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Serm. ably due. All religious and moral know^J^j ledge comes from God. It is a lighf from heaven, first transmitted to man by the original constitution of his nature, and afterwards made to shine with fairer and fuller lustre by the revelation of the gospel in Jesus Christ. Its brightness may sometimes be stronger, and sometimes weaker, according to the mediums by which it is conveyed. But still, .as far as the instructions delivered fromthepulpit are illuminated by the ray from heaven, they are the truths of God, and ought to be received as such. Refinements of vain philosophy, or intricate subtilties of theological controversy, are undoubtedly not entitled to such regard. But when the great principles of natural or revealed religion are discussed; when the important doctrines of the gospel concerning the life, and sufferings, and death of our blessed Redeemer are displayed; or useful instructions regarding the regulation of life, and the proper discharge of our several duties, are the subjects brought into viewj it is
not not then the human speaker, but theS E R M. divine authority that is to be regarded, In the speaker, many imperfections and infirmities may be discovered* The discoveries of the gospel are represented in scripture, as a hidden treasure brought to light; but, by the appointment of; , God, we have this treasure in earthen vefr • sels* It is not the spirit of curiosity that ought to bring us to church. Too of> ten, it is to be feared, we assemble there merely as critics on the preacher j critics on his sentiments, his language, and his delivery. But, such are not the dispositions which become us on so serious an occasion. It is with humility, with fairness, and candour, with an intention to improve ourselves in piety and virtue, with a view tp make personal applicar tion to our own character, that we ought tp hear the word of God—r—When we enter; the sacred temple> let us ever consider ourselves as creatures surrounded with darkness, seeking illumination from heaven; as guilty creatures imploring forgiveness from our judge; as'
SERM.frail and moral creatures, preparing for XI that eternal habitation into which we know not how soon we are to pass.
If, with such sentiments and impressions, we join in the- worship of God, and the ordinances of religion, we may justly hope that they shall be accompanied to us with the divine Missing^ It ils the express precept of God, not to forsake the ajjembling of ourselves together-.* Gather together the people, men, 'women, and children, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all.the words of this laws. Enter his gates with thanks^ giving, and his courts with prase. Give^ unto the Lord the glory due to his name.— Thus hath God commanded, and he never commanded his people to seek his name in vain. For, where two or three are gathered together in his name, our Lord hath told us that he is in the midfti of them.% God hath said that he loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings
*Hebv 10.25. f Deut. xxxi. 12. JMatth. xviii. 20. lings of Jacob * The prayer ofthe up- SERM. right is his delight. Both in their tem- ^J^l^ poral and- spiritual concerns, they, maybe most expected to prosper, who can say with the Psalmist in the text, Lord I have loved the habitation of thy houfe.^ and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
On the Fashion of the World passing away.
i Cor. vii. 31: —Thefashion of this world pajseth away.
SERM.' I ^ O use this world so as not to abuse it, iJ^j X is one of the most important, and at the fame time one of the most difficult lessons which religion teaches. By so many desires and passions we are connected with the objects around us, that our attachment to them is always in hazard of becoming excessive and sinful, hence religion is often employed in moderating this attachment, by rectifying