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venth day is to be kept precisely a Sabbath unto the Lord, by virtue of the fourth commandment ; for not one day in seven, but the seventh day itself, is rigorously and indispensably enjoined to be observed; and that the transgression of this law, not as to the spiritual worship to be observed on it, but as to every outward transgression, by journeying or other bodily labour, is to be avenged with death: undoubtedly in the practice of these principles, besides that open contradiction which they will fall into, to the spirit, rule, and word of the gospel, they will find themselves in the same entanglements wherein the Jews were and are. And as the cases that may occur, about. what may be done and what not, what cases of necessity may interpose for relief, are not to be determined by private persons according to their own light and understanding, because they have respect to the public law, but by them to whom power is committed to judge upon it, and to execute its penalty; so there will so many cases, and those almost inexplicable, emerge hereon, as will render the whole law an intolerable burden unto Christians. And what then is become of the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free ? and wherein is the pre-eminence of the spiritual worship of the gospel, above the carnal ordinances of the law ?

§ 35. And this introduceth an evil of no less heinous importance than any of those before enumerated. The precise observance of the seventh day as such, is undoubtedly no part of the law, naturally moral. This we have sufficiently proved before, as I suppose. That law is written in the hearts of believers, by virtue of the covenant of grace, and strength is administered thereby unto them for the due performance of the duties that it doth require. Nor is it an institution of the gospel : none ever pretended it so to be. If there be not much against it in the New Testament, yet surely there is nothing for it. In the things that are so, we have ground to expect the assistance of the Spirit of Christ, to enable us to observe them aright to the glory of God, and to our own edification, or increase in grace. But it is a mere precept of the old law as such. And what the law speaks, it speaks unto them that are under the law. In all its precepts, xatarugiever, it exerciseth a severe dominion over the souls and consciences of them that are under it. And we have no way to extricate ourselves from under that dominion, but by our being dead unto its power and authority as such through the death of Christ; or an interest by faith in the benefits that through his fulfilling and satisfying the law, do redound to the church. But what is required of any one, under the notion of the formal and absolute power of the law, is to be performed in and by that spirit, which is administered by the law, and the strength which the law affords; and this indeed is great, as to conviction of sin; nothing at all, as unto obedience and righte

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Do men in these things appeal unto the law ? unto the law they must go. For I know not any thing that we can expect assistance of gospel grace in or about, but only those things which are originally moral, or superadded unto them in the gospel itself; to neither of which heads this observance of the seventh day, as such, can be referred. It is therefore a mere legal duty, properly so called, and in a bondage frame of spirit, without any special assistance of grace, it must be performed. And how little we are beholden unto those who would in any one instance reduce us from the liberty of the gospel, to bondage under the law, our apostle hath so fully declared, that it is altogether needless farther to attempt the manifestation of it.

EXERCITATION XL.

Sixth Exercitation concerning the Day of Sacred Rest.

f 1. Practice, the end of instruction and learning. § 2. Practical obser

vance of the Sabbath handled by many. 3. Pleas concerning too much rigour and strictness in directions for the observance of the Sabbath. 54. Extremes to be avoided in directions of sacred duties. Extremes of the Pharisees. $ 5. The worse extreme of others in giving liberty to sin. $ 6. Mistakes in directions about the observance of the Lord's day, 7. General directions unto that purpose proposed. $ 8. Of the beginning and ending of the Sabbath. The first rule about time. $9. The frame of spirit required under the gospel in the observance of the Lord's day. § 10. Rules and principles for its due observance. $ 11. Duties required thereunto of two sorts. $ 12. Preparatory duties, their necessity; and nature. $ 13, 14. Particular account of them. Meditation $ 15. Supplication, s 16. Instruction. § 17, 18, Public duties of the day itself. y 19. What refreshments and labour consistent with them. $ 20. Of private duties,

$1. It remains that something be briefly offered, which may direct a practice suitable unto the principles which we have laid down, and for which we have pleaded. For this is the end of all sacred truth, and all instruction therein. This that great rule of our blessed Saviour both teacheth us, and obligeth us to an answerable duty, “ If you know these things, happy are ye if you

do them,”. John xiii. 17. words so filled with his wisdom, that happy are they in whose hearts they are always abiding. The end then of our learning Scripture truths, is to obtain such an idea of them in our minds, as may direct us unto a suitable practice. Without this, they are to us of no use, or of none that is good; s yuwois quoros. Knowledge without practice puffeth, not buildeth up. For as Austin speaks with reference unto those words, Con. Faust. Man. lib. 15. cap. 8. Multa quibusdam sunt noxia, quamvis non sint mala. Things not evil, yea good in themselves, may be hurtful unto others. And nothing is useful but as it is directed to its proper end. This practice is unto sacred truth.

