[Page] A DISCOVRSE OF THE SABBATH AND THE LORDS DAY. WHEREIN THE DIFFERENCE BOTH IN THEIR INTSI­TUTION and their due OBSERVATION is briefly handled.

BY CHRISTOPHER DOW, B. D.

LONDON, Printed by M. FLESHER for JOHN CLARK, and are to be sold at his shop under S. Peters Church in Cornhill. MDC XXXVI.

To the Reader.

THe substance of this dis­course, being at first, the materialls of some let­ters written for the sa­tisfaction of a private friend, was afterwards drawne together into the forme in which it now appeares, and found the favour, from some unto whom it was communicated, to bee desi­red to the Presse; for which end it hath lyen in the Licensers hand, now above a yeare expecting the cōduct of that Re­verend Prelate who upon speciall occa­sion then offered, (as it appeares) by com­mand, undertook this argument: Which having performed, like himselfe, with such variety of learning and profound­nesse of judgement, this Pamphlet of [Page] mine may now justly seeme as unnecessa­ry to follow, as heretofore it was unable and unworthy to leade the way: yet con­sidering that the brevity of it might make it passe and finde acceptance with some; and that, being of a mean straine, it might better meete with common capa­cities, then larger and more elaborate tractates; I was willing it should see the light, and that in its owne garbe with­out any polishing or alteration. And so I commend thee and it to Gods blessing.

PErlegi hunc tractatum Theologicum, cuititulus est [A discourse of the Sabbath, and of the Lords day, &c.] in quo nihil reperio sanae doctrinae, aut bonis moribus con­trarium, quominus cum utilitate publicâ imprimi possit, ita tamen, ut si non intra tres menses proximè sequentes typis mandetur, haec licentia sit omnino irrita.

GUIL. BRAY.
R. P. D. Arch. Cant. Capel. Domesticus.

A DISCOVRSE OF THE SABBATH AND LORDS DAY.

THat men may not bee decei­ved with shewes, and mistake Iudaisine for Christianity; or that they, who so mistaking, use to disrellish all things which suit not with the prin­ciples of their Catechismes, may not thinke they have ingrossed all Religion and Piety to themselves, and they thereby incou­raged to proceed in their hard censures of those that concurre not with them: And that the pi­ety and religious care, which is eminent in the Governours of our Church and State, may appeare in their true lustre, and outshine those mists, wherewith some seeke to obscure them: And that it may appeare also that they whose chiefest care, next to their duty to God, is to yeeld all ready and cheerefull obedience to Gods Vicegerent, and to those Reverend Fathers which [Page 2] under God, and His Sacred. Majesty have the o­versight of this Church, are not hood-winkt in their obedience, or blindly led to yeeld to their Commands without respect to religion or con­science, as if they had rather obey them then God; I have adventured upon that obloquie, which hath beene the lot of such as (though upon never so good grounds) dissent from these men in opi­nion. And this I the rather doe in this subject, for as much as in it I have not onely the authori­tie of the sacred Scriptures, (which are the rule of things to be beleeved and done) but, the con­sent also of the whole Church of Christ; neither the Ancient Fathers nor the Reformed Churches (to omit the Church of Rome, whose Doctrine though in this case not to be condemned, is of little cre­dit with those whom I dissent from) ever teach­ing other Doctrine then that which I shall endea­vour the defence of. For whereas in other things which they dislike among us, they have for Pa­trons the principall Authors of the Reformation abroad, and the Prime Doctors among them, whose learning and piety, much admired by them, may seeme to pleade for their over-earnest, and heedlesse embracing of their Principles: In these Sabbatarian Paradoxes, they are singular and left alone, without the Patronage of those whom otherwise they so much admire, and with­out the example of any Church in Christendome. And I beleeve further (being ledd thereunto by their doctrine, delivered in their Writings ex­tant, and by the generall and constant relation, [Page 3] of all that have knowne their practise and com­pared it with ours) that there is not a State in Christendome who have made better provision for the due observance of the Lords Day, and the decent performance of the sacred Acts of Gods Worship, then are to bee found in the Ecclesiasti­call and Temporall Lawes of this Realme, nor where such Lawes are more duely executed by those in Authority, or more generally observed or pra­ctised by all, then they are at this day among us. These considerations have animated mee to this worke, hoping thereby to settle the mindes of such as are contrary minded rather for want of due consideration, then out of wilsulnesse and contempt of Authority.

Hee that goes about to vindicate the just liber­ty of Christians in the use of lawfull recreations on the Sunday, shall finde himselfe upon a dou­ble disadvantage. 1. In regard of the precon­ceived opinion among weake people, of their pietie and religious zeale which hold the contra­ry. And 2. in that the strict observance of that day, is by some made a prime character of a good Christian, to distinguish him from a carnall World­ling, and so the Question in hand accounted as an infallible marke to know the state of Religion; which stands or falls according, as it is either way determined. It behoves mee therefore to walke with a wary and sure foot, and following the truth to strike an equall course betweene an over nice strictnesse, and a profane licence: and so to speake in this cause, as that the soberly religious [Page 4] shall have no just cause to complaine; nor the profane be incouraged to go on in licentiousnesse. Either of which wayes as it is easie to offend, so in whether of the two a man offends most, is as uneasie to determine; the one letting loose, the other ensnaring mens consciences; the one shut­ting up the kingdome of Heaven, and making the way thither more narrow then it is; the other making it broader, and enlarging the mouth of Hell. My aime and endeavour shall bee to avoid both.

Among those things which have occasioned the generall prevailing of the Opinion, That the Sunday or Lords Day ought to bee observed with such strictnesse as will admit no works which may be called Ours, that is, (as they call them) workes of our particular Callings, and much lesse Recreati­ons: it is none of the least that now of a long time among us (contrary to the use of the Primitive Church, yea and of our owne in the memory of our Fathers) it hath lost its Christen name, and entertained the Iewish, being vulgarly knowen and called by the name of the Sabbath. Whence it comes to passe that men (prone more to respect names then things) never heeding the difference betweene the old Sabbath and our Sunday, or thin­king it to bee little or none at all, take those pla­ces of Scripture, which so severely prohibit all work upon the Sabbath, as if they did no lesse be­long to us now, then heretofore to the Iewes: and by this meanes, those precepts, threatnings, and promises which concerned the observation of the [Page 5] Sabbath, are pressed upon us point blanck. Where­as indeed they concerne us onely indirectly, and cannot without fetching a compasse, be alledged at all for our Sunday. Now the Scripture being so expresse (as it is apprehended) for the strict observance of our Sunday under the name of the Sabbath, no marvell if men have made it a prime Case of Conscience, and that so many scruples are dayly raised, and so many traditions broached a­bout the beginning and ending of the Sabbath; about the works of a mans particular Calling, what they are, and how farre lawfull on that Day: what are the proper duties of the Day, and the like? For the cleare resolution therefore of this Question; Whether the use of Recreations may stand with the due observation of the Lords Day, it is convenient that I have some recourse to the Sabbath. Where because I love not Cramben saepiùs coctam apponere, or to stuffe my discourse with a tedious explana­tion of those things which are commonly known; and every where to be found, I will with as much brevity as the cause will suffer, inquire into these 4. particulars.

  • 1. Whether, and how farre forth the fourth Com­mandement concerning the Sabbath is moral, and perpetuall, and so belonging to Christians.
  • 2. When and by whom the Lords day was instituted.
  • 3. What workes the lews might doe on their Sabbath.
  • 4. Whether, and what liberty Christians now have on the Sunday more then they had, and how farre that liberty is to be extended?

[Page 6] To begin with the first. The law which God gave unto his people the Iewes (according to the three-fold variety of the object, or things prescribed) is three-fold, Morall, Ceremoniall, and Iudiciall. The Morall is that which concernes the manners of men, What the Morall law is. and belongs to them as men: and this commands those things which are in themselves acceptable, and well-pleasing to God, and those which hee will have all men every where, and at all times to observe, as the perpetuall, and unchangeable rule of living, being the expresse image of the minde of God, according to which, hee (who is the Law-giver) judges it meete and right, that the reason­able creatures should order their lives. The Cere­moniall What the ceremoni­all law is. belongs to men, as joyned together in that Society which is called the Church, and this con­taines those precepts which concerne the externall worship of God, and were given by him to the Iewish Church, in accommodation to the times, in which the Church was under age, and under the pro­mise, and therefore instituted for the signifying, pre­figuring, and sealing of the truth of the promises made to them, to be fulfilled in the exhibition of our Saviour: and withall for the preservation of order, and decencie in their Ecclesiasticall meetings, and performances. The judiciall belongs to men as What the judiciall law is. joyned in a civill Society or Cōmon-wealth, contay­ning the forme of civill government, to be used by them, tending to their good, as they were a Society, and to the preservation, and exacting of the eut­ward worship of God, and the discipline thereof, as it was commanded in the Morall and Ceremoniall [Page 7] Lawes. So that the Ceremoniall Law determined Aquin. 1. 2. qu. 101. the Morall in order to God; the Politicall or judi­ciall in order to men in a civill society; and both in accommodation to that state of the Church: And these though they have in them something which is juris moralis, and so farre forth are contained under the Morall precepts, yet being fitted to serve that state of the Church, which was to be held in expectation of the Messias; when the time came that he was actually exhibited, and so the promise fulfilled, the shadowes were then of no longer use, Col. 2. 17. the body being come: and therefore at the time of the death of Christ, they were abrogated de jure, so that they became unnecessary, and unprofitable, and had their power of obligation taken away: And afterward when by the Apostles doctrine Christians came to understand that Christ was the end of the Law, and when the Temple (the seate of their reli­gion, and the place destined to the use of those ce­remonies) was destroyed, they were de facto actu­ally and fully taken away: and those things, which before the death of Christ were commanded, and in that interim, betweene his death and the destru­ction of the Temple (which was the space allotted for the solemne funeralls of the Iewish Synagogue) were tolerable, though already dead, became from that time forward deadly and intolerable. So that, onely the Morall Law remaines now in force, for the practise of Christians; The ceremoniall and ju­diciall (excepting in that wherein they are redu­cible to this) are antiquated, and out of date. Now the precepts of the Morall Law are summarily [Page 8] comprehended in the Decalogue or ten Commande­ments: which had this prerogative peculiar to them, that they were delivered (not by Moses, but) by God himselfe, and by him written in tables of stone, and preserved in the Arke; to shew their dignity above others, and to note out the perpe­tuity of observance, which was due unto them. Where, before wee apply these things to our pre­sent purpose, two things are to be noted. First, Aq. 1. 2. q. 100. Moral pre­cepts not all equally belonging to the law of nature. That howsoever all the precepts of the Morall law belong to the Law of Nature (as being agreeable to reason, which is the rule of Humane actions) and are in that respect of perpetuall observance; yet all of them are not of the same ranke, nor be­long in the same degree and manner to the law of Nature. There are some things which by the in­stinct Aq. ibid. of nature, and naturall light of the under­standing, wee presently see to be good or bad, and which are so plaine, that without any great consi­deration, they may by the first principles, or com­mon notions implanted in us, be either approved, or rejected, and these are absolutely of the law of nature. Others there are that require more consi­deration of circumstances, and the use of Discourse to apprehend, and judge of them: and these are so of the law of nature, that notwithstanding they require the helpe of discipline, by which those which are ignorant, and not able by diligent con­sideration or discourse, to attaine to the know­ledge of them, may be instructed by the wise and learned. And lastly, there are some, to the know­ledge whereof humane reason stands in neede of [Page 9] Divine Instruction. And these two latter sorts, especially the last, though they in some sort be­long to the Law of Nature (and were haply at our first Creation, written in the tables of mans heart, in more plaine Characters, and more easie to be read then now since the fall, they are) may, in respect of the other, be termed morall (non ratione naturae, sed disciplinae) not in regard of nature dicta­ting, but in regard of Discipline informing nature. Secondly, that the fourth Commandement (as it en­joynes the externall observation of the seaventh day) is not morall either of these wayes. Whence S. Augustine Inter em­nia illa 10. praecepta solum ibi quod de Sabbato po­situm est si­gurate ob­servandum praecipitur. Aug. ep 118 cap. 12. Caetera ibi praecepta propriè sicut praecepta sunt sine ul­la figura a significatio­ne observa­mus. Idem Ibid. saith, That among all those ten Com­mandements, that onely of the Sabbath is figuratively to be observed; whereas (as hee after saith) Wee ob­serve the other Commandements there properly as they are cōmanded without any figurative signification. And generally the Ancients (as Calvin hath truly ob­served) called this Precept Inst. l. 2. & 8 §. 28. Vin­bratile ve­teres nuncu­pare solent. Dinudia tantum exparte rem attingunt. Id. Ibid. a shadow, which (as he there saith) was truly, but not fully said of them. And therefore they do better, and more fully ex­presse the nature of this Cōmandement, which say it is Sabbati praeceptum est partim Morale, partim Ceremoniale, unde into contine [...]er aliquid ater­num, et aliquid temporarium. Mart. Thes. in Exod. 2. partly morall, and partly ceremoniall. So Peter Martyr, and generally all Divines both reformed and others, use now to speake. Now if any shall therefore thinke it unworthy a place in the Deca­logue, and to be rankt with those precepts which are morall, and of perpetuall observance; Aquin. 2. 2. q. 122. art. 4 ad primum & secundum. Vidaeundem 1. 2. q. 100 a. 5. ad secundum. Aqui­nas may seeme to give them full satisfaction, who [Page 10] saith, 1. that the Precept concerning the Sancti­fication of the Sabbath, is put among the Pre­cepts of the Decalogue for that which is moral in it. 2. That this Precept as Ceremoniall, ought rather to have a place in the Decalogue then any other: The other Ceremonies being signes of some parti­cular effects of God; but this of the Sabbath was a signe of a generall benefit, viz. the Creation of the Medul. Theol l. 2. c 15 [...]. 11. Vniverse: So that that which Amesius will have a most certaine rule, and received among all the best Divines (as he calls them) That all, and onely the Morall precepts were delivered by the voyce of God himselfe, and by Him written in the tables of stone, is not true, unlesse Saint Augustine, Calvin, Martyr, &c. be in his esteeme none of the best Divines. Yet perhaps wee may admit that rule so farre as to say, That all the Morall Precepts are contayned in the Decalogue, and that every Precept there contayned is Morall, though all of every Precept be not so, but may have something that is ceremoniall annexed to it: which haply God thought good to place among the morall precepts, to intimate the perpetuall necessity of having some ceremonies in the Church; though that ceremonie be not necessarily perpetuall, but (with the rest of that nature) to expire at the death of Christ: which though wee admit, yet cannot any justly charge us, that wee di­minish any of the tenne words; or that wee ex­punge one Commandement out of the Decalogue; Deut. 4 13. in as much as wee affirme, that onely which was ceremoniall in this Commandement to bee ex­pired [Page 11] and out of date, and that there is in it a morality still remaining, which retaines its full power of obligation, and exacts the same obedi­ence, under the same penalty, which it did at its first promulgation or inscription in the heart of Adam. In which respect, the Church hath good cause still to use her accustomed Anti­phona at the repeating of this Commandement, as well as at any of the rest, and to pray Lord have mercy upon us, and encline our hearts to keepe this law.

