Select Page

Chapter 21 - Of the Second Commandment

The Order of Salvation and Damnation by William Perkins (1558-1602)

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

Election is God’s decree “whereby on his own free will, he hath ordained certain men to salvation, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Reprobation is “that part of predestination, whereby God, according to the most free and just purpose of his will, hath determined to reject certain men unto eternal destruction, and misery, and that to the praise of his justice.”

Chapter 21 – Of the Second Commandment

Hitherto have we entreated of the First commandment, teaching us to entertain and our hearts, and to make a choice of one only God. The other three of the first table, concern that holy profession, which we must make towards the same God. For first, it is necessary to make a choice of the true God. Secondly, to make possession of the same God.

In the possession of God, we are to consider the parts thereof, and the time appointed for this profession.
The parts are to: the Psalm worship of God, and the glorifying of him.
The second commandment then concern is the manner of performing holy in solemn worship on to God. The words of the command Inter These.

Thou shalt make the no graven image, neither any similitude of things which are heaven above, neither that are in the earth beneath, nor that are in the waters under the earth: thou shalt not bow down to them, neither serve them, for I am the LORD thy God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third generation, and upon the fourth of them that hate me, and show mercy unto thousands upon them that love Me and keep my commandments.

The resolution.
Thou shalt not make. This is the first part of the commandment, forbidding to make an idol: now an idol is not only a certain representation, an image of some feigned god, but also of the true Jehovah. The which may be proved against the Papists by these arguments. The first is, Deuteronomy 4:15-16, “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.” of the words uttered by Moses, a reason may be framed thus.
If ye saw no image (namely of God) ye shall make none.
But ye saw no image, only heard a voice:
Therefore ye shall make no image of God.
The second reason: that idolatry which the Israelites committed, the very same is prohibited in this commandment.
But the Israelites idolatry, was the worship of God in an image, Hosea 2:16, “And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.”
The golden calf was an image of God: for when it was finished, and proclaimed that “Tomorrow should be a feast to Jehovah,” Exodus 32:5. In the same cast is termed an idol. Acts. 7:41.
Therefore the worshipping of God in an image is here prohibited.
Any graven image. Here the more special is put for the more general, namely, a graven image, for all counterfeit means of God’s worship.

The first part of the commandment is here illustrated, by a double distribution. The first is drawn from the causes. “Thou shalt not make the any idol, whether it be in graven in would, or stone:0 whether it be painted in a table.” the second, is taken from the place. “Thou shall not make the an idol things in heaven, as stars and birds: or in the earth, as of man, woman, beast: or under the earth, as fishes.
This place is so expounded by Moses, a Deuteronomy 4:14 to the 20th verse.
Thou shalt not bowed down to them. This is the second part of the commandment, forbidding all men to fall down before idol. In this word bowed down, is again the special put for the General: for in it is inhibited all feigned worship of God.
For I. these words are reconfirmation of this commandment, persuading to obedience, by four reasons.
The LORD. (to say which is strong) The first reason, God is strong, and so able to revenge idolatry. Hebrews 10:31.

Though a jealous God. This speech is taken from the estate of wedlock: for God is called the husband of his church. Isaiah 5:4-5, Ephesians 5:26-27. And our Spiritual Worship, is as it were, a certain marriage of our souls, consecrated unto the Lord. Jeremiah at 2:2, “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.” Whence also idols are rightly called God’s quarrels. Here is an other argument drawn from a comparison of things that be like God’s people must alone worships him, because they are linked to him, as a wife to her husband, unto whom alone she is bound: therefore of his people forsake him, and betroth themselves unto idols, he will undoubtedly give them a bill of divorce, and they shall be no more espoused unto him.
The Visitation. To visit, is not only to punish the children for the fathers offenses but to take notice, and apprehend them in the same faults, by reason of their given over to commit their fathers transgressions, that for them they may be punished. And this is the third reason drawn from the effects of God’s anger.
Hate me. It may be this is a secret answer, the objection will of is not here in express word set down, but may be thus framed. “What if we use idols to inflame and excite and us a love in remembrance of the?” the answer is this by the contrary: “You may think that your use of idols kindles in you a love of me, but it is so far from that, that all such as use them cannot but choose to hate me.”
Show mercy. The fourth reason derived from the effects of God’s mercy to such as observe his command. Here we may 1st observe, that God is more ready to show mercy than to punish. Psalm 103:8, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” See also verse 17, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.” See also verse 9, “He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.” Secondly, we may not surmise that this excellent promises made to every one particularly, who was born a faithful parents. For godly Isaac had godless Esau to his son; and godless Saul had godly Jonathan.

