Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Fourth Commandment. ,;,hie h this Commandment cloth principally refpecr. And the General Heads upon which I /hall proceed, are thefe Four: I. Its Primitive Infl:itution. 11 . Its Morality and perpetual Obligation. Ill. Its Change from the !aft to the firft Day of the Week. IV. The manner how God hath required it to be fanaified by us. Concerning the Firft. When the Sabbath was inftituted, there is fome dilfe- I. rence between Learned Men: Some put a like Date upon it, and refer its beginning to the Promulgation of the Law, or at farthe!t, to the fending of Manna to·the Jfraclires. And they ground their Alfertion upon this, That before that time we read not in all the Hiftory of the Patriarchs, and firft Ages pf the World, of any Sabbath that was obferved and fancrified by the holy Fathers who then lived; which doubtlcfs, they would not have neglected, had any fuch Command been ghren them. Others, who I believe concur with the Truth, fetch its Original as high as the Creation of the World, grounding their Opinion upon that unanfwerable Teftimony, Gen. 2· 2, 3· On rhe feventh d~t.y God ended his work which he h_ad Jnade; and God bleJJa the foventh d".y, and fanffified it. Now that there on not m thefe words be undcrftood any Prolepjis, or Anticipation, declaring that as done then, which was done n1:1ny Ages after, appears plainly, becaufe God is faid to fanCHfie the S1bbath t'hen when he refted; but he refted precifely on the Seventh Day after the Creation; therefore that very Seventh Day did God fanctifie, and made it the beginning of all enfuing S:J.bbJths. So that you fee the Sabbath is but one day younger than Man, ordained for him in the State of his Uprightnefs and Innocence, that his Faculties bei ng then hoLy and excellent, he might imploy them, efpecblly on thJt Day, in the lingnlar and moll fpiritu:~l Worfuip ofGod his Creator. And although we find no more mention of the Sabbath, until Mofcs had condutl:cd the Children of Ifrael into the Wildernefs, which was about Two thonfand four hund red and fifty Years after the Creation; yet it is not to be fuppofed that among the People of God, who were very careful as in obferving the Law of God themfclves, fo in delivering it Jikewife tll their Pofterity, that the Obfervation of this Law, or of this Day utterly failed, but was continued among thofe that feared God , till it w:ts again invigorated with new Authority by the Promulgation of it from Mount Sinai. And thus much for the lnftitution. Stcondty, Concerning the Morality of the Sabb.ith, is a greater Controverfie, and offJr greater moment. Some loofe Spirits contend that it is wholly Ceremonial, and fo utterly abolifh'd at the coming of Chrifr, and will not be under the ReftriCl:- ion of their Liberty in obfcrving any Days or Times. Others again make it wholly ~or:tl~ and affirm, That the Obfervation of the very Seventh Day from the CreatiOn, IS a LJW of Nature, and of perpetual Obligation; and therefore think themfelves bound to keep the Jewilh Sabbath. u. Tint I mJy clearly ftate this obfcurc and difficult Queftion, I flu !I only .premife, *That thofe things are faid to be Moral and of the Law of Nature, which are in themfelves rational and fit to be done, although there were no exprefs Command to injoin them. So that where there is a great Equity in the thin~ it felf, enough to fway a rational and honeft Man to the doing of 1t, that is to be accounted Moral, and authorized by the Law of Natu,re. ", RtJti~ pr~ft£!A ,; ruum , 4 • tur1t, & 1uOe8e [adtndcm im· ptllenr, & .0 Je/U1~ if'I.Mca 111 mn hine dtnique incipit Lex effi' eum flrJpta eft, fod :um &·~m mn. Orta IJI/tem jimllltft e~m 1mlltl dn.tiu i. Cic. de t egib. lib. Zo That is of politivc Right which is obfcrved .only becaufe it is commanded, and hath no intrinfical Goodnefs, or Reafon' in it felf to commend it to our Praa:ic~, but oblig~th us only upon the InjunCtion and Authority of ano.. ther. As for mfrance, It ts naturally good to obey our Parents, to abfrain from M_nrther, Theft, Adultery, &c. to do to others as we would be content to be dealt WJ.th.. Th~fe things we are obliged unto by the very Light of Reafon, and the Pnnc1ples of Nature, although there had been no written Law of God to imP?fe them. But then there were :other things to which G,od obliged fome of hJS People, that had notlung to commend them be!ides the Authority of his· Command :