And here, because some who love to have this Commandement termed morall (though thereby they intend no more then what hath beene al­ready granted) use so to argue, as if they did not acknowledge it at all to be ceremoniall; it will not be amisse, before wee proceed any further, to an­swere some of the principall arguments that are brought to this purpose.

And I wil begin with that of our Saviour, Math. 1. 5. 17. Thinke not that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. Which words (in their opinion) make strongly for the morality and perpetuall obligation of the fourth Com­mandement: For from hence they argue to this purpose. That which our Saviour did not destroy, but fulfill, is still in force; but hee did not destroy the law contayned in the Decalogue: Therefore it is still in force.

For answere hereunto, I say, That in this argu­ment two things are by them supposed.

First, they suppose, that by the Law in this [Page 12] place, is meant only the law contained in the De­calogue or ten Commandements.

Secondly, That our Saviours fulfilling, and not destroying this law, was the ratifying and perpetua­ting of the observation of it under the Gospel.

If wee grant them both these, wee shall con­demne the Christian Church for altering the day from the seventh to the eight or first day of the week, which cannot stand with this exposition of our Saviours speech, who, in the words following, saith expresly, That not one jot or title shall passe from the Law. But both these are beside the meaning and intent of our Saviour, as will easily appeare to any that (with indifferency) doth consider his words. For,

First, the Law which our Saviour here speakes of, is of larger extent and latitude, and compre­hends not onely the Decalogue or law morall, but the Ceremoniall and judiciall also: As being in­deed put for the Pentateuch or five bookes of Moses: And so, The Law and the Prophets, as much as, Mo­ses Luk. 26. 29 31. Mal [...]onat. in Mat. 7. 12. and the Prophets: Which formes of speech, are used as a Periphrasis of the old Testament, of which these two are the maine essentiall parts: The Bookes of Moses, so containing and describing the Law, that they reserre whatsoever else they con­taine unto that, receive their denomination from it, as from the principall subject of them. The Pro­phets, that is, their Bookes, comprehend all the rest of the old Testament, which the Hebrewes divide in­to the former and latter Prophets, and the Hagiogra­pha: Fra [...]. Iu [...] [...]. All which (though they be not Prophesies) [Page 13] being written by divine inspiration, and by holy men as they were moved by the Spirit of God, may justly be termed, The word of Prophecy, and passe 2. Pet. 1. under the name of the Prophets.

That the Law is taken in this sense, is manifest by the use of the same phrase else where: Where, not only the duties commanded in the Decalogue, but Christ and faith in him, is said to be taught and witnessed by the Law: to which purpose the Apostle S. Paul useth the same phrase, Acts 28. 23. Rom. 3. 21. Now, what word in all the Decalogue gives witnesse to Christ, or perswades the faith, which is required in him? Certainly, (however some have found not onely the faith in Christ, but the Sacraments also of the New Testament com­manded in the Decalogue yet,) there is no one word there which imports any such thing.

Yea, the very context evinces thus much: for our Saviour, having thus prefaced his exposition of the Law, keeps not himselfe within the bounds of the Moral Law; as appeares verse 18. And therefore Interpreters generally upon this place, shew how our Saviour did not destroy but fulfill the Ceremoniall Law also, as well as the Morall, which were altogether needlesse, if by the Law, that onely were understood.

Now, the Law being (as it must needs be) thus largely taken, any man may easily perceive that the not destroying but fulfilling of it, is not the ra­tifying and the perpetuating of the observation of it under the Gospel: for who sees not, that upon this ground they might conclude for Circumcision, [Page 14] and the legall Passeover and Sacrifices, with all their typicall Rites and Ceremonies, as well as for the Sabbath?

The truth is; our Saviour as hee was to fulfill not onely the Morall but the Ceremoniall and Iudi­ciall Law also: so he speakes of all, and did indeed, not destroy but, fulfill them all, though in a diffe­rent manner.

1. He fulfilled the whole Law, by his actuall and personall obedience to it, and by supplying the defects of it, that it, being unable to justifie us in it selfe, might, by the helpe of his grace and ac­cession of faith in him, bee able to performe that Rom. 8. 3, 4 which otherwise it could not.

2. He fulfilled the Ceremoniall Law, and so the Iu­diciall too, so farr as it was typicall; besides his sub­jection to them, by a reall exhibition of that whereof they were shadowes. And though by this meanes, their observation (according to the let­ter of the Law) ceased, yet did hee not hereby destroy, but perfect them; according to that of the Apostle, speaking of Circumcision, which was a legall Ceremony. Doe we then (saith he) make voide Rom. 3. 31. the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law. This place then, expounded according to the truest meaning and intent of our Saviour, makes nothing for the totall morality of the fourth Commandement, nor is in the least, contradictory to what I have delivered concerning it.

Secondly, they argue from the Institution of the Sabbath, which was (say they) in the begin­ning of the World, in the time of mans innocencie, [Page 15] when there was no need of Ceremony; and there­fore it was morall and perpetuall.

To this I answere, 1. That it is not universally true, that whatsoever precept was given to Adam in Innocency, was therefore Morall and perpetuall; for then the Symbolicall Precept of not eating of the forbidden fruit, must be such; which no man, (I suppose) will affirme. 2. If it be true (which Willet hath affirmed, and that by ten reasons which Dr. Willet on Gen. 3. 23. he there alledgeth) that Adam fell the same day that he was created, then did he fall before the gi­ving of the Precept for the observation of the Sabbath, and had it not in the state of Innocencie. But the truth is, this is a meere conjecture dispu­table any way, so as a man may better oppose whatsoever is affirmed, then solidly conclude a­ny thing. 3. If it bee not false that the Sabbath was then instituted, yet it hath and may, not with­out good reason be doubted of. That place which is brought for it, Gen. 2. 2. doth not convincingly prove it. And if the reasons, which are alledged for the prolepsis in that place, bee, without pre­judice, considered, their opinion who so expound it will not seeme improbable, as 1. That there is no mention any where made of it, to have beene observed by the Patriarchs. 2. Where it is first spoken of, Exod. 16. it is spoken of as a new thing not knowne to have beene observed before. 3. In that it is called a signe betweene God and the Israelites, that he was their sanctifier Exo. 31. 13 Deut. 5. 15. Ezck. 20. 12. and deliverer out of Egypt, which it could not bee if it were given to all Nations in Adam. But last­ly, [Page 16] granting the whole Argument. I would faine know how that day, that was then instituted and sanctified, could cease, and another be substituted. How could it bee Morall and perpetuall, and yet determine with the Iewish Church? The words which are brought as the Institution, say; God re­sted the seventh (N. B.) and for that cause, God Gen. 2 3. blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, viz. that seventh day on which hee rested. The Text doth not say, God rested the seventh day, and therefore he would have one of the seven to be sanctified; That is but the exposition or glosse, not the Text; the word of man, not of God. But some may haply say, That the particular day was alterable, and up­on good ground was altered. This I grant, but say withall, that he which holds the Sabbath to be in­stituted before the fall, and for that cause Morall and perpetuall, cannot so say, but either hee must wave his owne Principles, or cry up the Jewish Sabbath postliminiò.

Secondly, they argue from that of our Saviour (Matth. 24. 20.) who foreshewing the destruction of Jerusalem to his Disciples, adviseth them to pray, that their slight bee not in the Winter, nei­ther on the Sabbath Day. If (say they) this Pre­cept had beene Ceremoniall, then had it beene all one to fly on the Sabbath day, as on any other day: be­cause all Ceremonies were before that time (which was not till forty yeares after Christs Ascension) to bee abrogated. But in that Christ doth allow this feare of flying on the Sabbath Day more then on any other day of the weeke, hee shewes plainely that [Page 17] the force of the Sabbath was not abrogated by his resurrection, and therefore no Ceremony.

Thus they argue. To which it were answere Dr. Williams p. 297. Dod. p. 130. Elton. p. 90. sufficient to shew that hereby they still rush upon the same rocke, and while they labour to esta­blish a needlesse morality of the Lords Day, they unawares bring in Iudaisme. For the Sabbath day there, cannot with any shew of reason bee taken (though now a dayes it is too common so to take it) for the Lords Day: and if our Saviour did in­tend by bidding his Disciples pray that their flight might not happen on the Sabbath day, to intimate the necessity of the observation of that Day by Christians: Then did S. Paul crosse Colos. 2. 16 our Saviours intent in numbring that among the shadowes which vanished at Christs death; and then hath also the Church of Christ ever since erred in so accounting it, and condemning the ob­servation of it, with an Anathema to those that in Concil. Lac­dic. can. 29. In Mat. Hom. [...]. this point shall be found to Iudaize. S. Chrysostome is so farre from thinking that the Sabbath which our Sauiour there speaks of, did belong to Christi­ans, that upon that ground hee expounds that speech of our Saviour as spoken not to his Apo­stles but to the Iewes. Thou seest (saith he) that he speakes to the Iewes—for the Apostles were not to keepe the Sabbath, &c. But grant that it were spo­ken to the Disciples; yet can no such thing bee thence collected as they would have. For our Sa­viour had good ground so to advise his Disciples, notwithstanding God at that time required no keeping of the Sabbath. For though the Ceremo­nies [Page 18] of the Law (and this among the rest) were dead with Christ, yet were they not buried (as I have shewed) nor the practise of them deadly Act. 21. 20. Non fuerunt tanquam di­abolica Gen­tiunt sacrile­gia fugienda, etiam cum ipsa gratia iam coeperat revelari quae umbris tali­bus fuerat praenunciata, sed permit­tenda pau­lū eis, max­imè qui ex illo populo cui data sūt, venerant. Postea vero tanquam cū honere sepul­ta sunt a Christiaūs omnibus ir­reparabiliter deserenda. Aug. ep 19. And a little before in the same Chapter, [...]um ve­nisset fides que priùs ictis obs [...]va­tiambus praenun [...]iata, post mortem & resurrectionē Domini revelata est, amiserunt tanquam vitam officii [...]. Verum tamen sicut defuncta corpora necessariorum officiis deducenda [...]ant quodammodo ad sepultueam.—Non autem deserenda continuo vel inimicorum mersibus pro. j [...]ienda [...]oind [...] [...] quisquis Christianorum quamvis ex Iudaeis similiter ea celebrare voluerit, tanquam sopitos cineres [...], non erit pius deductor vel, bajulus corporis, sed impi­us sepu [...]tu [...]ae uiolat [...]. till the Temple was destroyed: till which time, even the Apostles themselves were zealous of the Law, and retentive of their old Ceremonies: to which weaknesse of theirs, our Saviour there accommodates his speech, willing rather that their owne experience in the destruction of the Temple should teach them that harsh lesson of the abolishing of the Legall Ceremonies, then by a praemature urging it, to startle such as were yet weake in faith, or hinder others of that Nation from beleeving in Him. Besides; be it that Chri­stians did hold themselves freed from the obser­vance of the Sabbath, yet being among those who still made conscience of it, even to superstition, (as did the unconverted Jewes) it could not but prove very incommodious to their speedy and farre flight (which the greatnesse and suddennesse of the danger required) in as much as thereby they should expose themselves to the fury of those who were no lesse zealous in compelling o­thers, then superstitious in observing it them­selves. In these respects our Saviour might well admonish his Disciples to pray that their flight might not bee on the Sabbath day, and yet not [Page 19] teach them to observe the Sabbath after his death, or that while the observation of it lasted, they should thinke themselves so tied in conscience of it, that they might not on that day flie farre to save their lives: and much lesse to esta­blish the Morality of the Lords Day, which neither He, nor his Apostles, nor the following ages of the Church, (till within these few yeares) ever designed by the name of the Sabbath, without some difference added to distinguish it from that of the Jewes. For though we finde it sometimes called our Sabbath, or the Sabbath of Christians, in regard that in the maine end of it, it succeeded that, yet generally the Sabbath simply put, and without addition, notes the Iewish Sabbath, or the Day on which it was celebrated, which is our Sa­turday; and the day before that which we keepe, which is therefore called by the Evangelists and S. Paul, [...], one, or the first day from the Matt. 28. 1. Mar. 16. 1. Iohn 20. 1. 1. Cor. 16 2 Revel. 1. 10 Sabbath, and by S. Iohn in the Revelation, the Lords Day: by which name, or that which the same day had among the Gentiles, (viz. the Sunday) it hath ever since been knowne in the Christian world.

