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  • WORKS OF ARMINIUS - ON THE WORSHIP OF GOD IN GENERAL


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    DISPUTATION LXVII

    ON THE WORSHIP OF GOD IN GENERAL

    I. The first part of our duty to God and Christ was, the true meaning concerning God and Christ, or true faith in God and Christ; the second part is, the right worship to be rendered to both of them.

    II. This part receives various appellations. Among the Hebrews, it is called h r w k [ and y h w l a t a d y the honour or worship, and the fear of God. Among the Greek, it is called Eusebeia piety; Qesebeia godliness, or a worshipping of God; Qrhskeia religion; Latreia service rendered to God; Douleia religious homage; Qerapeia divine worship; Timh honour; Fobov fear; Agaph tou Qeou the love of God. Among the Romans it is called, pietas, cultus or cultura dei, veneratio, honos, observantia.

    III. It may be generally defined to be an observance which must be yielded to God and Christ from a true faith, a good conscience, and from charity unfeigned, according to the will of God which has been manifested and made known to us, to the glory of both of them, to the salvation of the worshiper, and the edification of others.

    IV. We express the genus by the word "observance," because it contains the express intention of our mind and of our will to God and to his will, which intention partly inspires life into this portion of our duty towards God.

    V. The object is the same as that of the whole of religion, and of the first part of it, which is faith; and this object is God and Christ, in which the same formal reasons come under consideration, as those which we explained when treating generally on religion.

    VI. In the efficient or the worshiper, whom we declare to be a Christian man, we require true faith in God and Christ, a good conscience, as having been sanctified and purified through faith by the blood and Spirit of Christ, and a sincere charity; for, without these, no worship which is rendered to God can be grateful and acceptable to him.

    VII. The matter is, those particular acts in which the worship of God consists; but the very will and command of God gives form to it; for it is not the will of God to be worshipped at the option of a creature, but according to the pleasure and prescript of his own will.

    VIII. The principal end is, the glory of God and Christ. The less principal is the salvation of the worshiper, and the edification of others, both that they may be won over to Christ, and that, having been brought to Christ, they may the more increase and grow in devotedness.

    IX. The form is the observance itself, which is framed from the suitable agreement of all these things to the dignity, excellence and merits of the object that is to be worshipped -- from such a disposition of the worshiper according to such prescript, and from the intention of this end. If one of these be wanting the observance is vitiated, and is, therefore, displeasing to God.

    X. Yet the worship which is prescribed by God must not, on this account, be omitted, though the man, to whom it is prescribed, cannot yet perform it, from such a mind, to this end.

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