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them, if they deserre it, without asking." In answer to this, if we consider how this customi of worshiping the Deity has prevailed in all ages, amongst persons of the greatest depravity of morals, as well as the most serious and considerate : amongst the wisest and most inquisitive, as well as the unthinking and credulous ; it will be a fair presumption, if not a strong cvidence, that reason gave birth to this practice, and not superstition, as these men affirm.
And as to the observation that God knows the wayts of his creatures, and is always ready to relieve them, without being solicited, this may be granted; and yet it is no objection to the fitness and necessity of this practice, because it is suitable to the nature and condition of man, and the relation he stands in towards God. For, does not common gratitude require that we should express our thankfulness for all the blessings we enjoy from our most gracious and bountiful benefactor? Should we not glorify that best of Beings who gave us existence, who continually preserves us, and gives us every comfort of life? Surely we should. And, though our expressions of gratitude are of no advantage to him, vet he is highly pleased with them, and requires them of as, as ittestifies our sense of his power and will to do for us befond what we ask or think. For though our Creator might supply all our necessities without asking, yet it would be very great presumption in any one to expect tliat he will. a ..
To make this familar to our senses: suppose a man in want of the common necessaries of life, and yet so proud as to be above acknowledging his wants; and so insolent as to despise and affront the person who should (though unsolicited) send him relief, what man is there amongst you that would pity or regard him? And shall the ungodly, who are so proud that they care not for God, expect that he will care for them? Reason tells us the contrary; not to remark, that Christ has told us, we must ask before it will be given, and must knock before it will be opened unto us. : . Hence it is plain, that gratitude is a duty both of natural and revealed religion; and it is so acceptable both to God and man, that it is the ready way to obtain greater benefits from both; whereas ingratitude is so base, that it stops the current of favours for ever; for an ungrateful person renders himself unworthy of any more,
We see, then, that reason, gratitude, and the practice of all, nations, prove that there is a worship due to the great Creator. :. Besides, have we not the example of Christ himself, who has expressly told us, that it is our duty to follow his steps? Have we not the practice of Prophets and Apostles, who lived and acted continually under the immediate inspiration and direction of God? Have we not all these, I say, written for our instruction? And not only that, but we have express directions, both in the old and new Testament, for the duty of prayer. .
Thus in the old Testament, O thou that hearest prayer, says holy David, unto thee shall all flesh come. And in the prophecy of Ezekiel, when God had promised to do many things for his people, he tells them, I will yet for this be eniquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.
In the new Testament we meet with variety of the plainest precepts for this duty. To the xvii. chapter of St. Luke, our Saviour, 'by å parable, shews that men ought always to pray. In another place, he commands us to watch and pray. And it is St. Paul's desire that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.
One would think there was very little need to take either time or pains in proving that God ought to be worshipped. But the necessity of saying what I have said will evidently appear, when we consider that, with too much truth, it may be asserted, that in every community there are men to be found who glory in their ingratitude towards their God, from whom they hold life and all the blessings that attend it; and to whom they are more indebted for their being, than to their father and inother of whom they were born. But now, allowing that God onght to be worshipped, let us consider, in the
Second place, How that worship is to be performed, so as to please him, and benefit ourselves.
As God is to be worshipped, some method must be observed, and some day set apart for that purpose.
As to the method, St. Paul has laid it down in my text: it näst consist of supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks; all which include confession of our sins to God, supplication to him to avert any calainity, intercession for our fellow creatures, and thanksgiving for all the blessings we enjoy..
Thus the worship of God is divided into several branches, which, if it be done with propriety, regularity, and without perplexity, it will be acceptable to God, and beneficial to ourselves. And this must be done in a public and solemn assenıbly of the individuals of every community ; for all societies of men, (as such) are as equally under the guardianship of Providence, as any single person who composes that society. They have (as a community their dependancies, their miseries, and mercies; all which should, in social worship, be acknowledged. There are public sins, which demand public humiliation; and public blessings, for which there ought to be public thanksgivings.
But it may be said, perhaps, that it every individual will but take care of himself, 'by su). plicating his own wants, and deprecating his own miseries, God will protect and bless him, though he paid no regard to public and solemn assemblies. It must be from a persuasion of this nature that so many neglect the public worship.
But I must tell you, that it is as necessary to unite in acts of piety, as in the support of justice, or the promotion of any common good; for, by this means, a general sense of our dependance upon God and dread of his displeasure, is kept alive, which is the pillar of government, and the foundation of peace and regularity in the world. Let those who dispuie this cast their eyes upon the several nations, or tribes of savages that are in the world, and see what anarchy and confusion prevail amongst them. And, without this method of serving God, we may naturally conclude, that in a short time we should lose all sight, all sense of a Deity, and that the ignorance and barbarity of Indians would prevail amongst us. But God forbid that ever such a misfortune should come to this kingdom, or to any nation who have received the light of the gospel ! Blessed be God! there are many serious and thinking men, who are convinced of the necessity and great importance of public worship; who attend it; regularly, and make a conscience of their duty, notwithstanding all the attacks of atheistical libertines. ..
But though men in general are convinced that public devotion is absolutely necessary, and of the utmost importance, yet they differ, much in their opinions of the method of performing it ; and when a young Christian beholds so many different sectaries, all of them tenacious of their own opinions, dit is enough to stagger him in his notions of religion, and to create doubts in his mind what course to pursue. In this case, let him consider what true religion is. What does the Lord require of him? but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God. And to this let him add a firm and unshaken faith in the merits and satisfaction of