctifying his holy sabbath when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, (Job 38:7; Eph. 5:1); certainly if Adam were a follower of God as a dear child, he then kept sabbath with his father.
2. When God dispensed his sabbath upon Sinai, it was to righteous Israel, and when they degenerated, the Lord did even abhor their sabbaths and services.
Page 185/145 Sabbath and Supper
3. When this lively oracle (with the rest) was given unto us, it was intended to righteous Stephen and all his fellows. The sabbath is certainly designed for the same persons to whom the supper is enjoined; Our Lord tells us that his sabbath was made for `andropos' man and woman, and the same Lord puts `andropos' man and woman upon the celebration of his supper: they both belong to the same persons, (Mk. 2:28; 1Cor. 1:28). Not but that the vilest men in the world are bound to observe the sabbath, the pollution whereof shall increase their damnation, for though man has lost his ability to obey, yet God has not lost authority to command.
The Sabbath is a precept as ancient and universal as marriage: both made for Adam a public person, and for all his posterity. But none can (though all should) sanctify the Sabbath, save Christ's Disciples: who are redeemed from earthly interests and brought out of Babylon (Rev. 14:4,12; 12:12,17); these in these last days has God designed to build the old waste places to raise up the foundations (that Antichrist has destroyed) of many generations to repair the breach, and restore paths to dwell in, by turning the foot (of transgression) from (any further pollution of) the sabbath (Isai. 57:12,13). This is a generation work, here is royal service for enlightened souls. Glorious work for such only as get victory over the Beast his image and his mark, viz. THE CHANGE OF TIMES AND LAWS.
Page 186/156 Saints Victory
Objection 1: But had not our Godly Fathers victory over the Beast his Image, and his mark?
Answer: They have worthily performed the work of their generation in their courageous renouncing the Beasts detestable Decalogues, and restoring the ten lively oracles to their ancient glory, that all might hear in their own language the royal Law of the Lord.
They have most gallantly contended with the proud image of the Beast for the morality of the Sabbath, like so many Davids preparing materials for the royal building, and some of them with a prophetic spirit have foreseen and foretold glorious things such as themselves never knew (as Mr. Rogers of Dedham, etc.), but now when those glorious things are in view (by the discovery of the beasts mark) the great admirers of our fathers are become the greatest opposers of their glorious predictions.
Page 187/157 Patriarchís Practice
Objection 2: But we hear nothing of the Patriarchs keeping Sabbath, or reproof for Sabbath profanation, before the Law at Sinai.
b) If the old World did [as its likely] profane the seventh day sabbath, no wonder God poured the deluge upon them on the seventh day, as is evident in the margin of our Bibles, (Gen. 7:10).
c) It is probable that Enoch walked with God, so as to please him; or that Noah should be esteemed righteous, or that Abraham should be recorded for one who kept God's commandments, his statutes and his Laws; unselfishly observed his sanctified sabbath which was undoubtedly one of God's commandments, [Gen. 5:22, 29; 7:1; 26:5)
d) If they were sabbath breakers, and were without reproof, yet does it not follow that the sabbath had then lost its authority any more then marriage, which was in full force from the beginning, although the Patriarchs transgressed, but were not reproved. God's Laws do not stand or fall, as man either keeps them or is reproved for the transgression. But whether man observe them or not, the moral Laws of God are still in force.
Page 188/158 Primitive Reproof
Objection 3: It is further objected, That Gospel Saints are not reproved, or admonished about the Sabbath, as probably they would, had it been a duty incumbent upon them.
b) Had any of the Christians profaned the sabbath doubtless the priests and legal professors (the were so hot about ceremonies (Acts 21:27,28)) would have made the World ring with their clamours. The Priests universal silence, a notable Argument that Christians kept the seventh day sabbath, they that made such noise against Christ, for doing what was lawful on the sabbath-day would not have spared Christians, had they done any thing unlawful.
d) But if a doubting Thomas Didymus will not believe unless he see the print of some admonition to Christians about the Sabbath, lo, the spirit condescends, and upon serious search we shall find Christians admonished to beware of Sabbath pollution, for the Apostle presents the Christians at Corinth (1Cor. 6:10-12) , with several instances of Israel's miseries in the wilderness, and plainly declares, That all these things happened unto them for our ensamples, and are written for our admonition? therefore it behooves us to search the Scriptures for the cause of their calamity (Eze. 20:13), and in searching we shall find that the special cause of all their plagues was sabbath profanation (as I have already proved by another warning appeal to professors out of Hebr. 3 and 4). Well Christians, if Israel be set for our ensample, and their sad story be written for our admonition, as is plain, then let us be warned that we partake not of their sins, least we partake of their plagues, wherewith they were destroyed in the Wilderness, and afterwards captivated in Babylon, as godly Nehemiah sadly bewails, setting forth the special cause of both to be Sabbath-breaking (Neh. 9:14,15; 13:17,18).
