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النشر الإلكتروني

SERMON II.

ON THE CATECHISM.

PROV. xxii. 6.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

In the former part of the xixth chapter of SER M.

Exodus, are related the orders which the children of Israel received to attend the Lord upon Mount Sinai, and the solemn preparations which they were directed to make for that awful meeting. After that the historian proceeds in this manner: "And it came to pass on the third day (the day appointed for God's descent) C 2

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SERM." in the morning, that there were thunders

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"and lightnings, and thick clouds upon "the Mount, and the voice of the trumpet

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exceeding loud, so that all the people "that was in the camp trembled. "Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood "at the bottom of the Mount.

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"Mount Sinai was altogether in a smoke, "because the Lord descended upon it in "fire, and the smoke thereof ascended as "the smoke of a furnace; and the whole "Mount quaked greatly. And when the "voice of the trumpet sounded long, and "waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, "and God answered him by a voice." Moses then receives orders to charge the people not to presume to ascend the Mount: and after that, God delivered the ten commandments, as we find them in the xxth chapter. You observe that this delivery was originally made to the peo

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ple of Israel, and undoubtedly the ten SERM. commandments were chiefly intended for their use. "I am the Lord thy God (says the Almighty) which have brought thee "out of the land of Egypt, out of the

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house of slavery." This is applicable to them only, and relates to their miraculous escape from the oppression of Pharoah.But when we consider the prodigious solemnity with which these ten commandments were uttered by God's own mouth, and that they were afterwards written with his own finger; and when we reflect, besides, on their intrinsic excellency, that they contain in them the great heads of duty both towards God and man; and when we observe the veneration which Christians of all ages have paid to them, we cannot but perceive that they are deserving of all our attention, respect, and obedience.

The first commandment is directed against those numerous objects of wor

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SERM. ship, to which the nations, who lived in

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and round about the country which the Jews were going to inhabit, paid their ignorant and wicked adorations; the sun, the moon, the stars, stocks, stones, animals, and deceased men, they either joined with the Supreme Being, or worshipped instead of him. To keep the people of Israel from this absurdity and wickedness, God says to them, "Thou shalt have none other Gods but me."-I allow neither of substitute nor partner, to me only shall you offer up your prayers, praises, and adorations. We Christians are, I hope, in no danger of offending against this law, in the same manner as the nations abovementioned, but we may break it in other instances, and incur no small portion of guilt for so doing. We may, and alas! too many of us do, give a preference to the pleasures, honours, riches of this world, above God: now when we do this they are

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to us in the place of gods; it is them SERM. which we love with all our hearts, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength; it is them which we worship; it is in them that we trust, and, too often, it is them which we truly serve all the days of our life. Now, when this is the case, we certainly violate the first commandment: those who dedicate their whole time, and set their whole affections either on worldly honours or pleasures, are (as the apostle expressly tells us, with respect to the covetous) Idolaters. "Thou "shalt have none other gods but me.' The precept is delivered in negative terms, but it has a possitive meaning; we are not only required by it not to worship what is not God, but we are required heartily to worship what is God.

As Protestants we are, I trust, in little danger of infringing the prohibition contained in the second commandment; but there

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