Featured "Six Days Shalt Thou Labor"

Discussion in 'Church Calendar and Pretended Holy Days' started by Henry Hall, Nov 28, 2019.

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  1. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    So much for the half-day-plus celebration known as "Thanksgiving."
     
  2. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I have to ask what on earth you mean. (I can guess, but your short post does little to invite much constructive discussion.)
     
  3. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Henry, I see that you claim to hold to the Westminster standards. Did you know that the Westminster Directory for Public Worship gives instruction for the observation of days of public thanksgiving? You may well have qualms with the American Thanksgiving Day and the way it's celebrated, but the DPW assumes the lawfulness of days set aside for giving thanks.

    Also, note that laboring six days is not among the duties required in the fourth commandment any time they are enumerated in the Westminster standards.
     
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  4. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Work includes the lesser work of our recreating. So this is a day off or not as we are free to do so, whether this day is a day off by the state or a lawfully called national day of thanksgiving (take your pick). This is why the puritans argued against recreation on the Lord's day; i.e. if our greater work (our lawful labors) is prohibited, so the lesser of recreating.
     
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  5. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    In context: "Besides solemn and general fasts enjoined by authority, we judge that, at other times, congregations may keep days of fasting, as divine providence shall administer unto them special occasion; and also that families may do the same, so it be not on days wherein the congregation to which they do belong is to meet for fasting, or other publick duties of worship.

    Concerning the Observation of Days of Publick Thanksgiving.

    WHEN any such day is to be kept, let notice be given of it, and of the occasion thereof, some convenient time before, that the people may the better prepare themselves thereunto...

    "AN APPENDIX,

    Touching Days and Places for Publick Worship.

    THERE is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord's day, which is the Christian Sabbath.

    Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.

    Nevertheless, it is lawful and necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving, as the several eminent and extraordinary dispensations of God's providence shall administer cause and opportunity to his people."

    Tyler, thanks. I don't see how the American Thanksgiving, conceived by Christ's enemy Thomas Jefferson, celebrated annually at a set time, qualifies as such a special emergent occasion.
     
  6. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    In the Larger Catechism we have
    "Q. 116. What is required in the fourth commandment?
    A. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven;...."
    Scripture proof for which is given as
    "622 Deuteronomy 5:12-14. Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
    Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:...."
     
  7. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    Chris, thanks for the necessary nuance.
    I wouldn't say you are wrong, although it would be a novel thought for many that labor includes recreations. For them, I think it would be sinful to presume that they could just take half a day off for football, turkey, and a prayer. Especially so that they could keep a set time of worship not appointed in God's Word.
    I'm interested in the sources you have from the puritans or otherwise that labor includes recreations. Thanks again.
     
  8. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    My first thought was to post "Six Days Shalt Thou Labor" and then just "QED." Ha!
     
  9. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    See Cawdrey and Palmer below, considered the epitome and best work on the fourth commandment in puritan literature by the two 19th century bibliographers on the subject (Cox and Gilfillan). Most puritan works will deal at least some what with this question but this is one I had at hand.
    https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/daniel-cawdrey-on-right-and-wrong-sabbath-recreations.82132/
     
  10. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Do such days of public thanksgiving violate your supposed command to work six days?
     
  11. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Do you really think that proves your point?

    Hear Matthew Poole on the verse in question:
    This may be either,

    I. A command to employ those days in our worldly occasions, yet so as God and religion be not neglected on those days, as many scriptures teach us. Or,

    II. A permission to do so; which I prefer,

    1. Because so it is a proper argument to enforce the observation of the sabbath: q.d. Grudge not me one day, when I allow you six for it.

    2. Because the command of diligence in our callings would seem improperly placed here, as being of a quite different nature, and belonging to the second table, and being provided for in a distinct command, as we shall see.​

    And John Gill:
    This is not to be taken for a precept, but a permission; not as a command enjoining men to work and labour with their hands, to provide for themselves and families things useful and necessary, and honest in the sight of God; but as a grant and allowance of so many days to employ themselves in, for their own profit and advantage, and that of their families; the Lord only reserving one day out of seven for his service, which ought to be looked upon as a singular favour, that he required no more of their time for his use, and the rest they might spend as they pleased, so that they did not indulge themselves in sin. It is required indeed of all men to labour in some sort and way or another, with their heads or with their hands; though all are not obliged to labour in the same way, or to the same degree, for he that will not work ought not to eat; but this law is not an injunction of that kind, only a toleration of labour on the six days of the week, if proper and necessary, when it is forbidden on the seventh.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  12. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    What does it mean to work six days a week?

    On Saturdays I clean the bathrooms, play with my son and go for walks.
     
  13. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I figured that's what you meant, but I didn't want to assume incorrectly before posting.
     
