And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
~ Genesis 13:7-9
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
~ Psalm 34:14
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
~ Isaiah 11:6-9
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
~ Mark 9:50
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
~ 2 Timothy 2:22
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
~ Hebrews 12:10
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
~ Genesis 32:30
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
~ Job 19:26
He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.
~ Job 33:26
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
~ Matthew 5:8
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
~ Ephesians 5:5
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
~ 2 Corinthians 7:1
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
~ James 1:12
Crown and Glory of Christianity, by Thomas Brooks. The following contains an excerpt from his work.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
~ Hebrews 12:14
Doctrine. That real holiness is the only way to happiness. All men must he holy on earth, or they shall never see the beatifical vision, they shall never reach to a glorious fruition of God in heaven.
Part IV – Uses
Exhortations to Real Holiness
Five Answers To Objections
To shew forth the reality and power of holiness.
Eight proofs of little holiness.
14.) Fourthly; Evidence and declare the truth and reality of your holiness, by a resolute standing up for purity of religion, and for purity of worship and ordinances, in opposition to all mixtures and corruptions whatsoever. O sirs, the great God stands upon nothing more in all the world than upon purity in his worship, James i. 27. There is nothing that does so provoke and exasperate God against a people as mixtures in his worship and service, Mat. xxi. 12, 13; John ii. 15–17. Pollutions in worship do sadly reflect upon the name of God, the honour of God, the truth of God, and the wisdom of God; and therefore liis heart rises against them. The very spirit, life, and soul of the second commandment lies in these words, Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, &c. In matters of divine worship God abhors that men should mix their water with his wine, their dross with his gold, their chaff with his wheat, &c. When once men come to be so bold as to defile his worship with their mixtures, then God is resolved to be a swift and a terrible witness against them, as you may clearly see by comparing those notable places of Scripture together in the margin.2 There is no sin that does so incense and
2 Lev, x. 1, 2; Ezek. 1. 11, 12, and xxiii. 38, 39; Jer. vii. 29, 30; Ezek. viii, 17, 18; Rev. ii. 2., 23; Deut. iv. 2, and xii. 32.
provoke God to jealousy and wrath against a people, as mixtures in worship. God can bear with defilements anywhere rather than in his worship and service: and that,
First, Because mixtures in worship are cross to God’s express commands; and who art thou, O man! that darest run cross to his commands, who can command thee into the dust, yea, into hell, at pleasure, &c.
Secondly, Because this is to accuse the blessed Scripture of insufficiency; for if the Scripture be a sufficient rule to order, guide, and direct us in all matters of worship, then how dost thou, O man! detract from the sufficiency of the Scripture, who minglest thine own or other men’s inventions with divine institutions, and settest up thy posts by God’s posts? O sirs, the Scriptures are sufficient to direct us fully in everything that belongs to the worship and service of God; so as that we need not depend upon the wisdom, prudence, care, or authority of any men under heaven to direct us in matters of worship: 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17, ‘ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’ The Scriptures are sufficient to inform the ignorant, to confute the erroneous, to reform the vicious, and to guide and direct, support and comfort those that are gracious. Here a lamb may wade, and an elephant may swim; here is milk for babes, and meat for strong men; here is comfort for the afflicted, and succour for the tempted, and case for the troubled, and light for the clouded, and enlargement for the straitened, &c. Oh, how full of light, how full of life, how full of love, how full of sweetness, how full of goodness, how full of righteousness and holiness, &c., is every chapter, and every verse in every chapter, yea, and every line in every verse!1 The Rabbins say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word of Scripture. yea, upon every tittle of Scripture. God never sends his people to the shop of men’s traditions and inventions, but he still sends them to the Scripture: Isa. viii. 20, To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light, or no morning, in them.’ Chap. xxxiv. 16, ‘Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read; no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate; for my mouth it hath commanded, and his Spirit it hath gathered them. And in the New Testament Christ sends his hearers to the Scriptures: John v. 39, “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.’ The Greek word épevvate, that is here rendered search, signifies a strict, narrow, curious, diligent search. We must search the Scripture as we would search for gold, or for some precious stones which we would fain find; we must search the Scriptures as hunters seek and search out their game. And so the apostle sends his hearers to the Scriptures, 2 Pet. i. 19-22, as to a surer word than that of revelation. All which speaks out the sufficiency of the Scripture to direct
1 The Scriptures are sufficient to direct us as to all the parts of worship. As, 1. That of public prayer. 2. And that of reading and expounding. 3. And that of preaching. 4. And that of singing. 5. And that of the seals both of baptism and the supper of the Lord.
