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“I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the Word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.”
- William Ames
“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmass: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.”
- Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on Dec. 24, (1871)
“The more ceremonies, the less truth.”
- Richard Greenham
“Our Easter day, our Ascension day, our Whitsuntide is every Lord’s day.”
- Richard Greenham, Works, p. 421
"... by communicating with idolaters in their rites and ceremonies, we ourselves become guilty of idolatry; even as Ahaz, 2 Kings 16:10, was an idolater, eo ipso, that he took the pattern of an altar from idolaters. Forasmuch, then, as kneeling before the consecrated bread, the sign of the cross, surplice, festival days (like Christmas, Easter, etc. - ed.), bishopping, bowing down to the altar, administration of the sacraments in private places, etc., are the wares of Rome, the baggage of Babylon, the trinkets of the whore, the badges of Popery, the ensigns of Christ's enemies, and the very trophies of antichrist, -- we cannot conform, communicate and symbolise with the idolatrous Papists in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation. Shall the chaste spouse of Christ take upon her the ornaments of the whore? Shall the Israel of God symbolise with her who is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt? Shall the Lord's redeemed people wear the ensigns of their captivity? Shall the saints be seen with the mark of the beast? Shall the Christian church be like the antichristian, the holy like the profane, religion like superstition, the temple of God like the synagogue of Satan?"
And next in particular, concerning festival days findeth that in the explication of the first head of the first book of discipline it was thought good that the feasts of Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany, with the feasts of the Apostles, Martyrs and Virgin Mary be utterly abolished because they are neither commanded nor warranted by Scripture and that such as observe them be punished by Civil Magistrates. Here utter abolition is craved and not reformation of abuses only and that because the observation of such feasts have no warrant from the word of God.
“It is commonly objected, that we may as well keep a day for the nativity, as for the resurrection of Christ. We have answered already, that Christ’s Day, or the Lord’s Day, is the day appointed for remembrance of his nativity, and all his actions and benefits, as well as for the resurrection.”
- David Calderwood (Covenanter)
“All human inventions which are set up to corrupt the simple purity of the Word of God, and to undo the worship which he demands and approves, are true sacrileges, in which the Christian man cannot participate without blaspheming God, and trampling his honour underfoot.”
- John Calvin
“If it be asked, then, by what things chiefly the Christian religion has a standing amongst us, and maintains its truth, it will be found that the following two not only occupy the principal place, but comprehend under them all the other parts, and consequently the whole substance of Christianity, viz., a knowledge first, of the right way to worship God; and secondly of the source from which salvation is to be sought. When these are kept out of view, though we may glory in the name of Christians, our profession is empty and vain.”
- John Calvin
“Inward and outward worship must be appointed by God, for who knows what will please God but himself? He is a glorious and holy spirit, infinitely and only wise, and that only must we stick unto as pleasing to him which himself appoints. Men’s inventions and appointments in worship defile men’s souls, and provoke divine Majesty; a godly man therefore is very tender in point of worship, and will practise nothing therein but what he has found a clear foundation for out of the Word of God.”
- William Greenhill
“In Calvin’s refutation of the claims of the Church of Rome, the regulative principle of Reformed worship provided a charter of Christian liberty. In his doctrine and practice, as in that of the Puritans in the following century, it was a liberating power, cutting off at the root the tyrannical impositions of men in the worship of God by asserting that the Christian is free from the commandments of men in this matter, for, it was insisted, God is the only law-giver, and His will is the perfect rule of all righteousness and holiness.”
- Dr. William Young, The Puritan Principle of Worship (Found in Puritan Papers, Vol. 1)
“For God is not worshiped of us, but when it is his will to accept our worship: and it is not his will to accept our worship, but when it is according to his will.”
- William Perkins (Puritan), A Golden Chain, or the Description of Theology
“I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by his word. The opposite persuasion which cleaves to them, being seated, as it were, in their very bones and marrow, is, that whatever they do has in itself a sufficient sanction, provided it exhibits some kind of zeal for the honour of God. But since God not only regards as fruitless, but also plainly abominates, whatever we understand from zeal to his worship, if at variance with his command, what do we gain by a contrary course? The words of God are clear and distinct, ‘Obedience is better than sacrifice.’ ‘in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,’ (1 Sam 15:22; Matt 15:9). Every addition to his word, especially in this matter, is a lie. Mere ‘will worship’ is vanity. This is the decision, and when once the judge has decided, it is no longer time to debate.”
- John Calvin
“… a form and order of a reformed church limited within the compass of God’s Word, which our saviour hath left unto us as only sufficient to govern all our actions by; so that what so ever is added to this word by man’s device, seem it never so good, holy, or beautiful, yet before God … it is evil, wicked, and abominable.”
- The Puritan Exiles at Geneva, The form of Prayers and Ministrations of Sacraments, etc., Used in the English Congregation at Geneva
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