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CHAPTER III.
OF THE VIRTUES BELONGING TO THE SERVICE OF GOD.

SPECIAL virtues are those which pertain only to a particular branch of our duty; namely, to our duty towards God, or towards man.

Our duty towards God relates to his immediate worship or service; which is either internal or external.

Internal worship consists mainly in the acknowledgment of the one true God, and in the cultivation of devout affections towards him. Deut. vi. 4. "hear, O Israel; Jehovah our God is one Jehovah;" as in the first book, on God.

Opposed to this is, first, atheism. Psal. xiv. 1 . "the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." also liii. 1. See more on this subject in the first book, as above.

Secondly, polytheism, or the acknowledgment of more Gods than one, except in the sense authorized by Scripture itself. Gal. iv. 8. "when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no Gods." <262> Devout affections towards God are love, trust, hope, gratitude, fear, humility, patience, obedience. Deut. x. 12, 13. "what doth Jehovah thy God require of thee, but to fear Jehovah thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Jehovah thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul: to keep the commandments of Jehovah and his statutes."

The love of God is that by which we prefer him above all other objects of affection, and desire his glory. Deut. vi. 5. "thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thine heart —." See also Matt. xxii. 37.

Desire his glory. Numb. xiv. 15, 16. "then the nations will speak, saying, Because Jehovah was not able to bring this people into the land —." Josh. vii. 9. "what wilt thou do unto thy great name?"

Opposed to this is a hatred of God: John xv. 24. "they have hated both me and my Father;" and a love of the world or of created things. Luke xiv. 33. "whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." 1 Cor. vii. 31. "they that use this world, as not abusing it." Philipp. iii. 1, 8. "what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ." James iv. 4. "know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." 1 John ii. 15. "love not the world."

Of faith, in its primary sense, and as the instrumental cause of justification, I have spoken above; I <263> now speak of trust in God, considered as an effect of love, and as a part of internal worship, whereby we wholly repose on him. 2 Chron. xx. 20. "believe in Jehovah your God, so shall ye be established." Psal. xviii. 2, 3, &c. "Jehovah is my rock and my fortress... in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." So also Psal. xxvii. xxviii. 7. xxxii. 10. xxxvii, 5. "commit thy way unto Jehovah, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass." So also lxi. lxii. lxxiii. 26. lxxxiv. 12. cxii. 7. cxv. 9, &c. cxxiii. cxxx. 6. Prov. xiv. 26. "in the fear of Jehovah is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge." xvi. 3. "commit thy works unto Jehovah, and thy thoughts shall be established." See also xviii. 10. xxx. 5. Isai. lix. 1. "behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save." Jer. xvii. 7. "blessed is the man that trusteth in Jehovah, and whose hope Jehovah is." Mal. iii. 16-18. "then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked," &c.

Opposed to this is, first, distrust of God. Gen. xii. 13. "say, I pray thee, thou art my sister —." xxxii. 7. "then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed." Numb. xiv. 1, &c. "all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried —." xx. 10, 11. "must we fetch you water out of this rock?... with his rod he smote the rock twice." 2 Kings vii. 2. "if Jehovah would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?" Isai. vii. 12. "I will not ask, neither will I tempt Jehovah."

Secondly, an overweening presumption. Numb. xiv. 44. "they presumed to go up unto the hill top." xv. 30. "the soul that doeth ought presumptuously —." <264> Prov. xxvii. 1. "boast not thyself of to-morrow —." Amos v. 18. "woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah." Mic. iii. 11. "the heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon Jehovah, and say, Is not Jehovah among us?" Matt. iii. 7. "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" iv. 6, 7. "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Rom. ii. 4. "despisest thou the riches of his goodness-?"

Thirdly, carnal reliance. 2 Chron. xvi. 7. "because thou hast relied on the king of Syria —." v. 12. "in his disease he sought not to Jehovah, but to the physicians." Psal. xiv. 6. "ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because Jehovah is his refuge." See also cxviii. 8, 9. cxlvi. 3. "put not your trust in princes." cxlvii. 10. "he delighteth not in the strength of the horse." Prov. xxix. 26. "many seek the ruler's favour." Isai. xxx. 2. "to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh," &c. iii. 1. "the Lord doth take away...the stay and the staff." xxii. 8. "thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest." xxxi. 1. "woe to them that go down to Egypt for help —." Jer. xvii. 5. "cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from Jehovah." Amos vi. 13. "ye which rejoice in a thing of nought."

