« AnteriorContinuar »
bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all.' 1 Cor. vii. 14. “the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife.'
Opposed to this are superstitious consecrations, such as are common among the Papists.
Thus far of the solemn and reverential mention of the name of God. We are next to consider the duty of making a consistent, and, when necessary, an open profession of his true worship. This is enjoined Matt. X. 32, 33. whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Psal. cxix. 46. “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.' Luke ix. 26. (whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come—.' Rom. x. 10. with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.' 2 Cor. iv. 13. “it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak. 1 Tim. vi. 12–14. thou hast professed a good profession before many witnesses; I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that thou keep this commandment." 2 Tim. i. 16. he was not ashamed of my chain. ii. 12. if we deny him, he also will deny us.'
1 Pet. iii. 15. “ be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.' Heb. x. 35. 'cast not away therefore your confidence.'
This profession, when it leads to death, or imprisonment, or torments, or disgrace, is called martyrdom. Matt. v. 11. "blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Philipp. i. 20.
with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.' v. 29. “for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.' Heb. xi. 36, &c. others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment— 1 Pet. iii. 14..but and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye.'
It is generally through the means of martyrdom that the spread of the gospel is effected. Philipp. i. 14. many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.'
Opposed to this is, first, the concealment of our religion. This was the fault of Nicodemus, John iii. 2. “the same came to Jesus by night.' xii. 42. nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.' Isai. lix. 4. none calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth.
Secondly, apostasy. 2 Chron. xxviii. 6. "he slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men, because they had forsaken Jehovah God of their fathers.' John vi. 66. from that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.' 1 Tim. iv. 1, &c. in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, &c.' Heb. vi. 4, &c. it is impossible for those who were once enlightened .... if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance.' x. 29. of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God.'
Thirdly, an unseasonable profession. Matt. vii. 6. give not that which is holy unto the dogs ... lest they turn again and rend you.' xvi. 20. then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.'
Such are the means by which the name of God is hallowed in word. It is hallowed in deed, when our actions correspond with our religious profession. Matt. v. 16. let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'
Opposed to this, is a neglect to act conformably to our profession. Thus Moses and Aaron are said, contrary to their usual custom, not to have sanctified God in the eyes of the people, Numb. xx. 12. and David, a man otherwise holy, gave occasion to the Gentiles to think and speak ill of God, by reason of his adultery, 2 Sam. xii. 14. So also the Jews, of whom St. Paul writes, Rom. ii. 24. the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written;' alluding to Isai. lii. 5. Ezek. xxxvi. 20. when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of Jehovah, and are gone forth out of his land.'
ON THE TIME FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; WHEREIN
ARE CONSIDERED THE SABBATH, LORD'S DAY, AND FESTIVALS.
Thus far of the parts of divine worship. We are now to consider its circumstances.
The circumstances of worship are the same as of all things natural, place and time.*
Public worship, previously to the law of Moses, was not confined to any definite place; under the law it took place partly in the synagogues and partly in the temple; under the gospel any convenient place is proper. John iv. 21, 23. “ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father ; but the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth;' as Malachi had also prophesied, i. 11. in every place incense shall be offered unto my name.'
that the body, with all the circumstances of place and time, were purified by the affections of the regenerate soul.? Of Reformation in England, Prose Works, I. 1. • Tertius modus est adjunctorum quæ recipiuntur ad subjectum; quæ vulgo circumstantiæ nuncupantur, quia extra subjectum sunt. Huc tempus refertur.' Artis Logicæ plenior Insti: tutio. IV, 224.
With regard to the time of public worship, what this was before the law, does not appear.
Under the law it was the Sabbath, that is, the seventh day, which was consecrated to God from the beginning of the world, Gen. ii. 2, 3. but which (as stated above, Book I. chap. x.) was not, so far as we can learn, observed, or commanded to be observed, till the second month of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, Exod. xvi. 1, 23, 25, 29. when it was enforced with severe prohibitions : v. 23. to-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto Jehovah; bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning.' XX. 8, &c. • remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy;' that is, remember it according to the previous commandment in the sixteenth chapter, referred to above; or it may be an emphatic manner of admonition. xxxi. 14. ye shall keep the sabbath-day therefore, for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death.' xxxiv. 21. “in earing time, and in harvest thou shalt rest.' xxxv. 2, 3. sabbath of rest to Jehovah... ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath-day.' Lev. xxiii. 3. six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation. Num. xv. 32, &c. they found a man that gathered sticks on the sabbath-day.' 2 Chron. xxxvi. 20, 21. "them that had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon .
to Babylon ... until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths. Jer. xvii. 21, 22. bear no burthen on the sabbath-day. Neh. X. 31. if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath