An edited extract from the The Existence and Attributes of God, in The Works of Stephen Charnock
IT is folly to deny or doubt the being of God. It is folly also not to worship God, when we acknowledge His existence.
It is our wisdom then to worship God. As it is not indifferent whether we believe there is a God or not, so it is not indifferent whether we will give honour to that God or not. Worship is His right, as He is the author of our being and the foundation of our happiness. By worship only we acknowledge His deity. Though we profess His being, yet we deny that profession in neglecting worship. To deny Him worship is as great a folly as to deny His being. He that renounces all homage to His Creator, envies Him the being which he cannot deprive Him of.
The natural inclination to worship is as universal as the idea of a God; otherwise idolatry had never gained a footing in the world. The existence of God was never owned in any nation but the worship of God also was appointed in that nation. Many people who have turned their backs upon some other parts of the laws of nature, have continued to pay homage to some superior and invisible being.
The Jews gave a reason why man was created in the evening before the Sabbath: it was that he should begin his life with the worship of his Maker. As soon as ever he found himself to be a creature, his first solemn act should be a particular respect to his Creator. “To fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13), or is the whole man (Hebrew). He is not a man but a beast, who lives without observance of God. Religion is as requisite as reason to complete a man. Man would not be reasonable if he were not religious; because by neglecting religion, he neglects the chiefest dictate of reason. Either God framed the world with so much order, elegancy and variety, to no purpose, or this at least was the end He had in view: that reasonable creatures should admire Him in it, and honour Him for it.
The notion of God was stamped upon men, and the shadows of God appeared in creation, not to be the subject of idle contemplation but the motive for due homage to God. God created the world for His glory. He created man for Himself, that He might have the honour of His works. Since we live and move in Him and by Him, we should live and move to Him and for Him. It was the condemnation of the heathen world, that when they knew there was a God, they did not give Him the glory due to Him (Romans 1:21). He that denies the being of God is an atheist with regard to His essence: he that denies His worship is an atheist with regard to His honour.