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not content with plain duty appointed of God, make the con. ceptions of their own hearts sins and duties, which God never made so, and impose them on others as terms of Christian communion, which superstition can never be sanctified by their fathering it wrongously on the scripture, Prov. xxx. 6.

2. Religiously abstaining from any thing which God does not require us so to abstain from. Men will have their ordinances as God has his; and O how hard is it to keep men from religious inventions of their own! Col. ii. 20, 21. This is sinful in itself, religiously binding up ourselves where God has left us free, as if that could be acceptable service to God, which, like Jeroboam's feast-day, 1 Kings xii. ult. is devised of our own heart. But much more is it so when it justles out plain commanded duty, Matth. xv. 5,6. Such is the withdrawing from the public ordinances dispensed by Christ's sent servants lawfully called, and not mixed with men's inventions. . 3. All unwarrantable observations and expectations of ef. fects from causes which have no such virtue from God, either by the nature he has given them, or by any special appointment of his. Of this sort of superstitions ignorant people are full, being the yet unpurged dregs of Popery and Paganism. Such as,

1st, Looking on such or such accidents as lucky or un. lucky, whereby they are filled with fear or hope, as if these things were a part of their bible; as if a hare or a cat cross their way, the salt fall on the table, if they sneeze in the morning when they go out, or stumble in the threshold, the ear tingle, &c.

2dly Looking on certain days as lucky or unlucky to begin or do a work upon; because there are such days of the weak, or of the year, that are called dismal days, or that they are such and such holidays, as some will not yoke their plough on Yule-day, Deut. xviii. 10.

3dly, Carrying useless things about them for safety from devils, witches, temptations, or dangers; as Papists use to carry the reliques of some saints about their necks. This is not to be expected from the carrying the Bible about with us; for it is only the using it by faith and prayer that avails;

and as little can any such safety be warrantably expected { from any kind of wood, &c. and many such like things.

4. All laying an unwarranted weight on circumstances of worship that is appointed of God. And so men keeping by the worship which God has appointed, may be guilty of superstition. As,

ist, When they lay weight upon the place where it is performed, as if it were more holy and acceptable to God, and beneficial to men, in one place than another; whereas all. difference of places is taken away under the gospel. That is superstition to think praying and preaching more holy and profitable in a kirk than a barn, &c, or on a hill-side thạn: in the church.

2dly, When men lay an unwarranted weight on their bodily posture in worship, carrying these things farther than God requires in his word. Much is made of these external gestures, especially where there is least religion, as in the churches of England and Rome, where these gestures are so appointed and multiplied, that it makes God's worship look very unlike that gravity required of Christians in the wor• ship of God. So men may be guilty, as thinking prayer with their knees on the ground more acceptable than on a cushion, their knees bare than covered, &c,

Sdly, Tying the worship of God to certain accidents, as to pray when one sneezeth, and say, God bless. This is ori. ginally a heathenish custom. Sneezing was so much observa ed among them, that it came at length to be accounted a god; and it was their usual prayer, when one sneezed, God save.

4thly, Laying weight upon instruments, administrators of ordinances, as if they were of more efficacy being administered by one than another having the same divine mission, and administering them according to the same institution of Christ.

5thly, Laying an unwarrantable weight on such a number of prayers, and reading such a number of chapters, and hearing such a number of sermons. And, in a word, laying weight on any thing about God's worship where God has laid none.

Lastly, All additions and inventions of men in God's worship, and ordinances, Deut. xii, ult. With these the worship and ordinances of God are mighțily corrupted in some churches. All these are here forbidden; As,

ist, The five sacraments the Papists have added to the two appointed by Christ, as orders, penance, marriage, confirmation, and extreme unction.

2dly, The Apocryphal books they have added to the scriptures of the Old Testament."

3dly, The officers in the church that the Papists have added to those appointed by Christ, Popes, Cardinals, Patriarchs, &c. and which with them Prelatists have added, Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, &c.

4thly, The holidays they have added to the Lord's day.

Lastly, The heap of insignificant ceremonies wherewith the worship of God is burdened in Popery, and in the church of England. These are inventions of men, most of which the English service-book has borrowed from Papists who had many of them from the Pagans.

The patrons of false worship, whether idolatrous or superstitious, have a special respect to their own inventions, because they are their own, Psal. cvi. 39; and go about to impose them on others, under the pretence of their being delivered to them from great and good men, Matth. xv. 2, 9; their antiquity, 1. Pet. i. 18; custom, Jer. xliv. 17; devotion, Isa. Ixv. 5; good intent, 1 Sam. xv. 21. But what we call for is divine warrant, Who hath required these things at your hands? There are several ways how people may be guilty of the breach of this command with respect to a false religion and worship.

1. The tolerating of it by those who have power to sup: press it, Rev. ii. 14.

2. By devising it, Numb. xv. 39
· 3. By counselling to follow it, Deut. xiii. 6, 7, 8.

4. By commanding it, Hos. v. 11.
5. By using it, 1 Kings xi. 33.
6. Lastly, By any wise approving of it.

Let us abhor the idolatry of Popery, and the superstitions of the church of England, which they had from the Papists, and would fain impose on us, remembering that God's command discharges all inventions of men in his worship; and our covenants, particularly the national covenant, whereby we are most expressly bound against them*.

