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proved that this state of things follows blessed and accepted. But, neverthe non-observance of the Sabbath-theless, when he comes into the more (and the non-observance of the Sab- immediate presence of GoD, and bath is the inevitable consequence of engages in solemn converse with him, the want of a due provision, for the he cannot but be impressed with a observance of its worship.) Whole reverential awe, a holy fear lest districts in America are at this mo- the defilements of nature's unworthiment in the state of moral destitution ness vitiate his offering, and cause to which I have referred. But we the Lord to turn away his countenhave an example much nearer home, ance from him. What reflecting man where the temporary abolition of the can come into the presence of GoD Sabbath, which was at once the re- for the purpose of holding more imsult and the cause of impiety, has mediate intercourse with him through been followed by an almost entire his Spirit, without feeling as the breaking up of all religious princi- prophet did when he was admitted to ples; and has diffused a disregard a view of his glory?" "I saw," said and contempt of all the ordinances he, "the Lord sitting upon a throne, and laws of GOD, which the partial high and lifted up, and his train filled restoration of the proper observance the temple. Above it stood the of the Sabbath institution has yet seraphim: each one had six wings; done little to counteract. Let us, with twain he covered his face, and then, my brethren, learn to consider with twain he covered his feet, and the solemn and public worship of with twain he did fly. And one cried GOD as the greatest privilege we can unto another, and said, Holy, holy, enjoy as beings in a course of prepa- holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole ration for eternity. earth is full of his glory. Then, said I, Woe is me! for I am undone ; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."

He is therefore stated to be studious, in the first place, to bring into the sanctuary a purified heart-at least a heart that seeketh to be purified and to accustom itself to find, in the awakening solemnities of holy wor

But let us not forget that its value to ourselves depends on the use we make of it, and on THE STATE OF OUR HEARTS. As it is with the heart that man believeth unto righteousness, so it is the state of the heart that must determine whether our religious services are acceptable to Him who searches the mind, and is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth. I have already said that the truly pious man is powerfully urged to the perform-ship, fresh motives to self-control and ance of this duty by a sense of the divine goodness; he goes into the house of GOD in the multitude of GOD's mercy; he remembers what abundant and convincing evidence he has had of the graciousness and good will of his heavenly Father. His own interest in the covenant of love, his personal enjoyment of the blessings of providence, and his earnest approaches to the mercy seat, aided by the Holy Spirit's help, will be

self-correction; and to experience in the serious and faithful use of the appointed means of grace, the renewing and refreshing influences of that Spirit who helpeth our infirmities. All the temple services, all the offices of piety which the church provides, are formed for the use of those who are, at least, in daily and hopeful progress toward a purer and more heavenly frame of mind: nor can they be employed without the most

fearful hypocrisy by those who knowingly harbour evil thoughts and unholy desires. He who presents himself before the altar of his GOD without a deep and heartfelt shame and sorrow for his own sins, and an earnest desire to be cleansed therefrom, insults the majesty of GOD, by taking into his mouth the language of penitence and piety, in which the church instructs her children, while he disavows and despises in his heart all the solemu professions which he openly makes. Time was when even those who wore the garb and held the language of penitence, were not admitted to join the assembly of the faithful in the house of GOD, till they had gone through a certain period of probation, and had given outward evidence, at least, of having shaken off the sins that had beset them. I am not for restoring the system of that discipline, which administered, as it must be, by the hands of partial and fallible man, is more than likely to be turned into an engine of political oppression. But in proportion as the strictness of that regimen is relaxed, it becomes more important that every individual member of our church be vigilant over himself for the health of his own soul, with reference to the opportunities he has of improving it. Let him never go up to the house of GOD without strictly examining his fitness for the work which is to be there performed. Let him never join in those solemn addresses to the majesty and mercy of GOD, in which the church instructs her members to approach the heavenly Father, without having first turned a searching glance into his heart, to see whether in its chambers of imagery there be lurking any profane thought, or carnal desire, which may disqualify him for that high and holy converse.

