« AnteriorContinuar »
delight, and his servants, attributing their condemnation to his neglect and bad example: and then, what can he expect but to be cut in sunder, and his portion appointed him with the hypocrites.
Let these, and every other important consideration, have a due effect upon your minds : you will then, I am persuaded, be ready to say, in the words immediately following the text, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord. And again, Nay, but we will, with our several households, serve the Lord.
Now, unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy ; to the only wise God our Saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
I TIMOTHY ii. ).
I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications,
prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men..
THESE words evidently demonstrate, that St. Paul looked upon supplications and prayers, as a duty incumbent on mankind, arising from our dependance upon God as the giver and preserver of life, and from whom all the blessings we enjoy are derived,
I will, says the Apostle, that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. And this, he tells us, is good and acceptable in the sight of Cod our Saviour, who' will have all men be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. And when we make truth the object of our minds, it will naturally dictate to us that there is a worship due to the supreme Governor of the Universe. . I shall, therefore, in consequence of the exhortation in my text, endeavour to prove,
First, That there is a worship due from the Creature to the Creator. And,
Secondly, I shall point out in what manner that worship is to be performed, so as to be likely to please God, and benefit ourselves.
First; I am to prove that there is a worship due from the Creature to the Creator. And this is evident from the practice of all nations in the world. There never was a nation that acknowledged a Deity but what had some method of paying him adoration ; and, by proper dispositions of mind, by some exterior forms of worship, acknowledged his supremacy, adored his excellencies, and intreated his bounty and protection, as dependant, though unworthy objects. All nations, says holy David, whom thou hast made, shall come and worship before thee, and shall glorify thy name ; for thout art great and dost wondrous things: thoil art God alone.
But notwithstanding this general sense of mankind, this present age abounds with a set of men who entertain very loose sentiments with regard to the obligations of religion in general, and of Christianity in particular.. "They tell you, that this custom of worshiping the Deity had its rise from fear and superstition; that designing men have represented the Almighty as a rigorous and severe sovereign, delighting in the miseries of his creatures ; the ignorant and timerous multitude were scared into these devout and enthusiastic practices; which, say they, to thinking men, appear absurd and useless; since God, from his omniscience, must know the wants of his 'creatures, and from his goodness must be ready to supply