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Different was the opinion of Joshua. He did not suppose it possible, at the same time, to serve Jehovah and the gods of the nations. “ whom ye will serve I will serve Jehovah.” Agree16 ably to which, St. Paul asks,“ Lord, what wilt thou “ have me to do?" Not--what will my own inclinations, what will my friends, what will my kinsfolk, what will the world—but-"what wilt thouấmy “ Saviour and my God-what wilt thou have me to “do?"-"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and “his righteousness, and all other things (needful)
shall be added unto you.” Serve God; and the world, in the course of God's providence, will be made to serve you; and that, sometimes in a manner very surprising and unlooked for.
There is yet a different error in the conduct of men. It is when they employ theinselves to discover the obligations and the failings of others, entirely forgetful of their own. They can tell you the duties of the king and of his ministers, and of the admirals, generals, and governors employed by them; of both houses of parliament; of the bishops and the clergy; and of all their neighbours, great and small. They can tell the duties of these respectively; they can point out the particulars in which such duties are neglected; and inform you how the neglects may still be remedied. Yet when God shall call these censors and judges of their brethren to account for their own duties, they will perceive, perhaps for the first time, to their utter amazement and confusion, that they have never once thought of performing them. To prevent so ridiculous and fatal a blunder, let it be observed, that St. Paul did not ask, what God would have others to do ; but, “Lord,” said he," what
; “ wouldest thou have me to do?" Show me my own duty; and it sufficeth. Had the men of whom we have been speaking preferred this petition to God, he would have taught them, in the first place, to bestow much of their time and thoughts upon their own concerns, and little upon those of others, unless where commanded by him so to do, as a part of their own duty.
The last mistake that shall be mentioned, relative to our inquiries after the will of God, is, when we make those inquiries, as matter of speculation only, as an amusement of the mind. For to this purpose
are the Scriptures often applied ; and it is possible to make them the subjects of our writings and conver. sations, without any design or desire of reducing them to practice. Whereas there is no article of faith which does not involve in it a corresponding
а duty. For, surely, to every one who repeats the Creed may God justly be considered as saying—“IfI “ be a God, where is my worship? If I be a Father, “ where is my obedience? If I be Almighty, where " is my trust? If I be a Creator, where is my serv" ice? If I be a Redeemer, where is my love? If I “ be a Judge, where is my fear?” In matters of religion, where there is something to be known, there is always something to be done. St. Paul, therefore, asked not" Lord, what wouldest thou have me to s know ?" but" Lord, what wouldest thou have me to do?" In a word. This question, which was thus asked by St. Paul, at the beginning of his conversion, should be asked by us, to the end of our lives, in all circumstances, those more especially that may be new and difficult. When we thus turn our thoughts to God, and sincerely supplicate for the divine direction, by his grace bringing to our minds the in. structions in the Scriptures adapted to our case, or by some other means, as he shall see proper, we shall never fail to receive it. Convinced by unanswerable reasons why we should serve, and having formed a resolution to serve God, and him only, we shall never be at a loss to know how we should serve hiin.
But we cannot follow a safer guide than when we follow our own church, as she follows the Scriptures; for while she teaches us how to serve God acceptably in public with our lips, she teaches us how to serve him acceptably in private with our lives. The prayers whereby, at church, we implore for grace to perform all the various duties of Christianity, afford the best heads of self-examination at home, to discover whether we have used that grace to the purposes for which it was given ; whether our improvements keep pace with our devotions. In the services of the church of England, we find the faith once delivered to the saints, and the morality once practised by them. Truth and holiness are the characteristics of her ritual. Avoiding the follies and absurdities of enthusiasm, which is religion run mad; and superstition, which is religion frighted out of its senses ; she keeps the even tenour of her way, in a firm, manly, rational, cheerful piety towards God, and an unbounded charity towards man. Congenial to the spirit of the British monarchy, she has shared of old in its fall and its restoration. “ They have been
. “ lovely and pleasant in their lives”—May they continue to be so, to the years of many generations ! But, from the aspect which the times wear toward both, it is easy to foretel, that whenever the day fatal to one of them shall come-if come it must in “ their deaths they will not be divided.
PSALM LXXVIII, 5, 6.
He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a
law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their child. ren: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.
At a time when the world resounds with the noise of war and the bustle of politics, an interval of separation from its concerns becomes more than usually agreeable. We seek and take refuge in the sanctuary with double ardour and delight. Sunday arises upon us in new beauty, and appears with fresh charms. We bless God that we have such a day to keep, and a church to which we may repair, where the weary mind, as well as the weary body, may cease a while from its labours, and be refreshed in the multitude of peace. The solemnity of the place, the decency and propriety of the services, with the sight of so many cheerful countenances attending in composure and silence to the word of God, affect the beholder with unutterable pleasure, and, what