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inagnify every mote in our eyes to the bigness of a beam !-how eager, upon the least default, to insult and cry outz-There, there !-so would we have it! -not, perhaps, that we are so much the subject of malice and aversion, but that the licentious age seems bent upon bringing Christianity into discredit at any rate ; and, rather than miss the aim, would strike through the sides of those that are sent to teach it. Thank God, the truth of our holy religion is established with such strong evidence, that it rests upon a foundation never to be overthrown, either by the open assaults or cunning devices of wicked and designing men !- The part we have to act, is to be steady, sober, and vigilant ; to be ready to do every good work ; to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all long-suffering ; to give occasion of offence to no man; that, with well-doing, we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
I shall close all with that excellent collect of our church :
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy scrip"tures to be written for our learning,-grant that
we may in suchwise hear them, read, mark, learn, 6 and inwardly digest them, that, by patience and
comfort of thy holy word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which
thou hast given us in thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus + Christ !'
Now to God the Father, &c.
PSALM XCV. 6, 7.
O come, let us worship and fall down before him :-for he is the
Lord our God,
In this psalm we find holy David taken up with the pious contemplation of God's infinite power, majesty, and greatness :-he considers him as the sovereign Lord of the whole earth, the Maker and Supporter of all things that by him the heavens were created, and all the host of them; that the earth was wisely fashioned by his hands; he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods : what we likewise, the people of his pasture, were raised up by the same creating hand, from nothing, to the dignity of rational creatures, made (with respect to our reason and understanding) after his own most perfect image.
It was natural to imagine that such a contem. plation would light up a flame of devotion in any grateful man's breast : and accordingly we find i break forth in the words of the text, in a kind or religious rapture,
“O come, let us worship and fall down before ( him ;—for he is the Lord our God.”
Sure, never exhortation to prayer and worship can be better enforced than upon this principle, that God is the Cause and Creator of all things ;- that each individual being is upheld in the station it was first placed, by the same hand which first formed
it ;-that all the blessings and advantages which are necessary to the happiness and welfare of beings on earth, are only to be derived from the same Fountain ;-and that the only way to do it, is to secure an interest in his favour, by a grateful expression of our sense for the benefits we have received, and a humble dependence upon him for those we expect and stand in need of.-" Whoin have we in “ Heaven," says the Psalmist, but thee, O God, * to look unto or depend on to whom shall we
pour out our complaints, and speak of all our “ wants and necessities, but to thy goodness, which " is ever willing to confer upon us whatever becomes “ us to ask, and thee to grant !--because thou hast s promised to be nigh unto all that call upon thee,
-yea, unto all such as call upon thee faithfully ;-+ " that thou wilt fulfil the desire of them that fear o thee ; that thou wilt also hear their cry, and help " them!”
Of all duties, prayer certainly is the sweetest and most easy.--There are some duties which may seem to occasion a troublesome opposition to the natural workings of flesh and blood ;--such as the forgiveness of injuries, and the love of our enemies : -others, which will force us unavoidably into a perpetual struggle with our passions—which war against the soul ;-such as chastity,temperance,
-humility. There are other virtues, which seem to bid us forget our present interest for a while, such as charity and generosity ;-others, that teach us to forget it at all times, and wholly to fix our affections on things above, and in no circumstance to act like men that look for a continuing city here, but upon one to come, whose builder and maker is
God. But this duty of prayer and thanksgiving to God, has no such oppositions to encounter ;it takes no bullock out of thy field, -no horse out of thy stable,-nor he-goat out of thy fold ;-it costeth no weariness of bones, no untimely watchings; -it requireth no strength of parts, or painful study, but just to know and have a true sense of our dependence, and of the mercies by which we are upheld :-and with this, in every place and posture of body, a good man niay lift up his soul unto the Lord his God.
Indeed, as to the frequency of putting this duty formally in practice, as the precept musi necessarily have varied according to the different stations in which God has placed us ;--so he has been pleased to determine nothing precisely concerning it :for, perhaps, it would be unreasonable to expect that the day-labourer, or he that supports a numero ous family by the sweat of his brow, should spend as much of his time in devotion, as the man of leisure and unbounded wealth.--This, however, in the general, may hold good, that we are bound to pay this tribute to God, as often as his providence has put an opportunity into our hands of so doing,-provided that no plea, drawn from the necessary attentions to the affairs of the world, which many mens situations oblige them to, may be supposed to extend to an exemption from paying their morning and evening sacrifice to God.--For it seems to be the least that can be done to answer the demand of our duty in this point,--successively to open and shut up the day in prayer and thanksgiving --since there is not a morning thou risest, or a night thou liest down, but thou art indebted for it to the watchful proyidence of Almighty God.--David and Daniel, whose names are recorded in scripture for future example :--the first, though a mighty king, cmbarrassed with wars abroad, and unnatural disturbances at home; a situation, one would think, would allow little time for any thing but his own and liis kingdom's safety;--yet found he leisure to pray seven times a day :--the latter, the counsellor and first minister of state to the great Nebuchadnezzar; and, though perpetually fatigued with the affairs of a mighty kingdom, and the government of the whole province of Babylon, which was committed to his administration ;--though near the person of an idolatrous king, and amidst the temptations of a luxurious courty—yet never neglected he his God; but, as we read, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before him.
A frequent correspondence with heaven, by prayer and devotion, is the greatest nourishment and support of spiritual life :-it keeps the sense of a God warm and lively within us--which secures our disposition, and sets such guards over us, that hardly will a temptation prevail against us.--Who can entertain a base or an impure thought, or think of executing it, who is incessantly conversing with his God ?--or not despise every temptation this lower world can offer him, when, by his constant addresses before the throne of God's majesty, he brings the glorious prospect of heaven perpetually before his eyes?
I cannot help here taking notice of the doctrine of those who would resolve all devotion into the inner man, and think that there is nothing more requisite to express our reverence to God, but purity