Thomas Boston on the evil of men’s hearts and holy days

1. This command puts a peculiar honour on the Sabbath above all other days Remember the Sabbath-day, &c. But when men make holidays of their own to be kept holy, the day appointed of God is spoiled of its peculiar honour, and there is no peculiar honour left to it, Ezek. 43.8. Yea, in practice they go before it; for men’s holidays where they are regarded, are more regarded than God’s day.

 2. This command says, Six days shalt thou labour. Formalists say, There are many of these six days thou shalt not labour, for they are holy days. If these words contain a command, who can countermand it? if but a permission, who can take away that liberty which God has left us? As for fast-days or thanksgiving days occasionally appointed, that are not holy days; the worship is not made to wait on the days, as on Sabbaths and holidays, but the days on the worship which God by his providence requires; and consequently there must be a time for performing these exercises.

 3. It belongs only to God to make a holy day; for who can sanctify a creature but the Creator, or time but the Lord of time; he only can give the blessing: why should they then sanctify a day that cannot bless it? The Lord abhors holy days devised out of men’s own hearts, 1 Kings 12.33.

 4. Lastly, What reason is there to think that when God has taken away from the church’s neck a great many holy days appointed by himself, he has left the gospel-church to be burdened with as many, nay, and more of men’s invention than he himself had appointed?

 

– Thomas Boston, Works, Vol. II, p. 188

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