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But of all time, Sabbath-time is the most precious, and should be redeemed with the greatest care, as that upon which our salvation depends in a peculiar manner. It is the time in which the Holy Spirit is especially at work for convincing, converting, and edifying the souls of men: it is the time set apart by Infinite Wisdom for the happiness of the creature, and the glory of the Creator: and therefore it is the business of every one to inquire. how this time is to be improven aright. Now, for their encouragement and assistance in this matter, I propose to insist chiefly upon two heads: 1. To evince the morality of the Sabbath, and the divine appointment of the Lord's day. 2. Give directions how to sanctify it aright.


Concerning the morality of the Sabbath, and the divine appointment of the Lord's day.

In order to the handling of this subject the more clearly and methodically, I shall, through the divine assistance, propose and resolve several questions relative to it.

Quest. 1. What is the proper signification and import of the name Sabbath, so commonly in use among us?

Answer. The name Sabbath is a Hebrew word, signifying rest, the Sabbath being a day of holy rest: and it is so called, because God hath enjoined us to rest this day from our earthly work and labour, that we may solemnly call to mind his resting from his works, both of creation and redemption; publicly adore him therefore, solace our souls in his goodness, repose and rest in the arms of his mercy, and mediate upon that "eternal rest which remains for the people of God," in the other world.

This being the true import and meaning of the word Sabbath, we still retain it, and commonly use it to signify the Lord's day, our Christian Sabbath.

There are some indeed who are offended at the retaining of the name Sabbath, under the New Testament times, pretending that it is properly Jewish; though in the mean


time they are fond of the words priest much more so. But it is surely a mis name Sabbath is Jewish, or peculiar to to be used by Christians: for we see t name in the moral law, which is of pe Christians as much as Jews: "Remen to keep it holy." So it was not the God that gave the Sabbath its name. viour doth, in the New Testament, call name of Sabbath, Matt. xxiv. 20. 66 flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sa is evident, that our Lord doth there mea bath, or his own day; for he is not only ians, but concerning the flight of Ch knew was to fall out forty years after was abolished, and the Lord's day co Surely he would not bid Christians pr might not fall on the Jewish Sabbath, w and intended, that then they would ree der no obligation to observe the Jewish any restraint of fleeing or travelling on even the Jews themselves believed at th lawfully do in case of imminent hazard decree which they made relative there monians) and therefore he must mean bath, upon which he bids Christians pra not happen. Not that it was unlawful travel on that day in time of danger, bu be a great addition to their trouble, if happen at such a time as to deprive the ity of God's worship and ordinances.

It is of no weight, what is objected Christians, who lived in Judea among th be allowed by them to travel on their Sa fore (say they) Christ bids them pray might not fall upon it. For, in the first not having the government then in their no power of restraining or punishing The time which Christ speaks of was a

at that time put to flee and travel as well as the Christians, which they then thought it lawful to do, as we told before. Fourthly, If Christ had spoke so concerning the Jewish Sabbath, it had laid some foundation for Christians to fall into mistakes concerning the obligation of the Jewish Sabbath, and other ceremonies: which to be sure, our Lord would not have given them. And, if there had been any such occasion given, the Judaizing Christians would certainly have improven it against the apostles; which yet we do not find. Lastly, The learned Owen, Durham, Brown, and other writers on this subject, understand Christ as speaking in this place of the Christian sabbath.

But granting that the name Sabbath were indeed Jewish and improper (as some would have it,) yet I am sure it is still preferable to that of Sunday, which is truly heathenish, though commonly used by them in their liturgy, to the offence of many Christians: for it is well known that the heathen idolators called this day Sunday, because of their dedicating it to the created sun, which was the chief of their planetary gods they ordinarily worshipped, as may be gathered also from 2 Kings xxiii. 5. Ezek. viii. 16. And hence, some of the ancient heathens (of whom Tertuilian speaks) fancied that the sun was the God of the Christians, because they celebrated the first day of the week.

