Imatges de pÓgina
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9. Q. What is the positive duty required of us in this commandment?

A. To worship God after a manner suitable to his spiritual nature. John, iv. 24. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth; that is to say, with sincerity, love, and purity of heart; with the inward devotion and fervour of the mind, without which the outward exercises of prayer and adoration will be of no worth.

10. Q. How has God enforced these commandments?

A. He has done it after a very singular manner; by declaring, Ist, That he is a jealous God, Exod. xxxiv. 14; and will not suffer his glory to be given to another; neither his praise to graven images, Isa. xliii. 8. But, secondly, will visit this sin not only upon those who commit it, but upon their posterity also, to the third and fourth generation. As on the other side, thirdly, to those who are careful to worship him as they ought to do, he will shew abundant mercy in this present time; and in the world to come,

give them life everlasting.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Deut. viii. 19. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day, that ye shall surely perish. Psalm cxv. 13, 14. He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.

11. Q. Can it consist with the justice of God to punish one person for the sin of another?

A. No, certainly; nor does God here threaten any such thing. But God, who is the great Lord of the

whole world, may so punish a man for his sins, that the temporal evil of it shall reach not to himself alone, but to his posterity also. As in the case of hightreason, the father by forfeiting his honour and estate, brings the ill consequence of his crime upon his family, as well as upon himself; and the prince, by exacting the penalty of the law, may justly be said to visit the children for the offence which their fathers committed.

12. Q. How then do you understand this part of the commandment?

A. God had, in general, promised to the Jews temporal blessings, to encourage their obedience; and had denounced present evils against them to keep them from sinning. But to set a particular mark of his indignation upon the sin of idolatry, he thought fit to declare, that if they offended in this matter, he would not only severely punish them himself, but would deliver them up into the hands of their enemies, who should oppress both them and their children after them. Whereas, if they continued firm to his worship, though otherwise they should be guilty of many lesser crimes, yet he would not cast them off from his favour; but on the contrary, would bless both them and their posterity all their days. This I take to have been the literal meaning of the present denunciation; and how exactly it was made good to them, their history sufficiently declares to us.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-1 Kings, xi. 33, 34. Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, and Milcom, the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my sta

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tutes and my judgments, as did David his father. Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. xiv. 22, 23, 25. And Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Sheshak, king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem. xv. 29, 30. And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not unto Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Ahijah, the Shilonite: because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel to sin, by his provocation whereby he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger. Kings, xxii. 17. xxiv. 3. Comp. xxi. 3. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands: therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight; for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did- For he (Manasseh) built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab, king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and

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served them. Lamen. v. 7. Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities. 13. Q. May this be, in any wise, applied to us now? A. Thus far it may, to teach us how heinous the sin of idolatry is; how odious in the sight of God; how worthy of his vengeance! The Jews were, in their whole estate, a figure to us: as therefore God threatened that he would, with the utmost severity, require this sin of them; so most certainly he will require it of us; it may be in this present life, but without all controversy, in the life which is to come.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-1 Cor. vi. 9. Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor revilers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. v. 20, 21. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Rev. xxi. 8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. xxii. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

SECT. XXV.

Of taking God's name in vain; and therein of Swearing, Vowing, and Praying.

1. Q. What is the third commandment?

A. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, &c.

2. Q. What is the design of this commandment? A. To secure that honour we ought to pay to God, by a reverend esteem of whatsoever relates to him.

3. Q. What do you mean by the name of God?

A. I understand thereby God himself, and whatsoever has any immediate relation to him. Psalm xxix. 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. Deut. xxviii. 58. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful.

4. Q. When may we be accounted to take God's name in vain ?

A. When we make mention of God, or of any thing which belongs to him, rashly and irreverently, in a way that is not suitable to his divine honour and majesty; nor to that deference we ought to pay to his sovereign power and authority over us.

5. Q. Upon what occasions, especially, may God's name be made use of by us?

vow

A. Chiefly on these three; in *swearing, ing, * praying: and in all these it may be, and oftentimes is, taken in vain.

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