Conco. 2a ac ultima}
1. Decr 1689
48. Jer. 10. first part
Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully. (Doctr.) It is a cursed thing to do the work of the Lord deceitfully. (1. Qu.) What is here intended by the work of the Lord? (1. An.) The execution of divine justice at the command of God. (2. An.) Church work, Temple work, Sanctuary work. (3. An.) Ministerial work. (4. An.) The worship of God in his house (5. An.) All good and pious works which are commanded of God. (2. Qu.) When is the Lords work done deceitfully? (An.) When it is not done as the Lords work &c. More particularly
First. Then the work of the Lord is done deceitfully when it is done for an other end than God designs & præscribes. To proceed
- 2. Then the Lords work is done deceitfully when it is done negligently & carelesly. And so some interpret it. Cursed is he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, i.e. say they such as doe it carelesly & negligently. And indeed it is a cursed thing to do the Lords work remissly, coldly, & with an indifferent frame of Spirit. Therefore such doing is utterly forbidden. 12. Rom. 11. Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit serving the Lord. Such a cold, and lukewarm Spirit is most lothsome to God, as you see. 3. Rev. 14. 15. 16.
- 3. Quest: What is meant by being cursed? Cursed is he &c. Wt is intended by cursed?
- Answ: Cursed, i.e. loathed, abhorred, detested, abominated, & most grieviously be that person punished & plagued wo dos so and so. As 11 Jer. 3. Cursed be the man yt obeyeth not the words of this covenant, i.e. this law of God. And. 17. Ch. 5. Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, & maketh flesh his arm; i.e. loathed, abhorred, & abominated be such, both of God & godly persons. & as loathed &c. persons God will grieviously punish them.
- 4. Quest: Why is such a one as dos the work of the Lord deceitfully so loathed abhorred & detested of God & lyable to Gods plagues and punishments?
- Answ: Because it is the Lords work. The doing of our fellow creatures work fraudulently & deceitfully is abominable & the rules & law of justice will punish such a one: but how much more abominable & punishable is the doing of the work of the great God? The doing of the work of so great a person deceitfully is the more evil because of the greatness & Majesty of the person: as the doing of Kings work (according to good wholesome & profitable laws) deceitfully, is so much the more abominable and punishable by how much the more the person is more great & honorable: So the doing of the work of God (wo is the King of Kings) deceitfully is so much the more abominable because of the greatness of his person, & therefore carrys a dreadfull curse along with it, & that for these reasons.
- 1. Reas: Because such a doer of Gods work instead of being a doer for God, he is a robber of God.
- 1. He robs God of that great respect & love which is due to him. You know we are to love God with all our hearts, & with all our souls. I but such a one robs God of this love.
As a servant who dos his Masters work deceitfully it argues his want of love to his Master. So here. Now nothing carries a more dreadfull curse along with it, more certainly than want of love unto God 1. Cor. ult. 22. If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maranatha.
- 2. He robs God of his bounty & goodness. God is a good & gracious God. So those wo have been faithfull in his work have found him to be. I but such a one robs God of this his goodness; he dos practically say that God is a hard Master and sets him hard work yt he shall be a looser by if he were faithfull in it, and therefore he cares not how slightily he dos it &c.
- 2. Reas: Because such a doer of God’s work, instead of doing for God, he dos indeed act most injuriously against God. He doth (as much as in him lyes) labour to put a cheat upon the blessed God: & in so doing he offers wrong & injury
- 1. To the Omnisciency of God, & also to his omnipresency. It is one of Gods most glorious properties yt he is every where & seeth every thing, even the very secrets of the hearts: & for this cause he ought to be served perfectly & most uprightly as holy David tells & charges his Son Solomon. 1. Chron. 28. 9. And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, & serve him with a perfect heart, & with a willing mind: for ye Lord searcheth all hearts &c. q.d. O my son Solomon se to it that thou serve the Lord, & also be very wary what service thou offer him: for he does not only mind the service, but the manner of it: remember that or thou wilt never offer him acceptable service: so that deceitful service of God is an affront & injury offered to Gods Omnisciency &c.
- 2. To the justice & righteousness of God. God is most righteous & he will deal most righteously with the sons & daughters of men as he promiseth & also threateneth. 1. Sam. 2. 30. They that honour me I will honor, & they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. But now the deceitfull doer of Gods work he will look that God should honour him whilst in the mean time he dishonours God by his deceitful service & so offers affront to the justice of God.
