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"cleanfeth from all fin. Be afraid of being "overtaken" in the commiffion of any, leaft, fin: for you would not only endanger your own fouls, but caft a fhameful reproach, an indelible stain, on that holy Religion, the truth of which Jefus Chrift fealed with "his "most precious blood." But you, who openly enlifted under the banners of Chrift; you, who acknowleged him to be " the captain "of your falvation," will never, I pray God, bafely defert his standard. Anxious to have a claim to that state, "where the wicked "cease from troubling, and where the weary "are at reft," as you have begun, continue, persevere unto the end, to walk in the path of duty; distinguish yourselves by the practice of every moral virtue, and the obfervance of every religious precept; rely with unshaken firmness, on the mercy of God, through the all-fufficient merits of your Redeemer, and you will affuredly obtain, without the chagrin of disappointment, and the rifque of loss, the end of your cares, and the object of your hopes, falvation,
JOSHUA XXIV. 15.
As for me and my house we will ferve the
HE uneafineffes which are every day oc
wherein the worship of God is neglected, either through the indiscretion, or profligacy, of the *people who compose them, are often attended with fuch inconvenience, difgrace, and misfortune, as to render every father and every mafter folicitous, one would think, to guard against whatever might endanger their innocence, or destroy their peace. If a child has stepped into the path of folly or vice, each individual participates the calamity; each, as he paffes along, perceives the finger of fcorn pointing towards him, or hears the tongue of malevolence infulting his diftrefs. If a fervant has been betrayed by the artful, or feduced by the profligate into shame, and poverty,
poverty, and ruin; can thofe, under whofe protection fuch fervant lived, be unmoved with the misfortune? The unhappy being, whom perhaps they can no longer keep under their roof, may be without parents, without friends, without money, and, by one unfortunate step,
be reduced from a ftate of comfort, to all the poignancy of difgrace, the misery of want, or the feverity of punishment-can the mafter of the family, in fuch a case, exculpate himself? appears from obfervation, and is confirmed by Scripture, that there is no effectual way of preferving innocence, and engaging fidelity, but by inftilling principles of piety and religion: "make the tree good, and its fruit will "be good." Would you then communicate religious principles ? Affemble your family regularly to worship God. Should the bleffing of God this day fo far accompany the word as to prevail with you to adopt the refolution, and follow the example, of the author of my text, idleness, intemperance, difhonefty, profligacy, will, it may be hoped, progreffively quit your habitations, and, in their stead, industry, fobriety, integrity, Religion, take up their abode with you.
It is intended, in this discourse, to fhew the neceffity, and advantages, of family worship; and then, earnestly to exhort you, to the regular obfervance of it.
I." In God, we live and move, and have our being." The breath we draw, the food we eat, are the bleffings of his Providence, and the overflowings of his goodness. Is it not incumbent on us then, to acknowlege our dependence, to proclaim his uncontrolable power, and inexhauftible mercy? To act otherwife, is to live as though we were independent of him.
When we confider our relation to God, as members of a family, the obligation to join in worshipping him becomes ftill greater. For if one member of a family fuffer, all the members fuffer, in fome fort, with him. comfort and welfare are, in a certain degree, infeparable. And is not this confideration a ftrong and prevailing call upon every head of a family, to join with his household, in deprecating the difpleasure, and fupplicating the favor, of God? Does not every one, before he retires at night to reft, feel the indifpenfable neceffity of befeeching God "to deliver him,
" and all his houfe, from lightning and tempeft, from murder, and from fudden death ?"
But an obligation to the ferious, and devout obfervance of family worship, arises from the profeffion of Chriftianity. Religion is such a bleffing to mankind, it is incumbent on us to extend the knowlege, and enforce the practice of it, as far, and as powerfully, as we are able.
Now let any man, whofe family confifts chiefly of perfons uneducated, confider how many amongst them live, without a sense of God and Religion, and he must be hard hearted indeed, if he refufe to "make them," when it is in his power, wife unto falvation." If he thinks their fouls worth faving, he will join with them in fervent prayers to God. To inftruct their fervants, and to be folicitous for their eternal welfare, may appear to fome people unneceffary, perhaps, unbecoming their fituation, and rank in life. But fituation and rank are foon to cease. When we ftand at the dread Tribunal, to behold one of our family, who, through our want of religious inftruction, and domeftic worship, has incurred the difpleafure of God. will rack us with all the