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COMMANDMENT II.


Evan. Why, as the first commandment teaches us to have the true God for our

God, and none other; so the second commandment requireth that we worship this

true God alone, with true worship: and in this commandment likewise, there is a

negative part expressed in these words, "Thou shalt not make to thyself any

graven image," &c. And an affirmative part included in these words, "But thou

shalt worship me only and purely, according to my will, revealed in my word."


Neo. I pray you then, sir, begin with the affirmative part, and tell us what be the

means of God's worship, prescribed in his word.


Evan. If we look into the word of God, we shall find that the ordinary means and

parts of God's worship, are invocations upon the name of God, ministry and

hearing of the word of God, administration and receiving the sacraments, with all

helps and furtherances to the right performance of the same.


But to declare this more particularly, First of all, prayer both public and private is

required in God's word, as you may see, (1 Tim 2:8, Acts 2:21,22, Dan 6:10).

Secondly, Reading the word, or hearing it read, both publicly and privately, is

required in God's word, as you may see, (Rev 1:3, Deut 5:6). Thirdly, Preaching,

and hearing of the word preached, is required in the word of God, as you may

see, (2 Kings 4:2, 1 Thess 2:13). Fourthly, The administration and receiving the

sacrament is required in the word of God, as you may see, (Matt 3:6, 26:26, 1

Cor 10:16). Fifthly, Praising of God, in singing of psalms, both publicly and

privately, is required in the word of God, as you may see, (Col 3:16, James 5:13).

Sixthly, Meditation on the word of God is required in the word of God, as you

may see, (Psa 1:2, Acts 17:11). Seventhly, Conference about the word of God is

required in the word of God, as you may see, (Mal 3:16). And, Lastly, For the

better fitting and stirring us up to the right performance of these duties, religious

fasting, both in public and in private, is required in the word of God, as you may

see, (Joel 1:14, 2:15). And so also is a religious vow or free promise made to

God, to perform some outward work, or bodily exercise for some end, as you

may see, (Eccl 5:3,4). And thus have I shown you what be the means of God's

worship which he hast prescribed in his word.


Neo. I pray you, sir, then proceed to the negative part, and tell us what the Lord

forbiddeth in this commandment.


Evan. Well then, I pray you understand, that in this commandment is forbidden,

neglecting of prayer, as you may see, (Psa 14:4). And so also is absenting

ourselves from the hearing of the word preached, or any other ordinance of God,

when the Lord calls us thereunto, as you may see, (Luke 14:18-20). And so also

is our rejecting the sacrament of baptism, as you may see, (Luke 7:30). And so

also is our slighting the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, as you may see, (2 Chron

30:10). And so also is the slighting and omitting any of the other forenamed

duties, as you may see, (Psa 10:4, John 3:31, Isa 22:12-14). And so also is

praying to saints and angels, as you may see, (Isa 63:16, Rev 19:10). And so also

is the making of images for religious uses, as you may see, (Lev 19:4). And so

also is the representing God by an image, as you may see, (Exo 32:8,9). And so

also are all carnal imaginations of God in his worship, as you may see, (Acts

17:29). And so also is all will worship, or the worshipping of God according to our

own fancy, as you may see, (1 Sam 9:10,13, Col 2:23). And thus have I shown

unto you both what the Lord requireth, and what he forbiddeth in this

commandment, and now, neighbour Nomologista, I pray you, tell me whether

you keep it perfectly or no.


Nom. Yea, sir, I am persuaded that I go very near it. But, I pray you, sir, tell me

how you prove that all these duties are required, and all these sins forbidden in

this commandment?


Evan. For the proof of this, I pray you consider, that the worshipping of false

gods is flatly forbidden in the negative part of this commandment, in these words,

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve, nor worship them," (Exo

20:5). And the worshipping of the true God is implied and expressed in these

words, (Matt 4:10), "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt

thou serve."


Nom. But sir, how do you prove that these duties which you have named are

parts of God's worship?


Evan. For answer hereunto, I pray you consider, that to worship God, is to tender

up that homage and respect that is due from a creature to a Creator; now, in

prayer we are said to tender up this homage unto him, and to manifest our

profession of dependence upon him for all the good we have, and acknowledge

him to be the Author of all good; and indeed prayer is such a great part of God's

worship, that sometimes, in Scripture, it is put for the whole worship of God. "He

that calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," (Rom 10:13); that is, he that

worships God aright: (Jer 10:25), "pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that know

thee not, and on the families that call not upon thy name," that do not pray, that

do not worship God.


And that hearing the word is a part of God's worship is manifest; because that in

hearing we do manifest our dependence upon God, for knowing his mind, and the

way to eternal life, every time we come to hear the word of God, if we know

what we do, we do thus much, we profess that we depend upon the Lord God for

the knowing of his mind, and the way and rule to eternal life; and besides, herein

we also come to wait upon God in the way of ordinance, to have that good

conveyed unto us by way of an ordinance, beyond what the thing itself is able to

do, and therefore this is worship. And that the receiving the sacrament is a part of

God's worship, is manifest, in that when we come to receive these holy signs and

seals, we come to present ourselves before God, and come to God for a blessing,

in communicating unto us some higher good than possibly those creatures that we

have to deal with, are able of themselves to convey to us; we come to God to

have communion with him, and that we might have the blessing of the covenant

of grace conveyed unto us through these things: and therefore when we come to

be exercised in them, we come to worship God. The like we might say of the rest

of the duties before mentioned, but I hope this may suffice to satisfy you that

they are parts of God's worship.


