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And as some deride church-music by many scornful names, so others do by singing (as some congregations near me testify, who these many years have forsaken it, and will not endure it: but their pastor is fain to unite them, by the constant and total omission of singing psalms). It is a great wrong that some do to ignorant Christians, by putting such whimsies and scruples into their heads, which as soon as they enter, turn that to a scorn, and snare, and trouble, which might be a real help and comfort to them, as it is to others.
Quest, Cxxviii. Is the Lord's day a sabbath, andso to be called and kept, and that of Divine institution? And is the seventh-day sabbath abrogated? Sfc.
Answ. All the cases about the Lord's day (except those practical directions for keeping it, in the Economical part of this book) I have put into a peculiar treatise on that subject by itself; and therefore shall here pass them over, referring the reader to them in that discourse.
Quest, cxxix. Is it lawful to appoint human holy days, and observe them?Answ. This also I have spoke to in the aforesaid Treatise, and in my "Disput. of Church Government and Cer." Briefly, 1. It is not lawful to appoint another weekly sabbath, or day wholly separated to the commemoration of our redemption; for that is to mend (pretendedly) the institutions of God; yea, and to contradict him who hath judged one day only in seven to be the fittest weekly proportion. 2. As part of some days may be weekly used in holy assemblies, so may whole days on just, extraordinary occasions, of prayer, preaching, humiliation, and thanksgiving. 3. The holy doctrine, lives, and sufferings of the martyrs and other holy men, hath been so great a mercy to the church, that (for any thing I know) it is lawful to keep anniversary thanksgivings in remembrance of them, and to encourage the weak, and provoke them to constancy and imitation. 4. But to dedicate days or temples to them in any higher sense, as the heathens and idolaters did to their heroes is unlawful; or any way to intimate an attribution of divinity to them, by word or worship. 5. And they that live among such idolaters must take heed of giving them scandalous encouragement. 6. And they that scrupulously fear such sin more than there is cause, should not be forced to sin against their consciences. 7. But yet no Christians should causelessly refuse that which is lawful, nor to join with the churches in holy exercises on the days of thankful commemoration of the apostles, and martyrs, and excellent instruments in the church; much less petulantly to work and set open shops to the offence of others; but rather to persuade all to imitate the holy lives of those saints to whom they give such honours.
Quest, cxxx. How far are the Holy Scriptures a law and perfect rule to us?Answ. 1. For all thoughts, words, affections, and actions, of Divine faith and obedience; (supposing still God's law of nature). For it is no believing God to believe what he never revealed; nor any trusting God, to trust that he will certainly give us that which he never either directly or indirectly promised; nor any obeying God, to do that which he never commanded. 2. The contents will best shew the extent; whatever is revealed, promised, and commanded in it, for that it is a perfect rule. For certainly it is perfect in its kind and to its proper use. 3. It is a perfect rule for all that is of universal moral necessity: that is, whatever it is necessary that man believe, think, or do, in all ages and places of the world, this is of Divine obligation. Whatever the world is universally bound to (that is, all men in it,) it is certain that God's law in nature, or Scripture, or both, bindeth them to it. For the world hath no universal king or lawgiver but God. 4. God's own laws in nature and Scripture are a perfect rule for all the duties of the understanding, thoughts, affections, passions, immediately to be exercised on God himself; for no one else is a discerner or judge of such matters P . 5. It perfectly containeth all the essential and integral parts of the Christian religion; so that nothing is of itself and directly, any part of the Christian religion which is not there. 6. It instituteth those sacraments perfectly, which are the seals of God's covenant with man, and the delivery of the benefits, and which are the badges or symbols of the disciples and religion of Christ in the world. 7. It determineth what faith, prayer, and obedience shall be his appointed means and conditions of justification, adoption, and salvation. And so what shall be professed and preached in his name to the world. 8. It is a perfect instrument of donation or conveyance of our right to Christ, and of pardon, and justification, and adoption, and the Holy Spirit's assistances, and of glory. As it is God's covenant, promise, or deed of gift. 9. It instituteth certain ministers as his own churchofficers, and perfectly describeth their office, as instituted by him. 10. It instituteth the form of his church universal which is called, his body; and also of particular holy societies for his worship; and prescribeth them certain duties, as the common worship there to be performed. 11. It determineth of a weekly day, even the first, to be separated for, and used in this holy worship. 12. It is a perfect general rule for the regulating of those things, which it doth not command or forbid in particular. As that all be done wisely, to edification, in charity, peace, concord, season, order, &c. 13. It giveth to magistrates, pastors, parents, and other superiors, all that power by which they are authorized, to oblige us under God, to any undetermined particulars. 14. It is the perfect rule of Christ's judging, reP 2 Tim. iii. 16. a Pet. i. JO. % Jim. hi. 15. Rom. »v. 4. xyi. 26. John v. 39. Aclsxvii.ii.il. John xix. Vk. 28.36,37.