The negative part
Thou shall neither worship false gods, nor the true God with false worship.

Many things are here forbidden.
1. The representation of God by an image. For it is a lie. Habakkuk 2:8, “Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.” Zechariah 10:2, “For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.” Jeremiah 10:8, “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.” The Elbe counsel in the 39th Cannon hath this edict . We thought it not meet to have images in churches, lest that which is worshipped an adored, should be painted on walls. Clement book 5 and Jacob Dom. That serpent by others is wont to speak of these words: We in honor of the invisible God, are accustomed to adore visible images, the which out of all controversy is a very false. Augustine in his treatise upon the 113 Psalm.

The images also of the cross, and of Christ crucified, and of the saints ought to be abolished out of churches, as the brazen serpent was. 2 Kings 18:4. Hezekiah is commanded for breaking in pieces the brazen serpent to which the children of Israel did then burn incense. This did Hezekiah, albeit at the first the serpent was made by the LORD’s appointment. Numbers 21:8, and was a type of Christ’s passion, John 3:14. Origen in his book 7 Against Celcus. We permit not any to door Jesus upon the altar is in images, or upon church walls: because it is written, thou shalt have none other gods but me. Epiphinaius, in the Epistle which he wrote to John Bishop of Jerusalem, saith, It is against the custom of the church, to see any damage hang the church whether it be of Christ, or any other saint, and therefore even with his own hands rent he asunder the veil, wherein such an image was painted.

Some object at the figure or sign a, which appeared to Constantine, where in he should overcome: but it was not the sign of the cross (to say as the Papists do triflingly imagine) but of Christ’s name: for the thing was made of these two Greek letters X and P conjoined together. This is founded in Eusebius, in the life of Constantine, book one, chapters 22 and 25.

Neither serve the Cherubims, which Solomon placed in the temple, for the defense of the images: for there were only in the Holy of holies, with the people could not see them. And they were types of the glory of the Messiah, unto whom the very angels were subject: the which we have now verified in Christ.

If any man reply, that they worship not the image, but God in the image: let him know, that the creature cannot comprehend the image of the Creator; and if it could, yet God would not be worshipped in it, because is it dead thing: yea, the work of man’s hands, not of God: and therefore is more base than the smallest living creature of the which we may lawfully say, it is the work of God. This evidence is, that no kind of divine worship belongs to an image, either simply or by relation, whatsoever the sophistical schoolmen angle to the contrary.

If any man be at desirous of images he may have at hand the preaching of the Gospel, a lively image of Christ crucified. Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” The like may be said of the two sacraments. And that saying of Clement is true, in his fifth book of Recognition. If you will truly adore the image of God, do good unto man, in he shall worship is true image: for man is the image of God.

2. The least approbation of idolatry: Hosea 13:2, “And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.” Now a kiss is an external sign of some allowance of the thing. Genesis 48:10.

Therefore it is unlawful to be present at mass or any idolatrous service, though our minds be absent. 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Romans 11:4, “But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Eusebius in book 8, The martyrs when they were hailed the into the temple of a idols, cried out, and with a loud voice in the midst of their tortures testified, that they were not idolatrous sacrifice ours, but professed in constant Christians, rejoicing greatly that they might make such a confession.

That which may be objected of Namaan the Syrian, who worship in the temple of rent, is thus answered; that he did not with purpose to commit idolatry, but to perform that evil obedience which he was want to exhibit to the King’s majesty. 2 Kings 5:17-18.

