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Christian ; it might have been appropriated like many others to a profane use; it might have been fixed in some garden of pleasure, to bear its part in nightly songs of praise to the god of this worldand it might have been thy lot, but for God's grace, to have stood in the way of sinners, devoted to the pleasures of this world, the paradise of fools, where thou wouldst have yielded all thy members servants of iniquity; and nought but filthy communication would have proceeded out of thy mouth.—There is not a pipe of this organ that spends its breath in boasting of its privileges; it came not hither of itself, neither doth the organ sanctify the Temple, but the Temple sanctifieth that. Do thou practise the like humility; for it is no honour to the Church of Christ, that thou hast taken up a place in it; thou camest not hither of thyself, it was the grace of God that brought thee to this place and state of salvation, and all the honour thou hast is borrowed from the Lord's mystical body, whereof thou art a member : in this station, be not useless to him who hath chosen thee as an instrument fitted for his service.-The pattern thou seest here before thee is always prepared to answer when the master touches it.-Oh, mayest thou be as ready to join at all times with the great congregation in uttering the voice of Blessing and Honour, and Glory, and Power unto the Lamb that hath redeemed thee from the world by his own blood. When thy Master calls upon thee, be it in the evening, in the morning, at noonday, or at midnight, do thou answer, heart is ready, my heart is ready, I will sing and give praise with the best member that I have. Awake up my glory, awake lute and harp; I myself will awake right early."-But the organ sounds not, till the wind communicates a voice to it.-" Every thing
« Oh God my
that hath breath may praise the Lord”-nothing that is without breath can do it.—Yet such is the organ of man's body.-An instrument dumb and lifeless, till God that formed it breathes into it the breath of life. Look down, therefore, O Lord, with compassion upon the emptiness of my nature.
Come Holy Ghost, eternal God
According to thy promise made
Thus prepared, assisted, and fixed in the Church of the living God, O my soul, it is good for thee to be here; and mayst thou go out no more for any profane purposes. The way to keep thy place is to preserve thy use, to be serviceable in returning to God the praises he put into thy mouth, and leading others forward to do the same. Thou must be content to do this by intervals, with the Church below, till thy voice shall sound in that other congregation, where they rest not day or night.
It is but too notorious, that in many (not to say most) congregations, the time of the voluntary is a time of trifling chat and dissipation. It is to be wished that organists would always play such short and solemn pieces of music as might gain some attention. But where this is not the case (and where persons have not much taste for music) perhaps it might tend to kindle some serious reflections in the mind, if these few thoughts were transcribed upon a blank leaf in our Common Prayer Book; and so subjected to
our sight and consideration during the time that the organ is playing, which surely is most unseemly to employ in idle conversation.—~ What! have ye not houses to eat and to drink in"—to talk of your politics and your news—“ that ye thus profane the temple of the living God ?" The least share of reflection would be sufficient to remedy this evil, while we desire it to be observed, that indecent and irreverent behaviour in the house of the Lord is always a sign of a deficiency in good sense, good breeding, and religion.
I am the Vine, Ye are the branches. Matt. xv. 5.
When the way of truth is evil spoken of, and mankind follow their own lusts, forsaking both the doctrine and fellowship of the Apostles of Jesus Christ ; it must needs be difficult, amidst the variety of opinions and opposite persuasions of men, all of whom are called by the common name of Christians, to distinguish good from evil, and truth from falsehood. The safest course that can be taken, is to trust neither to the word nor to the example of any man living, but to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who, while men are changing with every blast, is the same yesterday, to-day, and
The Scripture having plainly told us what the Master is, we may thence learn what the disciple ought to be, and collect the qualifications of the true Christian from the character and offices of his Saviour Jesus Christ,
1. Whom as God the Christian is to worship and serve. Compare 2 Cor. v.19, with Luke iv. 8.
1. Hereby the Christian is distinguished from the Arian and the Socinian; from indevout believers; and from idolaters of all denominations.
2. Here the Christian differs from the philosophical tribe of Deists, who discover a pretended
2. As He is the true Light, the Christian is to derive all spiritual wisdom and understanding
law by the light of reason, and call it the Religion of Nature, which is the Gospel of the natural Man; for whose character see 1 Cor. ii. 14. Job xi. 12. Jer. X. 14.
from him: to see God and the things of eternity by his light, as the things of this world are seen by the light of the sun, which is an image of him. John ix. 5. and 39. Isa. xlii. 6, 7. and xxxv. 5. Psal. xxxvi. 9. Mal. iv. 2. Rev. ii. 18.
3. As he is a MASTER, the Christian is to sit at his feet, and hear his Word; consulting that word upon all the subjects it has treated of, and abiding peaceably by all its determinations. Matt. xxiii. 10. Col. ii. 3.
3. By this he is distinguished from Heretics of all denomina. tions: and his doctrines are distinct from imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. x. 5.
4. In this he differs from the Enthusiast and the Schismatic, who are for receiving the divine grace without those means of grace which God hath appointed, who has an undoubted right to save mankind in his own way. 1 Cor. xiv. 33. and 35.
4. As He is a BUILDER and an HUSBANDMAN, the Christian, according to the institutions of Christ, is to be builded and planted by him into his Church, which is his House and his Vineyard. Heb. iii. 3, &c. 1 Tim. iii. 15. 1 Cor. iii. 9. Psalm xcii. 13. Rom. vi, 4, 5.
5. As he is the HIGH PRIEST and Bishop of Souls, the Christian is to partake of his Sacrifice; .to rely on his intercession and atonement; and to obey those who are put in authority under him. Heb. iv. 14. 1 Pet. ï. 25. Eph i. 7. Heb. xiii. 17.
6. As He is a BRIDEGROOM, the Christian is to give him his affections. John üi. 29. and xiv, 23. Eph. vi. 24.
5. By this the Christian is distinguished from those who forsake the Holy Communion ; from the Socinian who denies the Christian redemption ; and from those who perish in the gainsaying of Korah. Jude 11.
6. This distinguishes him from the carnal believer, who holdeth the truth in unrighteousness, and giveth his affections to the World, the Flesh, and the Devil,