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revelation of his holy word, and to preserve both it from the contempt which it would otherwise have experienced, and us from the fearful consequences of “neglecting so great salvation.” How different is the state of religion from what it would have been if there had been no day specially consecrated to its service, and no ministers appointed to diffuse the knowledge, and to promote the practice of it.

Now, as soon as the quiet sabbath returns to suspend the bustling occupations of active life, the peculiar engagements of this sacred day necessarily remind us, that we have other interests to attend to than those of the body, and of the shifting scenes of this world ; though it be a day of rest to the body, it is a day of more than ordinary activity to the soul; a day, the business of which is all of a spiritual nature ; a day, whereon the common concerns of life are to be dismissed, and as much as possible forgotten ; a day, whose hallowed duties are designed for the express purpose of continually counteracting the evil impressions which the world may have made upon the mind during the preceding week; of renewing and quickening our religious affections ; of fortifying us against the temptations to which the necessary recurrences of earthly cares will soon expose us; a day exclusively devoted to

the holy exercises of worshipping God, of learning his will, and preparing for eternity. Do you not acknowledge the incalculable importance of this holy day, and perceive the vast benefit of which it must be productive? Just for one moment embrace in your minds the whole compass of the Christian world; consider, that on this very day, millions are assembled in the house of God, engaged in the forms of devotion at least, and hearing from the mouths of thousands of ministers, the blessed truths of the gospel. Consider what these same millions would have been about, if no such ordinance had existed; that they would have been engaged, as on every other day, in affairs much more capable of diverting their thoughts from religion, than of leading them to it, but that they are now all of them making use of the means of grace,

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putting themselves in the way of spiritual blessings. I think then, you will confess that the sabbath is as great a mercy, and as wonderful an instance of God's goodness, as the bible itself.

It may, indeed, be true, that inultitudes of those who outwardly observe the duties of the day, are in their hearts and lives but little influenced by the spirit of religion. It may be, that the various houses of God are at this moment thronged by people who have come out of form, or from habit, or curiosity, or want of other employment, or from some other unworthy motive; but they are nevertheless within the sound of the gospel ; they are within the reach of instruction ; they may be excited to listen, though they come with coldness and indifference; a seed

may be sown in their hearts, which the Holy Spirit may cause to take root and flourish there. Their prayers, though languid and feeble, yet ascending up to heaven, in unison with those of the universal church, and mingled with the more devout aspirations of pious worshippers, may come to the ear of God, so recommended by the society in which they themselves are to be found, as to bring down blessings more than pro- . portioned to the desires which prompted them? God may at last be found of those, who no other wise sought him, than by frequenting the places consecrated to his service, and joining the assemblies of his faithful people.

Incalculable are the numbers who are brought to salvation by the institution of the sabbath, an by the house of prayer. And this is the reflection which always consoles me, when tempted at any time to regard with a desponding eye the apparently small success attendant on the labours of the Christian ministry.

We see careless, and formal, and worldly,

and vicious characters, regularly attending upon the ordinances of religion ; and we see them also, sabbath after sabbath, retiring from the house of God the same characters as they came to it, seemingly unimpressed with any more serious thought, unimproved, unrenewed, unconverted. Looking for an immediate effect, we are apt to be disappointed, and to ask, to what purpose is this unnecessary waste of effort? Wherefore these continual addresses to ears that are so dull of hearing, and to hearts that are so void of feeling? But when we consider what the whole effect of the sabbath and its accompanying ordinances must be, --when we consider, that without them there would perhaps be no true religion in the world,—and that through the “ foolishness of preaching" the grace of God has been communicated to countless multitudes, our despondency is checked and reproved, and we are encouraged to proceed in our exertions, in the hope of being humble instruments in the hands of God, for the accomplishment of his grand design, though each individual may fancy he sees but a small return for his own personal labours. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”

In the same spirit we persevere in industriously sowing the

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seed of the gospel, and wish to wait patiently the good' pleasure of "the Lord of the harvest,” -praying that he will vouchsafe to water it with the “dew of his blessing,” and enable it to

bring forth fruit an hundred fold;” and thus “we too shall in due season reap if we faint not.”

My brethren, I have endeavoured to set before you the important benefits resulting from the merciful institution of the sabbath. Need I say any thing more to persuade you to revere and honour this sacred day, and to put yourselves in the way of the blessings which it is capable of imparting? Need I say any thing more to convince you, that if you neglect it, you cut yourselves off from all the most usual and probable means of grace and religious improvement? If God saw the sabbath to be necessary for man, be assured it is necessary; and that you cannot disregard it without great offence to him, and great injury to yourselves. you can pray on one day as well as on another; and you can read the bible or a sermon at home, as well as hear them in the church. And I would that you did pray every day,—and did read the Scriptures and religious books in your own houses. But I should be surprised to find one individual so doing, who wilfully and carelessly disregarded the public ordinances of the

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