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indulgence within such bounds as cannot interfere with our public duties to God; and all visits to friends, or recreation of walking, should be regulated by the conscientious and pious consideration, that though Christ has released us from the Jewish yoke, God's law is still holy, wise, and good; and we must be careful not to abuse our liberty into licentiousness.-To sum up the whole in few words: it is impossible not to perceive from the very terms of the commandment, and all that has been advanced to establish it, both what it enjoins, and what it forbids. As to the former, we are to employ the sabbath to the honour and service of God: as to the latter, we are plainly to avoid every action that may expose us to the neglecting or profaning the sabbath; and consequently we shall become much more guilty, if we spend it in idleness and pleasure, in debauchery and sin, as too many wicked persons do. And lastly, we are to be careful not only to sanctify, hallow, or keep holy the Lord's day ourselves, but to see that all who belong to us do so likewise; for the commandment positively infers, that for these also, we shall finally answer. And, since through God's grace and blessing on the exertion of our rulers, the piety of our own laws hath provided for the better observance of this day, a heavy charge lies upon all magistrates and inferior officers, to see that those laws are put in execu
tion; and by their neglect to do this, they undoubtedly assist to bring a curse upon themselves, and the nation at large-which is the last point to which I propose to speak on this subject. There can be no doubt but our ingra titude to God, in every respect, is what exposes us to his just judgments; and in no shape can they who profess a pure worship of God, offend him more, than by dishonouring his holy name and day. These are the crimes that mark the lowest and most abandoned description of the human race. Swearing, and sabbath-breaking, lead to every other vice, because they naturally provoke God to desert men, who, when left to themselves, become a ready prey to the tempter. We may also as certainly conclude, that long continuance in such impious courses will in due time draw down the heaviest visitations on the nations where such impiety is not restrained. Bad example in the great, is of the most serious consequence to the manners of the community at large. It is a lamentable truth, that, in the disgraceful and ungrateful habits of these transgressions, we too generally deserve the reproach of Nehemiah, who thus addresees the rich and the powerful of his day: Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus? and did not God bring all this evil upon
us? Yet ye bring more wrath upon the land by continuing to profane this holy day.-Let each of us for himself, my brethren, endeavour to avert God's judgments, by showing an humble and ready obedience to all his laws; and however blind, and obstinate, and ungrateful the world remains around us, however deaf to our remonstrance and exhortation, or regardless of our good example, let us still persevere in that happy and blessed resolution which the pious Joshua delivered on a like occasion; and though others are unwilling to do their duty, let us pray earnestly for grace to say with him, BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.
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.
HAVING endeavoured to give you a full sense of the four commandments which compose what is called the first table of the law, or the duties we more particularly owe to God; we come now to consider the contents of the second table, or those commandments which relate immediately to the respective duties of mankind towards each other, under the general title and description of our neighbour. Now, of the several obligations which it has pleased God to record, as his will for men to keep, in order to promote their own happiness on earth, and prepare them for his favour hereafter, it is observable that the leading precept concerns the duties of children to parents. Obedience to this law seems to depend greatly on the advantages of early and proper