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sure to listen to its great Author. While she throws aside all burdensome rites, she tells us in her Homilies, that "whatsoever is found in this commandment (to keep the Sabbath day holy,) appertaining to the law of nature, as a thing most godly, most just, and needful to God's glory, ought to be retained and kept of all good Christian people. Therefore, by this commandment, we ought to have a time, as one day in the week, wherein we ought to rest, yea, from our lawful and needful works;" and again, "God's obedient children should use the Sunday holily, and rest from their common and daily business, and also give themselves wholly to heavenly exercises of God's true religion and service."
Thus our excellent Church dictates to her congregations the lessons of conservative wisdom. After the public offices of religion are ended, she makes each private house a sanctuary, placing the children and servants around their natural instructors in devout communion; or suggests to the exercised Christian the subjects of devout meditation. We trust, that though the tides of business and amusement sometimes threaten her with destruction, her sanctuary, with its awful precinct, will stand till the Bridegroom comes; and that her faithful worshippers will,
in the mean time, continue to keep their morning and evening watch, and to claim with unceasing earnestness the privileges of the Sabbath, as the earliest spiritual gift to man, and the great primeval pledge of his affiliation and obedience.
THE DEPORTMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN IN THE WORSHIP OF GOD ON THE LORD'S DAY.
IF what has been said be true of the Lord's day, great must be its claims upon the Christian gentleman. It must needs be the day which he delights to honour. It is a day so precious to him, that he rises early to enjoy it; he is desirous of losing no part of it; his intercourse with God may have been often interrupted, during the week past, by care, or business, or anxiety; limited to morning and evening prayer, and occasional aspirations. But on the Sunday his Christianity is concentrated. "Hre yag avecis τον νουν απαγει απο των ανθρωπινων ασχοληματων τον δε οντως νουν τρεπει προς τον Θείον. The chambers of his mind are swept and garnished, to give reception to visitors from above-heavenly thoughts. and blessed communications! Sunday is the Christian gentleman's court-day; the day of the levy of the King of kings; he meets it with his freshest looks, and greets it with the homage of a holy courtesy: not only do worldly occu
pations cease with him, but worldly cares also; he feels like a prisoner coming forth from his confinement into the pure untainted atmosphere, with the whole earth for his floor, and the sky for his canopy. It is to him a day of deliverance, release, and privilege, in which his feet are" set in a large room," and his spirit "refreshed in the multitude of peace." His de
meanour, therefore, on this day, more than on others, is chastised and subdued. If, on other days, God has had much of his thoughts, on this day they are wholly God's. The time before church on the Sunday morning is, in a Christian gentleman's family, where things are ordered as they should be, a time of tranquil and cheerful preparation for the holy business of the day; tranquil, because the thoughts repose upon God; cheerful, because the heart responds to the invitations of the Gospel; and yet it is a time of godly fear, for the sinner is about to enter into the sanctuary of the Lord, to confess upon his knees, and with prostration of soul, his entire unworthiness.
With such sentiments and impressions, he feels it a sacred duty to be in church, some time before the beginning of the service, to recall those "dispersed and ungathered" thoughts, which have been roving abroad upon their tem
poral errands through the regions of sin, within the doors and vestibule of the sanctuary. The proper prelude to prayer is silence; and of all practices out of place and season, that of talking in church is the most egregious. This propriety the heathen worshipper was sensible of. When Telemachus observed to his father that some god was within, the wise Ulysses imposed on the youth a reverential silence.
Σίγα, και κατα σον νουν ισχανε, μηδ' ερεεινε.
Of. T. 42.
And surely when the Lord is in his holy temple, all within should keep silence until the appointed time of prayer and praise. But in our Christian churches that appointed time is just the time when silence begins. The voice of the primitive church, which was wont to break forth into responses that shook its pillars, has sunk into feeble whispers, or inarticulate sounds, or unconcerned and fashionable silence. This ought not to be the case with the Christian gentleman: he has a part in the service assigned him in the rubric, and dare not stand out in sacrilegious silence against the demand so solemnly made upon him: he judges it also to be a mutilation of the service, and a spoiling of its sense and significance, to withhold his audible