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stitions ignorant people are full, being the yet unpurged dregs of Popery and Paganism. Such as,
ist, Looking on such and such accidents as lucky or unlucky, 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 ftumble in the threshold, the ear tingle, &c.
2dly, Looking on certain days as lucky or unlucky to begin or do a work upon; because they are fuch days of the week or of the year that are cailed dismal days, or that they are such and such holydays, 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 Pa pifts use to carry the relics of some faints about their necks. This is noč 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 fo 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 pray: ing and preaching more holy and profitable in a kirk than a barn, doc. or on a hill-fide than in the church.
2dly, When men lay an unwarranted weight on their bodly posture in worship, carrying these things further 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 mul.
tiplied, that it makes God's worship look very unlike that gravity required of Christians in the worship 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.
3dly, Tying the worship of God to certain accidents, as to pray when one sneezeth, and say, God bless. This is originally a Heathenish custom. Sneezing was so much observed among them, that it came at length to be accounted a god; and it was their usual prayer, when one sneezed, God safe.
4thly, Laying weight upon inftruments 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 inftitution 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 worhip and ordinances of God are mightily corrupt ed in some churches. All these are here forbidden: As,
1/1, The five facraments the Papists have added unto the two appointed by Chrift; 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 Papifts have added to those appointed by Christ, popes, cardinals, patriarchs, &c. and which with them Prelacists have added, archbishops, bihops, 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 burthened 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, Il. lxv. 5. good intent, i Sam. xv. 2 1. 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 suppress 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, Hof. 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 su. perftitions of the church of England, which they had from the Papists, and would fain impose on us, reinembering that God's command discharges all inventions of men in his worship, and our covenants, par. ticularly 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 fuperftition forbidden in this command, the snares and danger of oor day oblige me to be a little more particular, (for the glory of God, the interest of your souls, and the exoneration of my own conscience, whatever these present confusions 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 cbe master, and the other as the scholar, signalized themselves in the art
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; and for others to take it upon them, is an invading of his sovereignty, which we.
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 undefiled with these things, as a of making to themselves in the worship of God : sinful art for bidden by this command. The inventions of both are already set up in our land, and many have gone a-whoring after them, and the pua rity 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 dalh, it may ferve to prepare us for it, as a dip in the blue vat prepares cloth to take on jet black, Therefore I shall, (..) Consider the English liturgy. (2.) Popery, as it is particularly abjured 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 in. serted what the author faid on both these subjects; but the manufcript, on examination, was found imperfect, especially in the article relating to the English liturgy; and quite illegible in several places relating to the other head. So that he has been obliged, though reluctaotly, to drop both. He shall only subjoin what the author ad. vanced after his explication of the nalional covenant, as follows.
“ Now, upon the whole, I Mall put you in mind of two things clearly following from what is said.
1. That church in Scotland which owns and maintains the doctrine contained in the large confession of faith of the church of Scotland, detests and abhors the errors and corruptions ab jured in the short confession or national covenant, boch with tea fpect to doctrine and discipline, is the same government or discia plive, 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 facraments. But such is the present established church of Scotland. And our separatists * cannot, nor can the world
* The author means the Old Diflenters, the followers of Mr Macmillan.
chaste wife holding by her husband, who will neither be a whore nor behave like one, Hof. ix. 1. Because he is our God (I mean), we must neither be idolaters nor fuperftitious, symbolising with idolaters.
3. The zeal he hath to his own worship: Ijealous God, visiting the iniquity 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 worship, that it 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 idolaters and superftitious perfons pretend highly to love and honour him, and threatening to punish them to the third and fourth generation, because so long men may may live and see them.
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 naticnal covenant, which is the bond to knit together the members of the church of Scotland. And io 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 caths, acts, or engagements what. foever, that is the fin of covenant-breaking with a witness, taking ore engagement to elude a prior folemn engagement, which cannor be looled.
“ 2. P pery, Prelacy, ceremonies, and profaneness, as they are forbidden in the word of God, so they are by this covenant accursed things in this church, to be rejected and detested, as we would not bring the curse of the covenant upon us. The Lord has wonderfully owned this covenanted work of reformacion, and it has been a burdenfome stone that has crullied many, who have set themselves to roll it
way. The building up of those things cast down by it, has been to some as the rebuilding of Jericho to him that undertook that work, on whom a curse was entailed. It has been witnessed unto by the wretilings of many, and resisting even unto blood, by the Lord's wiinefies in Scotland, who chole rather to lose their lives than to quit it. Now, the danger of a root-Itroke is great. Ye see what is your duty, whatever the danger may be. Let us labour for to be faithful unto the death, trut we may receive the crowa of lite."
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