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deration, may be considered as the most refreshiing cordial, for reviving the drooping spirits, and restoring the languid frame. Need I state with what peculiar propriety these may be applied tropologically to the mind, and considered as the striking symbols of all religious knowledge, as well as of all spiritual comfort, and edification? Would you then solemnise the great Fast-day of your Saviour's crucifixion as you ought ? Would you shew that you are truly sensible of the tremendous sacrifice that has been made for the sins of men, and for procuring the salvation of your immortal souls, hear the language of the Church to which you belong, and “take this holy Sacrament to your comfort." Remember the awful occasion on which it was instituted—remember, that, beside being the bond of union and of love, it is the seal of the Christian Covenant; it is the most efficacious means, perhaps, of obtaining the graces of the Holy Spirit, and may be considered as the test of our sincerity, and attachment to the church of Christ before God and man. Remember, also, the facility with which the readiness of ence on this occasion may be manifested, and your religious duty performed; and, above all, remember the dying words of your heavenly Redeemer, who, unwilling to lay any unnecessary burden on human infirmity, only said, “ Do THIS IN. REMEMBRANCE OF ME."
ON THE DUTY OF ATTENDING TO THE RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES AND CONDUCT OF OUR OWN HOUSEHOLD.
JOSHUA XXIV. 15.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
JOSHỤA, the venerable leader of the hosts of Israel, having by his valor and his wisdom established the Jewish people in the promised land of Canaan, assembled the elders, the judges, and officers of all the tribes at Shechem, and recounted to them the many signal instances of divine mercy, and protection, which they had experienced. He began with the call of their father, Abraham, dwelt on their deliverance from Egypt by Moses and Aaron, and concluded by mentioning the victories, which, by the blessing of Providence, they had recently obtained over the Canaanitish nations, and reminding them of the actual possession of their enemy's country.
These benefits and blessings he considers as a direct call on them to forsake for ever the follies and absurdities of idolatry, and to establish in their minds the worship of Jehovah, the only true God. When he was now more than a hundred years old, and saw his latter end fast approaching, he was extremely anxious, as every ruler ought to be, on this important point. ' Noticing, therefore, the land which they now occupied; for which, as he observed, they did not labor, the cities which they inhabited, but which they did not build ; and the vineyards and oliveyards, of which they eat, but which they had not planted;—he wished to establish their religious worship, in future, on the broad and solid basis of devout love, gratitude, and adoration; and then addressed them in these impressive words
.“ Now, therefore, fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth : and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt, and serve ye the Lord.” But, that their religion might have the character of a voluntary, conscientious service ;-that it might be founded on the devotion of the heart, and not be considered merely
as an established form, imposed by arbitrary authority, he continued to address them thus“But if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose
ye this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood,” (meaning by the flood, the river Euphrates,) " or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land
dwell :" for, as to the shocking anomaly of living without a national religion, that seems not to have entered his mind.
Having thus appealed to the experience, which the eventful history of their forefathers afforded,—to their recent conquests, and the many blessings of their present condition,—he left the momentous affair to their own decision, and concluded with the remarkable declaration in the text~ " But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The context, therefore, exhibits a memorable and instructive example of a ruler anxious, before his death, to establish the people whom he governed, by an eloquent appeal to their reason and their passions, in the worship of the only true God; but without offering any thing like compulsion, or exercising over the assembled tribe any undue authority.
The whole may be considered as an instance of