Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

in his name. Prayer is another part of divine and religious worship, which is made to the Father, and indeed is generally made to him; the access and address are most frequently to him, not but that they may be equally inale to the other two persons as will be presenily seen, but the reason why they are usually made to him, is because le bears no office, whereas the others do, and an office which is concerned in the business of prayer. Christ is the mediator through whom the access is, and in whose name the petition is put up; and the Spirit is the spirit of supplication, by whose aid and assistance prayer is made: the whole of this may be observed in one passage; for through hin, through Chris the mediator, we both, Jews and Gentiles, have an access at the throne of grice by one spirit, who helps and assists us in our supplications, urlo t'c Father, the Father of Christ, and of us, Eph. ii. 18. and it is easy to observe, that at the beginning of many of the epistles such a prayer or wish is made, as Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, as distinguished from the Lord Jesus Christ; which is a peiition for grace, an increase of grace, and all necessary supplies of it, and for all spiritual prosperity and happiness. Thanksgiving, another act of religious worship, which is sometimes included in prayer, an1 sometimes performed as a distinct part of worship, is made to the Father.' Giving thanks always for all things, unto God and the Father, the Father of Christ and of us in bin, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. y. 20. Acts of faith, hope, and love, which are acts of worship, are exercised on him; Ye believe in God, that is, in God the Father, John xiv. I, who raised Christ froin the dead; that the faith and hope of saints might be in God the Father, who raised him from thence, i Per. i. 21. and where those graces arc, love is, and is exercised on the same ohject; and as the Father was the object of Christ's love as man and mediator, so he is the object of the love of those that believe in him, John xiv. 31.

2. The Worl, or Son of God, is also the olject of worship; He is thy Lord, ord worship thcu him, Psal. xlv. II. yea he is to be worshipped with the same sort of worship, and to be honoured with the same de free of honour the Father is, John v. 23. for he is the Lord, the Jehovali, thy God, as Thom:1s said, My Lord, and my God; the mighty God, the great God, God over all, the true God and etcrnal life; who has the same perfections his father hus; and the same works his Father does are done by hiin, Col. ji. 9. John v.

9. John v. 19. and therefore to be worshipped with the same worship, and so he is. Baptism is adininistered in his name equally as in the Father's, Baptizing them in the nee of ih: Father, and of the Son, &c. and sometimes liis name only is inentionel, Acrs X. 48. and xix. 5. Prayer, which is an act of worship, is made to lain; it is said, Prayer shall be made for him continually; it may as well be rendered, as some think, Prayer shall be made to him continually, Psal. Ixxii. 15. Invocation of his name, which is a part of religious worship, is spoken of him; his disciples and followers are sometimes described by those that called upon his ix. 14. Cor. i. 2. and it may be observed, that in she beginning of many epistles before referred to, the same prayer or wish for grace

naile, Acts

and
peace

to the suints, is made to Christ as to God the Father, Siephen, the proco-martyr, when expiring, called upon God, saying, Lord foors, recrive my spirit, Acts vii. 59to which may be added the doxologies or ascriptions of glory, which are high acts of worship, are sometiines made to Christ separately, 2 Pei. iii. 18. Jude 25. Rev. i. 5, 6. Also che acts of faith, hope, and love, are exercised on him as on God the Father; Ye believe in God the Father, says Christ, believe alia in me, John xiv, 1. Trust and confidence are not to be put in a creature, for Cursed be the man that frustcth in man, Jer. xvii. 5. Christ is the cbject of the hope and love of his peopl, 3:1, as such is often represe.ited, i Tim. i. 1. 1 Pet. i. 8. in whom they hope for happiness, and who have an 2 itectionate de vorion for him. And it is cursy to give instances of adoration which have been made unto hiin

; thus he was worshippel by Jacob, when he isveked him to bless the sons of Joseph, saying, The angel which rekemed me from all evil bless the lads, Gen. xlviii. 16. by the angel cannot be meant Gol the Father, fur he is never called an angel; nor any created angel, whuin Jacon would never have invoked; but the uncreated angel, Christ, the Angel of the covenant, his Redeemei from all evil. He was also worshipped by Joshua, who appeared to him, and made him self known to him as the captain of the host of the Lord, who is the leader and commander of the people, the captain of our salvation; upon which notice, Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worsh'p, for which he was not reproved, nay encouraged, yea, was farther ordered to loose his shoe from off his fut, for it is said the place whereon thou standese is holy, and Joshua did so; which was never ordered to be done, but where God himself was, whose presence gave a relative holiness in the place where he appeared, Josh. v. 13-15. Christ was also worshipped by the wise men who came from the cast to seek him and see himn; and so ly others in the days of his flesh, and by luis disciples when he parted from them and went up to heaven; yea he has been worshipped no: only by men but by angels, and that by a divine order: Let all the angels of God worship hi!, Heb. i. 6. The first begotten; the same with the only begotten Son of God, who is God; or otherwise it would be a piece of idolatry to worship him, and we have an instance of many angels with others paying their adoration to him, Rev. v. 12, 13.