But I will leave these, and now returne thither whence (for the answering of these objections) I have digressed. And having seene the nature and severall degrees of Morall Precepts; and in generall, that the fourth Commandement hath in it somewhat not moral, That I may apply these things to our present purpose, and manifest the truth thereof: I will more particularly inquire into the nature of that Commandement, and in it distinctly [Page 20] consider these 4. things. First, A Day, or time set apart for Gods service. Secondly, the seventh day, or one in the revolution of seven. Thirdly, the particular seventh there mentioned, namely the seventh from the Creation. Fourthly, the strict Some time to be con­secrated to God, moral surcease or rest from ordinary labours on that day.

For the first of these. It cannot be denied, but that the very Law of Nature it selfe (to use the words of a Worthy of our Church) requireth no Hook p. 378 ‘lesse the sanctification of times, then of places, persons, and things. For which cause it hath pleased God heretofore as of the rest, so of times likewise, to exact some parts by way of perpe­tuall homage.’ And that (as Aquinas) it is mo­rall, Morale est quantum ad hoc, quod homo depu­tat aliquod tempus vitae suae ad va­can [...] di. vinis, &c. Aqui [...]i. 22. q. 122. that man should depute some time of his life for the service of God. For there is in man a kind of naturall inclination, that to every thing neces­sary there bee a time assigned: as to our bodily refection, sleepe and the like: Whence also to the spiritnall refection of the soule, whereby the soule is refreshed in God, by the dictate of natu­rall reason, a man deputes some time. And so to have some times for holy Offices comes under the Morall Law, and is absolutely of the Law of Nature written in the heart of every man, being invol­ved in that principle which even depraved na­ture hath ever acknowledged; viz. that God is to be worshipped. And therefore Amesius hath well Medul. T [...]eol. l. 2. c. 15. [...]4. observed that thus farre the time of Gods wor­ship falls under that precept which exacts the worship it selfe: and as God when he created the world, is said to have concreated time with it: [Page 21] so when he ordained religious actions, he appoin­ted also to the same, a time for them, as a necessary circumstance, without which they could not be performed. And as the time in which such acti­ons are done, so that some Day, or Dayes should be destinated and set apart for the more solemne performance of those actions, may seeme to be a dictate of the same Law of nature: in as much as the Heathens who had no other guide but the law of Nature, had their solemne Feasts and set Dayes in all ages consecrated to the worship of their Gods; whereby they manifested (though not the knowledge of the true God, yet) their ac­knowledgement of that Principle, That God is to be worshipped, and the conveniencie of assigning some Dayes peculiarly to that end.

For the second: That one day in the revolution of seaven should be thus set a part: this cannot be said to be absolutely of the Law of nature: Na­ture being ignorant of this, without the instructi­on of the written Law, in which God hath revealed his pleasure, concerning the Quota pars, or how much of our time hee requires to be consecrated to Him: And this will easily appeare to any that doth without prejudice consider it. For it is an easie thing to give an estimate of what Principles are naturall and written in the hearts of all men; and what are gotten by instruction, discipline, and information: Now men may by the light of Na­ture from the creature, climbe up to the know­ledge of the Creator, and from the nature of God conclude his worship, and from the nature of his [Page 22] Worship, conclude a time (as to all other things) to be due to it. But to goe further, and to deter­mine what part of our time, wee cannot. For it will not follow that because some time is due, there­fore the seaventh day, more then the eighth of eve­ry moneth, which was observed by the Graecians in Plutarch in v [...] Thesci. honour of Neptune, or any other day, above, or under that number. And for this cause it is (saith Saint Chrysostome) that in the giving of this Com­mandement S. Chryso­stom. [...]. [...]om. 6. p. 542. Edit. Savill. Deut. 5. 15. & 14. 18. concerning the Sabbath (which hee calls a Precept not made knowne to us by our conscience) God added a reason, as because Ged rested the seventh day from all his worke; and againe; because thou wast a servant in Egypt, &c. Whereas in those Precepts that are purely morall, as when he saith, Thou shalt doe no murther, hee onely gives the precept, with­out giving any reason at all. Why so? (saith that Father,) because our conscience had taught us this before; so that God speakes, as to those that knew and understood reason sufficient for the Prohibi­tion. Neither doth Eusebius (though alledged by De praepa­ratione E­vangel 13. c. 7. some to that purpose) any way contradict this, when he saith, That not onely the Hebrewes, but all almost, both Philosophers and Poets acknow­ledged the seaventh day to be sacred: For here it is not questioned, whether the Gentiles which want­ed the law of God to informe them, did hold the seaventh day as hallowed, but whether they were induced by the instinct of nature so to account it; or that so accounting it, they held themselves bound to consecrate that, more then any other to the worship of God: The Gentiles (as Eusebius at [Page 23] large declares) came to the knowledge of it from the Iewes, and did in that, as in other things, be­come their Imitators, and receive it into their manners. Or upon some other ground or super­stition they might account the number of seaven to be sacred; as because by that number the Pla­nets (which they honoured as their chiefest Dei­ties) were terminated: for which cause (we know) by their names they intituled their dayes. But what ever were the motive, as it is without all question, that the Gentiles, as well as the Iewes, held the number of seaven in great veneration, ac­counting S. Aug. de civit lib. 11. c. 31. Hieron. in Amo [...]. 5. it the number of perfection, and full of mysteries; So it is as unquestionable, that by the light of nature they knew not that that part of our time was to be separated to Gods service. And therefore Zanchius speakes more inconsiderately Zanch. in quartum Praecep. then beseemes his learning, when hee saith, That Nature teacheth all men to consecrate one day of seaven to the externall worship of God: Which, Med. Theo. l. 2. 6. 15. n. 6. others (and among them Amesius) better conside­ring acknowledge to be onely of positive right, and morall, not in regard of nature, but of discipline, as comming under that ranke of morall Precepts, which neede instruction to helpe naturall reason to know, and judge of them. Now, albeit Calvine Instit l. 2. c. 8. D. Calvins o­pinion of one in seaven. (who in this as in other things, wants not his fol­lowers) thinks the seaventh day, not to be so stood on, as that he would tye the Christian world pre­cisely to that: Yet there are many grave and ju­dicious Divines, both Ancient and Moderne, that judge the institution of one Day in seaven to be [Page 24] so farre morall, as that it doth binde the Church perpetually and immutably. Thus among the An­cients [...] &c. Eccl. Pol. p. 379. Saint Chrysostome upon those words, And God blessed the seaventh day and hallowed it, Genes. 2. 3. Here, saith hee, from the beginning God inti­mates to us this Doctrine, instructing us to separate and lay aside one day in the compasse of every weeke for spirituall exercises. And among our moderne Writers that admired Hooker, saith. That wee are bound to account the sanctificatiō of one day in seven, a duty which Gods immutable law doth exact for ever. Thus hee, with many others, whose judgements I honour, yet dare not herein wholly subscribe to them neither: For the Law exacting the observa­tion of one day in seaven, being onely positive (as must needs be granted) cannot containe in it selfe any perpetuall obligation. For all Lawes of that nature (though made by God himselfe) admit mutation (at least) when the matter concerning which, or the condition of the Persons, to whom they were given, is changed: Now the Day, con­cerning which this Precept was given, together with the State of the Church, to which it was given, being changed, I see no reason, why the proportion of one in seaven, should be simply and in it selfe immutable; Yet thus much, I willingly grant them, that (some time to be set apart for Gods worship, being absolutely of the Law of na­ture) that proportion of time, which God him­selfe made choyce of for his owne People, is the fittest that can be imagined: and Nature infor­med by God, cannot but acknowledge His wise­dome [Page 25] and goodnesse in this choyce, in that hee hath so attempered it, that neither the long space be­tweene can make us forget our duty to him, nor the quicke returne of it hinder our providing for the necessities of nature. And hereupon the Church of Christ, hath taken it as an obligation be­longing to them, and that (as it is in our Church Hom. of the place and time of Prayer. Part. Homily) ‘Gods will and commandement was to have a solemne time, and standing day in the weeke, where­in the people should come together, and have in re­membrance his wonderfull Benefits, and render him thanks for them as appertaineth to loving, kinde, and obedient people.’ Thus farre then, this Comman­dement extends to us Christians, as well as to the Jewes, in as much as to consecrate some part of our time to God, is morall, and a seaventh part, though not morall, yet fitly chosen, and appointed by God, and observed by the Church of Christ (not as simply immutable, yet) as most worthy to be retayned.

For the third particular. The particular seventh day there mentioned, that is, the seaventh day from the Creation; This cannot be said to be Morall any way, but is ceremoniall and temporary, and ex­pired with the dissolution of the Iewish Church. And this is generally confessed by all, whom the heresie of Iudaisme hath not infected: and the mutation of the Day approved by the practise of the Christian world ever since the Apostles times, is a sufficient disclaime to the morality of it.

For one of these three must needs hence be in­ferred. Eyther that that which is morall may bee [Page 26] changed; or that the Church of Christ hath now for this sixteen hundred years erred in the change of it; orlastly, that the particular day prescribed to the Jews was Ceremoniall, and not perpetuall. The first, no man will say that vnderstands the nature of mo­rall precepts, and their dependance upon the Law of nature, which is one and the same with all men every where, and in all ages, and in that regard immutable. And he deserves not the name of a Christian that dares affirme the second. It remaines therefore that we pitch upon the third, & confesse that herein that Commandement was Ceremoniall & not perpetuall. But besides the practice of the Church we have the warrant of the Apostle S. Paul. Col. 2. 16. 17. who ranks the Sabbath among the shadows of things to come whereof the body is Christ. Now the bo­dy Speach against Trash. p. 72 had (they are the words of the late learned Bishop of Winchester) the shadowes vanish: that which was to come, when it is come to what end any fi­gure of it? it ceaseth too. So that to hold the shadow of the Sabbath is to continue, is to hold that Christ the body is not yet come. Neyther can the force of this Elten. p 91 [...]lliams p. 299. Ames loco supra cu. place be avoyded by saying that the Iewes had o­ther Sabbaths that were there meant, as the Sab­baths of weekes, and the first and last dayes of their great feasts which were called Sabbaths. For the Apostle speakes indefinitely of the Sabbath dayes, & hath not there left any ground to rayse any di­stinction upon, or to shew that he aymed onely at them more then this. That he speakes there in the plurall number will not helpe this shift, but rather crosse it: it helpes it not, because we know it is usu­all [Page 27] in the new Testament to use that number when the Sabbath in question is spoken of: it crosseth it rather in that being in the plurall number it may ra­ther seeme to comprehend all their Sabbaths what­soever they were: and so to be far from excluding this. The place then is cleare, and alone sufficient to prove the point in hand: To which I will one­ly adde; that the reason drawn from the example of God, who rested upon the Sabbath day, namely, when the Creation was finished, endured onely till the time of the new Creation in which al things were made new by Christ; at which time it ceased, or at least, a second reason taken from that new Creation comming in place, the former both reason & day (become now old) are passed away, and behold all 2 Cor. 5. 17. things are become new. For this worke of redemption or new Creation being the greater may deservedly take place of the other. And as the Prophet Ieremy Ier. 16 14. 15. speaking of the deliverance that God would vouch­safe his people from the Babilonish captivity, saith: Behold the dayes shall come (saith the Lord) that it shall no more be said; the Lord liveth that brought up the Children of Israel out of Egypt: but the Lord liveth which brought up the children of Israel from the land of the North, &c. So may wee say of the day appointed for his worship; that the day where­in he finished the worke of Creation shall no more be observed, but the day wherein our Lord Iesus Christ by his resurrection from the dead finished the worke of our redemption, and begun a new life to be finished in all his members, who (as S. Peter 1 Pet. 1. 3. tels us) are by his resurrection begotten vnto a live­ly [Page 28] hope of an eternall Inheritance.

