Sabbath recreations necessary after being worn out worshipping God?

Naphtali Press:

William Twisse (first moderator of the Westminster Assembly). “But it may be said, that men’s minds being burdened, and oppressed with the former service of the day, therefore some relaxation is to be granted for the refreshing of our spirits; as much as to say, a part of the Lord’s Day is to be allowed for profane sports and pastimes, to refresh us after we have been tired out with serving God. Can this be savory in the ears of a Christian?”

[pp. 242-244] “As for recreations, which are here said to serve lawfully to the refreshing of our spirits; this appellation is very ambiguous, neither do I know any difference between the recreating of our spirits, and the refreshing of our spirits. Yet here the refreshing of our spirits is made the end of recreation. Again it were good to distinguish between recreation of the body, and recreation of the mind. I think the refreshing of spirits pertains to the recreation of the body. Men’s spirits are natural and material things, and they are apt to be wasted (1) naturally; for as life consists in calido, in hot matter, so heat is apt to spend and waste the matter wherein it is; and spirits thus wasted are recreated, that is, repaired by eating and drinking. And thus provisions of victuals are commonly called recreates.

(2.) They are wasted also by labor voluntarily undertaken, and these are repaired, as by the former way, so by rest also. And each way we are allowed to recreate our spirits on the Lord’s Day; and as to allow such rest to our servants as a work of mercy, so to our own bodies also. But now a-days many courses are called recreations, wherein there is found little rest; and the natural spirits of man are rather wasted, and his nature tired; far more than the one is repaired, or the other eased. And when all comes to all, I doubt the issue will be, to style the pleasures of our senses by the cleanly name of recreations.

Now the Jews were expressly forbidden to find their own pleasures on the Lord´s holy day (Is. 58:13); yet were they not forbidden all pleasure, that belonged only to such a Sabbath as was a fast; and therein indeed hypocrites are taxed for finding pleasure on that day (Is. 58:3). But the weekly Sabbath was for pleasure and delight, but not for man’s own pleasure, nor for the doing of their own ways. But to delight in the Lord, which is spiritual pleasure, and the recreating of our souls in the Lord. This is blessed rest, thus to rest unto him; and the Word of God is the best food of the soul. No recreations like unto God’s holy ordinances. Of wisdom it is said, that her ways are the ways of pleasantness (Pro. 3:17). I willing confess, that to the natural man, as the things of God are foolishness, so the word of God is a reproach unto him. He hath no delight in it (1 Cor. 2:14; Jer. 6:10. He delights rather in carnal pleasures; and is it fit to humor him in such courses, and that on the Lord’s day? Our Savior expressly tells us, that The pleasures life choke the word, and make it become unfruitful (Luke 8:14). Therefore it no way fits a man to God’s service; and if way is opened to such courses, though not till after evening prayer, as many as are taken with them, will have their minds running upon them, so as to say, when will the Sabbath be gone, and the time of divine service over? That so they may come to their sports, as well as covetous persons longed after the like, that they may return to their trading.

A natural man, before his calling is described unto us in Scripture, to be such a one as served lusts and diverse pleasures (Titus 3:3), and the wicked are said to to spend their days in pleasure (Job 36:11); and such are they whom the Prophet describes after this manner, Hear now thou that art given to pleasure (Is. 47:8). As for the children of God, as they are renewed in their affections generally, so the matter of their delight is much altered. His delight is in the law of the Lord (Psa. 1:2); as Christ says, I delight to do thy will (Psa. 40:1), and I delight myself in thy statutes; thy testimonies are my delight; and I will delight myself in thy commandments (Psa. 119:16, 24, 47), and Thy comforts delight my soul (Psa. 94:19). On the other side, the character of the fool is this, He hath no delight m understanding (Ps. 18.2). As for the reformation of such fools, let every wise and sober Christian consider, whether it is a fit course to let the reigns loose upon their neck, and give them liberty to take their courses, and not rather to endeavor to wean them therefrom by representing the vanity of them, witnessed by the experience of King Solomon, who was acquainted with the delights of the sons of men (Ecc. 2:8) as much as any, and tells us what fruit and profit he reaped by them, saying vanity of vanities, all is but vanity; and that the end of that discourse of his, is to promote this exhortation, Fear God, and keep his commandments, For this is the whole man. Then on the other side, the blessed, the comfortable and only profitable condition of delighting in the Lord, in the judgment of David, the father of King Solomon, Delight thou in the Lord, and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire (Ps. 37:4); to meet with the contrary judgment of carnal men, who say, It profitteth not a man, that he should delight himself with God (Job 34:9). If it is said that such sports are tolerated to fit a man for his calling the day following; it is very strange that works of our calling should not be permitted on any part of the Sabbath day, and sports and pastimes should. And shall not the spending of our time in God’s service, not public only, but private also, far better fit us to serve God in the works of our calling, and make us more capable of his blessing upon our labors, than the exercising of ourselves in sports and pastimes.”

