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ments of the table ; by the intrusion of worldly company; or by any dispositions or habits of a reluctant heart, or dissipated mind. If you thus wilfully “forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is,” you will most assuredly provoke the displeasure of your God, who is particularly and highly offended with those who " profane his sabbaths, and despise his holy things." Your conduct in this case, also, cannot fail to weaken the hands, and discourage the hearts, of those who are called to preach to you, that word of the Lord, by which you might be saved, but within the joyful sound of which you refuse to come.
Let it be remeubered, that every example of this kind serves to sanctiou, and to increase, that neglect of the institutions of God's house, that profanation of the sacred day of the Lord, and that consequent corruption of morals, which are already awfully prevalent in the community, and will most certainly, sooner or later, draw down upon a guilty land, the righteous judgement of heaven. But if you religiously “decline doing your own pleasure, on the Lord's holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honorable ;?" if you esteem it “good for you to draw near to God" in his ordinances, and conscientiously improve your opportunities for “ appearing before him” in his sanctua. ry: then shall you know the “ blessedness of the man, who keepeth the sabbath from polluting it,” “and who loves the habitation of the Lord's house, where his saints rejoice in goodness.”
When therefore the return of the season of public worship, and the voice, or the examples of others around you, call upon you and say, “ Let us go into the house of the Lord ;'' then let your hearts cheer,
fully reply, Lord, I come," for my soul longeth for the courts of the Lord : and esteemeth one day enjoy. ed in these, better than a thousand spent elsewhere.”
Parents and heads of families, shew your esteem and delight in the ordinances of the Lord's house, by resorting to them with exemplary constancy and devotion ; and bring your children with you,when they are capable of a proper behaviour here ; that they may become early habituated to respect the institutions of the sanctuary, and that they may be brought seasonably into the way of receiving the blessing of the Lord.
Children, be persuaded with willing minds, to accompany your parents and friends to the house of the Lord. For your encouragement in doing so, remember, that, in the temple wbich our Lord and Saviour, filled with his glory, when he came in our nature, he most kindly accepted the hosannas of little cbildren; concerning whom he observed that “out of the mouths' of babes and sucklings the Lord ordaineth and perfecteth praise !" Remember, also, that the little children, who are brought to him in faith, and who willingly come to him, desirous of his blessing, he graciously receives into the arms of his mercy; and kindly cherishing them in the bosom of his love, as the tender and favoured lambs of his flock, he affectionately blesses them, de. claring, that of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Let the youth of our congregations, who are particularly regarded as the rising hope of the church, be entreated to attend our solemn assemblies, with cheerfulness and constancy, watching attentively at wisdom's gates, that they may bear divine instruction, ayd by the doctrines of the gospel preached to them, they may become “ wise unto salvation, through faith
which is in Christ Jesus." Would you, while rising to fullness of stature, or maturity of years, increase in wisdom and in favour with God and man? Would you be truly happy in yourselves, and aspire to the honor of doing the greatest possible good to others? “ Remember then your Creator in the days of your youth," and seek without delay an interest in your Redeemer, who declares, that “they who seek bim early, shall find him.” Thus, will you become a seed whom the Lord condescends visibly to bless, and be prepared to shew forth his praise, and to maintain his cause in the world. .“ Your fathers, where are they ? and the phophets,” or ministers of God, 6 do they live forever ?” Soon, my young friends, will your present pastors, like those who have preceded them, “ finish the course of their mortal lives, and the ministry which they have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” And will you not, before they go, allow them the high and peculiar satisfaction, of seeing you added to the church, among “ such as shall be saved," and such as shall form some of the most precious jewels in their crown of rejoicing in the presence of their Lord, at his coming ? . .
Soon the heads of your pious parents, if they yet live, and of other aged christian friends will be laid low under the clods of the valley ; and their happy spirits, separated from the family of God on earth, and removed from the scenes of activity and usefulness, as well as of trial, in which they were placed here, shall ascend to join the holy and happy family in heaven, where all their work is praise and love, * and their recompense is the fullness of everlasting joy, in the presence of the Lord. How powerfully, how
persuasively, then, should this consideration call upon you to seek the grace of God, by which you may be prepared to fill up the places of our fathers, and become the honored instruments of upholding the church, and supporting ihe throne of your Redeemer in the world, and of perpetuating the institutions of the sanctuary, and the blessings of the gospel, to the generations, that are to follow you ! Thus will you become bright ornaments of the religion of Christ, and prove rich blessings in your day, to his church on earth. Thus, after perhaps, a lengthened course of service and usefulness, you will become fitted for high stations of honor and joy in the presence of your Lord in heaven.
Let the servants,* also, statedly worshipping with us, be exhorted to consider, with grateful hearts, the desirable privileges with which they are, favoured in baving so large a portion of this spacious building, as well as of our other house of worship, appropriated to your accommodation, in attending upon the public worship of God, the coinmon Father of mankind. With bim, as we are assured by his word, there is no respect of persons, or preference given in shewing his mercy to the children of men, on account of their na. tional origin, or their situation in life. With thankfulness and diligence then, improve the advantages thus allowed you for attending our religious assemblies, where you may be instructed in “ the faith once delivered to the saints,” and become acquainted with " the common salvation," purchased for all believers by the precious blood of Christ, and which is equally and most freely offered to all, who hear the joyful sound of his gospel ; and where you may hope to see
* Alluding to the negro slaves, 'who attend this place of worship, in large numbers, EDITOR.
the glory, and experience the grace, of that adorable Redeemer of the world, wbose “ gospel is preached to the poor,” and whose spirit makes it effectual “ to open the eyes of the blind, to accomplish the deliverance of the captives of satan, and to restore the wretched servants of sin, to the holy and happy liberty, which is to be found in the service of God, and with which the Son of God, the friend of sinners, makes his redeemed people free indeed. Considering then, your obligations, in these respects, carefully improve the privileges which you enjoy in our houses of wore ship, pray that you may understand the truth and grace of the gospel, when you attend the ministrations of it. Stady to walk according to it, in the course of a sober, righteous and godly life ; and particularly, by continuing, with good will, and all christian fidelity, to perform the services which his word directs you to do, to those whom his providence has placed in author. ity over you, not merely as done unto men, but to the Lord. Thus learning and obeying the truth, as it is in Christ, and thus labouring to adorn, in all things, the doctrine of God our Saviour ; you may comfort your hearts with the assurance given you in his word, " that whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive, whether he be bond or free.”
Let us all, in a word, whether ministering in holy. things, or attending in a private capacity, the business of the sanctuary in this house, let us all engage with united hearts in the holy services, to which we are here called, from one sabbath and season of religious worship, to another; and in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, let us walk humbly, cheerful. ly, constantly, and exemplarily, that our God and