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use such a phrase without a blush. When our nation's benefactor condescended to be our guest, did the people talk of the trouble of paying him respect? Did he hold a glittering sword over our land, which threatened our destruction if we refused to do him honour? No; nor was the cordial reception which welcomed him every where designed to gain his friendship, but was one spontaneous expression of genuine gratitude for invaluable services long since rendered. We claim the privilege of rendering to our maker, to the shepherd and bishop of our souls, to our Father in heaven, whose mercies we daily receive, on whose bounty we live, who has revealed his will in our Lord Jesus Christ, that we shall inherit eternal life, as his free, unpurchased, unmerited gift, the unfeigned hoinage of gratitude and praise. This is the most pleasing part of our duty on earth.
Thirdly. As to the expense of public worship, such as the building of convenient houses, supporting a public preacher, to declare the goodness of God, and to show us our duty, and other necessary expenses, these are all for our own accommodation and convenience, and we think our property as prudently vested in these, as in any other of our more private accommodations. We are not at the expense of houses to live in, because we expect to be repaid therefor in a future state; we do not labour for a comfortable living because we expect eternal salvation for so doing ; we do it because we wish to live happily while we need such things as are thus procured.
We are persuaded that besides our present enjoyments in meeting together for the purpose of worshipping God, there are many advantages to society, growing out of these religious habits. It is a blessed privilege for parents to lead their children to the sanctuary on the Sabbath, and there comfortably seat them by their side, to hear the good things of the gospel proclaimed, the endearing character of our heavenly Father described in
lively colours, to listen to that blessed doctrine which teaches us, that although we must soon be separated by death, we shall be again united in that blessed immortality, where we shall part no more. This doctrine and these habits, will make an early and lasting impression on our children, and will endear to them these privileges which we delight to enjoy. The strongest and yet the softest bands of society are contracted at the altar of devotion.
The sanctuary is not only a school for instruction in religious faith, but is designed also as the guardian of morality. In short, no doctrine can be beneficial to society, that does not tend to purity of life; and the more the divine character is learned, the better it is understood, the more it will transform our hearts into its likeness. Insti
tions, customs, and habits, which contribute this salutary end, are not only blessings to ousselves, but they are the richest inheritance that we can leave to posterity.
To conclude: Most cordial congratulations are tendered to the Society which has exerted itself in the laudable undertaking to accommodate itself with this convenient house, for the public worship of the one ONLY AND TRUE GOD. Sacred to this holy service may this desk, these seats, and that gallery for sacred music, remain. And may the people who worship here
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” That it may be said of them, “Behold, how good, and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard : that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion : for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." And may they thus continue, until these courts shall be exchaug. ed for that blessed immortality, which is brought to light through the gospel.
DUTIES OF A PREACHER.
DELIVERED IN CHARLESTOWN, MASS., JULY 11, 1827.
2 TIMOTHY, II. 15.
"Study to show thyself approved unlo God, a workman that needeth not
to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
In whatever calling a man may engage, his first and major object should be to obtain the divine approbation. This truth might be illustrated and confirmed by many and various arguments ; but its obvious character renders it unnecessary that much labour should be bestowed on the subject. A remark however may be admissible. Without pausing to define the origin of man's consciousness of moral duty and his accountability to God, this principle is of incalculable advantage, as it is ever active in giving profitable directions, which if followed, lead to the accomplishment of all the duties of our respective callings, whereby satisfaction and profit are yielded to all whom our labours concern, while we gain the richest reward which the severest toils can merit, the approbation of our own hearts and the approval of Heaven.
Though this remark does not apply exclusively to the calling of a christian pastor, yet we may allow that it applies to this subject in a very special manner.
As the weight of moral obligation must be determined, at least in some degree, by the extent of consequences likely to result from faithfulness or
unfaithfulness, the responsibility of a christian min. ister will not be found to fall much below that which belongs to any other station in society.
Before a man enters on any professional calling, it is necessary that he should render its duties as familiar to his mind as possible, that he may be able to determine whether the labour's it requires are such as will be agreeable to his disposition. He, who has not a natural taste for the study of the science of jurisprudence would not be likely to succeed well in the practice of law; and this rule is applicable to other professions. Nor indeed need we exclude it from the mechanic arts, merchandise or husbandry. The sacred profession which requires the entire devotion of all the abilities of him who engages in its labours, should not be repugnant to the natural temper and disposition, which will not fail to exercise an influence over such labours.
He, who engages in the work of the christian ministry, having duly settled all the questions, which are involved in the foregoing remarks, is admonished, by our text, to study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashained, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We shall do well to compare the propriety of seeking the divine approbation with that of endeavouring to gain the applause of men.
1st. It is certain that the mind and will of God are perfectly agreeable to the unchangeable standard of right. If we can, therefore, succeed in approving ourselves to Him, we are certain that we are what we ought to be ; we are right. But our knowledge of man, derived from experience, from observation and from history, assures us that he is not always in the right. Man is liable to err, and to wander very far from the immutable standard of rectitude. Te aim, therefore, to please men, Is at least hazardous. If we succeed, it may be but a success in that which is wrong.
2dly. God being of one mind and unchangeable,
if we succeed in obtaining his approbation, we have only to persevere in the same way, and we please him for ever. He does not change, and to day disapprobate what yesterday he required. - But if we study ever so intensely and labour ever so much
please men, and even succeed to their full satisfaction ; though the desired applause and the toil earned smile of approbation be obtained, it may all be of but short duration, it may all vanish like a pleasing fancy, for they may so change as to be offended to-morrow with what they zealously support to-day.
3dly. The divine unity renders our duty easy and unperplexing, while we are engaged in pleasing God. As He is but one, we have but one to obey. But if we seek to please men, we become immediately perplexed with the contrary but urgent desires of
Many masters are perplexing to servants. One will be of one mind, a second may widely differ from the first, and a third may disagree with both. Whoever, therefore, endeavours to gain the applause of men, although he may exert all his abilities and means to obtain their approbation, and although he may succeed, as to some, he is very sure to share largely in the censure of others.
4thly. As God can search the heart, He knows if we are sincere, and will bestow the reward of honesty, even if we commit mistakes ; but as the heart of man is deceitful, as he practises hypocrisy, so he is jealous of his neighbour, even if he be sincere, as, for the lack of discernment, his sincerity is not seen. Therefore, thongh we should, at the expense of incurring the divine disapprobation, do those things which men require of us, we are not certain that the jealousy of their hearts may not deprive us of all that reward for which we su anxiously sought.
5thly. And as the mind and will of God are al. ways in favour of that which is for the best good of all creatures, we are sure of doing good unto