Ockford, James . The Fourth Commandment, Deformed by Popery; Reformed and Restored to Its Primitive Purity

A study of the process of deformation that suffered the commandment of Shabbath in the Catholicism and how it was restored to it original purity. Written in 1650.
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  T TT T  he FFFF ourth CCCC ommandement   Deformed by Popery;   Reformed and Restored to its Primitive Purity Written by James Ockford 1650   Retyped in modern print by Stanley F. Fox 2009     This made from the Microfilm copy provided by the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society in Janesville, Wisconsin. The srcinal is located at Christ’s Church College, Oxford, England. Forward   Some years ago, I was reading the Sabbath Recorder, a monthly magazine published by the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference. An article in that issue contained a footnote referring to the work of James Ockford - “The Fourth Commandement” written in 1650. It attracted my interest and set me on a journey to locate a copy. I thought I would be able to locate a reprinted version, but I found that only one copy existed in England and the SDB Historical Society had a copy on microfilm. It seemed as if no reprint existed.   Over the year, I had contacted Don Sanford of the Historical Society and he sent me some older Seventh Day Baptist books, which I still highly prize. So I asked him about the microfilm copy. He copied all 72 pages of James Ockford’s book and sent them to me. It is written in Early Modern English and the print of that era is difficult and a struggle to read. However, being impressed by the book, I read it several times. I found it a great work on the Sabbath and  unsurpassed in its content. I would recommend to every serious student of the Sabbath to read this work. I especially recommend it for Seventh Day Baptist pastors and teachers. It is a part of their heritage.   When I look upon this work, I imagine a 17 th  century man who had a zeal for the truth of the Scriptures. I picture him spending much time in prayer and laboring over candlelight to write this book. I can almost feel his passion as he was stirred by the Spirit to make known a neglected truth of the Scriptures. . He made a good argument for the fourth commandment to be as binding as the other nine and for the only Biblical Lord’s Day as the seventh day Sabbath. It should be said that around this time seventh day Sabbath churches began to spring forth in England, no doubt, at least partially due to his work and encouragement. This occurred not because of his words but because he was bringing God’s Word to the attention of the people. The work apparently caused quite a stir, as it was banned by Parliament and ordered burned. This is a retyped edition of “The Doctrine of the Fourth Commandement” by James Ockford. I have sought to make no changes in spelling or punctuation. It remains in the srcinal Early Modern English which has its peculiarities. One of these is inconsistent spelling that sometimes may be found in respect to the same word in a single sentence. Punctuation as well as capitalization may seem a little odd when compared to today’s English. However, the modern print used makes it legible, though archaic words remain. The microfilm was not easily read because the srcinal binding of the volume obscured the text near the center of the book. I have done my best to capture the srcinal words in that area. Likewise, the srcinal book consisted of 72 pages, but the typed copy has only  43, due to larger pages and typesetting. The 14 point type has rendered the text more readable.   I have found some references that James Ockford gives are not accurate. These are few and well could be the responsibility of the srcinal printer. I have not sought to correct these as it is quite easy to determine the right reference when one seeks to do so. My purpose was to preserve the work and not change it. This has been an interesting and blessed experience for me. I am grateful to the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society and Don Sanford. I am also indebted to Nick Kersten, the present Librarian and Historian. Thanks to these and others the work of James Ockford comes back into our present age. Once again Satan did not win the battle to silence the truth in this book even with the help of Parliament and the long years since the srcinal publication.   It is my hope that this new edition may do the same in our age as it did in Ockford’s, so in his words, “Go E little Book perform thy work, thou mayest be blamed, but not shamed, thou wilt meet with Enimies, feare not, there are more with us, then with them. 2 Kings 6. 16.” March 2009 Stanley F. Fox – pastor   Ahtanum Community Church   Yakima’s Seventh Day Baptist Church   Yakima, Washington  
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