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Public Worship, 225. Of the Nature of a Gospel Church, 225. Duties of
Of the Public Ordinances, 288. Of Baptism, 288. Of the Lord's Sup-
Of Private Worship, Relative Duties, &c. 399. Duties of Husband and
Of the various sorts of Jewish Proselytes, 431. Occasion of this Disser-
OF THE WORSHIP OF GOD, OR PRACTICAL RELIGION.
OF THE OBJECT OF WORSHIP.
HAVE, in the former part of this Work, proved there is a God, from the light of nature and reason, from the works of creation, &c. and now my business is to shew that this God is to be worshipped; I have treated of the nature, perfections, and attributes of God, which are the foundation of the worship of him; and now I shall treat of worship itself. I have considered the various works of God, the works of creation, providence, and grace; and these may be used as so many arguments to engage us to divine worship, or as so many reasons why we should glorify God with our bodies and spirits, which are his; or in other words, worship him both internally and externally: and I shall begin with the object of worship, for which we have a plain direction, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve, Matt. ix. 10. Two things are to be observed and considered,―That the Lord God is the object of worship.-That he alone is the object of worship, to the exclusion of
I. The object of worship is the Lord God, God essentially and personally considered.
1. God essentially considered, or as considered in his nature and essence which is the foundation of worship, The Lord is to be worshipped; the Lord who is the one Jehovah, and whose name alone is Jehovah, Deut. vi. 4. Psal. lxxxiii. 18. The word Lord in the New Testament, answers to Jehovah in the Old, a name expressive of the existence or being of God, and of him as the fountain of being, and the author of being to all others; who is the everlasting I am, which is, and which was, and which is to come; these words of John are a proper decyphering of the word Jehovah, or the I am that I am in Exod. ii. 14. Now he whose essence is simple, uncompounded, immutable infinite, eternal, &c. is to be worshipped, even the Lord thy God, thy Creator, thy Benefactor, thy Supporter and Preserver. Thus the apostle describes the proper object of worship unknown to the Athenians, as he who made the world, and all things in it; and gives life, and breath, and all things to his creatures;
and in whom they live, move, and have their being, Acts xvii 23-28. Thus Jacob invoked God, which to do is a part of religious worship, who had fed him all his life long to that day, Gen xlviii. 15. David says, his prayer, which is a part of worship, should be to the God of his life, who had given him life and upheld him in it, Psal. xlii. 8. he who is the true God, the living God, and the everlasting King, is the object of worship; the true God, in distinction from nominal gods, from such who are falsely so called; the living God, in distinction from idols of gold and silver, the work of men's hands, lifeless statues, in whom there is no breath; but the true God, and who is to be worshipped, has life in and of himself, originally and underivatively, and is the fountain and giver of life to others, and from everlasting to everlasting he is God. He is by nature God; there are some who are not so, and therefore not to be served and worshipped, Gal. iv. 8. but God is a spirit, is of spiritual nature, and to be worshipped in spirit and in truth; his nature is most perfect, has all perfections in it, though there is no finding him out unto perfection; his nature is infinite and incomprehensible, beyond all conception and thought, beyond all words and expressions, exalted above all blessing and praise. The name of God, the very first name by which he is called in scripture, Elohim, Gen. i. 1. implies wor ship, and that he is to be worshipped who created the heavens and the earth, for it comes from a word which signifies to worship. And to this the apostle see:ns to allude when he says that Antichrist exalts himself above that is called God, or that is worshipped, intimating that the name of God signifies σecarμa, the object of worship, 2 Thess. ii. 4.
11. God personally considered, or God considered in the three persons, is the object of worship. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one, are one God, and so equally the object of divine worship.
2. The Father, of whom Christ expressly says, that men shall worship the Father, John iv. 21, 23. and of the propriety of this there can be no doubt, since his Deity is not denied by any, and was it, they would easily be confronted; he is expressly called God the Father, Phil. ii. 11. and sometimes God even the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 23. 2 Cor. i. 3. all the perfections of Deity are attributed to him, as immutability, eternity, &c. and the works of creation, providence, and grace; and he has undoubtedly a proper claim of worship from his creatures, and accordingly worship is given to him, and acts of it are exercised on him, Baptism, which is a solemn act of religious worship under the New Testamentdispensation, is administered in his name; and his name stands first in the form of it, Baptizing in the name of the Father, &c. which signifies not only its being done by his authority and command, but the persons, by submission to it, devote themselves to him, profess to be his, and lay themselves hereby under an obligation to serve him; and because to do this in the name of a creature would be idolatry and irreligion, the apostle Paul was thankful that he had baptized no more of the Corinthians than he had, when he found they were for setting him up as the head of a party among them, lest they should think they were baptized