Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

102 JlnExpojition upon the things that belong to the l~tter, m~y be ufed in Worlbip as £.t and decent Circum.- ftances: And when fuch thmgs are tmpofed, they become JJcceffary; not indeed in them~elves (for no Hu~anc Authorit_Y can alter the nature of thin,?:.s) bnt to our PraClJce, and our Con~ctences are obliged to them:. But how? not indeed fimply and abfolutely, fo that tt fuall never be lawful to onut them; but only in two Cafes· in cafe of Scandal, and Contempt. We ought not to omit them, if we judge ani Offence will be taken by others at our NegleCl:; we ought not to omit them at any time ou~ of a Contempt and Dif~efp;tt towards them.. And thus yon fc:e, we put a vaft difference between that which ts a Part of Worfuip, .and that winch is hut a Circumfrancc ofWorJhip: If any thing be commanded us by !\{en, as a PartofWor· fhip, which is not commanded us by God, we ought not to fub~nit unto it. But 1. Secondly, If any thing he impofed on us not as a PaTt of Worfhjp, but as a Cir~umftancc and Modification ofWorfltip, we may and we ought tofi1bmi t unto it. Firft, If the things fo imp?fcd be in themfelves lawful afld honci't; which they are, if not condemned by the Scnpturc. 2 • Secondly, If they tend to Order and Decency in the Church. Of which, certainly they are as lit to be Judges who_havc A_ut_hority both in Church and State, as every priYate, and perhaps le_fspknowmg Chnfban. 3 . Thirdly, If they are tmpofed by the Command of a lawful Power, to whom we ought to fubmit in all things that are lawful. 4 . Fourt~ly, If they arc fhch ~s neither for ~~eir levity n~r numbe~, eat out or diftratl: the Senoufncfs and Devouon of our Spmtual Worflup: WJuch I think cannot juftly be imputed to the Obfervances of our Church, being very few for Number, and very grave and modeft for Ufe. If fi1ch things as dtefe be impofed upon us, the \'Vorfhip of God is not therel)y either changed or adulterated, neither is there any addition made unto it; but the Subftance of that Worfhip is frill in Conformity to God's Laws, when yet the outWard and indifferent manner of it is in Conform!ty to Man's. Certainly, it is no addition to Baptifm, to give a Name to the Baptized, tho' we find no exprefs command for it. And I much wonder among our carping Brethren, fome or other had not fcrn_rled this, as well as another ObferVance. It is no addition to the Ordinances of Jcfits Chrifl:, to appoint at what hour they fhall be celebrated, or in what Garment, ot in what decent Pofturc; for all thefe things are extrinfical to the WorJhip of God, and fall under the Cognizance and Direction Ofour Superionrs. · Certainly, did we but rightly weigh what is required as a Part of\.:Vorfhip and what only is a Circumftance ofWorJhip, a great deal of Heat, and Contcntion7 , and nncharitable Prejudice would be removed and prevented. It is true, our Saviour, Mt7.rth. r;. 9· condemns the Scribes and Pharifees, that taught for DoCtrines the Commandments of Men : that is, they taught thofe things which were but the Traditions and Ordinances of their Elders, to be in themfelves abfolutely necelfary to the fcrving and worllliping of God. But cc;rtainly 1 this Reproof falls not upon thefe; who tho' they do injoin what they judge fit for Order, yet do not teach them. for Doctrines; 3.lld arc fo fur from thinking· their Commandments an effential part of Worfhip, that they w~uld Abhor and Anat~ematize all t_h~f~ that do fo. Neceffary they arc to be fub!Jlltted unto, and pratl:Ifed, becaufe tnJomcd by that Authority to which God hath committed the Care of the firfi: Table, as well as the fecond; but not necetrary in themfelvcs as any Part of theWorfhip and Service of God, without which, altho' they were not impofed by Men, it would be unacceptlblc to him: And whofoever thinks fo, let him be accurfed. And now th3t I have delivered my Jud~ment without Bitternefs, give me leave to make fome few Lamentation's in the Gnefand Bitterncfs of my Soul: Is it not to be bitterly lamented, that in a Reformed and Orthodox Church there fhould be fiiGh Schifins, Rents, and Divifions; Altar agai!lft Al~r, Pulpit ~gainft Pl~lpit, ~nd one Congregation againft a1~o~her? And '~hat IS all ~h.ts Contention and Separatron for? 0 ! they will tell you, It 1s for the Punty of ReligiOn, for the true and fincere Worfhip of God, that they may ferve him purely withont_Humane Additi~ns _or Inventions. Thus goes the Cry; and a company of poor.lgnorant ~e.ll-m~an1~g Souls, bccaufe it is very demurely and gravely fpoken, take 1t up, and )Om With 1t, never examining the grounds .and bottom ~fit; but conclude, that thefe muft ne:ds be in the right who complain of Con·uptions, and pretend to a happy and glonous Reformatio~. Alas, my Brethren, was there ever any Schifm in the World that did not