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vantages diffusing salvation to perishing millions! This will be making to ourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when we fail, they may be the occasion of receiving us into everlasting habitations. How suitable an employment, and how blessed a source of consolation, when Antichrist is rising, and spreading terror and devastation through the nations! While the sea of revolution and tumult, and the waves thereof are roaring, and men's hearts will be found failing them for fear, and looking after those things, that are coming upon the earth; yea while the Jordan of Antichristian intrigue and violence may be found overflowing all its banks, in the time of this harvest; those, who shall be found thus following the Captain of salvation, may lift up their heads, and sing; for their redemption draweth nigh. But where shall we be safe, unless thus following the Lamb? Where, or how else can we, to such advantage, withstand the attac'is of the Infidelity and licentiousness of this period? How else shall we escape the displeasure of Him, who is jealous for his cause and honor?““Curse ye Meroz, saith the angel of the Lord! “Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they "came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of "the Lord against the mighty. Say not you have no property to spare for this object. Your property is all the Lord's. You are but his stewards; and must give an account to God for the improvement of every talent. And shall we dare to withhold, when the great Master calls for a little of his own property, which he has deposited in our hands? and this too from so noble an object? “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness "thereof; the world and they that dwell thereio.” And "God is able to make all grace abound toward us, that “we having a sufficiency in all things, inay abound to “every good work. As it is written, He, that gathered "much had nothing over; and he, that gathered little, “had no lack.” Withholding from God cannot be the way to secure the divine benignity. When the enemy are coming in like a flood, and the Spirit of the Lord is lifting up a standard against them, shall we not flock to that standard? Shall we not thus be found under the
banner of the King of Zion? Alas, the wicked will not tınderstand! But the wise will understand And he laiter will adopt this amo:g the means of withstandig the torrents of Antichristian influence: This will aid the missionary exertions of the people of God.
6. Due exertions to promote the sunctificution of the Lord's day.
Religion ever rises or falls in exact proportion with the sanctification, or neglect of the Sabbath. The lata ter opers a wide door to Infidelity and licentiousness. These can no more exist with the due sunciification of this holy day, than darkness can co-exist with light. Hence men of an Infidel cast hate the Sabbath, and are often found prüfining it. One of the first deeds of French liberty and equality was, to abolish the Sabbath, by instituting their decade in its stead. And the same disposition is too prevalent among men on every side.
It is the duty cf every civil government to restrain its subjects fiorn the open violation of the Lori's day. The law of God and the general princi, le of civil legislation unite in demanding this. The law of God says: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it h>y; the "seventii day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it "thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy "daughter, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid yrrant, binor thy cattle, nor thy stranger, that is within 'thy "gates." This latter clause clearly implies the duty of having civil laws to restrain from the open viola ! of the Sabbath. For strangers within vur gites. When disposed to violate the Sabbath, will not be restricted by any thing short of civil laws. Yet the law of God demands their restriction; a law which is moral, perpeta ual, and binding on all men. The consequence is unavoidable. Every civil community ought to have laivs to prevent all open violation of the Sabbath.
And the general principle of civil legislation estaba lishes this duty. This principle can suffer nothing to be openly practised, which is evidently detriinentai to the community. But what can be more derrimental to the community, than that flood of immorality and licena ciousness, which are the known and certain consequences of a general profanation of the Sabbath? The proper improvement of this holy day has the most benefi. cial effects on the civil interests of men. The external observance of the fourth command then, is as proper a subject of legislation, as that of the third, the fifth, the sixth, seventh, eighth, or any Divine command. No precept in the decalogue is more founded in the nature of things, than the fourth.
And good laws enacted upon this subject ought to be put in effectual execution. Shall the laws of God and man be forced to retreat before the brazen front of Infidelity and licentiousness? When this is the case, officers of the civil peace are criminally deficient in their duty. They ought, at whatever risk, to see good laws relative to the Sabbath, as well as to other things, put in effectual execution. This is an important means of withstanding the impious designs of infidels, at this interesting period.
