« السابقةمتابعة »
instance, to dispense with a reverential respect to the divine authority. His obedience to the laws of the land would be prompted by a religious motive, and he would “ be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” False patriots and infatuated partizans may neglect and despise this duty. The forger brings not his counterfeit coin to the true die. None, however, who is not perverted or enslaved by degrading and criminal passions, can be insensible of its utility. By recalling to remembrance our mutual dependence and obligations ; and by extending our thoughts beyond the present scene, when the petty contests for worldly distinction and emolument shall be no more, and “ we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ,” it excites and aids us to “ serve our generation by the will of God.”
In seasons of publick agitation, when, to use the bold and figurative language of scripture, “ all the foundations of the earth are out of course," and a spirit of licentious innovation threatens the destruction of social order and safety, prayer leads the mind to rest on the great sovereign of the universe, who brings light out of darkness, order out of confusion, and good out of evil; who has wise,
important, and gracious purposes to answer by the most mysterious and alarming events; and who will assuredly cause of all things to work together for good to them that love him.". . . .
Such, in the diversified conditions and re-' lations of life, are the beneficial effects of prayer. !!!
III. What then remains, but that we conclude 'agreeably to the third division of the subject, by enforcing its uniform and devout practice, in all its branches? .
1. Publick prayer, or that which compo." ses à material part of the weekly services of the sanctuary, is a most solemn and interesting duty. There “the rich and poor meet: together,” and unitedly address that God, who iś " the maker of them all.” There we acknowledge the father of our spirits and former of our bodies, in a social capacity ; confess our unworthiness of the least of his mercies ; implore the forgiveness of our sins, andi en--> treat his protection and favour, in behalf of ourselves, our families, our friends, our coun.. try, and the whole race of man.' Now what can be more reasonable, and, if devoutly per-. formed, what can be more beneficial than this No. 3." Ch
e llo to lapt :
service? Is it not a. just tribute to the adora.
2. In your domestick state, many bless. ings are to be recognized and sought, and many imperfections to be lamented and de
plored, which it would be improper to bring into publick view. Hence the expediency and obligation of family prayer. : * Upon this point,” to speak in the words of an eminent divine of our own country, "we shall have few to oppose ris, except those who, from a disinclination to religion itself, and to every expression of it, desire to frame excuses for their neglect. If social worship is ever reasonable, nature itself will lead us to family religion. Who are so adapted to unite together in exercises of devotion, as they who are united together in some very near relation, or in the most intimate bonds of friendship ; one of which we must suppose. the case with all, who are of the same family ? These best know čach other's circumstances, cares, and difficulties; and, therefore, can more properly join in praying with, and for each other. They have many wants, which they may, in a united manner, seek to have supplied. They have many common mera cies, which demand their thankful acknowl. edgments. They are usually affected by the same afflictions, which ought to lead them to God for help and support.
• Dr. Andrew Eljot, late of Boston.
" When we have been carried through the passages of the day, and are met together in our common habitation, that we may again separate for our necessary repose, what can be more fit and decent, than that we should, with one heart and voice, bless God for the favours and protections of the day, humble ourselves for our miscarriages, and implore his care through the silent watches of the night? When," in the morning, we arise from our beds, how natural is it, before we enter; on the business of the day, to return our thanks_ to him, who has protected us in our defence. less hours ; to ask the direction, care, and blessing of our heavenly father ; and to come mit ourselves to his guidance and influence, through the business and temptations of the day.”
Awfully alarming are the denunciations of Jehovah, not only upon the heathen, who know him not ;” but “ upon the families that call not on his name.” Think not then, that you can be innocent. or safe, whilst you omit and delay this reasonable duty; but be persuaded to resolve, each one for himself, as. for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
3. As the peculiar situation of every family requires appropriate addresses to heaven,