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A. The sabbath was not before Adam was; and the apostles, that had the law of God written in their hearts, served the Lord God, he was their God, and they his people, who witnessed the end of the first covenant, which stood in ceremonies; and so shadows and signs are ceremonies. And the sabbath was spoken of before ceremonies were, that is true; but not as a command then, but when ceremonies came up in the days of Moses, the sabbath was given as a sign amongst the other signs, and a shadow amongst the other shadows; and he tells you plainly, if you will believe him, the body of all is Christ. And this sabbath, which was before ceremonies were given among them that had the ceremonies, a day of rest for cattle, man and beast, strangers and servants, which the body of this shadow and sign is the rest, that gives rest to all the creation, man and beast, stranger and servant, and so rest to the whole creation.
And the apostle was not antichrist, that said the body was Christ, and the sabbath was a shadow, and brought them off from days and from signs, types, and ceremonies, and from the first priesthood, first covenant and offerings, to the body Christ, that ended them all, and takes off the veil that is upon the hearts of people while Moses is read. Now they are the antichrists that are setting up signs and shadows, and bringing people from the body, which is Christ, the substance, and are keeping people in the observing of a day in which people should have rest for a day, the cattle rest for a day, servants rest for a day, not minding the substance, the body, Christ, who restores the creation into unity, as it was in the beginning; and gives rest to man and beast, servant, stranger, and cattle, and is rest to them all. They that are come to the body know the substance, the end of the sabbath-day's work.
But then again thou sayst in thy charge, ‘ye may not do any work on that day.' How is it then that ye make fire through all your congregations ? How is it you keep markets on the sabbath day, which God commanded ? How is it that ox and horse bear burthens on that day, and you both? How is it that you gather sticks and make fires on that day, and gather your meat on that day, when meat was not to be gathered on that day, and he that gathered sticks was stoned to death? And how is it that ye profess a day, and do not observe it according to the day? Are ye not all hypocrites in this, professing that which ye do not practise ? for by the law ye should be stoned to death, ye should die all. And how is it that you professors, likewise, that profess the first day to be the sabbath, yet will not go to your worships, abundance of you, except ye be drawn with horses? Why pollute you the sabbath day? ye are all polluters, according to your own words. And why gather ye your meat, and make fires on that day? Keep it according to the law, and be not dissemblers and mockers of
God and man. If ye will keep a sabbath, go according to scripture and the law of God.
And the poor creatures must bear a burthen to lug you to your worships; and yet if a poor man be found but carrying a loaf of bread, or a burden of sticks to make him a fire, he is, it may be, fined for it. Now by the law of God, he should be stoned to death, and your horses should do no work on that day. And you will fine some for going to a meeting of the Lord's people, yet you must have your horses and coaches, and coachmen, and put them to labour to draw you to your worships; and so here is your confusion. And so you are judging one another in days, which was not the saints' work, nor the apostles,' who witnessed the body was Christ, and met together in him who was the end of days.
P. Whereas thou sayst, • The sabbath is perpetual, and fenced above all other laws.'
A. If it had been perpetual, the apostle would not have said it was a sign, and that the body was Christ; but to the Jews that had the types, it was perpetual. By them it was highly to be observed; but Christ that ends the law, ends that, and the things that are in the law, the shadow and sign that are in the law, who was the body of it.
P. The Jews received the lively oracles from mount Sinai. Whether was it given us to be broken or kept, slighted or observed? If to be kept and observed, then we must either deny the Seventh-day sabbath to be one of mount Sinai's lively oracles, or deny Stephen's doctrine, delivered to the Jews. We must sanctify this lively oracle of the Seventh-day sabbath.'
A. Stephen preaches Christ, the end of the law, of types, figures, and shadows, who is the substance, and showed the Jews that they had not kept the law, in which were the shadows of Christ, and so Christ is the end of the law, and the signs, and the similitudes, and the days.
And Stephen saw the end; Hagar or Sinai is a mount in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. Now read where you all are. But Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. Now mark, us all, who are come to the body, Christ, the end of the signs, shadows, and figures, (Jerusalem below had types, had figures, had shadows, had signs,) when that resteth that is in bondage, Hagar with her children. And here you may come to know the allegory of these two covenants; and so who is come to the son, to the body, is come to the end of all shadows, and before any
shadows were. And Stephen held not up the shadows, but preached Christ, the end of them, only he judged the Jews that had not kept the law, which Christ is the end of to every one that believes. And Stephen was a
believer, and they accused him for speaking against the law and Moses, who witnessed the end of it.
P. Thou sayst, There is a conceit, that the disciples in assembling on the First-day, did celebrate the sabbath. And they were so far from believing that Christ was risen, that it seemed to them as idle tales. The First-day was finished before they believed, and so they could not have faith to do any such thing.'
A. The scriptures speak no such thing, and tell us no such conceit, that the disciples did celebrate the first-day to be the sabbath; but this is thine and your imaginations, got up among you that own not the body Christ, who ends all signs, types, and shadows. Christ was before days were, and who lives in him doth not celebrate days.
P. Thou sayst, "John intends a single day, it is much like it was the sabbath day; and he speaks of the Lord's day, judgment day, and this he calls the day, and this day he must show unto John in the vision. The ancient Christians who call it the Lord's day, did never term it the sabbath. But religiously celebrated the Seventh-day with it.'
A. John doth not call it the sabbath day, nor did the Christians celebrate the sabbath with it, but said the old was signs and shadows, the body of them was Christ; but since the days of the apostles and the apostacy, ye have wanted the body Christ, and ye have fallen into the days; for Christ saw those that should come up, and draw people into the days. And the day of the Lord is light, and in the day of the Lord was John.
