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17. The only appearance of a proof is at the end, that time being measured by weeks, and the end of the weeks being fitted for rest, therefore nature points us to the last day.'

Answ. But, 1. You do not at all prove, that nature teacheth all men to measure their time by weeks. 2. Nor is your philosophy true, that all motion is in order to rest. Indeed all labour is, that is, all the motion of any creature which is out of its proper place, and moveth towards it. But if you will call the action of active natures, such as our souls are, by the name of spiritual motion, or metaphysical motion, as many do, then no doubt but cessation is as contrary to their nature, as corporal motion is to the nature of a stone: and the rest, that is, the perfection, pleasure, and felicity of spirits, consisteth in their greatest activity in good; “ They rest not saying, Holy, Holy, &c.” 3. You transfer the case from a day of worship to a day of rest. And so make your cause worse: because nature saith much for one stated day of worship; but not for one stated day of rest from labour, further than the worship itself must have a vacancy from other things. For reason can prove no necessity to human nature of resting a whole day, any more than for a due proportion of rest unto labour every day. The rest of one hour in seven, is as much as the rest of one day in seven. Or if some more additional conveniences may be found for days than hours, there being no convenience without its inconvenience, this will but shew us, that the law is well made when it is made, but not prove a priori' that there is or must be such an universal law. As you can never prove, that nature teaches men the distribution of time by weeks, (1.) It being a thing of tradition, custom and consent. (2.) And no man naturally knoweth it, till others tell him of it. (3.) And many nations do not so measure their time. (4.) And no man can bring a natural reason to prove that it must be so, which they might do if it were a law of natural reason ;) so also that every family, or country at least, should not have leave to vary their days of rest, according to diversity of riches and poverty, health and sickness, youth and age, peace and war, and other such cases, you cannot prove necessary by nature alone, though you may prove it well done when it is done. 4. You cannot prove the last day more necessary for rest, than the first, or any other. For there are few countries, where wars, or

some other necessities, have not constrained them sometimes to violate the Sabbath's rest; which, when they have done, it is as many days from the third day to the third, as from the seventh to the seventh. 5. If time were naturally measured by weeks, yet it followeth not, that rest must be so : some countries are strong and can labour longer, and others tender and weak, and can labour less. 6. And seeing that the reason of a day for worshipping-assemblies is greater and more noble than the reason of a day for bodily rest, nature will rather tell us, that God should have the first day, than the last ; 'a Jove principium :' a God was to have the first-born, the first-fruits, &c. 7. If we might frame laws for Divine worship by such conceits of convenience, as this is of the last day in seven as fittest for rest, and call them all the laws of nature, what a multitude of additions would be made, and of how great diversity ? whilst every man's conceit went for reason, and reason for nature, and so we should have as many laws of nature, as there are diversities of conceits. And yet that there is such a thing as a law of nature in which all reason should agree, we doubt not. But having in vain expected your proof, that the Seventh-day Sabbath is the law of nature, or of universal obligation, I shall briefly prove the negative (that it is not).

1. That which is of natural obligation may be proved by natural reason (that is, by reason arguing from the nature of the thing) to be a duty. But that the Seventh day must be kept holy as a Sabbath, cannot be proved from the nature of the thing. Therefore it is not of natural obligation. He that will deny the minor, let him instance in his natural proof.

2. That is not an universal law of nature, which learned, godly men, and the greatest number of these, yea, almost all the world, know no such thing by, and confess they cannot prove by nature. But such is the Seventh-day-Sabbath,-&c. It is not I alone that know nothing of any such law, nor am able by any natural evidence to prove it, but also all the divines and other Christians that I am or ever was acquainted with: nay, I never knew one man that could say, that he either had such a law in his own nature, (unless some one did take his conceit for a law,) nor that he could shew such a law in natura rerum.' And it is a strange law of nature, which is to be found in no one's nature, but per


haps twenty men's, or very few in a whole age; nor is discerned by all the rest of the world. If you say, that few understand nature, or improve their reason: I answer, 1. If it be such a law of pature as is obliterated in almost all mankind, it is a very great argument that nature being changed, the law is changed. How can that oblige which cannot be known? 2. Are not we men as well as you ? Have not several ages had as great improvers of nature as you? If grace must be the improver, are there, or have there been none as gracious? If learning must be the improver, have there been none as learned? If diligence or impartiality must be the improvers of nature, have there not been many as diligent, studious and impartial as yourselves? Let all rational men judge which of these is the better argument, 'I and twenty men more in the world do discern in nature an universal obligation on mankind to keep the Seventh-day-Sabbath : therefore it is the law of nature.' Or, The world of mankind, godly and ungodly, learned and unlearned, discern no such natural obligation, except you, and the few of your mind : therefore it is no law of nature.'