And for this cause, are utterly forbidden all such Don saint Pro sessions, plays, in such a feast, as are consecrated to the memorial, and honorable titles. Exodus 32:6, “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” 1 Corinthians 10:7, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” And Paul (1 Corinthians 8:4 to the end) abhors the Corinthians from sitting at a table in the idols’ temple: albeit they knew that an idol is nothing in the world. Tripartite history, Book 6, Chapter 30: certain soldiers of Julian refuse to adore as the custom was, the emperor’s Banner, in which were painted the images of Jupiter, mercury, and Mars: others bring again the rewards, which they, after they had burned incense on an altar in the emperor’s presence, had received: crying, that there Christians, and would live and are in that profession: and as for their former fact, it was of ignorance: yea, though they had polluted hands with idolatry of paganism, yet they kept their conscience cleaned.

3. All relics and monuments of idols: For these, after the titles themselves are once abolished, must be raised out of all memory. Exodus 23:13, “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Isaiah 30:22, “Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.”

4. Society with Infidels, is here on lawful, which served not only to maintain concord, but also to join men in brotherly love. Of this society there are many branches. The first is marriage with infidels. Genesis 6:2, “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Malachi 2:11, “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.” Ezra 9:14, “Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?” 2 Kings 8:18, “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.”

The second, is the league in war: namely a mutual confederacy to assist one another in the same war and have one and the same enemy. This is sundry ways and pious: 1) To be unlawful to crave the assistance of God’s enemies, is likewise unlawful to and then with them, that we will assist. 2) it observe that God’s glory, as though he himself, either would not or could not aid is church. 3) Is a thousand to one of lest we be infected with their idolatry and their other impiety is. 4. It endangers us to be made partakers of their punishment, 2 Chronicles 19:2, “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.”

The third, is the economy: As one of man wittingly and willingly does in hope to win which Himself, Makes sale of such things as he no must serve to and idolatrous use. This condemns all those merchants, which transport wearers to idolaters, and sell them frankincense, wax, cloth, or other such things as help them in the service of their idols.

The fourth, is the trial or pursuits in law before judges which are infidels, when Christian courts may be frequented: But if they cannot and we have to deal with that one, we may appeal to infidels. 1 Corinthians 6:6, “But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.” Acts 25:11, “For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.”

The faith, is the worshipping of the beast, and receiving his mark. Revelation 14:9, “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand.” See also verse 10, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” This beast is the Church of Rome, I mean not that old, but this new Rome, now no better than a heretical and apostate synagogue.

6. Will worship, when God is worshipped with a naked and bare good intention, but not warranted by the word of God. Colossians 2:23, “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” 1 Samuel 13:9-10, “And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.” See also verse 13, “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” Here we may add Popish superstitions and sacrifices, meats, holidays, apparel, temporary and bead ridden prayers, indulgences, austere life, whipping, ceremonies, gestures, gate, conversations, pilgrimage, building a alters, pictures, Churches, and all other of that rubbish.

To these may be added comfort and music in divine service, feeding the ears, not edifying the mind. 1 Corinthians 14:15, “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” Justin the martyr in his book of Christian questions and answers, #107. It is not the custom of the churches, to sing their meters with any such kind of instruments, etc., but there manner is only in the use of plain song.

Lastly, monastical vows, which, number one repudiate the law of God: as that unchaste about a single life, and proud promise of poverty to plainly evidence: for he that laboureth not must not eat, 2 Thessalonians 3:10. And it is better to marry, then to burn and lust, 1 Corinthians 7:9. 2) They are greater than man’s nature can perform: as in a single life, to live perpetually chaste. 3) They disannul Christian Liberty, and make such things necessary as are indifferent. 4) They renew Judiaism. 5) They are idolatrous, because they make them part of God’s worship, and esteemed them as meritorious. No. 6 hypocrisy which giveth to God painted worship, that is, if you regard the outward behavior, great sincerity: if the inward and hearty affections, none at all. Matthew 15:7, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you…” Psalm 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”

The effects of hypocrisy these: 1) to seek the pomp and glory of the world, and by all means to enrich itself, not withstanding it makes a glorious show of the service of God. 2) It is shortsighted, and hath eagles eyes to observe other men’s behavior, when in regarding its own, it is blind as a beetle. 3) To be more curious and the observation of ancient traditions, that the statutes and commandments of Almighty God. 4) to stumble at a straw, and skip over a block, that is, to commit serious affairs and hunt after trifles, Matthew 23:4-5. To do all things that they may be seen of men, Matthew 6:5.

