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SERM. ment, which contains four histories of the


life of our Saviour, written by four dif ferent persons, and likewise the epistles or letters of some of his most eminent followers.

Where there is church every day in the week, the Old Testament, with some exceptions of repetitions and less useful dr more difficult parts, is, the whole of it, read over once every year, and the New Testament three times. The books of both Testaments are read in the same order in which they stand, except that, in the Old, the prophet Isaiah (who foretels, in the fullest manner, the coming of Christ) is read immediately before Christmas-Day, the day of Christ's birth; and, in the New, the Gospels are read in the morning, and the Epistles in the afternoon. I should observe however that, ex cepting two or three chapters, the book of Revelations is never read in public, as it



is very difficult to be understood, and fit SERM. only for the private study of those who are qualified for it.

I must pause here, earnestly to recom. mend to you, to be seriously attentive while the word of God is reading; it always speaks on the most important subjects; and, though it may not be always easy to understand every part of it, yet the difficulty will lessen by attention, and some good may always be drawn from particular parts, though now and then the portion appointed to be read may not, in general, be intelligible to the unlearned. But let me hope that you will not content yourselves with what is read to you of God's word in public, but employ yourselves frequently in either reading, or listening to others reading it in private. It used to be a custom, in every family, to pass much of the Sabbath in reading the Bible, and I trust the same custom remains


SERM. mains in many, yet; no employment can


be more profitable; it will give consolation
to the afflicted, and reproof to the iniqui-
tous-it will give faith to the unbeliever,
and increase the godliness of the sober-
minded: I entreat you, therefore, to make
yourselves well acquainted with this most
valuable of all books; it will prove your
surest protection from the assaults of the
devil, and best preservative from the prac-
tice of habitual wickedness.
You may,
occasionally, fall into temptations, and even
yield to them-but, if you are constant in
reading the Bible, it will be almost impos
sible for you not to leave off sinning pre-

Its precepts will so open your hearts to a sense of what is right-its promises of everlasting glory will so excite your hopes its threatenings of everlasting misery will so alarm your fears that

you must be quite abandoned of God, and

given over to a reprobate mind, if it does SER M. not arouse you to piety and virtue.

I should now proceed to a consideration of the hymns which follow each of the lessons, but this I must defer to a future opportunity,



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