The spirit of purity, therefore, requires a spirit of fear: “In thy fear

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will I worship towards thy holy temple." Whither are our steps directed on the day which the Lord hath called his own? What is the meaning of the admonition which is given by every Sabbath bell? Are we not invited to an act of solemn and direct intercourse with our Maker, our Redeemer, our Scanctifier, and our Judge? And is that an employment which we can presume to take in hand without the most serious consideration, the most entire collectedness of thought, the warm glow of thankfulness and love? What! are all our best affections, all our highest sympathies, all the most vigorous faculties of our mind to be reserved for objects of transient importance-or even for those which are of no importance, and are, perhaps, worse than valueless? Shall we hear the word of GOD, and the ambassadors of Christ, with less fixedness of attention, and a less absorbing interest, than that which the sons and daughters of pleasure afford to the expression of a mimic and artificial grief or joy? Shall it be said that the musician's or the poet's skill has power to touch the chords of our sympathy within, and, for a moment make us all its own, while we can hear unmoved the awful revelations of God's word? Are we so easily transported in imagination by scenes which human genius has created, and human fancy has invested with its brightest hues—and are we unable or reluctant to realize the solemnities and awful descriptions of Holy Writ, in which the Spirit of GoD has shadowed forth the great things of eternity-the things in which every one of us has so tremendous an interest-the things which concern our everlasting peace?

Alas! such is indeed too frequently the case. And that is precisely the cause we have for so deep a personal interest in the reality of those descriptions. It is because our own eternal

welfare is bound up in the truth_of| revelation. And this revelation we are afraid to look at closely and with attention. Contemplating works of fiction, we find pleasure in the delusive scene for a time; but in this our passions urge us to embrace (not indeed a conviction-it never amounts to that) to embrace an ill-defined and half-formed imagination that the statements of the sacred writers are, perhaps, after all, the dreams of delusion, the visionary hopes or fears of enthusiasts; or at all events that they are too highly coloured-that the genius, perhaps, of oriental poetry has imparted a glowing tinge to the simple doctrines of divine truth; or that the grand truths of religion are seen as the shadows reflected from a cloud of gigantic dimensions; and that a free indulgence in the pleasures of the world is not so very odious as the preacher would persuade us who takes the solemn denunciations of the Bible, and in its awful warnings, in their plain and literal sense; or we do not care to pay any serious attention to the declarations that its truths will lay on every one of us the inevitable necessity of undergoing an entire change of thoughts, and habits, and desires, and pursuits. For this, at least, is unquestionable (and it is an awful consideration for every one of us)this, I say, is, at least, unquestionable, and it is our duty as preachers of the gospel, to be proclaiming it—that if the Bible be the word of GOD, if the preachers of the gospel speak the language of soberness and truth-then, by brethren, the world at large, nay, the greater part of that portion of the world who come to church, is in the wrong-is, in fact, in the high road to perdition. Surely, then, we have good reason to regard the solemnities of the Christian Sabbath in the spirit of anxious enquiry, and in the fear of GOD to worship towards his holy temple.

But then, that worship must be attended by faith and hope. The experience of mercies past, and the sure promise of their continuance - the gracious invitations and affectionate expostulations of him who has described himself as hearing and answering prayer--should fill us with the spirit of supplication. God may indeed be prayed to every morning from mount Moriah or Gerizim; from the splendid temple or the sacred oracles, in caves and dens of the earth, the prayer of the believing and devout heart ascends with equal speed to his impartial ear. But that he loves to listen to the united praises of those who art met together in his name is proved, not only by the apparent reasonableness of the appointment, that they who have " one Lord, one faith, one baptism," should make a common acknowledgment--but by the express declaration of his word, and the promises of his Son, and moreover by the experience of every pious heart. For who, I would ask, who ever joined in the solemu offices of public worship, with an entire abstraction from all extrinsic engagements, and with a spirit wholly devoted to the inquiry, and earnestly bent on seeking the care of GOD, without feeling that his prayers have been heard and answered?

But amongst the many and great advantages which recommend the use of a prescribed form of prayer, there is undoubtedly a danger of its being substituted by some for the spirit. Words, however solemn and however appropriate, with which the constant use has rendered us familiar, are apt to be uttered at length mechanically, without a due consideration of their import, especially of their solemn bearings on ourselves. And to counteract this weakness of our nature we must employ the force of habit in the opposite direction, and accustom our

selves to a distinct exercise of mind and will when we join in the offices of worship, by which we may be impressed with the force and weight of | every expression in the Liturgy, and see its application to our own particular cases. For instance, in the general confession of sins, let us ensure our own sincerity by bringing it to bear specifically on our own personal transgressions. In the office of thanksgiving, let us call to mind the specific mercies which we have received. In acknowledging the authority of God's commandments, let each of us pray for himself as well as for others, "Incline our hearts, O Lord, and mine in particular, to keep this law." In listening to the word of GOD, or to the warnings of the preacher, let us, instead of resting in a vague and general assent to the truth of what we hear, say, each one to himself, "Is not that my case? Is not the likeness mine? Have I not been guilty of that sin?" Unless we suffer our own consciences to drive home to the very hilt the sword of the spirit, which is but slightly touched by the arm of flesh, we do injustice to the instrument which GOD employs for our conversion, and, by degrees, | make that which is intended to soften and enlighten our hearts, the means of increasing their insensibility. No condition can be more awful than when the spirit is deadened by an increasing acquaintance with the means of grace. He who habitually puts on the appearance, and goes through the formal acts of religion as a matter of requirement and duty, had need be very vigilant and jealous over his own heart, lest it fall asleep while the outward work is going on, and so perish in his security from the very profusion of his spiritual opportunities.

