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life. Thus we shall be always furnished with the means of honouring God, and benefitting our fellowcreatures.
7. The conscience is to act like a faithful monitor, to warn us of approaching danger, to stimulate us to every good work, and to suggest motives for the performance of our duty.
8. Nor should our bodies refuse to lend their cheerful concurrence in the work of devotion to God, since they are formed capable of uniting with the mind in religious exercises. What the one designs, the other executes.
Our eyes can survey and gaze upon the wonderful beauties of creation. Instead, then, of “beholding vanity,” let our sight contemplate those objects that will at once delight and profit our souls. Our tongues are able to speak the praises of God, shew forth his glory, acknowledge his mercies, and invoke his gracious aid.
Let not blasphemy, oaths, execrations, slander, folly, or obscenity, which are awful perversions of speech, ever defile our lips ee.
With our hands lifted up to heaven, we can worship God; or, being stretched out to perform acts of benevolence, we can relieve the wants of the brethren of Christ, and, according to our means, assist all who are necessitous and indigent.
Our feet will enable us to move with pious alacrity in the paths of righteousness and truth. They should bring us to the Tabernacle of God, with a joyful heart. Nor should they be backward to take us to the abodes of ignorance and misery; in order that, by our religious instructions, we may teach the way of salvation to those who are "perishing for lack of know
* Ephes. iv. 29. Col. iv. 6.
ledge;" and, by our charity and sympathy, we may relieve the necessities of the poor, and assuage the grief of the sorrowful.
When all the combined powers of our nature are thus exerted, we employ them for the purposes for which they were designed. But sin has so grossly perverted and disordered our faculties, that they cannot act in full accordance with the will of God, until he devotes them to his glory, by giving them a new tone and direction. “I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou hast enlarged my heart f.”
Pray that His grace may consecrate your hearts to his service; and then “his yoke will be easy, and his burthen light.”
9. There are two motives by which the duty may be enforced. First; the service of God is of such a nature as to recommend itself to our notice; and, secondly, it has properties and advantages peculiar to itself. It is not like the blind adoration which the covetous pay to their gods of gold and silver ; nor the servile attention with which the ambitious
pursue their favourite objects ; nor the abject devotion which sinners display in the indulgence of their criminal pleasures: for these, dazzled by illusive appearances, are the slaves of a master who compels them to yield a cruel subniission to his usurped authority ". No ; unlike to such a servitude, the service of God, which is happiness itself, “is perfect freedom.” His grace delivers the soul from the tyranny of Satan, frees it from the dominion of iniquity, and brings it to the enjoyment of the most delightful liberty,“ even the glorious liberty which belongs to the Children of God.”
! Psalm cxix. 32. 1 2 Tim. ii. 26. John viii. 44.
The service of the Lord is entitled to the following character. It is spiritual, requiring the exercise of holy affections ; which, whilst they produce the highest satisfaction now, fit the soul for immortal pleasures hereafter. It is rational; imposing no harsh or unreasonable restraints ; and prescribing no conditions, but such as are wise, good, and conducive to our happiness. It is highly honourable ; for to be the servants of Him "by whom kings reign and princes decree justice,” is a distinction which we may well feel ambitious to attain ; since angels, who can rightly discriminate betwixt good and evil, deliberately choose the service of God. They fly with ardour and delight to execute his commands. And should not we think the meanest station in his house, or the lowest office we can discharge for him, a dignity, of which we are unworthy ? Thus, devotion to the will of God has a claim to our attention, from the excellency of its nature.
10. Moreover, we should be drawn to this act of dedication to God, from a consideration of the benefits to be derived therefrom. He is able to reward our poor endeavours to please him, with “a crown of glory that fadeth not away. And surely this is a recompence, which, if we love our souls, will stimulate us “ to be stedfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.”
& Psalm lxxxiv. 10, 11.
ON THE WORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
John iv. 24.-God is a Spirit; and they that worship him,
must worship him in spirit and in truth. The infinite wisdom, goodness, and power of Jehovah call forth the praises of the heavenly host. Angels, in token of adoration, prostrate themselves before him, cast their given crowns at his feet, and worship him, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord! to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created a.
In this respect, the conduct of the inhabitants of heaven is deserving of general imitation by mankind. Nor can it, we conceive, be fairly denied, either that God is the sole and proper object of worship, or that it is the bounden duty of all men thus to honour him. Surely that Glorious Being who spake every thing into existence by his sovereign Word; who made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all things which they respectively contain ; and whose power and wisdom are daily exerted in maintaining the works of his hands—that Being, who “ is just and right, and without iniquityb," and whose inimitable perfections draw forth the admiration of cherubims and seraphims, ought to be acknowledged, by every one of his rational creatures, to be entitled to his best service and praise.
God establishes his claim to our worship and regard, by the strongest arguments. First; He, as our Creator, says to each of us, “ My son, give me thine heart :” because he brought us into existence, and gave us life, speech, and reason. Secondly; as our hourly Benefactor, he challenges our love and esteem. Through His bounty, our various wants are all supplied ; and by His unremitted care we are preserved from a thousand evils which would other.wise destroy us.
* Rev. iv. 10, 11. b Deut. xxxii.'4.
Now, these considerations are alleged as cogent reasons for devoting our whole souls unto him. “O come, let us worship and bow down : let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! For He is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hando.” Thirdly; as our Redeemer, the Lord demands our reverential homage. When we had brought ourselves into bondage to sin, Satan, and Death, and had incurred the awful curse of the violated law; when we had forfeited heaven, and rendered ourselves liable to the wrath of God; then he stretched forth his hand to save us from sinking into the pit of perdition. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for usd.” Yes, he gave his Son to redeem us from all iniquity, and to exalt us to everlasting bliss.
No right, then, can be stronger, than that which God has to our worship, on the ground of redemption. Having thus purchased us with the inestimably precious blood of his Son, we are become his property ; and ought “to glorify Him, in our body, , and in our spirit, which are hise."
Accordingly, we find Jehovah, in his word, exhorting the whole human race to adore his name and perfections; and founding his claims to their reverence, upon their relation to him, and the mercies which he bestows upon them. “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; bring an offering; and
€ Psalm xcv, 6, 7. Rom, v. 8, • 1 Cor. vi. 20.