  14. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    God's command to work six days He gave in absolute terms to establish the presumption that it would be followed ordinarily. The burden is on the person who claims that some occasion is so specially emergent that work ought not to be done on that day.

    "Ought": "Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.
    Nevertheless, it is lawful and necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving, as the several eminent and extraordinary dispensations of God's providence shall administer cause and opportunity to his people."

    Did I sin by declining an invitation to a Thanksgiving event today and working instead?
     
  15. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    My point was to push back on your point that the clause is not in the Standards.
     
  16. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    If you look back over my posts, you'll see that I never made an.argument for celebrating the American Thanksgiving Day. I purposely left that an open question in my first post.
     
  17. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Which is a point I never made. My point is that the Standards never list it among the duties required in the fourth commandment.

    Here's Calvin on the subject, by the way:
    Moreover, when he says, "Six days shalt thou labor," he indirectly reproves their ingratitude, if it should be irksome and disagreeable to them, to devote one day out of the seven to God, when he in his generosity gives up six to themselves. For he does not, as some have foolishly thought, make a demand here for six days labour; but by his very kindness entices them to obedience, since he only claims a seventh part (of their time) for himself...
    - Commentaries vol II, p.438​
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  18. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Shrug.... Most of the time when I recreate I find I've labored pretty hard.

    Regardless, surely "six days shalt thou labour" doesn't mean you can't rest and enjoy a different way of spending time from time to time. I'll take my Micah 4:4 moments whenever they come.
     
  19. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    On the face of the 4th C., though, He does, to establish the presumption. Any exception could be [and was] discussed later.
     
  20. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    A masculine post.

    We had ten people. My daughter in law and I did almost all the cooking and my daughter insisted on washing up so many pans and pots afterwards. We always plan for everybody to take home piled up TV dinner type leftovers so we had an extra turkey and nine sides. Plus six pies. One baby is due this Wed so that gal took extra dinner. It was a great day and so much fun, but not work?? LOL, you obviously lack the feminine perspective.
     
  21. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    It's you vs the greatest commentators of Christendom. If you feel comfortable standing against Poole, Gill, and Calvin, then go ahead. It ought to cause you to second-guess your interpretation, though. And again, though the Westminster Standards don't deny your view, they certainly don't teach it, either (though they easily could have listed among the duties required). It frankly makes you look rather presumptuous to try and proclaim this as the law of God--who do you have on your side? I ran across a passage in Rushdoony earlier (while studying a different matter), and saw that he takes it the same way you do; but his works are replete with eccentric interpretations. He's the only one I've heard take your view of the matter.
     
  22. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    Six days shalt thou labor. In the absence of a lawful exception, such as a "special emergent occasion," it is to be followed.

    Which commentator is it which argues in favor of anything like the US Thanksgiving's (annual event; etc, etc, etc) being a lawful exception?
     
  23. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Prove it. I've offered several refutations of your view of the Fourth Commandment, and you haven't answered any of them.
     
  24. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    "Six days shalt thou labor. In the absence of a lawful exception, such as a 'special emergent occasion,' it is to be followed."

    Proof:

    Let p = "Six days shalt thou labor"
    Let q = "A lawful exception is present"


    p or q
    ~q
    ______
    p

    Valid--disjunctive syllogism.
     
  25. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    And what is my view of the 4th C for which you've offered several refutations?

    What hasn't been answered is "Which commentator is it which argues in favor of anything like the US Thanksgiving's (annual event; etc, etc, etc) being a lawful exception?"
     
  26. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Henry, I haven't argued in favor of the American Thanksgiving here. I've only argued against your doctrine that we are required to work six days a week. I've given quotes from Poole, Calvin, and Gill in which they say that there is no such requirement.
     
  27. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    That strawman would be a much easier man with which to contend, but it doesn't represent my position.

    My position is the one which you quoted back to me earlier, which includes the part about lawful exceptions.
     
  28. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    So you're OK, then, with not working six days a week, you don't object to using the six days for work or recreation, but you're opposed to Thanksgiving? On what grounds, precisely? (I'm back to the beginning of the thread, when I asked what you meant by your brief opener.)
     
  29. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    The three commentators (representing the classical Reformed view) said that the passage in question is a permission, not a command which admits of exceptions.
     
  30. Henry Hall

    Henry Hall Puritan Board Freshman

    The burden is on those who would claim a status of special emergent occasion for American Thanksgiving.

    Nevertheless, I hold to
    "Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.

    Nevertheless, it is lawful and necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving, as the several eminent and extraordinary dispensations of God's providence shall administer cause and opportunity to his people."

    American Thanksgiving, with its annual observance, institution by Christ's enemy Thomas Jefferson, and refusal to recognize the rightful Object of thanksgiving, is a referent in the first case, not the second.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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