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of fecuring a manfion or inheritance in heaven; they must have houses and lands on earth. It is needless to tell them of providing for their souls ; they have their families to provide for: Or to tell them of heavenly manna to their fouls, they must have bread to their mourhs. It is to no purpose to tell them of a way to get justice fatisfied, or the debt of lin paid ; they must have their debts paid to their earthly creditors. It is in vain to press them to seek the favour and friendihip of God; all their care is to get the countenance of this or the other man, that can do them kindness. And so, upon these worldly considerations, Christ the pearl of price is slighted, the precious soul neglected, and Sab. baths and fermons are quite loft.
Again, it is a gross profanation of this holy day, for people to allow themselves to think upon their trades and worldly commerce, when they are in God's house. As Christ whipped the buyers and seller's out of the temple when he was on earth, fo he will not suffer you to make the public affemblies of his people á place of mera chandize, by thoughtfulness about worldly gain and profit. Your business in God's house this day is with the great God only, and therefore you must attend to nothing but his work and service : But, if you indulge worluly thoughts, you will provoke God, and mår all your pubfic performances.
Be not like Martha this day, " careful and troubled about many things," things that will not avail you at the dying hour, or through eternity; but imitate Mary this day, fit at Christ's feet, mind the one thing necelsary, and chufe th: good part which shall not be taken from you..
Moreover, consider how dangerous this evil is to the falvation of your souls. It may be said of worldliness, compared with other lins, as was said of Saul and David, when any one fin " kills its thousands, this flavi its ten thousands:" O what havock makes it in the viga ble church! What Pharaoh said of the Ifraelites, Exoil. xiv. 3. may well be applied to many profeffed Chriftians; they are intangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut theny in. The world, like bird lime, clogs the
soul's foul's wings, that it cannot mount up to heaven: ' Mány, like Lot's wise, set out fairly for the Zoar of heaven; but their hearts banker after the Sodom of this earth, which causeth them to look ftill back, backy till they perish in the way. in: riis .. ?
Again, consider what a vain and empty thing the · world is, though obtained. It suits not the nature, nor
fatisfies the degres of the immortal foul: It deceives all its lovers, and in midst of sufficiency leaves them in Araits; fo that we ought rather to pity than envy a worldling, whose portion is so small, happiness fo short, miltake so great, and misery eternal songs in ont - Think what folly it is to dig for drofs with mattocks
of gold, to bestow the precious affections of our souls , on white and yellow clay. How monstrous is it to see
a man with his head and heart where his feet thould - be!. to see the world in the heart and on the throne,
and Christ at the foot-stool ! to see the world poffessing God's room both week day and Sabbath-day, and getting the fervice which is due to him alone ! How many are they, who, even on the Sabbath-day, worthip the trinity of this world, mentioned i John ii. 16. more than the Trinity of heaven?
IV. Forgetfulness of God and Christ is a great evil, and greatly hinders Sabbath-fanctification. How can these fanctify the Sabbath, who never mind the Author nor the end of it? And, alas! there are too many who have nothing of God in their thoughts, either Sabbathday or week day, Psal. x. 4. Though the heart be ftill thinking, and hundreds of thoughts pass through it every hour of the day, yet God is in none of them. Strange! that every worldly trifle should find room in the heart, and God can find no place in it! What is the reason of this? You may see it, Rom. i. 28." They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” Surely there is nothing in the world that we have to frequent mementos of, as of God: How can we look to the heavens, earth, flowers, or grafs, without minding him ? A very heathen could say, “ Præfentem refert quælibet herba Deum.” Or, how can we look to our bodies, but their curious structure should presently mind us of
God? God! Yea, every time we breathe, every motion of our lungs, and beating of our pulse, fhould be a prick or fpur to us to mind our Preserver; and in a special manner, on the Sabbath day, every ordinance, every duty, every sentence, every word spoken by the miniAter, should mind us of God: But the matter is, the.. thoughts of God are burdensome to all that live careless: and ungo-tly lives, they cannot think upon him, but they mind their Judge. . . . .