[pp. 184] “Lastly, all recreations are to this end, even to fit us to the works of our calling; either for the works of our particular callings, or the works of our callings, as we are Christians. Such sports, if they fit us for the service of God, were more seasonable in the morning than in the evening. If for the works of our particular calling, then are they inferior works to the works of our calling, the furthering whereof is their end; and the means are always inferior in dignity to the end. Now if the more noble works are forbidden on that day, how much more such as are inferior are forbidden? But it may be said, that men’s minds being burdened, and oppressed with the former service of the day, therefore some relaxation is to be granted for the refreshing of our spirits; as much as to say, a part of the Lord’s Day is to be allowed for profane sports and pastimes, to refresh us after we have been tired out with serving God. Can this be savory in the ears of a Christian?”

Excerpts from The Morality of the Fourth Commandment, as Still in Force to Bind Christians (London: 1641). By William Twisse D. D. From An Anthology of Presbyterian & Reformed Literature 1.3 (1988) 79.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/sabbath-recreations-necessary-after-being-worn-out-worshipping-god.94734/, Comment 1

Advertisements

Fisher’s Catechism on Images

Fisher’s Catechism on the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Q. 1. What are the leading sins forbidden in this commandment?
A. Idolatry and will-worship.

Q. 2. What is the idolatry here condemned?
A. The worshipping of God by images: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,” &c.

Q. 3. What is an image?
A. It is a statue, picture, or likeness of any creature whatever.

Q. 4. Is it lawful to have images or pictures of mere creatures?
A. Yes, provided they be only for ornament; or the design be merely historical, to transmit the memory of persons and their actions to posterity.

Q. 5. Can any image or representation be made of God?
A. No; it is absolutely impossible; he being an infinite, incomprehensible Spirit, Isa. 40:18 — “To whom will ye liken God? or, what likeness will ye compare unto him?” If we cannot delineate our own souls, much less the infinite God; Acts 17:29 — “We ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”

Q. 6. What judgment should we form of those who have devised images of God, or of the persons of the adorable Trinity?
A. We should adjudge their practice to be both unlawful and abominable.

Q. 26. Are our forefathers to be blamed for pulling down altars, images, and other monuments of idolatry, from places of public worship at the Reformation?
A. No; they had Scripture precept and warrant for what they did, Num. 33:52, and Deut. 7:5 — “Ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.”

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/images.94519/page-2, Comment 32

God is Incorporeal and Infinite and Cannot Be Pictured

Ursinus:

“God is incorporeal and infinite; it is impossible, therefore, that he should be expressed, or represented by an image which is corporeal and finite, without detracting from his divine majesty, according as it is said: “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand; and meted out heaven with a span,” &c. “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” “To whom will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” “Who changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” (Is. 40:12, 18, 25. Rom. 1:23.) 8. From the command of God. “Take ye, therefore, good heed unto yourselves, (for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire,) lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female; the likeness of any beast that is,” &c. (Deut. 4:15, 16.) 4. From the cause of this prohibition, which is that these images do not only profit nothing, but also injure men greatly, being the occasion and cause of idolatry and punishment. In short, God ought not to be represented by any graven image, because he does not will it, nor can it be done, nor would it profit any thing if it were done.”

