« PreviousContinue »
atter he was buried, for he was laid, as he had requested, with his fathers; Joseph's brethren "fent a meffenger to him, acknowleging the " evil they did unto him," and foliciting his' forgiveness. Having long buried in oblivion their unkindness, he wept when they brought it again to his remembrance. His heart was too obedient to the dictates of religion, to “return "evil for evil. He comforted them, and fpake kindly unto them." Jofeph was now fifty-fix years old; and he lived afterwards fifty-four years, adminiftering justice, and executing truth."
The entire history permit me to recommend. to your attentive, and ferious perufal. And I pray God it may teach every parent, judicious, and impartial, affection to his children; and every child, reverence to his parents, and love to his brethren! May it give understanding to the fimple; to the young man knowlege and difcretion! May it lighten the burden of affliction, and dispose us all to trust in Him "who 'bringeth good out of evil; and who would "not that any should perish, but that all "fhould repent and live."
Iwas glad when they faid unto me, let us go into the House of the Lord.
neglect the public worship of Almighty God is now become fo very common, that many men, no doubt, imagine themselves excufed from the obligation of attending it. One Sunday fucceeds another, and we perceive, growing inattention, an increasing unconcern about publicly fupplicating the bleffing of God, Many have fo habituated themselves to this fhameful abfence from God's house, that, one might conclude, they have entered into covenant with Him, and that to make a public acknowlegement of his power in prayer, and to offer him the public tribute of praise and thanksgiving, is no longer to constitute a part of their chriftian duty. It is not to fuch men I fhall now address myself; for as they do not attend on the fervice of the R Church,
Church, what is here delivered can neither convince them of their difobedience, nor perfuade them to a better mind; but my discourse will be addreffed to those who are fometimes prefent, but generally abfent. And obferving the congregation rather larger than ufual, and, therefore, compofed chiefly of those who do not regularly frequent the courts of the Lord's house, I cannot have a more favorable opportunity to beseech you publicly, my brethren, in the name of God, and for the fake of our Lord Jefus Chrift, that ye will, from this day, devote the Sunday to the holy purpose for which God Almighty defigned it; that ye will, from this day, invariably attend public worfhip; and that, inftead of loitering in idleness at home, or wandering about in mischief abroad, during the time of divine service, ye will " 66 pay your vows in the great congrega"tion," and fay, from your hearts, with the devout Pfalmift,." I was glad when they said
unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord."
In this difcourfe I fhall, firft, fhew the obligations incumbent on every perfon, without exception, to attend the public worship of God every Sunday.
After which I fhall remove the excufes made for the neglect of it.
And lastly, I fhall earnestly exhort you worship God as regularly as the Sunday comes, "in this house which is called by his name." May the bleffing of God accompany what is to be delivered! And may this house, dedicated to God, be diftinguifhed, every fucceeding Sunday, by the regular, and conftant atten. dance of every individual, whom God requires to be in it!
1ft. It has always been the object of every Government to inculcate, upon the people, religious principles; well knowing, that, if the fear of God be not implanted in the heart, men would never be restrained by a sense of right, a principle of duty, nor the terror of law. And for what end are churches built, and minifters appointed? Surely that the ignorant may be instructed in, and the more intelligent reminded of, their duty to both God, their neighbor, and themselves. The Legislature, conceiving it to be the indifpenfable duty of every one to attend public worship, has impofed a fine upon all who neglect it of fa much confequence does it appear to rulers and governors,