Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to God, whom we are to worship in body as well as spirit.

And as no one should be wanting in outward respect and decorum before an earthly prince or superior, much less should we be so before him, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain.

Notwithstanding the obviousness of this branch of duty,—it seems often to be little understood; and whoever will take a general survey of church behaviour, will often meet with scenes of fad variety.—What a vein of indolence and indevotion sometimes seems to run throughout whole congregations !—what ill-timed pains do fome take in putting on an air of gaiety and indifference in the most interesting parts of this duty,—even when they are making confession of their fins, as if they were ashamed to be thought serious with their God?-Surely, to address ourselves to his infinite Majesty after a negligent and dispassionate manner, befides the immediate indignity offered, it is a sad sign we little consider the blessings we ask for, and far less deserve them, ---Befides, what is a prayer, unless our heart and affections go along with it?-It is not fo much as the shadow of devotion; and little better than the Papists telling their beads,— or honouring God with their lips, when their hearts are far from him.—The confideration that a person is come to prostrate himself before the throne of high heaven, and in that place which is particularly distinguished by his presence, is sufficient inducement for any one to watch over his imagination, and guard against the least appearance of levity and difrespect.

An inward sincerity will of course influence the outward deportment; but where the one is wanting, there is great reason to suspect the absence of the other.-I own it is possible, and often happens, that this external garb of religion may be worn, when there is little within of a piece with it;—but I believe the converse of the proposition can never happen to be true, that a truly religious frame of mind should exist without some outward mark of it.

-The mind will shine through the veil of flesh which covers it, and naturally express its religious dispositions; and, if it possesses the power

of godliness,—will have the external form of it too.

May God grant us to be defective in neither,

but that we may so praise and magnify God on earth,—that when he cometh, at the last day, with ten thousand of his saints in heaven, to judge the world, we may be partakers of their eternal inheritance, Amen.

SERMON XVII.

The Ways of Providence justified to

Man.

« AnteriorContinuar »