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Exodus xx. 8-11. Remember the sabbathday to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, not thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbathday, and hallowed it.

Q. 103. What doth God require in the fourth command ?

A. First, that the ministry of the gospel, and the schools be maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest, diligently frequent the church of God, to hear his word, to use the sacraments. publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the poor, as becomes a Christian: secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord; to work by his holy Spirit in me: and thus begin in this life the holy sabbath.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every pur

pose under the heaven :" thus speaks Solomon, Eccl. iii. 1. We cannot do all things at all times, but every work must be done in its proper and appointed season: "There is a time to be born, and a time to die," &c. as the same wise man saith in the sequel of his discourse. The only wise God hath appointed a particular time for every matter: either by the order and nature of things: thus "there is a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted," vs. 2: or by his decree and powerful direction, "making every thing beautiful in its season," vs. 11: or by his commandment: and so there is a time to repent; "the Lord gave such a time to the woman Jezabel," Rev. ii. 21. There is also a time for public worship, which the Lord prescribes to man by his sovereign right to command, as all the festivals of the Old Testament, and particularly every seventh day of the week, which the Lord hath enjoined on his people in the fourth commandment.

If there be aught, that is in any respect equitable, it is particularly that we should worship God and him only. Therefore the great Lawgiver hath enjoined this, as the principal thing, in the first commandment; but inasmuch as we do not worship him in a suitable manner, when we do not worship him conformably to his spiritual nature, therefore he requires in the second commandment, that we should worship him in spirit and in truth without images. Since now the Lord is incomparably glorious, therefore he requires also in the third commandment, that we should worship him with a holy reverence and godly fear. Inasmuch now as it is not enough, that each one of us should worship him separately from others, in private, but since he ought to be worshipped also publicly in the congregation of the righteous, therefore the Lord hath appointed a certain season for this purpose in the fourth commandment, saying, "Remember the sabbathday," &c.

As it is necessary to say much on this fourth commandment, we will consider briefly by way of explanation,

I. The demand of the commandment.
II. The explanatory paraphrase of it.

III. The motives or reasons with which it is enforced.

I. The brief demand of the commandment is, "Remember the sabbathday." Sabbath is a Hebrew word, signifying rest, and therefore sabbathday is a day of rest. The Lord appointed many sabbaths, or seasons of resting in the time of the Old Testament, as (a) the sabbath of years, being every seventh, and every fiftieth year, VOL. II.

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in which the land should rest, and not be ploughed nor sown, Lev. xxv. 1-16. (b) The sabbath of months, to wit, every first day of the month, Numb. xxviii. 11. (c) The sabbath of weeks, to wit, the three great festivals of the passover, pentecost and tabernacles, upon which all Israel ought to come up for worship, and rest a whole week, Exod. xxiii. 15, 16. Deut. xvi. 13. (d) The sabbath of days, which lasted but one whole day. Such was the first day of the seventh month, with which the civil year of Israel began, Lev. xxiii. 24. The day of atonement was also ordained to be a day of rest, Lev. xvi. 31, and especially the seventh day of the week: this is the sabbath spoken of in the fourth commandment.


The law was

With respect to this sabbathday we are commanded (a)“ to keep it holy," (or to sanctify it.) It is known that sanctifying common things signifieth, according to the word of God, in the first place, to set them apart from their common use for the service of God, as the Israelites ought to sanctify all their firstborn" to the Lord, Exod. xiii. 2. And so to sanctify the sabbath denotes to set it apart from the other days, which had a common use, for a religious service but the word sanctify denotes also in this place to devote this day to holy purposes, and particularly to public worship: "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation," saith the Lord, Lev. xxiii. 3. On that day the sacrifices were to be doubled, Numb. xxviii. 9, 10. then also read, Acts xv. 21, psalms were sung, Psalm xcii. 1. And they delighted themselves in the Lord, Isaiah Iviii. 13. And therefore we may not say that the Sabbath requires, with respect to the essence of it, only a bodily rest and leisure. Since now the Lord earnestly desires that his people should sanctify the sabbath, therefore he commands them also (b) "to remember" the sabbath, to keep it holy, supposing that this sabbath was known and instituted before, and not first in the wilderness, upon occasion of the manna : for we find in Exod. xvi. no institution, but only an account of a sabbath, which had been instituted before, and was known to the people, who gathered therefore on the sixth day bread for two days, as Moses declared that the people had done on account of the instituted sabbath. See Exod. xvi. 22, 23. And therefore we conceive that the sabbath was instituted, Gen. ii. 2, 3. For God derives no reason for the fourth commandment, from the manna, Exod. xvi. but from his own rest and injunction before the fall. Israel ought now tỏ "remember" the sabbathday to keep it holy, that is, they ought to set their hearts upon it to keep it holy, as the Lord saith, Mal. iv. 4. "Remember the law of Moses." Remembering denotes here also, disposing and preparing ourselves for the sabbath ;

