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And these same three things Paul mentions again in 30 Christ Jesus, and love towards all the saints, for the Er loving hope that is laid up for you in heaven ; whereof ye tit formalis heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel, eer thu which came unto you." And still more particularly, Andere
good things, and love gives them forth again. Faith welis ar offers us to God that we may be his, and love offers us TIEDOT to our neighbour for his benefit. And where such a life in the will is begun, there God is come, and he by afflictions and temptations causes it to advance, by means of which, akire, a the man grows more and more strong in faith and love; Tünd die so that, in the progress of his own experience, he begins Gil fire to love God with so cleaving an affection, and to find and the him so sweet, that he has no more fears remaining.rending And hereupon hope begins to grow up and the man has Theret an assurance that he shall not be forsaken of God: con- titel to cerning which Paul saith, Rom. v. “We glory in tri-sable, w bulations also; knowing, that tribulation worketh pa-:nih the tience; and patience, probation ; (whereby, a man is acept t found to be right inwardly, and in truth, as fire proves de contest gold whether it be sterling or not;) and probation, hope.be work And hope maketh not ashamed.” his Epistle to the Colossians, chap. vii. thanks unto God--since we heard of your faith in 1 Hakich 1 Thess. i. “ Making mention of you in our prayers: slents remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father,” &c.
How beautifully does he set forth these three things in their order! making faith to be in work, love in labour, and hope in tribulations or patience! As though he should say, your faith is not a dream or fancy, but life and work. So also your love cannot sit down inactive, nor indulge in ease, but is engaged in serving your neighbour ; but all this is done in quiet
. Moreover, your hope in afflictions is exercised through patience; and all is in Christ. For there can be neither faith, love, nor hope, out of Christ; as we have shewn before. Thus the Christian life by good goes through evil, until it break forth out of this course of life, and
“ We give speaking
arrive at his appointed goal. In the meantime, it thirsts not for revenge, but commits all judgment and retribution to the will of God.
And thus, it grows and enlarges“ by little and little" in faith, love, and hope; and love which naturally flows out of faith divides itself, and takes two directions. It loves God first, from whom it receives all blessings in Christ; and then, its neighbour, that it might do unto him according to the benefits it has itself received of God. Wherefore, all the works of a man thus anointed,
are directed to the benefit of his neighbour, and that for 1 God's sake, who hath loved him. Nor does it do any
work with the design of gaining thereby the favour of 15 God, except that of loving and praising him; and
this it confesses openly before the whole world. For all other works God cannot endure : so that the whole of divine worship is from the mouth. Thouglı doing
good to our neighbour also, is serving God, yet I am We here speaking of that worship only which is paid to
God, of which no man whatever can partake; and that is solely loving and praising God. Which worship, if thou wilt firmly maintain, thou must of necessity, how great soever thou mayest be, expose thyself to all kinds of peril and evil. And what else requirest thou unto Christianity ?--If thou wilt be a Christian, embrace faith and love, and stand fast in them, and then, thou hast and knowest all things. Amen!
CONCERNING THE SUM OF THE
, writing to Timothy, thus sets forth, in his First Epistle
, chap. i. in a few words, the sum of the Christian life.
But the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned : From which some having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling ; desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
You without doubt very well know, my dearest friends, with what strict injunction God has commanded his Word to be heard and learned. That Word is, with him, of the utmost moment: and therefore, he has
Ind done much in the defence of it, and in the proclamation of it to the world. He exposed all his prophets to peril, and at last sent his Son for the same Word's sake; whom he subjected to crucifixion and death. And what persecutions did his apostles not endure, and what afflictions have all Christians not borne, for the Word's sake? To some, he has committed the faithful ministration of the Word : to the rest, he has left the duty of hearing it. And, even if there were no other motive to constrain us to this duty of hearing the Word than this--because it is the good-will and pleasure, and the command of God that we should do it, yet, this one reason ought to have sufficient weight with us.--We ought as creatures to obey our Lord and Creator, and to do it with the greatest readiness of mind; seeing that, he has given us such an abundance of good things
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, and continues daily to give us more; for which we never shall be able to render unto him worthy and sufficient thanks.
