Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
1. The light of Nature shews that there is a God,
who hath Lordship, and Soveraigntye over all; is just, good, and doth good
unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted
in, and served, with all the Heart, and all the Soul, (a)
and with all the Might. But the acceptable way of Worshipping the true
God, is (b) instituted by himself;
and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be Worshipped
according to the imaginations, and devices of Men, or the suggestions of
Satan, under any visible representations, or (c)
any other way, not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.
a Jer. 10.7. Mar. 12.33.
2. Religious Worship is to be given to God
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him (d)
alone; not to Angels, Saints, or any other (e)
Creatures; and since the fall, not without a (f)
Mediator, nor in the Mediation of any other but (g)
d Mat. 4.9,10. Joh 6.23. Mat. 28.19. Note
3. Prayer with thanksgiving, being one special
part of natural worship, is by God required of (h)
all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the (i)
Name of the Son, by the help (k)
of the Spirit, according to (l)
his Will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love,
and perseverance; and when with others, in a (m)
h Psal. 95 1-7. Psal. 65.2.
4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and
for all sorts of men living, (n)
or that shall live hereafter; but not (o)
for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned
(p) the sin unto death.
n 1 Tim. 2.1,2. 2 Sam. 7.29.
5. The (q)
reading of the Scriptures, Preaching, and (r)
hearing the word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms,
Hymns and Spiritual songs, singing with grace in our Hearts to (s)
the Lord; as also the Administration (t)
of Baptism, and (u) the Lords Supper
are all parts of Religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience
to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover
solemn humiliation (x) with fastings;
and thanksgiving upon (y) special
occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.
q 1 Tim. 4.13.
6. Neither Prayer, nor any other part of
Religious worship, is now under the Gospel tied unto, or made more acceptable
by, any place in which it is (z)
performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped
every where in Spirit, and in truth; as in (a)
private families (b) daily, and (c)
in secret each one by himself, so more solemnly in the publick Assemblies,
which are not carelessely, nor wilfuly, to be (d)
neglected, or forsaken, when God by his word, or providence calleth thereunto.
z Joh. 4.21. Mal. 1.11. 1 Tim 2.8.
7. As it is of the Law of nature, that in general
a proportion of time by Gods appointment, be set a part for the Worship
of God; so by his Word in a positive-moral, and perpetual Commandement,
binding all men, in all Ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in
seven for a (e) Sabbath to be kept
holy unto him, which from the beginning of the World to the Resurrection
of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from the resurrection of Christ,
was changed into the first day of the week (f)
which is called the Lords day; and is to be continued to the end of the
World, as the Christian Sabbath; the observation of the last day
of the week being abolished.
e Exo. 20.8.
8. The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the
Lord, when men after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their
common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy (g)
rest all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their
worldly employment, and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time
in the publick and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties
(h) of necessity and mercy.
g Isa. 58.13. Neh 13.15-23.