Tag Archives: Roman Catholic

“Whatsoever is not of God’s own appointment in his worship, that he looks upon as strange fire; and no wonder he is so highly incensed at it, for as if God were not wise enough to appoint the manner how he will be served; men will go to prescribe to him, and as if the rules for his worship were defective, they will attempt to mend the copy, and superadd their inventions.”

Section 5: A godly man is very exact and careful about the worship of God.

“The Greek word for godly signifies a right worshipper of God; a godly man doth reverence divine institutions, and is more for the purity of worship than the pomp; mixture in sacred things is like a dash in the wine, which though it gives it a color, yet doth but adulterate it; the Lord would have Moses make the tabernacle according to the pattern in the mount, Ex. xxv. 40. If Moses had left out anything in the pattern, or added any thing to it, it would have been very provoking; the Lord hath always given testimonies of his displeasure against such as have corrupted his worship; Nadab and Abihu ‘offered strange fire,’ (other than God had sanctified) ‘upon the altar;’ ‘And fire went out from the Lord, and devoured them,’ Lev. x. 1. Whatsoever is not of God’s own appointment in his worship, that he looks upon as strange fire; and no wonder he is so highly incensed at it, for as if God were not wise enough to appoint the manner how he will be served; men will go to prescribe to him, and as if the rules for his worship were defective, they will attempt to mend the copy, and superadd their inventions.

A godly man dares not vary from the pattern which God hath shewn him in the scripture; and probably this might not be the least reason, why David was called a man after God’s own heart, because he kept the springs of God’s worship pure, and in matters sacred, did not superinduce anything of his own devising.

Use. By this character we may try ourselves, whether we are godly: are we tender about the things of God? Do we observe that mode of worship, which hath the stamp of divine authority upon it? It is of dangerous consequence to make a medley in religion.

1. Those who will add to one part of God’s worship, will be as ready to take away from another, Mark vii. Laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the traditions of men.’ They who will bring in a tradition, will in time lay aside a command: this the Papists are highly guilty of; they bring in altars and crucifixes, and lay aside the second commandment; they bring in oil and cream in baptism, and leave out the cup in the Lord’s supper; they bring in praying for the dead, and lay aside reading the scriptures intelligibly to the living; they who will introduce that into God’s worship which he hath not commanded, will be as ready to blot out that which he hath commanded.

2. Those who are for outward commixtures in God’s worship, are usually regardless of the vitals of religion; living by faith, leading a strict mortified life, these things are less minded by them: wasps have their combs, but no honey in them; the religion of many may be likened to those ears which run all into straw.

3. Superstition and profaneness kiss each other; hath it not been known that those who have kneeled at a pillar, have reeled against a post?

4. Such as are devoted to superstition, are seldom or ever converted, Matt. xxi. 3, ‘Publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you;’ it was spoken to the chief priests, who were high formalists; and the reason why such persons are seldom wrought on savingly, is, because they have a secret antipathy against the power of godliness. The snake is of a fine color, but it hath a sting, so outwardly men may look zealous and devout, but retain a sting of hatred in their hearts against goodness. Hence it is, that they who have been most hot for superstition, have been most hot for persecution. The church ofRomewears white linen, (an emblem of innocency) but the Spirit of God paints her out in scarlet, Rev. xvii. 4. Whence is this? Not only because she puts on a scarlet robe, but because her body is of a scarlet dye, having embrued her hands in the blood of the saints, Rev. xvii. 6.

Let us then, as we would demonstrate ourselves godly, keep close to the rule of worship, and in the things of Jehovah, go no further than we can say, ‘It is written’.”

 Thomas Watson, from A Godly Man’s Picture, p 37-39.

“There was nothing in the past about which God was so jealous as the mode of His worship. There was nothing around which He threw guards and fences so awful as around His worship…He reserved to Himself the high prerogative of appointing the ways in which men should approach Him in His public worship, and instantly resented every invasion of that prerogative.”

“What are the signs of the times in the sphere of Worship?

