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

by Tho. Tillam

Contents:

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

Home

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Page 54 Holy Times Entrance

But oh the amazing Meanders, perplexing and distracting Labyrinths, that do even drink up their spirits who assert the Sabbathís change to the first weekday, being not able to find when to begin their supposed Sabbath.

Page 55 A Voice of Many Answers

Some affirming it begins in the morning when the Lord arose, but what hour they are not able to say, since God has purposely concealed Christís rising time, as he did Moses burial place, to prevent our sin; so that whether to begin their Sabbath at break of day, or sun-rising, they are uncertain, and know not what to do.

Others are moved (but by what rule or reason I know not) to appoint midnight for the entrance of their Sabbath, when most are asleep.
A third sort are content to observe their Sabbath by halves, and having twenty four hours to their own days, they shut up their Sabbath with one half, and say an artificial day of twelve hours is sufficient.

A fourth declares, that the evening is the time their Sabbath must begin. And so they sadly bewail the secret knots and difficulties that are found in the beginning of their first day Sabbath, calling for humility and many tears. (Shep. Beg. Sab. P. 34)

But while thus they are confounded in their languages, laboring with manifold difficulties to find some beginning of Manís Sabbath; behold the lively Oracle of Godís unchangeable seventh day Sabbath, opening all prison doors, breaking all bars, untying all knots,

Page 56 Paradise Perfection

And like Ariadniís Clue leading the perplexed Theseus out of his Labyrinth, we return (by Christís direction) to the beginning; where in the infancy of time we meet with Godís Spirit in a night of darkness brooding upon a confused Chaos, to produce a world of Wonders. (Gen. 1:1-2) So that manifest it is, night was the beginning of time, in which the rude mass was made before any light appeared; and this darkness with the ensuing light completed the first day. And so the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, wherein the Almighty finished the whole fabric of heaven, earth, and sea, leading man (Godís Masterpiece) to the highest admiration. And no sooner did the sixth dayís sun cease (with the completing of this peerless Potentate, ) but Elohim ceased to show his virtue and power in creation, and withdrawing himself into himself, he immediately sanctified the seventh day Sabbath, to enjoy his own infinite beatitude, delighting himself with full satisfaction in the pure and spotless works of his hands; for as yet sin had not soiled the creature, but while Jehovah celebrated his Sabbath (with man for whom it was made Mark 2:27) lo, the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy! So that here the Lordís Sabbath (without the least loss of time) exactly begins when the sixth dayís sun

Page 57 Suitable Sanctity

at the worldís creation ended; and therefore such as desire to be holy as God is holy, 1 Peter 1:15) must not only observe this seventh day Sabbath, but begin this holy Rest according to the pattern shown in the Mount, that is, when the sixth circuit of the sun shows us Ďtis time to cease from earthly labors, as Jehovah in his royal Law has proposed himself for our example. This has been the constant course of believers. I suppose it will scarce be questioned in Moses time, since even the ceremonial Sabbaths (because honored as Sabbaths) were so to be observed; From even unto even shall ye celebrate your Sabbath. (Lev. 22:32). Did honest Nehemiah set to the exact observance of this day, by causing Jerusalemís gates to be shut before the Sabbath, even while the declining sixth day sun (by descending the Mountains surrounding Jerusalem) cast some obscurity upon the City gates; a good example for earthy minds who will not leave their servile labors till the last minute, but perhaps allow themselves liberty to do some household business after the Sabbaths beginning. We lie under equal engagements (at least) with ancient Israel, which should oblige us to such evening sacrifice as appears to be their custom by the Psalm designed for the Sabbath

Page 58 Israel's Joy

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To show forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. (Psalms 92) This sacrifice very well becomes Christians, who should not be outstripped by those devout Tribes, whose joys are further expressed by the Prophet, Ye shall have a song as in the night when a holy solemnity be kept (Isa. 30:29) Hence Ďtis evident with what affection, and at what time they set to the solemnity of this highest Sabbath.

Neither is the New Testament wanting of instructions when to begin this holy Rest; for even after the sufferings of our Savior, the Saints did not only observe the Sabbath, but the Spirit is express in the beginning of the solemnity, as is recorded for the everlasting hour of the precious women, that having attended their Savior to his Sepulcher, They returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the Commandment. Luke 23:55,56) That part of the preparation day that remained after Christís burial, these precious souls improved in preparing Aromatics to embalm their beloved; but as the sixth day ended, and the Sabbath drew on, their work was doneí for so well were they discipled by our Savior, as not to violate his holy Sabbath, no not to embalm His

Page 59 Beginning and End of Holy Rest

blessed body. And yet some scoffers in these last days, are so bold as to cast filth in the faces of such as tread in these Saints steps, reproaching them as worshippers of ďA dead ChristĒ, who was never more active then in the grave, being there a conqueror, not a sufferer. (Col 2:14,15, Acts 2:26,27)

But leaving these in scorners chair, the same Testament which thus shows us the Saints beginning of the Sabbath, informs us also of the end by our Saviorís example; who having performed the public duties of the day retired to Peterís house, (Mark 1:21) further to honor the Sabbath with his wonted miracles; And though the envious Pharisees taught that the people should not come for healing on the Sabbath day,(Luke 14) yet hereby we learn when the holy season determines , by the liberty the people took (according to the Pharisees doctrine) And at evening when the Sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased. (Mark 2:32) not when to make an end.

