Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

frame, knew that a due measure and proportion of action and rest were necessary for that end. Working six days, and resting the seventh day and the greatest part of the seven nights, throws labor and rest into the same measure, or very near it. This is certainly one leading design of the fourth command; it is the insallible rule of human exercises and rests, as a sacred preventive to keep us in health and vigor.

For want of attention to this, some are driven on by avarice and ambition that they know not how nor when to give over the stir and hurry; and others hardly ever willing to begin: some killing themselves with incessant toils, and others numbed and halt dead by laziness and inactivity. The division of our time as we have it in the weekly numbers, is a merciful scheme to prevent these evils; and is sounded in the nature of things. For such a measure of labor calls for such and such intervals; and rest, in its own nature, equally calls for action. Mankind cannot be in a proper state of sirmness, strength and vigor without this. The human body was not made to be happy in one endless scene either of labor or Bb 2 rest,

rest, nor the mind neither; but in a variety and mixture of both. Heaven itself is made a scene of pure happiness, and its inhabitants kept in eternal bloom and vigor, by these wise and grateful alternatives from which they never deviate, and therefore live in persect order, reason and propriety.

If, as some would have it, entering heaven is bidding adieu to all employment and going into a .state of eternal inactivity, I should think that the laziest drones on earth, must be the highest saints in heaven. But heaven is lull of activity, full of rational employment suited to the dignity and persection of our nature there, varied into wise intervals and rests, agreeable to what we are accustomed to in this introductory state.

Therefore this matter was too weighty to be left for man himself to settle. The sabbath must be septenary and sixed by God himself. Septenary, or every seventh day, and neither more nor less, that labor and rest might bear a proportion and regulate each other for the purpose here mentioned. Therefore the command is so worded,

as as to require and enjoin working six days, as weft as resting the seventh. And he that will not work at some lawful business six days, is as real a violator of the fouith command as he who will not rest on the seventh, unless by something lawful or unavoidable he is hindered. He therefore who opposes and rejects, or wishes this command out of his way, is not only an enemy to God, but to human nature in general.

Secondly, God has commanded us to work six days and rest but one, in order to bring in plenty and riches. If he had ordered six days to be sabbatical and one for work, business would have been thereby cramped and consined within such narrow bounds, that poverty would have been, in the natural course ot things, unavoidable. But the appointment of six days for the business of lise, gives all the opportunities that can be of any service, to think, to contrive and to do. This is what is devoted, and even consecrated for the purpose of doing all our business; and jf it is not done, or if any one says, that he cannot do ft all in six days, it can never be done at all. This is the measure of time which unerring wisdom and prudence has judged proper for doing our common business, and for doing it all as the precept enjoins; that is, doing a week's work. Six days is time enough to do a week's work, and but enough.

Those therefore who keep both Jewish and christian sabbaths, do break and prosane the fourth command in every view and administration of it at once. They throw the primitive sabbath out of its more honorable place, as comprehended in, and incorporated with the new; they lessen the new sabbath on the resurrection day as not alone sufficient, and make a breach in the week; reducing it from six to sive working days. Thus, they break the command, though I have the charity to believe not wilfully but inadvertently. The precept, measures and numbers our working week, and makes it to be six days, commanding us to be employed in our business; our own business, to do it; and do it all. Doing some business or other, is not enough; or working some days; one, or even sive; but the command ties us to our own business, and not another's; requiring us to do it all: and all our work, is all

that that which a man may reasonably do in six days. And in general, all the week's work, of each individual of mankind, is contained within the six days; neither more nor less: If a man works sive days, and does ever so much in the time, he has not sulsilled the command, nor performed his duty; for all his work, is all that lie can reasonably do, to the end of six days. I repeat it again, it is not doing something, and working some of the days, but it is doing all the work: that is, all that a person can do in six days. And if it is not six days' work, it is not all his work, let it be as much as it wiB. If a person has not worked and gained as much as he can in reason do in six days, he has not done all his work, as the law requires.

Unless then the fourth command is held in force it cannot be proved that any man is obliged directly by any law of God to do a days work. AU the business in the world would be left under the hands of mere humour or accidental necessities, and no man bound by divine authority to attend to it, nor to be lawsully called to an account for. ■eglecting it. But God by his law has expressly

made

« EdellinenJatka »