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students in divinity, on the same own insufficiency, were almost altopic. “ And you, my friends, who ways forced to it by the people and were his more peculiar care; his the governors of the church. Conchildren, of whom he travailed in sider, I beseech you, of what imbirth till Christ should be formed in portance he thought it, both for you; whom he was so solicitous to your own souls and those which have fitted for the service of Jesus, might be your charge, that you and the care of souls; alas! who should use all prudent means to can blame your tears, or withhold examine yourselves beforehand, of your grief? My father! my father! your fitness, both in beart and spirit, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen for that employment; and the purity therenf! It is not possible for me to of your intentions; designing truly express the blessing you had in him. the service of Jesus Christ, and the O what an useful guide and director good of men's souls, and not the sorwas he! How dear were you unto did ends of vanity, worldly-mindedhim! How wise and pious were his ness,
or ambition. O that these instructions and advices ! How things may sink into your hearts, much were his thoughts taken up and that you may continue in the about you, making them all serve for things you have learned of him!” his great design of fitting you for Professor Scougal's counsels rethe holy function! You know how specting the character, temper, and desirous he was, both to have you spirit of a Christian minister, may good men, and well fitted for the be summed up under the following holy ministry. Consider how, above heads:- Fervent love to God; ardent all things, he directed you to the and devoted zeal for the honour of purifying of your hearts, and the his heavenly Master; warm affecexercises of true repentance. Think tion for that portion of the housewhat gravity he required in your hold of faith to whom he is appointed behaviour, what modesty and hu- to dispense the bread of life, with mility in your words and conversa- tender pity and compassion towards tion, what abstraction from unsuit- perishing sinners; purity of heart; able business or company. Call to humility; patience; meekness; deadmind the care he had of directing ness to the world; and heavenlyyour siudies aright; how he diverted mindedness. And, certainly, no man you from such learning as was not was more emineatly qualified to give apt to give you a sense of piety and counsels on those topics than Scoureligion ; took you off from an itch- gal; for, to quote the words of Dr. ing curiosity about questions and Gairden, “ His piety was eminent strifes of words, which minister to and singular, always accompanied vanity and contention; persuaded with an unaffected humility'; his you to cleanness of heart, truly pious spirit and disposition was ever peacedesigns, and frequent devotion, as able; his love to God and the souls the best dispositions and helps for of men, made him study the divine knowledge ; and directed you to art of becoming all things to all men, such books and studies as might that he might save some. None was serve to give you a right and deep ever more mortified to covetousness sense of Christianity, and of the im- or filthy lucre. His charity and portance and duties of the holy func- alms-giving were exemplary: in all tion. Remember how much he be- things shewing himself a pattern of wailed the unseemly haste, and un- good works. In his doctrine he fit methods and arts, which some shewed uncorruptness, gravity, sinused to thrust themselves into the cerity, and sound words, that could holy ministry; and admired the dif- not be condemned. His discourse ferent conduct of the holy men in was always modest, and his converold times, who, sensible of its great sation useful. He watched all oc. weight, and apprehensive of their casions of doing good to men's souls, Chuist, Observ. No. 128.
