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Written by Wilson Thompson   


DISCOURSE 1.

On the Being of God, his Majesty, and the obligations all the world is under to worship him.

ALL gospel truth, is calculated to reveal God to man, in his nature, and works of providence and grace. In this work we shall therefore speak;

First, of the truth of the being of God.
Secondly, show that there is but one God.
Thirdly, hint at his Majesty, and the obligation all the world is under to worship him; for what he is, and for his creating and preserving goodness.

1. The truth of the being of God, is abundantly proved, by the things that are made; which declare his eternal power and God head. This terraqueous globe, with all its variety of animate and inanimate productions, afford sufficient evidence to prove to every unbiased mind, not only the being, but also the power and wisdom of the great architect. Let your eyes turn to the heavens, behold the sun, moon and stars; then ask your reason, if these are the works of chance. Follow the astronomer, while he persues those orbs through the hemisphere, then ask yourself; if chance can produce such order, or fulfill such regular revolutions; than contemplate within yourselves, and ask, am I the work of chance? does any man live by chance, or die by chance? No, reason forbids the conclusion; and stands convinced of the being, power, wisdom and eternity of God: but how to think, or speak of God, or how to understand him in his existence, perfections, or grace, is too unsearchable for reason; here it must stop; and stand as a humble inquirer, to receive instruction from revelation; for without this, reason must be for ever confused to find out what God is like; and with thousands of the heathen, we might be led to suppose, he is like the sun, the stars, the leck or onion, man, or gold; and so be led to worship some of those creatures: this is the best, that reason can teach, without revelation. For a proof of this, contrast the ideas of the heathen, respecting the supreme being, with the ideas of those that are blest with the book of revelation; seeing then, that reason must receive, and revelation is all that can instruct in this matter; let us hear what the scripture saith of this mystery; for there God speaks of himself, explaining his nature and grace; saying in Exod. 34.5. And the Lord passed by before him, (Moses) and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Num. 14.18. The Lord is long suffering and of great mercy. In the sacred scriptures, God reveals his being in the most convincing language, by his inspired servants, as in the 90th. Psalm 2d. verse, Before the mountains were brought fourth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. Psalm 93.2. Thy throne is established of old, thou art from everlasting. Isaiah 44. 6. we have the words of God as follows: thus saith the Lord the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, I AM the first, and I AM the last; and beside me there is no God; Isaiah 57. 15. For thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity. Here the convinced Nebuchadnezar, saying; Dan. 4. 34; I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. See Dan. 12.7. Rev. 4.9.10. and 10.6 and 15.7. and Heb. 1. 12. Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine holy one. Thus while we attend to revelation, as our instructor, God is made known, as one who is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders in the earth. This brings us to the second particular, to shew that there is but one God.

2. Men curious in their inquiries, ask to know, how many God’s there are; we answer; there are lords many and gods many, (such as reason have invented and heathens do worship,) but to us (who are taught by revelation,) there is but one only true and living God; and this the following passages, abundantly prove; See Amos, 4. 13. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what are his thoughts, and maketh morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of hosts is his name. Exod. 34. 14. For thou shalt worship no other God; for the Lord whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Psalms 82: 18. That men may know, that thou whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth. Deut. 6. 4. Here O Israel, the Lord our God is but one Lord. Isaiah 44. 8. Is there a God besides me? yea, there is no God; I know not any; Isaiah 45. 21. 22. There is no God else besides me, a just God and a Saviour, there is none besides me; look unto me, and be ye saved all ye ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else. 1. Cor. 8.4.6. There is none other God but one; to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him. If the above scriptures do prove any thing, they all go to prove that there is one, and but one only true and living God. And we shall now attempt to shew that God is an undivided, uncompounded spirit, without personal form or parts; and for this purpose we call in the following witnesses. 2. Cor. 3. 17. Now, the Lord is that spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty; thus we learn that God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth; thus where the spirit of the Lord is mentioned in scripture, we are to understand no other; then the same God in his spiritual operations, this is evident from Peters words to Annias; Acts 5. 3. 4. Why hath Satan filled thin heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? thou hast not lied unto men but unto God. That the Holy Ghost is the true God, appears again in the case of Mary’s conception, recorded Luke 4. 35. And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall overshadow thee; therefore also, that the holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the son of God. When God is declared to be every where present, it is under the name spirit, as in Psalms 139. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? When God gave spiritual gifts to men, though the gifts were diverse, yet they were all by the same spirit, thus we have seen that there is a God, that there is but one God, and that he is a spirit. That God is undivided and uncompounded, is evident from those scriptures, already mentioned; and many more that might be called in, if we deemed it necessary, such as, Mark 12.29. And Jesus answered him the first of all the commandments is, hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord: verse 30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart; &c. verse 32. And the scribes said unto him, well, Master, thou hast said the truth; for there is one God, and there is none other but he; the 34th verse inform us, that the scribes answered discretely. Deut. 4. 39. Know therefore, this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon earth beneath; there is none else, and as this will be treated upon more largely in another place, we shall pass on to notice, the majest of God, and the obligation all the world is under to worship him.