But however, he is not content with having commanded us to do this, and with having required it of us as a service due to him; but he promises, that there shall flow to us therefrom great fruits and benefits ; having allowed it to be proclaimed, that hearing his Word is paying to him the greatest and most acceptable of all divine worship! For the Lord whom we serve is great, and there are many and various kinds of services, and numberless ways of worship
, and eller we can serve him in many different forms: but, this
one way of worship,--hearing his Word, is far above
any faithful ploughman or citizen, or any
other person under subjection, serve his master, he at the same time serves God. So also does a child, or a man-servant or maid-servant in a family, if they be obe
dient and diligently do their duty. And so again do DTP rulers and parents, if they rule well and discharge their C E duty faithfully. All these serve God. For all these
things are his will and command, and he requires them Wat do of us. And with these kinds of services the world would prets be full, if there were those who would duly perform
them. For God has committed to, and laid on every ichis one his duties in his station, in which he can and 1. ought to serve him. For we are his own, and he has so sco ordained that his services should abound every where;
that no one might have room for excuse, or say, that he
did not know how or in what way he ought to serve di vite God; and that he might not seek after, or form out to herpt himself
, any other ways, or peculiar forms of serving - God which he never ordained, and, at the same time livet. disregard those which he has commanded ; just as we met de have hitherto done in our blindness!
But, far above all other services and acts of obe(rudience, God has honoured and extolled that of preach
ing and hearing his Word. And therefore, this is the mais service that he has especially chosen out of all other
under heaven as his delight, and he has been pleased to bp 2. call it the highest worship of him. For the other ser
vices are those which are rendered to men also. Hence, he has set apart a particular day out of every week for this service, in which we are to attend to nothing else. Though we are to serve God during the whole week also
, by other employments for which he has not appointed any particular day. But he has chosen this day in particular, and commanded it to be observed, that there might be time and opportunity for duly serving him, and that no one might have occasion to run to the
complaint, that his labours will not allow him time and [ opportunity. Moreover, he has appointed particular
places for this worship; that is, churches and houses where we might assemble. Nay, it is for this that he has ordained and continued the whole order of ministers, and has given and bestowed other things, which pertain to the discharge of the ministerial office; such as the knowledge of many languages, and many other gifts besides. In a word, he has by an especial injunction commanded the whole world to account this worship holy, and far above all other. And he wishes this worship so to be the delight of all Christians, that it might be declaratively manifest, how highly he esteems, and with what pleasure he beholds, their setting forth and exercising themselves in his Word.
And a blessed thing would it be, if it could be truly brought into practice, to call going to hear a sermon going to worship God, and and going to worship God in the highest ! and if, all who assembled to hear the Word, could be said to be gathered together for the true and highest worship of God! For in this way it is evident that the apostles and fathers of old spoke: and it was from them that we received the sayings ' going to hear mass,' and ' going to mass,' which afterwards remained in constant use: and hence, the Pope has commanded, (if it be in truth,) in his decrees, that every one shall hear mass on each sabbath-day. But no one was accustomed to say, I want to go and see mass,' but to hear mass :' the proper meaning of which is, I want to go to the worship of God, and to hear the Word of God; which is the greatest and most essential part of the mass ; and not as the Pope and his sacrificers (so to call them) now do, who mutter over the masses to themselves, in which there is nothing of the Word of God taught or heard; and yet they make this muttering to be the most important part of the mass, and call it the Canon.
The term 'mass,' which appears to have been received from the apostles, is, in the Hebrew, of the same signification as rate, tribute, or service: even as a peasant or any one holding a farm, pays his lord mass, or, a due tribute or rent: or, as a man serves his ruler,