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conveyance of useful knowledge, and to the devout association of kindred spirits, the ;ynagogue. There is indeed no real dito ference of place, in respect of fan&lity. Wherever God is worthipped " in spirit and in truth," there is holy ground. But man, swallowed up as he is of sense, must have the devout af. fections railed by an appeal to the lower faculties of his nature : and the form and situation of the spot where he worships, must be called in to aslist the mind, to promote the love of his fellow worshippers, to give energy to kind affections, and to elevate the soul to the Creator, on the wings of love to the creature whom he has formed after his own image. To thee, blessed Jesus ! the city and the wilderness, the mountain and the sea-shore, the temple and the upper chamber were one and the same thing ; but it pleased thee to be a pattern of " decency and order," to exemplity submillion to the ordinance of God, to walk before thy kindred and acquaintance, in " things which are lovely and of good report,"

The service of the synagogue was not at that time perfectly pure ; many corruptions both in doéirine and pra&tice had been introduced, but still God was worshipped there, and Scripture still flowed pure and uncontaminated; and he will not seem to pour contempt on what savoured of human imperfection, left that which was genuine and divine should fall into disrepute. A virtuous state of Society, and a pure Church are highly desirable; but in order to enjoy such a happy order of things, a man“ must needs go out of the world." All that wisdom and piety united can atchieve, is gradually and temperately to ameliorate the public morals, and to rectify disorders which may have crept into the Church. No vigilance nor fa. gacity can prevent the enemy from sowing tares among the wheat; but though they may be ever so diftinguishable, they are not rudely and prematurely to be rooted up, “ left, while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." They must “both grow together until the harvest." The ho. ly Jefus derived no taint from a disorderly fynagogue and a profaned temple ; but he restored the order of the synagogue, and the sanctity of the temple. He could contract no impuri. ty by fitting down to meat with publicans and sinners; and learn no hypocrisy by communication with pharisees; but by the wisdom and purity of his conversation publicans and fin. ners were reproved, instructed and reformed, and hypocrisy stood detected. There is a mean, dishonourable and criminal "becoming all things 10 all men,” for the fordid purposes of self interest, or the gratification of a vain-glorious spirit ; but there is likewile an honourable, manly and praise-worthy accommodation to the wants and wishes of vur fellow-creatures: which disinterestedly aims at their good. This leflon " Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ,” and the most independent in spirit of all mankind, had been taught in the school of his divine Mafter. “For though,” says he, "I be free from all men, yet have I made my sell servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God; but under the law to Chrift) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became l as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means fave some. And this I do for the Gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you."

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Time permits not a present to proceed on the consideration of the other particular circumstances attending this sacred Lecture of the great Teacher ; such as the time when it was delivered the Sabbath-day; the uniformity and constancy of the practice, as his custom was ; the attitude and exercile, ke ftood up for to read; the subject, a prediction concerning him, felt from the book of the prophet Elaias; his commentary upon it, this day is this Scripture fuifilled in your ears ; and finally, the effect produced on his audience, the eyes of all them that were in the Synagogue were fastened on him; and all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of nis mouth. Thele particulars, therefore, will conAitute the subject of our next exercise of this kind. We conclude the present with a few pra&ical reflections.

1, Meditate on the venerability of the fabbath, the day of sacred reft. It is the ordinance of God himlelf, who is repres sented in Scripture, not only as the Author of the institution, but as setting the example of its devout obfervance. “On the seventh day God ended his work which he had made ; and he refted on the seventh day from all his work which he had made," He made it a season of folemn contemplation : “God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good.” He pronounced a benediction upon it, and set it as part to holy purpofes : “ And God blessed the seventh day and fanétified it : because that in it he had refted from all his work which God created and made." It is one of the natural measurements of time, though modern infidelity has made an attempt to efface it. It wears a benevolent and mercitul aspect toward man and beast. It is intimately and indissolubly con. nected with religion. The violation of the fabbath was con

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Adered, under the Mosaic dispensation, as a flagrant contempt of the divine authority, and fubjected the offender to the pun. ilhment of death. To the regular and spiritual observance of it, on the other hand, were annexed many and gracious promises. I quote only the following: “It thou turn away thy foot from the fabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day : and call the fabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable ; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine' own words : then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father for the mouth of the Lord' hath spoken it.” The substitution of the first, in place of the seventh day of the week, under the evangelical difpensation, binds more closely, not relaxes the obligation; and the honour which God has been pleased to put upon it is a luffi. cient recommendation, independent of the authority of human laws. As, on the contrary, the character of the persons who live in the open and habitual neglect or profanation of it, is the reverse of a recommendatior to every man of sense, decency and virtue. But,