3. The Majesty of God is taught in the scriptures as follows; see Judges, 29. 11. 12. Thine O Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth, is thine, thine is the kingdom O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all; both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all. Nehem. 9. 32. Our God the great the mighty and the terrible God. Job 37. 22. with God is terrible majesty, Psalms 29. 3. 4. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. A display of the majesty of God is recorded in the 18th. Psalm, from verse 7. to 15. The earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth, devoured, coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, came down and darkness was under his feet, and he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place: his pavilion round about him, were dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies: At the brightness that was before him, his thick clouds passed, hail-stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail-stones and coals of fire. Yea he sent out his arrows, and scattered them: Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

Thus the Majesty of the one undivided God, is illustrated in the scriptures of truth, as one that is worthy of the praise of all other beings, or things; but man is not only under obligations to praise God, for what he is in the majesty of his sovereign character, but for discriminating benefits, bestowed upon him, in his creation, and endowments in Edom, and for the long suffering of God toward him; in and since the fall. David called for fire and trees, and all things animate and inanimate, to praise God, but in the ardor of his spirit, when addressing man, he says; O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men; if life is a blessing, God ought to be praised, for he is the giver and supporter of it; if superiority above the beasts that perish, is a privilege; if language to communicate our thoughts to each other is a favour; God ought to be praised for it; for he has bestowed this favour on us; in a word, if reasonable faculties, or a rational mind are blessings vouchsafed to us, it demands us to worship the doner, of all those blessings. And when we recount all the favours of God to man, how great are our obligations to worship him; let us contrast ourselves with the meanest brute, or worm, and then ask; why was I superior to them? Look back to creation, and see ten thousands of living creatures spoken into being by the word of God, but man alone bears the image of his creator, to him alone the right of subduing the earth is given; and shall man who is thus distinguished by his creator, not feel himself under obligations, to worship a God, so good, so kind. –

Yes, we should praise thee dearest Lord,
    Behold my heart and see;
And turn each cursed idol out,
    That dares to rival thee.

Let each reader reflect, with thankful heart, on the high estate in which he was created, and ask himself, if it is not rational to say; thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Here we see man made of the dust of the ground, no better dust, than that, out of which the beasts were made, but, behold, he is made in honour, he is made upright, he was wisdom to converse with his creator, and to give names to all the rest that were created; we all conclude, that man in his creation, ought to have worshiped God. But alas! man is fallen, and has become poor and miserable; a child of wrath, an enemy to God, and unreconciled to his law, &c. But does this remove his obligation to worship God? no, by this he is indisposed, but this can make no relaxation in his obligations, so far from it, that it shows his obligations in a clearer light than before; for though he has proved rebellious on his part, yet God is the same and instead of striking the rebel dead, according to the demerit of his crime, which he might have expected; and which according to the magnitude of his crime, he did deserve, yet God is sparing us in the world, and blessing us with ten thousand blessings every day; and are we not under obligations to praise him, for his preserving mercy? Or shall we try to plead an exemption on account of our indisposition occasioned by our sin? no, rather may we mourn over our rebelion against God, and feel ourselves under the strongest obligations to worship him, and join with the poet while he sings.

O may we loose these worthless tongues,
When they refuse thy praise.

We should not only feel ourselves under obligations to worship God, but we should esteem it our greatest privilege, and should take pleasure in it, for the angels own this as their sweet and delightful work; and the spirits of just men made perfect, claim this as their highest employment, and while the man is called to participate, in an employment which fills heaven with delight, shall he find no pleasure in it? or, shall we think of being happy in heaven, while the praise of God affords us no pleasure below, we might as well promise ourselves happiness in tasting gall, as of happiness in heaven, while the praise of God affords us no pleasure; but if this is the joy of our spirits on earth, which makes us long for better qualifications to perform this pleasurable work, it unites our hearts while we sing.

“I’ll praise my maker with my breath,
And when my voice is lost in death,
    Praise shall employ my nobler powers,
My days of praise shall ne’r be past,
While life and thought and being last,
    Or immortality endures.”

Thus we have briefly shewed, that there is but one God and that he is an uncompounded spirit; and that all the world is under the strongest obligation to worship him, and now we shall close this chapter, by making some enquiry into the reason, why men do not praise God. – First, because man is an enemy to God; and therefore does not love his praise; but loves sin, and rolls it as a sweet morsel under his tongue, and so has unqualified himself to praise God with delight, until his enmity is slain, and he reconciled to God, and brought to feel interested in the glory of the divine character. Secondly, because man is dead, and does not feel his obligation to God, but hates him, and loves death; and prefers a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding and hands to sleep. Thirdly, because man is blind, and deaf; and his whole mind, and conscience, and will depraved; and in order to his ever being prepared for the worship of God, he must be quickened and made alive, and the love of God must be shed abroad in his heart, by the Holy Ghost; his eyes must be opened to see the glory of God, in the face of Jesus; his ears must be unstopt to the voice of the Son of God; or the word of life which we preach, he must be renewed in the spirit of his mind, his heart sprinkled from an evil conscience; and his will subdued to the government of Christ: then, and not till then, will he feel his obligation to praise God, but this being done by the spirit, we love his praise, and are thus prepared to be happy in heaven, which we never could have been, without this change; O that this happy change, may be wrought in your soul, reader, if you are not the subject of it; for without it you are wretched; but with it you are blest.

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