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Hthe like evidences of grace ; and, of their danger and of their dus the same spirit of holiness—that ty ? Certainly, are we friends to they love the same things, seek God and Christ, we rejoice to the same things, and entertain a meet with his church, and with like hope of eternal life, through them, set our feal to the truth, faith in Chrift. In these things, that God is righteous. they have fellowship with the Fa This, again, reminds me, that ther, and the Son, and one with the public worship of God, is another : And so, feel that they pleasant to all that love him. Af have one common interest, and a ter a season of labor and toil, it near and dear relation. There is pleasant to retire to our closets, discoveries makecommunion sweet, and meditate on' spiritual and eter, and excite them to meet in focial nål things--to examine our title to worship, which enlightens the un- the inheritance of saints; and to derstanding, informs the judg- go, like Moses, into the Mount, ment, invigorates faith, and and take a view of the promised warms the affections.
land. And while our affections Thus, believers, the church of were warm in heavenly meditaChrift are a kind of repofitory of tion, would it not rejoice our the gospel doctrines. The Spirit hearts, to hear our neighbors say, imprints and feals gospel truths Come, let us go into the house of the on their hearts and affections ; Lord, to see his beauty, and to inand they become supporters of the -quire in bis temple ? truth, in opposition to the errors The focial worship of saints, iş and heresies, which wicked men a beginning of the employments, utter againit the holy religion of and å foretage of the enjoyments Jesus. And by bringing these of the kingdom of glory. Have truths into actual practice, they we no pleasure in the worship of are lights in the world, holding forth God, in his earthly temples ; we the word of life ; and stand as have reason to fear, that we shall monumental pillars of the truth, never join the society of saints, in giving the lie to scofling infidels, his temple, which is above. Love and to all that oppose the grace to public worship, is an high eviof our Lord Jesus Christ. They dence of love to God ; and of a are witnesses for God, that he is meetness for the society of saints good and gracious ; and that if and angels. Agrecably to which, any perish, it will be their own David faid, Lord I have loved the fault.
balitation of thy bouse, and the place This coofideration is a strong where thine honor dwelleth. Gathmotive, with good men, to go in. er not my foul with finners. The to the houfe of the Lord.- fellowship of faints, in focial worThere are but two classes of men thip, warms the heart with love in the world, friends and enemies of to God, and love to man; and God. Is it not desirable to be sets their affections on things aanong his friends, and to unite bove, that they are ready to cry with them in prayer and praise to out, How ainiable are iby taberthe God of our lives, and the giv- nacles, O Lord of hosts! Blefjed are er of all our mercies? Is it not de- they who dwell in thy house : they.: firable to stand with them as a pil will be fill praising thee. lar of the truth; and with one voice, And it is worthy of remark, end one heart, warn a finful world further, that as public worship is
pleasant to all good men ; so is it, of the Lord, is a refuge in perivery acceptable to God.—This is lous times, and seasons of spirituevident from the consideration, al darkness. Nothing, in this that he appointed a social wor- world, will make hell tremble, fhip, for the Jews, in the morn and check the scoffs of infidels, ing and evening sacrifice-on the like the united prayer of God's fabbath, and on numerous days of people in his house. They are feading and fasting. So Christ, the falt of the earth. For their his apostles, and followers con- sake, God bears with the wicked ftantly observed the fabbath ; and and withholds his judgments, for often met, on other occasions, for a season. For their fake, he cuts focial worship.
off the enemies of the cross, and And it is observable, that God, punishes the wickedness of the frequently, fignified his pleasure, times. For this cause, all good on such occasions, by shewing his people love the house of the Lord, glory in the tabernacle, or by a and delight in focial worship. voice from the mercy-seat : And I will now make some observain the days of Christian worship, tions on the manner, in which, by various gifts and graces; and they will manifeft such love and by the saving operations of his respect to the house of God. Holy Spirit.
