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heavenly employment. Besides, the religious observance of this holy day is accompanied with many signal advantages, and is a mean of deriving the blessing of God, both upon individuals and communities; whereas the profanation or neglect of it, is in every respect pernicious, both to particular persons and to societies.
And if these things are so, how many who now hear me ought to blush, and be ashamed to lift up their faces either before God or man? But as reformation is the great object which I have in view, I shall spare the reproof which I once intended to give; and. instead of upbraiding you for the time past* I shall rather intreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, to behave more dutifully for the time to come. And my exhortation shall be chiefly directed to parents and masters of families, to whom the commandment seems to be principally addressed. It is true, the expression " within thy gates," may relate to the gates of a city as well as of a particular house: and then it would jntimate to us this truth, that if is the duty of magistrates to secure the observance of this day, by the exercise of that power and authority with which their public station invests them. But as there would be less occasion for the interposition of civil authority, if parents and heads of families would mind their proper work, to these I shall more directly address what I have to fay. And I must tell you in the name of God, that you are strictly accountable, not only for your own conduct, but likewise for the conduct of all within your houses on this holy day. Hear how the commandment runs: " Remember the Sabbath day to keep '* it holy: six days shalt thou labour and do "all thy work: but the seventh day is the *' Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou *l shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, ** nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor "'thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the "stranger that is within thy gates." You fee that you are charged with the immediate inspection, not only of your children and. servants, but likewise of the stranger who sojourns with you, over whom you have no jurisdiction or authority through the rest of the week.
I should be glad to know what those who keep houses of public entertainment think of this doctrine. A respectful complaisance and readiness to serve, arevthe general duties of your station. But there is one day of the week on which God permits, nay commands you to take rest to yourselves, and to keep your doors Ihut against the idle and profane of what rank soever, and to restrain such as neceflky brings to your houses, from every thing that is profane, either ir* speech or behaviour. If any shall question your authority, this precept is your charter, vesting you with the fame power over the stranger that is within your gates, as over your own children and servants; and even charging you to exercise that power, as you would not incur the wrath of Almighty God. Did you know that you possessed so high a privilege? I hope, for your own fakes, that you did not: and now that I have told you the secret, I pray that God may give you wisdoih and courage to improve it.
To conclude: Let all of us be persuaded to pay a proper regard to this divine precept. cept. If we have any concern for the glory of God, for the honour of our Redeemer, for the welfare of our country, or for our own comfort and happiness, either in this world or the world to come, let us make conscience of the important duties of the Lord's day, that after having finished our course on earth, we may be fixed as pillars in the temple above, and may spend an eternal Sabbath in the presence of God and qf the Lamb. Amen,
i Samuel vi. 20.
FROM the example of this great anc! good man, I propose to recommend to you the important, but much neglected duty of family-worship. And I have chosen the example of a king, for two reasons.
ifit Because the actions of one in that elevated station are commonly more regarded than those of a meaner person. ** The ** poor man's wisdom is despised, and his "words are not heard." But if one arrayed in royal apparel make an oration from a. throne, the people mall give a mout, saying, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.'* This partial regard is indeed a fore evil under the fun: but in the present case, it is possible to bring good out of it, by making