Fourthly, a trust in idols. 2 Kings i. 2. "go, inquire of Baalzebub —." More will be said on this subject hereafter, under the head of idolatry.

Hope is that by which we expect with certainty the fulfilment of God's promises. Job xiii. 15. "though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Psal. xxxi. 24. <265> "be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in Jehovah." xxvii. 14. "wait on Jehovah —." cxix. 116. "let me not be ashamed of my hope." Prov. x. 28. "the hope of the righteous shall be gladness." Isai. xl. 31. "they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles." Rom. v. 4, 5. "experience worketh hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts."

Opposed to this virtue, as well as to faith, is doubt; to which even the pious are sometimes liable, at least for a time. 1 Sam. xxvii. 1 . "David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul." Matt. xiv. 31. "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" xxi. 21. "if ye have faith and doubt not —." Mark xi. 23. "whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe —."

Secondly, despair; which takes place only in the reprobate. Gen. iv. 13. "Cain said unto Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear." Matt. xxvii. 5. "he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." Acts i. 18. "falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst."

Gratitude towards God is that whereby we acknowledge his goodness in conferring benefits upon creatures so unworthy as ourselves. Psal. ciii. 2. "forget not all his benefits." cxvi. 12. "what shall I render unto Jehovah-?" 1 Cor. vl 20. "ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Heb. xii. 28. "let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably <266> with reverence and godly fear." 1 Pet. ii. 9. "that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness —." 1 John iv. 19. "we love him, because he first loved us."

Opposed to this is, first, ingratitude towards God. Isai. i. 2. "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me." Hos. xiii. 6. "according to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted: therefore have they forgotten me." Rom. i. 21. "when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful."

Secondly, the bestowing on idols, or on created things, that gratitude which we owe to God. Jer. xliv. 17. "to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her... then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil." Habak. i. 16. "they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag."

The fear of God is that whereby we reverence God as the supreme Father and Judge of all men, and dread offending him above all things. Deut. xxviii. 58. "that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, Jehovah thy God." Psal. ii. 11. "serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling." xxxiv. 11. "I will teach you the fear of Jehovah." cxxx.4. "there is forgiveness with him, that thou mayest be feared." Prov. xix. 23. "the fear of Jehovah tendeth to life." Mal. i. 6. "if I be a father, where is mine honour? if I be a master, where is my fear?" 1 Pet. i. 17. "if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." Matt. x. 28. <267> "rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell." Philipp. ii. 12. "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Opposed to this is, first, carnal security. Job v. 3, &c. "I have seen the foolish taking root." xxiv. 23, &c. "though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth —." xxxiv. 22. "there is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves." Psal. x. 5, 6. "thy judgments are far above out of his sight." xxx. 6. "in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved." lxxiii. 6. "therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain." xciv. 7. "yet they say, Jah shall not see." Eccles. viii. 11. "because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Isai. v. 19. "that say, Let him make speed and hasten his work." xxviii. 15. "because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death." xxix. 15. "woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Jehovah." Ezek. viii. 12. "Jehovah seeth us not, Jehovah hath forsaken the earth." Amos vi. 1. "woe to them that are at ease." Zeph. i. 12. "that say in their hearts, Jehovah will not do good, neither will he do evil." Matt. xxv. "the foolish virgins." Luke xii. 2, 3. "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed —." v. 19. "I will say to my soul," &c. v. 45. "if that servant say in his heart," &c. 1 Cor. xi. 31. "if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."

Secondly, a slavish fear. 1 John iv. 18. "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment: he that feareth is not made perfect in love."

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Thirdly, a fear of idols. 2 Kings xvii. 33. "they feared Jehovah, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence."

And lastly, a fear of any thing whatever except God. Matt. x. 28. "fear not them which kill the body."

Humility is that whereby we acknowledge our unworthiness in the sight of God. Gen. xxxii. 10. "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies," &c. 1 Chron. xxix. 14. "who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." Psal. li. 17. "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit." cxv. 1. "not unto us, O Jehovah, not unto us, but unto thy name give the praise." Isai. lxvi. 2. "to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Matt. v. 3. "blessed are the poor in spirit." Luke ix. 48. "he that is least among you all, the same shall be great." 1 Pet. v. 5, 6. "submit your selves," &c. 1 Tim. i. 15. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."