Page 190/160 Sabbath Breakerís Judgment
And therefore let this be a seasonable warning to all that fear the Lord, that they no longer provoke him with Israel's Sabbath pollution, lest they bring Israel's punishment upon themselves, for God will at length wound the hairy scalp of such as go on in their wickedness after warning (Ps. 64:2).
Objection 4: It is objected, That God does not plague Sabbath breakers, but has poured down judgment upon such as have slighted the first day.
Answer: a) It is true, God does wonderfully forbear Sabbath breakers, it is his great goodness to wink at persons in the days of their ignorance; but shall the delay of his judgments, set thy heart fully to do evil? Because God is so patient, art thou resolved to be still profane? build upon it, That after a Seal is opened, and God's trumpet proclaims the truth, and gives warning, the next to be expected, is the outpouring of a vial of wrath.
Page 191/161 Hypocrites discovered
b) If any human testimony be produced of Judgments upon the first day, we have both human and divine, of high displeasure of seventh-day sabbath breakers.
As for Divine vengeance poured forth by Scripture, proof enough has been shewed for our ensample and admonition to which this may be added, that as the cause of Israel's desolation (Lev. 26:33-36; 2Cor. 12:21) for one generation was Sabbath pollution; so the grand cause of the woeful desolations for many generations (in treading underfoot the Temple, the Altar, and Worshippers) was the little horns presumption, in changing the Saints time and laws, (Rev. 11:2; Dan. 7:25). Here are Judgments with a witness and now the only way to raise the desolation of many generations is to advance those holy times, and Laws changed by ANTICHRIST.
There are already since this truth sounded, many signs of high displeasure upon Sabbath-breakers. No plague like that of a hard heart, no judgment like those strong delusions, which have already seized upon ranters and Quakers, whose enmity never appeared so eminently against any one ordinance, (nor scarce against all, that ever I knew) as against this glorious Oracle of God, labouring with all their might against it in the very birth.
Page 192/162 A Woeful Influence
And as for sundry hypocrites, who masked and marched in profession, as far as their sites would carry them, The Lord has notably unhooded them by this glorious truth; so that the Sabbath being too hot for them, Satan has drawn them from the worship of the Lord, to wallow again in the world; near upon twenty persons has the enemy thus ensnared, out of two hundred and fifty.
Let all take heed by the sad example of a young man one William Sloat who upon hearing of this Doctrine, that God's commandments are not grievous to gracious souls was brought under self-condemnation being convinced, that this lively oracle of the true sabbath was most grievous to him through fear of relations and loss of earthly advantages, so that he fell into a dreadful Agony (like unto what is related of Francis Spira) the terrors of his eternal state tormenting him for a season, till at last with the advice of carnal relations, he apostatized not only from the Sabbath, but from all that ever he professed in the way of Church worship,
Page 193/163 Providence no proof
declaring that all he had done, was in hypocrisy and so with a raging tortured spirit he was hurried up and down to persuade all he could meet with that they were hypocrites like himself) exclaim against the ordinances of the Gospel and returning to the parish profession like the dog to his vomit, and to the filth of the world like the Sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire, where we shall leave him under the unpardonable sin. to the judgment of the great day, for if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries, (Hebr. 6:6; 10:26,27;
As for external judgments is it hard to conclude love or hatred from thence? suppose ye that these Galileans were the greatest sinners? I tell you nay, but except you repent ye shall likewise perish (Lk. 13:2,3; 1Cor. 11:30; Rev. 2;3), for though sometimes the Lord does externally afflict yet usually gospel judgments, and therefore there is little in those instances of fire and other providences upon the first day; for if the judgments but of one generation were observed, it is easy to think that as many fires, floods, or the like may be found upon any other day.
Page 194/164 The End of Sabbath Breakers
Dumbar and Worcester fight are fresh instances of the same day twelve month, yea divers instances of this nature might be brought against the first day of thunder, lightning, etc. Wounding and killing divers persons in sundry places, while they have been at public worship on the first day. But the most dreadful judgment is to leave persons after conviction, to their own hearts lusts. As also to those woeful worldly weights that are convinced of the Lord's sabbath and prefer a little gain before it, what will they, what can they answer the Lord of the sabbath in the last day, when they shall see all their dross (which they have doted upon) devoured by the burning flame before their faces?
Then shall their sorrows be greatly aggravated to see those sabbath keepers (whom for sabbath's sake they envied & maligned) invested with robes, and palms of victory in eternal glory.
And now that these righteous persons (the people of God, for whom in special the sabbath was made) may be encouraged in their continued sanctification of this blessed day. I shall in the last place shew the use and of this seventh day Sabbath of the Lord our God.