« AnteriorContinuar »
folemn duty in the house of God.This is surely the least that can be necessary in the immediate presence of the Sovereign of the world, upon whose acceptance of our addresses all our prefent and future happiness depends.
External behaviour is the result of inward reverence, and is therefore part of our duty to God, whom we are to worship in body as well as spirit.
And as no one should be wanting in outward respect and decorum before an earthly prince or superior, much less should we be so before him, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain.
Notwithstanding the obviousness of this branch of duty,--it seems often to be little understood; and whoever will take a general survey of church behaviour, will often meet with scenes of sad variety.--What a vein of indolence and indevotion fometiines seems to run throughout whole congregations !-what ill-timed pains do some take in putting on an air of gaiety and indifference in the most interesting parts of this duty,
even when they are making confession of their fins, as if they were afhamed to be thought serious with their God!
-Surely, to address ourselves to his infinite Majesty after a negligent and dirpassionate manner, besides the immediate indignity offered, it is a sad sign we little consider the blessings we ask for, and far less deserve them.-Besides, what is a prayer, unless our heart and affections go along with it ?- It is not so much as the shadow of devotion; and little better than the papists telling their beads,-or honouring God with their lips, when their hearts are far from him.-The confideration that a person is come to prostrate himself before the throne of high heaven, and in that place which is particularly distinguished by his presence, is sufficient inducement for any one to watch over his imagination, and guard against the least appearance of levity and difrespect.
An inward sincerity will of course influence the outward deportinent; but
where the one is wanting, there is great reason to suspect the absence of the other.-I own it is posible, and often happens, that this external garb of -religion may be worn, when there is little within of a piece with it ;--but I believe the converse of the proposition can never happen to be true, that a truly religious frame of mind should exist without some outward mark of it. The mind will shine through the veil of Aeth which covers it, and naturally express its religious dispositions; and, if it possesses the power of godliness;-—will have the external form of it too.
May God grant us to be defective in neither,—but that we may so praise and magnify God on earth,--that when he cometh, at the last day, with ten thousand of his faints in heaven, to judge the world, we may be partakers of their eternal inheritance. Amen.
The Ways of Providence justified to
PSALM LXXIII. 12, 13.
Behold these are the ungodly who prosper in the world,
they increase in riches.
Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my
hands in innocency.
cerning the promiscuous distribution of God's blessings to the just and unjust,--that the sun should shine without distinction upon the good and the bad,-and rains descend upon the righteous and unrighteous man,-is a subject that has afforded much matter for inquiry, and at one time or other has raised doubts to dishearten and perplex the minds of men. If the sovereign Lord of all the earth does look on, whence so much disorder in the face of