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than life, my lips shall praise thee." Hence you see him anticipating the opportunity of waiting upon God, as a man expects any season of plea sure and delight; and making preparation lest any thing should deprive him of the satisfaction he expects. He suffers not a trivial hindrance to prevent his attendance on religious duties; and if he cannot break through intervening obstructions, he finds it difficult to bring his mind into a due resignation to the divine will. He does not enquire how often he is bound to attend the house of God: but rather rejoices when an opportunity offers on any day, which he can embrace consistently with other duties.

On the contrary, the lukewarm come reluctantly to the ordinances of divine worship; and are secretly pleased, when an excuse, deemed sufficient, is suggested for absenting themselves. A visit or an invitation from a friend, some trivial business, a slight indisposition, or the inconvenience of unfavourable weather, are no unwelcome hindrances to their attendance at the house of God. The same also is observable in respect of the Lord's supper, in which, the lively Christian delights to commemorate the Redeemer's love, unless his mind has entertained some misconception about it. But such frivolous excuses as keep the lukewarm from publick worship, operate still more effectually, in leading him to absent himself from the Lord's table unless it be a convenient part of that form,

by which he maintains his credit and quiets his conscience; for in other respects he regards it as a matter of indifference.

We may further observe, that lukewarm persons commonly consider the sermon as the principal object, and think little of joining with reverence and fervency in other parts of divine service.They commonly therefore come late to the places of worship, and disturb the devotions of such as are more zealous. They are also ready to say to ministers, "Speak to us smooth things," Dis'course on soothing and consolatory topicks; 'avoid awful and distinguishing subjects, and do 'not offend the audience with plain dealing.'Such persons are peculiarly attentive to the manner, the voice, and delivery of the preacher: if these be graceful and suited to their taste, they are more easily satisfied in other respects. Above all they recommend brevity, Let the sermon be 'short, the prayer short, and make haste to dis'miss us. For they are soon weary of an employment, so little congenial to their prevailing disposition. They attend from custom, or amusement, or to pacify conscience; they delight not in the sacred service, and are reluctant to be "detained before the LORD'."


But if this be the case as to publick worship, what can be expected in respect to family-religion? If

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this be not totally neglected, it is very superficially and irregularly conducted. Business, engagements, amusements, or visitants, easily induce the lukewarm to omit it entirely; or it is hurried over at an unseasonable hour, when perhaps several of the family are half asleep. Thus the souls of children and domesticks are neglected: and every person of discernment and observation must be convinced, that, according to all human probability, the religion of such persons whatever it be, will die withi them. Indeed the families of the lukewarm have few advantages above those of the irreligious: while they are led to believe, that an evangelical creed will suffice to bring a wordly man to heavenly felicity,

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Some of the old divines have observed, that apostacy begins in the closet:' and the same may certainly be said concerning lukewarmness: for even when our hearts are truly engaged in religion, we find it difficult to maintain habitual fervour and devotion in secret duties. It is therefore obvious to conclude, that they who are cold and formal in publick and family-worship, must be still more remiss in private. This, however, falls not under observation, but the lukewarm cannot but be conscious of it. Indeed the grand difficulty of the Christian's course consists in duly attending to self-examination, meditation, and secret devotion. our sharpest conflicts with Satan and hearts will generally be about these duties. While

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all goes well with us in this respect, we shall be carried through trials and services with comfort and advantage; but when we grow negligent in secret, our publick conduct will after a time be less respectable and edifying. This is, as it were, the pulse of the soul, by which we may best judge whether it be healthy or otherwise. So that the difference between a lukewarm and a zealous Christian must here be peculiarly observable to a man's own conscience.

The two characters may also be discriminated by the company which they prefer. Business or incidental circumstances may carry the most zealous believer into the society of worldly men: but he goes among them from a sense of duty; he is out of his element and bears a cross all the while; and he feels a quick sensibility and a watchful jealousy, lest he should disgrace his profession, or sus tain detriment from so incongenial an association. When the necessity ceases, he consequently returns to the society of pious persons; and he habitually says with David, "I am a companion of all them “that fear thee, and keep thy precepts.”—But the lukewarm finds numerous pretences for visiting and loitering among ungodly associates, and for joining in some of their vain amusements. Their profane conversation or frivolous behaviour do not render him very uneasy: and it happens unfor tunately that he has some objection against every

one of his acquaintance, who is strictly religious. -This man, though pious, is uncourtly or unpleasant in his demeanour; the other, on a certain occasion, said an impertinent thing; and the third hath given just cause of offence. Thus men of this character excuse themselves to their own consciences, as well as to others, while they separate from the company of religious people: and consequently they more and more approximate to the spirit and maxims of their chosen companions. They yield to solicitation in one instance, and then say, 'What harm in this?' They go a little further, and urge the same excuse. They plead for conformity to the world in one thing after another, till almost every trace of distinction vanishes; and then regard it as a mark of a liberal mind to maintain no singularities, and not to thwart the humour of the company: till at length. they often come within the immediate attraction of the whirlpool, and are swallowed up beyond recovery!

The lukewarm professor reverses likewise the maxims of the gospel; in the pursuit and use of worldly things. He first seeks prosperity or indulgence; and vainly hopes that "the kingdom of God and his righteousness" will be added to him, without any peculiar concern or exertion. If he can maintain a hope that he is safe; he has no regard for the honour of God, the interests of the

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