3. The holy Spirit is also the object of worship, equally with the Father and te Son. He is with them the one Goul. He is possessed of all divine perfecLions, such as eternity, omniscience, omnipresence, &c. he was concerned in creation, and is in the government of ths world, and in the operations of grace, Psal. xxxiii. 6. Isai. xl. 13, 14. I Cor. xii. 4-11. and so worthy of worship, and it is given unto him. Baptism is adıninistered in his name, equally as in the paine of the Father and of the Sou. Mart. xxviii. 19. Prayer is made unto him; not only is he the Spirit of grace and of supplication, and who helps the süints under their infrmities in prayer, but he is prayed unto; The Lord, that is, the Lord the Spirit, direct your hearts, &c. where all the three persons are

inentioned as distinct, 2 Thess. iii. 5. so grace and peace, as they are wished and prayed for from God and Christ, so from the seven Spirits which are before the throne; by which are meant the one Spirit of God so called, because of the fulness of divine perfections in him, and because of the perfection of his gifts and graces, Rev. i. 4, 5. Moreover his graces wrought in the saints, as they come from him, they are exercised on him, as faith, trust, and an holy confidence in him, that he why has begun the good work in them will finish it; and there is also the love of the Spirit, a cordial love of him, and a carefulness not to grieve him by whom thev are sealed unto the day of redemption.

II. God only is the object of worship, to the exclusion of all others.

1. All idols of whatsoever kind are excluded, not only images of things in heaven or in earth, or in the sea, and the idols of gold and silver, the work of nen's hands, forbidden by the second command; but also the idols set up in a man's heart, to which such respect is paid as is due to God only; of such may be read in Ezek. xiv. 4. and which God promises to cleanse his people from by his Spiri: and grace, Ezek. xxxvi. 25. and which when converted they declare they will have no more to do with, in the manner they have, who before conversion served divers lusts and pleasures, Tit. iii. 3. and these perhaps are the idols the apostle John warns the children of God to keep themselves from, 1 John v. 21. The idol the worldling is enamoured with, and in which he places his trust and confidence, is gold and silver; hence covetousness is called idolatry, and such a man is said to be an idolater, Eph. v. 5.

Col. iii.

5. nor can the true God and this idol mammon be served and worshipped by the same, Matt. vi. 24. The epicure, or voluptuous person, his god is his belly, which he serves, and in which he places all his happiness, and cannot be said to serve the Lord and worship him, Rom. xvi. 18. The self-righteous man makes an idol of his righteousness, he sets it up and endeavours to make it stand, and to establish it, and then falls down to it and worships it, putting his trust and confidence in it, Luke xviii. 9.

11. Every creature in the heavens, or on the earth, are excluded from divine worship. As the sun, moon, and stars; these seem to be the first objects of worship among the idolatrous heathens; and indeed when men departed from the true God what could they think of to place in his room but those glorious creatures so visible to them, froin whom they received light and heat, and many blessings? hence the Israelites were cautioned against lifting up their eyes unto them and gazing on them, lest they should be ensnared into the worship of them Deut. iv. 19. The next objects of idolatrous worship were men, heroes and mighty kings, famous for their exploits; these are the gods many and the lords many, the Baalim often spoken of in scripture, as Baal-Peor, Baal-Berith, &c. Neither good nor bad men are to be worshipped; when an attempt was made to sacrifice to the apostles, they rejected it with the greatest vehemence and abhorrence, Acts xiv. and it is the height of iniquity and blasphemy in Antichrist

VOL. 111,

to suffer himself to be worshipped, yea to commend it; and a damnable sin in his followers to do it, Rev. xiii. 4, 8, 15. and xiv. 8-11. Yea, angels are exe luded from divine worship; this sort of idolatry was introduced in the times of the apostles but condemned, Col. ii. 18. and rejected by angels themselves, Rev. xix. 10. and xxii. 9. And much less are devils to be worshipped; and yet the worship of such has obtained among the blind and ignorant heathens, as in the East and West Indies ; and even the sacrifices of the Jews to new gods their fathers knew not, and the sacrifices of the heathens are said to be offered to devils, and not to God; yea the worship of departed saints by the Papists, as the doctrine of it is called the doctrine of devils, so the practice is represented, as if it was no other than worshipping of devils; it being contrary to the worship of the true God, who only is to be worshipped.

