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f. 6. Paul refers the temple of God twice to
$. 7. Of the cross of these worldly worshippers. §. 8. Flesh and blood make their cross, therefore cannot be crucified by it. $. 9. They are yokes without restraint. §. 10 of the gaudiness of their cross, and their respect to it. $. 11. A recluse life no true gospėl abnegation. §. 12. Comparison between Christ's self-denial, and theirs : his leads to purity in the world, theirs to voluntary imprisonment, that they might not be tempted of the world. The mischief which that example followed would do to the world. It destroys useful Society, honest labour. A lazy life the usual refuge of idleness, poverty, and guilty age. f. 13. Of Christ's Cross in this case. The impossibility that such an external application can remove an internal cause. $. 14. An exhortation to the men of
this belief, not to deceive themselves. §. I. I AM now come to unlawful felf, which, more or less, 'is the immediate concernment of much the greater part of mankind. This unlawful self is two-fold. First, that which relates to religious worship: secondly, that which concerns moral and civil conversation in the world. And they are both of infinite consequence to be considered by us. In which I shall be as brief as I may, with ease to my conscience, and no injury to the matter.
$. II. That unlawful self in religion, that ought to be mortified by the cross of Christ, is man's invention and performance of worship to God, as divine, which is not so, either in its institution or performance. In this great error, those people have the van, of all that attribute to themselves the name of Christians, that are most exterior, pompous, and superstitious in their worship: for they do not only miss exceedingly, by a spiritual unpreparedness, in the way of their performing worlhip to God Almighty, who is an Eternal Spirit ; but the worship itself is composed of what is utterly in. consistent with the very form and practice of Christ's doctrine, and the apostolical example. For whereas that was plain and spiritual, this is gaudy and worldly : Christ's most inward and mental, their's most outward and corporeal : that suited to the nature of God, who is a fpirit, this accommodated to the most carnal part. So that instead of excluding flesh and blood, behold a worship calculated to gratify them : as if the business were not to present God with a worship to please him, but to make one to please themselves. A worship dressed with such stately buildings, and imagery, rich furnitures and garments, rare voices and music, costly lamps, wax candles, and perfumes ; and all acted with that most pleafing variety to the external senses, that art can invent, or cost procure; as if the world were to turn Jew or Egyptian again; or that God was an old man indeed, and Christ a little boy, to be treated with a kind of religious mask: for so they picture him in their temples, and too many in their minds. And the truth is, such a worship may very well suit such an idea
of God: for when men can think him such an one as themselves, it is not to be wondered if they address him, and entertain him in a way that would be most pleasing from others to themselves. S. III.
But what said the Almighty to such a sensual people of old, much upon the like occafion? Thou thoughtest I was such an one as thyself, but I will reprove thee, and set thy fins in order before thee. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. But to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I fhew the salvation of God. This is the worship acceptable to him, To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. For he that searches the heart, and tries the reins of man, and sets his fins in order before him, who is the God of the spirits of all flesh," looks not to the external fabric, but internal frame of the foul, and inclination of the heart. Nor is it to be soberly thought, that he, who is clothed with divine honour and majesty; who covers himself with light, as with a garment; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain ; who layeth the beams of his chambers in the deep; who maketh the clouds his chariots, and walks upon the wings of the wind; who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a faming fire ; who laid the foundation of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever; can be adequately worshipped by those human inventions, the refuge of an apostate people from the pris
Mic. vi. &.
* Psalm l. 21, 22, 23.
mitive power of religion, and spirituality of Christian worship.
f. IV. Christ drew off his disciples from the glory and worship of the outward temple, and instituted a more inward and spiritual worship, in which he instructed his followers, Ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, fays Christ to the Samaritan woman, worship the Father; God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. As if he had said, For the lake of the weakness of the people, God condefcended in old time to limit himself to an out. ward time, place, temple, and service, in and by which he would be worshipped; but this was during men's ignorance of his omnipresence, and that they considered not what God is, nor where he is; but I am come to reveal him to as many as receive me ; and I tell you that God is a spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit and in truth. People must be acquainted with him as a spirit, consider him and worship him as such. It is not that bodily worship, nor these ceremonious fervices, in use among you now, that will serve, or give acceptance with this God that is a fpirit : no, you must obey his fpirit that strives with you, to gather you out of the evil of the world, that by bowing to the instructions and commands of his fpirit in your own fouls, you may know what it is to worship him as a spirit; then you will understand, that it is not going to this mountain, nor Jerusalem, but to do the will of God,
Johæ iv. 21. 24.
to keep his commandments, and commune with thine own heart, and sin not; take up thy crofs, meditate in his holy law, and follow the example of him whom the Father hath sent.
$. V. Wherefore Stephen, that bold and constant martyr of Jesus, thus told the Jews, when a prisoner at the bar for disputing about the end of their beloved temple, and its services, but falsely accused of blasphemy; Solomon, said Stephen, built God an house ; howbeit, God dwelleth not in temples made of hands; as faith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool, what house will ye build me, faith the Lord ? Or what is the place of my rest ? Hath not my hand made all these things ?" Behold a total overthrow to all worldly temples, and their ceremonious appendencies. The martyr follows his blow upon those apostate Jews, who were of those times, the pompous, ceremonious, worldly worshippers: Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as did your fathers, so do ye. As if he had told them: No matter for your outward temples, rites, and shadowy services, your pretensions to succession in nature from Abraham; and by religion from Moses; you are resisters of the spirit, gainsayers of its instructions: you will not bow to his counsel, nor are your hearts right towards God: you are the fucceffors of your fathers' iniquity; and though verbal admirers, yet none of the successors of the prophets in faith and life. d Ads vü. 47, 48, 49, 50.
c Acts vii. 5