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SECT. X. And of days.

THESE were all instituted in memory of the benefit they had received from God, when they were delivered front the Egyptian bondage, and brought into the promised land. Now the prophet Jeremiah says, chap. xvi. and xxiii. that the time would come when new and much greater benefits should so eclipse the memory of that benefit, that there would scarce be any mention made of it. And, moreover, what we now said of sacrifices, is as true of festivals; the people began to put their trust in them so far, that if they rightly observed them, it was no great matter how they offended in other respects. Wherefore, in Isaiah, chap. i. God says, that he hated their new moons and feast-days, 200they were such a burden to him, that he was not able to bear them. Concerning the Sabbath, it uses particularly to be objected, that it is an universal and perpetual precept, not given to one people only, but, in the beginning of the world, to Adam the father of them all. To which I answer, agreeably to the opinions of the most learned Hebrews, that this precept concerning the Sabbath is two-fold; a precept of remembrance, Exodus xx. 8.604604   זביר. and a precept of observation, Exodus xxxi. 31.605605   שמיר. Thus Moses Gerundensis, and Isaac Aramas distinguish.—(Observation and remembrance signify the same thing in Moses, as to this matter, as we have shewn on Deut v. 1. however the thing here treated of is true. Le Clerc.) The precept of remembrance is fulfilled in a religious memory of the creation of the world; the precept of observation consists in an exact abstinence from all manner of labour. The first precept was given from the beginning, and without doubt the pious men before the law obeyed it,606606   From whom a certain veneration for the seventh day was derived to the Greeks, as Clemens observes. See what is said in relation to this, book. i. as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; the latter of whom, though we have a relation of many of their travels, yet there is no sign of their stopping their journey on account of the Sabbath;607607   That the pious men of those times did in this sense σαββατίσαι, that is, observe the Sabbath, is denied by Justin, in his dialogue with Tryphon, and by Tertullian in two places against the Jews. which thing we frequently meet with, after their coming out of Egypt. For after the people were brought out of Egypt, and had safely passed through the Red Sea, they kept the first day a Sabbath of rest, and sung a hymn to God upon that account; and from this time that exact rest of the Sabbath was commanded, the first mention of which is in the gathering of manna, Exodus xxxv. 2. Levit. xxiii. 3. And in this sense, the reason alleged, Deut. v. 15. for the law of the Sabbath is the deliverance out of Egypt. And further, this law had regard to servants against the severity of those masters, who allowed them no respite from their 201labours, as you find it in the fore-cited places. It is true, indeed, that strangers were obliged by this law, and that for this reason, that there might be an universal rest of all the people.608608   Not those others, who out of Judæa observed the precepts given to the posterity of Noah. This is the opinion of the Hebrews. But that this law of perfect rest was not given to other people, appears from hence, that in many places it is called a sign, and a particular covenant between God and the Israelites, Exod. xxxi. 13, 16. And, further, Mat those things which were instituted in memory of the coming out of Egypt are not such as ought never to cease, we have before shewn, from the promise of much greater benefits. To which may be added, that if the law concerning rest on the Sabbath had been given from the beginning, and in such a manner as never to be abolished; certainly that law would have prevailed over all other laws, the contrary to which we now find. For it is evident, that children were rightly circumcised on the Sabbath-day:609609   Thus the Hebrew proverb: “The Sabbath gives way to circumcision.” See John vii. 22. and while the temple stood, the sacrifices were slain on the Sabbath-day, as well as on other days.610610   Numb. xxviii. 9. The Hebrew teachers themselves shew, that this law is changeable, when they say that work may justly be done on the Sabbath at the command of a prophet, which they prove by the example of the taking of Jericho on the Sabbath-day by the command of Joshua. And that, in the time of the Messiah, the difference of days should be taken away, some of them shew very well, from that place of Isaiah lxvi. 23. where it is foretold, that there should be a continual worship of God from Sabbath to Sabbath, from new moon to new moon.


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