Слике страница
PDF
ePub

And then, do but confider the power of God in that one inftance which St. Paul mentions, [1 Cor. xv.] and which every farmer experiences to his comfort,-That every grain of corn he fows is, to all appearance, utterly loft; and fo would he and his family be too, but that God, by his mighty power, makes the earth to restore it him again after another manner, and with a feven-fold increase. And fo he will restore us to life again, though our bodies are laid in the earth. He has told us he will do it, and this one instance fhews us that he can; and that we ought therefore to serve him most faithfully here, that we may be raised to glory at that great day.

And, oh! that these confiderations might prevail with Chriftians to humble themselves in the prefence of God, as becomes finners, as becomes petitioners, as becomes creatures in the prefence of their Creator, and fubjects in the prefence of the great King of all the earth; without whose protection we are exposed to most powerful enemies,-without whose providence we cannot fubfift one moment,-andwithout whofe mercy and pardon we are undone for ever.

Now; because we are but too apt to forget all these confiderations, our church puts us daily in mind how we fhould behave ourfelves before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; that we should confefs our fins with humility and fincerity; that we fhould

I

fhould hear his holy word with reverence; that we should render thanks to God for all the benefits which we have received at his hands, and ask those things which are requifite and necessary as well for the body as the foul.

She puts us in mind that these duties are to be performed with an humble voice, as well as a pure heart; fhe directs us to fall upon our knees when we afk God's mercy and favours, and to stand up when we give him thanks, or praise his holy name.

She orders the Pfalms of David to be read, that we may learn to bless God in the words of his Holy Spirit; and we hear the Holy Scriptures, that we may know the will of God, and how he has been ferved by his faithful fervants ever since the world began.

Well then; you will perhaps fay, we do all this as we are directed. What, and pray to God without concern; fcarce minding what you fay, fitting at your ease, or gazing about, as if God did not fee you, or as if his holy angels were not prefent?

For fhame; let us not call this worshipping God:-Call it unthoughtfulness, profaneness, an evil habit, or any thing but ferving God, for that it is not.

To conclude:-All thoughtful Christians will take a more than ordinary care of their behaviour while they are in God's house and in his prefence.

We

We are, you fee, in the fcripture way of fpeaking, before God. We would feem to know this, by falling upon our knees as foon as we come into a church. Our business at God's houfe is, to glorify God in the first place, and then to beg fuch bleffings as we cannot want without being very miferable. And then, if we believe, as we have good reafon, that the angels of God are perfonally present in the houfe of God, we shall behave ourfelves with a little more decency than we ufually do in our own houses, left they, seeing our ill behaviour, our sloth, and indifference, forfake our church, return to heaven, and there report, that of a truth the fear of God. is not amongst us.

This has been the case of an infinite number of Chriftian churches, which have been destroyed, or are now in the hands of unbelievers, because Chriftians did profane them, or became unworthy of them.

It is a melancholy thing to confider, that too many Chriftians do not think of these things; but fancy that they have done enough when they have been at the house of God, though they have honoured him neither with their bodies nor fouls. But all ferious people will confider, that they come to church to pray for pardon of their fins, and that would be a real misfortune to return home without abfolution; which, therefore, they receive with the humility of an offender receiving

ceiving his pardon. They feel the want of grace and strength to do what they are convinced they ought to do; which, therefore, they pray for with the concern of people who will not easily be denied.

And lastly; they often remember, with what fear, and reverence, and humility, the holy fpirits approach the prefence of God; and this they refolve and strive to make their pattern.

And God grant we may all do the fame, for Jefus Chrift's fake.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »