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Isaac Watts on the perpetuity of a sabbath

Several of the controversies which have risen, with regard to the sabbath, whether jewish or christian, and the holiness of it, though they are not of the highest importance among the doctrines and duties of christianity, yet neither are they mean and trifling; for as we ought not to release the souls and consciences of men from any of the obligations which God and Christ have laid on them; so neither should we lay any yokes on the necks of disciples, from which Christ hath released them. However, since there seems to have been one day in seven appointed for rest from labour, or separated for divine worship, from the beginning of the world, through every dispensation of God to men, I cannot but think there is something of a moral nature in it; and on this account, I suppose God was pleased to begin a sabbath, as soon as he had made a creature who could observe it, and that he designed there should be a sabbath as long as that creature continued on earth; Gen. ii. 2. God rested on the seventh day from all his work, which he had made, and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, or pronounced it holy.

-from “The Perpetuity of a Sabbath, and the Observation of the Lord’s Day” in The Works of the Reverend and Learned Isaac Watts (New York,: AMS Press, 1971) 503.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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