תמונות בעמוד
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at the table of our lord, where all exclaims to us in accents distinct and loud : God is love, and that as surely as thou eatest of that bread and drinkest of that cup, for from love he sent his son to thee, and for thee delivered him up to death! That Jesus, whose memorial thou here folemnizest, is the express image of his father is visible, divine, incarnate love. He loved thee even unto death, loved thee more than his life, and loves thee still, and will love thee to all eternity. Yes, this most confoling, most blissful of all truths, the truth that God is love, should be the leading principle of all our thoughts and judgments, animate all our words and works, solve every difficulty in nature and religion, or quiet our minds about it, diffuse light and consolation over all the paths of life, sweetening and dignifying every pleasure, and converting every affliction into a benefit! It should instruct us to live righteously and cheerfully and to die contented and happy! And as often as we experimentally feel its faving influence, we will glory in christianity; christianity, which taught us this first, grand truth, has put it in the clearest point of view and beyond all doubt, and would most afsuredly even if it had taught us nothing else, have been the most inestimable boon of the divine bounty, the most exuberant, inexhaustible source of truth and felicity! Yes, happy and eternally

happy for us, that we are christians, for now we : know him, the Faithful and True, and know and - believe and experience, that he is love! 2. Communion.



The true worsøipping of God.


OD, we are here met together, to be occupied

in thy worship and in thy service. What a noble, what a blissful employment! How it ele. vates our soul! How it enlarges and gladdens our heart, to draw nigh unto thee, the supreme, allperfect mind, thee, our creator and father, to know and experience our inward, strict alliance with thee! Oh might we but constantly honour thee with our hearts as well as with our words and gestures, approach thee constantly with filial love and confi. dence, adore thee constantly in spirit and in truth, and in the sentiment of thy nearer presence enjoy the invigoration and the felicity, which it never fails to procure thy sincere and upright worshippers! Oh might but our whole lives be devoted to thy wor, ship and to thy service! Might all that we think and speak and do, attest that reverence, that love, that obedience, that trust and confidence which we for ever owe thee! Might all who should happen to know our dispositions and to see our works, be thereby incited and stimulated to glorify thee, our father in heaven! Are not all the moments of our lives, are not all the capacities, all the endowments, all the faculties that we have, all the fatisfactions that we


enjoy, thy gift, thy property! Are and continue we not at all times and in all places thy creatures, thy children, thy subjects! Dost thou cease at any time and in any place to watch over us and to provide for us, to bless us and to do us good! Oh might then our zeal and our efforts to please thee and to do thy will be as uniform, as constant, as unwearied! Might ever increasing truth and order and harmony reign in all our sentiments, and be tween all the parts of our conduct! Yes, such is now our wish from the bottom of our hearts. Ar fist us mightily by thy grace and heavenly benedica tion, o God of our salvation and hope, in doing that which the accomplifhment of this pious with de: mands. Bless in that view our reflections on those doctrines of religion that are now to be delivered to us. Let their effulgence dispel our errors, and lead us on the path of christian perfection. Gracipusly hear these our requests, presented to thy divine majesty by votaries of thy fon Jesus, in whose name we farther address thee, saying : Our fa.

ther, &c.

JAMES i. 27. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their afflition, and to

keep himself unspotted from the world. EVERY one accounts it his duty to worship God

and to serve him. That is, every man who is at dęstitute of all knowledge of God and of all be

lief in him; every one who conceives of the deity as a being, that stands in certain relations to the visible world, and particularly towards mankind, that he is their creator, their preserver, their sovereign, their judge, on whose will their lives and their happiness depend. Nobody moreover absolutely refuses to fulfil this duty of the worship and the service of God. Every one is prompt to do or to omit in this refpect something, now more, now less, now this, now somewhat else. Many people put themselves to great expense of money, of time, of exertion in this worship and in this service of God, impofe on themselves many inconvenient restraints, prescribe themfelves austere rules and practices, facrifice some pleasures and advantages, neglect perhaps important affairs on that account, and postpone other no less sacred or even more sacred duties. Little doubt however as the generality of mankind entertain of their obligation to worship God and to serve him, and ready as they are for the most part in complying with it, yet comparatively but few fulfil this duty in a reasonable manner, agreeable to God and falutary to themselves, because but few form just conceptions of it, because the generality confine the worship and the service of God to certain outward solemn acts, considering them as matters that belong merely to particular times ind places, and entirely detached from the general life and conduct of mankind. Let us endeavour to rectify this opinion, my


pious hearers, and that with the greater care, since the influence of any mistake on this head is so extremely injurious to our virtue and happiness. What is therefore to worship God and to serve him? How can, how should this be our daily, our unceasing occupation? Wherein consists the perpetual divine worship, the perpetual divine service of the christian ? To the answering of these questions I have devoted my present discourse; and the answer. ing of them will fhew us how true and how important the declaration of the apostle in our text is : the proper and acceptable divine service is this, to assist widows and orphans in their distress, and to keep unspotted from the world, or consists in leading a beneficent, harmless, virtuous life.

Of this we are perfectly sure, my pious hearers, that we cannot serve God, as we serve one another. We mutually serve each other, by assisting and relieving one another, bearing one another's burdens, easing one another in our businesses or our troubles, by lending or imparting to one another our credit, our property, our fagacity, our abilities, by working and providing for others, bearing and suffering for others, by promoting the perfection and happiness of one another. But now, o man, what canst, what wouldst thou do, in order to aflilt the Al. mighty? Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him ? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him,


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