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throne, and lie down at the foot of faith, owning that reasori is but folly before the wisdom of God revealed in his word. Ochers idolize their own understandings, when inwardly they disapprove of God's providential dispensations, as if they could manage things more to advantage, if the reins of administration were in their hands.
Some make a god of their wills. · When a person follows the swing of his own corrupted and rebellious will, in oppofition to the commanding will of God in his word; what else is that but to exalt felf-will above the will of God? It is the will of God, that men should read and hear his word, attend his courts, wait upon his ordinances, sanctify his name, keep his fabbath, that they should forego such a lust, that they should pluck out a right-eye, and cut off a right-hand sin, in obedience to him who is the Lord our God. No, says the rebellious depraved will, “ I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. Who is the Almighty, that I should serve him ? and what profit should I have if I pray unto him? Let him depart; for I defire not the knowledge of his ways;" I know not the Lord, neither will I let my lusts go.
Will any man practically creat God after this manner, and yet pretend that he obeys this command, Thou malt have no other gods before me ? No, his own will is his god : and therefore he never yet closed by a true faith with this covenant-grant, I am the Lord thy God.
Some again make a god of their righteousness, putting it in the room of him who is “ JEHOVAH our righteousness ;" like the Jews, Rom. x. 3. who “ being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, would not submit themselves unto the righteousness of God.” This is the idol which of all others it is the hardest to pull out of the finner's embraces. And the reason is, because self-righteousness is a thing which seems to have the countenance of the law of God; and while a man has the law on his fide, he thinks himself in safety, and that he has the approbation of the Lawgiver : “ God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men,” said the self-righteous Pharisee. It is harder to convince this man of his dangerous state, than to convince an hundred profane wretches of their danger : hence Christ says to the self-righteous Pharisees, “ Publicans and harlots shall enter into the kingdom of God before you." I shall only say to you who are hugging this idol of your own law-righteousness in your bofoms, you shall as surely perish in your righteousness, as ever any of Adam's race perished in their fins. Why, because God has said, that "by the works of the law no fleth living thall be justified;"
and and, “ As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse.” You are pretending to keep the law, and seeking righteousness by the law; and yet are living in the neglect and contempt of the first and greatest command in the whole law, Thou salt have no other gods before me. You never yet discarded the idol of self, and therefore never learned that first lesson of religion, “ If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself,” &c.
2. Another grand idol, to which the greatest multitude do bow, is the world. Solomon tells us of some who have “ the world set in their heart.” Ever since the fall of Adam, the world, and vanities thereof, have usurped that room in the heart of man which is due unto God only; and nothing lefs than infinite power can unhinge the world from that seat which it has got in our hearts. Hence it is, that until a day of power come, we are ever making a god of one thing or another in this vi. fible perishing world.
Some make a god of their worldly riches and substance. This is done when the defire, delight, and esteem of the soul terminates more upon these than upon God who is the chief good. O “ who will thew us any good ?" is the cry of many. But few fay with David, “Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord,” &c. The covetous worldling fees more beauty in gathering dust, than he fees in him who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and is more concerned to get and keep the mammon of this world, than how to be interested in the un. searchable riches of Christ, or to lay up for himself treasures in heaven, which moth and rust do not corrupt. And will such : a man pretend, that he keeps the first commandment, or hath no other gods before the Lord ?
Some make a god of their worldly relations. The husband may idolise his wife, the wife her husband, parents their chil. dren, and children their parents, by giving more of their affection to them than unto God himself. Upon this account Chrift tells us, “ If we love father or mother, brother or sister, more than him, we are not worthy of him.” When we delight more in societies of our friends and relations, than in fellowship with God; or are more impatient of their atfence, than we are una der God's hidings and withdrawings from our souls; in that case we put them in God's room, and so break his command, Thou shalt have no other gods before me; and also fin againít the love and grace of his covenant, where he says, I am the Lord thy Goda Of this kind of idolatry they are guilty, who value themselves VOL. II.
more upon their relation to, or descent from, such and such families or ancestors, than upon their relation to God, or those who are dignified with his image, or are of his household and family by regeneration and adoption. · Some make a god of their wordly pleasures : 2 Tim. iii. 4. the apostle tells us of some who“ are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” The drunkard has more pleasure in his cups, the swearer in his oaths, the unclean person in his swinish lufts, the unjust person in his unlawful gains, than in God. Many will rather risk the difpleasure of God, and « rush upon the thick boffes of his buckler, than make a covenant with their eyes” or other senses, that they may not be porches for the fiery darts of Satan to enter in and inflame the fuel of inward luft and corruption. The apostle speaks of fome “ whose god is their belly," Phil. ii. 19.; they are more concerned what they shall eat and drink, or wherewith they Thall be clothed, than how they shall glorify God, or advance their own orothers spiritual and eternal well-being. They have more pleasure in an ordinary meal aniong friends, than in eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, among his friends and members at his table. And is this to have no other gods before JEHOVAH our God?
