« ElőzőTovább »
because all his neighbours tell him fo; and if the holy scriptures tells me that there are three persons in the unity of the divine nature, and that the divine. and human nature are joined together in the single person of Christ, why ought I not to give my affent to these things, although I do not understand the manner of them?
And thus have I given some account of the first thing which God requires from us; namely, to believe what he has made known, which is called faith. I proceed therefore to the second thing which he requires from us: which is, to live according to those rules or laws which he has given us, which is called obedience.
The way whereby we come to Senow what the laws of God are, is partly by our own reason, and more fully by the holy scriptures: most of the things which God commands, are in themselves so very reasonable and plain, that they who have not the light of his word, may yet very easily know them, even by the guidance of their own understanding, as will prefently appear, when we come to take a view of the particulars : and for the further directing and affisting our reafon, as also for the teaching us fome part of his will, which otherwise of ourselves we could never come to know ; he has giverr us a full account of his laws in his revealed word: and this
is sufficient reason to oblige us to keep them, bet cause he who is our creator, and redeemer, ou, fupreme Lord, our master and our judge, requires it from us. 341/s,,.. .
The chief and most fundamental of the laws of God (and under which all the rest may be compree hended) are those which are commonly known by the name of the. Ten Commandments : but for the more easy taking a full view both of these and alk the rest of God's laws together, they are generally divided into three forts; the first whereof contains all those laws which teach us our duty to God: the second contains those laws which teach every man his duty towards himself; and the third contains those laws which teach us our duty towards other men: under which division I shall endeavour to give as fort, yet plain and comprehensive an account as I çan of them. ' . . :
First, then, as for the duty which we owe unta God; the chief parts or branches of it are these, namely, to acknowledge and believe all those things which he has made known (of which I have already spoken :)
To own that whatever he commands or threatens is very just and fit.
To hope for, and expect the performance of all his promises to us upon those very terms and condi
tions that he has set down ; neither presuming upon God's mercy, as if he would bless us, although we continue in our fins ; nor despairing of his goodness and favour towards us,, if we repent of them and serve himr faithfully.
To love God above all things, because he is for excellent and perfect in himself, and so good and gracious to us; and to manifest this our love to: wards him, by our earneft endeavours to do all things which may please him, and by striving to enjoy and be with him, as much as we can, here in this life by prayer and meditation, and also in the life to come by preparing ourselves to be for ever happy with him in beaven.
To fear God above aụ things, because he is most just and powerful, and will certainly punish us for our fins, if we do not repent of them ; for which reason, we should be more afraid to offend him, than to disoblige all the men in the world.
To put our trust in God, in all manner of danger or distress, affuring ourselves, that if we continue to serve him faithfully, he will give us grace and spiritual Prength, whereby we shall be enabled to relift temptations, and to perform our duty; and also that he will either deliver us from the troubles and afflictions of this world, if he sees it beft for us, or else will give us strength and patience to bear them, and
arake them serviceable, in the end, to our xternal happiness.
To humble ourselves before God, in a due confideration of his greatness and goodness, and our own weakness and unworthiness ; fubmitting ourselves to his holy will and pleasare; in all things chearfully obeying whatever he commands, and not only patiently, but thankfully bearing whatever he, in the course of his providence, shall think fit to lay upon us ; and the more we are afflicted, endeavouring the more to be fruitful, and abound in all the works of virtue and piety.
To honour God inwardly by acknowledging his infinite greatness and goodness, and to express that honour towards him, in our outward actions : coming to the place of his worship with seriousness, and behaving ourselves there with gravity and decency; paying a due respect to his ministers for the fake of their function, being ready to contribute what in us lies, to the advancement of his glory ; employing his own day in works of exercises of piety and charity; reading, or hearing, or meditating upan his holy word, and endeavouring to get the best instructions we can of it; giving due attendance upon, and obedience unto, those ordinances which he has appointed, such as preaching, catechising, baptism, and the holy communion ; often calling to mind the
vow which we enter into at our baptism, whereby we are admitted into the visible society and fellow ship of Christ's church : . ..
To prepare ourselves constantly and diligently by prayer, meditation, self-examination, and repentance, that we may be fit to come and eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, which Christ has appointed as a remembrance of his death and sufferings for us; and also as the means whereby we partake of and communicate in the merits of his pasion; for which reason it is called the holy communion. .
Never mentioning God's holy name but with serious. ness and reverence ; abstaining from all vain, profane, and falfe swearing, cursing, and blafpheming; always making a conscience of performing faithfully whatever we have bound ourselves to by an oath, and never making a jest or a by-word of any thing that relates to God, or wherein religion is concerned :.
And last of all, to worship God both publickly and privately; that is to say, to praise him for his goodness and excellency; to give thanks unto him for his blesings both spiritual and temporal, which we have received from him; to pray to himn for all things necessary, both for our souls and for our bodies; to confess our sins unto him, and to beg the pardon of. them from him; offering up all these our devotions in the name and through the mediation of