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lifting up holy hands to heaven, to offer up their prayers, and to read something for their spiritual edification; and he who cannot read himself, ought to apply to another who is better instructed to read to him.
4. At home, we ought to instruct our domestics in the law of God; parents their children, masters their servants, teachers their pupils, stewards those who are committed to their charge, and every one his neighbour; nay, on every occasion we should strive to be useful to the spiritual concerns of others; for we are all members of the same body, and brethren to one another.
5. We are called, more particularly on this day, to devote a part of our property as alms to the poor, or for the support of others; thus, for instance, we ought to contribute with good will to the maintenance of the ministers or servants of the church, that they may perform their duty with joy, and not with sorrow, "for the workman is worthy of his wages." Also, we should give what is necessary for the supplies of the church, for the building of hospitals for the sick and superannuated, for the support of schools, for the entertainment of strangers, and for ransoming of prisoners. He who observes these things, sanctifies the Sabbath of the Lord, and even in this life his eternal Sabbath begins; that is, the rest
which is enjoyed by the blessed in another life. Heb. iv. 8.
Who transgress against the above mentioned commandment?
1. Those transgress against this commandment, who, through an inordinate attachment to their worldly interests and riches, do not refrain from labour and business. Such serve Mammon and their belly, but not God, and shew that they have little dependence upon divine Providence; for they foolishly suppose, that their real prosperity depends more upon their own works, than upon the mercy and blessing of God. These are Heathenish, and not Christian ideas; hence it frequently happens, that riches obtained in this way, are, by the justice of God, made to disappear in an hour.
2. Those who neglect attending upon public worship, either from indifference, or from laziness, or from some ill-founded excuse, such assupposing that the public prayers are not better than those that are private, and hence spend this precious season of grace in idleness, play, drunkenness, in viewing corrupting scenes, in improper games, and in other kinds of wickedness. And though it is permitted to take recreation on a holiday, yet this is only on condition that it shall
be without harm to ourselves and to our neighbours, and without temptation to sin.
3. Those who go to church only from custom, or from motives of external decency, or for recreation; or who, in time of prayers, and dispensing the mysteries, stand indecently conversing, laughing, jesting, and thinking about the vanities of this world, and sometimes speaking ill of others; or in place of hearkening attentively to their spiritual instructors, come only to criticise their preaching; whereas, they ought to receive in sincerity every sermon, however ill composed, on this account, that it contains the word of the living God.
4. Those who neither know, nor endeavour to know, the law of God, and who exercise themselves in reading pernicious and corrupting books instead of the inspired writings, and therefore end their miserable lives utterly ignorant of piety.
5. Those ministers also sin against this commandment, who do not instruct their flocks, and in the assemblies of the church do not preach to them the word of God, or who (if they are not sufficiently learned to preach) do not read to them spiritual instruction; and thus having taken away the key of knowledge, neither enter the kingdom of heaven themselves, nor let others en
ter: Or such as conduct the reading and singing of the church with indecent carelessness, or in a very hurried manner, who, by this means, lead into error, and convey no edification to the hearers.
6. Those who do not give even a small part of their property for the necessary concerns of the church, for the support of the clergy and churches, hospitals and schools, the poor and needy, the orphans and widows; but in place of this, spend their property on superfluous and extravagant expences and luxury, or licentious pleasures or trifling buffoons, and in such like evil ways. All these do not sanctify but abuse the Sabbath, that is, they make it a day of idle festivity, and on this account they will be deprived of that glorious festival in the heavenly mansions.
The above four commandments respect God and the honour which is due unto him: the six following respect our neighbours, and relate to the promotion of peace and happiness among all mankind.
The fifth commandment requires that we should render to our parents, and under the same name to our sovereign, to religious and civil governors, to instructors and benefactors, to masters and elders,
all due reverence and subjection, and to every man sincere love.
This commandment is summed up in few words, but it contains in itself extensive obligations. It requires,
1. That we should honour our parents; and this honour consists in loving them heartily, behaving before them respectfully, obeying their commands, and undertaking no important business without their blessing: It also requires us to bear patiently with their faults, sympathise with them in their griefs, on every occasion defend their honour, and till death remain thankful to them for the education and benefits received from them; proving this thankfulness by every possible act of kindness; and more particularly should they come to want or old age.
Parents ought to provide for the wants of their children, and endeavour to preserve their health till they come to the years of maturity, to educate them in the fear of the Lord, and to avoid giving them a bad example in their own conduct, to search for good teachers to instruct them in the law of God, and in the other branches of knowledge, according to their capacity, and to use every exertion for putting them into a favourable situation in life. They ought also to guard against treating them with harshness and