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us from the temptations which we are longing for. (4.) When the heart wanders in prayer, going after other things when we are before the Lord.
4thly, Profane prayers to God for mischief to fall on ourlelves or others; which are all the prayers that fome use; and are more frequent with others than their folemn prayers.
2. Whereas internal praise and thankfulness is required here, there is forbidden,
ist, Unthankfulness, the crying fin of the genera tion, on which God has heaped so many mercies. Ah! how do we receive our mercies, as if they were debts! When we want, perhaps we will cry; but when we have got the mercy, we are like the nine lepers, who forgot to return to thank their healer. There is no grateful sense of the Lord's goodness on our spirits, and so there is none in our lives.
2dly, Afcribing any good we have or can do, to some other quarter than to God, the true fountain of all. (1.) To fortune and good luck. How often will men acknowledge their good luck, while they overlook a good God? (2.) To ourselves, Deut. vii. 17. How ready are we to ascribe our success to our own wit, pains, or industry, like those who facrificed to their own net, and burnt incense to their own drag? Hab. i. 16. (3.) Or to afcribe it to any other creature. The instruments of our success will be thanked, when God is overlooked.
Lastly, Whereas we are required to give to God the obedience of our whole souls, here is forbidden, 1. Şlighting and despising God and his commandments, making no account of them, and the obedience due to them, Deut. xxxii. 15. 2. Refisting and grieving his Spirit, ftifling its motions, and refusing to hear. ken to its suggestions, Eph. iv. 30.
THIRDLY, This command forbids idolatry, which is the giving that worship and glory to any other which is due to God alone. It is twofold, gross exterpal idolatry, and subtil heart-idolatry.
First, As to gross idolatry, this command con demns,
1. The Heathens, whose religion brought in a multiplicity of gods. For having lost the right knowledge of the true God, the notion of God was like a broken looking glass, where every part represents a small face, though when entire it represented one only: The worship of the fun feems to be among the most ancient kinds of idolatry, together with the moon and stars, Job xxxi. 26. 27. And great men deified after their death became objects of worship. Thus at length they came to have a multitude of gods and goddesses.
2. The Papists, whose religion is nothing but the great apoftafy from Christianity headed by Antichrist. They are guilty of gross idolatry.
ist, They worship the faints departed, especially the virgin Mary, in whose worship they are so profuse, that they may be called Marians rather than Chriftians. To the faints they pray, make vows, swear by them, consecrate altars and temples to them, and offer incense. All which are pieces of religious worship due to God alone. And they profess they place their hopes and confidence in them, Matth. iv. 10. contrary to God's express command, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
2dly, They worship angels, pray to them to bestow good things on them, and to protect them from evil; and especially the guardian angel which they allege is allotted to every one, exprels'y contrary to the authority of God, Rev. xxij. 8.
9. 3dly, They worship the bread in the facrament; for as soon as the priest has consecrated it, he fails down on his knees and worships it; then he lifts it up above his head, that the people may fee it; and then they worship it too.
4thly, They worship the cross, the tree itself on which they pretend Chrift died, and the image of it.
They bow their knees to it, and kiss it, pray to it, and consecrate temples and altars to it,
Lastly, They worship the reliques of saints, not only their bodies, but what belonged to them while they lived, their bones, blood, flesh, teeth, hair, cloaths, shoes, belts, &c. They place these things on the altar, carry them about in processions, give them to the people to touch or kiss, fall down and worsip before them. And all this while they keep up the scriptures which the apostles left, from the people. So that Popery is but Heathenism in a new dress
Secondly, As to subtil heart-idolatry, that is more extensive. Men commit this idolatry with the creatures, when their mind, will, and affections are set on the creature as much or more than on God. So covetousness is called idolatry. Now, we are guilty of this idolatry,
1. When we love any thing as much or more than God, Matth. x. 37. For that is our God that gets most of our hearts ; and that must needs be our idol that gets more of our love than God gets. Thus of: ten are we found idolizing ourselves, the world, our lawful comforts, and relations, () how disorderly does the pulse of our affections beat! How violent are they towards the creature, but how weak and languishing towards God! The fire of love to God is oft-times like a fire of straw, that makes a sudden blaze and then dies; when that of love to the creatures is like a fire of juniper that burns long, and is not foon quenched. This excessive love to the creatures appears, (1.) In the high efteem of them above God, and the communications of his grace, (2.) In the great eagerness that is ufed in the pursuit of them, more than in seeking of God and his favour, (3.) In the greater uneasiness in tle want of them, than in that of the confolations of God.
2. When men defire any thing as much or more than God, Psal. iv, 6. How extravagant are the desires of the heart! Many things are delired more than the one thing needful. Our desires after created things had need to have their wings clipped, while the wings of desire towards God are far from being grown. How readily would we be filled, if we knocked as eagerly at God's door as at that of the creatures ? Try then what it is that of all things thou delireft most, that is thy God.
3. When we delight and rejoice in any thing as much or more than God, Luke x. 20. For what is a man's choice, and most suitable to his heart, he will delight and rejoice most in it. O what idolatry will this discover! How often is it found, that men will delight and rejoice more in a good bargain than in the everlasting covenant; in husband, wife, and children, more than in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft! in a good farm or store-room, than in the field of the gospel; where the treasure is, there will the heart be also; in a good fuit of cloaths, more than in the righteousness of a Mediator!
4. When we sorrow more or as much for any thing, as the offending of God. That is a forrow of the world, 2 Cor. vii. 10. that discovers the idolizing of the creature. The offence of man is often more at heart than the offence of God; and people will be at more pains to gain reconciliation with them than with the Lord himself. A small cross or loss in the world will draw tears, when fin will not draw a figh from us; and ordinarily our afflictions lie more heavy on us than our fins,
5. When we have as much or more zeal for any thing than for God and his honour. Thus felf is idolized, men being far more sensibly touched by any thing that reflects on themselves than on God. How often do men unmoved behold God's name dishonoured, while, if ye but touch them in their reputation and honour, ye will find they are not drones in their own cause, though they are so in God's! So men idolize their own conceits, being as the Pharisers much more zealous for their own traditions than
God's commandments, for their own opinions than moral duties.
6. When we fear any person or thing more than God, Prov. xxix. 25. The greateft fear being due to God, if we fear any person or thing more than him, we idolize it. Thus men make a god of man, yea and of the devil. And the fear of the wrath of man will have far more influence than of the wrath of God. This in a time of persecution is a special fnare.
7. When we have more or as much hope in any thing as in God, Yet alas ! how often will the
pro. mises of men revive us, when all the promises of God cannot do it!
8. Lastly, When we have more or as much confidence and trust in any thing as in God, Jer. xvii. 5. Thus power, wealth, and strength, gifts and abilities are idolized, and whatever men truit more to than to God.
If it be asked, Whether it confifts with the state of grace to have our love and affection more on any creature than on God? Anf. 1. We must distinguish betwixt the inward disposition of the soul, the habit of love and defire, dr, and the acts thereof. The habit of love, defire, &c. towards God in a godly soul is always more firmly rooted in his heart, than the habit of love to any creature, Eph. iii. 18. But yet the acts of love and desire towards the creature may be more strong under temptation ; but that is their fin.
2. The strength of our affections is to be distinguished from the commotion of them, which fometimes may be greater and more sensible in the af. fection that is lefser. For as the greatest joy is not always expressed in laughter, so the greatest affection has not always the greatest sensible ftirring with it. But if people be folidly minded, and willing to forsake all for Clirist, and to displease any rather than him, thos they be more sensibly moved in tlieir affection to earthly things, their affections are not therefore more on them than hin,