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pointments, and the original purpose of his public worthip. And as from a grateful spirit of chriftian duty, the primitive fathers fpared no expence in building churches, and even rifked their lives in times of cruel perfecution, to defend them, and employ them to God's fervice; furely their example, our own duty, and the fingular benefits to be expected from a conftant faithful use of them, fhould all unite to recover the fhameful neglect which marks the prefent age, both in regard to attendance on God's house, and veneration for his holy fabbath. It is mere mockery to pretend to belong to Chrift, to boast of the value of our religion, and to found the praise of our pious reformers and religious benefactors, unlefs we willingly, earneftly, and devoutly strive to tread in their fteps, and promote the honor of God's fervice by the most diligent attention to the manner of our lives and converfation. As members of an established church, this is the place we are expressly commanded to attend, wherein to pay our vows and worship to the Moft High; in obedience to the laws of God, and our fuperiors in authority under him. Here we have the bleffed opportunity of exercising holy thoughts and holy prayers, of weaning ourselves from worldly cares, of fupplicating reconciliation to our Heavenly Father, through the merits and mediation of his Son, Jefus Chrift. And in fhort, to be fo eftablished in a right faith and godly practice, that strengthened against all our enemies, and cultivating perfect charity with our neighbors, we may run the courfe of humble faithful chriftians here, and at laft obtain the reward of everlasting life and happiness, through the merits and for the fake of Jefus Christ our Lord. To whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghoft, be all honor and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The fecond Part of the Homily upon the Place and Time of Prayer.
NEHEMIAH xiii. Part of the 18th Verfe.
Yet ye bring more Wrath upon Ifrael, by profaning the Sabbath.
N the former part of this difcourfe, God's will
ject of keeping the sabbath day holy. The defign of this further inftruction upon fo important a duty, is, with God's bleffing, to fhew you, first, how defirous and regular you ought to be in keeping this commandment, by fuffering nothing but pofitive neceffity to interfere with your attendance upon God's houfe or church, on the Lord's day. And fecondly, how forely difpleafed God is with all those who despise his law, by abfenting themselves from the public worship of his houfe at this appointed feafon of religious reft. This is fully proved by the exhortations of Nehemiah, in the VOL. II. words
words felected as a text for the fecond divifion of this difcourfe. Did not your Fathers thus, and did not God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Ifrael, by profaning the fabbath.
The Holy Scripture informs us very plainly, that many of the pious Ifraelites who were in captivity among the Babylonians, for the general fins of the nation, did often earneftly wish to return to Jerufalem. And we read alfo, that at their return, through God's great mercy and goodness towards them, though many of the people ftill continued negligent, yet the elders were wonderfully carneft in their zeal to rebuild the house of God, that the people might have a temple wherein to honor his holy Name. King David likewife, when he was banished from his own country, and the royal city of Jerufalem, from the fanctuary, and from the temple of God, expreffeth the strongest defire towards that holy place. What prayers and fupplications did he offer to God that he might be a dweller once more in the house of the Lord. One thing (faith he) bave I asked of the Lord, and that will I fill beg, (Pfalm xxvii. 4.) that I may dwell in the boufe of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. And again, (Pfalm cxxii. 1.) I was glad when they faid unto me, let us go into the houfe of the Lord. And in other parts of his devout pfalms, he fheweth clearly for what end he had expreffed fuch fervent defire to enter into the temple or church of the Lord; namely, That he might fall down and worship in bis holy temple; that he might fee God's power and glory, as be bad feen it before in the fanctuary. And to conclude his pious ejaculations, he faith, I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praife thee. (Pfalm xxii. 22.) The reasons thẹn, that are here advanced by the holy Pfalmift, and
which urged him to exprefs fuch an earnest wish. to enter into the house of God, were first, because he could there worship and honor his Maker with all the reverence and decorum due unto his holy fervice; or, as his own language intimates, in the beauty of bolinefs. And fecondly, becaufe there he justly expected to experience a fuitable turn of thought towards the Majefty of Heaven, and an inward fight or fenfe of the great power and glory of God. And thirdly, because there he could enjoy the delightful fatisfaction of praifing the name of God with all the congregation, or company of the people. Now the confiderations which animated this bleffed prophet and fervant of God, fhould raise in us a like fervent inclination conftantly to refort to the service of the church, (especially on the high and holy day of general reft) there to discharge our bounden duty, and adore our Maker. There to be reminded how God out of his great mercy, and for the glory of his name, doth blefs us with health, profperity, and grace; and by his mighty power preferveth us from all the affaults and malice of our most cruel enemy: and therefore highly doth it concern us to meet together in his house, and join the number of his faithful people, in every poffible act of becoming praife and honor to his Holy Name. And as a farther encouragement to this incumbent duty, let us call to mind the example of that ancient father Simeon, of whom the fcripture fpeaketh thus, to raise in us a fimilar fpirit of devotion. Luke ii. 25. There was a man in Ferufalem named Simeon; and the fame man was just and devout, waiting for the confolation of Ifrael: and it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he fhould not fee death before he had feen the Lord's Chrift; and he came by the Spirit into the temple. Obferve here, that it was in the temple his promise to him was fulfilled; for in the temple he faw Christ, B 2