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ye should not obey the truth? Now after ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of this world; why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, after the commandments and doctrines of men? Him that is weak in faith, receive you; but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things; another who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth; yea he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ'. So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more; but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall, in his brother's way. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another". Hast thou faith? have §3. Gal. iii. 1.
d Col. ii. 22.
Rom. xiv. 12, 13.
b Gal. iv. 9, 10, 11.
• Col, ii. 20.
it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth, is damned if he eat; because he eateth not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin'. Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath-days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which hé hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind *.
OF PUBLICK WORSHIP.
SECT. 1. The people of God are called to assemble, and join together in worship.-2. In these religious congregations, order and regularity are absolutely requisite.
SECT. 1. The people of God are called to assemble, and join together in worship.
MOSES wrote the law, and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, and commanded them, saying, When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose; thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates; that they may hear and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law; and that their children which have not known any thing, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long 'as ye live.
And all the people gathered themselves together as one man, and they spake unto Ezra the scribe, to bring
Rom. xiv. 22, 23.
§ 1. Deut. xxxi. 9—13.
Col. ii. 16, 17, 18.
the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation, both men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, and he read therein from the morning until mid-day, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up; and Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord, with their faces to the ground. Also the Levites caused the people to understand the law; and the people stood in their place. They that gladly received his word were baptized; and they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them". Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another.
SECT. 2. In these religious congregations, order and regularity are absolutely requisite.
Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? but if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or
Acts, ii. 41, 42.
b Neh. viii. 1—7.
§ 2. * 1 Cor. xi. 17, 18.
Acts, xx. 7.
one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done to edifying; that ye come not together into condemnation. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three; and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God". For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints". Let all things be done decently and in order'.
OF PLACES OF WORSHIP.
SECT. 1. Of places appointed for worship under the law.-2. By the gospel every one in every place is allowed and invited to draw near to God.
SECT. 1. Of places appointed for worship under
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell amongst them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it". And there will I meet with thee, and will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the cherubims.
And Solomon sent to Hiram the king of Tyre, saying,
d 1 Cor. xiv. 27, 28.
Exod. xxv. 22.
1 Cor. xiv. 23-26. * 1 Cor. xiv. 33.
§ 1. Exod. xxv. 1, 2.
c 1 Cor. xi. 34.
Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shew-bread, and for the burnt-offerings, morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the Lord our God. And the house which I build is great; for great is our God above all gods. But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? Who am I then that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him"?
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? for all these hath mine hand made, saith the Lord. Yet the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud; I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed'.
And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually".
SECT. 2. By the Gospel every one in every place is allowed, and invited to draw near to God.
The woman of Samaria saith unto Jesus, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the
'Ps. cxxxii. 13-17,
d 2 Chron. ii. 3-6. 2 Chron. vii. 12.
* Isa. lxvi. 1, 2.
2 Chron. vii. 15, 16.