Q56. What is required in the second commandment?A56. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances, as God has appointed in His Word.
Deuteronomy 32:46. “…he said to them, ‘Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.’”
Matthew 28:20. “…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Deuteronomy 12:32. “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.”
Help from Benjamin Beddome
May civil honour be given to creatures? Yes. Thy father’s children shall bow down before thee, Gen. xlix. 8. But is divine worship due only to God? Yes. Him only shalt thou serve, Matt. ir. 10. Is the light of nature sufficient to direct us in the worship of God? No. Whom ye ignorantly worship, Acts xvii. 23. Should we therefore have recourse to the written word? Yes. And Joshua built an altar to the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses, Josh. viii. 31.
Should all God’s ordinances be received? Yes. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, Job xxii. 22. And observed? Yes. Ye shall observe my statutes, Lev. xix. 37. And kept pure without adulteration? Yes. And thou not unto his’ words, Prov. xxx. 6. And entire without diminution? Yes. Ye have not kept my ways, but “have been partial in my law, Mal. ii. 9. Is this especially the duty of ministers? Yes. The good thing which was committed to thee keep, 2 Tim. i. 14.
May not our own fancies be the rule of our worship? No. Remember the commandments of the Lord, and seek not after your own heart, and your own eyes, Numb. xv. 39. Nor the customs of men? No. After the doings of the land of Egypt, and after the doings of the land of Canaan, ye shall not do, Lev. xviii. 3. Nor the prescriptions of superiors? No. Be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy Gods, Dan. iii. 18. Should we therefore keep close to God’s word as our rule? Yes. And look that thou make them after the pattern, Exod. xxv. 40. Nor be affrighted therefrom by the greatest reproaches or sufferings? No. None of these things move me, Acts xx. 24.
Help from Thomas Vincent
Q1. How doth the worship required in this second commandment differ from the worship required in the first commandment?
A1. The worship required in the first commandment hath a respect unto the object of worship, whereby we are bound to worship the true God, and none else: the worship required in the second commandment hath a respect unto the means of worship, whereby we are bound to worship God according to the way and means of his own appointment, and no other.
Q2. What is the way and means which God hath appointed for his worship?
A2. The only way and means which God hath appointed for his worship, are his ordinances, which he hath prescribed in his Word.
Q3. What are the ordinances which God hath appointed in his Word, to be the means of worship, and to be observed by his people ?
A3. The ordinances which God hath appointed in his Word, to be the means of his worship, and to be observed by his people, are —
1. Prayer unto God with thanksgiving, and that publicly in assemblies, privately in families, and secretly in closets. “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”— Phil. 4:6. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”— Eph. 5:20. “And the whole multitude of people were praying.” — Luke 1:10. “Pour out thy fury upon the families which call not upon thy name.”— Jer. 10:25. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which. is in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” — Matt. 6:6.
2. Reading and searching the Scriptures. “For Moses is read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day.”— Acts 15:21. “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.”— John 5:39.
3. Preaching and hearing of the word. “Preach the word; be instant in season, and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.”— 2 Tim. 4:2. “Hear, and your soul shall live.”— Isa. 55:3.
4. Singing of psalms. “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.”— Ps. 149:1. “Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” — James 5:13.
5. Administration and receiving of the sacraments, both of baptism and the Lord’s supper. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”— Matt. 28:19. “For I have received of the Lord that which also I have delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which lie was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”— 1 Cor. 11:23-25.
6. Fasting. “But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”— Luke 5:35. 7. Instructing of children and household in the laws of the Lord. “For I know him, that he will command his children, and his house-hold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord.” — Gen. 18:19. “And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.”— Deut. 6:6,
7. Instructing of children and household in the laws of the Lord. “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”— Eph. 6:4.
8. Conference and discourse of the things of God. “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it.”— Mal. 3:16. “Thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”— Deut. 6:7.
9. Meditation. “I will meditate of all thy works.”— Ps. 77:12. “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear unto all.”— 1 Tim. 4:15.
10. Vows to the Lord. “Vow and pay unto the Lord.”— Ps. 76:11.
11. Swearing by the name of the Lord, when lawfully called. “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.— Deut. 6:13.
12. Exercise of Church discipline. “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.”— Matt. 18:15-17.
Q4. What doth God require in the second commandment, in reference to his ordinances and means of worship?
A4. God, in the second commandment, doth require, in reference to his ordinances and means of worship —
1. The receiving of them.
2. Observing of them.
3. The keeping them pure and entire.
Q5. What is it to receive God’s ordinances?
A5. The receiving God’s ordinances implieth an approving of them with the mind, and embracement of them with the will.
Q6. What is it to observe God’s ordinances?
A6. The observing God’s ordinances, implieth a doing what is required in them, a making use of them, and attending upon God in them.
Q7. What is it to keep pure and entire God’s ordinances?
A7. The keeping pure and entire God’s ordinances implieth a doing what in us lieth to preserve the ordinances from corruption, not suffering any thing to be added to them, or taken away from them. “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”— Deut. 12:32.
Q8. How doth it appear that the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed, is required in the second commandment, when it doth only forbid: “Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image,” &c?
A8. God’s forbidding the making of any graven image, and worshipping it, doth clearly imply—
1. That God must be worshipped by some means.
2. That it is a sin to worship God by graven images.
3. That, by consequence, it is a sin to worship God by the means which he hath not appointed.
4. That therefore it is a duty to worship God by the means which he hath appointed, which being his ordinances, they must be received, observed, and kept pure and entire.