P. Thou sayst, Old things are passed away, and all things are become new.'
A. Then the sabbath was a thing, and it must pass away; and it was a rest, and we must have a new rest: and the sabbath was in the old time given as a sign, and a command, and given by God to be kept since the fall.
P. Thou sayst, “There remains therefore the celebrating the sabbath to the people of God.'
A. But the scripture of the New Testament doth not say so. The apostle says, “ There remains therefore a rest for the people of God,' such as come off the signs to Christ the body, the soul's rest; there remains in him a rest for the people. And such as celebrate the sabbath, rest in the shadow, and do not come to the body Christ, and such are not the believers that do enter into the rest Christ. And such as rest in the sign and shadow, and there remain, celebrating the sabbath, come not into the body, Christ, the rest of God's people.
P. Thou sayst, Christ rested, or ceased from his great work, and entered into his rest, and this is laid down as a gospel reason why the
sabbath remains to the people of God. And he lays the believer under a double engagement to sanctify the Seventh-day sabbath.'
A. Christ speaks no such thing, nor the apostles either, that they should sanctify the Seventh-day, he speaks no such thing to the believers; but the apostle brings them off from the shadows, from the signs, and shows them the body of all, and he does not mention a double engagement; and the sabbath, the Jews were to rest on, which was death if not kept, was a figure of the redemption, Christ Jesus, the rest, who was put to death on the Sixth-day. Man was made on the Sixth-day, and he was put to death on the Sixth-day, and he was crucified through the means of them that had the shadows, the outward day, the outward rest, from which day they should have come, from the signs and shadows, to the body Christ, who was the rest and restoration of the creation.
P. And thou sayst, To hold forth the passage over of that rest which prevented the women from the application of their spices, that was the sabbath, and I am satisfied the Seventh-day is the sabbath day.'
A. Now though the women did rest on the sabbath day, and came with their spices on the First-day, there were many of them did question whether this was the man that should redeem Israel; and so that is no ground at all to hold up the Jews' types and shadows, for Peter denied him; therefore that is no ground. But what did they do after the holy ghost was come to endue them with power from on high? And what says Paul? he brings them off from the signs and shadows to Christ the body. Though there is much more to be said to this; for while the questioning stands, the questioning part doth pertain to the shadows and types, which the body ends, and with that is felt and seen, in which there is no changing, nor shadow, nor variableness, nor altering, and that overthrows the questioner, unbeliever, stumbler. The great stumbler was the Jew that was resting in the shadows, types, and signs, he stood against the body Christ Jesus.
P. Whereas thou sayst, “The Seventh-day sabbath is one of the lively oracles Israel received from Sinai, given to us. O christian! remember it, and love it in thy bosom.'
A. Here thou wouldst bring the children from her mother above, which is Jerusalem, to Jerusalem below, and Sinai, and so to Hagar, into the shadow; but the christians witnessed the end of the shadows and sabbaths, and witnessed the body Christ Jesus, and Jerusalem that is above, and came to Christ, the end of the law, and into God by him, from whom the law came. And so christians that have Christ within them, cannot put signs in their bosoms; no type, shadow, or figure in their bosom; and cannot touch the doctrines, commandments, and ordinances of men, which have a show of wisdom in the will-worship; and the
Jew, the outward Jew, had types, shadows and figures; the Jews inward witnessed the substance, who are the true christians, the law in their hearts, and circumcision there, and the end of the law they came into, and entered into the rest, Christ Jesus, that is not an outward Seventh-day; but entered into rest, 'ceased from their works as God did from his;' these that enter into rest, cease from their own works, and the type, the figure, the Seventh-day sabbath. • Do no work, thou, nor strangers, nor the cattle,' and so the sabbath was a rest from all. This was a type, and God gave them the sabbath for a sign, (who hath ceased from his own works, enters into his rest,) a figure of the restoration of the creation-of Christ, the rest, the restorer, redeemer, and saviour, that brings peace on earth. And so they that believe have entered into him, into the rest Christ, the rest to all wearied souls, who helps all creatures upon the earth, man and beast, and destroys the cause of all oppression; and so many are come from Hagar. And though the Seventh-day in the law was a rule among the Jews, a true type, yet the apostle that preaches Christ, the end of the law, brings people to the body, Christ.
P. Thou sayst, Circumcision nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commands of God, viz. of sanctifying God's sabbath.' And thou sayst, • The seventh angel sounded forth the ancient of glory, the Lord's sabbath, swearing that time should be no longer.'
A. Circumcision was a command of God, and so was the sabbath, and they that love God, keep his commandments. And did not the apostle bring people off circumcision, and from the signs and shadows, the sabbath days, and told them the body was Christ? And were not offerings and sacrifices the commands of God? Now they that love God, keep his commands, and those are believers that have passed from death to life, and have come to the end of the law and the prophets. And the angel in the Revelations, makes no mention of a sabbath there; but many are come to witness him to whom the angels must bow down, who saw the end of time, and the beginning of time, and the supper of the Lord, and the rest, and the temple of God with them, and heavenly Jerusalem 'come down from above.'
P. Thou sayst, “It cannot be but God's people must bethink them-. selves of this doctrine delivered by Stephen, to the sanctification of the Lord of the sabbath.'
A. Stephen no where mentions the sabbath day in his examination, though he judged the Jews for not keeping the law, which they had received, but persecuted the Just One: so he preached the substance, Christ, the end of the law, and said they had not kept the law, but turned against the Just, and persecuted him. He did not establish the Vol. III.