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our own House, and go through Wet or Cold, to the House of God? But at this Rate, all Sense of Religion would be lost, did every one reason and act in this wretched Manner. Pray ought not Christians then to own their Faith publicly, and in the Face of the World; and openly join with others in offering up to God the solemin Sacrifice of Prayer and Praise? And since God and the Church, aud the Laws of the Land, have appointed this Day for such holy Offices; how bold or ignorant is any one who thinks himself at Liberty to break through all these strong Engagements? how can we hope for the Blessing of God, who will not seek it in the Way prescribed?. Our Souls require spiritual Food, to keep them alive to God, as much as our Bodies require Meat and Drink, in order to preserve our natural Life. Happy therefore are we, who are thus called off from the Hurry of Business or Pleasures, and commanded by God to spend one Day in seven for the Good of our Souls. Nay, though as becomes good Christians, we read the Scriptures and other devout Books in the Week, though we pray in private, or resort to the daily public Prayers, yet the Return of the Lord's Day is still needful to keep our Souls in a devout and holy Frame. On this Day we have most Time to look into the State of our Souls, to meditate, and make firm Resolutions of living answerable to our holy Profession. And what great Advantage and Delight do those devout Observers of the Christian Sabbath find, by using the Means designed to make them better; pious People, by frequenting the Church, confessing their Sins, and begging God's Pardon, do certainly grow more pious; and even some bad Men, by Degrees, are hereby influenced to leave off their wicked Courses, and are brought to a better Mind. And you may observe, that those who make no Conscience of keeping the Sabbath, grow worse and worse, and when they come upon their Death bed,

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how sadly do they reflect upon their Lives past; and sorrowfully own, that vicious Company, and frequenting Ale-houses, when they should have been at Church, drew them into those profligate Courses; which are now like to be their eternal Ruin. Again, how many poor uninstructed Souls sleep away the Sabbath, or take Journies thereon for Profit or Pleasure, wandering idly abroad, or sinfully staying at Home on that blessed Day; not considering that they ought to spend, at least, that Day as diligent in the Service of God, as the Week-days in their own?

Do you, therefore, if you have any Zeal for God's Glory, any Regard for the Christian Religion, any Concern for your own Happiness, resolve not to be cold or indifferent how you pass the Sabbath.

But as the Ground must be prepared before the Seed be cast into it; so must you prepare for religious Duties, by bringing your Heart into an humble and devout Frame.

And because you cannot be ignorant of God's Will, without the utmost Hazard of your Soul, spend some Part of the Lord's Day in reading the Bible. The sacred Book was first dictated by the Holy Spirit; when therefore you read therein, let it always be with Reverence and godly Fear. Many holy Men and Women have accustomed Themselves to read the Word of God, meekly kneeling upon their Knees. When we read of the Threatenings or Promises of God, we ought to tremble or hope, according as we are guilty or not guilty. The holy Lives of the pious Saints should not be regarded as Matters of History only, but as Patterns of Imitation. Abraham's Faithfulness, Moses Meekness, David's Devotion, Job's Patience, &c. should prevail with you to imitate them in their Virtues. Some read the Scripture only to furnish themselves with Matter of Discourse, or to cavil thereat; but to those it will certainly prove the saddest History they ever read in all their Lives; and if they


pretend to be in jest, I can assure them, God will be in earnest with them. Do you then, pious Christian, on this joyful Day, rise early; get Time to read in your Bible, and to meditate on what you read: then, as you have Opportunity and Leisure, instruct your Children or Friends and Servants, in the great Duties of Christianity; visit the Sick; comfort the sorrowful; and season all your Discourse with Piety; then will the solemn and holy Offices the Church has prepared, have a due Influence upon your Heart.

And though you bring Honour unto God by private Devotion, yet you glorify him more by your public Addresses: for then you let others see the high Esteem you have of his Excellencies, and cause the Voice of his Praise to be heard among Men. When careless Men behold a Number of Christians assembled together in an humble Manner, with pious Devotion and submissive Reverence, with bended Knees, and Eyes lifted up to Heaven; this Sight strikes them with Fear and Awe: and supports the Belief both of God's Existence, and of his Glory and Majesty, inthe Minds of Men. The public Prayer and Praises of devout People bring them nigh unto Heaven; and are the nearest Approach that can be made, to that happy Society of just Men made perfect on this Side Glory.

Learn, therefore, to value every Hour of this Day, which the Lord hath sanctified to himself, and called by his own most holy Name: and not foolishly spend it in Pastime and Vanity, much less shamefully spend it in a Course of Sin; but therein remember God's innumerable Mercies, and deeply imprint them in your Heart: Press onward after new Degrees of Improvement; so shall you purchase a blessed Eternity.

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Give Thanks and Praise that you are vouchsafed the Knowledge of the true God and true Religion.

How many Millions of Men live in Blindness and Ignorance, when I am vouchsafed the Means of Grace, and made wise unto Salvation! Blessed be thy Name, O Lord, for thy loving Kindness towards me, that my Lot is not cast among Heathens and Unbelievers, but that I was born of Christian Parents, and haptized in my Infancy, in the Name, or by the Authority of God the Father, who created me; of God the Son, who redeemed me ; and of God the Holy Ghost, who enlightens and sanctifies me. Praised be thy Name, O Lord, for bringing me afterwards to Confirmation, where I publicly renewed the solemn Vow at my Baptism. Blessed be thy Name for those comfortable Assurances thou didst give me at that Time, of thy Favour and Goodness towards me. Blessed be thy Name for that Privilege thou didst then bestow upon me, of approaching thy Holy Table. Lord, grant me Grace, that as I have given up my Name to Christ, I may continue faithful in this my Profession to the End of my Days, and after having Fruit unto


Holiness here, I may in the End reap everlasting Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If Opportunity serves, a little before Church Time, on your Knees, say,

MOST glorious Lord God, who art greatly to be feared in the Assembly of the Saints, and to be had in Reverence of all them that are round about thee; I look upon this thy Day as holy and honourable, and in a peculiar Manner dedicated to thy Honour and Service. O pardon all my Sins, and suffer them not to stand between thy Divine Majesty and my Soul, to hinder my Prayers from ascending to thee; or thy Grace and Mercy from descending on me. Touch my Soul with an Awe of thy Majesty and Glory, and fix my wandering Thoughts, that may behave myself with Reverence and godly Fear. Be thou in the Midst of the Assemblies of thy People, and let thy merciful Ears be open to the Prayers which thy Servants make before thee this Day; give me Grace to receive thy holy Word into an honest Heart, that I may bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit, and diligently live after thy Commandments; that when the appointed Time of my Depar

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