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which enjoins sabbath holiness. Enquire therefore, are you guilty? do you ever, or did you never, instead of serving God then, serve sin; by working, by taking your pleasure, or by idling the day away, in doing nothing that was good. Humble yourselves before God, and beg him for Christ's sake to forgive you. Do not slight this sin because it is common, because many do it. It is better to follow the few to heaven, than go with a multitude to everlasting destruction.
As you love your peace, as you love your souls, as you love God, remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy ; in it do no manner of work, in it take no carnal pleasure: but rather be diligent in the means of
open; and pray God to bless them, to your souls everlasting salvation,
GREAT God most holy, and most high,
Before thy face I bow:
Accept my service now.
With early feet I love to tread
Thy holy courts, O Lord:
And feed me with thy word.
To Thee these sacred hours I give,
To read, and hear, and pray: O let me to thy glory live,
Nor sin, by work or play.
To punish what's amiss;
For such a day as this.
When I must holy strive to be,
Still am I far from good :
Wash me in Jesus' blood,
AGAINST BAD COMPANY,
Prov. xiii. 20. A companion of fools shall be destroyed.
F all the snares into which the young at their entrance into life are apt to fall, there is none more common than bad company. Persons who fear not God, neither regard man, abound every where : and those whose youth makes them unwary, are apt to to be cnsnared by them. In business, our fellow workmen will corrupt us; in amusement, our comrades will debauch us; in the street, we are solicited in a thousand ways; and even at home, improper companions will press upon us.
The temptation is as alluring, as it is
The mirth, the gaiety, which wicked persons affect, make it supposed that true happiness is with them.
But soul-destroying deceit, lies in this opinion. All is not gold that glitters; and sin, however, it may appear bright, will be found at last no better than counterfeit coin, which leaves the possessor poor, let him have never so much of it.
The company of such is very dangerous. No man can touch pitch and not be defiled; neither can any one keep bad company, without being the worse for it. If he continue with them, it is an awful case indeed, for the words of infinite wis. dom and truth are, “a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” It may be worth while to enquire wherein the danger of such company consists, and what is the destuction that attends it ?
First. Let us enquire wherein consists the danger of keeping such company; and this lies in the influence it has upon us, to make us like them.
1. Bad company leads persons to abate their hatred and fear of sin. Most persons are afraid of serpents, yet many by constantly accustoming themselves to handle
them, lose all their dread, and take them to their bosom. Sin is what we ought to despise as mean ; its pleasures are low, its joys sensual. It should be hated as odious; no disease is half so loatksome; no deformity half so disgusting, as sin. It should be feared and avoided as dangerous ; you would avoid a person who had the plague; you would fear a loaded gun, if pointed at you by an eneny. Sin is far more dangerous; its effects are more certain, and more dreadful.
the plague, he may recover; but if a commits sin, his soul is ruined from that moment. If a man is shot, he may be only slightly wounded, and may still live; but sin wounds none slightly; it utterly destroys. It is true God has in Christ provided a remedy, but still sin is as dan. gerous in itself, as if there were none.
Now when we keep bad company, we see sin constantly practised without fear or restraint; we hear persons swear, as if there were no harm in it; and lye, as if there were no fire and brimstone in 'hell for liars; or cheat, as if a just God did not care what we did. Does not this tend to make us think lightly of sin, and soften our fears of committing it. Nay we see