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exclaim,“Oh how amiable are thy dwellings, thou “ Lord of hosts! My soul hath a desire and long

ing to enter into the courts of the Lord. My “ heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." “ It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, " and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most

Highest; to tell of thy loving kindness early in “the morning, and of thy truth in the night sea“ son."

No wonder that he says, in the sincerity of his heart, “Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy “ house, and the place were thine honour dwell“eth;" “ I was glad when they said unto me, We “ will go into the house of the Lord;" and with determined resolution declares, “ My feet shall “ stand in thy gates, O Jerusalem !"

I have endeavoured to set forth some of the advantages which belong to a due preparation for the worship of God; and because the force of habit is great and powerful, it will be of the utmost importance if we can bring ourselves to a strict and customary compliance with this duty. Those ideas which we regularly connect with a particular period of time, are always ready to present themselves when that period recurs; and the longer the custom is pursued, the more powerful will our impressions be. And certainly, to a religious mind, it must be a source of high gratification, thus to increase its opportunities of converse with God, its Almighty Benefactor, by


acts of prayer and of holy meditation, which, constantly renewed as the Sabbath draws on, will constantly ensure the satisfaction and delight of being in the spirit on the Lord's day. Nor is this a duty which must necessarily be supposed to require much alteration in the habits and pursuits of Christians; but only that they should resolve to impart to their ordinary arrangements and actions, those religious associations and influences of which they are susceptible.

There are thoughts and feelings connected with the close of the week, and the approach of the day of rest, which, of themselves, are capable of affecting deeply the heart, and ought to be made to influence the purposes and the dispositions.

The revolution of a week completes a new portion of our time; and being marked, both at its commencement and at its termination, by a solemn festival to the Lord, it presents a distinct period for reflection and review.

On that evening which brings us to its close, the weary labourer remits his toil, and betaking himself to his home, with thankfulness looks forward to a day of repose. The man who is devoted to business, winds up, in a degree, his affairs, examines the operations of the week which is gone, and disposes in order the concerns of his employment, and as he turns away from the scenes of his occupation, recollects that an interval sacred to other duties, will succeed, before he is called upon to renew his earthly projects and pursuits.' The little empire of home is likewise sensible of this revolution of time, and the domestic arrangements, peculiar to the parting day of the week, though apparently simple and unimportant, have yet an admonitory voice, which seems to say, that another portion of existence is mingled with the past, and that a new interest is attached to that which is about to commence.

The spirit of the coming day, like the tints which precede the dawn, spreads a tranquillizing expectation over the minds of all descriptions of men, and seems to impart a peacefulness and composure even to inanimate things. The stillness of the day of rest; the solemn pomp of those sanctuaries where the stately steppings of Jehovah are seen; the well ordered ceremonies of a holy worship; the devout offering of a bounden duty, and of a reasonable service; the measured chaunt, and the resounding chorus of praise from the voices of the faithful; all these steal beforehand upon the heart, and impress even the thoughtless with reverence for the approaching day of the Lord.

At times, perhaps, the thoughts receive a deeper impression; and from this temporary cessation of earthly cares, we are reminded of the period when worldly things shall be laid aside, to be resumed


no more for ever. The swiftness of these periods, as they so rapidly succeed each other; the disappointments of their perpetually renewed promise, which is never fulfilled; the inroads which, at each return, they make upon our scanty term of life; the coming day of retribution which they are continually bringing on; and the settling of that long account which we must at last render to God; these are topics which often tinge the mind with solemnity or with sadness, and favourably prepare our hearts for the duties of the holy day.

Well indeed do such reflections befit the subjects of a short probation, who know not at what hour their Lord doth come.

It may be at midnight, or at cock crowing, or in the morning; but at the very farthest, it cannot be long. Who can tell what a day may bring forth? And a week, the coming week, short as that period is, will decide the destinies of some for eternity. Of these, as yet undesignated and unwarned, I, may each individual say for himself, I, may be one.

The day of the Lord which is drawing on may be the last of these days which shall dawn upon my fleeting life. The next, my soul may be fixed in blessedness or in misery unchangeable, interminable.

To regard, then, with indifference, the approach of that day of grace; to resolve to indulge its hours of levity, in pleasure, or in pride; to waste them in habitual indolence and listlessness; or to

abuse them to purposes of folly and of sin; is unbecoming the dignity of reason, and presumption against the mercy and long-suffering of the Most High. The Lord's day is a consecrated day; and every sentiment of duty, of gratitude, and of interest, should concur to induce men to prepare their hearts, in reverence and in prayer, to appear before the Majesty of heaven.

But, my brethren, there are other associations connected with the close of the week, and further motives for regarding it as a period of recollection and review, which ought not to be left unnoticed; but which should be made useful in effecting that preparation of which I have spoken.

Looking back upon the week that is gone, we may behold in it the emblem of our fleeting life. Its cares and its pleasures, its successes and its disappointments, its sorrows and its joys, are past for ever. Surely it is a fit moment for scrutiny, and for self-examination. It is a fit moment to inquire what has been the tendency of our conduct, and the tenor of our desires. It is a fit moment for us all

« To talk with our past hours,
“And ask them what report they bare to heaven."

The young, who, trusting in their strength and vigour, looking forward in imagination to years and years to come, determine to spend the next, as they have spent many weeks before, in con

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