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Matt. ix. 3. who when Christ had simply said, v. 2. thy sins be forgiven thee, immediately said within themselves, This man blasphemeth; whereas blasphemy, as is evident from the foregoing examples, consists solely in uttering reproaches against God openly, and with a high hand, Numb. xv. 30. Matt. xv. 19. out of the heart proceed blasphemies, and that whether against God or men. This sin therefore is not to be imputed to those, who in sincerity of heart, and with no contentious purpose, promulgate or defend their conscientious persuasions respecting God, founded, as appears to them, on the Scriptures. If on the other hand blasphemy is interpreted according to the Hebrew sense, it will comprehend too much ; for in this sense every obstinate sinner will be a blasphemer, and as such, according to those who regard the law of Moses on this subject as still in force, punishable with death." Numb. xv. 30. the soul that doeth ought presumptuously.....the same reproacheth (or blasphemeth) Jehovah ; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Ezek. xx. 27, 28. yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me; for when I had brought them into the land...... then they saw every high hill, &c.

A second Öpposite is irreverent or jesting mention of the name of God, or of religious subjects.

The most solemn mention of the name of God consists in dedicating to his glory whatever is intended for the use of man. 1 Cor. x. 31. whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Tim. iv. 4, 5, nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. Acts xxvii. 35. he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all. 1 Cor. vii. 14. the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife.

’ ‘Such as these, indeed, were capitally punished by the law of Moses, as the only true heretics, idolaters, plain and open deserters of God and his known law.” Treatise of Civil Ponver, &c. III. 326.

Opposed to this are superstitious consecrations, such as are common among the Papists.

Thus far of the solemn and reverential mention of the name of God. We are next to consider the duty of making a consistent, and, when necessary, an open profession of his true worship. This is enjoined Matt. x. 32, 33. whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Psal. cxix. 46. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. Luke ix. 26. whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come—. Rom. x. 10. with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 2 Cor. iv. 13. it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken ; we also believe, and therefore speak. 1 Tim. vi. 12–14. thou hast professed a good profession before many witnesses; I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that thou keep this commandment. 2 Tim. i. 16. he was not ashamed of my chain. ii. 12. if we deny him, he also will deny us. 1 Pet. iii. 15. be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the Jope that is in you. Heb. x. 35. cast not away therefore your confidence.

This profession, when it leads to death, or imprisonment, or torments, or disgrace, is called MARTYRDoM. Matt. v. 11. blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Philipp. i. 20. with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. v. 29. for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Heb. xi. 36, &c. others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment—. 1 Pet. iii. 14, but and if ye suffer for

righteousness' sake, happy are ye.

It is generally through the means of martyrdom that the spread of the gospel is effected. Philipp. i. 14. many of the brethren in the Lord,

waring confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Opposed to this is, first, the concealment of our religion. This was the fault of Nicodemus, John iii. 2. the same came to Jesus by night. xii. 42. nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. Isai. lix. 4. none calleth for justice, mór any pleadeth for truth.

Secondly, apostasy. 2 Chron. xxviii. 6. he slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men, because they had forsaken Jehovah God of their fathers. John vi. 66. from that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him. 1 Tim. iv. 1, &c. in the latter times some shall depart from the Jaith, &c. Heb. vi. 4, &c. it is impossible for those who were - once enlightened......if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance. K. 29. of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God. Thirdly, an unseasonable profession. Matt. vii. 6. give not that which is holy unto the dogs...... lest they turn again and rend you. xvi. 20.

then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Such are the means by which the name of God is hallowed in word.

It is hallowed in deed, when our actions correspond with our religious

profession. Matt. v. 16. let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Opposed to this, is a neglect to act conformably to our profession. Thus Moses and Aaron are said, contrary to their usual custom, not to have sanctified God in the eyes of the people, Numb. xx. 12. and David, a man otherwise holy, gave occasion to the Gentiles to think and speak ill of God, by reason of his adultery, 2 Sam. xii. 14. So also the Jews, of whom St. Paul writes, Rom. ii. 24. the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written ; alluding to Isai. lii. 5. Ezek. xxxvi. 20. when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of Jehovah, and are gone forth out of his Mand.

CHAP. VII.

ON
THE TIME FOR DIVINE Worship ;
whereIN ARE considerED

THE SABBATH, Lord's DAY, AND FESTIVALs.

Thus far of the parts of divine worship. We are now to consider its / o 'o o circumstances.

o The circumstances of worship are the same as of all things natural, place and time.”

Public worship, previously to the law of Moses, was not confined to any definite place; under the law it took place partly in the , synagogues and partly in the temple; under the gospel any convenient place is proper. John iv. 21, 23. ye shall neither in this mountain, nor get at Jerusalem, worship the Father; but the hour cometh, and now is, , when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; as Malachi had also prophesied, i. 11, in every place incense

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* .... ‘ that the body, with all the circumstances of place and time, were purified by the affections of the regenerate soul.” Of Reformation in England, Prose Works, I. 1. ‘Tertius 4- Z modus est adjunctorum quae recipiuntur ad subjectum; quae vulgo circumstantiae nuncu

*pantur, quia extra subjectum sunt. Huc tempus refertur.” Artis Logica plenior Institutio, IV. 224.

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