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Shall the conduct of others, when opposed to reason, or forbidden by religion, seduce us from our duty ? Shall we, poor sinful mortals, consider the utmost return we can make for the manifold mercies of our heavenly Father, too valuable an offering to present to Him “in whom we every moment live, and move, and have our being ?” Shall once in seven days be deemed too often to offer up the tribute of public thanksgiving for those innumerable blessings vouchsafed to us in common with the rest of the inhabitants of this highly favoured kingdom ? Shall the smallest appearance of unfavourable weather, or the most trivial indisposition, detain us from “rendering unto the Lord the honour due unto his name?" Is it thus we requite his benefits? Would such be our conduct, were the messenger of death to declare this to be the last sabbath we should be permitted to spend on earth? Was such the manner of that spotless Saviour, whose steps we are commanded to follow? or of his holy apostles, whose conduct we are required to imitate ?—No, my brethren, the word of God tells us, it was the “custom” of Jesus to attend the worship of “the synagogue, on the sabbath day:” and of the apostles, it is expressly recorded, that “they were continually in the temple, blessing and praising God:”—and do not we, by our absence from it, virtually disown our alliance to God, and slight his religion,


as a thing insignificant, and of no importance ? Thus, we may be assured, will the world consider our neglect; and—what is of infinitely more consequence—thus will it be construed by God himself,—who declarès by the mouth of his beloved Son, that if we “ deny him before men, he will deny us before the angels in heaven.”

But, far be it from any of us, my brethren, to contribute towards the enlargement of the dominion of vice and irreligion, like those who have “no fear of God before their eyes,” by neglecting, on any pretences, the public worship of our Maker and Preserver, our Redeemer and Sanctifier. Rather, let the light of our example so shine, as, by divine grace, to shed its awakening beams on those around us, advance the interests of Christ's kingdom upon earth, and thus “glorify our Father which is in heaven.” Nor let our devotions be confined to public exercises. Each morning, remember, we receive a new life from God : from the bed of rest and security, we issue forth to the cares and dangers, the troubles and temptations of the world. At that time, more especially, we should look unto Jesus, and, through the mediation of our only Redeemer, daily offer up the sacrifice of praise to the gracious Giver and Preserver of our life,—the faithful Bestower of all its supports and comforts. To his protection from sin and mischief, let us then devoutly

commend ourselves and our affairs ; and, by offering him the first-fruits of our daily labours, to his care and blessing-ever consign and consecrate them all. Each night also, we are required to close the business and cares of life, with heartfelt devotion. We should, then, bless God for his gracious preservation of us from the dangers and temptations of the day; beseech him, for Christ's sake, to pardon our sins, and implore his guardian spirit, which neither slumbers nor sleeps, to watch over and protect us during the hours of darkness; to raise us up in safety to share the mercies of his providence ; and, by his mighty aid, to enable us evermore to serve him with fidelity and gladness.

In every situation, in every circumstance of life, prayer,

offered in a meek and contrite spirit, will pour balm and comfort into our hearts. “Is any man afflicted ?" says the inspired word, “ let him pray.” “I thought upon God, and received comfort." Yes! when all other blessings are withdrawn, prayer will be a blessed substitute for them. When other friends and protectors desert us, their place will be supplied by an address to Him who hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” When the ear is shut into which we were accustomed to pour our complaints, God hears our supplications. When the tongue is silent which once administered comfort to our dejected spirits, if we raise our

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souls to the foot of his throne, the voice of God will whisper “peace.” In every difficulty, in every danger, in every trial, perplexity, and trouble, prayer will remove our doubts, strengthen our resolutions, calm our fears, and banish our inquietudes.

There is one subject of prayer which can never be exhausted, never be “out of season,” the grace of God, and the powerful influence of his Holy Spirit. By this, if we “ask in faith,” we shall “ daily be renewed ;” and, “strong in the

power of his might,“ be enabled to go on unto perfection.” Prayer will thus become both a cause and an effect. It will strengthen the powers of the spirit of God on our hearts ; whilst the spirit of God will continually animate our souls to more fervent and effectual prayer. When prayer is produced by this disposition, its effects are universal. It wakes with us in the morning, and, calmed by this pious exercise, when night returns, we can “lay us down in peace, and take our rest.' Its salutary influence attends us in our daily employments, and makes every labour light. Communion with God by prayer, purifies and exalts the soul, it invigorates every action, sanctifies and animates every pursuit, lessens every difficulty, and smooths every obstacle. It cheers the gloom of affliction, and brightens the smile of prosperity. It enlivens the cheerfulness of youth, supports the toils of manhood,


and comforts the weariness of declining age. It gives a double zest to the enjoyment of health, and softens the anguish of disease. It soothes the bed of agony, and leads us through the dark valley of the shadow of death, to the bosom of that Saviour, by whose merits alone we are admitted to the presence of our Father and our God.

In conclusion, I would beseech you to mark, how full of consolation and encouragement are those few comprehensive, prophetic words of the psalmist which I have chosen for the subject of our present meditation,—“O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” Yes ! prophetic, as well as comprehensive; consolatory, as well as encouraging; for not one “jot, not one tittle” of the Word of God shall fail,-he hath spoken, and shall he not make it good ? “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him.” And the verse under consideration clearly shews that all, without exception, who feel their utter helplessness,—who know that there is, indeed, no spiritual “health in them,”—all who firmly believe that there is one alone “mighty to save,” shall “ come unto him;" they shall "pour out their hearts before him,” and “he shall be their refuge;" he will not hide his face from them, but “when they cry unto him, he heareth them.”




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