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Trinitarian Worship: Natural and Instituted (1650), By Francis Cheynell


We must not do any divine service to them who are not Gods by nature. Gal. 4. 8. But the three divine Persons have the selfsame divine nature, and therefore the very same divine worship and service both for kind and degree is due to all three co-essential Persons. We must not conceive otherwise of God than he hath revealed himself in his Word: for then we shall not worship the true God, but a mere phantastical Idol of our own brain. Ye worship ye know not what saith Christ of the Samaritans: John 4. 22 the Samaritans served their own gods, who were not gods by nature, but false gods. 2 Kings 17. 29. 33.

2. Nor must we give Father, Son and Holy Spirit the only true God, any other kind of worship than what is prescribed in his Word. Israel is said to be without the true God when they were without the Law, without a Priest to teach them how to worship God according to his Law, 2 Chron. 15. 3. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching Priest, and without Law. The divine kind of worship prescribed both in Law and Gospel is spiritual worship, Mark. 12, 33, Heb. 12. 28, Psal. 51. 6, 16, Deut. 6. 5, 1 Cor. 5. 8, 1 Chron, 28. 9, Phil. 3. 3 & John 4. 23, 24.

3. The worship of God is either Natural or Instituted Worship. The Instituted Worship hath been changed, for it was different before the Law, under the Law, and under the Gospel. But the Natural Worship and service of God is perpetual and eternal, it is to be continued in heaven, both by Saints and Angels for evermore. Natural worship is due to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, because they have one and the self-same divine nature with God the Father. Angels are called upon to give this Natural Worship to Jesus Christ. And let all the Angels of God worship him. Heb. 1 6.

4. Instituted Worship is subservient, as I may so speak to this Natural Worship for when we worship God with those mean helps and actions which he himself hath appointed and ordained, we must worship him in spirit and truth. All Ordinances of Christ are means of grace to beget knowledge, faith, hope, love, self-denial, gratitude, humility, sincerity, reverence, zeal, and all other graces in the soul, and to increase them in us, that we may exercise all these graces upon every opportunity, and give God that natural, spiritual, divine honour, which is due unto his singular majesty, infinite excellency, independent perfection, and eternal Godhead, in knowing, esteeming, admiring, believing, loving, obeying God that our souls may be delighted and satisfied with God as the chiefest good, as the crown of all our joys, an all-sufficient portion of our souls for evermore. This is the full scope of the first table of the Law, and this is the sum of the Gospel. If the first table of the Law did discover to us:

1. The object of worship,

2. The means of worship,

3. The time of worship;

and did not also prescribe, require, enjoin; 4. The manner of worship, we should be at a loss; the Law would not be a perfect rule. Our worship would not be agreeable to the nature and will of God; God would be defrauded of his natural spiritual divine worship; and therefore when our Saviour doth deliver the full scope of all the four first Commandments by reducing them to one Commandment, he saith, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, this is the first and great Commandment, Mat, 22. 37, 38 & Deut. 6. 4, 5. This spiritual worship is taught us in every Commandment of the first table, if we look upon the inside and spiritual compass of those Commandments discovered to us by Moses, the Psalms, Prophets, and the New-Testament.

The First Commandment & Worship

In the First Commandement we are not barely required for to take God for the object of our worship; but to give him spiritual worship also; because we are required in mind, heart, will, affection and the effects of all these to take the true God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, God in Christ by the assistance of the Spirit to be our God, to know, esteem, admire, trust, love, reverence, adore, and serve him with hope, humility, self-denial, patience, joy and thankefulness, zeal and constancy. This is the inside and spiritual compass of the First Commandment.

The Second Commandment & Worship

In the Second Commandment we are required to worship God purely according to his will in every ordinance without any carnal imagination, or affections. The Papists will grant that we are by the use of ordinances (and as they dreams images also) to carry our hearts to God and Christ in obedience to the Second Commandment. The more learned Papists will confess that it is a sin against the First Commandement to terminate our worship in any Image, because no Image is Jehovah. But they worship Images Relative (though not Terminative) as visible helps to devotion to carry their hearts to God in worship; and it is clear that the Jews and Heathens of old intended no more, and therefore there is as much to be said for Heathenish and Jewish as there is for Romish Idolatry. This then is the great sin of the Antichristian Worshippers at Rome (who endeavour to defend this Relative worship of Images) that they conceive, that the heart of man will be better carried to God and Christ by human inventions (such as Images, Crucifixes, Reliques, &c.) than by Divine institutions; and this sin is called an hatred of God in the Second Commandment. And in the very letter of this Commandment we are directed how to expresse our love to God, namely, by seeking of him, and closing with him in his own ordinances, and institutions with an ingenuous contempt of human inventions in divine worship, and service; and though legal ordinances are not only changeable, but actually changed and abolished; yet there is something moral and unchangeable in this Second Commandment, which is attendance upon, and observance of the institutions and appointments of God. It is an immutable Law that we should give God that worship which is due unto him, express our faith in him, and love to him by a spiritual use of such means and ordinances as he himself should from time to time appoint. The due acknowledgement of God’s immensity, and infinite Majesty in our attendance on the instituted means of worship is clearly opposed to the Image-worship in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, and first chapter to the Romans; and therefore the inside and compass of this Second Commandment is spiritual, though the words of it are so comprehensive as to take in ceremonial as well as evangelical worship. For Reverend Divines have made it clear, that though the Second Commandment be moral in regard of its substance and general nature which contains the immutable Law above mentioned, yet in regard of its particular application to those significant Ceremonies, Sacrifices and Sacraments which God did appoint, we say, all Ceremonial Institutions are referred unto, and comprehended under the Second moral Commandment of God. See Mr. Shepherd in his excellent Treatise of the morality of the Sabbath. pag. 24. 40, 41.

The Third Commandment & Worship

The Third Commandment prescribes a reverend use of all the Titles, Properties, Works, and Ordinances of God with spiritual understanding and affection, with faith, reverence, love, joy, sincerity and thankfulness in thought, word, and life.

The Fourth Commandment & Worship

In the Fourth Commandment we are not only required to rest, but to sanctifie

a rest to Jehovah. If then we find the Titles, Properties, Works of Jehovah given

to Christ and his Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testament, we must conclude

that Christ and his Holy Spirit are to be worshipped in the same ordinances with the same spiritual and divine worship, which is due to God the Father.


The Divine Trinunity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Francis Cheynell, Page 354-360.

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