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it from mere thoughtlessness and inattention, and considered it as a matter of very little importance; but you will, I hope, endeavour to convince them that it is in reality a very serious offence against the Majesty of Heaven, and the decorum and solemnity of divine worship. It is evidently inconsistent with that profound reverence which is due to the great Creator of the universe, and that deep humility and contrition which become such wretched sinners as we 'all are (in a greater or less degree) in the sight of God. It strikes, in short, in my apprehension, at the very root of all true devotion, and ought therefore to be vigorously resisted before it has gained too much strength to be subdued. If it is not, if it is suffered to go on without control, there is too much reason to apprehend, from the progress it has made within these few years, that it will in a few years more become a universal practice, and that you will see the whole of your congregation sitting during every part of divine service.
I must therefore request, that you will use your best endeavours, both in private conversation and in your public discourses, to repress
in time the further prevalence of so indecorous a custom. And I must particularly direct your attention to the schools in your parishes for the youth of either sex, in some of which, this practice has I fear been not only connived at, but permitted, if not encouraged.
The considerations here suggested, with many others of a similar nature, which will, I doubt not, occur to your own minds, can hardly fail, if urged with proper force, to make a deep impression on the minds of your hearers. But that impression may be greatly aided at this moment, by recalling to their thoughts the present awful situation of this country, and the tremendous dangers with which we are now surrounded. To repel these dangers, the noblest and most vigorous exertions have been made by our gallant countrymen, and those exertions will I trust be attended with success. But after all that human power can effect, our chief dependence must at last be on the defence of the Most High. That defence can only be obtained by the effectual reformation of our hearts and lives, and by earnest and frequent prayer.
And' if any one can at such a time betray any symptoms of lukewarmness and indifference in his exterior deportment, when he ought to be imploring the protection of Heaven for every thing that is dear to him, with every external mark as well as every internal sentiment of the sincerest devotion, it must argue such a want of feeling for his country, as well as reverence towards his Maker, as I hope will very seldom occur either in your congregations; or in any other in this united kingdom.
Friend and Brother,
LONDON HOUSE, May 4th, 1804.
TEMPORAL CONCERNS OF MANKIND,
HISTORY AND FROM FACTS.