§ 2. I confess our endeavours herein may seem less necessary than in the foregoing discourses. For there are many treatises

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on this part of our present subject, extant in our own language, and in the hands of those who esteem themselves concerned in these things. With some they meet indeed with no other entertainment, than the posts did that were sent by Hezekiah through Ephraim, Manasseh and Zebulun, to invite them unto the passover; they are laughed to scorn and mocked at, 2 Chron. xxx. 10. But wisdom is justified of her children. Unto some they are of great use, and in great esteem. And for the most part, in the main of their design, they do agree. So that the truth in them is established in the mouths of many witnesses, without danger of dividing the minds of men about it. But yet I cannot take myself to be discharged hereby, from the consideration of this concern also of a sacred rest under the gospel, the nature of our design requiring it. And there are yet important directions for the right sanctifying of the name of God, in and by the due observance of a day of sacred rest, which I have not observed to have been insisted on by others; and whereas a due improvement may be expected of the peculiar principles before discussed, I shall go through this part of the work also.

$ 3. Besides, there are not a few complaints, and those managed, at least some of them, by persons of sobriety and learning, pretending also a real care for the preservation and due observance of all duties of piety and religion, that there hath been some excess in the directions of many, given about the due sanctification of the Lord's day. And there is no small danger of mistakes on this hand, whilst there is a pretence of zeal and devotion to give them countenance. Of this nature some men do judge some rigorous prescriptions to be, which have been given in this matter. And they say that a great disadvantage unto religion hath ensued hereon. For it is pretended that they are such as are beyond the constitution of human nature to comply withal; of which kind God certainly requires nothing at our hands. Hence it is pleaded, that men finding themselves no way able to come unto a satisfaction, in answer unto the severe directions for duties, and the manner of their performance, which by some are rigorously prescribed, have taken occasion to seek for relief, by rejecting the whole command; which if duly interpreted in such a condescension as they were capable of a compliance withal, they would have adhered unto. On this account men have found out various inventions, to coTour their weariness of that strict course of duty which they were bound unto. Hence have some taken up a plea, that every day is to them a Sabbath, that so they might not keep any. Some, that there is no such thing as a sacred rest on any day, required of us by the authority of Christ, and therefore that all directions for the manner of the observance of such a day, are to no purpose, And many by degrees have declined from that strictness, which they could not come up unto a delight in, until they have utterly lost all sense of duty towards God in this matter. And these things are true, only the rea. sons of them are not agreed on.

$ 4. And in things of this nature, those who are called to the instruction of others, are carefully to avoid extremes. For * he that condemns the righteous, and he that justifieth the wicked, are both of them an abomination to the Lord." And several instances there are of the miscarriages of men on the one hand and the other. On the one, lay the sin of the Pharisees of old. When they had got the pretence of a command, they would burden it with so many rigid observances, in the manner of its performance, as should make it a yoke intolerable to their disciples ; getting themselves the reputation of strict observers of the law. But in truth they were not so wanting unto their own ease and interest, as not to provide a secret dispensation for themselves. They would scarce put a finger to the burdens which they bound and laid on the shoulders of others. And this is the condition of all almost, that hath an appearance of religion or devotion in the papacy. And a fault of the same nature, though not of so signal a provocation, others may fall into unadvisedly, who are free from their hypocrisy. They may charge and press both their own consciences, and other men’s, above and beyond what God hath appointed. And this they may do with a sincere intention to promote religion and holiness amongst men, by engaging them into the strictest

ways of the profession of it. Now in the directions of the consciences of men about their duties to God, this is carefully to be avoided. For peace is only to be obtained in keeping steady and even to the rule. To transgress on the right hand, whatever the pretence be, is to lie for God, which will not be accepted with him.

$ 5. On the other hand, there lieth a rock of far greater danger. And this consists in the accommodation of the laws, precepts and institutions of God, unto the lusts and present courses and practices of men. This evil we have had exemplified in some of late, no less conspicuously than the forementioned was in them of old. A mystery of iniquity unto this purpose hath been discovered not long since, and brought forth to light, tending to the utter debauching of the consciences and lives of men, And in it lies the great contrivance, whereby the famous sect of the Jesuits have prevailed on the minds of many, especially of potentates and great men in the earth, so as to get into their hands the conduct of the most important affairs of Europe. And this abomination, as it is known, hath lately been laid open by the diligence of some, in whom at once concurred a

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