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tempt of every duty, religious and civil. -A neglect of his sabbaths would bring on a neglect of God himself: for men are too easily engaged by the pursuits of the world, which bring present profit or pleasure with them : it is, therefore, absolutely necessary to set apart one day, at least, to recall their wandering thoughts from sense to sentiment, from earth to heaven.
Nor are appropriate places of worship less necessary. ----God may, indeed, be found in the field or in the desert, the self-coinmissioned enthusiasts will tell me; who boast of having mountains for their pulpits, and the heavens for their sounding-boards. It is true, the Almighty inay be found there ; for he fills all space:“the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness “ thereof; the round, world, and they that “ dwell therein :" but it is no less true, that man, diverted by the various calls of present engagements, would soon forget to seek him there. It is, therefore, highly expedient to have stated and convenient places of worship, where all may have' an opportunity of assembling, in which seriousness should be inspired from considering ourselves as in the more immediate presence of the Almighty, and in which we may all join together in acknowledging our dependence on one common God' and Father, and our, own mutual
relation as brethren.-Nor, again, is it less fitting, that these places appropriated to divine worship, should be hallowed by à becoming re: gard to decency and good order: for, though we want not, we wish not for, the costly and meretricious ornaments of Romish pageantry, yet we should, at least, take care, that nothing should offend the eyes of ears of those who assemble to pay their devotions at the throne of God, or take off froin that reverence, which ought ever to be impressed upon our minds, when we enter the house of God. It was the language of Solomon of old, when speaking of the temple he intended to build ; " the house «s, which I build is great ; for great is our Lord “ above all gods :” and, to the same purpose, David said ; “ the work is great; for the palace “ is not for man, but for the Lord God.”-Nor, ; again, is there less reverence due to those who . minister about holy things, whether we consider the relation they bear to God, or the services * they are employed in for the benefit of man :) and, though they may not always keep up to the dignity of their high and iinportant charac. ter; (for we own ourselves men of like passions and infirmities with you, and possess our treasure in earthen vessels;) yet it should, in justice, be remembered, that some respect is always due to the office, if not to the man ; that the failures
of individuals should not be extended to the whole order, to the great detriment of religion itself; and, finally, that every man should be cautious of throwing the stone of reproach at them, who is not conscious of being perfect in his own station.
We mean not, however, to offend any man by laying so great a stress upon these things, as some men have incautiously and unwarrantably done: a pharisaic severity in them, on the one hand, is as much to be avoided as an indecent levity on the other : for, though we think it expedient, in the language of the Apostle, “that "every thing should be done deceutly and in “ order;". yet we wish not to see religion reduced to mere forms and outward observances ; these should be considered as the means and helps to religion, but not as religion itself. Our first care, therefore, should be to hallow our hearts and lips, by a sincere love of God, and a deep sense of his goodness: and I will venture to say, that, where these are found, a just rever-, ence for the things pertaining to God will never be wanting
Lastly, We should, above all, shew our sincerity in making this petition, by endeavouring
80 hallow the name of God by the purity and uprightness of our conversation ; for this is the best proof we can give of our reverence of God. The uplifted eye and bended knee, whilst they implore, with seeming fervency, that the great name of God may be hallowed, may be joined with a heart hypocritical and regardless of his glory: but a life directed in obedience to the commands of God; a zeal that shews itself in good actions; a faith that worketh by love; these speak a language which cannot either be suspected or mistaken. And, whilst they declare our own reverence for God, they will also stir up others, by the power of shining example, to hallow his holy name, and be a means of extending the blessed kingdom of God, which in, the next petition of our Lord's prayer, we are taught to request may come.
Let, therefore, every one of you, that nameth the name of God, depart from iniquity; and may your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and by them be induced to glorify the name of our one great common Father in heaven; and, that after a life of holiness spent upon earth, ye may be qualified for the society of saints and angels, of the assembly of the first-born, of Jesus, the inediator