The spirit of prayer, therefore, my brethren, and not merely the habit of prayer, is what we are to aim at: and

if once a really devotional spirit pervaded our congregations, how different an aspect would they present! How regular and punctual, and timely would be their attendance ! How composed their demeanour ! How serious the expression of their countenances! How devout and solemn their responses to the prayers of their minister! How lovely and reverential their posture while engaged in those prayers! How attentive to the word of exhortation and admonition, from him who watches over their souls as one that hath to give account! How quiet and how thoughtful would they be on quitting the house of prayer, as sinners who have just been admitted to converse with GOD, conscious of the supreme importance of the work in which they have been engaged, and answerable for the use they had made of that precious opportunity-desirous above all things to be influenced by a spirit of consistency, to practise the solemn truths they have heard, and to exemplify this in a Christian walk and conversation!

The solemn observance of the Sabbath thus valued and thus improved, may be truly spoken of as among the most precious of our religious privileges. Is it possible to esteem too highly the benefits which must result from the stated recurrence of its denouncements, its warnings, its expostulations, its consolations, to every class of society? To those who are in danger of being corrupted by the power of the world, dazzled by its splendour, engrossed by its cares, or overwhelmed by its follies--is there not in every church throughout the land a school of humility? to those who are stationed in the higher walks of life, but who are here reduced to the level of their fellow creatures in the presence of the great and holy GOD? And is there not a school of en

couragement to those who are walking in the dark and gloomy paths of the vale of tears-to the charity of the rich, the patient and honest industry of the poor? And is it possible that the noble and the wealthy-that any, in short, whose example in any direction or degree is influential-who desire to be thought, if not religious, yet at least humane and benevolent; is it possible, I ask, that they should fail to recognise the sacredness of that obligation which is laid on them by the laws of GOD, by the laws of their country, by the common interests of the community, by the claims of humanity, no less than by a regard to their own eternal welfare, to sanctify the Lord's Sabbath-to light up a beacon upon a hill that must be seen and attended to by those who observe and are ready to imitate them in their good deeds-who, unhappily, are more ready to plead their example and to copy them in profaning the Lord's Sabbath, in deserting and neglecting his house, and the means of grace which he has appointed?

With respect to the object which has brought me among you this day, I would simply ask, is it not fit and proper that a place dedicated to the noblest of all purposes-the glory of Almighty God, and the spiritual edification of his creatures, should be set apart from all common purposes, with more than ordinary,-with peculiar rites, and prayers, and praises? And is not this also a fitting opportunity for every one who is present at this solemnity to give a substantial token of the interest which he takes in the promotion of those great objects which this, and all the other houses of GOD throughout the land, are erected to promote ? Every one who understands the value of those privileges which I have now described, especially as they are enjoyed in a church whose ordinances are so well adapted to

answer all the ends of public and common worship, will cheerfully contribute to maintain, in its appropriate decencies and comeliness, the place where he is called on the Sabbath to hear the word of God, and to offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and will not grudge a trifling contribution to that which will render more impressive, more solemn, and more attractive the services which are here performed. The particular object to which your contributions are now solicited is the expences of erecting an organ; and it is no trifling consideration, that by so doing you will help to render more solemn and striking the public worship of GOD, and to bring it somewhat nearer to that service, the perfectness of which constitutes the employment of those blessed spirits who stand about the throne of the Lamb, and praise him for ever and ever. What are the sums, I would ask, that are expended in the erection and repairs of the church, or in maintaining the decency and solemnity of the service? How seldom do they amount to that which is expended in embellishing the mansion of a single person of rank, or even his furniture and his equipage? But if on other occasions you refrain from liberality, on such an occasion as the present, it is, at least, a well-intended tribute to the glory of GOD, and an expression of gratitude for your own religious advantage. Great and praiseworthy efforts have been made in this parish, made no doubt under a serious conviction of the truths I have now pressed on your attention. The building in which you are now assembled is a monument of your Christian zeal and liberality, and of a charitable regard for the interests of your poorer brethren, who were before most inadequately provided for in this parish. And amongst the feelings of inward satis

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