The fourth and last thing in this Commande­ment and that which denominated the day is the resting from ordinary labours. And this in regard of the divers ends it had admits a diverse conside­ration. 1. This rest may be considered as a means without which the dutyes of Gods worship cannot be performed. For seeing the generall & publique dutyes of piety and devotion, and our owne pri­vate businesses cannot both bee followed at once, there must be such a cessation from ordinary la­bours on that day, wherein men are to performe those dutyes, as that thereby they be not hindered in the performance thereof: in which regardthose workes that in themselves, and at other times are not prohibited, are on that day vnlawfull, so farre Aq. 2. 2. q. 112. 4. as they hinder a man from applying himself to di­vine dutyes: and therein are contrary to the ob­servance of that precept, which requires the perfor­mance of them. And therefore when God com­mands a day to be dedicated to Him, he doth like­wise in the same command such a rest as a meanes necessary to that end. So that, thus farre it is con­nected with, & participates of the morality of that Precept that enjoynes the dutyes for which it was appointed; & in this consideration we are no lesse bound at this day, to rest from our labours on the dayes devoted to Gods solemne worship, then were the Iewes, and (as Uenerable Hooker sayth) ‘The voluntary scandalous contempt of that rest from p. 385. labour wherewith God is publikely served, we cannot too severely correct and bridle.’

[Page 29] Another end of this rest is mentioned. Deut. 5. 14. viz: that there might be a time of rest allowed to servants and labourers for their refreshment. And this no lesse concernes us, then it did them; for ne­cessity of nature requires some time of remission from labour: and religion teacheth us, to be mer­cifull even to our beasts, and much more to our ser­vants Prov. 12. 10. who are our brethren. But this is not so con­nected with the observance of the day of Gods publique worship, but that it may at other times be supplyed, yet is then so far requisite, as it makes for the solemne performances of the duties of the day, that all, as well servants, as others, may joyne together in the service of God: which while they doe, they at once enjoy the refreshment of their bodyes, and freedome to refresh their soules, with holy and religious exercises.

But this rest, as it was prescribed to the Iews, had yet a further end, in regard of which, it was exacted so strictly, and beyond that which eyther the so­lemne service of God, or the necessary refreshment of labouring persons did require. And that was figurative for the signifying of things past, present, and future.

1. Things past; and so it was a memoriall of Gods resting from his worke of Creation: and as the day which they observed, so the strict rest upon that day served as a sign of the cōmon benefit of Cre­ation which they thereby acknowledged to bee Gods work, when they celebrated that day where­in God rested from creating, & sanctified it by an holy and totall surcease from their owne workes. [Page 30] And this end is assigned by God himselfe, and an­nexed Ex. 20. 11. to the commandement as a principal reason of the institution of it.

Secondly; it was a memoriall likewise of their deliverance out of Egypt, so expressely said to bee Deut. 5. 15. where, in the repetition of the Law, this reason, is added instead of the former, & God is therefore sayd to command them to keepe the Sabbath, that they might remember their servitude in Egypt, and their deliverance from thence.

Againe; the Sabbath was a signe also of their present condition, and a note to distinguish them from all other people, they being then the onely peculiar people of God, whom hee had separated, and sanctified to himselfe: For a signe of which pe­culiar sanctification they were commanded to ob­serve the Sabbath, as we read Exod. 31. 13. & Ezech. 20. 12.

3. Lastly; the rest of the Sabbath was a Type whereby was prefigured that rest which remained Heb. 4. 9 Vid. Aqum. in loc. ver. 4. for the people of God, to be purchased for them by Christ. Into which rest they which believe do enter, and shall have the full possession thereof in the Kingdome of glory, when, after all their works finished, they shall rest from their labours. And Rev. 14. 13 this rest the Apostle designing by the name of a Sabbatisme, intimates the prefiguring of it by that Sabbath which the people of God under the Law were to observe. So that, as the place of this Ce­lestiall, and eternall rest, was shadowed out by the promised Land, so the rest it selfe for the nature, & condition of it was no lesse presignified by their [Page 31] usuall Sabbaths. Now in relation to these good things which were thus vailed under the outward observation of this rest, it was very requisite that the rest whereby they were represented, should be, as strict as might be; for the more exact the fi­gure Figurae de­bet esse ex­actae, alio­qui non bene significant. Bellarm. t. 2. l. 3. c. 10 is, the better it signifies; and the more strict­ly the rest was observed, the more lively was the representation of those things, which it aymed at. To this if we add the condition of those, to whom it was enjoyned, we shall have the compleate rea­son, why it was with that strictnesse commanded and exacted, & the violation of it with such seve­rity punished.

For first, the Iewes though the people of God, & heire & Lord of all, yet being, as the Apostle saith, Gal. 4. 1. a child, differed not from a servant, and as servants were to be held in bondage under the strict yoke of outward observances, & of this among the rest, till the fulnesse of time came, when God sent forth V. 45. his Sonne made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were vnder the law, that wee might receive the adoption of sonnes.

Secondly, the Iews by reason of their long abode in a place of continuall servile toyle, could not suddainely be weaned and drawne unto contrary offices, without some impression of terror; whence the severity with which this duty, was enjoyned, and the violation thereof punished, was to them most necessary. And besides, we know, that there is nothing more needfull, then to punish with ex­tremity the first transgressors of those Lawes that require a more exact observation for many ages to [Page 32] come. These considerations then being peculiar unto them, that strict rest which was thereupon exacted, being but accidentally annexed to the prin­cipall sanctification of the Sabbath, cannot belong unto us by vertue of that command by which it was enjoyned them. And this is confessed even by those that stand most for the observation of the Sabbath: who grant that the strictnesse of the rest on the Sabbath was Ceremoniall, and did belong to the Iewes onely and is abrogated by the death of Christ. Elton. So Elton. And Amesius. It may be granted, that there P. 98. was somewhat a more strict observation of the Sabbath Potest qui dem concedi actionem a­liquam observatienem Sabbati illis temporibus suisse impe­ratam, pae­elagoglae & scivitutis tempori ac­commoda­tam, quae omnibus se­culis non obtinet. Med. Theol. l. 2. c. 15. n. 23. Ʋ. Per­kins cases. l. 2. c. 16. § 1. commanded in those times, as fitted to the pedagogy and time of servitade, which obteynes not in all ages. So he, and generally the most of those which pro­pugne the Doctrine of the Sabbath.

To give a briefe and full resolution to the first question propounded. viz. whether, and how farre forth the fourth Commandement concerning the Sab­bath is morall, and perpetuall, and so belonging to us Christians

To the former part, I say the fourth Comman­dement is partly morall, and partly Ceremoniall. To the latter I say. First, it is morall, and perpetuall that some time be dedicated to the solemne, pub­lique worship and service of God. Secondly, that one day in the revolution of seaven, be consecrated to this end, is not morall; yet very convenient and fitly observed, and retayned by the Church of Christ. Thirdly; that the particular seaventh day, which the Iewes observed, is neither morall, nor sit to bee observed, being altogether abrogated and [Page 33] out of date, ever since the death of Christ. Lastly; the resting from ordinary labours, as it is conne­cted with the dutyes of Gods worship, and a means without which, they cannot be performed, is no lesse necessary on the dayes consecrated to that end now, then heretofore; but as it concerned the Iewish Sabbath, it is together with the Sabbath abrogated. So that Christians are not bound either to rest on that day, which the Iewes did, or to rest on their owne Sabbaths or dayes consecrated to Gods service, with the same strictnesse, which was enjoyned the Iewes on theirs. Thus much shall serve to have spoken of the first generall question.

Having explained the nature of the fourth Com­mandement touching the Iewish Sabbath: I come now to speake of the Lords Day; in which, that which was Morall in that Commandement, is and ever hath beene observed by Christians. The in­stitution of which, when and by whom it was, be­ing the second generall part of our inquirie.

And here all Divines are not of one opinion. Some ground this no lesse then the Iewish Sabbath See Do­ctor Willi­ams of the Church. P. 301. upon the fourth Commandement, which (say they) includes both the Sabbath of the Iewes, and of the Christians: Because the Lord doth not say, Re­member that thou keepe holy the seventh Day, but Re­member that thou keepe holy the Sabbath Day; that is, the Day of rest: which, before the comming of Christ, was the seventh from the Creation; but af­terward, the first day of the weeke, or Lords Day.

But these men while they over greedily seeke [Page 34] after a divine foundation for the Lords Day, doe not consider that they stretch the Precept beyond the intent of the Lawgiver. For though it bee granted that the Lord doth not say, Remember to keepe holy the seventh day, but the day of ceasing in­determinately, yet seeing in the following expli­cation, which God added, it is determined unto that particular seventh, which was the seventh from the Creation, to which it expresly is refer­red, as to the speciall reason of the Institution: the Sabbath there cannot without forcing, and manifest absurdity, bee said to bee as the Genus to the Iewish, and Christian Sabbath, and to include both. For is it not manifestly absurd, and unbe­seeming a rationall man, and much more the wis­dome of the Supreame Law-giver, to say; God in sixe dayes made heaven and earth, and rested the se­venth, and for that cause sanctified the seventh Day; Ergo, Hee will have men in imitation of him to rest sometime (viz. before the comming of Christ) on that day whereon hee rested, and sometime (viz. after Christs comming) to rest on the day in which hee began to worke. Neither can this ab­surdity bee salved (as some have endeavoured to Cleaver Declar. of Christian Sabbath. pag. 99. doe) by saying, there is alwayes more meant in the Precepts and prohibitions, then in words are expressed: for those things which are so meant without particular expression, must either be ne­cessarily connected with, or some way subordinat to that which is expressed, that so it may be inclu­ded in it. Sure I am, it ought no way to be exclu­ded, as (we see) this is by Gods owne exposition [Page 35] of himselfe, and the reason which hee alledgeth, which can no way agree both to the Jewish Sab­bath, and the Lords Day.

Again, others urge the Institution of the Lords Esion p. 90. Dod p. 127. Day, as founded upon Gods sanctification of the seventh Day at the Creation, which being before all Ceremonies, must (say they) needes binde Christians, as well as the Jewes. But this labours of the same weaknesse, and absurdity, which the other did. For what day did God sanctifie there? Surely not the first day of the Weeke, but the seventh from the Creation, which they must with the Jewes cry up againe, if they will have their argument hold good. But besides this, the weak­nesse of this foundation appeares in that (as hath beene shewed) they cannot prove that God in­stituted the Sabbath, and commanded it to bee observed from that time forward; but onely that Moses there, relating the story of the Creation, intimates the reason of Gods after Commanding his people to rest upon that Day. And lastly, granting that to be the Institution (which cannot be proved) and that not the seaventh day from the Creation (as the words expresly say) but a seaventh, or one in seaven, were thereby intended to be per­petuall, & to belong to us Christians: If all this be granted, here will yet be but a partiall foundatiō, and no compleat institution of that particular day which we observe: for, all this notwithstanding, why might not the second, third, fourth, or any o­ther have beene observed, and yet that institution of one in seaven no way violated?

[Page 36] Others therefore (no doubt espying the weak­nesse of it)Amesius Medul. Theol l. 2 c. 15 n 27. forsake this hold, and seeke for autho­rity to prove it, to be of Divine Institution, out of the New Testament. And among these Amesius will have it to bee done by Christ himselfe: laying this for a ground worke, that He alone could change the day of the Sabbath, that was Lord of it, that is, Christ. So that according to him, Christ was the Author of this change, and that either mediately by his Apostles, whom he assisted by his Spirit in the In­stitution of it, no lesse then he did in the doctrine which they taught: or else, (as hee holds to bee most probable) immediately, and in his owne person; and the probability of this he labours to prove by divers Arguments; wherein hee doth (as one hath well observed in the like case) as if one should demand a Legacy, by force and vertue of some written Testament wherein there being no such thing specified, he pleades, that there it must needs be, and bringeth arguments from the love and good will, which alwayes the Testator bore him; imagining that these or the like proofes will evince a Testament, to have that in it which o­ther men by reading, can no where finde. Cer­tainely it is a bold and a strange course, for men to adventure to argue, that God must needs have done the thing, which they imagine was to bee done: whereas in matters that concerne the acti­ons of God, the most dutifull, and safe way on our part, is to search what God hath done, and with meekeresse to admire that, rather, then to dispute what he, in congruity of reason, ought to [Page 37] doe. Hee might therefore have spared all the rea­sons he brings, and in stead thereof, to have al­ledged one place out of the New Testament, which doth command the change of the Day, especially seeing he denies it, (and that for many reasons by him there urged) to bee an unwritten Tradition: which seeing hee doth not, nor indeede can doe, what doth he else by all his arguments, but endea­vour to lay an aspersion of imperfection upon the Scriptures, and of neglect in Christ himselfe of that office, which as the great Prophet of his Church belonged to him? As if unlesse hee had beene as carefull to appoint the observation of this day, as Moses was to appoint the old Sabbath, hee could not (absit verbo blasphemia) be as faithfull in the house of God, as Moses was. But farre be such blasphemous thoughts from us, farre be it from us to measure the faithfulnesse of our blessed Saviour by our phansies: or to judge him unfaithfull, be­cause he did omit that which our shallow conceits judge necessary and fit for him to doe. Wee know that the high Priest of our profession, Christ Iesus, was Heb 3. 2. faithfull to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithfull in all his house. And this faithfulnesse of his was by him sufficiently demonstrated, in that hee fully declared the will of his Father to the world, in all things to be beleeved and done, and shewed how, and what worship Christians must give unto God, though the circumstances of that worship as Time and Place (in as much as concer­ned the particular designing of either) hee left to be determined by the Church, whom he promised [Page 38] to be with to the end of the world. And as he can­not be said to be lesse faithfull in the house of God, then Moses or Salomon (who provided the one a Tabernacle, the other a Temple) because he did not appoint set places for Gods worship; so neither can hee be justly taxed for not appointing the set times for the same; these two circumstances of time and place, being of equall necessity and use, and joyned together by God himselfe, Lev. 19. 30. Yee shall keepe my Sabbaths, and reverence my Sanctu­arie. I am the Lord. Neither is the difference of Places more taken away now under the Gospel, then of Times. But as the true worshippers of God are not tyed to worship either in Ierusalem, or any Ioh. 4. other peculiar place, but may worship him in spi­rit and truth in all places, lifting up pure hands: so I Tim. 2. 8. neither are they tyed to any speciall time or day, but may pray continually, and at all times. And I Thes. 5. 17. therefore they who are so indifferent for the place, that they can be content to account a Wood, a Par­lor, or a Barne, place good enough for Christians to meete in for the performance of Gods publick worship, have no reason to complaine for want of a set day, or time, for the same purpose. The truth Difference of times and places how taken away un­der the Gospell. is, that that peculiar blessing which God once be­stowed upon the Sabbath of the Temple, & thereby differenced them from all others, is enlarged to all times & places; and any day and place may, by the Church, be dedicated and set apart for Gods wor­ship; and being so dedicated, & set apart, they inhe­rit that holinesse which was once peculiar unto the, in relation to the duties then & there performed [Page 39] to God, who in regard of the abundance of grace vouchsafed now in the time of the Gospell, may be said to be more present at such times, and in such places, then heretofore in those of his own assign­ing. But it was not necessary that Christ himself, or his Apostles from him, should by expresse precept par­ticularly designe, either of these: if any think such Ames. loco supracit. n 30. precept to be necessary, let them shew the place of Scripture, where such precept is to be found, or else confesse the Scripture to be deficient in things necessary, and so forsake their colours of reforma­tion, and passe over into the Campe of the Roma­nists. If they be ashamed of this, let them learne and confesse: That, however it be necessary that some time be dedicated to Gods service, yet the determination to this or that particular day, is not necessary to be defined by Scripture: which they may perhaps the more easily be brought to see, if they consider, that in this it is no otherwise, then it is with other things of equall necessity with this in the generall (as the Sacraments, Fasting, and Prayer it selfe) which yet for the particular, when, and how often they are to be used, is not any where in Scripture defined, nor necessary so to be.

