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Does a rejection of infant baptism require a rejection of the Lord’s Day Sabbath as well? John Tombes answers

James Renihan:

The popular 17th century Presbyterian preacher Stephen Marshall stated that rejecting infant baptism necessitated a rejection of the Lord’s Day Sabbath as well. Here is the reply from John Tombes.

John Tombes: An examen of the sermon of Mr. Stephen Marshal about infant-baptisme in a letter sent to him. 1645

“You say, . . . I see that all that reject the baptizing of Infants, do & must upon the same grounds reject the religious observation of the Lord’s day, or the Christian Sabbath, viz., because there is not (say they) an expressed institution or command in the New Testament.

Give me leave to take up the words of him in the Poet . . . What a word hath gotten out of the hedge of your teeth! They doe, They must. Though I doubt not of your will, yet I see you want some skill in pleading for the Lord’s day, that others have the truth in that it is neither so, nor so, They neither doe, nor must reject upon the same ground the Lords Day. That they doe not I can speake for one; and your owne words delivered after with more caution, Verily I have hardly either knowne, or read, or heard, intimate that though few, yet you cannot say, but you have heard, or read, or knowne of some, that have not with baptizing of Infants rejected the Lord’s Day; but you have, I presume heard or read of whole, and those reformed Churches, that have upon such a ground rejected the Lords day as not of divine institution, who yet are zealous for paedobaptisme. Nor must they, And to make that good, let us consider their ground as you mention it. Their ground you say is, because there is not an expresse institution or command in the New Testament: this then is their principle, that what hath not an expresse institution or command in the New Testament is to be rejected. But give me leave to tell you, that you leave out two explications that are needful to be taken in; First, that when they say so, they meane it of positive instituted worship, consisting in outward rites, such as Circumcision, Baptisme and the Lord’s Supper are, which have nothing morall or naturall in them, but are in whole and in part Ceremoniall. For that which is naturall or morall in worship, they allow an institution or command in the old Testament as obligatory to Christians, and such doe they conceive a Sabbath to be, as being of the Law of nature, that outward worship being due to God, days are due to God to that end, and therefore even in Paradise, appointed from the creation; and in all nations, in all ages observed: enough to prove so much to be of the Law of nature, and therefore the fourth Commandment justly put amongst the Morals; and if a seventh day indefinitely be commanded there, as some of your Assembly have endeavoured to make good, I shall not gainsay; though in that point of the quota pars temporis which is moral, I do yet [epekein — (original is Greek)] suspend my judgement. Now Circumcision hath nothing moral in it, it is meerely positive, neither from the beginning, nor observed by all nations in all ages, nor in the Decalogue, and therefore a Sabbath may stand, though it fall. 2. The other explication is, that when they require expresse institution or command in the New testament, they doe not meane that in positive worship there must be a command totidem verbis, in so many words, in forme of a precept, but they conceive that Apostolicall example, which hath not a meere temporary reason, is enough to prove an institution from God, to which that practice doth relate. And in this, after some evidences in the Scripture of the New Testament, they ascribe much to the constant practice of the Church in all ages. Now then if it be considered, that when Paul preached upon the first day of the weeke, and Paul was at Troas, Acts 20.7 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] the Disciples came together to breake bread, and Paul, 1 Cor. 16.1 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ,2 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] as he had appointed in the Churches of Galatia, so he appoints at Corinth collections for the poore the first day of the week, & Revel. 1.10 it hath the Elogium or title of the Lord’s day; and it was so Sacred among Christians, that it was made the question of inquisitors of Christianity, ‘Dominicum servatis?’ hast thou kept the Lords Day? To which was answered , Christianos sum, intermittere non possum, I am a Christian, I may not omit it. It is clear evidence to me, that either Christ or the Apostles, having abrogated the old Sabbath, Col. 2.16 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] subrogated the first day of the week instead of it. Now if a moity of this could be brought for Paedobaptisme, in the stead of Circumcision of infants, I should subscribe to it with you. But Paedobaptisme not consisting with the order of Christ in the institution, being contrary to the usage of it by John the Baptist, & the Apostles, there being no foote-steps of it, til the erroneous conceit grew of giving God’s grace by it, and the necessity of it to save an infant from perishing, some hundreds of yeares after Christ’s incarnation; I dare not assent to the practice of it upon a supposed analogy, equity or reason of the rule of Circumcision, and imaginary confederation with the believing parent in the Covenant of Grace. For to me it is a dangerous principle upon which they that so argue: to wit, that in meere positive things (such as Circumcision and Baptism are) we may frame an addition to God’s worship from analogy or resemblance conceived by us between two ordinances, whereof one is quite taken away, without any institution gathered by precept or apostolical example. For if we may doe it in one thing, why not in another? Where shall we stay? They that read the Popish expositors of their Rituals, doe know that this very principle hath brought in Surplice, Purification of women, &c. that I mention not greater matters. I desire any learned man to set me downe a rule from Gods Word, how far I may go in my conceived parity of reason, equity or analogy, and where I must stay; when it will be superstition and will worship, when not; when my conscience may be satisfied, when not? That which Christ and his Apostles have taken from the Jewes, and appointed to us, we receive as they have appointed; but if any other man, if a Pope, or Oecumenical Councel take upon them to appoint to mens Consciences any rite in whole or in part, upon his owne conceived reason from supposed analogy with the Jewish ceremonies, it is an high presumption in such against Christ, and against the Apostles command to yeeld to it Col. 2.20 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] though it hath a show of wisdome, v. 23. And the Apostles example, Gal. 2.3 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ,4 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ,5 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] binds us to oppose it, when it is likely to bring us into bondage.”

