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poses; for we read (1 Kings, xi. 4), that the heart of Solomon was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David, his father: and the reason of it, and God's caution against this sin, you will see in the foregoing verses of the same chapter; and a further account of this you will also find in 2 Kings, xvii. 34, 35. Therefore God not only gives this caution here to the Jews, but St. Paul in like manner forewarns even Christians, to whom he preached, to flee from idolatry (1 Cor. x. 14-compare 1 John, v. 20), and not even to keep company with a brother (that is, a Christian), who was guilty of it. (1 Cor. v. 11.)

It certainly does seem very unnatural, that men, who know and believe as they ought of God, and, consequently, that there neither is, nor can be, more than one, should at the same time pay adoration to many more as such. But the truth is, men do not always act consistently with their own knowledge and profession, otherwise it would be impossible for those who had a right notion of God, to think of any other besides him, or indeed to do many other things, which we see them guilty of, and which are totally inconsistent with reason and true wisdom. But as, by experience, we find that men may very well know what their duty is, and yet act contrary to it; so it is equally certain, that they not only may do, but have done as rashly in the

case before us. Whosoever gives divine honours to any other being besides God, does clearly profess that being to be God, as much as he who swears allegiance to any person, by such an action acknowledges that person for his prince. Religious prayer to, and calling upon, those we suppose to be in heaven, for help, are, without dispute, acts of divine honour. This is one of the numerous errors of the Church of Rome, which, by so doing, most evidently declares she does not confine her worship to GoD


But, as Christians, we may be still guilty of idolatry, and though in a more refined, yet in a more dangerous sense. Our blessed Lord and his Apostles have given us the spiritual essence of every commandment. We may provoke the jealousy and displeasure of the Lord, by depending upon the creature more than the Creator, for our present comfort. In doing this, we do not consider properly from whom all blessings flow. It is in this sense we are to in

terpret that passage of Scripture which excepts to our loving any earthly relation more than Christ, who is God with the Father and Holy Spirit, and which declares all such to be unworthy of him. It is impossible to suppose this passage is designed to lower any of the relative duties, otherwise Scripture would not be consistent with itself; for we are told that he that pro

videth not for his own, is worse than an infidel; and he must consequently love them, to excite his zeal for their welfare; but it is intended to direct all the glory to God. Every comfort we receive while here below-every tender regard we feel for dear relations, parents, husbands, wives, or even children (that nearest and strongest of all ties), must all give place to the love and duty we owe to Him who is the Author of all these gifts and blessings: they are appointed for our trial, whether we will be thankful and obedient for his sake, or whether we will be unmindful of his mercies, and attribute all the happiness we receive to accidental circumstances -to our own exertions only, and consider the satisfaction we experience from different connexions and situations, as wholly independent of God's government and appointment. expression of being unworthy of Christ, may also be admitted, in this particular place, to set forth the deficiency of those new Christian disciples, who preferred the opinion of their relations, or the comforts of domestic ease, to the trials necessary to prove them faithful followers of their Master; it being required in those days, that men should witness their faith with their lives if need required it; therefore, to be intimidated with the anguish of selfish fear, or the endearments of weak nature, so as to give up the cause wherein they were enlisted, was plainly


to love father and mother better than Christ. Duty to parents, and affection to relations, were not to be neglected; but when the truth in Jesus came in competition with any worldly enjoyment, it behoved the Christian to sacrifice all to the cause of his divine Master; that is, to take up the cross and follow him. You cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore we are likewise inclining to idolatry, in this acceptation of the sin, when we build on riches or property, and forget God's providence in bestowing, and his power to remove them-when we no less foolishly than unthankfully suppose, if we can arrive to such a pitch of grandeur in wealth, we need fear no interruption of our happiness, and busy ourselves about particular objects to insure it, without regarding God's favour as the most essential possession. This, again, is most evidently to prefer the creature: and, among many other instances, in which we may transgress the purity of this first commandment, I shall only mention one more, and that is, when we over-much lament the loss of any object that supplied us with earthly happiness. We are not to be without feeling for the privation of the most exquisite delight our nature can experience, nor are we required to suppress a due concern for the loss; but we are to apply religion to our grief, and to resolve all into the unerring will and wisdom of the Almighty. We

must say with holy Job, The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken way; blessed be the name of the Lord: and with the priest of old, Let him do what seemeth him good:-we must consider what punishment we have deserved at the hand of God, and submit to his correction, be it ever so severe at present; otherwise we shall appear to dispute God's authority, and to lessen his power:

-we must consider from whose hands these very blessings first proceeded, and how able he is to turn the loss of them into still greater, if we bear the visitation with Christian patience and humble hope. Here are some examples in what manner we may be charged with the idolatry I am describing; in not giving unto the Lord all the honour due unto his name-in not sufficiently considering him in all his works and appointments; for, in proportion as we arrogate any goodness to ourselves, independent of his grace-in proportion as we build on any happiness that we do not perceive, and allow to be in some degree derived from his mercy, we are guilty of a species of idolatry, in that we lean more to the influence of the creature towards our comfort, than the Creator; and we consequently deprive him of that share of praise and worship which can belong alone to the Lord of the whole universe, the Maker and Preserver of all things. In short, we must love our dearest and best friends, in and for God-we must adore

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