But some who will have the Lords day so called, Dod p. 133. because Christ himselfe instituted it, say, That, the Apostles, by the authority of that Spirit, that al­way assisted them in their ministeriall office, did al­ter the day, and themselves kept, and ordained it to be kept in all Churches, as may appeare 1. Cor. 16. 1. Where he saith, Every first day of the weeke, when yee meete together, &c. But certainly, it is most [Page 40] evident, even to a vulgar consideration, that no such thing doth appeare out of that place. For, what doth Saint Paul say there? That hee would have Christians meete every first day of the weeke, to serve God? No surely, there is not a word of meeting in the text, but what is foysted in, to de­ceive the credulous Reader. That which S. Paul saith, is, That on that day hee would have every one lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. This implies neither the meeting together of the Church on that day, nor the performance of any religious duty; but onely a repositing or lay­ing up, and that not in a common banke, but every man ( [...]) by himselfe. See Saint Chrysostome upon that place, who saith, [...] &c. and a little after, [...], &c. Againe, grant that S. Paul (as he did not) had enjoyned Christians to meete on that day: and at their meeting to make a Collection for the poore; yet could not this serve for a sufficient institution of that Day to succeede the Jewes Sabbath: unlesse such collections did in­volve in them all the service of God, on that day to be done, or were so connected with them, that they could not bee separated: which no man, I suppose, will affirme. To leave these therefore, who out of an over-weening conceit of the day, are willing to catch at any shadow that may seeme to countenance it, and gaine to it the reputation of Divine institution; Let us pitch upon that which is certaine, which though it rise not so high, as an immediately-divine authority, yet is sufficient to ground our practise upon, and to exact the due ob­servation of the Day.

First, then it is most certaine, that our Blessed [Page 41] Saviour did honour this day with his most glori­ous Mat. 28. 1 Mar. 16. 1. Ioh. 20. 1. resurrection, and by his often Ioh. 20. 19. 26. apparitions upon it to his Disciples: and thereby (as it were) pointed out this day to his Disciples, as worthy to be made choice of to be celebrated in honour of him: who on that day began his glorious exalta­tion, after his triumph over Principalities and Col. 2. 14. 15. powers, upon his Crosse whom he there spoyled, having nayled to it, and thereby cancelled, the hand-writing of Ordinances that was against us; that is, the obligation to observe the Jewish rites and ceremonies, and among these their Sabbath: Ver. 18. which from that time forward, the Apostle would Ad Januar. epist. 119. c. 13. Dies Do­minica Chri­stians re­surrectione Domini declaratus est, et ex illo habere caepit festivitatein suam. Demonstra­re & con­secrare dig­natus est. Ibid. c 9. Domini re­suscitatio promisit no­bis aeternum diem & cō ­secravit no­bis Domini­cum diem. Id. de ver­bis Apostoli. Serm. 15. have no man to judge Christians in: who as they were freed from it by the death of Christ, so by his resurrection they had ground sufficient mini­stred to direct them to the observation of a new Festivall. Whence S. Augustine saith, The Lords Day was declared—to Christians by the resurre­ction of our Lord, and from that time began to be cele­brated. So that for ought that appeares, our Savi­our did not command the first day of the weeke to be observed. Hee did (to use the words of the same Father) Vouchsafe to demonstrate, and conse­crate it; or (as he else-where speakes) The raising againe of our Lord, promised us an everlasting Day, and consecrated for us the Lords Day.

Secondly, it is no lesse certaine that the Apo­stles (upon this ground no doubt) did observe this Day, and had thereon their holy assemblies, as Acts 20. 7. And that for the same cause the Apo­stle designed it for the storing up of their almes, [Page 42] that the memory of the benefits which on that day they obtained, might make them more readi­ly contribute to the necessities of their brethren, as S. Chrysostome hath observed upon 1. Cor. 16. 1. And lastly, that in the time of the Apostles it ob­tained the name of the Lords Day, as appeares Re­vel 1. 10.

Thirdly, that the ages of the Church immedi­ately after the Apostles (whether by constitution, or onely in imitation of them, is not knowne, nor much materiall) did observe this Day, as the Chri­stians Festivall; stiling it the Lords Day, and con­veighed the same practise by continuall succession even to this day: as the late learned Bishop of Win­chester Speech against Traske. p. 74. shewes, avowing it on his credit, That there is not an Ecclesiasticall Writer in whom it is not to be found.

Wee finde thus much then without contradi­ction. That it hath been the practise of the Chri­stian Church, to observe the Sunday or Lords * Pet. Mart. Thes. in Ex­od. 20. Non erravit Christiana Ecclesia, cū loco Sabbati flatuit ob­servandum Diem domi­nicum, cu­jus iasacris sitteris men tio habetur, quamvis de ejus obser­vatione prae­ceptum non [...]x [...]. Day, and that ever since, yea in the very Apostles times: a practise warranted by the example of the Apostles, and the honour vouchsafed to that day by our Blessed Saviour himselfe. Whence we may conclude with a late learned Divine, That the Christian Church did not erre, when in stead of the Sabbath it appointed the Lords Day to bee ob­served; of which, there is mention made in the Scrip­ture, though there be no Precept for the observation of it. In which words of his, I will observe three things. First, that he saith, [the Church] not the Apostles, or Apostolicall men: (for though [Page 43] that be most probable, and hath for it the autho­rity of S. Augustine, and for that it hath beene Serm. de Temp. 251. Quod uni­versa tenet Ecclesia, nec Conci [...]t institutū, sed [...]emper re­tentum est, non nisi au­toritate A­postolica tra­ditum re­ctissime cre­ditur.—Id. de Bap. con­tra Don. l. 9. c. 24. & l. 5. c. 23. ever observed by the Church, it may justly be ascribed to them, yet) because if they did it, they did it not as therein reporting the immediate Field of the Church P. 377. Pre­cept of Christ, nor by any power that was properly Apostolicall, but by vertue of their Pastorall po­wer and office, which was common to them with their Successours, it may be termed an Ordinance of the Church, and it little concernes us to know whether it were delivered by the Apostles them­selves, or their next after-commers.

Secondly. The Obser­vantiae Diei Dominicae in novâ le­ge, succedit observantia Sabbati, non ex ui praeceptiet legis, sed ex constitutione Ecclesiae, & consuetudi­ne populi Christiani. Aquin. 2. 2. q. 122. [...]. 4. Church appointed this Day, but whether at the first by expresse constitution it were commanded, or by custome onely observed, it appeares not. Aquinas attributes it to both: and how ever, thus much is out of question, that this Custome or Constitution was afterward by many Concil. Nican can. 20. La [...]d. Con. 19. Auresion. 3. Can. 21. Matise. Can. 2. Canons of the Church, and Constitutions of Christian Eusch. de vitâ Con­stan. jl. [...]. [...]. 18. Emperours ratified and approved, and many things ordained tending to the right & due observance of it.

Thirdly, That the Christian Church did not here­in erre, as having sufficient to warrant it out of Scripture, though there be no Precept for it. Yea, and if the Scripture did yeeld no example of this practise, or other ground for it in particular, yet had not the Church erred in ordaining it. For things pertaining to order & decencie in the Church (such as is among others, the particular determi­nation [Page 44] of the set times of Gods worship) being undetermined in the word of God, are in the power of the Church to be ordered; so as they be done according to the generall Lawes of nature, and without contradiction to any positive Law in Scripture. Neither is it derogatorie to the word S. August. Epist. 86 ad [...]lan. of God, or any whit detracting from the perfecti­on of it, to affirme that (though it sufficiently and abundantly containe in it all things necessary to salvation, yet) it hath left a number of other things, free to be ordered at the discretion of the Church. And as to take from the Scripture, the sufficient determination of things necessary to sal­vation, were an injurie, and an impairing of that honour which God challengeth to his word; and the Church of God hath ever deservedly yeelded to it; so it were no lesse injurie to the Church of Christ, to abridge it of the power of determining of this and such like things, which being not of absolute necessity, are yet convenient and profi­table. For this prerogative & power, the Church of God hath ever obtained and enjoyed, (even See Hooker p. 92. p. 95. & p. 121. when it was most obliged to hold to the letter of the Law, prescribing the Ceremonies belonging to the service of God) that it might without im­putation of adding to, or altering the law of God, from time to time appoint sundry rites and obser­vances, not any where prescribed in the Law. Such were the appointment of the houres, for the dayly sacrifices; the building of Synagogues through­out the land, to heare the word of God, and to pray in, when they came not up to Ierusaleme the [Page 45] Feast of the Dedication which was solemnised even by our Saviour, and yet never spoken of in the Ioh. 10. 22. Law: and many more which the Church, with­out any particular command, onely following the light of reason, in her discretion judged meete. And certainly, the Church of Christ hath not now lesse power, or priviledge then the Jewish Church then had, to which it is no way inferiour, but farre superiour in regard of the measure of grace, and the presence of the spirit of Christ, by which it is assisted, as in other things, so in ordaining Lawes for the edification of the Church.

Now least any should thinke it a matter of in­differencie to obey, or disobey the Orders of the Church, which are thus constituted without the expresse command of God in Scripture, and that the transgressions of such Constitutions are no sinnes; I will close this point with that which worthy Hooker (from whom I have borrowed the Eccl. Poll. 3. § 9 p. 107. greatest part of this last discourse) hath judiciously and fully delivered to this purpose. Vnto Lawes thus made (saith he) and received by a whole Church, they which live within the bosome of that Church, must not thinke it a matter indifferent either to yeeld, or not to yeeld obedience. Is it a small offence to despise the Church of God? My sonne keepe thy Fathers comman­dement, 1 Cor. 11. 22. Pro. 6. 20. (saith Salomon) and forget not thy mothers instruction, binde them both alwayes about thine heart! It doth not stand with the duty which wee owe to our Heavenly Father, that to the Ordinance of our Mother the Church, we should shew ourselves disobedient. Let us not say we keepe the commandements of the one, when [Page 46] wee breake the Law of the other: for unlesse we observe both, wee obey neither—Yea that which is more, the Lawes thus made God himselfe doth in such sort authorize, that to despise them, is to despise in them Him. Thus hee with much more to the same pur­pose. Which I therefore thought good to adde, that no man might think that while I ascribe it to its true Originall, I goe about to impaire the au­thority of it, or to withdraw any thing from the due observance of it. And thus I have done with this second Question, viz. When and by whom the Sunday or Lords Day was instituted.

These things thus discussed and cleared, it may now seeme superfluous to enquire into the liberty that wee Christians have, how farre it may justly be extended in regard of ordinary labours upon the Sunday. For if it be granted that the strict rest on the Sabbath was Ceremoniall, and abrogated with the Day; and that the Day which we keepe is not by vertue of the fourth Commandement, but by the custome or Constitution of the Church: It wil not be hard for any to conclude, that Christians are not bound to rest on that day from all works, further then the duties of the day, and they who enjoyned it require. Yet for more full satisfacti­on, I will adde some-what more particularly, con­cerning those two Questions that remaine: To enquire then first, What works the lewes might doe or their Sabbath.