. .i - But, O Christian, consider what a Gn it is to forget God, especially on his own day. If we ought to spend every day in the fear of God, Prov. xxiii. 17. much more the Sabbath day. What ingratitude is it to forget him this day that minded us in our low estate, yea, minded us when we could not mind ourselves? The love of God in Christ should swallow up all our thoughts this day. When we seriously consider what Christ hath done for his people, one might think that Christ would never be one whole hour together out of their minds, but that they should carry him up and down in their thoughts and desires, that they should lie down with thoughts of Christ at night, and have him like a bundie of myrrh lying all night betwixt their breasts,” that is, in their hearts; and, when they awake, “ they should be still with him :" That their very dreams in the night should be sweet visions of Christ, and all their words should favour of him.. · V. Aversion to duty is another heart evil, that hin. ders the sanctification of the Sabbath. O how back ward do we find our hearts to the duties of the Sab bath! how glad to put them by with any frivolous excufe ! how unwilling to pay God a visit on his own day! We are low to begin, and in haste to make an end; we are heavy while the duty is a doing, and glad when it is done. Many are driven to their closets, as if they were going to the rack, or as if prayer 'were a penance rather than a privilege; they are constrained to it, to satisfy a natural conscience. - It is rather a fervile than a lon: like performance. If conscience, like a task.malter, did not laih them to their duty, they would never perform it. Many, they would rather
toil their bodies whole days and weeks at the forest labour, than spend one hour in secret upon their knees on the Lord's day. How fad and lamentable a thing is this? Is not God's company most defreable ? is it not God's: admirable condefcension, and our highest honcur, that such poor worms as we should be admitted into his presence? Are we not: naturally deligous of acquaintance with great persons, and why so backward to acquaintance with the King of beaven? Is not the Sabbath a delight to God's people and shall the work cf it be a drudgery to us?
Object. “ The duries requisite on this day are fo many, they cost much difficulty and pains to performi them."
Anf. It is better to take pains, than suffen pains ; better be bound with the cords of duty; than with the chains of darkness. The bonds, of duty ane not griev ous; nay, they are cur ornament and greatest freedom, Psal. cxix. 45. whereas fatan and the world's service is the greatest drudgery; there is fin in the work, and hell in the wages. Alas, that many will be at no pains for that which will bring eternal glory, but are content to be at great pains for that which will coft eternal pains! The drunkard, thief, and adulterer, run many hazards to serve the devil, and win damnation; they fuffer bodily pains, want sleep and reft, and weary themselves to commit iniquity, « They draw iniquity with cords, and ans as with cart ropes,” Ifa. v. 18. They are yoked as it were, in the devil's plough or cart, and he makes them sweat and draw in his fer. vice. What bad work, sad wages, and a terrible mase ter have they? Who would be hired by any wages to serve lions and tygers? Is not the devil a roaring lion? and, will you serve him that will devour and tear his servants both soul and body, after they have served him never so faithfully? Oh! thali the devil's servants outfrip Cbrift's servants in diligence and activity? Is. there any inafter like Chrift? Is there any work or wages like his? Was there ever any of his fervants a loser at his hands? Will not his experienced fcrvants tell us, that “ wisdom's ways are pleasante
nefs," and that Sabbath-days work is the sweetest res creation? Here they have the most pleasant walks, the most lightsome prospects, the choicest company, and the sweetest fellowihip, Pfal. xxiii, 2. 3. Psal. 1. 23. There is heaven in holiness, and gain in godliness; no such gain or delight to be found elsewhere. Godliness is the most enriching trade in the world ; God's people sometimes gain more by it on a Sabbath-day in one hour, in one sermon, one promise, one prayer, one communion-table, one spiritual breathing, than all the rich men of the shire are worth, put all their estates together. The world will not believe this; but sure I am, one return of prayer, one smile of Christ's face, one look of faith, one grape of Canaan, one glimpse of the promised land, the head of one Goliath, the death of one lust, the strengthening of one grace, which may be obtained in the duties of the Sabbath ; any of these is an abundant recompence for all the pains we can be at in God's service this day; they yield more sweetness and content to the soul, than all the pleasures the world can afford : The smallest gleanings of spiritual joy are better than a whole vintage of carnal delights.
But what is all this to that eternal weight of glory which is treasured up in heaven, for rewarding the laborious fervants of Christ ?: What can we do for fo vast a reward? Had the Lord said to us, unless you be content to spend your days in some howling wilderness, quit all worldly riches and pleasures, pine away with poverty and want, give the fruit of your bodies, suffer martyrdom, or take a dip in hell, you shall never see my face in glory ; surely there is none that knows what it is to escape eternal milery, and in. herit endless happiness above, but would have been willing to accept of these conditions. How much more then, when he only requires us to accept of his Son as our Surety, and love him, part with those fins that would damn us, and follow him in the pleasant
ways of holiness; and to do all this in his grace and · strength, for he fends none a warfare on their own VOL. IV.
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