and would not let them slip. Never ham employed for this purpose, are man was more apt to teach, being not stated; but we may presume gentle to all men. Those that op- that one of them was, establishing posed themselves to the truth, or the daily worship of God in his were overtaken in a fault, he en- family, and communicating religideavoured to instruct and restore, in ous instruction to those who comthe spirit of meekness, avoiding fool. posed it. There is, indeed, no pasish questions and strifes of words. sage of Scripture which directly enAnd by walking in all good con- joins family worship. Nor is this science before God and man, he to be wondered at. The Bible does hath, among other things, given a not give us a regular system of laws singular instance of gaining the love and observances. It is a book of a. and esteem, and of preserving his higher order, and considers man in a person and his office from contempt, nobler point of view. It lays down 80 that even scarce any man despised and enforces principles. It presents kis youth.”. Thus the pupils of Scou- to us a Father's love to his children, gal beheld in their master, as in a and requires from them the duties glass, the temper and character of a and the feelings of children. When minister of the Gospel. With a view once the principle of a child-like to attain that heavenly-mindedness fear and love of God is planted in which ought to characterise the am- the heart, there will be little occabassadors of Christ, he earnestly sion to command and threaten : the inculcated upon the students to be principle itself will powerfully infrequent in self-examination and cline to all obedience. Under the Law, prayer, and in the study of the indeed, many positive rules were holy Scriptures; and he particularly given; but under the Gospel very few recommended to them the diligent observances were enjoined. But, perusal of St. Paul's Epistle to Titus, then, the noblest principles were as the best model for the formation called into action. The spirit, still of the clerical character.
more than the mere letter, of the law, (To be continued.)
was to be observed, and a higher and purer obedience was required.
Thus did our Lord describe the naFAMILY SERMONS. No. XLIV.
ture of his own dispensation in reGen. xviii. 19.-"I know him, that he spect to worship : “ The hour is
will command his children and his coming, when ye shall peither in household after him : and they shall this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, keep the way of the Lord, to do worship the Father;" that is, not justice and judgment."
consider divine worship as confined
to a particular place or mode; “but Tuese words shew the great regard the hour cometh, when the true worwhich God paid to Abraham, in de- shippers shall worship the Father termining not to hide from him the in spirit and in truth; for the Fajudgments he was about to inflict ther seeketh such to worship him. on Sodom and Gomorrah. And the God is a spirit, and they that worreason of Abraham being thus ho- ship him must worship him in spirit noured, is stated to be, the care which and in truth.” Accordingly, our he took to train up and instruct his Lord did not lay down any particuchildren and household in the know- lar rules even for public worship. ledge of God, and to fix in their He did not name the day of the minds right principles :-"I know week which should be set apart for him, that he will command his chil. the purpose, nor state in what mandren and his household after him: ner it should be conducted. All and they shall keep the way of the these lesser points he left to be Lord, to do justice and judgment.” settled by bis disciples, assured that The particular means which Abra. if their souls were influenced by Dia
vine love, they would not fail to pay him an obedience as pure
and offer up a worship which would be perfect as possible. God has hoacceptable to him, because it would noured us, by putting us under a law be a sincere and spiritual worship: equally grand and extensive: “ Thou it would be the offering of the heart, shalt love the Lord thy God with all in righteousness and true holiness. ihy heart, and with all thy soul, and
This remark equally applies to with all thy strength; and thy neighthe duty of family worship. 'It must bour as thyself.” ° . Love is the fulbe remembered, that our worship of filling of the whole law;" it comany kind extends not in its effects prehends all that has been specially to God. It is of no use to him, adds commanded, and it comprehends nothing to his essential glory, and infinitely more than words can exo adds but little to the holy tribute of plain or precepts define. perfect adoration paid to him by all He, therefore, who loves God as the hosts of heaven. It derives its he ought to do, will not say, Shew whole value from its being a free- me the precept which requires me will offering, the sincere and ardent to pray iwo or three times a day; expression of a heart penetrated point out where it is written that I with a sense of his kindness, and must call my family together to earnestly desirous of glorifying his worship; tell me the passage which name. But though family worship commands me to go to church twice has not been expressly commanded, on the Sunday. No; but it is his it is not on this account less a duty, fervent desire to honour and wore nor is it less criminal to neglect it. ship God as much as he can. The For the obligation to perform any possibility of its being done, conaction is not founded