 I confess that upon this subject I scarcely dare trust myself to speak. The movement of our times strikes me with astonishment. There was nothing in the past about which God was so jealous as the mode of His worship. There was nothing around which He threw guards and fences so awful as around His worship. His wrath leaped forth as a vehement flame against those who asserted their wills in His worship.  He reserved to Himself the high prerogative of appointing the ways in which men should approach Him in His public worship, and instantly resented every invasion of that prerogative. But all that is now changed, we are told. We have passed under the milder sanctions of the New Testament dispensation, and more discretionary power is granted to the church.

Hold!  Did not Christ enjoin it upon His apostles to teach the church to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded? And does not that necessarily imply that they were to teach the church to abstain from all things whatsoever He had not commanded? To do nothing which He had not commanded? Did not the apostles organize the church according to His will? Did they not appoint her whole order, including her public worship? And are we not bound by Christ’s will thus expressed? Did the apostolic church know anything of instrumental music in public worship, of liturgies, of the decorations of church edifices? How come we to know them except by breaking with the apostolic order and the will of our King?

Hearken, men and brethren! Let us take just one of these elements of innovation upon the primitive order of worship and rapidly trace its history. For 1,200 years the Christian church knew nothing of instrumental music in her public worship. In the thirteenth century its proposed introduction into the Church of Rome — corrupt as it then was — was ineffectually resisted by some of her most eminent theologians.

 At the reformation the Swiss Protestant Church cast it out; the French Protestant Church cast it out; the Dutch Church cast it out; the Scotch Church cast it out; the English Puritans cast it out; and the Church of England came very nigh casting it out. At its first planting, the American Evangelical Church refused to adopt it.

 What do we now behold? Its use by nearly all the leading churches of Protestantism, in opposition to the Scriptures and the venerable precedents which have just been recited. What a change! What a blazing sign in the sky of the Protestant Church! What is to stop the tendency? The beginning is the mother of the end. What end? The full orchestra of Rome.”

 

from Sermons of John L. Girardeau, The Signs of the Times in the Church, Matthew 16:3

“Whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden.”

” ‘Whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden.’ This, the Scriptural law of worship, is the acropolis of the Church’s liberties, the palladium of her purity, and her God-given moorage. Let the Protestant Church, in creed or conduct, in profession or practice, depart from this divine principle, and she has weighed her sheet-anchor only to find its flukes sundered and herself adrift on the high seas, a craft without compass or chart or polestar, in the midnight darkness of rationalism and ritualism, with her prow pointing to ‘Rome’ as her probable landing-place.” William S. McClure, from The Scriptural Law of Worship, Ch 4 of The Psalms in Worship, ed. by John McNaugher, 1907, full text The Psalms in Worship CH4 The Scriptural Law of Worship by William S McClure

Do you agree with McClure’s view of the Regulative Principle of Worship? Is he putting too much emphasis on the doctrine itself?

From his perspective the churches who have abandoned the RPW are headed toward Rome. As EPers, should we take this approach in our discussions with others?

Two holes in the door…

“It was said that the Rev. John Newton was a great lover of cats. Once he possessed a mother cat and a kitten. In the kindness of his heart, and to prevent the too frequent interruption of his studies by waiting on the cats, he had two holes cut in the door of his house, one for the old cat, and a smaller one for the kitten. It had not occurred to the good man that the hole that would admit the larger cat would admit also the kitten, indeed would admit not only two cats but any number of cats. When you have made an opening in the door of God’s house large enough to admit songs of praise which God has not authorized, that same hole will admit the worship of the Virgin Mary, prayers to St. Peter, confession to the priest, holy water, kissing the pope’s toe, and the whole brood of pollutions and monstrosities from which the Church escaped in the tremendous revolution and reformation of the sixteenth century. The great principle that only what is commanded has a place in the worship of God was one of the cornerstones of the Reformation; without it the great battle of Protestantism against Romanism could never have been fought out and won. In asserting this doctrine we are simply calling the Church back to one of the great attainments of the Reformation, when purity of worship and the inspired songs of God’s Word had the right of way in all the Reformed Churches.” by the Rev. William H. Vincent, D. D., Allegheny, Pa. The Scriptural Law of Worship, ch3 from The Psalms in Worship, edited by John McNaugher, full text The Psalms in Worship CH3 The Scriptural Law of Worship by William H Vincent