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/images.94519/, Comment 9

Images of Jesus Violate Either the 2nd or 3rd Commandments

Thomas Vincent on the WSC:

“It is not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, because his divine nature cannot be pictured at all; and because his body, as it is now glorified, cannot be pictured as it is; and because, if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain—if it do stir up devotion, it is a worshipping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment.”

http://www.shortercatechism.com/resources/vincent/wsc_vi_051.html

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/images.94519/, Comment 1

If God Had Willed More Holy Days

“If it had been the will of God, that the several acts of Christ should have been celebrated with several solemnities, the Holy Ghost would have made known to us the day of his Nativity, Circumcision, presentation to the Temple, Baptism, Transfiguration, and the like… If the principal works of God advance some days above others, all the days of the year should be holy. If we should honour the memory of Christ’s acts, all days likewise should be holy, because every one of them is full of his miracles. Christ by his actions did no more consecrate the times wherein they were wrought, than his body did the manger or the cross. Not Christ’s action on a day, but his institution makes a day holy. If Christ’s actions advance and consecrate the days whereon they were wrought, the days ought to be known…

(Perth Assembly, cited from https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/11/03/8-reasons-holidays-should-not-be-observed/)

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/no-holy-days-except-by-the-lords-institution.94510/, Comment 1

Reformed versus Evangelical Worship

W. Robert Godfrey, “Worship: Evangelical or Reformed?” (OPC):

One area in which the differences between evangelical and Reformed can be examined is the matter of worship. At first glance, we may see more similarities than differences. The orders of worship in Reformed and evangelical churches can be almost identical. Certainly, both kinds of churches sing songs, read Scripture, pray, preach, and administer baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But do these similarities reflect only formal agreement, or do they represent a common understanding of the meaning and function of these liturgical acts in worship?

If we look closely, I believe that we will see the substantive differences between evangelicals and Reformed on worship. That difference is clear on two central issues: first, the understanding of the presence of God in the service; and second, the understanding of the ministerial office in worship…

Read more: http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH02/04e.html

Did Charles Spurgeon Support Instruments in Worship?

Scott J. Shifferd:

Baptist churches would not have become so numerous if were not for preachers like Charles Spurgeon, but Spurgeon’s beliefs regarding the use of musical instruments in singing would not be well-received today. Most Baptist churches today conduct their Sunday worship assembly with the use of musical instruments. Here are some of Spurgeon’s statements in his commentary on Psalms concerning the matter of music in worship:

“David appears to have had a peculiarly tender remembrance of the singing of the pilgrims, and assuredly it is the most delightful part of worship and that which comes nearest to the adoration of heaven. What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by the theatrical prettinesses of a quartette, the refined niceties of a choir, or the blowing off of wind from inanimate bellows and pipes! We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it” (Commentary on Psalm 42:4)...

Read more: https://godsbreath.net/2008/03/17/charles-spurgeon-about-church-music/

Translations, Paraphrases, and Psalms

Daniel Kok:Do Exclusive Psalmodists Sing Psalms?

What may seem at first glance to be a tautology is, in substance, an actual objection raised against exclusive psalmody. The objection goes as follows: the exclusive psalmodist (EP) want Christians to sing only psalms in worship but he does not follow his own creed. For what EP sings the psalms as written? Do they not use translations and paraphrases? So if they do not obey their own rules for worship, why should the rest of us?

 In reply let us consider the following points:…

Read more: https://kingandkirk.com/kings-songs/appendices/do-exclusive-psalmodists-sing-psalms/

The Dutch Churches Originally Wanted To Abolish Manmade Holy Days

The Distinction of and the Abiding Importance of the 10 Commandments

King & Kirk:

Summarizing Turretin, Witsius etc., the moral law (or 10 commandments) is distinctly found in scripture as follows:

1) They are written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18 & Deuteronomy 9:10) to establish their permanence (as opposed to the law of the heart which was effaced by the fall).
2) The stone tablets upon which they are written are placed in the ark (Exodus 25:21, Deuteronomy 10:2,5), the place of God’s presence.
3) They are rewritten after the rebellion indicating their continued importance place as a moral guide (Exodus 34:1ff)…

Read more: https://kingandkirk.com/2018/03/17/the-abiding-importance-of-the-10-commandments/