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the same inheritance which he hath purchased; it is therefore becoming to offer up our grateful acknowledgments for this unspeakable gift, and devote ourselves with one consent to his service in this world, that we may through his merits attain salvation in the world to come.--As we all alike require to be instructed in our duty, and animated to the practice of it; therefore it is expedient to hear those truths which the teachers of religion are commissioned to explain for our edification and growth in grace. The church is the universal school, opened on this day by divine command, for teaching men to worship their Creator, to love their fellow-creatures, and to acquire principles of good behaviour in every scene of public and private life. Such being the nature of sabbatical institutions, such the important ends for which they are designed ; it is therefore a wise provision, that a certain stated time should be appointed for Christians to assemble together to worship God without distraction.

For, if no determinate season were allotted for the service of the sanctuary, there would be no regular discharge of those duties which are so conducive to the re. ligious and moral improvement of mankind. If it were left to the discretion of every individual when and where he should engage in the offices prescribed for the sabbath; there is reason to fear that they would either be entirely neglected, or performed in a manner altogether unsuitable for edification. Were no sabbath of rest enjoined, and no places dedicated for the assemblies of the saints; men would continue without intermission to labour for the meat which perisheth, and forget all relish for that which endureth unto everlasting life. They would live without God in the world, and become as ignorant of their duty and destination, as the beasts that perish.The greater part of mankind are so immersed in the business and the pleasures of life, that were it not for

it is found, that in countries where no sabbath is instituted; or if instituted, disregarded; the people are profligate in their manners, and addicted to every species of vice. We may also observe, that individuals among ourselves, who have renounced the salutary restraints imposed by this sacred day, and who neglect to attend upon the public ordinances of Christianity,—soon lose all respect for propriety of character, and run headlong into every excess of careless indifference about their spiritual welfare ; till they are given over to a reprobate mind, and live and die in a state of alienation from God, and become vessels of wrath filled for destruction. If such persons considered the expediency of attendance upon the service of the sanctuary, and the very small proportion of time which is required for this purpose, they would per-ceive how admirably adapted the appointment of one day in seven is, for promoting their improvement and instruction in righteousness.

As this day occurs not too frequently, there is sufficient time remaining for transacting all the necessary business of life ; for six days we may labour and do all our work. These, if well employed, have always furnished abundant supply of the provisions furnished by human industry. And such a respite from incessant toil as the sabbath affords, is wisely calculated to recruit the strength of man and of beast, which has been fatigued by the exertions of the week. Such a regular return also of every seventh day is no less adapted to revive the dormant principles of religion which should be cherished in the soul.-If it should occur less seldom, the impressions of piety and virtue would wear away from the mind, and lose all influence on the conduct. But, according to the present constitution of the Christian sabbath, neither too much time is abstracted from the employments of society; nor too little time devoted for religious purposes. So wisely has our heavenly legislator, in this respect, consulted our temporal and spiritual advantage; so that both are promoted by the command which enjoins us " not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together,” for engag. ing in the service of the sanctuary. If we duly considered these things, we would prize highly the benefits derived from attendance on the house of God; and be always ready to enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise, to be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Then may we expect to receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of our salvation.

Having thus proved the authority and expediency of sabbatical institutions, I proceed to shew,

II. The purposes to which, when duly observed, they may be rendered subservient.

It is evident, that, by them in a great measure, the knowledge and profession of Christianity are maintained in the world. In the public exercises prescribed for divine worship, the people have an opportunity of joining together in expressing their belief in the being and attributes of God; in acknowledging his moral government over mankind, in recognizing his loving-kindness and tender mercy to the righteous, and his indignation and judg. ments against the workers of iniquity. In the services of prayer and praise which the church enjoins, they are called to take a share in adoring the Almighty for the manifestation of his goodness to all his creatures, and for his wonderful works to the sons of men, by which their hearts must be gradually inspired with feelings of devotion.—They are also called to celebrate that unbounded love of their Redeemer who came into the world, to seek and to save us who were lost; and they cannot but feel an inclination to be rendered partakers of those benefits which he hath procured for all true believers. They must likewise receive information respecting several interesting subjects which are explained and enforced by the preachers of the gospel; so as to be thereby furnished with the principles of holy obedience. These are topics of most momentous concern for every individual who would live as becometh saints. These constitute the great and fundamental principles of our holy religion, and are able to make men wise unto salvation.

But how

the knowledge of such truths, were they not taught them by the instructions of the public teachers, who are appointed to study and explain the scriptures ? Could the man who is occupied for the whole week, in providing things needful for the body, and for the support of his family, have either leisure or ability to investigate the attributes of God, and his providential dispensations; the nature of that redemption revealed in the gospel, and the various offices of that Saviour through whom he must obtain salvation; or perceive the obligations which Christianity imposes on all who profess it, and the motives arising both from the present and future condition of man, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world? Could the man, whose thoughts are employed every day in the anxieties of a laborious profession, or in the speculations of business, ever raise his mind to the sublime contemplations of heavenly objects, if he were not summoned to meet in the temple of God, and there withdraw his affections from things below, to those that are above?Every one indeed, who would maintain communion with God, will no doubt daily enter into his closet, and pray to his Father who is in secret; he will assemble his family to offer up their morning or evening devotions at the throne of the Most High. But it cannot be expected, that even the most exemplary Christian will have much time to impress his heart with a becoming sense of those solemn realities which religion unfolds, far less that he can instruct others who are entirely ignorant.

Indeed, the public institutions of the church seem ahsolutely necessary for preserving and propagating the knowledge of divine truths among the great mass of the community, and are the usual means by which an opportunity is afforded for effectually influencing the hearts and conduct of mankind. Therefore we should employ the services of the sanctuary for the purpose of receiving edification from the preaching of the word, and inspiring our minds with devotional sentiments by the prayers and praises in which we there engage. But it is not sufficient that we thereby acquire correct notions of religious subjects, and join in the sacred offices prescribed in the church; we should endeavour to fix a deep impression of the doctrines of the gospel, and the principles of virtue upon our minds. For this purpose, we should study to feel the force of those pious sentiments which are uttered in the public prayers, and join in them with our whole heart. We should reflect, in what respects the supplications offered are more especially suitable to our condition ; what are the blessings both common and special which demand our gratitude; what are the sins for which we require God's pardoning mercy; and what the benefits temporal or spiritual of which we stand in need. Let us not be contented with a general expression of our sentiments in these particulars, but endeavour to enter into cach, with a serious persuasion of our own interest in every individual subject of application at the throne of grace.We should also, in singing the divine praises, realize the spirit of the psalm, and endeavour to transfuse it into our souls; so that “we may make melody in our hearts to the Lord.” 'To this end, let us consider, whether the subject contains veneration of the divine greatness, or thanksgiving for special mercies, or supplication for promised benefits; and let us offer up each respectively with the understanding, and from the heart.

When, also, we listen to instructions delivered for our correction or improvement in righteousness, let us apply the lessons we receive to our own consciences, and reflect whether we are chargeable with any imperfections of character which have been described; whether we are void of any virtues which have been recommended; whether we neglect any duty which has been enforced. It is only this personal conviction of the truths of religion that can effectually influence our heart, and produce a change in our future conduct.—But even the most serious attention to the exercises of public worship will not be of much avail, unless we ponder in our hearts the seasonable ad

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