OF INTERNAL WORSHIP. Having considered the object of worship, worship itself is next to be treated ot; and which is either internal or external : internal worship requires our first attention, it being of the greatest moment and importance; external worship profits little in comparison of that; if the heart is not engaged in worship bodily exercise is of little advantage, that being only the forın without the power of godliness; yca vain is such worship where the heart is far removed from God. God is a spirit, and must be worshipped with our spirits, the better and more noble part of inan; if we serve his law, it should be with our minds the inward man delighteth in it; obedience to it should flow from a principle of love to God in the heart, and with a view to his glory; and if we serve him in the gospel of his Son, it should be with our spirits, with a fervent affection for it; if we pray to himn it should be with the spirit and the understanding also; if we sing his praise, it should be with melody in our hearts to the Lord; herein lies powerful godliness; and godliness is the ground-work of internal worship, and without which there can be no worshipping God aright, and therefore it deserves our first consideration. Godliness is sometimes used for evangelic doctrine, the doctrine that is according to godliness, and productive of it; the whole mystery of godliness, respecting the person, office, and grace of Christ, and salvation by him, which the apostle exhorts Timothy to exercise himself in, in opposition to fables, and vain and trifling things, of no moment. Sometimes it signifies a holy life and conversation, under the influence and power of the grace of God, as in 2 Pet. jïi. 11. What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? Sometimes it intends some particular duty of religion, or rather some particular grace, Add-- 10 patience godliness, to godliness brotherly love, that is, exercise these. But in the subject I am upon I consider it as an assemblage of graces, as containing the whole of grace in the heart, the exercise of which is necessary to serve and worship God with resc

rence and godly feai, Heb. xii. 28. and without this there can be no internal ivorship of God. This is no other than the inward devotion of the mind, a fervency of spirit in serving the Lord; it is a holy disposition of the soul towards God. This is 9:00€ six, the true worship of God, 1 Tim. ii. 10 the ground and foundation of it, without which there can be more. This is life and godliness, or vital powerful godliness, 2 Pet. i. 3. and the things pertaining to it are faith, hope, love, and every other grace, of which it consists, and in the exercise of which it lies, and in this is all internal religion and worship.

I. Such a gracious disposition God-ward is not to be found in unregenerate men, only in such who are truly paitakers of the grace of God. It is godliness which distinguishes between one who truly serves and worships God, and one that serves and worships him not. The one as he is denominated from it a god. k man, so likewise 9:05:Crs, a true worshipper of God, John ix. 31. the other, as from the want of it, he is called an ungodly man, so ations, one that is without the worship of God, 1 Pet. iv. 18.

1, Such a gracious disposition of the mind towards God, which is requisite to the service and worship of him, is not to be found in unregenerale men;

their character is this, that they are after the flesh, or are carnal men; and only mind the things of the fiesh, carnal things, feshly lusts, &c. Rom. viii. 5. there is no disposition in their minds towards God and his worship; they savour not the things of God, but the things which be of mon; and t!ierefore having no inward disposition God-ward, they are truly reckoned ungueily men, and destitule of the worship of him.,

11. Such a gracious disposition towards God and his service, which is rightly called godliness, is only to be found in such who are partakers of the grace of God in truth; for, - I Their character is, that they are after the Spirit, or are spiritual men; they are born of the Spirit and his grace, and so are spirit or spi. ritual, in whom the Spirit of God dwells, and in whom grace is the governing principle; though they are not without flesh, and have inuch cirnally in thein, vet being renewed in their minds, their conversation are spiritual; they walk after and live in the Spirit. - Hence, — 2. They mind the things of the Sirit, they love spiritual doctrines, desire spiritual gitts, especially an increase of spiritual grace,

and a clearer view of interest in all spiritual blessings; 1.29 savour the things of God, and of the Spirit of God; they have a gust for them, a relish of them, they are sweet unto them, their taste being changed. Wherefore, 3. The disposition of their souls is God-ward, and to his service; they have an understanding of him, and desire to know more of him, and follow on to know him in the use of means; their thoughts are employed about him, they think on his name, his nature, and perfections, and loving-kindness, as displayed in Christ; their affections are set upon him, and they love hiin cordially and sincerely; their desires are after hiin, and to the remembrance of his name; they pant after more communion with him, and the manifestation of his love unto thun; they

« ZurückWeiter »