They will seek a convenient And it is deserving of notice, place, and a decent house, for the that when God promised any pe- habitation of the Lord of Hofts. culiar blessings to his people, he, Like David, they will be ashagenerally, added the privilege of med, that the Lord should be the his house. Thus, when he prom- laft and poorest ferved. ised to increase his church, by the They will, alfo, with much accession of the Gentiles, he said, prayer and carefulness, provide the flocks of Keder, and the rams fome one to minifter in holy things. of Nabaioth shall come up with ac- They will look to it, that he come ceptance on mine altar, and I will in by the door-that he be called glorify the house of my glory. So, as was Aaron and that, like Paul again, speaking of the privilege and Barnabas, he be fet apart to of his house, God promised it God's service, by prayer, fafting should be general without respect and laying on of the hands of the of persons, Blefjed is the man that presbytery. It is not every one keepeth my fabbath from polluting it. that runs, but he who runs orderThe fons of the stranger, that join ly, that God approves.-Our Sathemselves to the Lord, to serve him viour was pleased to appoint an orand to love the name of the Lord, der of priesthood in his church, to be his servants, every one that and will never forsake it, Lo, faid keepeth the fabbath from polluting it, he, I am with you always, ever and taketh hold of my covenant : unto the end of the world. Who. even them will I bring to my holy ever comes not in this order, remountain, and make them joyful in fifteth the gospel of Christ, and mine house of prayer : their burnt has no promife of the divine prelofferings and their sacrifices shall be ence and blessing. The friends of accepted on mine altar ; for mine house God's house, therefore, will tako Shall be called an house of prayer heed whom they receive, and to for all people.
whom they bid God speed. I may also add, that the house They will also, maintain a pru.
dent discipline in the church ; andmy God, because a man has injuprovide all things neceffary, for a red me? In vain we talk of our regular administration of special religion, while we act on such ordinances, that God may glorify motives ! the house of his glory. In a word, Yes, says one, but I disapprove they will provide for, and support of our minifter-I am not edified the gospel ministry in order and by him—I can read better serdecency, for comfort and edifica mons at home.-Granted. But tion to themselves and others. has not God, in his infinitely wise
The friends of public worship, providence, made this provision? will live in expectation of such And is he not more likely to send seasons, and meet them rejoicing. a blessing on his ordinances, and They pay the morning and eve in his own way, than in yours ? ning facrifice in a social worship, And who shall dare to refist him, and meet the fabbath with delight. or to prescribe a better way -When we expect the arrival of Such excuses. may harden the some dear friend, we keep the heart against God and religion, time in mind, and stand ready to but are not to be justified. receive him : fo the friends of Those who love God, and are God's house, keep the fabbath in conscientious in his worship, abhor mind ; and will not suffer their and deteft all such excuses : and secular affairs to intrude on holy will endeavor, by constant precept time. They endeavor, as far as and example, to recommend the in them lies, to sanctify to God, observance of the sabbath. As all seasons of social worship, with lights in the world, they will hold out deceit and without hypocrisy. forth the word of life, that oth.
Nor will any thing, short of ers may fee and glorify God. works of neceflity and mercy, de I observe this once more, that tain them from the place and em- they who love the worship of God's ployments they love. They will house, will studyafter brotherly endeavor to be, where God and love and unity.“ A new comtheir eternal interest call them. mandment I give unto you, that A flight indisposition, a little rain, ye love one another, as I have love or, any thing that would not deed you. By this shall all men tain them from business and know that ye are my disciples,” amusements, on a week-day, will | Brotherly love is a Christian temappear a pitiful excuse, for detain- per : and they who love the house ing them from God's business, of the Lord, will manifest ita on the fabbath, or, on any con
The friends of Christ are peacevenient season of social worship. makers; and endeavor to walk in '. Nor will an affront from a the unity of the spirit, in the neighbor, or from any body of bond of peace. They have felmen, detain us from public wor- lowship with Christ, and one with ship and divine institutions, if we another : his cause is their cause ; really love the house of God. and his interest their interest. ParThe Chriftian temper is charity ty spirit and divisions in fociety, and forgiveness. And, perhaps, are grievous to good men : they my neighbor did not intend to af gender strife and debate, four the front me: butif he did, must I needs temper and unfit for God's service, abuse him, because he abused me? in either party. Such things are mult I injure myself and insult the works of the flesh, and tigns
of the latter day herefies. We than others, even publicans and are commanded to avoid them, finners. If they be, indeed, chil.. and to attend to the Jure word of dren, they will not be easy and prophecy : if any say, lo, here; contented in public worship, unor lo, there, believe them not. less they feel the power of reliWe must try their fpirit by the gion, and see the beauty of the word of God; and not by our Lord, as well, as inquire in his darkened reafon : Philofophy, will temple. Neglect of public wornever lead us unto God and eter- ship, or inattenton in it, are dark nal life.