Nom. But, sir, you know that in this commandment there is nothing expressly

forbidden but the making and worshipping of images, and therefore I question

whether all those other sins that you have named be likewise forbidden.


Evan. But thou must know, that when the Lord condemneth the chief, or greatest

and most evident kind of false worship, namely, the worship of God at, or by

images, it is manifest that he forbids also the other kinds of false worship, seeing

this is the head and fountain of all the rest; wherefore, whatsoever worships are

instituted by men or do any way hinder God's true worship, they are contrary to

this commandment.


Nom. Well, sir, though that these things be so, yet for all that, I am persuaded I

go very near the keeping of this commandment; for I do constantly perform the

most of these duties, and am not guilty of doing the contrary.


Evan. But thou must know, that for the worshipping of God aright, it is not only

required that we do the good which he commands, and avoid the evil which he

forbids, but also, that we do it in obedience to God, to show that we acknowledge

him alone to be the true God, who has willed this worship to be thus done unto

him; so that, as I told you before, the word of God must not only be the rule of

our actions, but also the reason of them: we must do all things which are delivered

and prescribed in the ten commandments, even for the love we bear to God, and

for the desire we have to worship him: for except we so do them, we do them not

according to the sentence and prescript of the law, neither do we please God

therein. Wherefore though you have prayed and heard the word of God, and

received the sacrament, and done all the rest of the forenamed duties, yea, and

though you have not done the contrary, yet if all this has been either because the

laws of the kingdom require it, or in mere obedience to any superior, or to gain

the praise and esteem of men, or if you have any way made yourself your highest

end, you have not obeyed nor worshipped God therein; for, says a judicious

writer, "If any man shall observe these things in mere obedience to the king's

laws, or thereby to please holy men, and not through an immediate reverence of

that heavenly Majesty who has commanded them, that man's obedience is

non-obedience; his keeping these laws is no keeping them"; because the main

thing here intended is neglected, which is the setting up God in his heart; and that

which is most of all abhorred is practised, viz: the "fear of God taught by the

precepts of men," (Isa 29:13). And to this purpose that worthy man of God has

this saying, "Take heed, says he, that the praises of men be not the highest end

that thou aimest at; for if it be, thou worshippest men, thou dost make the praise

of men to be thy god; for whatsoever thou dost lift up in the highest place, that is

thy god, whatsoever it be; wherefore, if thou liftest up the praise of men, and

makest that thy end, thou makest that thy god, and so thou art a worshipper of

men, but not a worshipper of God." [Mayer's Catechism.]


Again, says he, "Take heed of making self thy end. That is, take heed of aiming

at thine own peace, and satisfying thine own conscience in the performance of

duties." It is true, says he, when we perform duties of God's worship, we may be

encouraged thereunto by the expectations of good to ourselves, yet we must look

higher, we must look at the honour and praise of God; it is not enough to do it

merely to satisfy conscience; thy main end must be, that thou mayest, by the

performance of the duty, be fitted to honour the name of God, otherwise we do

them not for God but for ourselves, which the Lord condemns, (Zech 7:5,6). And

now, neighbour Nomologista, I pray you, let me ask you once again, whether you

think you keep this commandment perfectly or no.


Nom. No, believe me, sir, I do now begin to fear I do not.


Evan. If you make any question of it, I would entreat you to consider with

yourself, whether you have not gone to the church on the Lord's day to hear the

word of God, and to receive the sacrament, and do other duties, because the laws

of the kingdom require it, or because your parents or masters have required it, or

because it is a custom to do so, or, because you conceive it to be a credit for you

to do so. And I pray you also to consider, whether you have not abstained from

worshipping of images, and other such idolatrous and superstitious actions which

the Papists use, merely because the laws of the land wherein you live do

condemn such things. And I pray you also consider whether you have not been

sometimes zealous in prayer in the presence and company of others, to gain their

praise and approbation; have you not desired that they should think you to be a

man of good gifts and parts? And have you not in that regard endeavoured to

enlarge yourself? And have you not sometimes performed duties merely because

otherwise conscience would not let you be quiet? And have you not sometimes

fasted and prayed, and humbled yourself, merely or chiefly in hopes that the Lord

would, for your so doing, prevent or remove some judgment from you, or grant

you some good thing which you desire? Now, I beseech you, answer me truly

and plainly, whether you do not think you have done so.


Nom. Yea, believe me, sir, I think I have.


Evan. Then have you in all these things honoured and worshipped your parents,

your masters, your magistrates, your neighbours, your friends, and yourself, as so

many false gods, instead of the true God; and therein have been guilty of a breach

of the second commandment.


Neo. I pray you, sir, proceed to speak of the third commandment, as you have

done of the first and second; and first, tell us how the second and third

commandments differ.


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