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when we are together, concerning Chrift and heaven; or about the sermons we have heard, telling one ano ther what we remember thereof, and that which did mostly edify us.
Godly conference is well pleasing to God; he notices and records all the good words his people do speak, Mal. jii. 16. When the two difciples going to Emmaus were about this exercise on the Lord's day, Christ is so well pleased, that he comes to them, and makes the third man; he entertaing them with heavenly discourse, and opens their understandings to know the scriptures. We see, when Elijah is fo employed with Elisha, 2 Kings ii. 11. he is taken up and transported gloriously inte heaven. This is a heayenly exercise, and the employe ment of the glorified in heaven; It was Chrift's work, when he was transfigured on mount Tabor, and met with Moses and Elias : he conferred with them upon the blessed subject of his death and sufferings. O how haly and fruitful was Christ always in his discourse ? « His lips dropt as the honey comb, and his tongue was as choice filver," He spiritualized earthly things, and turned them into heayenly instructions; when he con: ferred with the woman at the well of Samaria, concern: ing the water of that well, John iv., he quickly drew her from ordinary water to the water of life. And, when cating bread in the Pharisee's house on the Sabbath-day, Luke xiv, he discoursed of eating bread in God's kingdom: So let all the disciples of Chrift on this day imitate his example: see that your speech bę seasoned with grace, and your lips like those of the righteous that feed many. Speak much this day to the commendation of Chrif, and invite others to aquaintance with him; and, when you see it for edification, communicate the experiences you have had of his love;" Come here, all ye that fear God, and I will tell what he hath done for my soul," Pfal. lxvi. and thus one live-coal will help to kindle another.
Upon this day of holy ref, Chriftiana Lhould be oft thinking and speaking of the everlasting reft above, and conferring together of the way to it, and their meeting there. Do you believe you are going to that rest, and yet nerer speak of it? If two or three of you bad en
fered into an agreement to go to America, and seek the
Thaffers of families to refrain all profanation of the day by .. children and fervants, or any within their gates.'
The fourth comínand exprelly requires this. Though you be not magiftratés, yet God has clothed you, who are heads of families, with power and authority in youč families, to see to the honour of this day: Ule it then for God, as ye will be answerable. Let ñone under your charge profane this holy day, bý working, sporting or playing; ot by idlenefo or neglect of the duties of the day. See that they duly attend public ordinances and family-worllip , suffer them not to absent there from.
O mafters of families, concur frankly with the mi. nister of the parish, to suppress the abutes of this day : you will see ikem, and know of them, wheni ministers cannor. Testify against them in your stations, and this will make the ministers work the more easy. O what a fad thing is it in many places, to fee mzinifters left to S 2
fight against fin alone, without having one to join witli
Let none say, with cursed Cain, “ Am I my brother's
relttained by my admonitions or reproofs." pesos * Anfil. You fhould be more careful in the choice of the members of your family, and particularly of your fervantė, Gince God gives you a free choice in this matter. Consider David's care therein, Plal. ci. 6.7. Mine eyes fhall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he that walketh in a perfect way, he Thall serve me. He that worketh deceit, shall not dwell within my house; he that telleth lies, thall not tarry in my light."? Do ye think that he, or she is fit for your service, that cares not for God's fervice ? Can you ex. peet a blefling on the work of their hands, who are . enemies to God? A godly servant (though' I confess
he is rare enough to be found) is a greater blessing than i many think he not only works for his master with his
hands, but with his prayers also, as did godly Eliezer, Gen. xxiv. 12. and to be sure he did his mafter Abraham as good fervice by his prayers as by his prudence.
But, 2. If it be your lot to be concerned with stub· born and disobedient servants, let them know that you have authority from God, to oblige them to keep the Sabbath, by attending ordinances in public and private, 9.? S p iele, was
and to restrain them from profaning this day, and, if they will not be reclaimed, to expel them from your house: If they neglect or mismanage your work, would yo not use your power and authority with them, to cause them help their faults? And, were you in as good earnest for God's service on the Sabbath, as for your own upon week days, I am persuaded ye might bring your children and lervants to serve God, and keep this day far better than they do.' 3. Queft. Ill. What are the secret duties requisite upon the Lord's day? . .' onry
Anf. It is not enough that we worship God this day in conjunction with others, whether in the congregation or in families : The right sanctification of the Sabbath includes secret duties also, such as prayer, reading, meditation, &c. That religion is not true, which is all visible to the world; for the life of religion lies in the secret intercourses which are betwixt God and the soul, that the eyes of men do not penetrate into. Se teret duties are the best trial of our Gncerity; the Lord, that feeth in secret, takes special notice of them, and, if duly performed, he will openly reward them. Let us therefore make conscience of them, and that especially upon God's holy day, which is entirely set apart for holy duties; And labour to time duties so this day, as one duty may not justle out another. As you must not let family duties interfere with public duties; fo you' must take care that secret duties do not interfere with family ones. But, more particularly. viis T! 1. Secret prayer is a duty necessary on the Lord's e day, both for preparing us to attend the public ordinanges, and for improving and reaping benefit by them afterwards. I do not mean, that this duty is to be confined to the Sabbath only: No; it is necesary every day, according to David's example, Psalm lv. 17. buc that is especially requisice as a part of the worship of
this day. Prayer is fo neceffary, that it is put for the , whole worlhip of Cod, Acts ii. 21. It is the charac.
ter of a converted soul, “ Behold he prays," Acts ix. 11. but it is the mark of an atheist, that she calls not upon God," Pfal. xiv. And, in a special manner, fe- ; cret prayer is what every carnal man hath ani averfion to. The devil can allow men their church prayers, their family prayers; but, for closet prayers he cannot away with, especially when they are frequent and conftant, because they are too much an argument of fina cerity. A hypocrite takes no delight in secret prayer, nor in any duty but what is seen of men, and will gain luim a náme. But, reader, if thou art fincere, thou wilt confider that God's eye is upon thee in private, as well as in public, and therefore will feek to apptove thy: self to God in secret duties, as well as public. 16. As fecret prayer was our Saviour's constant practice while on eartli, so it was his fpecial injunction to all his followa! crs, Mat. vi. 6. You need not fear that your fecret prayers will be forgotten. No: God is every where :: he has an ear to hear your secret groans, and an eye to see your secrét tears: Yea, he has a bottle to preserve them, so as a drop of them fhall not be lost. lit !!***
Id out secret addreffes, which are more stated and folemn, let us carefully remember the three parts of prayer, confeffion, petition and thankfgiving. Let us confefs the sins we are guilty of, cry for the mercies we want, and thank God for those we enjoy. Let us mind that this is not only a commanded daty, but our dignity and privilege. What an honour is it for duft and alhes to be allowed access to the great God! for a worm to speak freely to its Crearor ! for a poor beg=* gär to converse familiarly with the King of heaven O siuner, would not all thy neighbours enty thee, if thou wert fo honoured by an earthly king Be exhorts ed then to value and make use of this liberty. ..!
2. Consider at what a dear rate Chrift hath bought this freedom for us: How much did it cost him to e. re&t a throne of grace,y to which we may repair with confidence. And, will not te make use of this privilege with thanksgiving? :..
3. Consider the profit of it: It is like the * merchants ship, Prov. xxxi. 14. that brings our food from do far" By it we trade with heaven, and bring down Chrift's unfearchable riches : le is a key to open the treafure of God's mercies to us in the morning, and