So that Ďtis abundantly manifest, that from Even to Even (or from sunset to sunset) the Sabbath is to be celebrated. (Lev. 23:16) Thus the Jews constantly observe it, and thus all faithful Christians ought to sanctify it, who by scripture authority are thus set free from all that confusion and contention which (as a scourge from God) perplexes the observers of the supposed first day Sabbath who know

Page 60 The Six Days of Servitude

But here it will be objected, that upon this account the first day must be utterly discarded since the 4th Commandment as well requires six days service, as well as the 7th day Sabbath.
To which I answer
1. That whereas the Lord does expressly require cessation from work on the Sabbath day, he does not (by a negative) require that we never cease from work upon any of the six days; for then we must never feast nor fast, nor use any kind of recreation throughout the week.
2. The Hebrew tense has a various aspect, yet it is rather future then imperative, and may well enough point out the creatureís earthly inclinations, thus, Six days thou wilt (or shalt) labour, or as it is rendered elsewhere, six days may work be done. God gives us leave to serve ourselves six days that we may not murmur or repine in devoting the seventh wholly to his service; but he is no Egyptian Task master to bind us to six days incessant labour; for then Paul sinned in such a charge, to preach in season and out of season, and God himself should cross His own Command, in requiring Israel to observe the Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles, etc. taking up as many days as the year has weeks; with ceremonial days

Page 61 The First Day

Ceremonial days Christ has abolished; and therefore we should not grudge to give unto God every first day, as an addition to the Sabbath, with thankfulness for our double benefit, Creation, and Redemption, especially if both days be authorized by the word of truth.

As for the scriptures quoted in the New Testament for the change of the seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week, I shall demonstrate in due time, that not any one of them, nor all together, can make up an argument to satisfy a truly enlightened sou. But that the resurrection day is designed for a rejoicing day to Christís Disciples, seems undeniable by the Psalmists saying This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and ne glad in it. ( Ps. 118:24) Which being compared with Peterís speech ( Act. 4:10,11) must needs be meant the Resurrection day.

And whereas some (who are loath to appear in Godís presence too often) do suppose this rejoicing day to be only Easter day, once in a year; I shall forbear to answer them till they can better agree about the celebration of their traditional Easter, and excite Godís people to rejoice and be glad on the Resurrection day as oft as the week brings it about.

But is this impossible to be done unless we reject Godís ancient 7th day Sabbath?

Page 62 Christ's Spouse in Purity

Why may not the Sabbath stand amongst Christians as it stood with many holy days amongst the Jews, especially since the mercy of a free Redeemer is added to the blessings of a bountiful Creator. ĎTis sad to see persons spend more time in sin to satisfy their lusts, then Professors can part with to serve the Lord.

Well it seems to be scriptural that the Lord made the Resurrection day a rejoicing day, but he never made it a Sabbath day; and if it be allowed that honorable title of the Lordís Day, yet does it no more cashier the seventh day Sabbath then did the ceremonial Feasts, called Sabbaths of old.

Those many Jewish holy days (honored with the title of Sabbaths, did not then weaken the Royal Sabbath, nor can the supposed title given to the first week day now do it, seeing Christ has forever confirmed each point and parcel of the Moral Law. Both days may lovingly live amongst Christians, redeemed from the earth. And though many would be accounted Saints that think they should be undone in so doing, yet the spotless Spouse of Christ, while arrayed in those royal robes of Sun like majesty and decked with that diadem of infallibility, trampling under feet all sublunary fading mutable glories, I say in this her primitive purity, during the first three Centuries,

Page 63 Arguments for Both Days

observed both these days, in honor of her Creator and Redeemer, till the little Horn changed her Times and Laws.
This is so generally confessed even by the adversaries of the seventh day Sabbath, that other proof would be needless in this place. It cannot be denied that the primitive saints did honour the Resurrection day with the honourable title of their Lord; so that it became a proverbial question in their greetings, Servasti Dominicum? Hast thou kept the Lordís day? To which the other would answer, Christiianus sum, intermittere non possum, I am a Christian I may not omit it.

[Added note: Tillon here has accepted the papal explanations of what this greeting , Servasti Dominicum really means. The important question is, Do scholars like Bollandus, Ruinart, and Baronius ever translate these words Lordís day?óNever Ė the reference here is to the Lordís supper.]

