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Gospel by attending at the Lord's table. Happy they, and thankful will they be, whose consciences can in this respect give them “an answer of peace;" who, with holy David, “love the habitation of the Lord's house, and the place where his honour dwelleth ;" 8 and who are “glad when they hear said, We will go into the house of the Lord."9
Suffer, however, my brethren, some of you to be asked; and question honestly within yourselves, whether you would at this moment be now here of
your own accord,* whether the benevolent and christian orders promulgated by your superiors have not had more constraining force to bring you here, than the force of conscience, and the heartfelt conviction, “ that it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord;" that to assemble ourselves together in public congregation on the Lord's day is at once a profitable act, and one becoming a christian people. If, my brethren, some great, some difficult, some painful thing were demanded of you,-if your worldly prospects were thereby clouded,,if your worldly comforts were thereby diminished,—why then, even then,
8 Ps. xxvi. 8. 9 Ps. cxxii. 1. * The non-military reader is reminded, that the regiments in garrison are every Sunday regularly paraded, and marched in a body to divine worship.
your instruction in righteousness,” the nourishment of your souls unto life eternal, the doing the good pleasure of God, should not be neglected. But what the privation ? what the difficulty ? and wherefore then a refusal to the kindly invitation of, “ 01 come let us worship?" 0! it is a pleasing and a grateful thing to see the courts of the Lord's house thronged with attentive worshippers. It is an animating and glorious sight to behold the majority of a nation acknowledging in public and religious acts that they have taken the Lord to be their God.
Happy the people who are in such a
1 Ps. cxliv. 15.
And such, brethren, is our position ; or if not, it is our own fault. We are not de. prived of opportunities, we have not to look about for the leisure to attend the public services of our church. Morning and afternoon are the doors of this house of the Lord open for your admittance. And it were well, it would rejoice the heart of him who now addresses you, could he see a more numerous attendance at the Sunday evening sacrifice of thanksgiving and prayer-a more numerous attendance from amongst those to whom the holy rest of the Sabbath from the weekly routine of labour is so benevolently insured by the laws of our country. Speaking to some among you, the preacher might say, Why do ye, fathers, it may be, of families, and mothers of children, act as the perverse and disobedient child ? Why do ye attend here, only when ye are, as it were, compelled ?
Why be loath, why be reluctant, why negligent of your religious services, when it is left to your own right feelings and sober judg
pay public homage to your God, or not? And what do ye, if ye stay at home, or lounge away that hour in your barrack ? Are ye
the better for thus idly refusing the evening invitation, “O come, let us worship !" Will attendance at the house of God in any way prevent the innocent recreations of the Sabbath, the social walk, or the rational conversation ? “ The Sabbath,” my brethren, “was made for man.”. And whilst no one work of necessity, or charity is forbidden, whilst the strict letter of the Mosaic law is not now required of Christians, it is becoming, and expected of a christian people, that they reverence the Sabbath, and use it for the all-wise and merciful purposes for which it was ordained.
“Be ye then not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is,”3 in regard to the holy observances of his sacred day,—“Give the Lord the honour
2 Mark ii. 27. 3 Ephes. v. 17.
due unto his name; worship the Lord with holy worship.”! And further, remember, that there is something else than mere outward profession required of us, when we present ourselves before the Lord within his sanctuary. We must be careful to “ lift up our hearts with our hands.” We must be properly alive to the necessities of our case. We must be deeply impressed with the urgency which calls on us to have Christ for our prevailing Intercessor, our “Advocate with the Father :” for through whom else can we be pardoned our many transgressions in this our day of folly and weakness ? O! beware we, and let us be instructed, and take warning by the words of this 95th Psalm,- let us“ not harden our hearts!” - we may so harden them as to be deaf to the calls of the Gospel ; and the sound of the church-bell may at length fall unheeded on our ears; and so callous may
4 Ps. xxix. 2.
Lam. iii. 41.