2. Take care not to fink the spirit in' the letter of the ordia nance. It is a day of rist, but idleness and rest are very different things. The mental composure and repose of the man infinitely transcend the listless inaction of the brute. The body of the man indeed rests from the painful toil of the week, and his mind from its perplexing cares. But this is perfectly consistent with vigorous bodily exertion, and with intenfeness of mental application. The feet, the hands, the eye, the tongue, may all be actively employed'in rendering unto God a "reafonable service." The fuperior powers of the soul may be in an ascending motion, up to "the Father of lights;" and in a progressive motion, toward the "rest which remaineth to the people of God.” The lips of the wife and good may be devoted to the diffusion of useful knowledge, and the ear of the willing and obedient may drink in the doctrines of truth, and the obligations of duty. This mutual interchange of kind of fices will produce an interchange of kind affections. Good will among men will be preserved and promoted. The bands of Nature will be strengthened by those of religion. To wor. ship in one temple will become a bond of union among brethTen, and will extinguish the coal of animofity ; and thus "godliness will be found profitable unto all things," and will exert a happy influence over "the life which now is," while it em braces the promise of that which is to come."

3. Conformitys

3. Conformity in things of interior or of no moment, is a duty which we owe both to ourselves and to others : to ourfelves, because it is the mark of a gracious and condescending character ; to others, because every man has a title to deterence and respect, in matters where another man's conscience is not concerned. Sourness and incompliance are no part of the Spirit of Christ. Neverthelcis, many who bear that name discover a tenaciousness of trifles, a bigotry to self-opinion, in. congstent not only with the Christian temper, but with good sense and good manners. This moroseness of disposition leve els all distinctions, and affixes the same idea of criminality to an enormous offence and adherence to a harmless form or cere. mony. With a man of this description, “ He that killeih an ox, is as it he slew a man : 'he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he of. fered swine's blood; he that burneth inçenie, as it he blelled an idol." Difference of opinion among men is part of the plan of a wise Providence. It affords exercise to human faculties; it expands a field for the display of mutual forbearance; it is a striking manifestation of the variety of the works of God. He who will yield no point, however insignificant, has no reason to expect that his punctilio should be regarded. Were the whole world of this ungainly, untractable, uncomplying nature, society would present a perpetual and univeria! ftrife of contradictory feelings, humours and interests. The rule of the Gospel is in this case, as in every other, absolute ; "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even fo to them : for this is the law and the prophets." Indeed the great Prophet carries the spirit of his religion much farther : " I say unto you, that ye relift not evil ; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And it any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. him that afkerh thee ; and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”.

4. Watch and leize every promising opportunity of doing good; and such occur every day that we live. Have we not the poor always with us ? Might not the crumbs which fall from that table be given to feed many starving mouths ? Do we not live in contact with ignorance and vice, with milery and difease? And is it in our power to grant no relief, not so much as " a cup of cold water ?” It is truly humbling to reflect how means and occasions of being useful to the bodies and to the {ouls of men, and of promoting our own highest interests,

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have been carelessly neglected, or deliberately abused. Judga ment to come, however, sets, the matter in a very serious Tight * I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not : fick, and in prilon, and ye visited me not." "Verily I lay unto you, in as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.'

But this direction too must be accompanied with a caution, “Let not your good be evil spoken of." "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, left they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you." There is an officiousness of perhaps well-meaning good. ness, which sometimes disdains to weigh the circumstances of tines, places and perlons; which will introduce certain topics out of, as well as in season, to the grief of the more prudently serious, the disgust of the lukewarm, and the mirth of the pro. fane. “Ą word spaken in due season, how good is it!” “ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pi&tures of Glver. As an ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, fo is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear." Finally,

5. Bring forih "things new and old," from the inexhaustible stores of Scripture. From this sacred repository our blessed Lord derived arguments to silence and contound the adversary, and a subject of instruction for the men of Nazareth. From the same precious trealury, from those "wells of salvation,” the faith ful of every age have drawn the waters of consolation, to support and refresh them under every pressure of distress, to counter. aćt the bitterness of death, and to enjoy a foretaste of the pure river of water of life, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb." “Jesus answered and said," to the woman of Samaria, at Jacob's well, “ Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again : but whosoever drinketh of the water that I fall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well ot water springing up into everlaat. ing life;" and "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be per. fećt, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Therefore, “ search the Scriptures ;" as Chrift hath commanded, " for in them ye think ye have eternal lite: and they are they which testify of me." Ye "have Moses and the Prophets ;" ye have Christ and his Apostles; hear them. It men reject their testi, mony,“ neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead,"

LECTURE

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