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Lives to recommend yourselves to him; you E , would in the next Place, take care to keep up
that Sense by a constant and daily Worship of him. t *"For God's fake, and for your own Soul's
fake, do not neglect your Prayers. You must never think that God will bless you, if you do not make a Conscience of daily paying him
your Tribute of Honour and Worship. .. pH . Be sure therefore, you be constant in your
private Devotions. As you every Day receive E the renewed Pledges of God's Love and Good
ness towards you in a Thousand Instances; so let every Day your Affection and Gratitude be expressed to him, by hearty Prayer and Thanksgiving. This is absolutely necessary
to be done, as I have often told you, if you - mean to preserve any hearty Sense of Religion in your Minds.
But besides this, I have another Thing to recommend to all those that have Families : They are Heads and Governors of a Society. . For, indeed, the first Notion of Society is that of a Family. Every Family is a little Kingdom; and every Kingdom is, or ought to be, a great Family. Now is it natural, is it decent, that there should be any Society upon Earth, wherein God should not be owned and worThipped? And yet, Woe be to us, how many Thousands of Families are there in this Kingdom, nay, I am afraid, even in and about this City, wherein God is not so much as named in publick, unless, perhaps, by the way of Affront, by the way of Cursing or Swearing!
We deservedly complain of the great Looseness and Profaneness and Irreligion that hath overspread the Face of this Nation. 0! I doubt a great deal of the Blame of it lies upon the Housholders, the Masters of Famílies among us. If they would take better Care of their Children and Servants, and let them know what it is to worship God, Things would not be so bad among us. But how can we expect better, when there is no Religion either taught or practised in our Houses. We give our Domesticks Opportunities enough, of learning all our bad Qualities; but we give them none of learning our good ones, if we have any. :
They see us offending God by many rash Words and sinful Adions; but they do not see us repenting and asking God's Pardon by our folemn Prayers - and Applications to the Throne of Grace. Let us therefore seriously lay this Point to Heart. I am sure we have just Cause to do it. Let us bring Religion ino our Families, and not be contented, that once a Week, some of our People in their Turns should hear something of it. Let us every Day call our Family together, and pay our common Tribute of Prayer and Praise for the Mercies we do daily receive in common.
Methinks our Saviour seemed to have a Respect to this very Duty, and to charge it mightily upon us, when he made us that gracious Promise, that even where Two or T bree were gathered together in his Name, there would he be in the midst of them. Sure, his Words
have most naturally a Respect to the Worship
The Sacrifices of this kind that we offer to
good, nay, both are absolutely neceffary. But to proceed, · Fourthly, Being upon this Argument of the Means and Instruments of Religion, you may be sure I cannot omit the mentioning of another Thing, 'as one of those Points that I would most seriously recommend to you; and that is, the folemn Observation of the Lord's Day. . · I am not for laying stress upon the keeping of this Day, or any other, more than the Nature of the Thing requires. I am fensible that the Doctrine about the Observation of the Sabbath, as it is delivered by some Men, is superstitious enough, and oftentimes, where it is believed, proves rather a Snare to Mens Consciences, than of Use, to make them more Religious. Far therefore am I from defiring you to be nice and scrupulous about the Pun&tilio's of the Lord's-Day Service. The Laws both of God and Man have, in that Matter, left a great deal to your own Discretion, and the Circumstances you are in. But however, thus much is necessary, that every Man who professeth himself a Christian, should bear a constant Religious Regard to the Lord's-Day, by devoting it to Spiritual Uses, more especially the Publick Worship of God... . I do not much doubt of the Truth of the Observation, which some good Men have made, viz. That a Man fhall profper much better, both in his Spiritual and Temporal Affairs, all the Week after, for his careful Obfervance of the Lord's-Day. And I am
likewise of Opinion, that those Men have little
or no Sense of Religion, that make no Conand science of sanctifying that Day, or that put 200 no Difference between it and other Days. oft Sure I am, were there nothing of a Divine stre Command for the setting apart this Day to 1. Religious Uses, ( which yet I believe there he is;) yet it is one of the most prudent and
useful Constitutions that ever was made. So that even upon that Account, all Men that have any Honour for God, or Zeal for the publick Good, should think themselves obliged to observe it.. .i
The Benefits of it are indeed unspeakable. Not to mention the Civil or Temporal Conveniencies of it, in Truth, to the keeping up the Religion of this Day, we owe in a great measure, that the very Face of Chri
ftianity hath hitherto been preserved among mus. And were it not for this, for any thing
I know, most of us, in a very few Years, would become little better than Heathens and Barbarians. And so great an Influence towards the making. Men better, or at least, keeping them from growing worse, hath this Practice always had ; that you may observe the most profligate Men among us, who for their Wickedness, come to an untimely End,
do generally impute their falling into those 7. Sins which caused their Death, to their break
ing their Sabbath, as they commonly express it. But,
Fiftbly, Let me, upon this Occasion, put you in mind of another Thing, which by many