Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

7'1. An Expojition upon the I. Firft, Thatwemufl: have a God: Againft Atheifin. II. SecondLy, That we mult have the Lord Jehovah for our God: Which forbids Ido.- latry. III. 7'hirdJy, That we mnft have the only true God the Lord Jehovah alone for our God: And.this forb_ids Politheifm, or the worfhipping of many Gods; and Samari~ t~tnifm, or the worlhipping of falfe Gods together with the True, likethofeSamarita11.r fpok.en of, 2 Kings 17. 33· who feared the Lord, and yet ferved their own Gods· rnakmg a ftrange Medly in Religion, and blending thofe things together that wer~ utre:Iy irreconciable: as if they intended nqt only to be Partakers thcmfeJvcs with Devils but to make God fo too; which is the greatelt Gratification that can be given to that prm1d and wicked Spirit~ whofe Ambition it is to Emulate and Rival God in \Vorfhip. The Apoftlc hath told os, T hat thufo thinffs which the Gentiles facrifiu, they Jacrijiu to Devils, and not to Gud, I Cor. 10. 20. "' Now thus to joynany other thing with God, as the ObjeCt of our Worlhip, is infinitelytodebafe and difparage him; fince it intimates, that fomething befides God is excellent, and perfea: as Himfclf. And therefore Zephan. t. )· God feverely threatens to cut off, and to dc!troy thofe that worfuip and [wear by the Lord, and that fwcar by Ma/cham. • l V, Fourthly, It requires that all thefe Services and Afts of Worfhip which we tender unto the true and only God, be performed with fincerity and true Devotion : This is implied in that exprenion before me, Thou jhalt have no othergods before me, or in my .fight: And this forbids both Prophanenefs on the one hand, and Hypocrifie on the other. For, becaufc the mo!t fecret and retired Apartments of the Heart, are all I}aked and bare in the fight of God, and our very Spirits are as it were diffeCI:ed, and fo cxpofcd to his view and obfcrvat ion; therefore to have no other God before him, ~e~1otes that our fcrving and worfhipping of him ought to befincere and affectionate. It IS not enough to have no other God before Men, not to fall down proftrate before any vifible Idol fet up in a Temple; but the Law is Spiritual, and fearcheth the very thoughts and inward parts of the Soul, and if there be any Idol fet up in the HCart, although it be in the darkeft corner of it, any fecret Luft, or hidden Sin, which is the Soul'5 ld.ol, and keeps it from being chaft and true to its God; any crooked ends a!Id fini!ter rcfpetl:s in the Worih ip of God, this is to h1ve another God in the fight of Jehovah, and before him: Indeed, we are very apt to reft contented if we can but approve our felvcs before Men, and carry a fair Chew of Religion and God!inefs. But confider how weak and foolith th is is: For firlt, we cozen them with our Appearances; and then we cozen our [elves with their Opinions of us. It is not onlv before Men (whofe fight is terminated in the bark and outfide of th ings) that we offer up our Services, but before that God who is the Searcher of the Heart, and the Tryer of the Reins, who looks quite through us, and judgeth not according to outward appearance, but judgeth righteous Judgment; For us to regard Men, and feck to commend our felves to them in the SerVice of God, is as great a Folly and Irre~ verencc, as it would be for one whO is to treat with a mighty Prince., to regard and reverence only the Images in, the Tapftry and Hangings: Alas! Men are but as fo many blind Images, in refpect: of God; they cannot fee the Heart, nor the AftCtl:ions; and thofe outward Acts of Worihip which they do fee and commend without the Heart~ ar~ defpifed by God ; he requireth truth in the inward Parts, and is not delighted with the oftentation ofPcrtormance, but with the fincerity oflntcntion: for ev.ery one is delighted with that which doth moft of all declare fo~e lingnlar Ex. cellency th.1t is in him. But now it is God's Excellency and Prerogative, to contemplate the Heart, to weigh and confider the Spirits ofMen; and therefore .he is chiefly delighted in the unfeigned de fires and breathings of the Heart after h•m, becanfe by thefe we own him to ·be an All~knowing God: But when we perform Dmics of Reli~jon only to be feen and applauded ofMen, we make God only our Pretence, but Men our Idols; and fet up as many Gods before him, as we haveSpeCI:atorsand Obfervers. And du,ts we have fcen what pofitive Duties arc required of us in this Precept: That we Ihould Worlbip a God, and him the true God; and the true God only, and that in Tn1th and Sincerity, as doing a!J our Services before him. So that you fee this firft Command refpcfu Worlhip. - lt