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Lord's day No; shew me a sabbath breaker, and I will shew you in the same person a man who is no true Christian, who has no sense of religion, who has no care for his soul, who devotes all his time and thoughts to earthly things, who is a "stranger from the covenant of promise, having no hope, without God in the world,” in the sure path to eternal ruin. Show me a man who never attends the house of God, and I can easily describe his character and conduct in other respects.
In all likelihood he is an unbeliever, to whatever rank in life he belongs. If he is of the poorer class, he is in all probability a drunkard, a profane swearer, debauched, dishonest, idle, addicted to falsehood, quarrelsome in his family, riotous, a pest to his neighbourhood, unfriendly to his equals, disrespectful to his superiors, regardless of laws, and perhaps restrained by nothing but personal fear, from committing crimes that would bring upon him the penalty of those laws. If he takes his stand in some higher class of the community, he may be all that I have now described. But should a regard for his own reputation, and a deference to the society in which he lives, prevent his running to the same excess, yet he is at all events sensual, worldly minded, a hater of piety, proud, uncharitable, given to all the vices and passions
which he can indulge without injury to his character, his health, his fortune, or some other earthly interest and convenience. Such is, and must be, the deliberate and systematic sabbath breaker, who never frequents the house of God.
May none of you, my brethren, ever fall into this desperate condition. You may be sensible that you have not as yet derived much profit from the outward observance of the Lord's day, but do not on that account neglect it; still continue to resort to the house of prayer, make it a point of đúty, however reluctantly performed, to mix with the public assemblies who come to pray and hear the word of God. If you avoid them, it is almost hopeless that you will ever be reclaimed. By uniting with them, you are at least within the reach of instruction, which may in due time be blessed to your everlasting advantage. The Holy Spirit may yet, by a gradual and imperceptible progress, soften your stony hearts, and awaken you to a conviction of your sin and danger; you may be at length induced to cry,
“ Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us.” You may be assisted onwards in the work of religion, till you obtain a comfortable persuasion of God's mercy and forgiveness. You may become in the end, 80 sanctified and strengthened by divine grace, as to find a religious life your sweetest pleasure, and most perfect happiness, so pure in heart, and holy in spirit, as to be meet to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Then you will not cease to bless God for his mercy in appointing this earthly sabbath, whereby your souls were first led into the way of salvation, and you will look forwards, with a cheerful hope, to the enjoyment of an eternal sabbath in heaven, where “ there remaineth for the people of God," a full and complete “rest” from sin, and care, and toil, and sorrow, and where everlasting hallelujahs of praise and gratitude are sung to the Lamb, who by his own sorrow and suffering has purchased for us that blessed state of unfading happiness and repose.
SERMON XX. .
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
GAL. v. 22--24.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law ;
And they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.
ALTHOUGH these words are so different from those contained in the three verses preceding them, yet their practical use and drift is in fact the same.
It comes to the same thing, whether we say that they, who do the works of the flesh, shall not inherit the kingdom of God; or whether we declare the fruit of the spirit to be all the Christian graces and virtues, and the evidence of our Christian faith to be the mortification and des