Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Second Commandment. 10 I Sixrhly, The !aft Pofition is this: We ought not to worfl1ip God with any_ other 6. external Worihip, than what htmfelf hath commanded and. appomte~ us m hts holy Word. The Scripture bath fetus our ~o~n.ds for \Vorflup, to which.we mnft not add and from which we ought not to dtmtmfu ; for whofoever cloth crther the one or rhe other muft needs accufe the Rule, either of Defea in thingS .neceHilry, or of Superfluity in things unnece_flilry; whi~~ is :in high Affront t?. the .Wifdo~ of God, who as he is the objel.l fo he IS the Prefcnber of all that Worlh1p which he Will accept and reward. 1 well know that this Rule hath given (I cannot fay Caufe, but) Occafion to many hot Difputes abut Ecclelia.ftical Rites. and Confl:itutions; ~omc condemning whatfocvcr is prefcribed or u.fed m the Servrce of God, ~efides thmgs expre~y. commandc~ in Scripture, for Incroac~ments upon the Authont~ of God, and Add1.nons 11nt0lus Worihip which he reqmres to be performOO accordmg to the Pattern ill the Mount, and the Model he hath delineated for it: Others ag<iin ~aintaining the Privilege and Authority of the Church i11 ordaining fome things for the more decent and reverent performing of the Serv.ice of God, which are not particularly required in the holy Scriptures. I !hall not p) unge my felf into this angry and qu1rrelfom Controverfy: Only give me leave to fay, and fadly to lament, that the Seamlefs-Coat of Chrift is rent in pieces among them, whilft fome think it more decent to few on Loops and Fringes to it, and others will have none. And truly I think our Differences arc of no great importJ.nce in themfelves, tho' too wofnl in their Confequcnts, than this amounts unto. lfhall clearly exprefs my fenfe of this Matter in a few words, without any Reflex ion or Bitternefs, and fo leave it to the Judgment of ever-y qrdinary Difcretion. Things wh ich belong to the \Vorfhip of God, may be conGdercd either as Parts of that Worfh ip, or only as Circumfbnces and Modifications of it. Firft therefore, Whatfoever is impofed on us as a fi1bftantial p1rt of the Worfhip 1; of God, if it be not expreOy required of us in the holy Scriptures, is to be not only refufed, hut abominated: For this is a plain Addition to what God bath comman.. dcd, and by it we lay an Imputation upon him, as tho' he wanted Wifdom to or... dain what is nccelfary for his own Service. Then, and then only is any Conftitution of Man impofed for a part of Divine \Vorfhip, when Obedience unto it is urged upon us, no·t only from the Authority enjoining it, but alfo from tOe Necellity of the thing confidcred !imply and nakedly in its own Nature: For as it is with God's Laws, fome things ar.c commanded be.. caufc they are good, and fame things are good only becanfc they are commanded; fo is it wirhLzws and lmpofitions of Men about Matters of Religion and \\Torlhip, fame things they comm1nd us to obfervc, becaufc they arc in themfelvcs nece!Eiry antecedently to their Command, as cjoined us before by God; and therefore this is no Or- "dinance or DoCh-ine of Man, bnt of God; unto which the Magiftrate, who is the Guardian of both Tables, doth well to ~dd the Sanction of Secular Rewards and Pnnifiuncnts: Other things are ncceflary for our Obfervance, only becaufc they arc commanded. by. their Authority, to whoni we owe con(ci~ncio~ts Obedience in thingS lawful and mdtfferent. But we utterly deny that the unpofiuon of any fuch things makes them any Parts of Worfhip, of which they are only Circun)fbmces; or that thefe Obfervances arc necclfary to us, or acceptable to God atttecedentl v to the command of Authority; or that the Worfhip of God were imperfeCt:,, defective unacceptable, and invalid to the ends for w~ich it is appointed, were not thcfc 'obfervances commanded, and performed: lf mdeed we thought otherwife the bittereft of all their Invectives, and the loudeft of all their Exclamations in call'ino- our \:Vorfhip, Superftition, Will..worfhip, and Idolatry, would not lhew fo much Paffion as a juftand rational Zeal. But God forever forbid that any fuch Ordinances of Man fhonld be introduced int? Ollr Clmrch. We all join in..this Vote; and do Utterly renounce any fuch Authon_ty, and deny ·any fi1ch Pra8:1ce. We ufi1rp not upon the Co~fci~nces of any, nor, mdeavour to perfwade them that that is in it felf neceffary, wh1ch 1s not fo by Gods Commands, or the Law of Nature; or that that is unlawful which is not con~emned by eith~r. We e!l1eavour to keep our felvcs and you as much from a Pofitlve, as a Neganve Snperibtton; we endeavour tO put clue bounds between things Gmply neceffary, either by the Command of God, or their own~natural Reafon and Goodnefs, and fi1ch as are in themfelves indifferent. We fay,::_that nothing is a part of Worlhip, but what belongs to the former; but.fome D d things