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the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:w besides religious oaths and vows,y solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.b
VI. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious
v Col. iii. 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. Eph. v. 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord. James v. 13. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
w Mat. xxviii. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor. xi. 23 to verse 29.) Acts ii. 42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
x Deut. vi. 13. Thou shalt fear the Lord, thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. With Neh. x. 29. They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord, our God, and his judgments and his statutes.
y Isa. xix. 21. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. With. Eccl. v. 4, 5. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it, for he hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst vow and not pay.
z Joel ii. 12. Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Esth. iv. 16. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I also and my maidens will fast likewise, and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish. Mat. ix. 15. And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. 1 Cor. vii. 5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
a (Psal. cvii. throughout.) Esther ix. 22. As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day : that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
b Heb. xii. 28. Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom, which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.
worship, is now, under the gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed : but God is to be worshipped every where,d in spirit and truth ;e as in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself, so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God, by his word or providence, calleth thereunto.i
VI. c John iv. 21. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
d Mal. i. 11. For, from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and In every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. 1 Tim. ii. 8. I will, therefore, that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.
e John iv. 23, 24. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.
f Jer. x. 25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate. Deut. vi. 6,7. And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Job i. 5. And it was 80, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burntofferings, according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 2 Sam. vi. 18, 20. And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt-offerings, and peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. Then David returned to bless his household. 1 Peter iii. 7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Acts x. 2. A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
g Mat. vi. 11. Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat. vi. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret, sball reward thee openly. Eph. vi. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints.
i Isa. Ivi. 6, 7. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, g*
VII. As it is of the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so in his word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him ;k which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week, and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in scripture, is called the Lord's
and taketh hold of my covenant: even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. Heb. x. 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Prov. i. 20, 21, 24. Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets: she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. Pro. viii. 34. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Acts xiii. 42. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Luke iv. 16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and stood up for to read. Acts ii. 42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
VII. Exod. xx. 8, 10, 11. Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it. Isa. Ivi. 2, 4, 6, 7. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it: that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and chuse the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant. (See in letter i.)
7 Gen. ii. 2, 3. And on the seventh day God ended his work, which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made. 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. Acts xx. 7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.
day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath."
VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs before hand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employments and recreations,o , but also are taken up the whole time in the public
m Rev. i. 10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
n Exod. xx. 8, 10. (See letter k.) With Mat. v. 17, 18. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall, in no wise, pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
VIII. o Exod. xx. 8. (See letter k.) Exod. xvi. 23, 25, 26, 29, 30. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto the Lord bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seeth that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning. And Moses said, Eat that to-day; for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord: to-day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days: abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh-day. So the people rested on the seventh day. Exod. xxxi. 15, 16, 17. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doth any work in the Sabbath-day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. Isa. lviii. 13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Neh. xiii. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22. In those days saw I in Judah, some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath, unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel, by profaning the Sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that
and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.p
OF LAWFUL OATHS AND VOWS.
A LAWFUL oath is a part of religious worship, wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing, solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.b
II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence: therefore, to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.d Yet, as, in matters of
there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath-day. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I commanded the Levites, that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath-day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
p Isa. lviii. 13. (See in lettee o.) Mat. xii. 1, to the 13th verse. 1. a Deut. x. 20. Thou shalt fear the Lord, thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name."
b Exod. xx. 7. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Lev. xix. 12. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord. 2 Cor. i. 23. Moreover, I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 2 Chron. vi. 22, 23. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house: then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteous
II. c Deut. vi. 13. Thou shalt fear the Lord, thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
d Exod. xx. 7. (See letter b.) Jer. v. 7. How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me and sworn by them that are no gods: when I fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. Mat. v. 34, 37. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay,