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  John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Introduction to the Worship of GodPreface-- The following Catechism explains the constitution and ordinances of a Christian Church, and the duties incument on its office-earers and memers! When it was first pulished, in ##$, the names of the author and of the printer were withheld, and no intimation e%en was gi%en of the place in which it was printed, lest danger should e incurred & the pulication of a work ad%ocating a form of polit& at %ariance with the ecclesiastical s&stem which the Court was at that time stri%ing to render, as far as possile, uni%ersal in 'ngland! (issenting congregations were, howe%er, springing up in different parts of the countr&, and for the guidance of the Independents the Catechism was particularl& useful! It was so much appreciated, that in the same &ear in which it first appeared, a second edition, with some slight differences and emendations, was pulished) and hence certain discrepancies etween the following %ersion of it and the one which is gi%en in *ussell+s edition of our author+s works, printed from the first edition of the Catechism! It came to e known as the Independents+ Catechism, and an angr& attack was made upon it, in ##, & .en/amin Camfield, rector of Whit&, in (er&shire, in an octa%o %olume of 01$ pages, entitled 2 3erious 'xamination of the Independents+ Catechism, and therein of the Chief Principles of 4onconformit& to, and 3eparation from, the Church of 'ngland! The Catechism, in the estimation of the rector, was the sink of all nonconforming and separating principles) and he takes Owen to task for inconsistenc& in holding the 3criptures to e a sufficient rule of faith and dut&! 2n attack conducted in this spirit onl& espeaks the influence which this Catechism was eginning to exert in diffusing the principles and consolidating the interests of the denomination to which its author elonged! It was the occasion of another attack upon Owen, in the shape of a fri%olous and itter pamphlet with the title, 2 5etter to a 6riend concerning some of (r! Owen+s Principles and Practices, etc!, #$7! 2 cop& of the Catechism had een sent & the 6riend to the anon&mous author of the pamphlet, who forthwith assailed Owen in a strain of pointless in%ecti%e! The first charge against him is, that when %ice-chancellor at Oxford, he had discountenanced some in%idious distinctions in the dress of the memers of the uni%ersit&,--those haits and formalities & which persons of distinct 8ualities and degrees were distinguished in that school of learning! It was an offence, too, that when he was rought into Westminster 9all for his witness against :r! (utton, he refused to kiss the ook, and professed it to e against his conscience to swear with an& other ceremon& than with e&es and hands lifted up to hea%en! The pamphlet closes with 2n Independent Catechism, in which the %iews of our author are caricatured in a st&le that is intended to e witt&! Certain principles laid down in Owen+s Catechism, in regard to the ruling elder for example, are thought to ear some traces of affinit& with Pres&terianism! 'ncouraged especiall& & the doctrine taught in it, that the elders, not the od& of the church, are the primar& su/ects of office-power, .axter wrote to Owen a long document of theses, as the asis of a union etween  Independents and Pres&terians! I am still a well-wisher to these mathematics, was his remark, when he finall& returned the theses to their author) and this, sa&s .axter, was the issue of m& third attempt for union with the Independents! There might e ground for supposing that, on terms suggested & the Catechism, a coalition might e effected etween the two denominations) and Owen himself, in a suse8uent work, indicated circumstances in which the& could not ha%e een in separation from each other without lame! 3uperior, howe%er, in practical sagacit& to his correspondent, he might see difficulties where .axter saw none, or might feel that a formula of astract theses was a waste of ingenuit&, so long as the mutual confidence was lacking, which alone could affix upon the union the seal of permanence! Too often the %ictim of his own ardour and acumen, .axter was prone to elie%e that the difficult& of ad/usting the wa&ward eddies of human feeling and opinion into one smooth and onward current, should &ield at once to the same treatment as would suffice to work a prolem or frame a s&llogism! The consummation for which he sincerel& panted,--the outward unit& of the church under one polit&,--seems as &et reser%ed in pro%idence to grace distant and happier times!William 9! Goold The& ;elie%ers< will recei%e nothing, practise nothing, own nothing in 9is worship, ut what is of 9is appointment! The& know that from the foundation of the world he ne%er did allow, nor e%er will, that in an& thing the will of the creatures should e the measure of his honour, or the principle of his worship, either as to matter or manner! It was a witt& and true sense that one ga%e of the 3econd Commandment, +4on imago, non simulachrum prohietur, sed, non facies titi)+--it is a making to oursel%es, an in%enting, a finding out wa&s of worship, or means of honouring God, not & him appointed, that is so se%erel& foridden! .elie%ers know what entertainment all will-worship finds with God! Who hath re8uired this at &our hand= and In %ain do &e worship me, teaching for doctrines the traditions of men, is the est it meets with! I shall take lea%e to sa& what is upon m& heart, and what >the 5ord assisting? I shall willingl& endea%our to make good against all the world,--namel&, that that principle, that the church hath power to institute and appoint an& thing or ceremon& elonging to the worship of God, either as to matter or manner, e&ond the orderl& oser%ance of such circumstances as necessaril& attend such ordinances as Christ himself hath instituted, lies at the ottom of all the horrile superstition and idolatr& of all the confusion, lood, persecution, and wars, that ha%e for so long a season spread themsel%es o%er the face of the Christian world) and that it is the design of a great part of the .ook of the *e%elation to make a disco%er& of the truth! 2nd I dout not ut that the great contro%ers& which God hath had with this nation for so man& &ears, and which he hath pursued with so much anger and indignation, was upon this account, that, contrar& to the glorious light of the Gospel, which shone among us, the wills and fancies of men, under the name of order, decenc&, and authorit& of the church >a chimera that none knew what it was, nor wherein the power did consist, nor in whom reside?, were imposed on men in the wa&s and worship of God!  4either was all that pretence of glor&, eaut&, comeliness, and conformit&, that then was pleaded, an& thing more or less than what God doth so descrie in the Church of Israel, '@ek! #AB, and forwards! 9ence was the 3pirit of God in pra&er derided,--hence was the powerfull preaching of the Gospel despised,--hence was the 3aath-da& decried,--hence was holiness stigmati@ed and persecuted! To what end= That Jesus Christ might e deposed from the sole power of law-making in his church,--that the true husand might e thrust aside, and adulterers of his spouse emraced,--that taskmasters might e appointed in and o%er his house, which he ne%er ga%e to his church, 'ph! 1A ,--that a ceremonious, pompous, outward show-worship, drawn from Pagan, Judaical, and 2ntichristian oser%ances, might e introduced) of all which there is not one word, tittle, or iota in the whole ook of God! This, then, the& who hold communion with Christ are careful of,--the& will admit nothing, practise nothing, in the worship of God, pri%ate or pulic, ut what the& ha%e his warrant for! Dnless it comes in his name, with Thus saith the 5ord Jesus, the& will not hear an angel from hea%en!Owen on Communion with God, pp! 07, 0 7, fol! ed!-------------------------------------------------------------------Euestion --What doth God re8uire of us in our dependence on him, that he ma& e glorified & us, and we accepted with him=2nswer--That we worship him Bin and & the wa&s of his own appointment! :att! 1A 7) *e%! 1A$) (eut! #A 0, 7AB7! B5e%! 7A -0) 'xod! B1A0) Gen! FA ) Josh! B0A#-F) ech! 1A #!'xplication--.& the worship of God in8uired after, not that which is natural or moral, which is re8uired in the first commandment, is intended! 3uch is our faith and confidence in him, our fear of him, our su/ection of soul and conscience unto him, as the great so%ereign 5ord, 6irst Cause, 5ast 'nd, Judge, and *ewarder of all men) the law whereof was srcinall& written in the heart of man, and hath een %ariousl& impro%ed and directed & new re%elations and institutions! 