To this is opposed, first, pride towards God. Job xv. 25. "he stretcheth out his hand against God." Prov. iii. 34. "he scorneth the scorners; but he giveth grace unto the lowly." See also James iv. 6. 1 Pet. v. 5. Prov. xvi. 5. "every one that is proud of heart is an abomination to Jehovah." Acts xii. 23. "the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory." Rev. iii. 17. "thou sayest, I am rich, and in creased with goods, and have need of nothing; and <269> knowest not that them art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."

Secondly, a false or superstitious humility. Col. ii. 23. "which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."

Patience is that whereby we acquiesce in the promises of God, through a confident reliance on his divine providence, power, and goodness, and bear inevitable evils with equanimity, as the dispensation of the supreme Father, and sent for our good. Job i. 22. "in all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." ii. 10. "shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" 2 Sam. xvi. 10. "because Jehovah hath said unto him, Curse David, who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" Isai. xxviii. 16. "he that believeth shall not mistake." Lam. iii. 29, &c. "he putteth his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope; he giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him." Matt. xvi. 24. "let him take up his cross, and follow me." Luke xxi. 19. "in your patience possess ye your souls." Rom. viii. 25. "if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." xv. 4. "that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." 2 Cor. xii. 10. "therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake." Coloss. i. 11. "unto all long-suffering". 2 Thess. iii. 5. "the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." Heb. x. 36. "ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive <270> promise." James v. 7, 8. "be patient unto the coming of the Lord; behold, the husbandman waiteth —... be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." 1 Pet. ii. 19, &c. "this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully... if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God: for even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an ex ample that ye should follow his steps... who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."

Opposed to this is impatience under the divine decrees; a temptation to which the saints themselves are at times liable. 1 Kings xix. 4. "he requested for himself that he might die." Job iii. 2, &c. "let the day perish wherein I was born." vii. 11. "therefore I will not refrain my mouth." xix. 7. "behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard; I cry aloud, but there is no judgment." Eccles. vii. 7. "surely oppression maketh a wise man mad." Jer. xx. 15. "cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying-." xlv. 5. "thou didst say, Woe is me now, for Jehovah hath added grief to my sorrow." Jonah iv. 3. "it is better for me to die than to live."

Obedience is that virtue whereby we propose to ourselves the will of God above all things as the rule of our conduct, and serve him alone. Thus Abraham, Gen. xii. 4. "departed from Canaan, as Jehovah had spoken unto him." xxii. 3. "Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass —." 1 Sam. xv. 22. "hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings <271> and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice." Psal. lxxxi. 13, 14. "O that my people had hearkened unto me," 5 &c. Eccles. v. 1. "be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools." Jer. vi. 19, 20. "because they have not hearkened unto my words... your burnt-offerings are not acceptable." vii. 22, 23. "I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices; but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice." xxxv. 2. "go unto the house of the Rechabites —." Matt. vi. 10. "thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." xxvi. 39. "not as I will, but as thou wilt." v. 42. "thy will be done." John xiv. 15. "if ye love me, keep my commandments." See also v. 21, 23. Acts iv. 19. "whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye." v. 29. "we ought to obey God rather than men." Eph. vi. 6, 7. "as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service." 1 John ii. 5. "whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." v. 17. "he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." v. 3. "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous."

Opposed to this is disobedience. 1 Sam. xv. 23. "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." This was the error of the prophet of Judah, 1 Kings xiii. 22. Prov. xiii. 13. "whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed." xxviii. 9. "he that turneth away his ear... even his prayer shall be abomination." Jer. vi. 16. "thus <272> saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways... and walk there in... but they said, We will not walk therein." v. 17. "they said, We will not hearken." vii. 26. "they hearkened not unto me —." xxii. 21. "this hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice." xxxvi. 23, &c. "it came to pass that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves," &c. xliv. 16. "as for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of Jehovah, we will not hearken unto thee." Even where it wears the disguise of humility: John xiii. 8. "thou shalt never wash my feet;" or of a righteousness beyond what is commanded: Deut. v. 32. "ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." See also xxviii. 14. Josh. i. 7. Deut. xii. 32. "thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." 1 Kings xx. 35. "the man refused to smite him." Prov. xxx. 6. "add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." 1 Cor. iv. 6. "that ye might learn in us not to think of man above that which is written." Rev. xxii. 18, 19. "if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues —."

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