committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







The Philadelphia Confession, 1742


Chapter 22

Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

  1. The light of nature shows that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good, and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and all the soul, and with all the might.1 But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by Himself,2 and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way, not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.3

  2. Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to Him alone;4 not to angels, saints, or any other creatures;5 and since the fall, not without a Mediator,6 nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone.7

  3. Prayer and thankfulness, being one special part of natural worship, is by God required of all men.8 But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,9 by the help of the Spirit,10 according to His will;11 with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others , in a known tongue.12

  4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter;13 but not for the dead,14 not for those of whom it may be known, that they have sinned the sin unto death.15

  5. The reading of the Scriptures,16 preaching, and hearing the Word of God,17 teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord;18 as also the administration of baptism,19 and the Lord's supper,20 are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to Him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings,21 and thanksgiving, upon special occasions, ought to be used in a holy and religious manner.22

  6. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now, under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit, and in truth;23 as in private families24 daily,25 and in secret, each one by himself,26 so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly, nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God by His word or providence calleth thereto.27

  7. As it is the law of nature, that in general, a proportion of time, by God's appointment be set apart for the worship of God, so by His Word, in a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, He hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto Him,28 which from the beginning of the world, to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's Day;29 and it is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

  8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employments and recreations,30 but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship and in the duties of necessity and mercy.31


1. Jer 10:7; Mk 12:33.
2. Dt 12:32.
3. Ex 20:4-6.
4. Mt 4:9-10; Jn 6:23; Mt 28:19.
5. Ro 1:25; Col 2:18; Rev 19:10.
6. Jn 14:6.
7. 1Ti 2:5.
8. Ps 95:1-7; 65:2.
9. Jn 14:13-14.
10. Ro 8:26.
11. 1Jn 5:14.
12. 1Co 14:16-17.
13. 1Ti 2:1-2; 2Sa 7:29.
14. 2Sa 12:21-23.
15. 1Jn 5:16.
16. 1Ti 4:13.
17. 2Ti 4:2; Lk 8:18.
18. Col 3:16; Eph 5:19.
19. Mt 28:19-20.
20. 1Co. 11:26.
21. Est 4:16; Joel 2:12.
22. Ex 15:1-19; Ps 107:1-43.
23. Jn 4:21; Mal 1:11; 1Ti 2:8.
24. Ac 10:2.
25. Mt 6:11; Ps 55:17.
26. Mt 6:6.
27. Heb 10:25; Ac 2:42.
28. Ex 20:8.
29. 1Co 16:1-2; Ac 20:7; Rev 1:10.
30. Isa 58:13; Ne 13:15-22.
31. Mt 12:1-13.

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