This wil easily be dispatcht, in as much as here­in the Scripture is very plaine, and little or no dif­ference of opinion among Divines: Yet will it [Page 47] not be altogether needlesse, in regard that the li­berty we now have under the Gospell, when it is compared with theirs under the Law, will the better appeare.

Now these workes are fitly reduced under three See D Wil­let on Ex­od. 20. heads. The first of which are Workes of necessity, such as could not well be deferred or prevented. Of which sort are reckoned divers, which how ever Pharisaicall superstition had prevailed with the people to scruple at, yet were never, in the in­tention of the Law-giver, prohibited them, as may appeare by the doctrine & practise of our Saviour; who was both wayes the best expositor of the Law, and who both wayes came, not to destroy, but to fulfill it. And among those thus allowed by Math. 5. 17 Math. 12 1 Luk. 13. 15 Luk. 14 5. our Saviour we finde, the providing of foode in the case of hunger; the watering (and by the like rea­son the foddering) of cattell, the saving them from imminent danger. Whence by analogie and con­gruity of reason, wee may conclude the lawful­nesse of many more things of the like nature: as that of Mattathias and his company, resolving 1 Macc. 2. 41. to fight upon the Sabbath to save their lives. So the quenching of an house on fire, the saving of corne, and other necessary substance from perish­ing, and the like. To which wee may adde workes communis honestatis, as the decent attiring of our selves, and all other workes which necessity of na­ture hath imposed upon men, and thereby allowed as fit to be done.

The second sort of workes permitted them; Luk. 13. 11 Iohn 5. 8. were workes of mercie and charity: as to visite the [Page 48] sicke, heale the diseased, and the like: which wee finde approved by our Saviours often practise; and together with those before-mentioned, justi­fied by that axiome of his: The Sabbath was made Mar. 2. 27. for man, and not man for the Sabbath: that is, (ac­cording to Erasmus's Glosse) it is fit that the obser­vation Aequum est ut Sabbati observatio cedat homi­num utilita­ti, et non ho­mo Sabbati causā perc­at [...]m Parap [...]. in locum. Hosea. 6. 6. Acts 13. 27 of the Sabbath should give place to mans benefit, and not that man should perish for the Sabbath: as also by that of the Prophet by him cited: God will have mercy and not Sacrifice: that is, rather have the miseries of men relceved, then the letter of the Law observed.

The third and last sort of works, were workes of piety, belonging to the service of God, as to reade the Law, to teach the people, to circumcise chil­dren, to offer Sacrifice, with their attendants, as to make fires for them, to slay and prepare the beasts: for these workes though servile in themselves, be­ing directed to the service of God were sacred, and no way violating the Sabbaths rest. So our Savi­our Math. 12. 5. testifies that notwithstanding these workes, done by the Priests in the Temple, yet the Priests were blamelesse, and not transgressours of the Law: And the Jewes had it among their traditions, that Hinc defi­nitio est Ja­daicarum traditionū: In templo nunesse Sab­batū. F [...]. Lu ca [...] [...]oc. in the Temple there was no Sabbath. Intimating that the Sabbaths rest must give place to those things which were to be done by the Priest in the Tem­ple for the service of God. Having seene what might be done on the Sabbath; let us now see, whether, and what liberty Christians now have on the Sunday, and how farre that liberty is to be extended, which is the last part of our Inquirie.

[Page 49] And here though some few (transported with True Church. P 300. a heedlesse zeale of maintayning the dignity of this day) have not strucke to affirme that the Iewes had as much liberty as we have, & that we are as much restrained, as they were: Yet the most, even of the strictest, and most precise exactors of the Sundayes rest, doe grant a liberty which Christians now have, more then the Iewes had. But what liberty this is, wherein it consists, & how far to be extended, is not on all hands agreed upon.

Some there are who when they come to define this liberty, they pin it up within so narow a room, that it proves either none at all or to no purpose. Amesius saith; There is nothing can be brought out of Med. Theel. l. 2. c. 15. n. 24. Scripture cōcerning the strist observatiō of the Sabath, which was commanded to the Iewes, which doth not in the same manner belong to all Christians, except the Praeter ac­censionem ignis, et cibi communis apparatum. kindling of fires, and the dressing of ordinary dyet. And these, he thinkes it probable too, that the Iewes might ordinarily doe on their Sabbath, though upon speciall occasions, they were forbidden them: so that he seemes to retract that liberty which before he granted them. But others doe Elton. p. 101. Per­kins cases. c. 6. freely grant these, and some few like them, as making of beds, carrying of burthens (to wit, on speciall, and urgent occasions) and these they allow by this name of workes of Christian liberty. Egre­giam vero libertatem! A great liberty (no doubt) and worthy that precious blood by which it was purchased!

But two things may here be demanded. First, how it will appeare that Christians have this li­berty? [Page 50] And here (for ought I can see) we must be contented to take their own authority: for Scrip­ture they alledge none to purpose. Those two places which are cited by Elton on this occasion speak no such thing; & besides, that which is there Mat. 12. 1. 2. 3. Mark. 2. 27 sayd (whatever it be) proves no peculiar liberty belonging to Christians, which the Iewes had not. For in them our Saviour justifies his Disciples from transgressing the Sabbath which was then in force, but doth not shew what might be done af­terward, when by his death the Sabbath should be abrogated. If they alledge that our Saviour bad the sicke man on the Sabbath to take up his bed, (which may seeme to have some reference to making of beds, or carrying of burthens) It may be answered, that our Saviour doth not there shew what might ordinarily be done; but by his authority gives a speciall dispensation to the sicke man to take up his bed &c. without which dispensation, the man could not have beene excused from breaking the Sabbath. So that here is no certainty (according See Fran Lucas Bru­gen [...]. upon the place. to their principles) for any thing to be done, which the Jewes might not doe, but that men must (for all their pretended liberty) either Iudaize, or else adventure for this small liberty with a doubting conscience.

Secondly, It may also be demanded. How wee shall know that onely this liberty is allowed Chri­stians? This also we must take upon▪ their credit. For reason or Scripture they alledge none at all. And if they, without either reason or Scripture shall take upon them to give lawes to the Church [Page 51] of God, and prescribe bounds to Christian liber­ty; I see no cause, why wee may not upon solid grounds of Scripture and reason, assert that liberty which of right belongs to us, as purchased by the all precious blood of our deare, and Blessed Savi­our.

And this will appeare if we consider what rest or cessation from labours is on this day required: First then, for that it is a day of Gods publique, and so­lemne worship to bee performed by the whole Church, which cannot (as hath beene shewed) be performed, unlesse there bee a vacation from ordi­nary and common worked, a vacation therefore and resting from these, as they are impediments to Gods service, is on that day required, as necessary. Yet not so necessary, no not in the times of pub­lique assemblyes, but that the workes which ne­cessity imposeth upon men, and rarer occasions in mens particular affaires, subject to manifest detri­ment Ho [...]ker. p. 385. unlesse they be presently followed, may, with very good conscience draw men aside sometime frō the ordinary rule; considering the favourable dispensation, which our Saviour grounds upon this Axiome. The Sabbbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Which rule, if it held for the Iews on their Sabbath, is certainely no lesse in force at this day for Christians. In the use of which not­withstanding, some cautions must bee observed, As first that men pretend not necessity or charity, when it is covetousnesse or a carelesse neglect or con­tempt of Gods publique worship; upon which ground no doubt, it was that the Emperor Leo re­pealed [Page 52] that liberty which by Constantine was gran­ted Concil. Matisc. 2. can. 1. to Husbandmen: and the Counsell of Matiscon forbids men to frame a necessary to themselves of yoking their Oxen; therein allowing both a just dispensation in necessity, & forbidding the unjust pretence of necessity where none is.

Secondly, men must take heed that they do not by their negligence, or improvidence and forget­fulness draw a necessity upon themselves: in which regard the word (Remember) which God prefixed to the fourth Commandement is yet in force, to exact our care and mindfulnesse so to provide before hand, that the dutyes to which this day is conse­crated, bee not by our default omitted, or hinde­red.

Thirdly, that being necessarily hindered or for­ced to omit the solemne & publique dutyes of the Day, we do (as much as may be) by private devo­tions & meditations make supply of that defect.

Againe, such is the reverence that is due to the solemne & publique dutyes of devotion, that they require not onely a surcease from other workes & thoughts for the time of their performance, but also a decent preparation before-hand; that wee looke to our feete, when we enter into the house of God, & put off our shooes before we stand upon holy ground: Eccl. 5. 1. Exod. 3. 5. that so our thoughts and affections, which are na­turally bent upon the world, and not easily with­drawne from it, may be raysed to a disposition be­fitting so sacred an employment. In which respect it is convenient, if not necessary, that til the publike service of God be ended, men intangle not themselves [Page 53] with unnecessary businesses, or give themselves to sportings or recreations, whereby their mindes should be hindered from the right preparing of themselves, or due performance of those holydu­tyes.

Lastly it is good and commendable to spend the rest of that day in holy meditations, private prayer, reading and calling to minde what wee have read, or heard; These workes, as they are at all times profitable and beseeming Christians; so on that day they are most seasonable and suitable to those publique actions of Devotion which are the proper worke of the Day. Thus S. Augustine Serm. de. Temp. 251. exhorteth his Auditors on this day to sequester themselves from worldly businesses, that they may be employed in these works; and the Councill of Ma­tiscon, Concil. Matisc. 2. can. 1. Can. 23. yea and our owne Church Canons prescribe the spending of this day (and other holy-dayes de­voted to Gods service) in these and the like religi­ous imployments. And therefore they who thus spend the Lords day (if it be done without supersti­tion or judging other mens liberty) cannot there­fore justly be condemned.

Now by this it is easie to judge of our liberty. First then, here is a liberty in case of necessity, though thereby the solemne dutyes of Gods worship bee hindered. Secondly, a liberty in things not absolute­ly necessary, so as thereby the service of God, & the due preparation thereto be not hindered: under which the use of honest and seemly recreations, after the publike dutyes of the Day are finished, may be comprehended. For though it cannot be [Page 54] denied that a man may commendably spend the whole day in workes of piety and devotion, yet that cannot prescribe to all Christians, or infringe their liberty. For it is one thinge to exhorte to a thing as commendable, another to urge it as necessary; one thing to say, this or that is a good worke, and is wel done at this or that time, another, to enjoyn it by way of Precept, so as at such time it may not be omitted, nor other worke permitted. And the reason is, because Gods affirmative Precepts, though they warrant, and commend the workes that they enjoyne, and make them good and commendable, whensoever they are performed; yet they bind not precisely to any determinate time for their per­formāce: For example we are commanded to pray and that continually, so that he that is most frequent 1. Thes. 5. in prayer, observes this Precept best, and deserves the praise of a devout and religious man: & yet he that prayes not at this or at that time, when haply, another doth, cannot therefore be sayd to sin, and much lesse bee counted irreligious or profane. Da­vid prayed & gave thanks unto God at midnight, Psal. 119. 62. & so did S. Paul and Silas, and surely those Godly Soules were blessedly employed: but shall wee Acts 16. 25. therefore condemne him who doth not the like? S. Paul also being to depart from Troas, continued his Sermon till midnight on the Sunday, and no Acts 20. 7. doubt, but he did well; yet no man will therefore prescribe the like length to every Sunday Sermon. The case is the same in this businesse we have in hand: for we doe not presently affixe these duties to the day, which wee say may be commendably [Page 55] on that day performed; nor on the other side, doe we disallow the spending of the whole Sunday in holy and religious actions; because we dare not ri­gidly tye all men so to do, or lay it upon them by way of Precept, as if God had expresly commanded that time to be no otherwise spent. There is a good and a safe use of that distinction of Precepts and Counsells; (though the Romanists abuse it to the patronising of their imaginary workes of super ero­gation) and things in themselves good without re­lation to any determinate time, we may wish, ex­hort, and counsell men to performe at any time, when wee cannot by Precept impose them upon all. Wee know our Saviour commended some things to his Disciples with a Let him that is able to Mat. 19. 12 receive it, recieve it advising and exciting all to that, which nowing the infirmity of many, hee would not exact by his authority as necessary to be performed by all. And in this case wee may doe well to imitate him considering that it is no where enjoyned in Scripture, and that such is the condition of many, that they are not capable of such an injunction, as namely those who by reason of their mean education or naturall parts are not fit­ted for long meditation requisite for the spending of the vacant time of the Day, and to whom in re­gard of their hard labour in the weeke dayes, it is a mercy to permit some bodily recreation on this day; which certainely cannot be displeasing to him who hath said, I will have mercy & not Sacrifice. Mat. 12. 7. And if they, who use to judge the use of all recre­ation on this day sinfull, had known what that mea­neth, [Page 56] they would not have condemned the guiltlesse.

If any thinke that God hath so commanded: let him produce the place of Scripture, and I will quickly recant. The places which are usually al­ledged for that purpose, and wherewith men are so frighted and thundred against out of the Pul­pet, being intended for the Iewes, and that in regard of that speciall positive Precept, given for the strict rest upon their Sabbath, cannot with any Esay 58. 13 Exod. 20. 10. shew of reason, bee extended to Christians, when both Day and Precept, are out of date.

