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If any worship the beast and his image, he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. Rev. xiv, 9, 10. See thou worship me not-I am thy fellow-servant. Rev. xix, 10. Praying to departed saints is discouraged by the parable of Dives and Lazarus. Luke xvi, 20--29.
Though this commandment expressly forbids the making of images for the purpose of worshipping them, it does not forbid us to make them for other purposes. God himself ordered golden images of cherubim to be placed over the mercy-seat in the Jewish Tabernacle.
Roman Catholics omit the second commandment in their Catechism, finding it impossible to reconcile it with their worship of images and adoration of saints. He is an idolater that prays to any saint or angel; for by so doing he gives them the honour due to God alone. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John v, 21.
2. All hypocrisy and formality in our devotions. This people (hypocrites) honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Matt. xv, 8; Mark vii, 6.
What does this Commandment require?
1. It commands us to worship God in spirit and truth, with such holy dispositions as are produced by his Spirit, trusting in the merits and mediation of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Lord shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship. 2 Kings xvii, 36. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. 1 Chron. xvi, 29; Ps. xxix, 2.
Worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Ps. xcix, 5, 9.
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matt. iv, 10.
The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth. John iv, 23, 24.
If any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. John ix, 31.
We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit. Phil. iii, 3.
Hannah, 1 Sam. i, 9, 19. Simeon, Luke ii, 25. Cornelius, Acts
Strive to imitate their fervency, and whenever you draw near to worship him, endeavour to realize his presence, for (Ps. cxxxix.) He sees and knows every thing. Try to get a sense of the greatness and number of your wants, and of the power and grace of Christ. Having
thus got suitable thoughts of God, worship him sincerely, with the most fervent affections, and profound reverence of his infinite majesty.
Every thing relating to the outward worship of God is implied; and we ought to make use of the most decent attitudes, both in public and private worship.
Jesus kneeled down and prayed. Luke xxii, 41.
Acts vii, 60.
What does this Commandment further require of us? 2. "To give him thanks."
Offer unto God thanksgiving. Ps 1, 14,
Be thankful unto him. Ps. c, 4.
Giving thanks always for all things. Eph. v, 20.
By prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, &c. Phil. iv, 6.
Watch in the same, (viz. prayer) with thanksgiving. Col. iv, 2.
Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually. Heb. xiii, 15.
"Bless God for your creation, preservation, and all "the blessings of this life; but above all for his inesti"mable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord "Jesus Christ; and shew forth his praise not only with "your lips, but in your lives."
3. "To call upon him." Call upon his name. Ps. cv, 1. Call ye upon him while he is near.
O sleeper, arise, call upon thy God,
Isa. lv, 6.
Jonah i, 6. Praying always with all prayer, &c. Eph. vi, 18.
A great many promises that our prayers shall be heard are contained in the Scriptures.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer.
Ask, and it shall be given you.
Rom. x, 13.
Isa. Iviii, 9.
thee. Jer. xxxiii, 3.
name of the Lord shall be saved.
Adopt David's determination,
I will call upon him as long as I live. Ps. cxvi, 2.
Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Ps. cxxxviii, .
How are we to honour God's holy word?
By hearing it.
I will hear what God the Lord will speak. Pe. lxxxv, 8.
By reading it.
Search the Scriptures. John v, 39.
Thy word have I hid in my heart.
Ps. cxix, 11.
That I might meditate in thy word. Ps. cxix, 148.
5. "To serve him truly all the days of our life." Ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. Deut. xiii, 4.
Serve him in sincerity and in truth-as for me and my house we will
serve the Lord. Josh. xxiv, 14, 15.
Serve the Lord with all your heart, serve him in truth. 1 Sam. xii, 20, 21.
Serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. 1 Chron. xxviii, 9.
Serve the Lord with fear. Ps. ii, 11.
If any man serve me, him will my father honour. John xii, 26.
How is this Commandment enforced?
1. God reminds us of his sovereignty-" I the Lord." The Lord is a great King above all gods. Ps. xcv, 2, 3.
2. He mentions his right over us-" Thy God."
He is our God; and we are the people of his pasture. Ps. xcv, 6, 7. Thy maker is thy husband. Isa. liv, 5.
3. He professes himself" a jealous God;" and as he will not give, neither will he suffer us to give, his praise to images.
The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exod. xxxiv, 14; Deut. iv, 24.
They provoked him to jealousy, and he abhorred them. Deut. xxxii, 16--19.
If we have stretched out our hands to a strange God, shall not God search this out? Ps. xliv, 20, 21.
Idolaters are called haters of God, in the same way that a wife would be supposed to hate her husband, when she preferred any worthless stranger to him. And God declares, that he so hates idolatry, that he not only visits this sin on those that commit it, but upon their children to the third and fourth generation, by sending them poverty, and sickness, and other afflictions. And this is perfectly consistent with his justice: for as children are partakers of the temporal blessings which God frequently bestows on parents for their obedience to his
commandments; it is but right that they should also be made to share in those temporal privations and afflictions which the disobedience of their parents has brought upon them. But God will by no means visit children with eternal punishment for any sins of their parents. Indeed such corrections may eventually be blessings, by reminding them continually of the sins of their forefathers, and leading them to forsake them.
This may also be considered as an appeal to the compassion of parents, in order to prevent them from committing sin, by reminding them of the consequences they may thereby justly expect to bring upon their offspring.
God declared to Abram, that in the fourth generation his seed should come to Canaan again; for the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. Gen. xv, 16.
I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt, (Exod. xvii, 8--16.) now, (viz. 450) years afterwards) Saul was ordered to go and smite Amalek. 1 Sam. xv, 2, 3.-See also Deut. xxv, 17-19.
God struck David's child with death for the father's sin. 2 Sam. xii, 14.
Vengeance on Abab's family, on account of their father's guilt, fore told by Elijah. 1 Kings xxi, 21, 22; 2 Kings ix, 7, 8. Accomplishment of the prophecy. 2 Kings x, 10, 11.
Hezekiah's sons were sent into captivity for their father's, sin. Isa, xxxix, 2,7.
The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked. Prov. iii, 33.
5. He declares he has abundant mercy in store for them that worship him in sincerity and truth; even mercy for thousands in them that love him and keep his commandments.
Because Phineas was zealous for my sake, he shall have, and his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. Numb, xxv, 11--13.
And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done, &c. thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 2 Kings x, 30.
The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that tear him, and his righteousness upon children's children. Ps. ciii, 17.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John xiv, 15.
Keep this commandment by worshipping God in the way he has appointed, both in public and in private, giving him hearty and unfeigned thanks for all his mercies to you, spiritual and temporal; and calling upon him continually and fervently for all things that are necessary both for your souls and bodies. Remember, also, to honour his holy word by listening attentively when it is read and explained at church, and by your teachers; and by searching the Scriptures, and by meditating on them daily in private. Remember, that mere formal devotion will avail you nothing with God, who is a Spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Give yourselves up to him, therefore, with sincerity of heart, serving him truly all the days of your life.
13th Sunday after Trinity-Grant that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises.
On the Commandments. No. 4.
What is the third Commandment?
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
What is meant by the name of God?
Not only any of the titles given to God in the Scriptures, but whatever describes his nature and perfections. That thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God. Deut. xxviii, 58.
Blessed be thy glorious name. Nehem. ix, 5.
Let them that love thy name be joyful in thee. Ps. v, 11.
They that know thy name will put their trust in thee. Ps. ix, 10.
Not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy name give glory. Ps. cxv, 1.