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ness ourselves ; relying more upon the silent energy of example, than upon the dubious efficacy of what might be accounted officious interference. Thus regulated in our own hearts and minds, we shall be prepared to exercise the most beneficial influence upon those whom nature or Providence may entrust to our especial guidance; whether children, servants, or whatever inmates of our household : and a household trained and disciplined, as we shall thus seek to train and discipline ours, cannot fail to diffuse its good example. The effects will lead to a right estimation of the cause, Men will at least respect those religious observances, which they see producing the happiest improvement in their fellow men ; and from respect, we may hope, they will ascend to imitation; and from imitation to equality. Thus, in the most unostentatious manner, we shall promote the honour of the sabbath. And while attempting, through divine assistance, to do our own duty, we shall be the means of exciting others to “ go and do likewise.” As to the final result, it has been declared in the text; it has been anticipated throughout this discourse ; and it is, I trust, already brought home to your conviction. We have seen that a delight in God is attainable. God himself has told us, that observance of the sabbath is the path to that delight. And our own reason and conscience must tell us, and I trust our own experience will yet more abundantly tell us, that his testimony is true.
This short sketch, I am well aware, is most imperfect. But, if received into your minds and hearts, it will become less imperfect than it is. By due medi. tation, what is wanting, may be readily supplied.; what is brief, may, without difficulty be expanded; what is feeble; may be invigorated and condensed. Buti sufficient proof, I would hope, has been. afforded, that, difficulties, which,, at the first, may appear startling, will, in the: progress, be vanquished with unexpected
ease. In this, as in every other serious undertaking, the commencement is the most arduous step of the whole procedure. Let me, then, leave you, with one piece of advice. MAKE A BEGINNING. Give but a single month to the trial. Give that month unreservedly. Let your own resolutions be accompanied and supported by earnest prayer to God, for his blessing, assistance, and direction. And, I may venture to predict, that you will have no reason to regret the experiment.
And now, my brethren, I have done. It has been my wish to place before you, what I deem important matter, in plain, unvarnished simplicity. It has been my effort to address you, as reasonable beings; and to let your own unbiassed judgment pronounce, whether these are not the words of truth and soberness. It remains for you to decide, how you will act. The decision is unquestionably of the last importance : it regards no slight and momentary concern; the con
sequences will be great; they will be eternal. May Almighty God, of his goodness, dispose and enable you so to decide, that you may be happy here, and happy for ever. Happy, in the innocent, and useful, and edifying employments of this present life; and supremely and irreversibly happy, in that eternal rest, which remaineth unto the people of God. SERMON VIII.
ROMANS, XV. 4.
WHATSOEVER THINGS WERE WRITTEN AFORETIME,
WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING; THAT WE, THROUGH PATIENCE AND COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES, MIGHT HAVE HOPE.
NEVER, perhaps, were the sacred
scriptures more largely disseminated, than at the present day. But the question may be asked more readily, than it can be answered satisfactorily, whether the study of the divine volume keeps pace with its diffusion; whether any considerable number of its possessors, so apprehend, so feel, so apply, and so reduce to practice, its most holy principles, that this age is materially better than the last, and the present generation an im