« السابقةمتابعة »
place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what. We know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. Of a truth, God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all, is rich unto all that call upon him. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus'. There is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all and in all. For the same Lord over all, is rich unto all that call upon him; for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'.
OF THINGS WHICH SEPARATE FROM GOD, AND RENDER OUR WORSHIP UNACCEPTABLE.
SECT. 1. Of vice and wickedness, as separating us from God.-2. Of hypocrisy, as highly provoking to him.-3. A due sense of this expressed in prayer to God.
SECT. 1. Of vice and wickedness, as separating us from God.
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master; if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests that despise my name; and ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, the table of the Lord is contemptible. If ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts. Ye said also, Behold what a weariness is it; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering; should I accept this of your hands? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing". He that killeth an ox, is as he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; and he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol; yea they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fear upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth? seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee. Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of
§ 1. Mal. i. 6, 7, 8. d Psal. l. 16, 17.
b Mal. i. 13, 14.
Isa. lxvi. 3, 4.
fed beasts, and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations, incense is abomination unto me; the new moons, and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies I cannot away with, it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons, and your appointed feasts, my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me, I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood. I despise your feast-days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt-offerings, and your meat-offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs, for I will hot hear the melody of thy viols. The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination; how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh". Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but shall not find me; for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord'. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination*. Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt-offerings and an oblation, I will not accept them'; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them". Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor in the land to fail; saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth
wheat; making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balance by deceit? that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works". And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.
Ye ask, and receive not; because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Now we know that God heareth not sinners, but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him he heareth". If thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou dost not well, sin lieth at the door'. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you; cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up'.
SECT. 2. Of hypocrisy, as highly provoking to him.
Unto the pure, all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him; being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord. But an hypocrite shall not come before him. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God? Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy
of the hypocrite but for a moment? If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him; if iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles'. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God; thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee; and thou shalt pay thy
I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day'. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God; they ask of me the ordinance of justice; they take delight in approaching to God*. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men'. Behold it is written before me, I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom". Also thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls, and in the doors of the houses; and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not". Judah hath not turned unto
• Job, xx. 4, 5.
h Isa. lxv. 2, 3.
Isa. xxix. 13.