But haply some may yet further contend, that though the Day bee changed, yet the equity of it still remaines, and that they may argue thence (à pari, or (as some thinke) à minori) as from the lesse to the greater. That if the Iewes upon their Sabbath which was instituted in memory of the Creation, and of their deliverance out of Egypt, ought to doe no worke, nor so much as to speake their owne words, and that for the whole day: then by the like reason, nay much rather ought Christi­ans so to doe on their Sabbath, or Sunday which is consecrated to the memory of a farre more glori­ous worke, the worke of our Redemption, accom­plished in the resurrection of our Saviour. Here, in this kinde of reasoning there is some truth, but (as it is too common) it is over-strayned, and so is but a meere colour to countenance that, for which it is brought, and not any solid foundati­on whereon to build it. The truth is, Christians have as much (if not more) cause to celebrate the Redemption of mankind by a solemne weekely [Page 57] Commemoration, as ever the Iewes had to celebrate the Creation of the world, or their deliverance out of Egypt: and this may serve as a good ground to justifie the Institution of the Lords Day, and the Churches practise in observing it: But this truth is overstrained being applied to the manner of Cele­bration, which was peculiar to the Jewes, and ac­commodated to the then-State of the Church, which was (as hath beene shewed) to be held un­der the yoke of a strict outward rest, in expectati­on, and for the prefiguring of that eternall rest, which now Christ hath actually purchased; and therefore injuriously laid upon Christians, who are freed from that yoke, under which they groaned: And they may as well upon the same ground conclude against making of fires, and dressing of meate upon the Sunday, and make the gathering of a few sticks upon that Day to deserve no lesse Num. 15. Aut simus Christiani, & Domini­cum cola­mus, aut simus Iudaei, & Sabbatū observemus. S. Aug. ep. 86 now, then hee suffered for doing the like upon the Sabbath. So that wee may say to those who thus argue (as hee in Saint Augustine, upon farre better ground then he did) Either let us be Christi­ans and keepe the Lords Day, or let us bee Iewes, and observe the Sabbath.

But is it not reason that God should have one whole day in seven, given unto him now, as well as heretofore? Yes certainely; but yet with such difference, as suites with the different condition of the Church that now is, from that which then was, that being guided by the spirit of feare, this of love, that in a state of bondage, under the un­supportable 2. Tim. 1. 7 [...] burthen of legall Ceremonies, this in [Page 58] a state of liberty, and under Christs easie yoake: In a word, they Iewes, and we Christians: and this being considered, we may be said to give God a Day, no lesse now, then they then, though in that Day wee doe not so strictly observe the out­ward ceremoniall rest, as they were bound to doe

Secondly, I say, that our Church is so farre from abridging God of one day in seven, that it gives more, as having appointed and consecrated di­vers Holy dayes to the same solemne and publike worship of God, which is enjoyned to bee perfor­med upon the Lords Day. For these (though they may admit some difference in regard of their ac­cidentall dignity, in as much as those benefits commemorated in them are greater or lesser yet) in regard of their essentials they are equall, as be­ing all of them dedicated to the honour of the same God, in memory of some great and speciall benefits vouchsafed to the Church, and therefore doe goe pari passu in our Canons, and in our anci­ent Can. 13. Act for Vniformi­ty of Com­mon pray­er, &c. Statutes, which require the same observance of both under the same penalty. And therefore those who stand so much for a whole Day of seven to be consecrated to God, if the worship of God were all they affected, might see that there is a compensation made for the defect which they so much complaine of in our observation on the Lords Day; and they themselves might doe well to take advantage, by a religious observation of these dayes, to make up their failings on the Lords Day: But this they are so farre from, that they [Page 59] account the observation of these dayes a breach of the fourth Commandement, and thinke it a sin Ames. med. Theol. lib. 2 cap. 15. to make more Holy dayes then one in seven. In which regard, it cannot be judged altogether im­pertinent, if I here take occasion to vindicate the practise of our Church, from their unjust cen­sures.

And in the first place, I may returne their own Argument upon them, and say; Is it not reason that God should, now under the Gospel, have more set dayes to commemorate his benefits then one in seven, as well as under the Law? Vnder the Law, we know, they had, beside their weekly Sabbaths, the Passeover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles; and not onely those which had Gods expresse command for their Institution, but the Feast of Purim, and of the Dedication, which (as I have before shewed) were ordained by the Church, without any expresse command of God, and observed by our Saviour himselfe, whose ex­ample alone (if any thing) is sufficient to ex­empt us from scrupling at the like now in the time of the Gospel.

Secondly, if they will not runne cleane coun­ter to their owne principles, and deny the mora­lity of the fourth Commandement altogether, they must acknowledge thus much (at least) to bee moral: That there ought to be a certaine part of our time given to God, and some dayes set apart for his publique worship: Now these (being left undeter­mined in the word of God) if it bee not in the power of the Church to determine them, I won­der [Page 60] how that precept should be observed: And if the Churchupon this ground, have reason and power to appoint any one Day, why not more? seeing her power is not limited or restrained within any other bounds but those generalls, of decency and order: which I presume no man will say are transgressed in the ordination of those 1. Cor. 14. 40. Holy dayes which are observed among us.

Thirdly, to this that such times are in the ge­nerall commanded by God; wee may adde two things more, which being well considered will abundantly discharge the observation of such dayes from superstition: and those are,

First, that the duties therein required are no other then such, as according to the word of God, ought to bee performed by all Christians: For what else is required on those dayes but the so­lemne prayers and prayses of God in the Church, joyned with the hearing of his Word, and a spe­ciall commemoration of his benefits, which as on those dayes were received? And which of all these is not required in the word of God? And if it bee lawfull, yea commanded, that wee should performe those duties at all times and upon all oc­casions, they cannot at any time whensoever they 1. Thes. 5. 17, 18. are performed, justly bee termed superstitious, or (which must follow by consequence) unlawfull.

2. The other thing to bee considered is, That the grounds and occasions of the Churches de­termination of these duties unto those speciall dayes which wee observe, are such as deserve no lesse. As being reall, great, and generall benefits [Page 61] vouchsafed by God unto his Church.

First, they are true and reall, not imaginary fictions founded upon the fained actions, or falle martyrdomes of titular Saints, such as are many in the Romish Church.

Secondly, they are great, not ordinary or com­mon benefits, and therefore require a more then ordinary acknowledgement.

Thirdly, they are generall; the good whereof redounds, not to a few, but to the whole body of the Church; and so, if our acknowledgement bee answerable, it must be publike and solemne, per­formed joyntly by all those that are partakers of the benefits.

Now, if wee shall runne thorough the whole Kalender, take an impartiall view of all our Holy dayes, wee shall not find so much as one among them all, of which thus much may not truely bee affirmed.

For they may almost bee ranked under two heads. First, such memorable steps in the story of our blessed Saviour, as by which the great worke of our redemption advanced unto its happy accom­plishment. Secondly, the memorialls of that good­nesse and glory which he afterwards manifested to the world by his holy Apostles, Evangelists and Martyrs, whom he honoured so much as to make them founders of that Kingdome which cost him his dearest blood, & to count them worthy to suf­fer death for his sake. Concerning the former, I suppose there is none but will say in the words of the Psalmist (as our vulgar translation reades [Page 62] them) The mercifull and gratious Lord hath so done his marvellous workes, that they ought to be had in re­membrance. Psal. 111. 4 And what better meanes can be de­vised then the appointing of set solemne dayes for Eissc. Dco) benesicio­rum ejus so­lemmtati­lus sestis et diebus [...]a. tuus dica­mus sacra­musque memoriam ne volumine temporum ingrata sub­reparobli [...]io Aug. de Civ. l. 10. c. 4. their commemoration, I cannot see: And this was the Churches aime in appointing these dayes: So S. Austine, We (saith he) dedicate and consecrate to God the memory of his benefits in solemne feasts and set dayes, least in the revolution of times ingratefull forgetfulnesse should creepe upon us.

The like may be said of the latter: For if our Saviour appeared so glorious in them, and by them conveighed so great and generall blessings to his Church, what reason can bee alleadged why the Church may not retaine an annuall honourable me­moriall of them to the glory of him whose instru­ments they were? The Psalmist tells us that the righteous shall bee had in everlasting remembrance. Psa. 112. 6. And the Wiseman, That the memory of the just shall be blessed. And therefore, to have some dayes in Prov. 10. 8. which the memories of those, who were in their generations most famous for righteousnesse, may, with blessing, be perpetuated, is but their due and agreeable to his will who hath granted them that honour: so that we may justly solemnize the dayes wherein those barning and shining lights first ap­peared to the world; or the dayes of their depar­ture hence, which were the dayes of their happy in­auguration into the Kingdome of glory, when they, both left to the Church militant the glorious exam­ple of their Christian fortitude, and became an oc­casion of new joy to the Church triumphant, by the [Page 63] accession of new Citizens to that heavenly society. Either of which, afford matter sufficient of so­lemne joy and rejoycing to the Church, and con­sequently of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

Lastly, to convince them yet farther out of 4. their owne principles: They allow the Church power, in the times of great calamities, either fea­red or felt, to appoint solemne dayes of fasting Dies illi ha­bendi vi­dentur qua­sipro Sab­batis extra­ordinarūs Ames. med. theol. l. 2. c. 15. Reade M. Mason of Christian humiliati­on. p. 66. Edit. 2. and humiliation; and those dayes they will have held as Sabbaths extraordinary, and that therein men are bound to abstein from their bodily labours, according to the same streitnesse that they are bound to observe the Sabbath; I would gladly then know some reason why the Church should want power to ordeine the like dayes for the celebrati­on of speciall benefits, to be observed (not as Sab­baths which are now antiquated and no presidents for us Christians, but) with such a cessation from la­bours, as is necessary for the performance of the publike worship of God, and fit to accompany such solemnities of publike joy and rejoycing, to which Rest is more naturally requisite, then to the times of sorow and humiliation.

But it is not the having of such dayes that some Possunt au­tem dies qual scun (que) pie converti in occasiones cultum Dei promovendi Ames. [...]b. Elton p. 117. scruple at, or the duties required in them, for they much desire to have some dayes besides the Lords day to meet together for the hearing of the Word, and for the words sake can be contented to endure the Liturgie of the Church. But the things which they dislike are; first the obligation that we put up­on men for the observance of them; for they would have the appointment and observation of [Page 64] them to bee held a thing indifferent and no duty binding conscience. Secondly, they dislike the names that we give them, in that we style them the dayes of such or such a Saint, which to them Idem ibid. seemes to favour of Idolatry; neither would they have them called holy dayes, or accounted more holy then others; forasmuch as such difference of dayes belonged to the Iewes, and is now under the Gospell taken away.

To these I answer, first, for the obligation of the Churches commands, and that it is not a thing indif­ferent to obey or disobey them, I have already spoken so much as may satisfie those that are not pag. 45. studious of contention, I onely adde now upon this occasion; that it seemes to me very ridiculous, to grant the Church a power of ordeining such times, and yet to require that the observation of them so ordeined be held a thing indifferent. For if their ordinance lay no tye upon men, but leave things notwithstanding still indifferent, their power surely, is to no purpose and nothing worth.

Touching the names that we give them. I say, first that the festivalls of the Saints are dedicated, not to them by whose names they are called, but to God. To him, and not them, our prayers are directed; to him our praises, though for them, and with reference to those blessings, which by them are vouchsafed unto us; Wee honour him as the author of all that good which either they, or we, by them, are partakers of: We honour them on­ly as his instruments, and as those who having beene imitators of our blessed Saviour, are worthy [Page 65] patternes of our imitation. To this purpose wee finde the Church of Smyrna answering the like ca­lumny raised against them by the Iewes, upon oc­casion of their affection which they expressed to­ward —Ignoran­tes not nec Christe un­quam relin­quere qui pro totius servandorū mundi salu­te passus est nec alium quenquam colere posse. Nam hunc quīdem tan­quam filū Dei adora­mus; Marty­res vero tan­quā discipu­los & imi­tatores Do­mini digne propter in­superabilē inregē ipso­rū & prae­ceptorem benevo­lentiā disi­gimus, quo­rū & nos consortes & discipulos fieri opta­mus. Euseb. Ec­cles. Hist. l. 4. c. 15. Rom. 14. Gal 4. 5. Col. 2. that glorious Martyr Polycarpus. These men (say they) are ignorant that we cannot ever leave Christ who suffered for the salvation of the whole world nor can we worship any other. For him we adore as the Son of God; as for the Martyrs, we worthily love them as disciples and imitators of him their Lord, for their insuperable affection toward their King and Master, whose partners also we desire to be, and to become their disciples. And thus much they might easily an­swer themselves out of our Church Liturgy, where there is no one word in any office appointed for any Saints day, that gives the least ground or co­lour to this scruple.