2nd this worship is called natural upon a doule accountA6irst, ecause it depends on the nature of God, a due perception and understanding whereof makes all this worship indispensal& necessar&A for none can know God ut it is his dut& to glorif& him as God, that is, to elie%e in him, lo%e him, trust him, and call upon him) which are all therefore cursed that do not, Ps! $A#) B Thes! AF!2nd, secondl&, ecause it was in the principle of it created with the nature of man, as that which suited, directed, and enaled him to answer the law of his creation, re8uiring this oedience of him in his dependence on God! 2nd this worship is in%arialeA ut it concerneth those outward wa&s and means where& God hath appointed that faith, and lo%e, and fear of him to e exercised and expressed unto his glor&! 2nd this kind of worship, though it depend not upon the nature of God, ut upon his free and aritrar& disposal, and so was of old liale unto alterations, &et God did e%er strictl& re8uire in the se%eral states and  conditions that his church hath gone through in the world! 2nd this is that which most commonl& in the 3cripture is called & the name of The worship of God, as that where& all the acceptale actings of the souls of men towards him are expressed, and the onl& wa& of owning and acknowledging him in the world, as also of entertaining a %isile intercourse with him! This, therefore, he calls for, and re8uires indispensal& of all that draw nigh to him, and that ecause he is the 5O*( our God, *e%! 1A#,$) :att! 1A 7) (eut! 7A B, 0! 6or his oser%ance hereof doth he so appro%e of 2raham, Gen! FA ) and sets it down as an e%erlasting law unto all others, that in a hol& oser%ation thereof he will e sanctified in them that come nigh him, 5e%! 7A -0! 9is commands, also, concerning it are multiplied in the 3cripture, with the approation of all those that attend unto them! We ma& not think to find acceptance with God, or to inherit the promises, if, supposing oursel%es to adhere unto him in worship internal and natural, we neglect that which is external and of his free appointmentA for esides that we renounce there& our inward dependence on him also, in not oser%ing his commands, as 2dam did in transgressing an institution, we ecome wholl& useless unto all the ends of his glor& in the world) which is not the wa& to come to an en/o&ment of him! 4either do we onl& express and profess our inward moral-natural worship of God here&, & which means it ecomes the principle wa& and instrument of faith and trust exerting themsel%es in our oedience, ut also it is a most effectual help and assistance unto the principle of that natural worship, strengthening the hait of it, and exciting it unto all suitale actings, unto its increase and growth!Euestion B--.& what means do we come to know that God will thus e worshipped=2nswer--That God is to e worshipped, and that according to his own will and appointment, is a principal ranch of the law of our creation written in our hearts, the Bsense whereof is renewed in the second commandment) ut the wa&s and means of that worship depend merel& on God+s 0so%ereign pleasure and institution! *om! AB ,BA 1, ) 2cts 1A #, $, $AB0-0 ! B'xod! B7A1-#! 0Jer! $A0 ) 'xod! BA17) 9e! 0A -#) John A F!'xplication--These two things all men saw & natureA6irst, That God, howe%er the& mistook in their apprehensions of him, would e, and was to e, worshipped with some outward solemn worship) so that although some are reported to ha%e e%en cast off all knowledge and sense of a (i%ine .eing, &et ne%er an& were heard of that came to an acknowledgment of an& God, true or false, ut the& all consented that he was constantl& and solemnl& to e worshipped, and that not onl& & indi%idual persons, ut & societies together) that so the& might own and honour him whom the& took for their God! 2nd thus far outward worship is re8uired in the first commandment, -- namel&, that the inward e exercised and expressed! When we take God for our God, we take him to worship him, (eut! 7A B, 0! Other thoughts, -- namel&, of inward worship without without outward expression, at all or an& time, or in an& wa&, -- are ut a co%ert unto atheism! 2nd, --3econdl&, This also the& were led to an apprehension of & the same
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