« PreviousContinue »
power of God, who appointed the seventh in order, to alter ihat order at his pleasure.
Q. 2. Which day of the seven did God at first appoint to be the weekly Sabbath?
A. God did at first appoint the seventh day in order to be the weekly Sabbatlı; Six days shalt thou labour, and do all which thou hasi to do, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work,” &c.
Q. 3. Wherefore did God appoint the seventh day at first to be the weekly Sabbath?
A. God did at first appoint the seventh day to be the weekly Sabbath, because it was the day of his rest from his works of creation, that thereon men might rest from their works, and remember his : Fur in six days God made heaven and earth, ihe sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day,” &c.
Q. 4. When did God first appoint the seventh day to be the Sabbath?
A. God did appoint the seventh day to be the Sabbath, immediately after the first creation. Gen. ii. 3, And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.
Q. 5. . Was the seventh day observed as the weekly Sabbath, before God wrote the commandment for its observation on tables of stone in the mount, which he dea Jiyered into Moses?
A. It is more than probable that this seventh day was observed all along by the true worshippers of God, as the other precepts of the law were observed, though no mention be made thereof in the short history of the af. fairs of some thousand years. For Adam, who lived until the days of Methuselah, no doubt did teach his chile dren this precept, which he had from God in Paradise ; and Methuselah, who lived till the days of Shem, surely did deliver it down to posterity all the days of the old world ; and Shem, who lived till Abraham's time, and is supposed to be Melchisedec, in all probability, did deliver this precept successively unto him in the new world ; and as Abraham with ease might, so without question he did, teach it with other precepts to his children, and they teach it one to another, until the time of Moses; and Moses speaketh to the Israelites of the Sabbath to be
kept holy to the Lord on the morrow, Exod. xvi. 23. as a ihing well known unto them, and of practice among them, which was some time before the Lord gave the law upon Mount Sinai.
Q. 6. How long was the seventh day to be observed as the weekly Sabbath?
A. The seventh day was to be observed as the weekly Sabbath, from the beginning of the world unto the resur. rection of Christ.
Q. 7. What day is to be observed for the weekly Sabo bathifrom the resurrection of Christ?
A. The first day of the week from the resurrection of Christ, is to be observed by Christians unto the end of the world, for their weekly Sabbath.
Q. 8. How could the seventh day Sabbath be changed fron the last of seven unto the first of seven, when we do not read expressly of any repeal in the scripture of the last of seven ?
A. It is one of seven which God hath appointed to be the Sabbatl, and in the commandment the Lord doth bless and hallow, not the seventh day, but the Sabbathday, which might be on another şıventh day in order, if Got should so please. 2. It is but one day in seven which God hath appointed to be the weekly Sabbatlı, God having both allowed and appointed the other six days of the week for our labour. 3. God baving substituted or appointed another day for to be a holy Sabbath to himself, this substitution of another, doth virtually include in it a repeal of the old Sabbath, that is, in reference unto the time of its observation.