 

Source [Confessing Baptist]

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Some thoughts on Tom Wells on John Owen on the Sabbath

Copyright © 2016 Richard C. Barcellos. All rights reserved.[1]

One issue I did not interact with in the RBTR articles that I think needs mention at this point concerns John Owen on the Sabbath. In subsequent discussion Owen will be consulted on this issue. Wells discusses Owen in one of the later chapters of his book. Attempting to prove that there is controversy on the issue of the Sabbath in the churches due to leaning too heavily on creeds, Wells says of Owen:

I fear that John Owen himself illustrates this. I mentioned that I estimate Owen’s defense of the Sabbath runs to as much as 90,000 words. . . . Surely in doing this Owen discussed the relevant biblical material very thoroughly indeed!

But sadly the evidence shows otherwise. And the evidence is not debatable. . . .

What does Owen say on Galatians 4:10-11? Nothing. According to the index to the seven volumes of the commentary on Hebrews which includes the essay on the Sabbath, Owen makes no significant reference to this major Sabbath passage whatever, in the commentary proper or in the essay.

What does Owen say about Romans 14:5-6, the passage in which Paul shows his conviction that days are a matter of indifference? Surely one cannot offer a New Covenant Sabbath day without referring to each of these two passages—but Owen does it.

And what of Colossians 2:16? Here Owen is not completely silent. In his essay on the Sabbath he cites this verse in passing at least twice.[2] In addition he has a fuller discussion worthy of study and comment.[3]

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Biblical Theology and Transfer of the Sabbath— Part 3

by Jon English Lee

*This post is the third and final in a series examining the transfer of the sabbath day. The previous posts can be found here and here.

To conclude this short series on the transfer of the Sabbath, I will look at the name given to the new covenant day of worship: the Lord’s Day. The title, “the Lord’s Day,” affirms the honor given to the day as the appointed time for the church to meet. The term is used by John in Revelation 1:10 without remark or explanation, showing that the term must have been in general use and well understood by the audience.[1] The very term demonstrates something special about the day. This term,…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Biblical Theology and the Transfer of the Sabbath Part 2

February 17, 2016 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

*This post is the second in a series examining the transfer of the Sabbath day. The previous post can be found here.