Popish-fasting is mere hypocrisy: because its standeth in the distinction of meats, and it is used with an option of merit.

External abstinence for meats, without internal and spiritual fasting from sin, and unlawful desires. Isaiah 58:5-6, “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”

7. Contempt, neglect, and intermission of God’s service. Revelation 3:15-16, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

8. Corrupting of God’s worship, in that order of government, which he hath ordained for his church: the which is done, when anything is added, detracted, or in any way against his prescript, mangled. Deuteronomy 12:32, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” This condemns that Popish elevation of bread in the Lord’s supper and the administration of that alone to the people without wine together with that fearful abomination of the Mass.

By this we may learn to reject all Popish traditions. Matthew 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Now it is manifest that all Popish traditions, they either on the wrong nature or others abusing of them serve as well to superstition and false worship as to enrich that covetous and proud Hierarchy: whereas the Scripture is contained in the Old and New Testament, are all sufficient not only to confirm doctrines but also to reform manners. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

The role of Hierarchy is here also condemned, from the priest to the Pope: The government whereof, is expressed image of the old Roman Empire, what we consider the regiment itself, or the place of the empire or the large circuit of that government. Revelation 13:15, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

9. A religious reverence of the creature when we attribute more unto it then we ought. Revelation 22:8, “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.” Acts 10:25, “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.”

If then it be so heinous a thing, to reference the creature, much more, to pray unto it, whether it be a saint or an angel. Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Neither it may we pray and to Christ, unless he is man, so he were also God: for we direct not our worship unto the humanity considered by itself, but to the Deity, to which the humanity is knit by hypostatic union.

This teaches us plainly that invocation of any creature is not lawful: for we must pray to them, they’re able to know the secrets of the heart, and discern the wisdom of the Spirit: none is able to do that but such a nature as is omnipotent. Romans 8:27, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Nevertheless such as are saint Indeed are to be honored by an approbation of God’s gifts in them, and by an honorable mention of them and also by imitation of their manners and lives, being as patterns for us to walk after.

10. Worship of devils: 1) Magic, which is a mischievous Art is accomplishing wonders by Satan’s assistance. For it is appropriate to God to do miracles; for he alone of both beyond and against the course of nature, doth a wonderful things. Now the instruments which God uses in producing miracles, are only they could do in the true Church of God make profession of the faith, Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.”

Yet may they affect marvels or wonders and that, not by making a new thing, which before was not at all: but rather by moving, transporting, and applying natural things diversely, by causing a thin body (to see as the air) to be thick and foggy, and also by bewitching the senses of men.

The foundation of magic, is a covenant with Satan.

A covenant with Satan, is such a contract, by which magicians have mutually to do with the devil. In this observed: the origin of this mutual contract: 1) Satan maketh his choice of such men to be his servants, as are by nature in the notorious bad persons, or very silly souls. 2) He offers unto them diverse means, either by other magicians, or by some books written by such: satanical means, I call those, which are used in the producing of such an effect to the which they need there by any express rule out of God’s word, nor of their own nature were ever ordained. Such are obscure words, words of the Scripture rested and to be used, to the great disgrace of the Lord God; wholly or rather on a holy water, sieves, seals, glasses, images, bowings of the knee, and such like diverse gestures. 3) When the wicked see these means offered unto them, they presently are not a little glad, and assuredly believe that in those things there is a virtue to work wonders by. Member for they declare this there a set tentacle confidence, by their earnest endeavor, practicing, and abusing of the means. Then the devil is at their elbows, being thus affected that he made both assist them, and show them diverse tricks of his arsenal; because he alone does by means avoid such virtue, in effect that which his wicked instruments intended.

