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V.

SERM. heavy; and we seem as much afraid of

being confined to our own houses, or our
families, as to our own private thoughts in
solitude and retirement. This may afford
amusement, but certainly at the expence
of much solid comfort and rational de-
light. The sabbath is grievously profaned
when God is shut out from all our
thoughts. It is the Lord's day; he hath
sanctified it; he has commanded us to
remember to keep it holy," that is, the whole
day, not two bours of it only, two hours of,
perhaps at the best, very imperfect devo-
tions; confession of sins, with but small
sorrow and contrition; prayers for help,
with little of humility and less of implicit
confidence in God; praises, cold and care-
less, quite destitute of that ardent grati-
tude which we ought to feel for the
smallest favors bestowed on us by God;
an unprofitable hearing of his word, lead-
ing to no repentance for past sins, or
amendment of our lives in future. I fear
this is but too just a picture of our public
devotions. As to private,
As to private, I apprehend

I
they are almost quite laid aside; private
prayer, and private meditation; and, as to

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acts of charity and benevolence, which sERM. ought to occupy all that is not given to the worship of God, it is to be feared, there is but little of true benevolence to be found in large and promiscuous meetings; much more, it is to be apprehended, of vanity, as to what regards ourselves, and of envy and malevolence towards others. Turn to the Apostles' account of true Christian charity, such as ought ever to be the ruling principle of those who would be thought holy in the sight of God, and ask yourselves, what share it is likely to have in the public assemblies, either of the rich or poor. First, that charity is “ kind,envieth not,vaunteth not itself,is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly,"

seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh

no evil,(a rare virtue indeed). Again, it “ rejoiceth not,that is, has no pleasure in iniquity,but “ rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things,

bopeth all things, endureth all things.But it is time to come to a close :-notorious acts of profanation every man can

detect;

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V.

SERM. detect; though, it is to be feared, few re

gard them with the horror and disgust they should do; but besides these, there ought to be a spirit of holiness run through all our actions on that day, which of late seems to be entirely abandoned. If we think at all of God, we quite forget ourselves, and little regard the real good of our neighbours. Some of the day should be exclusively given up to God, in acts of fervent and sincere devotion; some should be carefully appropriated to private meditation, self-examination, and, if it need be, mortification and repentance; and the rest should be devoted to acts of real charity and true genuine benevolence. This is not making the Lord's day a day of pain and gloominess, except to those who cannot relish the most exalted gratifications of which the heart is capable. Let them amend and correct their hearts; at present they are disgustingly degraded below their native dignity. Given up to mammon, the human heart is a sink of corruption; devoted to God, it is the source of every thing amiable and good; and, if

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the heart cannot be corrected without SERM. some pangs of repentance and stings of remorse; yet, if it is not corrected in time, sorrow without end, and pain without mitigation, are before us. Be sober and considerate, before it is too late. If it appears unpleasant, it is at least wise: if. in short, we are told, the hearts of the 66 wise" must sometimes be " in the house

of mourning,it is only the bearts of

foolsthat would always be “ in the house of mirth*.

* Eccles. vii. 4.

SERMON

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