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into fellowship with him is not easily conceived. Those that keep back necessarily deprive themselves of the pleasure and kind offices springing from religious communion, which I doubt not, next to the favour of God, ought to be accounted the greatest blessing to be enjoyed on earth.

This fellowship with God's people has a great tendency to separate believers from the spirit of the world.- Many attend a spiritual ministry, and yet the world claims them as its own, because they profess not themselves one with the people of God. When they do this in sincerity, the world soon relinquishes its claims, and a shyness takes place which the christian considers as a real blessing. The farther we are removed from its spirit and vanities the better. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and ye shall be my sons and my daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Thus it appears that God expects that we should not remain neuter, but unite with his children, and thus partake of his fatherly care and goodness.

Such persons are hereby entitled more particularly to the Divine notice.-We find that in days of old, when many de- . spised the service of God, and the workers of wickedness were applauded, that “those that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name; and they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” And why did they adopt this method? Was it not to promote their personal holiness, to glorify their God, and stop as far as possible the torrent of prevailing iniquity? And how pleasing this was to God, the promise sufficiently shews; and hence we may see the advantage of christian communion.

Those who live in the true spirit of it find it attended with great consolation.—The people of God are exposed to many temptations and difficulties, whose tendency is to damp their joy, and lessen their spiritual vigour; they may sometimes also be surrounded by distressing fears and perplexing thoughts; and though it is acknowledged that secret prayer, and other appointed means, may bring them some relief, yet to many it is more frequently obtained by associating with religious persons. These having the same conflicts, and many of them longer experience of such matters, and the Lord's method of deliverance, are of essential service to those who are greater strangers to such things. “Behold, how good and how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” It is like the precious and oderiferous ointment of the sanctuary, and as the fertilizing and refreshing dew that fell upon the mountain of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing and life for evermore. The truth of these words has been proved by the children of God in all ages.

Christian fellowship is also a great blessing, if we consider the help it affords in restoring the fallen; the wisdom that is hereby instilled into the simple and ignorant; the answers obtained hereby to prayer; the force of example in those who are much exposed to the notice of the world; the disinterested advice which may be given in difficult cases; the fear it spreads among the ungodly; its effect in promoting perseverance; is the means of rekindling the flame of love in such as are ready to faint; its helps in breaking the snares of the devil; its tendency to promote benevolent designs; the supports it affords the ministry; the hope it produces of one day meeting in heaven; the advantages it presents us with from religious experience, and the sublime pleasures it yields from solemn and joint worship. In a word, whatever view we take of it, it every where, and in all respects where it is judiciously and properly attended to, and its genuine spirit preserved, is highly calculated to promote universal holiness.

ORDINANCES. Without a due observance of these we cannot grow in grace and conformity to the Lord Jesus. There are, it is

acknowledged, those persons who are so circumstanced as to render an attention to them all impractible. Such must observe as many of them as they can, while those who are under less restraint should not neglect nor overlook any of them.

1. Private devotion.—We may call this ordinance, man in converse with the Deity. Here the immortal soul, which must one day appear before the awful throne of justice, stands open and undisguised before the throne of grace. Here, secluded from the world, we shew our gratitude and sincerity, by worshipping our all-wise and blessed Creator. Here we have an opportunity of confessing our sins, wanderings, and distractions of mind, and of offering the tribute of our praise for his numerous favours. Here especially we can plead, through the merits of the Lord Jesus, the precious promises relating to our full salvation, till our faith takes hold of them all, and makes them our own. Our Lord, who knew well the value of this ordinance, using it frequently himself, has enjoined the observance of it, and by way of encouragement, annexed to it a gracious promise: “ When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Fa. ther which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” To render our prayers effectual, we should pray believingly, persuaded that he is both able and willing to fulfil our requests when we ask according to his willthankfully, calling our past and present mercies to mind-devoutly, always remembering the infinite perfections of him we approachjudiciously, avoiding trifling, and in the best manner we are capable of, intreating the displays of his mercy-feruently, fully bent upon having every promise made our own, that we may be enabled to love him with a perfect love-patiently, waiting before God, and guarding against vain thoughts, wandering desires, and perplexing temptations, till the manifestations of his presence and favour calm our souls, add wings to our devotion, inflame our hearts with holy love, and bring us that indescribable sweetness and solemnity

which ever attend the answers of prayer in such as truly wait upon him—and importunately, never ceasing as our seasons for prayer occur, till the Lord has fulfilled in us all the good pleasure of his will, and made us holy as he is holy.

2. Reading the scriptures. This is another great help to holiness. The Bible carries its own evidence along with it; and he that studies it most will find its excellencies increas. ing on his view. If we had not been commanded to search the scriptures, the information they contain would have been highly gratifying, and attended with great advantage.

There we have the fullest display of the Divine perfections, the economy of grace, the world to come, and what: ever is most interesting to man.

There we trace the characters of God's people in ancient times, with their virtues and defects; the graces for which they were the most eminent, and the dangerous rocks against which some of them struck; and learn froni their pious ex. ample how to please God, and from their defects, to distrust ourselves and rely upon the Lord; and thus, by a stricter conformity to his will, to glorify him the more.

There we may trace through successive ages, the power and providence of God towards such as feared his name; the support he afforded them in trouble, the deliverances wrought out for them, that they might serve him in truth and holiness, and do all his pleasure.

In that sacred volume every thing is plainly laid down to guide us both in faith, experience, and practice, with all the consolatory helps afforded us, during our passage through this wilderness to the heavenly Canaan, in the promises made by our faithful God, and registered there by the ap. pointment of the almighty Promiser.

In this unsullied mirror we may view and examine the true state of our souls, the nature and advantages of true piety, and all the motives necessary to stimulate us to the practice of universal holiness. There, when viewed by steady faith, may be seen the distant splendors of the ever


lasting habitations of the saints, and the glories that are in reserve for the most eminently holy. In a word, “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

As, however, the mere reading of the scriptures will do very little for any man; to understand and profit by what we read, it will be well to remember that they are a special directory sent from God to instruct us in all things pertaining to our complete salvation; we ought, therefore, to read them with prayer and great deliberation; to compare one part with another, and find out their general agreement; to commit to memory the most important truths; and keep applying to ourselves what is approved, or disapproved of in others, that we may avoid the evil and do the good.

From this blessed book we may form our prayers, our an. thems, our meditations, our resolves in the very language inspired by the Holy Spirit himself, and which, therefore, cannot but be acceptable to him. Whatever books we read, we should not forget the Bible. It should be our daily companion, till we bring forth fruit with patience, and are called to our eternal reward.

3. Attending on the ministry of the word. As it pleases God to give to man divers talents for the edification of his people, and has made what men may term “the foolishness of preaching" the great means of bringing about the salva. tion of innumerable multitudes, by producing faith in their souls, and has by the same means confirmed them in faith and all goodness: it is well for all to avail themselves of the opportunities afforded them of hearing the word from the lips of his servants, that they may thereby be more fully instructed in whatever concerns the sanctification of their nature. To such as would be thus assisted, a little advice may

be useful.

Be thankful.-Consider well before you leave your babi. tation where you are going. It is to join bis worshipping.

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