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are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water. 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished. 7. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men. 8. But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 11. Seeing then that alk these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a now earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. See Acts i. 11. 1 Thess. iv. 14-18.
See also the Proofs to the 51st Answer.
79th Q.-What is the nature of the worship which God requires of man?
A. It is spiritual: God requires us to worship him in spirit and in truth; and this may be without limitation to time or place, for worship, being an act of the soul towards God who is a Spirit, does not necessarily require the intervention of bodily exercise to make it acceptable to him.
John iv. 21. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. 23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must wor ship him in spirit and in truth.
Phil. iii. 3. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
80th Q.-Though worship is not limited to time or place, is it not our duty to meet together at certain times publicly, to worship God?
A.-It is incumbent on us to meet together for public worship, as a testimony of our duty to God, and of our dependance on him for a renewal of our spiritual strength, as also to hold forth the nature of the true worship to others.
Psalm xcvi. 7. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, 8. The glory due unto his name: bring an offering and come into his courts. 9. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him all the earth.
Psalm 1xxxvi. 9. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord: and shall glorify thy name.
Rom. xii. 1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Heb. x. 24. And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works: 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.
Rev. xv. 4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee.
81st Q.-What is our duty when thus assembled together?
A. To wait upon the Lord in silence, and endeavour to preserve the mind from dwell
ing on thoughts which arise from the activity of the imagination; that the life and power of Christ may be felt to calm the soul, to bring every thought into subjection, to produce a real inward silence, and afford a true sense of its state; when even a single sigh, arising from such a sense, will be acceptable to God, because of his own begetting; for it is only his own works that can praise him.
Psal. xxvii. 14. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psal. Ixii. 5. My soul, wait thou only upon God: for my expectation is from him. 6. He only is my rock and my salvation.
Psal. xlvi. 10. Be still, and know that I am God. Zech. ii. 13. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord. Isaiah xli. 1. Keep silence before me, O islands, and let the people renew their strength.
Isaiah xl. 28. Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men utterly fall. 31. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah li. 5. The isles shall wait upon me, and on my arm shall they trust.'
Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Psalm cxlv. 10. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord.
82d Q.-What are the advantages derived by Christians from thus meeting together for the exercise of public worship?
A.-Those who, by a travail of spirit, are inwardly gathered to the one source of light and life for a renewal of their spiritual strength, become helpful to each other: the life flowing from Christ the head, (who is spiritually present according to his promise,) to his members, the circulation of it among them, as from vessel to vessel, produces the communion and fellowship of the saints, by which, one member feeling for and sympathizing with another, all are edified.
Matt. xviii. 20. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
1 Cor. xii. 12. As the body is one, and hath many, members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14. For the body is not one member, but many. 21. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22. Nay much more, those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble are necessary. 25. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.