The Simplicity of Holy Worship – by John Wilson (1588–1667)


Jesus Christ was very clear in John 4:24 about true worship. Wilson explains what it means to make worship not only simple, but according to God’s directives.


The Simplicity of Holy Worship – by John Wilson (1588–1667).

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John Wilson (1588–1667) was a passionate and intense Reformed minister of the Gospel who was praised by men such as William Ames, Thomas Goodwin, Jeremiah Burroughs, and other celebrated divines.

Wilson uses John 4:24 to explain in detail how Christ instituted worship in a simple manner, in spirit and truth. He will show, with all the power and effect of a biblical sledgehammer, that anything outside of what Christ has instituted should be considered idolatry, and should be cast out of the church.

Wilson covers what worship is, what it means to worship God in both spirit and truth, and how this is the Christian’s duty to do so. He gives various cautions against false worship, or worshiping God as an idolater, the application of worshipping in spirit and truth, as well as obstacles that often hinder Christians when they should be worshipping God in such a holy and simple manner.

In opposition to such God-centered worship, he says that carnal men with carnal minds cannot, and do not, worship God as God prescribes. God would have us to stand in a close union to him in worship, and with one another, so he would also have us to stand at the utmost distance from idolaters. It is not for us to set down ways of worship, but to observe the way that God, in his word, has already set down on our behalf.

Wilson pushes the professing Christian to comply with what God has set down and instructed in his word. Worship is not about taste or preference. It is about bowing to Christ and kissing the Son, rendering to him the worship that should be answerable to his being and glory, lest he becomes angry and we perish in the way.

(This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.)