The other imputation of Iudaisme which they taxe us with, because we style our Christian festi­valls, holy dayes, hath as weake a foundation as the former. For I willingly grant them what they al­leadge for the countenancing of this objection, That now under the Gospell the difference of times and dayes is no lesse taken away then of meates; That is, as we have now no meats that are uncleane either in themselves, or by reason of any positive precept given to the Iewes, but that they may bee eaten with thanksgiving; so neither is there any day or time which in it selfe, or by reason of any such Iudaicall precept, is now to be accounted more holy then others; all this is evident from the places which they alleadge for this purpose: Whereup­on [Page 66] wee conclude, that none of the Iewish Festi­valls (not the Sabbath it selfe) ought to be obser­ved by Christians, nor (which is more) any Chri­stian Festivall to be observed, after the Iewish ma­ner, or with their rites and Ceremonies. And this may justly taxe them who stand either for the Iewish Sabbath, or which turne the Lords day into a Sabbath, exacting the same strictnesse of obser­vance in regard of the outward Ceremoniall Rest. But it can no way prejudice the Church, in conse­crating dayes to the service of God, or in account­ing them (though in themselves, and setting aside the Ordinance of the Church, they are all alike See p. 31. yet) in relation to the duties to be performed in them, more holy then others. And this they must grant, unlesse they will affirme one of these three things.

First, That the workes of God now under the 1 Gospel are not so great, so glorious, and consequent­ly, so worthy of set times for their solemne remem­brance, as heretofore under the Law.

Or that the Christian Church hath now lesse po­wer 2 in appointing dayes for the solemne worship of God, in relation to those glorious works of his, then the Iewish Synagogue once had.

Or lastly, That the worship which wee Christi­ans now performe to God is not so holy, as that 3 in the time of the Iewish Synagogue, and so lesse able to sanctifie the dayes in which they are performed.

But every one of these being most absurd; I conclude, that to consecrate certaine dayes, besides [Page 67] the Lords day, to the solemne worship of God, in memory of his speciall blessings vouchsafed to the Church on such dayes, and to account such dayes, so consecrated, more holy then others, is lawfull and free from all superstition and Judaisme. And however, that they who would faine affixe so ex­traordinary holinesse to the Lords day, should of all men have abstained from this last imputation, till they had better proved the immediately divine institution of the Lords day.

But I have too long digressed; yet not without cause, in as much as they, who seeme so zealous for the giving to God his due time, refuse not­withstanding to give him that, which the regular piety of the Ancient and our owne Mother Church hath ever, upon so sound reason, consecrated to him. I returne now to answere another objection which they frame against the extending of our Christian liberty, to the use of recreations on the Lords day.

The liberty of Christians (say they) ought to be spirituall, and not in carnall and common things; and therefore cannot bee extended to patronize recreations, or ordinary labours on the Sunday, but that they are as unlawfull on that day as ever they were on the Sabbath.

To this I answere, that Christian liberty, as it respects the things from which we are freed, is not meerely spirituall, but extends it selfe, to carnall and common things also; for thereby wee are freed not onely from the guilt, and condemnation of sinne, and the raigning power of it, which are things spi­vituall; [Page 68] but also from the servitude of the Ceremo­niall Law, which among other respects which it had, was as a Schoole-Master, or Tutour, whereby the Church in her nonage or infancie, was to bee kept under the Elements of the world, (as the Apostle Gal. 4. 3. calls them) that is, tyed to the observation of dayes, and moneths, and yeares and meates and drinks; which being in themselves indifferent, were yet forbidden the Church of those times, that their bondage under these might nourish in them the hope and expectation of the promised Messias, in whom they were to have deliverance, and so lead, or rather drive them to beleeve in Him. Now when the fulnesse of time was come, and that Christ was exhibited, the Church being then no longer Gal. 4. 4. under age, is not subject to those observances, but for any tye of that Law of Moses now upon it, en­joyes the free use and exercise of these things as in­different. As then there were many things, which, in themselves, and to us, now are indifferent, pro­hibited to the Jewes; so as they might not eate of all meates, though otherwise wholsome, they might not weare all kinde of garments, though usefull and profitable, &c. So there were some workes in themselves not sinfull, nor at other times unlawfull, prohibited to be done at some speciall times, in regard of the peculiar observance then due to those times, which now, when those times cease to be observed, can by no meanes bee ac­counted sinfull, or unlawfull. Granting therefore that ordinary labours, and all bodily recreations were on the Sabbath unlawfull, yet being in themselves [Page 69] not sinfull, and so under the Gospell indifferent, they cannot be so upon our Sunday.

I answere further, that I know no reason why honest recreations, moderate feasting, and such like expressions of rejoycing, may not fitly be counted a part of the externall observance and sanctificati­on of this day; in as much as it is solemnized in memory of the resurrection of our Blessed Saviour, and so our redemption fully wrought, to which we may (with S. Augustine) apply that of the Psalmist, This is the Day which the Lord hath made, wee will re­joyce, and be glad in it. And as on the day of his Passion, and other dayes appointed for solemne hu­miliation, we expresse the sorrow of our hearts by our mourning and neglected attire, by Fasting, and abridging our selves of those delights, which use to refresh our natures; at which times The voyce of the Vyoll, and of the Harpe, the voyce of the Bride­groome, and the voyce of the Bride are unseasonable; so on the day of his resurrection to expresse our joy, and rejoycing by our arraying our selves in our best attire, by Feasting, and other acts of cheereful­nesse, is most agreeable to the solemnity of that Day, Of which we may say in the words of Nehe­miah and Ezra, This Day is holy unto the Lord your God, mourne not nor weepe—but—eate of the Nehem. 8. 9. 10. fat, and drinke of the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared, for this Day is holy unto the Lord. And however some men will have eve­ry fasting day a Sabbath, and every Lords Day a fast­ing day (not allowing either the dressing, or libe­rall use of Gods creatures, and therefore judging it [Page 70] inconvenient to celebrate marriages on that day) yet the Church of God in better times condem­ned Die Domi­nico jejuna­re nesas ducimus, Tertull. de Cor. Mil. c. 3 cōcil. Gangr. Can. 18. Car­tiag. 4. Can. 64. Iustellus in cod. Ca [...]onū. not. in Can. 70. Fasting on the Lords Day as unlawfull, and most incongruous and disagreeable to the use of that Day, which was ordained as a Festivall, and day of mirth and rejoycing: For which end also the Church in her most ancient times, had on that Day their Agapae or Love-feasts, as for the refreshing of the poore, and for the nourishing of mutuall love and amity, so also for the unanimous expression of joy in all sober mirth, and in the free (though temperate) use of Gods creatures. Upon which ground (doubtlesse) wee may conclude the lawfulnesse of the use of such recreations, feastings, and other testifications of rejoycing upon the Lords Day, as are in themselves honest, and are so used as they prove no hinderances to the service of God, which is the proper worke of the Day.

Besides, even the Iewes themselves (though out of superstition, they did for the most part over­doe this Precept of the Sabbath, abstaining from those things, which they might have done, with­out any violation of Gods commandement, yet) accounted their Sabbath a Feast, not a Fast; a day of rejoycing, and not of sorrow, or humiliation; and judged it not unlawfull to make Feasts upon that Day, as is evident by that Feast made upon the Sabbath, by a chiefe Pharisee (one of their strictest Sabbatarians) whereat our Saviour himselfe (who Luk. 14. 1. was no Sabbath-breaker) vouchsafed his presence among many others that were invited. And Pau­lus Addit. 4. in Exod. 20. Burgensis (himselfe a Iew) reports, that the Iewes [Page 71] held themselves bound to eate three meales that day, which on other dayes they used not. And Syranus (another of the same Nation) saith, That the Hebrew Doctors held that the word Remember was prefixed to this Commandement, that if they had any pretious garment, or any other thing of price, They should remember to keepe it till the Sabbath, to give it at first a Sabbath-dayes wearing. I am not of their minde, but thinke that word pre­fixed for higher, and more important reasons: yet I verily beleeve that their conceit did speak their usuall custome of apparelling themselves in their most costly and best garments, as best befitting the joy of that high Festivall, which (as one hath well observed) hath this singular priviledge to be a day Ainsworth in Gen. 2. 3. of rest and holinesse; of delight, and Feasting unto the world; and therefore (saith hee) This day is not described by evening and morning, as were the other six which consisted of light and darknesse: but Esay 60 20 Rev. 21. 25 this is all day, or light, figuring out our perpetuall joyes. And, no question, but, that Day which was the memoriall of Gods resting from his worke, when he rejoyced in the works of his hands, (so the Chaldee Paraphrast expounds Gods resting on the seaventh Psa. 104. 31 Gen. 2. 2. day) and of the deliverance from the Aegyptian Bondage was celebrated with mirth, and rejoyoing: so that I can hardly be induced to thinke, that on their Sabbath day, they were bound to abstaine from all kinde of recreations, but that they did, or, at least, might use such expressions of joy & mirth, as at their other Festivalls were usuall among them; as feasting, singing, dancing, and the like: [Page 72] which, I conceive, were no way forbidden in the commandement, which onely seemes to ayme at workes of toyle or such as are servile, or undertaken for profit or gaine, or at least that might hinder them in the service of God: and not to exclude all recreations, which (though they may, haply, in a large sense be termed workes, yet) being such as doe refresh, not weary nature, and being so used, as that the worship of God might notwithstanding be duly and solemnly performed, cannot be said to crosse the intent of the Law, which was the de­cent and solemne service of God, and the testifi­cation of their freedome from Egyptian servitude.

But let this passe as a private conceit, yet sure I am, that Tostatus (whom Doctor Willet approves) Tostatus Qu. 12. in Exod. Exo. 16. 29 saith, They were not bound to attend all the day upon Gods service. And the same Doctor Willet expound­ing these words: Abide yee every man in his place; Let no man goe out of his place on the seaventh day, saith, They were not to goe forth, that is, with intent to gather Manna, which lay round about the Hoast, or to doe any other businesse: they were not forbidden all kinde of walking, and going out for their solace and re­creation. Certainly then Christians cannot justly be blamed, if on the Lords day God be solemnly and decently served at fit times, and no other worke entertained to the hinderance of this, though every moment of that Day be not spent in performance of the acts of Gods worship, nor the vacant space observed with a superstitious rest, which shall exclude all other works, and all, even lawfull recreations, which to exact at the hands of [Page 73] Christians, what is it but to surpasse the Jewes in superstition about the Sabbath, and having only changed the day, in dishonour and contempt of the Jewes, to require notwithstanding the same Ceremoniality of observance? which what fruits it hath had, or can have, I cannot see, save the en­gendring of endlesse scruples, and inextricable doubts, and the needlesse wounding of the con­sciences of many well-meaning people, when they have no sure guide to direct their practise, and when that which is required is beyond the ability of mortalls to performe. For I will ap­peale to the consciences of these rigid Task­masters, whether ever they, or any other did yet, or could possibly keepe the Lords day, in that strict manner as they urge it? But, haply this lit­tle moves them, who being taught that it is im­possible to keepe Gods Commandements, will there­fore the rather be induced to thinke, it is comman­ded, because they are unable to keepe it. Yet sure our Saviour would never have stiled his yoke easie, Mat. 11. 30. and his burthen light, had this strict observance of the Lords Day beene a part of it, and Gods Commandements, so as hee now under the Gospel requires them to bee done, and with the assistance of his grace, wherewith he seconds them (what­ever men rashly say of them) are not grievous, 1 Ioh. 5. 3.. much lesse impossible to be done.

To set downe briefly and plainely, that which in more words hath beene hitherto driven at: and it is but this. There are three things conside­rable in the Sunday, or Lords day. 1. A Day. [Page 74] 2. That Day. 3. The manner of celebrating it. The first is Gods immediate precept. The other two not so, but mediate and by the power he hath given to his Church. First God commanded some time wherein men setting aside all worldly busi­nesse and thoughts, should apply themselves to the duties of his solemne and publique Worship, and this is the substance, or that which is Morall, in the fourth Commandement. Secondly, the Custome or Constitution of the Church, warranted by the Apostles practise, and the honour vouchsafed unto it by our Saviour himselfe, determined that time or day to the Sunday, or first day of the week; & secondly, prescribed how and when, for the decent time and manner of performing those duties.

By these our liberty is limited, which must not be (without necessity) extended to the violation of either of them: Hence then, 1. Hee sinnes that doth not separate some time for God, &c. as violating the immediate precept of GOD in the fourth Commandement. 2. He sinnes no lesse, that for this end observes not the Sunday, and that in that decent manner, which the nature of the du­ties, and the authority of the Church hath enioy­ned; and this hee doth in two respects. First, be­cause hee violates Gods mediate Command, who hath authorized the Church in his right, and by his power to ordaine such things; so that, to neglect the Church, in this case is, to neglect God. Secondly, because the immediate Precept of God is wrapt up in the Precept of the Church: by which, that which by him was left indefinite, is defined, and determined.

[Page 75] But that liberty either for ordinary labours, or honest recreations, which may stand with the ob­servation of these Precepts, no man can justly ac­count sinfull, unlesse hee can produce (not the phansies of some Zelotes, or the opinion of this or that man, though accounted never so good or learned, but) some other Precept given by God, or those whom God hath commanded us to obey: For it is an undoubted Maxime, which the Apo­stle delivers; Where no Law is, there is no transgres­sion. Rom. 4 15. The prohibition of the Law only is that, whereby things are exempted from our power and liberty, which otherwise (except in case of scandall) remaines intire.

And this alone is sufficient to terminate this Dispute, upon which wee will joyne issue with those that are contrary minded, being not more confident that they can shew no binding Precept for the restraining of our Christian liberty in this case, then willing to retract what hath beene said, if they shall prove themselves able to doe it.

FINIS.

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