signs: and do, at least, argue Those who love the house of small degrees of grace, and too God, will adhere to this rule ; great indifference, as, to further and by the fure word of prophecy attainments. I fpeak here, of will heal divisions, and destroy allowed neglect and inattention : the works of darkness ; and so, for the most upright profeffor has ftrenghten the brotherhood in seasons, in which, he has cause to knowledge, faith and love. They cry, My leanness, my leanness. will not, willingly, leave or dis- But if he can feel contented in turb a church and congregation, any degree of spiritual attainwhere they have unitedly served ments, short of perfection, he has God: nor will they suffer it in but moderate love to God and others. As living stones, they are divine things. Let professors think built up a spiritual house, and will on this. not be scattered. As a chofen Professors, by neglect of public generation, they fhew forth the worship, injure themselves and prailes of him, that called them dishonor God. They see none of out of darkness into his marvellous his divine honor, as displayed in light, and therefore, follow after his house ; nor bear any part in charity.
beltowing honor upon him-They It will be perceived, that I publicly refuse to ftand as pillars have designedly confined my ob- of the truth ; and to confess servations to the religious benefit Christ before men-They turn and pious pleasures of God's chil- their backs on the protection of dren, in public worship. Men of God's house, which he offers the world may respect public wor- them, against the world, the flesh ship for its moral and political in- and the devil_They lose the Huence on society ; but good pleasures and comforts, which men do more, they love it for its God's people feel, when, with own fake-for its religious bene- united hearts and voices, they ada fits and pious pleasures.
dress the throne of grace They Many useful remarks might be practically, contemn God's aumade on this subject ; but I must thority ; and virtually, deny their only observe, that profeffors need allegiance to Chrift, his king in closely examine themselves, as to Zion. the ground, on which, they pro Thus they join with the wickfess to love the house of God. Ifed to dishonor God and religion-they find not such views and feel they set a bad example before ings in public worship, and fuch others and become abettors of expreffions of them, as recited a- infidelity and loose morals.-Mabove, they have reason to fear they ny, not diftinguishing between are no better, and do no more principles, and the irregular walk
of professors, first doubt of the re- and lift up a mighty standard aality of religion ; and foon de- gainst infidelity. In this, God's nounce the whole à cheat.-In glory, and our happiness are unithis, they are awfully left of God ted. Let us then act in charac
- they become fit subjects for ter, and walk worthy of our vothe temptations of Satan—and he cation in the gospel. And if we will not be idle. Having no good are faithful to God and ourselves, moral principles within, they lie at in public worship and social praythe control of their passions--rea- er, we may defy all the arts of son is unheeded and conscience hell and earth to separate us from is filent-good is their evil and Chrift; or to diffolve order in foevil their good.
ciety. But it muft not be forThese are the natural and actu- gotten, that in all these things, al consequences of the 'neglect and we are wholly dependent on the abuse of public worship : and aids of the Holy Spirit, for light coming through the medium of and strength. Let us, therefore, God's children, they dishonor in every thing, by prayer and fupGod and religion, much more plication, with thanksgiving; make than all that the enemies of the known our requests unto God cross could do without them. His grace will be sufficient for us. This confideration calls loudly
ISRAEL. on us, as professors, to consider our ways to be watchful and on the imperfe& ftate of holy affecitrengthen the things which re
tions in young converts. main
that are ready to die.”—Do we reverence divine authority E
find in the bible many are we wise to seek our own hap passages, which speak of piness, for time and eternity—and the kingdom of God, representing do we desire a plentiful outpour- it as being exceedingly small in ing of the Holy Spirit, on our its origin, but increasing graduchurches and congregations, we ally, til it finally absorbs all othfhall long to see the beauty of the ers in itself. In one place it is Lord, and inquire in his temple compared to a stone cut out of -we shall conftantly take our the mountain without hands, families to the house of the Lord which afterwards became a great on his sabbath; and lead them mountain and filled the whole daily to the throne of grace, in earth : In another, to a grain of the morning and evening facrifice. mustard feed, which, it is said, is
This is our duty. And we the smallest of all seeds, but when have no reasonable excuse for neg- it is sown, and is sprung up, it lect: the means are easy--the becomes a great tree, in the branwork is pleasant—and the end will ches of which the fowls of the air be glorious. In the exercise of may lodge. Although these re. Tocial worship, if not wanting to presentations primarily respect the ourselves, we shall meet with God kingdom of our Redeemer in the -learn our duty-obtain com- world, yet we may doubtless with fort-establish our hearts in the propriety consider them, as being faith and mystery of the gospel; equally applicable to the kingdom and thus, grow more and more of grace in the heart of each indiinto the divine likeness—we shall vidual member ; and as fuggeftlet
a good example before others, ! ing this general idea, that the