Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Firf(Commandment. 7} ----------------------~- I _For wherefore do we affirm, that there is a God, if we make no Addreffesuntohim? if we luvc rccourfe only to our own Power or Policy to accomplilh our Defigns; and when they lhccced, afcribe the fuccefs of them only to our own \Vifdom and Condutt we make thefe our Idols, and give them the Honour which is due unto God only. And therefore the Prophe~ Hahak. •· r6. fpeaks of thofe who facrifice to their Net, and burn Incenfe to their Drag, becaufe by t hem their Portion ts fat, and their Meat plenteous. Now as t he Love and Fear of God are often ll fed in Scripture for his whole Wor!bip and Service, fo likewife is this Invocation of his Naf!1e· So we find it Gen. 4·· 16. 'Then began men to call upon the name of the L!Jrd. That 15, (:IS many learn~ ed Expofitors undcr!tand it, although fame take it another way) then beganMen fo.. lemn ly and pnblickly to worfuip God in t heir AflCmblies. And, ']cr . 10. 25. 'Pour out thy fury upon the heathen thllt know thee not, and upon the families th~t call not on thy name, i. e. thofe who do not worfhip nor ferve thee. And the like we may o~fervc in very many other places. There is but one thing more that I fuaU remark to you, and that is, That as this lirft Command requires in the general, that the true God fhould be truly worfhippcd; fo the three next following Commands prefcribe the means and branches of his Worfhip, and the way and m:mner how he would have it performed. For the fecond Commandment requires us to worfhip God, who is a Spirit, withouranyvifible Image or Reprcfcntation of the Deity: For as it is impoffiblc that there Jhould be any true rcfemblJnce made of a Spirit; fo it is moft impious to give any plTt of Divine Honour and Reverence unto dumb Idols; whic;has to their Materials, are but the Crea· tnres of God; as they are Statues, are but the Creatures of Art, and as they are Images, are but the Creatures of F:mcy and Superllition. The third COmmandment requires, that we Jhould never mention the Name of the great Gcxl nightly and impertinently; but whenfoever we have occafion to utter it, we Jhould do it with all proftrate Veneration, and ferious Alfed:ion. The Fourth,prcfcribesus the time which God hath fct apart and.fanllified for his folemn Worfuip. So that you fee each Command of the firft Table is concerned in giving Rules for Divine \.:Vor01ip; but t he firft, which injoyns it in the general, is the ground and foundation of the other three. And thus much Iball fuffice concerning the Duties required in this firfl: Comman{t, Thou j1Ja[t have no other god; before me. In the next place, let us fee what is forbidden in it. It forbids ns four Things : Firjf, .Atheifm, or the beliefand acknowledgment of no God. I. Sct·c;Jdly, lgltOrance of the true God. l r. T hirdly, Prophanenefs, or the wretched Neglect of the Worfuip and Service of Ill. God. · Fourthly, Idolatry, or the fetdng up and worJhipping of falfc Gods. IV. Fir#, Atheifm, or the acknowledging of no God, is forbidden and condemned by 1ft . this c;0mmand: And well may this be reckoned the firft Sin forbidden; for certainly Religion and Worlhip will be found to be one of the moft foppifh Vanities that ever w:as impofed 11po~ the credulous\Vorld, if either there be no God, to whom we might d1reCt our Devouons, or only a God of Epicurw and Lucretiuls ftamp, that fits unconcern'd in I~caven, an.d loaths the Fatigue of Bufinefs, taking no t hought nor care of humane affa.tr s. For tf t here be no God, or only fuch an one, what difference is there wheth~r we Pray or Blafpheme; whether we: lead holy and pi?us Lives, or let loo~c the Rems .to all manner ?f Lcwdnefs andRmt, and wallow m all the impure Deltghts that Vtce and Senfuahty can recommend to our corrupted Appetj.tes? For if there be no God1 or only fuch an one, what difference is there whether we Pray or Blafpheme ; whether we lead holy and pious Lives, or let loofe the Reins to all manner of Lewdnefs and Riot, and wallow in all the impure Delights that Vice and Senfitality can recomn~end to our corruJ?ted Appetites? For if there be no God, there ~n be no future Cogmzance taken of etther, no Rewards nor Punifhments proportlOncd to either. And therefore it will be here neceffary to fuew the Foliy and Unreafonablenefs of Atheifm, and to convince Men that there is a God, without which all Religion and Worfuip is but folly and Madnefs. Some