Moving on to the New Testament, the same pattern remains: the change of day that was foreshadowed in the Old Testament is actualized in the resurrection of our Lord, and it is confirmed by apostolic example. The legitimacy of the change of day is shown by: (1) the honor conferred to the day by the Lord; (2) by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; (3) by the practice of the apostles; and (4) by the title given to the day (i.e., “Lord’s Day”).[1]

The first reason to affirm the transfer of the day of Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday is because of the honor given to it by the Lord. As a first example it should be noted that every recorded post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to the disciples happens on Sunday.[2] Jesus appears on the evening of the resurrection day (e.g., Jn 20:19). Likewise, eight days later (counting inclusively, as the Jews did) Jesus came to the disciples again on a Sunday (Jn 20:26). Jesus’s recorded appearances to the disciples appear on Sunday.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Biblical Theology and the Transfer of the Sabbath, Part 1

February 10, 2016 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

It is often objected that there is no direct evidence of Sunday observance in the New Testament, and therefore there must not have been any command to continue any sort of weekly Sabbath observance in continuity with the Old Testament Sabbath.[1] However, this series will demonstrate that there is evidence for the change in day of worship both foreshadowed in the Old Testament and expressly demonstrated in the Lord’s Day (Sunday) worship by the New Testament church. Furthermore, the seemingly universal observance of Sunday in the early church indicates an early apostolic origin to the practice, perhaps even stemming from Jesus’s direct teaching.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Sabbath Rest and Human Embodiment

by Jon English Lee

*This post is the latest in a series looking at the Sabbath. Previous posts include: Sabbath Rest and Faith, Early Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 3), Early Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 2), Early Puritan Sabbatarians, Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Martin Bucer’s De Regno Christi, Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 3), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? (Part 2), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Henry Bullinger on the Sabbath (Part 1), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church (Part 3), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 2), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 1), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (Part 2), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (part 1), Sabbath Typology and Eschatological Rest, Paul and the Sabbath, Jesus and the Sabbath, The Sabbath and the Decalogue in the OT, a look at God’s Rest as Prescriptive, an examination of the Sabbath as a Creation Ordinance.

The previous post in this series on sabbath rest contained some of my thoughts regarding the necessity of faith and its relationship to rest. In this post I want to continue to think through some other personal implications of weekly sabbath rest being biblically prescribed. Specifically, I want to begin to answer the question “What does sabbath rest have to do with our human embodiment (or, theologically speaking, our anthropology)?” These are just the beginning ramblings of some ideas I am still working through, so I hope you will comment below with your thoughts.

Sabbath Rest and Physical Embodiment

The sabbath pattern also takes into account the embodied nature of our existence. By that I mean that physical rest is a human necessity because of the physical aspect of our being, and that weekly sabbath observance creates space for the regular and proper maintenance of human physical bodies.[1]

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Sabbath Rest and Faith

by Jon English Lee

*This post is the latest in a series looking at the Sabbath. Previous posts include: Early Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 3), Early Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 2), Early Puritan Sabbatarians, Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Martin Bucer’s De Regno Christi, Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 3), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? (Part 2), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Henry Bullinger on the Sabbath (Part 1), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church (Part 3), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 2), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 1), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (Part 2), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (part 1), Sabbath Typology and Eschatological Rest, Paul and the Sabbath, Jesus and the Sabbath, The Sabbath and the Decalogue in the OT, a look at God’s Rest as Prescriptive, an examination of the Sabbath as a Creation Ordinance.

Sabbath Rest and Faith

This post seeks to demonstrate that weekly sabbath plays a very important role in the spiritual life of believers. Specifically seeking to answer the question “What is the relationship between sabbath rest and faith?”, this post will have brief descriptions of the lessons that weekly rest teaches believers, including: God is the source of all blessings; God has instituted a system of rest, not anxiety; Labor is good, but God is ultimate; and man is utterly dependent upon God for everything.

Resting Requires Faith

Resting takes faith. For people to truly rest, they must recognize their own inadequacies and inabilities. To take one day a week off from our normal work is to proclaim with our lives that we are ultimately insufficient. Resting demonstrates to the….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.