warding, and punishing at last, according to which he will proceed. 15. It is the only law that is made by primitive power. 16. And the only law that is made by infallible wisdom. 17. And the only law which is faultless, and hath nothing in it that will do the subject any harm. 18. And the only law which is from absolute power, the rule of all other laws, and from which there is finally no appeal i.
Thus far the Holy Scripture with the law of nature is our perfect rule. But not in any of the following respects. 1. It is no particular revelation or perfect rule of natural sciences, as physics, metaphysics, &c. 2. It is no rule for the arts, for medicine, music, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, grammar, rhetoric, logic; nor for the mechanics, as navigation, architecture; and all the trades and occupations of men; no, not husbandry by which we have our food. 3. It is no particular rule for all the mutable, subordinate duties of any societies. It will not serve instead of all the statutes of this and all other lands, nor tell us, when the terms shall begin and end, nor what work every parent and master shall set his children and servants in his family, &c. 4. It is no full rule in particular for all those political principles which are the ground of human laws; as whether each republic be monarchical, aristocratical, or democratical j what person or of what family shall reign; who shall be his officers and judges, and how diversified; so of his treasury, munition, coin, &c. 5. It is no rule of propriety in particular, by which every man may know which is his own land, or house, or goods, or cattle. 6. It is no particular rule for our natural actions; what meat we shall eat; what clothes we shall wear; so of our rest, labour, 8tc. 7. It is no particular law or rule for any of all those actions and circumstances about religion or God's own ordii Psal. xii.6. xix. 7—10. cxix. nances, which he hath only commanded in general, and left in specie or particular to be determined by man according to his general laws; but of these next. Quest, cxxxi. What additions or human inventions in or about religion, not commanded in Scripture, are lawful or unlawful? Answ. 1. These following are unlawful. 1. To feign any new article of faith or doctrine, any precept, promise, threatening, prophecy, or revelation, and falsely to father it upon God, and say, that it is of him, or his special Word.'
2. To say that either that is written in the Bible which is not, or that any thing is the sense of a text which is not; and so that any thing is a sin or a duty by Scripture which is not. Or to father apocryphal books, or texts, or words upon the Spirit of Christ. 3. To make any law for the church universal, or as obligatory to all Christians; which is to usurp the sovereignty of Christ; for which treasonable usurpation it is that Protestants call the pope, Antichrist. 4. To add new parts to the Christian religion. 5. To make any law, which it did properly belong to the Universal Sovereign to have made, if it should have been made at all: or which implieth an accusation of ignorance, oversight, error, or omission, in Christ and the Holy Scriptures. 6. To make new laws for men's inward heart-duties towards God. 7. To make new sacraments for the sealing of Christ's covenant and collation of his benefits therein contained, and to be the public 'tesserae,' badges or symbols of Christians and Christianity in the world. 8. To feign new conditions of the covenant of God, and necessary means of our justification, adoption, and salvation. 9. To alter Christ's instituted church-ministry, or add
'Deut. xii. 32. Rev. xxii. 18. Col. ii. 16—23. Matt. xv. 3. 8, 9. Gal. i. 8,9. Jer. v. 12. xiv. 14. xxiii. 25, 26. 32. Ezek. xiii. 9. 19, xxii. 28. Zech. xiii. 2—6.