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and love? To neglect this duty is injurious to God, our neighbour, and ourselves. But some may object, Our reproofs will do no good, we may as well hold our tongue. I answer, Be.ye in your duty, and leave the event to God. Your duty ye have laid before you, Matth. xviii. 15. 16. 17. If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone : if he' shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he fall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church : but if be neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an Heathen man, and a publican. Habitual profane swearers are surely more offensive to God and good men, than those who are guilty of a single act of fornication, Lev. v. 1. Tell these things to your neighbours that lie at home unneceffarily on the Lord's day None are more likely to be guilty of these things than such. Be so kind to their fouls as to let them know, that if they continue in these things, what has been faid here against them, seeing they were obliged to have come and heard our message from the Lord, shall witness against them at the great day, as well as against those who have heard the same, if they continue in such courses. I hall close this with that word, Deut. xxviii. 58. 59. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that tbou mayst fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy feed; ezen great plagues, and of long continuance, and Jore ficknelles, and of long continuance. And () that all oaths, gross or minced, all profaniog of the name of God, and irreverent use of it, and all cursing of whatever kind, might end with these sermons against it.
4. Let us all see ourselves in the glass of this conimand and threatening, and learn to know our guilt with respect to it, and our danger thereby, God will let VOL. II.
us know, sooner or later, that he thinks much of what we think very little of. And let us be humbled under, and wash in Christ's blood for, our fios in taking God's name in vain *.
Of the fourth Commandment.
EXODUS XX. 8. 9. 10. 11. Remember the fabbath-day, to keep it boly. Six days
Malt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the fevenih day is the fabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy fon, nor thy daughter, thy man-férvant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle
, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in hex days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and refled the seventh day : wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath.day, and hallowed it. HIS command respects the time of worship, and
is the last of the first table, set to join both cogether, the fabbath being the bond of all religion. In the words we have,
1. The command. It is delivered two ways.
11, Positively, Remember the fabbath day, to keep it holy. Sabbath signifies rest or cessation from labour. There is a threefold rest or fabbath spoken of in scripture. (1.) Temporal. (2.) Spiritwal, which is an internal foul-rest, in ceasing from Sin, Heb.iv. 3. (3.) Eternal, Heb. iv. 9. 11. celebrated in heaven, where the faints rest from their labours. It is the first of these, the weekly fabbath, that is here meant.
Observe here, (1.) Our duty with respect to the fabbath. It is to keep it holy. God has made it holy, set it apart for holy exercises, and we must keep it holy, spending it in holy exercises.
* Advices to common swearers may be seen, and read with prof', in the author's Caveat against profane fwearing, in his Diftinguifoing characters of irus believers. p. 2c2.c.
(2.) The quantity of time to be observed as a fab. bath of rest, a day, a whole day of twenty-four hours ; and the one day in seven. They must observe a seventh day after fix days labour, wherein all our work muft be done, put by hand, so as nothing of it may remain to be done on the fabbath.
(3.) A note of remembrance put upon it; which imports that this precept should be diligently observed, special regard paid to it, and due honour put upon this sacred day.
2dly, Negatively. Where observe, (1.) What is forbidden here; the doing of any work that may hinder the fanctifying of this day. (2.) To whom the command is directed, and who muit observe it. Magiftrates, to whom belong the gates of the city; and masters of families, to whom belong the gates of the
house. They must observe it themselves, and caufe 3 others to observe it.
2. The reasons annexed to this command. None of the commands are thus delivered, both positively and negatively, as this is. And that imports,
is, God is in a special manner concerned for the keeping of the fabbath, it being that on which all religion depends. Accordingly as it is observed or difregarded, so it readily goes with the other parts of religion.
2dly, People are most ready to halve the service of this day, either to look on resting from labour as sufficient, or to look on the work of the day as over when the public work is over.
3dly, There is less light of nature for this command than the rest: for though it is naturally moral that there should be a fabbath ; yet it is but positively moral that this should be one day in seven, depending entirely on the will of God.
In discoursing further from this fubject, I shall fhew, 1. What is required in the fourth commandment.
II. Which day of the seven God hath appointed to be the weekly fabbath.
III. How the fabbath is to be fanctified.
1. I am to show what is required in the fourth commandment. This command, according to our cate, chilm, requireth “ the keeping holy to God such fet 6 times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly “ one whole day in seven, to be a holy fabbath to “ himself.” Here I shall shew,
1. That this command requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word.
2. That it requires one day in seven to be kept as a holy fabbath to the Lord,
3. That the day to be kept holy is one whole day.
First, I am to shew, that this command requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath ap-pointed in his word.
The Jews under the Old Testament had several days beside the weekly sabbath, that by divine appointment were to be kept as holy days, and by virtue of this command they were to observe them, even as by vir. the of the second they were to observe the sacrifices and other parts of the Old-testament instituted worfhip. But these days are taken away under the gospel, by the coming of Chrifl.
But that which this command in the first place requires, is the keeping holy of a fabbath to God; whatever be the day God determines for it; whether the Seventh in order from the creation, as under the Old Teftament, or the first, as under the New. And fo the command is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; not, Remember the seventh day. Thus the keeping of a fabbath is moral duty, binding all persons in all places of the world.
For it is moral duty, and by the natural law re
-quired, that as God is to be worshipped not only internally, but externally, not only privately, but publicly; so there must be some special time designed and set apart for this, without which it cannot be done. And fo the very Pagans had their fabbaths and holy days. This is the first thing imported here, That a fabbath is to be kept.
Another thing imported here is, That it belongs to God to determine the fabbath, or what day or days he will have to be kept holy. He says not, Remember to keep holy a sabbath-day, or a day of rest, leaving it to men what days shall be holy, and what not; but, Remenber the sabbath-day, &c. supposing the day to be already determined by himself. So that we are bound to the set time appointed in his word.
And this condemns mens taking on themselves, whether churches or states, to appoint holy days to be kept, which God has not appointed in his word. Confider,
1. This command puts a peculiar honour on the fabbath above all other days, Remember the sabbath-day, &c. But when men make holidays of their own to be kept holy, the day appointed of God is spoiled of its peculiar honour, and there is no peculiar honour Jeft to it, Ezek. xliii. 8. Yea, in practice they go before it ; for mens holidays, where they are regarded, are more regarded than God's day.
2. This command says, Six days Malt thou labour. Formalists say, there are many of these fix days thou fhalt not labour, for they are holy days. If these words contain a command, who can countermand it? if but a permision, who can take away that liberty which God has left us ? As for fast-days or thankli giving-days occasionally appointed, they are not holy days; the worship is not made to wait on the days, as on fabbaths and holy days, but the days on the worship which God by liis providence requires; and confequently there muit be a time for performing these exercises,