- 3. Reas: Last: Because such deceitful doers of the Lords work they set themselves directly under the curse. There is no other way in the world for poor souls to set themselves most directly under the curse of God, than by not doing the Lords work, or by doing of it deceitfully. 11 Deut. 26. 27. 28. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: A blessing if ye obey &c. And a curse if ye will not obey &c.
- 5. Quest: Last: How may it appear that such deceitful doers of the Lords work are cursed?
- Answ: It appears by divers sad & awful instances in holy Scripture. As you see in Nadab and Abihu, thô the sons of holy Aaron they did the work of the Lord but they did it deceitfully, & the curse of God overtook them to their wofull overthrow. 10. Lev. 1. 2. Their bodies remained whole, & its probable their cloths also, but their souls i.e. their naturall lives was cut off. ¶ Again Saul he did the work of the Lord in smiting the Amalekites. 1. Sam. 15. 1. 2. 3. But he did it deceitfully in that he spared Agog & the like. 8. 9. verses, therefore he was cursed & rejected from being King. 17–27 verses & as an effect of yt curse became haunted with an evil & wicked spirit & runs in his distress to the Divel to a witch & at last murders himself. ¶ The Church at Corinth thô true converts & pænitents yet for their unmeet attendance upon that holy Ordinance of the Lords Supper fell under temporal curses. 1. Cor. 11. 30 &c. For this cause many are weak &c. More instances might be produced but these may suffice.
- 1. Use. Hince learn that the bear doing of the Lords work is not sufficient without the well-doing of it to procure us Gods acceptance. We may preach, hear, read, pray & attend other divine ordinances & yet be so far from Gods acceptance in all these that we may rather be under his displeasure & fall under his curse. Yea oftentimes judgments begin at God[s] house 1. Pet. 4. 17. And the destroying Angel begins at the Sanctuary. 9 Ezek. 6. And therefore
- 2. Use. Terrour to all deceitful doers of Gods work. You that come out of fashions sake not out of love to God and his service to his ordinances. Oh freinds instead of obtaining blessings you are like to fall under curses: & the curse of God will overtake you if you continue deceivers
Now let me give you a few signes by which you may know whither you are deceivers, yea or nay.
- 1. Signe. Is, such a one is one that thinks any thing good enough for God. 1. Mal 8. compared with the last verse. Such a one thô he offers God somthing. yet it shall be next to nothing & that which God accounts nothing of unless to enfiarne his justice. The faithfull doer of Gods work as David he will not serve him with that which costs him nothing: but so will not the deceiver; a body with no heart & soul &c.
- 2. Signe. Is, such a one is most commonly an excessive pretender to Gods honour & interest whilest in the mean time he aims at selfe as Jehu. 2. Reg. 10. 16. comp: wth 31. v. Come see my zeal for the Lord yet he aimed at nothing so much as his own interest. So Balaam. And so Herod he would feign se Christ &c.
- 3. Signe Is, such a one is a wrester of the Scriptures to serve his own interest. 1. Tit. 9. 10. 11. Such many times have the Scriptures at their fingers ends as the Scribes & Pharisees & many perverse ones now a dayes, but they abuse all &c.
- 3. Use. Lastly. By way of Caution. It is of infinite concernment to each of us who are all of us doers of the Lords work that we most carefully avoid deceitfulness in it.
- 1. Mot: Consider the dreadful mischief that will follow upon doing the Lords work deceitfully viz: the wasting curse of God both in this life & that which is to come if repented not of. For this very cause God will say depart thou cursed Sec. Yea many times such are in this life cursed as the barren fig tree; so they pine away & loose not only their fruits but their very leaves their profession & they turn apostates & become twice dead plucked up by ye roots.
- 2. Mot: Consider the good that is hereby lost, the favour & blessing of God which is better a thousand times than all ye world beside.
- 3. Mot: Consider what a scandal & reproach hereby thou wilt expose the service of God unto. This is one cause that wicked ones cry out wt profit is there in Gods service?
- 1. Dir. Labour after a valluing of Gods glory above every other thing. I tell thee freind thou wilt never be faithfull in the Lords work till thou settest most high esteem upon Gods glory &c.
- 2. Dir. Labour to do all you do for Gods work according to the rule of his word. A carpenters work will never be homogeneous & true if it be not carryed on by his square & rule: & so it is here &c. Therefore David & other faithfull doers of God’s work have ever seen good to keep their eye upon Gods Rule.