Israel bad for this purpose" a day of preparation," Luke xxiii. 54. This command concerning "remembering" the sabbathday to keep it holy is also a warning against profaning that day, and is as much, as take heed," that ye keep it holy Would we have more, this "remembering" the sabbath to keep it holy significs also keeping the sabbath, as it is said. Esther ix. 28, that the days of purim should be remembered and kept." Therefore the Lord saith, Deut. v. 12, "Keep the sabbathday to sanctify."

11. Inasmuch now as the sabbath would be greatly profaned by doing any servile work on it, therefore the Lord God requireth that we should labour and do all our works in six days, commanding us to finish all our daily business in six days, and to leave nothing to be done on the sabbath; "for the seventh day," saith he, "is the sab. bath of the Lord thy God." I have not the least doubt that this seventh day is our Saturday, the seventh day after the creation, as appears plainly from the reasons annexed to this commandment; for God rested on the seventh day after the creation, and gave it to Adam for a day of 1est, Gen. iii. 23. No man who is not prepos sessed with a prejudice, that the saboath of the fourth commandment was a shadow of good things to come, will think that the seventh day was called the Lord's day, because Christ should rest on that day in the grave: for it is evident from the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, that it was so called, because God rested on it, and because he instituted it for his worship, as the second sacrament of the New Testament is called "the Lord's supper," 1 Cor. xi. 20. On this day they might "not do any work." It is certain that the work of divine worship is not forbidden here, nor works of charity, nor of necessity, nor of common civility: but only those that belong to our sixdays calling, as all fieldworks of ploughing and reaping, Exod. xxxiv. 21, marketworks of buying and selling, Neh. x. 31. xii. 15-22, streetworks, as bearing and carrying burthens, Jer. xvii. 20, and thus also every work that belongs to our daily calling. And therefore "we may not do our own ways, nor find our own pleasure, nor speak even one word of these things," Isaiah Iviii. 13 And this might not be done by any person, neither by parents nor by children, nor by bond, nor by free, nor by natives, nor by foreigners, nor by rational, nor irrational creatures: therefore the Law giver saith, "In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor the son, nor thy daughter," &c.

III. But what should induce a human being to keep the sabbathday holy? the command of the sovereign God ought to suffice him.

Yet that he, who is naturally backward to keep God's commandment, may become willing and ready, the Lord offers him powerful motives, (1) from his own example: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and he rested the seventh day." This hath been briefly explained on the ninth Lord's day. Now when the Lord proposeth to Israel his great work and his rest, he shows them that he commands them to keep the sabbath in remembrance of his creation, and also that he requires that they should imitate him in his resting; for "therefore the Lord blessed the sabbathday and hallowed it." To bless and to hallow the sabbathday is to hallow it for a special blessing, which God will bestow on that day upon those who keep it, and so to separate and institute it for himself, and for his holy service, as "God sanctified Aaron and his sons, so that they might minister to him in the priest's office," Exod. xxix. 44. And it was thus the sabbathday of the Lord, and so the example of God, his blessing and hallowing of the sabbath is the ground and reason of the command concerning the sabbath. God blessed and hallowed the sabbath, not when he gave the manna in the wilderness, Exod. xvi. for we do not find that blessing and hallowing there; but when he rested before the fall, as is related, Gen. ii. 2, 3. It is said by some, that Gen. ii. 3, is an anticipated account of that which should have happened afterwards in the wilderness; but the history of Moses doth not suggest the least occasion or necessity for such an opinion. Neither may we say, in order to deny the morality of the sabbath, that God blessed not only the seventh day, but also therewith all the following days; for then the blessing would not be a reason why men ought to hallow every seventh day. (2) God added to this reason afterwards another, which had a special respect to Israel, for he saith, Deut. v. 14, 15, "That thy manservant, and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand, and a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day." Both superiors and inferiors were oppressed with a grievous bondage in the land of Egypt; but the Lord had delivered them all with power. Therefore it behooved superiors to be, after the example of the Lord, merciful and kind to their servants, and to permit them also to rest from their labours on the sabbathday, and "to be refreshed," Exod. xxiii. 12.

This fourth commandment hath been a subject of controversy with those who were within the church, as well as with those who were without. The Jews think that the commandment concerning

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