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ment of the one true God, to the exclusion of all false gods; and it prohibits the acknowledgement of any other than the one true God.

§ 5. The expression to have, in the sense in which it is here used, means to esteem and to serve worthily the Lord of heaven and earth, God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as the Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, the Author and Donor of all good gifts, spiritual and corporeal, temporal and eternal; to acknowledge and adore his glorious nature and attributes; and to entertain those thoughts and feelings of mind and heart towards Him, which must necessarily result from a strong impression of his divine majesty, and a due sense of the relative situation, with regard to the Deity, in which it has pleased him to place his creatures.

Thus to have God is the primary injunction of the First Commandment; and it comprehends all general acts of duty towards him, namely: to believe in him, as God, as the one only possessor of all divine perfections, and especially as the God of Christians, whom he has chosen for his children, and invested with invaluable privileges, for the sake of Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son ;-to fear him with filial fear, dreading to offend him, as dutiful and affectionate sons of a tender father, and trembling lest he should rigidly execute against us, if we seem to despise his covenanted mercy, the threats denounced against the transgressors of his Law;-to love him sincerely and devotedly, with the best affections of our mind and soul, in gratitude for all the benefits that he hath done unto us ;-to esteem him far above all other things, because he is infinitely superior to every crea,

ture, and to consider all other interests and obligations as subordinate to those which are immediately connected with his name and service;-to worship him, in spirit and in truth, as the sole object worthy of all mental and bodily devotion ;-to give him thanks for the favours which we have received from him, of creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for his inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory;-to put our whole trust in him as the faithful performer of all his promises, and the all-powerful support and protector of those who take him for their shield and guide ;-to call upon him in prayer and supplication for the relief of all our necessities, the furnishing of our daily bread, and daily renewal by his Spirit;-and to honour his holy name and his word by the promotion of his glory in our thoughts, words, and actions,--and by hearing, reading, humbly meditating on the inspired writings of the Bible, religious conversation, desire of spiritual instruction, and endeavour to profit by it;-and lastly to serve him truly all the days of our life, by keeping the Commandments, or sincerely striving by God's grace to keep them, as perfectly and literally as if we were now under the covenant of works; at the same time receiving and being actuated by the spiritual sense, the higher motives, and more extended force with which the Founder of our faith has declared that they oblige his followers and disciples.

§ 6. The subsidiary virtues, or those dispositions which tend to the fulfilment of this precept, in the several branches into which it may be divided, are

chiefly-honesty and simplicity of heart; humility, teachableness, and self-abasement; ardent love of truth, and zeal tempered with discretion; a charitable desire to impart to others the benefit of spiritual light and knowledge,-together with promptitude, courage, and perseverance in carrying this desire into execution, according to the dictates of soberness, and the general tenour of our prescribed duties.

§ 7. It is expressly prohibited, in the First Commandment, to have any other than the one true God, that is, to acknowledge and to serve, in the same manner as has been above detailed, any imaginary deity or deities either instead of, or in conjunction with, that one Supreme Being to whom alone all divine honour and worship are indisputably due.

In this prohibition are necessarily included all the vices directly opposed to the virtues which are inculcated, and which together constitute the right acknowledgement of God. Such are: Atheism, the wilful and perverse ignorance, or the obstinate denial, of the existence or essential attributes of God;Polytheism, the acknowledgement of a plurality of gods ;-Idolatry, in this case particularly mental idolatry, the ascribing of divine properties and powers to any creature or fictitious personification ;shipping saints and angels, addressing prayers to them as to God, or invoking any other Mediator than Jesus Christ;-Infidelity, or doubt with regard to the nature and attributes, the will and purposes of God, so far as they are revealed in his authenticated Word delivered to us by the inspired penmen of the Old and New Testament ;-servile fear, in which the dread of punishment predominates over the hatred of


evil, and despair of mercy over faith in the remission of sins which is to be obtained, through Christ our Intercessor;-the love of ourselves, of the world, or of any thing which it contains-riches, honours, pleasures, or persons-more than of God,-the permitting any thing to interfere with, or diminish, from the paramount love and duty which we owe to him ;-forgetfulness of the religious knowledge which we have attained, and of the obligations which that knowledge imposes on us ;-impatience under the dispensations of Providence, and distrust of his veracity and benevolence, or a want of reliance on those gracious promises which assure us that the Almighty will never forsake those who put their trust in him;placing confidence in any power of man, or of earthly qualities and possessions, rather than in the living God ;-making real or pretended use of witchcraft, divination, enchantment, or converse with familiar spirits, and attributing supernatural efficacy to any thing but the omnipotence of God;-believing in pretended prophecies, or construing natural feelings into immediate revelations from heaven ;—unthankfulness for the temporal bounties, and ingratitude for the spiritual mercies vouchsafed us;—irreverence in thinking or speaking of the awful name of Jehovah, or of any thing which is consecrated to his service, or hallowed by his appointment ;-disregard and contempt of religion, its ministers, and ordi. nances ;-profaneness, including all blasphemous and unworthy thoughts of Him who is infinitely perfect ; and superstition, or absurd, immoderate, and unauthorized methods of attempting to set forth the glory of God, in defiance of his plain commands, of apos

tolical practice, or of the dictates of sound reason and experience.

§ 8. The vices and defects of heart and mind, which obstruct the diffusion of a fruitful knowledge of God, and are therefore to be considered as condemned by this Commandment, are-hardness and insincerity of heart, by which the truth is resisted, or if received is received only in hypocrisy and guile; obduracy of conscience, which arises from an endeavour to blunt its acute sense of sin, and to stifle the remorse which conviction of guilt occasions ; pride, self-sufficiency, and vain-glory ;-indifference to all religious matters on the one hand, or, on the other, a blind and intemperate zeal, injudiciously proposing unattainable or undesirable objects, and pursuing them at the expence of others unquestion. ably important;-carelessness of the good of others, and neglect of their necessities.

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