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you an example, ye should do as I have done to you. Who would expect to find the followers of Diogenes, the cynic, clothed in purple, sleeping upon down, or rioting in luxury; or the disciples of Epicurus, walking barefoot, practising abstemiousness, or living in superstitious or habitual devotion ? Allow me, then, to say, that you do not confess Christ before men, if you lay no restraints upon your desires, out of deference to his laws, if you abridge none of your indulgences, in conformity to the spirit of his religion. It is in vain for you to profess your belief in the gospel of Christ, if, whenever the spirit of christianity and the spirit of the times interfere, you manifestly bow to the opinion of the world. Does that man confess Christ before the world, who lives precisely as he might have done, if Jesus had never been born, never established a religion, never suffered upon the cross, and were never again to appear, as the final judge of character, and dispenser of retribution? Does he confess Christ before men, whose life exhibits nothing, which would lead an observer to conclude, that he acknowledged any oth. er master than his inclination, and any authority but that of public opinion ? If you are afraid of being called superstitious, because you practise the offices of devotion, pusillanimous, because you endeavour to be meek and forgiving, morose, because you do not plunge headlong into the amusements of the age, avaricious, because you are not clothed in purple, and do not fare sumptuously every day, or rigid, because you are not willing to be dissolute; with all these fears, and hesitations, and accommodations, it is absurd for you to bear about the idle appellation of a believer in the gospel. Reject the profession of your faith at once, and avoid these unworthy inconsistencies. What should we have thought of the sincerity of Paul's conversion to christianity, if, while he resided at the polished metropolis of Greece,

and called himself a christian, he had been seen bowing down in the streets to the statue of Jupiter, or complaisantly accommodating his creed to the skeptical Epicureans, whenever he found himself in their company, or joining in a laugh against his Lord and master, with some of the witty inhabitants of Athens ? What, if we had been told, that he eagerly sought admittance to every festival and show in honour of their gods, and placed himself at meat at every idol's table? What, if he had been seen joining in the lewd dances of the Bacchanalia, hurrying to the Olympic games, or seeking for amusement with the profligate youth of the city ? Whạt, if he had spent all his time in asking after news, with the idle and inquisitive strollers in the forum ; and when that insolent citizen inquired, What will this babbler say, what if Paul had resented his impertinence, like a man of spirit, and, to save his wounded honour, had manfully gone out to single combat? If such had been his course of life, think you, he could have made that defence before the Areopagus, which the historian has recorded ? Alas, my friends, the name of Christian has come to us by birth, and by inheritance; but not so descend the spirit and the power of our religion.

3. To confess Christ before men, is, thirdly, to adopt those methods, and embrace those opportunities of acknowledging him, which the present state of his religion renders practicable and proper. T'he only open and formal manner of professing ourselves christians, which is, at the present day, at once unostentatious and public, is, by observing those rites, which are peculiar to christianity-baptism and the Lord's supper. It is not enough to denominate us christians, that we publicly assemble with christians in houses of worship. The doors of our sanctuaries are open to the infidel, as well as to the believer; to the Jew, and to the Pagan ; to the Mahometar from the shores of the Mediterranean, and to the savage from the banks of the Missouri. Attendance upon the weekly exercises of the temple affords no unquestionable proof of our belief in christianity, and no distinguishing pledge of our attachment to its cause. You, who now fill these seats, do not intend, by your presence here, to declare to the world, that you are christians.

It is, however, to be presumed, that those, who, either for themselves or for their children, have recognised the ordinance of baptism, are sensible, that by this act they voluntarily submit to a rite, which is, in fact, initiatory to the profession of christianity. They acknowledge the authority of Christ, they en. rol themselves in the number of his pupils. They virtually admit, that all his requirements are obligatory; and declare to the world, that they are willing to submit to his commands, as far as they are discovered. Can any one, then, satisfactorily inform us, why the other rite, which is peculiarly significant of our discipleship, and especially expressive of fidelity and attachment, is so generally neglected ? Have you ever seriously considered, that the latter is a natural consequence of the former, if the former was not hypocritically observed; and that, in the earliest ages of the church, the observance of each of the ordinances was inseparably connected ? Have you ever considered, that, by studiously regarding the one, and inconsiderately neglecting the other, you exhibit an explicable inconsistency in your professions of attachment ?

Bear with me, my friends, while I indulge myself in freely examining some of the motives, which, probably, restrain you. Difficulties, as well as fears, sometimes vanish on a near inspection; and to disentangle what is perplexed, close and careful ob. servation is commonly more necessary, than either resolution or strength.

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1. Allow me, however, in the first place, to doubt, whether you have yet seriously considered, or sensibly understood the obligation, which your belief in the authority of Jesus so clearly imposes. Perhaps you have regarded as mere words of course the invitations, which are repeatedly addressed to you from the pulpit, and addressed to your gratitude and love, as well as to your sense of duty. Have you not too easily contented yourselves hitherto with your weekly attendance on the customary services of the sanctuary; services, which you have found may be periodically observed without any interruption of your time, and which it would not, perhaps, require more resolution to discontinue, than to repeat ? Perhaps you are too indolent, or too secure to reflect on the duty we are considering; or you imagine yourselves too busy to devote a portion of your time and thoughts to a commemoration of your Saviour's death. But the plea of occupation is futile. You have bought a piece of ground, and you must needs go and see it. And what of this ? Is every project in business to be accomplished, before you can have leisure to listen to the recommendations of such a friend as Jesus? You have bought five yoke of oxen, and you must go to prove them. Cannot this be effected without rejecting the invitations of the gospel ? And you have married a wife, and therefore you cannot come. . But why can you not bring with you to the table, your consort, your children, your dependants ? The tables of the Lord are not yet crowded. Here are no struggles for admittance ; here are no contests for accommodation.

2. Give me leave to ask you, how long you have been deferring your attention to this duty, and how much longer you imagine you shall be employed in collecting resolution ? Nothing is more certainly neglected, than what we are always intending to do. When will that more convenient time arrive? Is that bright hour, which is to bring you opportunity, inclination, or resolution, now on its passage ? Ah, my friends, I know of no moment but the present. I have known opportunities, but they are past, and I strive in vain to recall them. The virgins, who slept, imagined, that they should have sufficient time to go and buy oil and trim their lamps ; but, while they were gone, those who were ready went in to the nuptial feast, and when their companions returned, the door was shut.

3. Perhaps you excuse yourselves, on account of the solemnity of the ordinance. But, my friends, because it is solemn, is it therefore the less important? Because it is solemn, may it therefore be more securely neglected ? Besides, what has taught you to make so great a distinction between this and the other duties of religion ? Surely not the example of our Saviour. In his presence was the rite instituted, and then it was affectionate, social and cheerful. No terrours were thrown around the meeting, no doubts disturbed the happy fraternity, no mystery brooded over the eucharistical feast. Surely, your's was not the sentiment of the primitive disciples, for they celebrated this ordinance at every opportunity, and whenever they found themselves together. Surely, your's was not the opinion of the Corinthian converts, for so little were they appalled with the awful solemnity of the rite, that they soon converted it into a riotous festival. Surely, your's was not the opinion of the apostle, or he would bave proceeded farther in his reproof, than merely to have blamed their disorder and excess. It is true, the ceremony is serious, and so, also, is every act of homage, because it is performed in the presence, and directed to the eye of Jehovah. Nothing

Nothing can be more religiously solemn than prayer; and there is nothing in the exercises at the communion more sacred in reality, than the customary addresses to the throne of God.

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