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MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
EXHORTING THEM TO TURN FROM
TO THE WORSHIP OF
THE ONE TRUE GOD.
"Ye worship ye know not what." John iv. 22. [ Re-printed from the second edition, 1788. J AN ADDRESS
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Permit me to address you on a subject of the greatest importance to a sincere believer in Christ. I observe that many of you, every seventh day, frequent some place set apart for religious worship. You there prosess to offer up prayers to the Being who created the world. Whatever may be the laws or customs of your different places of worship, you presume that they are founded on the holy scriptures. Any thing contrary to those scriptures, ought not, you think, to be admitted into your worship. Surely then it behoves you, at all times, to examine your opinions, to see whether you are really and truly worshipping the true God, the God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ, or a phantom of your own imaginations.
A 2 Are
Are you then worshippers of God or not? It is a serious question. Let me persuade you to give it a moment's consideration. The words which Christ used, in answer to a Jewish inquirer after the sirst commandment of the law, may assist: you in your thoughts. "Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is "one Lord; and thou shalt love the 'Lord thy God "with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with "all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the "first commandment*." I bring you to this test.; do you really worship that God, of whom Christ speaks, or do you not? Ifyou do not, Christ himself bears witness against you, that you are not his. disciples. To know*whether you do, or do not, despise your saviour, you must consider who God is, of whom Christ speaks.
Before I examine this point, let me observe to y«u what I have seen, or heard, in your places of worship. In the established churches, a form of prayer is used, in which are the following words; —O God the son, redeemer of the world—O God the holy ghost—O holy, blessed, and glorious trinity, three persons and one God, have mercy upon us miserable sinners—O lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us; and, in many similar passages, prayers are addressed to Jesus Christ, to the holy ghost, and to the trinity. In most also of the places of worship belonging to the dissenters, prayers are offered up to Jesus Christ, to the holy ghost, and to the trinity.
Now, * Mark xii. 29.
Now, brethren, if Jesus Christ be not God, if the holy ghost be not God, if the trinity be not God, you are guilty of a breach of Christ's commandments in praying to them; and if you pray to al* these, you err grievously, for Jesus Christ tells us, that "the Lord our God is one Lord ." to which great truth Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, bear witness. You worship, alas! other gods than the true God, forgetting what is said in the scriptures, "Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor "worship them."
Of whom then did Christ speak? the words are taken from Deut. 6th chap. 4th ver. and, literally translated, are, "Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." Jehovah is the name by which God made himself known toMoses; Jehovah created the hea\enS and the earth; Jehovah called Abraham—spake to Moses —revealed himself to the prophets—Was worshipped by the Jewish nation. Throughout the whole of the old Testament, Jehovah declares himself to be one, and that there is no other God beside him: the children of Israel, while they obeyed him, worshipped him as the one and only true God; and when they mixed with the worship of Jehovah that of idols, they were brought to their senses by severe punishments. When Christ preached to the Jews, Jehovah was the object of their worship; of him also Christ bears witness, namely, that Jehovah is the only true God, that there is no one good but A 3 him,