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sesses any such members. Only out of condescension to our capacities, and to impart a more lively idea of the various counsels and operations of His providence, they have been ascribed to Him by the inspired writers. The face of God (for instance) is put to signify His presence, the eyes and ears of God His watchful superintendence, and the hands and feet of God his active power; but that in fact God has none of these, being able, by mysterious means, to exercise such His attributes without them, may be alleged on the ground of his many positive prohibitions to frame any image, or fancied resemblance of Him. Likewise our Lord declared to His disciples, " A spirit hath "not flesh and bones, as ye see me have," (Luke xxiv. 39;) and," No man hath seen God at any "time; the only begotten Son, which is in the "bosom of the Father, He hath revealed Him." (John i. 18.) From these considerations, the necessity which is laid upon us to worship God in spirit, will appear sufficiently evident and reasonable. Such as the nature of God is, such must our service be. We are bound specially to honour Him with that part of ourselves, which is specially imparted to us of His essence. Our bodies were made originally of the dust of the ground, and are successively born into the world of earthly parents; but our
souls or spirits, there is much reason to sup pose, are derived to us more immediately from God. Indeed, it is stated, concerning the first man, "The Lord God breathed into his nos"trils the breath of life; and man became a "living soul." (Gen. ii. 7.) In that, therefore, it appears meet and right that He should require to be principally worshipped. Pursuant to this statement of their origin, our souls, and all that is within us, are specially obliged to render homage unto their Creator.
Further, or with a view to illustrate and enforce the above argument, I will bid you observe, that even men, who have both a body and a spirit, account but meanly of any act of the body, from which they suspect the spirit to be wanting. We set no value upon, but are rather inclined to despise and reject, the strongest mere words and gestures, (whenever we can discover them to be such,) whether of obedience or of love. Nay, more, substantial helps and services, which in all cases must prove beneficial to us, fail to yield any adequate satisfaction, if not apparently done with heartiness and with spirit. Let our bodies be ever so much advantaged by the bodily exertions of others, yet, unless they shew marks of kindness and alacrity from within, our inward man cannot feel gratified or refreshed. The most
trifling attention, clearly dictated by benevolence, will commonly impart greater pleasure to the receiver, than somewhat of a far superior price, accompanied by coldness and constraint. This qualification, we cannot doubt, must be infinitely more necessary in order to our acceptance with God. Since men cannot be pleased with a benefit, in which the spirit of the benefactor is not concerned, much less can God be expected favourably to accept any merely outward worship. That must be as no worship before Him, who is purely and entirely a Spirit, which is offered without the spirit of the worshipper; and (as our Lord's remark on the widow's mite may assure us) every offering, both of deeds and of words, will be esteemed by our heavenly Father, and obtain the return of His blessing, in proportion to the piety of spirit which it may denote.
However, let me not be understood to argue, as if men, having bodies which they can use, may acceptably worship God without a corresponding presentation of them. The body of each one is prepared for him, that, by means of it, he may second, or shew forth that homage of his spirit, which is first and most indispensably required. The slothfulness, or perhaps some other corrupt propensity, of our nature, is apt to suggest, that, provided we worship in
spirit, it makes no difference whether at home, or at church, whether sitting, or standing, or on our knees, whether frequenting, or turning away from the Lord's table. But this doctrine, although true, and full of comfort with respect to such as, by reason of sickness, or necessary avocations, have not command over their bodies, cannot with propriety be conceded to any other description of persons. Respecting men in general, it should not be deemed uncharitable to affirm, that their spirits are not right, or, at the least, will not long continue so, who forsake the assembling of themselves together, or neglect to pray with bended knees, or to eat and drink at the table of Christ, in remembrance of the sacrifice of His death. A genuine spirit of devotion will not fail in every possible case to evince itself by such tokens, which are strongly enjoined and commended to us in Scripture. The apostles and first disciples lived in the habit (be it remembered) of exhibiting them; and, judging by their practice, we may suppose, that, as by works, faith, so, by these bodily observances, spiritual worship is to be made perfect. It should seem hardly less worthy of a Christian to say unto our heavenly Father, "Hallowed be Thy name," while we omit such visible methods of hallowing it, than to say to the naked and hungry,
Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled," without tendering, according to our ability, a supply of such things as they require. (James ii. 14, 15, 16, 22.)
And, to go even further on this point, it may be proper sometimes to advance, as it were, before the spirit, in the use of what I will call bodily worship. Should the spirit be too weak to stir the body, one may try whether the body can excite the spirit. Let a man be only spiritual enough to wish that he were so in a greater degree, and such an experiment will probably have a good result. For example; is one sensible that he is lacking humility, or a disposition to fall down and kneel before the Lord his Maker? He should attempt by the way of kneeling to acquire it. Does a Christian perceive himself not sufficiently inclined to go with his brethren into God's house? He will do well nevertheless to go, hoping that the place and the company, or somewhat which he shall there hear, may take effect on him. Are we apprehensive of not loving Christ with the pious warmth which becometh Christians? Yet will it be our wisdom to draw near, and partake of the sacrament of His holy supper, to the intent that we may thus be qualified to love Him better. Many, no doubt, are they, whose spirits have been beneficially reacted on