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him; both in private, to preserve and improve a sense of religion in ourselves; and in public, to support and spread it in the world. The first part of worship, mentioned in the Catechism, and the firstin a natural order of things, is giving him thanks. God originally made and fitted all his creatures for happiness if any of them have made themselves miserable, this doth not lessen their obligation of thankfulness to him: but his continuing still good, and abounding in forgiveness and liberality, increases that obligation unspeakably. With a grateful sense of his past favours is closely connected, putting our trust in him for the time to come. And justly doth the Catechism require it to be our whole trust. For his power and goodness are infinite: those of every creature may fail us; and all that they can possibly do for us, proceeds ultimately from him. Now a principal expression of reliance on God is, petitioning for his help. For if we pray in faith*, we shall live so too. And therefore trusting in him, which might have been made a separate head, is included in this of worship; and put between the first part of it, giving thanks to him; and the second, calling upon him; according to that of the Psalmist; O Lord, in thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded. To call upon God, is to place ourselves in his presence; and there to beg of him, for ourselves and each other, with unfeigned humility and submission, such assistance in our duty, such provision for our wants, and such defence against our enemies, of every kind, as infinite wisdom sees fit for us all. After this evident obligation, follows a

Fifth not less so: to honour his holy name and word: not presuming even to speak of the great God in a + Psal. xxxi. 1.

James i. 6. v. 15.

negligent way; but preserving, in every expression and action, that reverence to him, which is due: paying, not a superstitious, but a decent and respectful regard, to whatever bears any peculiar relation to him; his day, his church, his ministers: but especially honouring his holy word, the law of our lives and the foundation of our hopes, by a diligent study and firm belief of what it teaches; and that universal obedience to what it commands, which our Catechism reserves for the

Sixth and last, as it is undoubtedly the greatest, thing to serve him truly all the days of our life. Obedience is the end of faith and fear; the proof of love; the foundation of trust; the necessary qualification, to make worship, and honour of every kind, acceptable. This therefore must complete the whole, that we walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless*, not thinking any one so difficult, as to despair of it; or so small, as to despise it; and never be weary in well-doing: for we shall reap in due season, if we faint nott: and he alone shall be saved, that endureth to the end. But we must now proceed to observe,

II. That, as this commandment requires us to acknowledge the one true God; so it forbids us to acknowledge any other.

Both before, and long after the law of Moses was given, the generality of the world entertained a belief, that there were many gods: a great number of beings, superior to men, that amongst them governed the world, and were fit objects of devotion. To these, as their own fancy, or the folly or fraud of others led them, they ascribed more or less both of power and goodness; attributed to several of them the vilest * Luke i. 6. ‡ Matt. xxiv. 13.

↑ Gal. vi. 9.

actions, that could be; supposed them to preside, some over one nation or city, some over another; worshipped a few or a multitude of them, just as they pleased; and that with a strange variety of ceremonies, absurd and impious, immoral and barbarous. Amidst this crowd of imaginary deities, the real one was almost entirely forgot: false religion and irreligion divided the world between them: and wickedness of every kind was authorized by both. The cure for these dreadful evils must plainly be, restoring the old true notion of one only God, ruling the world himself: which therefore was the first great article of the Jewish faith, as it is of ours.

Christians can hardly in words profess a plurality of gods: but in reality they do, if they suppose the divine nature common to more than one being; or think our Saviour, or the Holy Spirit, mere creatures, and yet pay them divine honours. But besides these, we apprehend the church of Rome to sin against the present commandment, when they pray to angels, to the holy Virgin and the saints, as being able every where to hear them; and having not only temporal relief, but grace and salvation in their power to bestow. Nay, were the plea which they sometimes make, a true one; that they only pray to them to intercede with God; yet it would be an insufficient one. For there is no reason to believe, that they have any knowledge of such prayers: or if they had, as there is one God, so there is one Mediator between God and man*. And we have neither precept, nor allowance, nor example, in the whole Bible, of applying to any other, amongst all the absent inhabitants of the invisible world.

But there are several ways more of transgressing

1 Tim. ii. 5.

this commandment. If we ascribe things which befal us, to fate, or to chance, or to nature; and mean any thing real by these words, different from that order, which our Maker's providence hath appointed; we set up in effect other gods besides him. If we imagine the influence of stars, the power of spirits, in short any power whatever, to be independent on him, and capable of doing the least matter, more than he judges proper to permit that it should: this also is having more gods than one. If we set up ourselves, or others, above him; and obey, or expect any one else to obey, man rather than God; here again is in practice, though not in speculation, the same crime. If we love, or trust in uncertain riches, more than the living God*; this is that covetousness, which is idolatry†. If we pursue unlawful sensual pleasures, instead of delighting in his precepts; this is making a god of our belly. In a word, if we allow ourselves to practise any wickedness whatever, we serve, by so doing, the false god of this world§, instead of the true God of heaven, besides whom we ought not to have any other: and therefore to whom alone be, as is most due, all honour and obedience, now and for ever. Amen.

1 Tim. vi. 17.

Phil. iii. 19.

+ Col. iii. 5.
§ 2 Cor. iv. 4.



WE are now come to the second Commandment, which the church of Rome would persuade men is only part of the first. But they plainly relate to different things. The first appoints, that the object of our worship be only the true God; the next, that we worship not him under any visible resemblance or form. And besides, if we join these two into one, there will be no tenth left; though the Scripture itself hath called them ten*: to avoid which absurdity, the Romanists have committed another, by dividing the tenth into two. And they might as well have divided it into six or seven; as I shall shew you, in discoursing upon it. For these reasons, the oldest and most considerable, both of the Jewish and Christian writers, who distinguish the Commandments by their number, distinguish them in the same manner that we do. Perhaps it may seem of small consequence, how that before us is counted, provided it be not omitted. And we must own, that some persons before the rise of popery, and some protestants since the reformation, have, without any ill design, reckoned it as the papists do. But what both

* Exod. xxxiv. 28. Deut. iv. 18. x. 4.

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