Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

in my name, he will give it to you. John
xvi.
23.

This is the Scripture rule of worship. We are to pray to God in the name of Christ; that is, as his disciples, and with a regard to him as the Mediator between God and man. To this purpose St. Paul exhorts us in Col. ii. 16. De every thing in the name of Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. The injunction to St. John, when he would have fallen down to worship the angel that shewed him the prophetical visions in the book of Revelation, we should consider as given to every Christian who is disposed to worship any being except the one SUPREME-See thou do it not. Worfkip God. All other worship is an idolatry which the Christian religion forbids. The proneness to it, however, among Chriftians, as well as Heathens, has been in all ages melancholy and shocking. The religion of Heathens consisted chiefly in the worship of human spirits supposed to

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

have been elevated after their deaths into
a participation with the Supreme Deity in
the government of the world. The reli,
gion of Papists is in a great degree the
fame. Their prayers are directed much
more to the Virgin Mary, and deified
human spirits called saints, than to God.
--Nor are Protestants guiltless. For, if the
doctrine of the Trinity is false, what
must, the worship be that is grounded
upon it? How much must the reformed
churches themselves want reformation ?
Even Socinians have not kept clear of this
great error of Christendom". You have
heard that, in former times, they con-
tended zealously for the obligation to
invoke and worship Christ, though, in

[ocr errors]

their

It is remarkable that Socinus, whose zeal on this point was so great as to make him a persecutor, at the same time afferted that idolators could not be saved. How happy is it for us, that even our own sentences here hall not condemn us hereafter, pro , vided we are fincere?

>

their opinion, not a creature only, but a

mere man.

Suffer me here to address you in the words with which the apostle John concludes his first Epistle-Little children keep yourselves from idols. Adhere to the worThip of the one living and true God, and admit no other beings to a share with him in your adorations. That grand apostacy among Christians which is predicted in the New Testament, consists principally in their falling into idolatrous worshipi.

This

i The learned Mr. Jofeph Meile, in the last century, has given an intimation of “ Some fin which the “ whole body of the reformation is guilty of, but 66 which is counted no sin.” And Sir Isaac Newton, in his Commentary on the Revelations, speaks of « all nations having corrupted the Christian religion, ". and of a recovery of the long los truth which is to " be effected hereafter."-"I can by no means con. “ ceive (says an excellent clergyman and valuable “ writer) what it is these writers point at, except it “ be the supremacy of the God and Father of all,

" which

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

This is that spiritual fornication for which the Jews were so often punished; and which, according to all the best commentators, has given the name of the mother of barlots to the church of Rome. Avoid it then carefully and anxiously. You cannot be wrong

when

you follow, in this and other instances, the example of Jesus Christ.

It is the conviction that the true object of religious worship is God the Father only, * that in a great measure makes us Protestant Dissenters.

Let us keep on

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

H 3

this

« which they might possibly believe to be a truth " that has been denied and lost by the general decla“ ration of the churches, that two other persons are his equals. This is so far from being looked upon

as a sin that it is a sign of orthodoxy, and is a “ doctrine that pervades the whole reformation.' See reflections on the 15th chapter of Mr. Gibbon's History, &c. p. 73, by the late Mr. Henry Taylor, Rector of Crawley, and Vicar of Portsmouth, Hants.

* See Note E Appendix.

this ground. It is impossible we should find better. There are probably fuperior invisible beings without number. But we have nothing to do with them as objects of our devotions. Our invocations in prayer must be confined to that one felf-existent being who governs all beings. There are other lords ; but their authority is derived from him. There are other faviours, but they are his gifts; and of these the first and best is that Saviour who left heaven to deliver us from fin and death, and to lift us to a happy immortality. To this Sa. viour we owe an ardent gratitude; but the gratitude we owe to him is nothing compared with that which we owe to the God who gave him, and whom alone we know to be ever near us to hear and notice our prayers and praises.

Having made these previous obfervations, I shall next proceed to set before you some arguments which appear to me

to

« AnteriorContinuar »