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es, and wants; and be solicitous for nothing so much as to please Him, to conform ourselves to Him, to grow more and more like Him in this life, that we may be fitted for the everlasting enjoyment of Him in His kingdom of glory. This is to acknowledge the Lord to be God; and to have no other God besides the Lord. Atheists and infidels, whether speculative or practical; (i. e. whether men do really believe that there is no God; or live so às if they did, without either any due worship of Him, or regard to Him:) idolaters and apostates, (i. e. those who believe in, account of, or worship any other as God, besides the Lord; either by forsaking Him, and falling off wholly to idolatry; or by giving the honour of God to any other being, together with Him :) those who take no care to improve the means they enjoy of increasing in the knowledge of God, and divine things: those who ascribe any of the gifts · of God's bounty or grace, to fortune, or to themselves, or to any other creature: in a word, all who fear, love, desire, trust, rejoice in, any thing more than God, are transgressors of this commandment.
Lord, I confess myself guilty of innumerable transgressions of this commandment. Pardon me, I beseech Thee, for Jesus Christ's sake: and let Thy
EXPOSITION OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
EXPOSITION OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. 363 grace so prevent and follow me for the future, that I may never be guilty of the like offences again ; but may make it my sincere and constant endeavour to forsake and avoid every sin forbidden, and to observe and practise every duty enjoined by this Thy most righteous law.
The second Commandment, [Thou shalt not make
to thyself any graven image &c.] enjoins and regulates the external part of divine worship, as the first does the internal. We may worship even the true God in an idolatrous manner. The Israelites did so, when they set up the golden calves for a visible representation of Jehovah. God is a Spirit, and whoso will worship Him aright, must do it in spirit and in truth. He is infinite, invisible, and incomprehensible; and therefore to worship Him under any corporeal similitude, whether expressed by the image of any creature in Heaven, or earth, or only conceived in the mind, cannot but be highly derogatory from the transcendent excellency of His nature and attributes. He is likewise jealous of His honour, and therefore pronounces all idolatrous worshippers, haters of God; and declares that He will punish them to the third and fourth generation. The sum of all is; it is not enough to be right in the object of our worship, unless we are careful also
to perform it in a manner suitable to the Divine nature, and agreeable to the revelations God has been pleased to make of His will, and with becoming apprehensions of His infinitely glorious excellencies and perfections. The making of any image of God at all, be our design what it will in making it ; and the making that of any other being, with an intention to pay divine worship to it; the entertaining any gross conceptions of God in our minds; careless and irreverent behaviour in our devotions; the neglect of bodily worship; and the placing religion in mere outward observances, are all sins against this commandment.
Lord, I confess myself guilty &c. The third Commandment, [Thou shalt not take
the Name of the Lord thy God in vain &c.] consults the farther preservation of the honour of the divine Majesty; requiring us to have in the greatest reverence and veneration the most holy and glorious Name of God; i. e. His titles, attributes, and ordinances; His word, and whatever else He is pleased to make Himself known by; His house, His ministers, and every thing that relates to Him or His service: to employ our tongues to His praise and glory; and to use our utmost endeavours upon all occasions to keep up the - reputation of religion,
and the respect which is due to holy things, for the sake of God, and because they have a relation to Him. We may be accounted to take God's Name in vain, when we make mention of God, or of anything which belongs to Him rashly and irreverently, in a way that is not suitable to His divine honour and Majesty, nor to that deference we ought to pay to His sovereign power and authority over us. And this may be done chiefly on these three occasions, viz. in swearing, vowing, praying. We take God's Name in vain, by using it in swearing, when we swear falsely; whether it be by a positive asserting of what is untrue, or by tricking and equivocating in what is in some respect true, though not in that in which we would be understood to swear; when we swear needlessly, where either the matter is not of moment enough to justify the solemnity of an oath, or might be sufficiently determined without one; of which kind are all those voluntary oaths, which are so frequently used by profane persons in their common discourse; when we swear rashly, but especially in matters of promise, in which we are the most exposed to the danger of perjury; when we swear irreverently, taking an oath carelessly and lightly, and without due regard to the honour of God's Name ourselves, or when we administer it so to others. God's Name may be taken in
vain in vowing; by vowing to do anything which may not lawfully be fulfilled, by vowing rashly and indiscreetly what though we should be able to fulfil it, might yet much better, and more prudently be let alone : by vowing any thing for a long time to come, it may be for one's whole life, of our future capacity to make good which we cannot at the present judge: by accustoming ourselves to vow frequently, which must necessarily expose us to the hazard of not performing our vows. We take God's Name in vain in praying ; when we pray without minding what we are about; when we pray for such things as we ought not to pray for; when in our prayers we use vain repetitions of God's Name, without need and against reason. There are several other ways also of taking God's Name in vain besides those abovementioned; by profane cursing as well as swearing; by any light and unfitting use of God's Name in our common conversation ; by all lewd atheistical discourse; by blaspheming, or speaking reproachfully of God or His religion; by murmuring against Him; by ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise profaning His holy word; by despising or exposing His ministers upon the account of their function--in short, by a contemptuous treating of anything in which His Name and honour are concerned. : Lord, I confess myself guilty &c.