Q 109. May we omit church assemblies on the Lord’s day if the magistrate forbid them?
A. If the Magistrate for a greater good, (as the common safety) forbid Church Assemblies in a time of pestilence, assault of enemies, or fire, or the like necessity, it is a duty to obey him. Because positive duties give place to those great natural duties which are their end: so Christ justified himself and his disciples’ violation of the external rest of the Sabbath. “For the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
Richard Baxter (1615-1691), in his book “A Christian Directory”