I know it is objected, that some of the primitive apologists for Christianity, as Justin Martyr and Tertullian, in their writings, call the Lord's day Sunday. But the rea son of their so doing is plain; they were writing to heathens, to whom the doctrines of Christianity and institution of the Lord's day were things new and strange, and who would not have known what day they meant, if they had spoken of the Lord's day; and therefore hey call it by the name they gave it, Sunday: For when we treat with others, we must express things by the names that are common and current among them, unless we intend to be barbarians to them.

But the primitive Christians did not use to call it Sunday among themselves, but, commonly, the Lord's day, not the Sabbath; partly to distinguish it from the Jewish Sabbath that was so lately abolished. and partly to wean the Jewish converts the more effectually from Judaism. Bu


the true reason why some in this age at the word Sabbath. as being applied is, because they cannot allow of any t an obligation upon them to keep such on the Christian Sabbath as the Jews bath: but I will have occasion to spea

I need not stand long here, to shew fications of the word Sabbath among t word, beside the seventh day of each w bath (which is the most ordinary acce in scripture,) it is put also sometimes week, because every week had a sabb Lev. xxiii. 15. "Seven Sabbaths shal weeks. The Pharisee saith, Luke xvii a week;" orig. neusteuo dis tou Sabba word Sabbath is sometimes put to sig Lev. xxv. 8. "Thou shalt number unto of years," i. e. (as it is there explained) years. Seven years was called among of years, because their land rested fr bandry every seventh year, in answer ing every seventh day. Hence it is said seventh year shall be a Sabbath of re Besides this, they had their great sabba ilee, which was every fiftieth year: For XXV. 9. they were to reckon seven Sab seven times seven years, which is forty observe their Jubilee, or sabbatical year sacred feasts which the Jews kept month also called Sabbaths, in regard of their r on these days, as on the weekly Sabl xxiii. 24. the first day of the seventh their feast of trumpets," is called a weekly Sabbath is commonly called in of eminence, the Sabbath; to distinguis Sabbaths. and give it the preference to a of the Jews.

Quest. II. For what ends hath God a Sabbath?

Answer 1. God hath appointed it for

tainly be a high acknowledgment of God's universal dominion and supremacy, to have all the world every week, on one day, lay aside their own business, that they may jointly worship him in a public and solemn manner.

2. He appointed the Sabbath for the benefit of his creatures, and particularly in compassion to fallen man; for he saw that man's heart would be glued to the world, so drenched in sensuality, that, were he left to himself, he would not allow one day in a month, nay in a year, for divine worship; but would have drudged himself, his servants and beasts, even to death in pursuit of worldly things, without minding any thing that is better. Wherefore a merciful God hath strictly commanded man to rest one day every week, from all worldly concerns, that thereby he might, in a manner, be laid under a necessity to mind his soul and the things of another world; and, in the mean time, the poor toiled beasts, as well as men's bodies, might have some rest and ease, for their preservation and support. But more particularly, the Sabbath is designed for our soul's eternal welfare; in regard,

1. The Sabbath tends highly to our instruction, and to the keeping up the lively impressions of the truths of Christianity in our memories. The Sabbath recurring every week, doth still of new lay before us a compendious view of these essential doctrines. The creation of the world, man's fall, Christ's incarnation and satisfaction, his death, resurrection and victory, for completing our redemption: besides that glorious and eternal rest above, provided for the people of God.

2. It tends to promote holiness, spirituality, and heavenly mindedness, in us; and that in two ways. 1. By calling us from temporal to spiritual employment. Sensual objects through the week are ready to alienate our affections from God, and wear spiritual things out of our minds; for recalling whereof, the Sabbath seasonably returns, and presents and entertains us with divine objects. 2. By affording us a lively emblem of heaven, and the conversation of the glorified saints,in celebrating that eternal Sabbath above. -For, as in heaven there is no buying, selling, nor any worldly business, but a continual speaking of God.enjoying communion with him, adoring and praising him for ever, without any mixture of other affairs; so the Lord will have an emblem or representation hereof, as near as may be,

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