3. That is not like to be an universal law of nature, which no man since the creation can be proved to have known and received, as such, by mere natural reason, without tradition. But no man since the creation can be

proved to have known and received the Seventh-day-Sabbath by mere natural reason, without tradition : therefore it is not like to be an universal law of nature. If you know any man; name him and prove it; for I never read or heard of such a man.

4. If the text mention it only as a positive institution, then it is not to be accounted a law of nature. But the text mentioneth it only as a positive institution- -As is plain, Gen ii. 3. “God blessed the Seventh-day, and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work, &c.” If it had been a law of nature, it had been made in nature, and the making of nature would have been the making of the law. But here are two reasons against that in the text.

1. Blessing and sanctifying are positive acts of supernatural institution, superadded to the works of nature : they are not Divine creating acts, but Divine instituting acts.

2. That which is blessed and sanctified, "Because God rested in it from all his works," is not blessed and sanctified merely by those works or that rest; and if neither the works of nature, nor the rest of God from those works did sanctify it, then it is not of natural sanctifioation, and so not of natural obligation.

5. If the very reason of the day be not of natural, but of supernatural revelation, then the sanctification of the day is not of natural but supernatural revelation and obligation. But the former is certain. For no man breathing ever did or can prove by nature, without supernatural revelation, that God made and finished his works in six days, and rested the seventh. Aristotle had been like to have escaped his cpinion of the world's Eternity, if he could have found out this by nature.

6. The distinction of weeks is not known by nature, to be any necessary measure of our time; therefore, much less that the seventh day of the week must be a Sabbath. The antecedent is sufficiently proved, in that no man can give a cogent reason for the necessity of such measure. And because it bath been unknown to a great part of the world. The Peruvians, Mexicans, and many such others knew not the measure of weeks. And Heylin noteth out of Jos. Sca-. liger de Emend. Temp. lib. 3, and 4, and Rossinus Antiq. and Dion, that neither the Chaldees, the Persians, Greeks, nor Romans, did of old observe weeks'; and that the Romans measured their time by eights, as the Jews did by sevens ; Hist. Sab. part 1. chap. iv. p. 83, 84 ; and p. 78, he citeth. Dr. Bound's own words, p. 65. ed. 2. confessing the like, citing Beroaldus for it, as to the Roman custom. Yea, he asserteth, that till near the time of Dionys. Exig. anno 500, they divided not their time into weeks as now. In which he must needs except the Christians, and consequently, the ruling powers since Constantine. And if they were so unsettled through the world in their measure by months, as bishop Usher at large openeth in his Dissert. de Macedonum et Asianorum anno solari, (see especially his Ephemeris in the end, where all the days of each month are named without weeks,) the other will be no wonder.

I conclude therefore, 1. That one day in seven, rather than in six or eight, may by reason be discerned to be con

venient when God hath so instituted it: But cannot by nature be known to be of natural universal obligation.

2. That this one day should be the seventh, no light of nature doth discover: Therefore Dr.-Bound, Dr. Ames, and the generality of the defenders of one day in seven against the Anti-sabbatarians, do unanimously assert it to be of supernatural institution, and not any part of the law of nature: though stated days at a convenient distance is of the law of nature.


Whether every Word in the Decalogue be of the Law of Nature,

and of perpetual Obligation? And whether all that was of the Law of Nature, was in the Decalogue ?

But the great argument to prove it the law of nature is, because it was part of the ten words written in stone. To which I say, that the decalogue is an excellent summary of the generals of the law of nature, as to the ends for which it was given ; but that,

I. It hath more in it than the law of nature.

II. It hath less in it than the law of nature: And therefore was never intended for a mere or perfect transcript of the law of nature : But for a perfect general summary of so much of that law as God thought meet to give the Jews by supernatural revelation, containing the chief heads of nature's law (lest they should not be clear enough in nature itself) with the addition of something more.

I. That the decalogue written in stone hath more than the law of nature, is proved 1. By these instances; 1. That “ God brought them out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of servants,” and that he is to be worshipped in that relation, is none of the law of nature, universally so called.

2. That God is merciful (and therefore reconciled) to a thousand generations of them them that love him notwithstanding man's natural state of sin and misery, and all men's actual sin, this is of supernatural grace, and not the law of mere nature.

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