Again, observe that Satan’s counterfeiting of God. He is God’s ape, and take it upon him as though he were God. 1) As God hath his word, His Sacraments, and faith do unto Him; so the devil has certain words of his own and to seal them unto the wicked he annexes certain signs, namely characters, gestures, sacrifices, and the like, as it were Sacraments, that both he may signify his devilish pleasure to his magicians and they again testify their satanic cult both obedience and confidence to him. 2) As God heareth such as call upon, trust in, and obey him, so the devil is greatly delighted with magical ceremonies in invocations, because by them God is dishonored, and he magnified: Therefore if God cut him not short, he is ready to press to assist such, as show you such ceremonies are indications.

The covenant is either secret or express.

Secret or implicit when one does not expressly compact with Satan, yet in his heart to allows of his means; assuredly in upon knowledge believing that if such means were used there might indeed that great wonder be wrought which he desired.

Express, when one does not only put his confidence in saint, but covenant with him upon this condition, that he, giving himself wholly over to the devil, may again, by observing certain ceremonies, accomplishes desire.

Magic is either divine or working.

Divining, whereby things to come are foretold by the help of the devil. Now of predictions, some are done with means, others without.

Predictions done with means, are these: 1) Soothsaying, which is divination by the flying of birds. Deuteronomy 8:10, “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.” 2) The kind of divination, which is by looking into beasts and trails. Ezekiel 21:21, “For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.” 3) Necromancy, or conjuring by which the devil in the form of some dead man is sought unto for counsel. 1 Samuel 28:11, “Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.” See also verses 13-14, “And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.” This Samuel, was not that true prophet of God who anointed Saul king over Israel: for 1) the souls of the saints departed are far from the devil’s clause and dominion. 2) That good Samuel, if it had been He in deed, would never have permitted Saul to worship him. 3) He sayeth to wicked Saul, tomorrow shalt thou be with me, verse 14. Neither could this be a bare allusion, and as I may say, an instrument of the witch, for he plainly foretold Saul’s destruction which an ignorant woman could not know much less durst she constantly avouch any such matter to the king: It remains the then, that this Samuel, was a mere illusion of Satan.

Divining without means is called Pythonism, when such as are possessed with an unclean spirit, use immediately the help of the same spirit to reveal secrets. Acts 16:16, “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.” Isaiah 29:4, “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” Magic operative or working has two parts: juggling and enchantments. Juggling whereby through the devil’s conveyance many great and very hard matters, are in a show affected. Exodus 7:10-12, “And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”

Enchantment, or charming, is that whereby beasts, but especially young children, and men of riper years, are by God’s permission infected, poisoned, hurt, bound, killed, and otherwise molested; or contrarily, sometimes cured of Satan, by mumbling up some few words, making certain characters in figures, framing circles, hanging amulets about the neck, or other parts by herbs, medicines, and such like things, that there by the punishment of the faithless may be augmented, in proposing their strength upon such rotten ideas, and the faithful may be tried, whether they will commit the like abomination. Psalm 58:4, “Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear.” Ecclesiastes 10:11, “Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.”

Thus have we herd magic described out of God’s word: The which, how common it is as yet, in those especially which are without God in the world, and whom Satan by all means strongly diluteth, though lamentable experience which many men, in most places have thereof, can sufficiently prove unto us. And surely, if a man will but take a view of all property he shall easily see that a great part of it is mere magic.

They would spread abroad by their riding or otherwise, that which is our nothing else but melancholy and doting women who through the devil’s delusion suppose that they themselves do that which indeed the devil doth alone: albeit they endeavor cunningly to cloak the sin, yet by the same means they may defend murder, adultery, and what other sin whatsoever.

