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epistles before referred to, the same prayer or wish for grace and peace to the stints, is made to Christ as to God the Father, Stephen, the proto-martyr, when expiring, called upon God, saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, Acts vii. 59to which may be added the doxologies or ascriptions of glory, which are high acts of worship, are sometines made to Christ separately, 2 Pet. iii. 18. Jude 25. Rev. i. 5, 6. Also the acts of faith, hope, and love, are exercised on him as on God the Father; Ye believe in God the Father, says Christ, believe also in me, John xiv. 1. Trust and confidence are not to be put in a creature, for Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, Jer. xvii. 5. Christ is the object of the hope and love of his people, and as such is often represented, 1 Tim. i. 1. 1 Pet.i. 8. in whom they hope for happiness, and who have an affectionate devotion for him. And it is easy to give instances of adoration which have been made unto him; thus he was worshipped by Jacob, when he invoked him to bless the sons of Joseph, saying, The argel which redeemed me from all evil bless the lads, Gen. xlviii. 16. by the angel cannot be meant God the Father, for he is never called an angel; nor any created angel, whom Jacob would never have invoked; but the uncrcated angel, Christ, the Angel of the covenant, his Redeeme: 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 worship, for which he was not reproved, nay encouraged, yea, was farther ordered to loose his shoe from off his foot, for it is said the place whereon thou standest is holy, and Joshua did so; which was never ordered to be done, but where God himself was, whose presence gave a relative holiness to the place where he appeared, Josh. v. 13-15. Christ was also worshipped by the wise men who came from the east to seek him and see him; and so by others in the days of his flesh, and by his disciples when he parted from them and went up to heaven; yea he has been worshipped not 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 the Son. He is with them the one God. He is possessed of all divine perfec tions, 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. 1 Cor. xii. 4-11. and so worthy of worship, and it is given unto him. Baptism is administered in his name, equally as in the name of the Father and of the Son. Matt. xxviii. 19. Prayer is made unto him; not only is he the Spirit of grace and of supplication, and who helps the saints under their infirmities 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
mentioned 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 who 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 they 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 men'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 Spirit 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 tỏ 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 cf 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, from 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 greates vehemence and ab→ horrence, Acts xiv. and it is the height of iniquity and blasphemy in Antichrist
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 excluded 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 of; 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 form without the power of godliness; yea 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 man; 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 him 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. iii. 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—to 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 revc
rence and godly fear, Heb. xii. 28. and without this there can be no internal worship 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 9006, 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 partakers 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.... ly man, so likewise Stores, a true worshipper of God, John ix. 31. the other, as from the want of it, he is called an ungodly man, so ans, 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 unregenerate men; their character is this, that they are after the flesh, or are carnal men; and only mind the things of the flesh, carnal things, fleshly 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 men; and therefore having no inward disposition God-ward, they are truly reckoned ungodly men, and destitute of the worship of him..
II. 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,- 1 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 much carnally in them, yet 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 Spirit, they love spiritual doctrines, desire spiritual gifts, especially an increase of spiritual grace, and a clearer view of interest in all spiritual blessings; any 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 him cordially and sincerely; their desires are after him, and to the remembrance of his name; they pant after more communion with him, and the manifestation of his love unto then; they
have their spiritual serse exercised upon him; they see him with the eyes of their understandings opened, his beauty, his power, and his glory, in the sanctuary; they hear his gospel with pleasure, it is a joyful sound unto them, and they can distinguish his voice from that of a stranger; they taste that the Lord is gracious; his word and the doctrines of it, his fruit and the blessings of grace are sweet to their taste, these are savoury things which their souls love: they handle Christ the word of life, and feel the power of his gospel on them; that effectually working in them through the demonstration of the spirit. Now, 4. These are truly godly persons, tuos, persons well-disposed to the worship of God, and who rightly perform it; these have their minds powerfully impressed with the doctrine that is according to godliness, under the influence of which they live soberly, righteously and godly; these have all things given them pertaining to life and godliness, every grace, and every needful supply and increase of it; in the exercise of which lies internal worship, or inward, spiritual, experimental, and practical religion; which is called fursa, or godliness, and stands opposed to bodily exercise, or external worship.
II. Godliness not in name and profession only, but godliness in the life and power of it, an inward fervent devotion of the mind, a gracious disposition of the heart towards God, as has been explained, is the ground work of true reli gion; and without this there can be no internal worship, nor indeed any external worship rightly performed; for, — 1. Without the knowledge of God there can be no true worship of him; the Samaritans worshipped they knew not what, and so their worship was not right. Whom the Athenians ignorantly worshipped, him the apostle declared unto them; nor is a natural knowledge of God by the creatures sufficient to teach men the worship of God and engage them in it; the wise philosophers, who, by the light of nature, by the works of creation, knew there was a God, yet they glorified him not as God. True spiritual, experimental, and evangelical knowledge of God, is the knowledge of God in Christ; and as our worship of him is in and by Christ, there can be no true worship of him without such knowledge of him, even of him as our covenant-God in Christ; and as this will direct us to the right object of worship, and the true manner of worship, so it will influence and engage unto it; whose I and whom I serve. 2. Without faith in God, which is another branch of powerful godliness, there can be no true worship of God; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin; and without it it is impossible to please God in any part of worship and service; all worship performed to God under the Old Testamentdispensation which was agreeable to him, was by faith, as the instances of Abel and Jacob, of Moses and the children of Israel shew. And under the gospeldispensation, whenever we draw nigh to God in any part of worship, it must be in faith; whoever comes to God, and is a worshipper of him, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently scek him; and if we come to the throne of grace and there ask any thing of God, it must be asked in faith; and if we attend upon him in the ministry of the word, it must be in