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much greater hope of the salvation of those, who attend upon the means of grace, than there is of those who do not. This hope does not arise from any thing good in the doings of the unregenerate, but from the fact, that they are brought within the influence of means, and into a situation, in which God, commonly, if He ever does, grants His Spirit in renewing and sanctifying the soul. God does not generally extend His grace in the salvation of men, further than the use of the means, which He has appointed. The prospect, therefore, of the salvation of sinners in human view is limited to the use, they make of the means of grace. As means and ends are thus inseparably connected by God, in the economy of salvation, saints and sinners are bound to use the means in order to the obtaining of the ends. And none but the ignorant, enthusiastick, immoral, and wicked, will deny the duty.(C)
How should the means of grace be used? À. With sincerity, with a disposition to improve by them, with a deep sense, that the blessing of
(e) Acts 20. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them, which are sanctified. “John 17. 17. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. Acts 2. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, What shall we do? Acts 2. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptised; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds; casting. down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Prov. 8. 33–35. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. Prov. 15. 8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Heaven is necessary to give them a good effect, and with holy affections of soul.
Q. 9. When are the means of grace to be used? Ă. In this probationary state only, and the present is the best opportunity for using them. There are no means of grace in eternity, or the world of retribution.(a)
(f) Eccl. 9. 10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Q. 1. What is meant by Divine worship?
A. The paying unto God that homage or veneration, which is due to His perfect and adorable nature.(a)
Q. 2. Is worship a moral or positive duty, or both?
A. Worship, considered in itself, is a moral duty, and is, therefore, taught by the light of nature; but the manner and time of worshipping God are in some respects of a positive nature, and as such are taught by the Scriptures only.
Q. 3. What kinds of worship does God require of man?
A. Public, private or family, and secret worship. These kinds of worship are taught by the light of nature and the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and are congenial to the feelings of good people.()
(a) Rev. 4. 9-11. And when those beasts give glory and honour, and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
(b) Ps. 84. 4. Blessed are thev, that dwell in thy house; they will be still praising thee. Ps. 132. 7. We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his' footstool. Jer. 10.
Q. 4. When is public worship to be observed?
A. On the Sabbath, and at other times, as circumstances may require and dictate.()
Q. 5. What are the services of publick worship?
A. They are reading the Sacred Scriptures, preaching the Gospel, prayer, psalmody, the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper.* These services are always to be performed in a known language. The practice, therefore, of the Greek and Latin Churches, in this respect, is not to be justified, but condemned decidedly.(^)
Q. 6. Are all people bound to support publick worship?
A. They are by the most indispensable obligations. Their happiness and prosperity in time, and 25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name. Joshua 24. 15. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Matt. 6. 6. But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and wlien thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
(c) Lev. 19.30. Ye shall keep my sabbath, and reverence my sanctuary; I am the Lord. Joel 1. 14. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders, and all the inhabitants of the land, into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord. Ps. 100. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise, be thankful unto him and bless his name.
(d) Acts 15. 21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogue every sabbath day. Acts 18. 4. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 1 Tim. 2. 8. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. Col. 3. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching, and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Acts 2. 41, 42. Then they that gladly received his word were baptised; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer.
* Some of these services are not, strictly speaking, to be considereti as worship
their well being in eternity, require it. No people were ever virtuous, happy, and successful, who, for any length of time, did not maintain the worship of God. Besides, God has made it the duty of all men to support, by their contributions, the regular ministrations of the Gospel.(0)
Q. 7. Can persons needlessly absent themselves from the house of God, or publick religious services, without criminality?
A. Certainly not; and they do it at their peril.()
À. Morning and evening. This, reason and Revelation teach. In addition, it should be observed, that it is a duty to acknowledge God in a short prayer at the table, before and after refreshments.(6)
(e) 1 Cor. 9. 11, 14. If we have sown unto you spiritual things,is it a great thing if we shall reap of your carnal things? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Matt. 10.9, 10. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves, for the workman is worthy of his meat. 1 Tim. 5. 18. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the labourer is worthy of his reward. Gal. 6. 6. Let him, that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Rom. 15.27. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been macie partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 2 Cor. 8. 13, 14. For I mean not that other men be eased, and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their wants, that their abundance also may be a supply for your wants, that there may be equality.
(t) Heb. 10. 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.
(g) Ps. 92. 1, 2. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High; to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. 1 Tim. 4. 3-5. Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hatii created to be received with thanksgiving of them, which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.