2. those which do consult with magicians do also worship the devil for they revolt from God to the devil, howsoever they plastered up their impiety with untempered mortar, that they seek God’s help though by the means of magicians. 1 Samuel 28:13, “And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.” Leviticus 20:6, “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” Isaiah 8:19-20, “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

The affirmative part.
Thou shall worship God in Spirit and Truth
John 4:24, “God is the spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” For so soon as any man begins to worship God after in unlawful manner, he then adores an idol, howsoever he seems to color his impiety. Paul therefore, in Romans 1:23, saith, “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” See also verse 25; and 1 Corinthians 10:20, “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.”

To this part therefore appertain such things as respect the holy and solemn service of God.

1. the true in ordinary means of God’s worship; as calling upon the name of the Lord, thy humble supplication and hearty thanksgiving: and the ministry of the word and sacraments. Acts 2:41-42, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” 1 Timothy 2:1, “I exhort F1 therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” Acts 20:7, “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.” Tertullian says in his Apology, Chapter 39, We come into the assembly and congregation that with our prayers as with an army we might compass God. This kind of violence offered to God is acceptable to him. If any man so offend that he must be suspended from the public place of prayer and holy meetings, all approved elders sit in judgment being advanced to this honor and not by bribes but by their good report, etc., read the rest. The like hath Justin martyr in his oration to the emperor Antonius Pius.

2. A holy use of the means. First in the ministers, who ought to administer all things belonging to God’s worship according to his word. Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” 1 Corinthians 11:23, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread.” Secondly in the rest of the assemblies and whose duty it is in preying on to God, in hearing the Word preached and read, and receiving the sacraments, to behave themselves are outwardly: in modesty, and without offence. 1 Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Inwardly, they must take heed that their hearts be well prepared to serve God. Ecclesiastes 5:1, “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” Having confidence of his mercy together with a contrite and repentant heart for all their sins. Hebrews 4:2, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Psalm 26:6, “I will wash mine hands in innocencey: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD.”

3. The helps in furtherance is of true worship are to: vows and fasting. They’re not to be taken as the worship of God itself. For we may not obtrude any thing to God, as good service, and as though it did by the conscience, accept he have ordained it for that end and purpose.

Of how in the New Testament is a promise to God with a full intent to observe some corporeal and external duties, which a Christian hath on his own accord, without injunction, imposed upon itself, that he made there by the better be excited unto repentance, mediation, sobriety, abstinence, patience, and thankfulness towards God. Genesis 28:20, “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on.”

In vowing we had these things to observe, 1) We must not thou that which is on lawful, 2) We ought not to about the performance of that which is contrary to our vocation, 3) Thou must be of that which we can do, 4) They must be far from so much as conceit of merit or worship of God, 5) we must show perform our vows as they that encroach not upon the liberty of conscience which Christ has given us and therefore look how the probable causes thereof do remain or taken always so accordingly stands our liberty in keeping about. Deuteronomy 23:18, “Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” See also verse 23. Psalm 66:14, “Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.”

Fasting is when a man perceiving the want of some blessings or suspecting and seen some eminent calamity upon himself, or other, abstains not only from flesh for a season, but also from all delights and sufferance, that he thereby made make a more diligent search and his own sins and offered most humble prayers and to God that he would withhold that which his anger threatened: or bestow upon us some such a good thing as we want. Matthew 9:13, “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 1 Corinthians 7:5, “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.” Joel 2:12-15, “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.” See also verses 16-17.

A fast is sometimes private, sometimes public. 2 Chronicles 20:3, “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

A fast is either for one day alone, or for many days together. Each of them is as occasion serves, and abstinence from meet at dinner alone, or supper alone, or both dinner and supper. Judges 20:23, “(And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)” Daniel 10:3, “I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”

4. Leagues of amity among such as truly fear God according to His Word are lawful as contracts and matrimony, league in war, especially if the war be lawful, and without confidence in the power of man. 2 Chronicles 19:2, Malachi 2:11.

To these may be added that covenant which the magistrate and people make among themselves, and with God; for the preservation of the Christian religion. 2 Chronicles 15:12, 14, “And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul…And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.”

Bible Verse:

“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless,” (Gen. 17:1).

A member of

advertisement

Search the Site

New Releases

advertisement

APM Newsletter

advertisement
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!