Q. 9. How doth it appear that the first day of the week is appointed by God to be ihe weekly Sabbath?
A. 1. There is a like reason for the appointment of the first day, as there was for the seventh : The reason of God's appointing the seventh, was his resting from his works of creation ; and there is a like reason for appointing the first day, which was the day of Christ's resurrection, namely, the Son of God's resting from his suffering works about man's redemption, into which rest he is said to enter, and which we are more nearly concerned to remember. Heb. iv. 10, For he, that is en
tered into his rest, hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 2. The Lord Jesus hath put his name upon the first day of the week. Rev. i. 10, I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. There is reason to believe, that the Lord's clay, here spoken of, was the first day of the week, because it is a certain detern.inate day, and it is spoken of as a day which was well known anong Chris'ians by that naine; and the first day of the week being the day of the Lord's resurrection, and wherein Christians did use to assemble themselves together up. on, had the only reason for such denomination. There is also reason to believe, that the Lord did put his own name upon this day, because none had authority to put his name upon any day but himself; and the apostle cila ling it the Lord's day, by the inspiration of the Spirit, no doubt but it was the Lord's will it should be so called, and by consequence it was his will that this duy should be used and observed as an holy dla unto biniself. As the second sacrament is called the Lord's supper, because it was appointed by the Lord; so the first day of the week is called the Lord's day, because it was appointed by the Lord; and this day being appointed, no other is to be observed now as the Christian Sabbath. 3. The appointment of the first day of the week to be the Saba bath may be inferred, 'from I Cor. xvi. 1, 2, Now, cone, cerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon tlie first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. The apostle having given order from the Lord, to the churches of Galatia and Corinth, and by corsequence to the other churches of the Gentiles, for collections on the first day of the week, as God had prospered them on other days; we may infer, this being a Sabbath-day's work, that he had also from the Lord, given order for the observation of this first day, as the weekly Sabhath. 4. We read of the disciples being assembled together on the first day of the week, and that Jesus then came among thein, John xx. 19; and that eight days after they met himn again, which was another first day, and Jesus came to them, verse 26. Moreover, that it was the practice of Christ's
disciples to meet together to worship the Lord, to hear the word, and break bread, or receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper, on the first day of the week.
Acts xx. 7, And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples were come together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, &c.
Paul had been with them seven days, (as verse 6) and yet we read of no solemn meeting but on the first day of the week, the last of the seven wherein he abode with them. It was not on the old Sabbath, the last day of the week, that the solemn assemby for wor ship was held, but on the first day ; which, had it not been the Sabbath of new appointment, and of necessary observation to Christians, would have been most inconvenient for Poul to have spent in religious exercises un. til midnight, when the next morning he was to take his journey. All which being considered, together with the practice of Christians from the apostles' days, it may be evident unto them that desire not to cavil, that the first day of the week is appointed by the Lord to be the Christian Sabbath.
Q. 60. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified ?
A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by an holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and and recreations as are lawful on other days, and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship; except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Q. 1. What is it to sanctify the Sabbath?
A. The Sabbath is sanctified by God, in his appointing it to be holy; and the Sabbath is sanctified by man in his observing and keeping it as holy: Remember the Sabbath day, 10 keep it holy.
Q. 2. How are we to observe and keep the, Sabbath as holy?
1's. We are to observe and keep the Sabbath as holy, partly by a holy resting, partly in holy exercises on that day.
Q. 3. What are we to rest' from on the Sabbath-day?
A. We are on the Sabbath-day to rest, not only from those things which are in themselves sinful, which we are bound to rest from on every day of the week ; but also we are to rest from those worldly employments and recreations, which on the other six days of the week are lawful, and our duty: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt nol do any work, &c.
Q. 4. May not such works be done in our particular callings on the Sabbath-day, as cannot so seasonably and advantageously be done on the other days of the week?
A. There are some works in our particular callings, which may seem to be most seasonable and advantageous on the Sabbath day, and yet it is our duty to rest from them, and wholly to forbear them : such as, 1. Killing of beasts on the Sabbath, to prepare meat for the Monday market. 2. Ploughing, sowing, gathering in of corn, making hay while the sun shines, and the weather best serveth on the Sabbath-day. 3. Selling of fruit, or any other wares on the Sabbath-day, when there may be. most custom for them. 4. Selling or buying of fish on the Sabbath, which in hot weather might stink, if kept until the Monday. These, and the like worldly employ. ments, we are to forbear, by virtue of this commandment, they being our own works; and whatever loss we may seem to sustain by such forbearance, be sure it is not comparable to the loss of God's favour, and the wounding of our conscience, and the loss of our souls forever, which will be the fruit of living in the breach of God's law. And if such works as these must be forborne on the Sabbath, much more such works of our calling as may be done on the week-day, as well as on the Sabbath. Neh. xiii. 15-18, In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day : and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the chile dren of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with tire nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not