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worship him as God.
This duty means to pray to him, to praise him, and to serve him, both in private and in public, both in your own houses, and in his house, the house of God, the Church; to look up to him at all times and under all circumstances; to believe that he is about your bed by night, and about your path by day, and spieth out all your ways; that there is not a word on your tongues, nor a thought in your hearts, but God knows it altogether. This is meant by the first commandment:
this is the first duty.
they be, who never
How wretched must
think of God, who
never pray to him! What must they think of themselves? They know not what is to befal them in this life: they know not what is to become of them after death. It is impossible for their best friends to guard them from sickness and from danger: it is impossible for their best friends to be of use to them, when they come to die. And yet they will not think of God, who is better to them than ten thousand friends,
who has power in heaven and in earth, can save us from all evil, and lead us into all good, can be with us even in the dark valley of the shadow of death, and guide us to his own heaven.
Perhaps you may understand what it is to worship God: and perhaps you may make it a point to worship him both in private and in public. But you know not what it is to love Him. You may think you cannot love one whom you have never seen. But herein you would be wrong. You can love a person, who, you know, does live, though you do not see him. Suppose you knew that there was a person who supplied all your wants, gave you food to eat and clothing to put on, kept you in health and in life, gave you strength and comfortable feelings, saved you from danger, gave you friends to take care of you, and promised to take care of you himself, all the days of your life, and even after death. Surely, you could, and
if your hearts were right, you would love this person, though you never saw him. You saw not his person: but you saw his goodness, and felt it too. Now God is better and kinder to you than any earthly person can be. You see him not; but you feel his kindness every moment of your lives. In him you live and move and have your being. Were he to take away your breath this moment, you would die. Surely therefore you can love him. And this love is shewn by the pleasure you take in praying to him, in putting your whole trust in him, in pleasing him, in trying to please him more than you do to please yourselves.
Now, my friends, when this command was given, Jesus Christ had not yet come on earth. But as he has come, and as you all wish to believe in him, you have more to do than the Israelites had, to whom the commandment was first given. You are to love God for sending his only begotten Son into the world to save you from hell:
and you are to love this great Being, the only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus, for thus coming and for thus saving you. He submitted to a most painful, a most dreadful death to save you. And will you not love so good a friend? It is no wonder, the Bible should tell us, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed."
May you, my friends and fellow Christians, think of all these things, when you hear the words "Thou shalt have none other Gods but me!" May you, with all your hearts, love God, and Jesus Christ, whom God has sent.
And now to God, &c.
EXODUS XX. 4, 5, 6.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
WHAT I have just read to you, my friends, is called the second command