[Added note: Though Tillon strongly advocates the 7th day Sabbath; he is not ready to leave Sunday, nor does he urge his readers to do so. In the next part he advocates keeping both days. Interestingly, his reasons for holding on to Sunday as a day of worship are based on ďtraditionĒ. In the early years of Christianity some Christians kept one Sunday a year. Later, many were worshipping on both the Sabbath and Sunday. Sometime in the last half of the second century AD, Sunday began to be called the Lord's day. (Thoí nowhere in scripture is that term applied to the first day) In the Apostolic Constitutions, written about 250-300 AD it admonishes Christians to worship on both Sabbath and Sunday. Then we find Rome commanding people to fast on the 7th day, thus turning the Sabbath into a burden, while Sunday was the ďjoyous dayĒ. Thus we see the steps moving from Godís Sabbath to Sunday. Letís read Tillanís reasons for keeping BOTH days].

This I conceive is a second ground for observing the first day, and although the decree of Constantine with the Counsel of Laodicea do not in any way concern us in this point, yet the statutes enacted by a just authority for the observation of days should be observed, provided that such decrees be no way destructive to the Sabbath of the Lord our God (Mat. 15:2,3)

As a third ground of rejoicing on the Resurrection day, commonly called the Lordís day, which we should more readily embrace then any Lecture day, according to the good old Christian custom of Saints, (Romans 14:6) a day when with delight we observe it to the Lord.

Page 64

Reasons for observing both dates are these:
1. Christians have more engagements upon them then ever ancient Israel had, to devote as much of their time to God; shall the greatness of his graces straighten us in the advancement of his glory?
2. We have as frequent necessity of heavenly supplies as they had; who should we be seldomer at the throne or grace.
3. We are set free from those great burdens and bondages, long journeys and vast expenses, sacrifices and ceremonies, under which they groaned; and are two days in seven such a task? Is our fatherís presence and saints fellowship so irksome? Doubtless Ďtis so to drossy Disciples, whose love extends no further than the leaves; why, we are invited into the holy of holies, to make sure work of eternal mansions, to bear up Godís standard and honor in the world for a little season; and are two days for God and our souls so tedious and troublesome, when we have more than twice two for our perishing bodies? We should not be weary to approach the presence of an earthy Prince too often, for wealth and honour.

Page 65 Difficult Duties

4. The highest pretender to spirituality had need enough to get often into Godís Courts and Saints company, to shake off his earthly shackles, the dirty face of our earthly Mother too frequently dulls our affections to our heavenly Father. We have little cause to cozen our consciences with a device to honour God by disobeying him in slighting his precepts under pretence of spiritual performances, as if frequent attendance at heavens gates could hinder our spiritual growth, or that somehow Godís Sabbath suppresses our sanctity.
5. We are marvelously delivered from all those Mass days upheld by the Beast and his image, to which Saints were compelled by Praetors; as Candle Mass, Christ Mass, Michael Mass, and I know not how many Masses; and is it now such a matter (with the Sabbath day) to devote also the first day of the week to Godís worship as Saints have done? I fear such Professors did never count the cost before they took up Christianity; and therefore they fail in the measure of self-denial which the Sabbath calls for and which it counsels more than all other Ordinances; but let such know, they will find it as hard for flesh and blood to inherit the Kingdom of God, as now they feel the observance of Godís and the Lordís day.

Page 66 Judgments and Joys

I know not why this term of ďLordís DayĒ should offend Christians now, more than of old; if some Sabbath-keepers shall scruple it, yet I hope they can religiously embrace those Gospel opportunities and precious privileges that the first day affords. Let us beware of a censorious spirit towards persons of different persuasions. Our God waited long upon us, while living in disobedience to the Law of the seventh day Sabbath, and he looks for a spirit of forbearance towards others, till Sabbath light break in upon their souls; unless satan prevail with them to deprive us of our hopes, by their forsaking of our assemblies, as the manner of some is, whose practice proclaims they will learn no more, nor suffer Sabbath light to take position of their souls. We shall leave such to that dreadful doom which attends.

ďNot forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.Ē Heb. 10:25-27 who will not have the Lord of the Sabbath reign over them, but will follow their earthly enjoyments and employments, till he return to tell them they have already received their good things (i.e. the things they esteemed so, and preferred before the celebration of His Sabbath)

Page 67

And therefore must never look for more.

But for the enlightened saint, who sees the abiding glory of Godís seventh day Sabbath in its morality, exact measure of time, beginning and end; let him proceed in the power of Godís spirit, whatever he pay for it. Though parents forsake him, he has a God to go to, who will willingly receive him into a bosom of grace, and after a few more weekly returns (to the Gospel noon tide Rest) he and I shall be translated into New Jerusalemís glory, to join in songs of praise to the hour of the Lord of the Sabbath in the Saints everlasting rest.

Thus through Divine assistance, I have (to the full satisfaction of my own soul) vindicated the morality of the Holy Rest of Saints, or the Sabbath of the Lord our God which is undeniably the solemn Season for Gospel worship.

Continued

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