us in all matters that concern our internal or eternal welfare. Oh that you would for ever remember these two things:
(1.) First, That that which bred the Popish religion, superstition, idolatry, and pompous worship, was men’s departing from the word, and not cleaving to the word as a sufficient rule to direct them in all matters of worship. And,
(2.) Secondly, That that which bath occasioned all those discords, divisions, beats, heart-burnings, animosities, and contentions, &c. about ceremonies, liturgy, forms, gestures, de, has been men’s not keeping close to the blessed word of God. When men forsake this perfect rule, whither won’t they run? and what won’t they do? Ah, who art thou, O vain man! that accuseth the holy Scriptures of insufficiency? and how wilt thou blush, aud be ashamed and confounded, when in the great day the Lord shall plead the excellency, and vindicate the sufficiency and authority of his blessed book, in opposition to all the mixtures of men’s traditions with divine institutions?
Thirdly, God won’t nor can’t bear with mixtures in his worship and service, because to bring them in is to accuse and charge God with weakness and folly, as if God were not careful enough, nor faithful enough, Heb. iii. 7-6, nor mindful enough, nor wise enough, nor prudent nor: understanding enough, to order, direct, and guide his people in the matters of his worship, but must be beholding to the wisdom, prudence, and care of man, John iv. 23, 24, of vain man, of sinful man, of vile and unworthy man, of weak and foolish man, to complete, perfect, and make up something that was wanting in his worship and service, Ps. xxxis, 5, c.
Fourthly, God won’t bear with mixtures in his worship and service, because all mixtures de bases the worship and service of God, and makes the worship a ruin worship, Isa. xxix. 13, 14; Mat. xv. 3, 6, 8, 9. As the mixing of water with wine is the (debasing of the wine, and the mixing of tin with silver, or brass with gold, is the debasing of the silver and gold; so for men to mix and mingle their traditions and inventions with God’s institutions, is to debase the worship and service of God, and to detract from the excellence and glory of it. The kings and prices of this world have most severely punished such, who, by their base mixtures, have imbased their coin; and there is a day a-coming wherein the King of Kings will most severely punish all such who have imbased his worship and service by mixing their Romish traditions with his holy institutions: Rev. xxii. 18, For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And no wonder ! For what horrible price, presumption, stoutness, and baseness of spirit is it in foolish man to is so bold with the great God, is to dare to mix anything of his own with his worship and service, which, according to divine institution, is so perfect and complete! God will never bear it, to see men lay their dirt upon his gold, and to put their rags upon his royal roles. Ah, Christians, Christians, evidence your holiness by standing up for holy ordinances and pure worship, in opposition to all mixtures whatsoever. Oh, don’t you touch a polluted worship, don’t you plead and contend for a polluted worship, but let Baal plead for Baal; and though all the world should wander after the beast, yet don’t you wander; and though every forehead should have the mark of the beast upon it, yet do you abhor his mark, and whatever else it be that does but smell and savour of the beast. It is observable that in kings’ and princes’ courts, children, fools, and the rude rabble, are much taken with fine pictures, and rich shows, and glistering gaudy cloths, &c.; but such as are wise, serious, grave statesmen, they mini not, they regard not such poor things, they look upon those things as things that are much below the nobleness and the greatness of their spirits, who have honourable objects, and the great and weighty affairs of the state to busy themselves about: so, my brethren, though the children, the fools, and the rabble of the world are much affected and taken with such pollutions and mixtures as makes up a glorious pompous worship, yet you that have a spirit of holiness, and principles of holiness in you, oh, how should you slight such things, and pass by such things as things below you, as things not worthy of you, who have a holy God, a holy Christ, a holy gospel, and a holy worship to busy your thoughts, your minds, your heads, and your hearts about.