Some again make a god of their worldly credit and reputation: John v. 44. the Pharisees loved the praise of men, more than that honour which comes from God : and this was the reason of their rejecting Christ. Will not our spirits rise with resentment when our own character or reputation is attacked ; and yet bear it with patience when God is dishonoured, or his holy name profaned? which plain. ly says, that our own honour is dearer to us than the honour of God; which could never be, if we had no other god before him.
Some make a god of their worldly helps and confidence in the time of danger, and trust more to these for deliverance than unto himself: If. xxxi. 1. 6 Wo to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong : but they look not unto the holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord” There is a folemn curse pronounced against idolaters of this kind,“ Cursed be the man that trufteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Some again make a god of their very enemies, and are more afraid of him that can only kill the body, than they are of him who is able to cast both soul and body into hell. Some make a god of the devil, who is indeed called "the god of this world.” When any lust or idol is set up and served, cither with body or mind, the devil hima self in that case is worshipped and served, though not intentionally; hence Jeroboam's calves are called devils, although by these he only intended to worship the true God. The devil is then worshipped, when we are more afraid of him than we are to displease God by Gin; and when people run to wizards, or such as are supposed to be in compact with the devil, in order to ask advice, or to know future events, or to discover what is stolen or loft; this, I say, is devil-worthip, and was the imme. diate forerunner of Saul's ruin, when he went to the witch of Endor to seek counsel. It is joined with the abominable idolatry of Molech, Ley. xx. 6.
To conclude, how many are there that make gods of their yile lusts, and serve and obey there rather than God? Some ferve the luft of uncleanness, some that of intemperance, some the luft of revenge, others of covetoufness or ambition, or the like. O how innumerable are the lufts of the unmortified heart? yet, according to the number of thy luits, o finner, so are thy gods. “Know ye not (says the apostle), that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedi. ence unto righteousness ?” Rom. vi. 16.
Thus I have given you a short account of some other gods which people may have secretly lodged in their hearts, while they pretend to obey this command, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Take heed that the word of the Lord be not against you ; and that, while I have been minting to open this law or commandment of God in its spirituality, conscience be not saying, as Ahab to the prophet, “ Thou hast found me, O mine enemy." Has not this commandment, which is exu ceeding broad, discovered some other god in thy heart than hint who says here, I am the Lord thy God? If any one of these idols be reigning upon the throne of thy heart, thou never to this day obeyedst the first commandment of the law of God. From whence it is easy to infer, that thy obedience is yet to begin with respect to the whole law, and every other commandment of it; for if the first be not obeyed first, none of the rest can be obeyed; no, it is impossible; because, as I said already, the foundation of all obedience is laid in having no other god but him only, who promises in the preface to be the Lord our God. O Sirs, for the Lord's sake, look to it in time, that there be not a lie in your right hand, while you profess to close with this promise, I am the Lord thy God; for if you close with it aright by faith, you will juit do as required in this command, saying, I will have no other gods before God in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Thus, by obeying the firit com
mand, we receive Christ, and reft upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered, given, or promised in the gospel, or covenant of grace.
Use third of this doctrine may be by way of Confolation to be. lievers, whose fouls, in obedience to this commandment, have, upon the foundation of this covenant-grant, said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord; and who in the faith of this promise, I am the Lord thy God, have gone to a communion-table, and taken the bread and wine in that ordinance as the seal of this promise, and all the other promises that depend thereupon. That you may fee what strong consolation is here, I pray you consider, that this promise, I am the Lord thy God, it draws all the blessings of heaven and eternity with it. There is not one promise from the beginning of Genesis to the end of the Revelation, which thou mayit not confidently claim as thine own, if thou hast obeyed the command of God, in laying hold of God as thy God, thy only God, by virtue of this glorious grant of sovereign grace, I am the Lord thy God.
It is imposible that I can tell you the ten thousandth part of that grace and glory that lies in the womb of this promise, I am the Lord thy God; an infinite God, who is an infinite good, is in it: " Who can by searching find out God? who can find out the Almighty unto perfection ?” New scenes of his infinite glory will be opening to faints and angels through eternity in heaven. O then, how immense is the treasure that is here secured to thee, Oh believer, in these two or three words, I am the Lord thy God! Well mayst thou sing, “ The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places.” He that gave himself unto the death for thy redemption in the person of the Son, and gives himself as JEHOVAH, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by covenant gift and grant ; how will he not with this freely give thee all things? Canst thou doubt of his liberality as to other things, when he does not with-hold his infinitely glorious self ? Canst thou doubt of his fulfilling any other promise of the covenant, when thou hast set to the seal of faith to this, with application of it to thy soul, I am the Lord thy God.
I might here, for the believer's consolation, and the encouragement of his faith, shew how this covenant-promise draws all the rest of the promises in its train, they being inseparably connected therewiti. To instance only in a few, inftead of many. I am the Lord thy God : therefore “I will give thee an heart to know me." I am the Lord thy God : therefore “ I will sprinkle rhte with clean water, and thou shalt be clean ; from all thy filthiness, and from all thine idols will I cleanse thee.” I