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says our Saviour, there am I in the "midst of them." There are none of you, my brethren, who would think of behaving improperly in a court of justice, in the presence of a magistrate, or before those who are greatly your superiors. But if you pay such respect to men like yourselves, how much more reverence should you shew to that great Being, before whom you stand, when you enter the temple of the LORD? in whose sight “ kings and princes are but as the meanest of the nonnin."
who made and who preserves you ; on whom you depend for all that you have, and all that you hope for; and who has declared, that He will grant his favour and protection to men, according as they reverence and regard Him.
They who honour me, I will honour," saith the LORD; “ but they who despise me; “ shall be lightly esteemed.” Nor let your time be misapplied, my brethren, when you are in the church, or when you come out of it, in making improper reinarks on what you consider as defects in the minister's, performance of the services. There may be many things, perhaps, particular in his manner, and yet his matter will be highly important and improving to you. All men have not the same gifts of body, or of mind; some excel in force or grace of delivery;
and others, from imperfection or infirmity, may not be able to recommend what they say, in so powerful or impressive a way as their more fortunate fellow-labourers; but imperfection is natural to man, and infirmity is a misfortune; and, consequently, neither of them is a fit object for ridicule. Besides, it is not the.man that speaketh, but God through him ; and if he publish God's message with seriousness, you are bound to hear it with reverence, and to regard him who publishes it with respect. For you will recollect, in the second place, that to hear the gospel with such disposi. tions of mind as will lead you to practise it, is the great purpose for which you attend your church ; and the only way by which you can insure to yourselves the blessings which it promises. " They who hear my “ word, and keep it," says our blessed Saviour, “ they are those who love me.” The great object of men in this life ought to be, to secure, if possible, the happiness of the eternal one. The business, and labours, and perplexities of the world, however, the means to be resorted to for the support of ourselves and our families, and a thousand other necessary calls upon our attention, are apt to distract us in our pursuit after the “one Gothing needful;" to make us forget God,
and think entirely about the objects and cares of this life. On this account, it is a blessing of the greatest magnitude that we have a day set apart to call our thoughs back to our Maker, and the concerns of our souls; and churches opened to us, where we can hear the word of God, learn what our duty to Him is, and be persuaded to fulfil those duties which will lead to everlasting salvation. But, my brethren, in vain will the sabbath be established; in vain will the church be opened; in vain will the word be preached; if you neglect to apply them to those purposes for which they are intended ; if you pass the Lord's day in profaneness, idleness, or worldly business, if you attend the church without seriousness and devotion; and if you hear the word preached, without attention and regard, without improvement in heart and life. In this case, like the seed that fell on the road, and among thorns, the gospel will turn to no good account with respect to your welfare here, or happiness hereafter; and your portion at the last day will be with “ the despisers that perish.” But, on the other hand, if you avail yourselves of the great advantages that are placed within your reach by your religion, your church and your ministers; if, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, you keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience, great and lasting will be your reward, both here and hereafter ; content will smile upon you through life; peace will smooth your pillow in the hour of death; and happiness and glory will be your portion through
[For Quinquagesima Sunday.}
I COR. xiii. 1.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and
of angels, and have not charity, I am be. come as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
N order to establish the christian religion,
after it had been preached to mankind by our blessed Saviour, and to extend it over different nations, God thought proper to communicate to the Apostles and first Christians, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, many extraordinary gifts; such as the power of working miracles, of raising the dead, of healing the sick, and of speaking languages which they had not learned. By exerting these powers 'publicly, in the face of the world, in such a manner as to convince mankind that there was no art or