* In the author's manuscript the following paragraph is immediately subjoined, viz.

• Having spoke of the irreligion and false worship, idolatry, and super. ftition, forbidden in this command, the snares and dangers of our day oblige me to be a little more particular, (for the glory of God, the intereft of your souls, and the exoneration of my own conscience, whatever

I shall shut up all with laying before you, in a few words, the reasons annexed to this command.

1. God's sovereignty over us, I the Lord. So he has the sole power and authority to appoint the laws and ordinances by which we must be governed in his worship and service;

these present confufions may end in), in making the native application of my text against the church of Rome, and the church of England, who have both of them, the one as the master, and the other as the scholar, fignalized themselves in the art of making to themselves in the worship of God: A linful art forbidden by this command. The inventions of both are already set up in our land, and many have gone a-whoring after them, and the purity of ordinances in this church is in hazard of being swallowed up by the one or the other at this day. And indeed the English service is so far Roman, that if our enemies find us not disposed to take on the blackness of Popery at first dath, it may serve to prepare us for it, as a dip in the blue vat prepares cloth to take on jet black. Therefore I shali, (1.) Consider the English liturgy. (2.) Popery, as it is particularly ab: jured in our national covenant ; under which particulars of Popery we will find Prelacy and ceremonies also rejected and abjured.”

The preparer of this work for the Press would have willingly inserted what the author said on both these subjects ; but the manuscript, on examination, was found imperfect, especially in the article relating to the Eng. lish liturgy; and quite illegible in several places relating to the other head. So that he has been obliged, though reluctantly, to drop both. He shall only subjoin what the author advanced after his explication of the national covenant, as follows. : « Now, upon the whole, I shall put you in miod of two things clearly following from what is said.

“1. That church in Scotland which owns and maiatains the doctrine contained in the large confeflion of faith of the church of Scotland, de. tests and abhors the errors and corruptions abjured in the short confeflion, or national covenant, both with respect to doctrine and discipline, is the same government or discipline, to wit, Presbyterial government, which is sworn to therein, we ought by the covenant to join ourselves unto, and keep communion with, not only in hearing the word preached, but in the use of the holy sacraments, Bui such is the present established church of Scotland. And our separatists * cannot, nor can the world shew, that our doctrine and discipline is any other. But they would impose upon us other terms of communion than what are contained in this our national co. venant, which is the bond to koit together the members of the church of Scotland. And so withdrawing from the communion of this church is a palpable breach of this covenant. And if men will pretend that they are bound up from the duty of this covenant by any subsequent oaths, acts, or engagements whatsoever, that is the lin of covenant-breaking with a witness, taking one engagement to elude another prior solemn engage. ment, which cannot be loosed. * “ 2. Popery, Prelacy, ceremonies, and profaneness, as they are forbidden

* The author means the Old Dissenters, the followers of Mr Macmillian.

and for others to take it upon them, is an invading of his sovereignty, which we must by no means own, Jer. vii. 31.

2. His propriety in us, Thy God. Therefore we must not go a-whoring after our own or others inventions, which alienate the heart from God, but must keep ourselves un. defiled with these things; as a chaste wife holding by her husband, who will neither be a whore nor behave like one, Hos. ix. 1. Because he is our God (I mean), we must neither be idolaters nor superstitious, symbolizing with idolaters.

3. The zeal he hath to his own worship, Ia jealous God, visiting the iniquily of the fathers upon the children, &c. Zeal or jealousy is an affection of a husband, whereby he can endure no partner in his wife's love, but is highly incensed against it, if any such thing there be. So the Lord is specially displeased with all false worship, as spiritual whoredom, and has such a peculiar regard to the matter of his wor, ship, that is a most dangerous thing to make a wrong step in it, Lev. X. 1, 2. This zeal appears, (1.) In his accounting the breakers of this command haters of him, though idola, ters and superstitious persons pretend highly to loye and honour him, and threatening to punish them to the third and fourth generation, because so long men may live, and see themselves punished in their children. Not that God pro, perly punishes one for another's sin ; but that from the parents sin he often takes occasion to punish children for their own sins, and such their parents sins oft-times are by imitation, or some way approving of them. (2.) In his accounting the observers of this command such as love him, and promising mercy unto them to many genera, tions, even thousands of theirs after them,

in the word of God, so they are by this covenant accursed things jo this church, to be rejected and detefted, as we would not bring the curse of ibe covenant upon uş. The Lord has wonderfully owned this covenanted work of reformation, and it has been a burdepsome ftone, that has cruled many, who have set themselves to roll it out of the way, The building op of those things çast down by it, bas been to some as the rebuilding of Jericho to bim that undertook that work, on whom a curse was entailed. It has been witnefited unto by the wrestļings of many, and refifting even unto blood by the Lord's witnesses jo Scotland, who chofe rather to lose their lives than to quit it. Now, the danger of a root-ftroke is great. Ye see what is your duty, whatever the danger may be. Let us labour for grace 10 bę faithful unlo death, that we may receive the crown of life."

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