And it is the command of Heaven, that we should not forsake "the assembling of ourselves together, as "the manner of some is; but that we should exhort one “another; and so much the more, as we see the day "approaching.” It is no token for good, that public worshipping assemblies are deserted by such multitudes. It is a circumstance, that calls for humility, and exertion. Every one ought to exert all his influence, in his own family, in his neighborhood, and among his fellow men, to deter from this, and every breach of the Sabbath; to bring people to the courts of the Lord, and to induce them to keep God's Sabbaths, and reverence his sanctuary.
7. Proper caution in the admission of members into the Church; and a faithful support of Christian discipline.
While the Spirit and the bride say, Come, and the arms of the Church are extended to receive every child of God; the wicked are not to be received. "Unto the "Wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare "my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant “into thy mouth? seeing thou hatest instruction, and "casteth my words behind thee. And of the rest durst “no man join himself unto them: But the people mag. !'nified them. And believers were the more added un"to the Lord. The Lord added to the church daily "such as should be saved."
Unprincipled professors are in a situation effectually to wound the cause of Christ, and to become dangerous tools of the enemy. A spy within the walls, undetected, is more dangerous than ten open enemies without. Voltaire could boast, that his building a church, and partaking of the eucharist, was a master stroke of his policy in crushing the wretch. Better is a small church of faithful members, than a large one of the opposite character. The former will be terrible to the wicked. While the latter may perhaps easily be induced to open the gates to an insidious enemy. Hypocritical Jews were the most convenient and fatal tools of the persecuting Antiochus. See Dan. xi, 30, 32.
A faithful support of the laws of Christ's house, is an essential bulwark against the adversaries of religion. A neglect of discipline betrays the cause of Christianity into the hands of the enemy:—While a holy, strict, judicious Church discipline renders a Church not only heautiful as Tirzah, and comely as Jerusalem; but terri. ble as an army with hanners. Among the cavils of the wicked, nothing is more common, ihan unfriendly remarks upon the failings of professors. The real fail- . ings of professors then, their stumbling blocks not taken up, have a most pernicious effect toward bringing religion into contempt among the thoughtless and vain, and to fix them in Infidelity. In opposition to this, every Church ought to be a faithful court of Christ, a city of his holiness; answering to the representation given in holy Writ; looking forth as the morning, fair as the moon, and clear as the sun; the pillar and ground of the truth. This is of vast importance at the present period. Be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom we shine as lights in the world.
Permit me here to add:--Every Church ought to be a faithful moral society of Christ. They ought to unile their efforts to dissuade from all vice, to discourage all jrreligion, all immorality. It seems hardly necessary to say, that church members ought utterly to discoun. tenance all vice by their examples and lives. When this is not the case, such disorderly members ought soon to be either recovered, or excluded from the Church. But professors of the Christian religion ought to be active and diligent, in prudent and faithful meas. ures, to reclaim the immoral, to dissuade from every species of vice and wickedness. This duty is enforced by the commands of God, and the dictates of reason and benevolence. God commands his people to "walk in wisdom toward them that are without.” Many things are implied in this divine injunction; and particularly the following; that professors maintain, in the consciences of those that are without, a clear conviction, that they are followers of Christ; that they wish to do them good; that they benevolently feel for their best interest; and wish for their peace and salvation. And the above injunction implies, that the members of Christ tenderly labor to recover those that are without, from all wickedness, from that sin, which is a reproach to any people. God gave it in express charge to his people of old, “Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon liim.” Here a neighbur, guilty of open sin, is to be by all means rebuked by the people of God. What blessed effects might beespected to follow, if this duty were duly performed, wi:h a manifest tender concern for the temporal, and espe: cially the eternal welfare of the transgressor? A band of Christian brothers, acting under the influence of the Spirit of Christ, and united under his authority, would in this way be indeed "errible (io the vicious) as an army witli banners.” This is one instance of their tuking their proper stand; and is one instance of letting their light shine before men. Why have so many of the professed followers of Christ forgotten this part their duty? Was it enjoined upon ihe ancient Israelite, that if he saw his neighbor's ox or ass going astray, he should give notice, or prevent the evil? And may. a professed Israelite indeed see his neighbor himself going asıray, and not attempt to reclaim him? This is to conduct in a way unworthy of a follower of Him,