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man; we are led to believe, that divine worship is an essential part of man's duty to him; as from a reasonable creature, to a merciful and bountiful Creator: and, that he hath an undoubted right to adoration and obedience, from such dependant beings, agreeably with the command: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God; and him only shalt thou serve." This is acknowledged by christians of all denominations, who believe it right to assemble at stated times for the purpose of worship, although they differ widely as to the manner of it." Colleys' Apology for Silent Waiting, page 3.
"Now, we believe, that as God is a Spirit, he may be truly worshipped, as we are gathered in his Spirit, though there be not a word outwardly spoken among us; as Christ said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Yet this of silent waiting is a great mystery to many people. There is a divine teacher near men, even in their own hearts, which is sufficient to teach them, as they take heed thereto. "But the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and need not that any
Mat. iv. 10.
c Mat. xviii. 20.
man teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things." B. Holme's Serious Call, pages 25, 26..
"Solomon saith, "The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.": If the Lord alone can prepare the heart, stir it up, or incline it towards unfeigned holiness, how can any man approach Him acceptably till his heart be prepared by Him? And how can he know this preparation, except he wait in silence to feel it? It is by the Spirit, that believers have access to the Father. And must not the preparations of the heart by the Spirit, make us sensible of our real wants, before we can ask aright, and also of our miserable state before we can seek that relief which is proper for us ? The influences of the Spirit are not at our command, circumscribed in our time, or limited by our wills; and, therefore, must be humbly waited for, seeing we can have no access without it." Mary Brook, on Silent Waiting, pages 3, 4.
The silence which we are engaged to promote, both by example and precept, is not merely a cessation from words, or a
1 John, f. 27.
settling into outward stillness. It is a silence of the mind, wherein living faith is essentially necessary; the awfulness and benefit of which state are better felt than 1. described." T. Colley, page 4.
"We judge it the duty of all to be diligent in the assembling of themselves together; and, when assembled, the great work of one and all ought to be to wait upon God, and, returning out of their own thoughts and imaginations, to feel the Lord's presence, and know a gathering into his name indeed, where he is in the midst, according to his promise. And as all are thus gathered; and so met together inwardly in their spirits, as well as outwardly in their persons; there the secret power and virtue of life are known to refresh the soul; and the pure motions and breathings of God's Spirit are felt to arise; from which, as words of declaration, prayers or praises arise, the acceptable worship is known, which edifies the church, and is well pleasing to God. And no man here limits the Spirit of God, nor bringeth forth his own coined and gathered stuff; but every one puts that forth which the Lord puts into his heart. And it is uttered forth, not in man's will and wisdom, but in the evidence and demonstration
of the Spirit and of power. Yea, though there be not a word spoken, yet is the true spiritual worship performed, and the body of Christ edified; yea, it may and hath often fallen out among us, that divers meetings have past without one word; and yet our souls have been greatly edified and refreshed; and our hearts wonderfully overcome with the secret sense of God's power and Spirit, which, without words, hath been ministered from one vessel to another. This is indeed strange and incredible to the mere natural and carnally minded man, who will be apt to judge all time lost, where there is not something spoken that is obvious to the outward senses; and, therefore, I shall in
sist a little upon this subject, as one that can speak from a certain experience, and not by mere hearsay, of this glorious dispensation, which hath so much the more of the wisdom and glory of God in it, as it is contrary to the nature of man's spirit, will, and wisdom." Barclay's Apol. page 352.
From thence, Barclay continues to describe the nature and excellence of true spiritual worship, till, in page 358, he proceeds, "Our work then and worship is, when we meet together, for every one to watch, and wait upon God in themselves, and to be
gathered from all visibles thereunto. And as every one is thus stated, they come to find the good arise over the evil, and the pure over the impure; in which, God reveals himself, and draweth near to every individual; and so he is in the midst, in the general; whereby each not only partakes of the particular refreshment and strength which comes from the good in himself, but is a sharer in the whole body, as being a living member of the body, having a joint fellowship and communion with all." In page 367, Barclay further says, "This great duty of waiting upon God, must needs be exercised in man's denying self, both inwardly and outwardly, in a still and mere dependence upon God, in abstracting from all the workings, imaginations, and speculations of his own mind, that being emptied as it were of himself, and so thoroughly crucified to the natural products thereof, he may be fit to receive the Lord, who will have no co-partner nor co-rival of his glory and power. And man being thus stated, the little seed of righteousness which God hath planted in his soul, and Christ hath purchased for him, even the me sure of grace and life, which is burdened and crucified by man's natural thoughts and imaginations,