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much your success depends upon suitable preparation. Put off your shoes before ye tread the holy ground.
4. Make not your attendance on the public ordinances a by.hand work, and a mean for carrying on your worldly affairs. If ye come to the church to meet with some body, and to discourse or make appointments about your worldly businefs, it will be a wonder if
ye meet with the Lord. If ye travel on the Lord's day, and take a preaching by the way, it may well cheat your blinded consciences; it will not be pleasing to God, for it makes his service to stand but in the fecond room, while your main and is what concerns your temporal affairs. Among the Jews no man might make the mountain of the house, or a synagogue a thoroughtare. And beware of common dilcourse between fermons, which is too much practised among professors.
4. When ye come home from the public ordinances, let it be your care, both by the way and at home, to meditate or converse about fpiritual things, and what ye have heard. Retire and examine yourselves as to what ye have gained, and be not as the unclean beasts who chew not the cud. Let masters of families take account of their children and fervants how they have profited, catechise and instruct them in the principles of religion, and exhort them to piety.
6. When ye are necessarily detained from the public ordinances, let your hearts be there, Pfal. Isül
. 1. 2. and do not turn that to fin, which in itself is not your fin. And strive to spend the Lord's day in private and secret worship, looking to the Lord for the upmaking of your wants. As for those that tie themselves to mens service, without a due regard to their having opportunities to hear the Lord's word, their wages are dear bought, and they have little respect to God or their own souls; and I think tender Christians will be loath to engage io. But alas ! few masters or servants look further than the work and
wages in their engaging together! A fad argument that religion is at a low ebb.
7. Do not cut the fabbath short. The church of Rome has half-holy days; God never appointed any such ; it is one whole day. Alas! it is a sad thing to see how the Lord's day is so consumed, as if people, would make up the loss of a day out of Saturday's night and Monday's morning, which they do by cutting short the Lord's day.
8. Lastly, Labour to be in a fabbath-day's frame. Let the thoughts of worldly business, far more world• Jy words and works, be far from you. To press this, consider,
(1.) It is God's command whereby he tries your love to him. This day is as the forbidden fruit. Who does not condemn Adam and Eve for eating of it? O do not profane ic any manner of way.
(2.) Heaven will be an everlasting fabbath, and our conversation should be heaven-like. If we grudge the Lord one day in seven, how will we digest an eternity? We are ready to complain that we are toiled with the world: why then do we not enter into his rest?
(3.) The great advantage of fanctifying the Lord's day. He has made it a day of blessing. It is God's deal-day; and keeps up the heart of many through the week while they think of its approach.
(4.) Lastly, Ye will bring wrath on you if xe do not sanctify the fabbath. God may plague you with temporal, spiritual, and eternal plagues. Many begin with this fin of profaning the Lord's day, and it brings them at length to an ill hour, both in this world and that which is to come.
EXODUS XX. 12. Honour thy father and thy mother : that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
E come now to the second table of the law,
which teacheth us our duty to man, i. e. to ourselves and others. There are two parts of religion, piety towards God, comprehending our duty to God immediately, delivered in the four first commandments; righteousness, our duty to our neighbour, delivered in the last six, As God has set the four firtti commands to maintain his own worship and honour in the world ; so he has coyered man with the last fix. The fifth command is a fence for him in his station, whatever it is; the sixth guards his life; the seventh is a fence to his chastity; the eighth to his goods; the ninth to his name; and the tenth to all that is bis. Over these hedges no man must break under the pain of the Lawgiver's displeasure,
Religion must run through the whole course of our conversation, and mix itself with all our actions, those that respect men as well as thofe that respect God immediately. Therefore in vain do they pretend to religion, that make no conscience of their duty to men. Religion makes not a man only a good man, but a good neighbour. And it is observable, that thele duties are ordinarily made the trying point to protesfors of religion. And if ye have got any good of the late folemn occasion, ye will not only love God more, but love your neighbour more; not only grow in duties of piety towards God, but of righteousness to men, giving every one their due, Micah vi. 6.-8. Zech. vii. 16. 17. Matth. xix. 18. 19. Rom. xiii. 8. 9. 10,
In this passage there is a command, Honour thy father and thy mother; and the reason of it, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord i hy God giveth thee. In the command two things are to be considered.
1. The object, father and mother. By these are meant not only our natural parents, but also all superiors, superiors in age, i lim. v. 1. 2.; such as are superior to us in gifts or grace, Gen. iv. 20. & xlv. 8.; but especially such as are by God's ordinance over us in authority, whether in the family, as husbands, 2 Sam. xii.
3. masters, 2 Kings v. 13. in the church, as minifters and other church-officers, 2 Kings ii. 12. or in the state, as magiftrates, supreme or subordinate, Il. xlix. 23. These are more directly meant by father and mother who are to be honoured.
These are the objects of this command expressed, The objects implied are,
(1.) All inferiors; that is, not only children, but the younger, the weaker in gifts and grace, wives, fervants, people, subjects. That these are also the ob. ject of this command, is clear if ye consider that their Tuperiors are called fåthers and mothers to then in the command, and consequently it binds them to be as fathers unto them.
(2.) All equals ; that is, brethren, fisters, friends, neighbours, and all amongst whom there is little difference as to age, gifts, grace, place, or dignity. That the command respects there also, is clear if ye consider that Christ sums up the whole fecond table in that general, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Therefore our neighbour in the general must be the ob. ject of this command, as well as of the rest of the fecond table.
2. The duty, Honour. All these must be honoured by their relatives. Giving of honour does not imply the fuperiority of the perion honoured ; God himself will honour thofe that honour him; and all men must be honoured by us, whether they be our fuperiors, inferiors, or equals, 1 Pet. ii. 17. God has put some excellency of his in every perion, for which they are to be honoured. The titles of father, husband, teacher, and ruler, are honourable, for they are God's tiiles. The station wherein God has fet every one, tlcugh
inferiors or equals, is honourable ; for they shine most beautifully that shine in their own sphere. And there is no person on whom God has not bestowed something of his own, for which that person is to be honoured even by his superiors; esteemed inwardly in the heart, which is to be vented by a respectful outward carriage to them.
For the further opening of these words, take notice,
1. That this command, whose scope is the performance of relative duties, is the first of the second table. In which the wisdom of God is to be adored, this command having a general influence on all the rest, so that we cannot transgress the rest but we transgress this in the first place. And it is worthy of observation, that such as bring themselves to an ill end by murder, adultery, theft, &c. ordinarily pitch on disobedience to their parents as the inlet to all these, Prov. xxx. 17.
2. That as the fourth command is particularly directed to superiors, so this is to inferiors; particularly because subjection and submission is that which goes worst down with the proud hearts of the children of men; and therefore God doth the more expressly re
3. That fuperiors are styled fathers and mothers. And that is, (1.) To teach superiors their duty towards their inferiors, that they owe them such tenderness and kindness as parents to their own children, Num. xi. 12. (2.) To make inferiors the more chearfully and willingly to give due honour to them, i Cor, iv. 14:15
In discoursing from this subject, I shall shew,