on its having sistently with other duties, and with been particularly and specially the natural infirmity of man, is the commanded, and distinctly explain- only measure of the extent of his ed, but on the unchangeable laws obedience. of right and wrong, on the relation If this principle is admitted, and between us and God, and on the its extent understood, the only ques-, state of dependence in which we tion, as lo family prayer, will be, stand towards him. The duty How far will such a worship be which a son owes to his father, agreeable to God and useful to my does not depend on the formal man- fellow-creatures? If it is calculated ner in which it may be enjoined, to honour God, and to be useful to nor on the severe penalties by man, there is no longer a question which it may be enforced : ils about its obligation. On this ground, obligation is of a higher nature; for then, the duty of family worship it is a part of that law of love which may safely be made to rest
. It ho. is higher than positive institutions. nours God; it is useful to man; The angels in heaven have probably while it is so far from being opposed no written law, which expressly to any of the comınands of God that points out this and that duty, and it harmonizes with them all. forbids such and such a crime; but 1. What can better express the they have a law written in their sense of the honour due to God, than hearts, which disposes them to uni- that a family should daily meet for versal obedience. They feel, that the purpose of solemnly acknowthe duty which they owe to God ledging ihat He is their great Beneadmits not of being defined : it is facior,their friend, their Father? We immeasurable in its extent, and in-' assemble in public worship weekly, finite in its duration. They do not to solicit mercies in common with all limit their obedience by saying, our fellow-creatures. We pray to This is not forbidden, That is not God in private for private mercies, commanded; but they strive with all confessing to him our private sins. their powers to glorify God, and to But our relation as a family, dwelles
ing in the same house, sharing in the of this practice, as it respects the sea same mercies, united together in the veral classes of the family separately, closest bands, demands a social wor- and the whole collectively. ship, in wich family instruction may First as it respects servants. These be given, family mercies acknow. have often had little opportunity of Jedyed, and grace for the discharge religious improvement. They are also of family duties implored. How just usually in the flower of their age;-a and necessary is it, that God, the season which, if rightly employed, author of all domestic relations, the may have a material influence on the giver of all social happiness, should remainder of their lives. And here be acknowledged as such; that his let the masters and mistresses of fablessiny, which alone can unite the milies seriously consider, as in the discordant wills and unruly tempers presence of God, whether they are of men, so that they may dwell 10. not solemnly bound to give to their gether in peace and happiness, servants, dwelling under their roof, should be sought in common; and all the religious instruction in their that the defects, which every mem- power. I would seriously call on ber of the family has to deplore, and every master to consider, whether, as of which all perhaps have been wit. a Christian, he is not responsible for nesses, should in cominon be la- them; whether they be not part of mented, while grace is implored to his charge ; whether God will not prevent them for the future! Besides, require from him an account of the if God receives no tribule of honour endeavours he has used to promote in the family, it will, in many cases, religion among those whom Provi. not be given to him ai all.' From dence has placed under his roof, and public worship many persons are under his controul. Will it be suffi. frequently shut out by sickness or cient to mark a desire of discharging other causes; and even when they his duty to God and to his neighbour altend, it is an act of a general and to say, “ I engaged my servants to do public kind, which is apt to be per- my work: I did not stipulate to teach formed in a cold and formal manner. them religion :” This may be true; And as for private worship, it will be but, remember, your duty does not entirely omitted where there is no depend on what you may have stiregard to God. So that, if family pulated, but on what it is in your worship is neglected, there may be power to do. Duty is not a volun. persons living in it, as much strangers tary undertaking : it is imposed on to the worship of God as if ihey us by God. We are bound to do all were heathens, entirely ignorant of the good in our power ; and we are his name and truth. And if God is answerable for the neglect of any pleased, as he doubtless is, with the thing we might do for the glory of honour paid to him by all ranks of God and the benefit of man. To his creatures; if he is pleased to be improve the spiritual condition of hold a state of order and harmony; those who are supported by us, and holy principles and correct conduct'; form part of our family, is a duty a just sense of the duties which they as clear and solemn as any to which owe to him, and an earnest endea- we can be liable. But it may be vour to fulfil them; bow must he look said, They can pray and read the upon those families who never join Bible in private, and also attend to praise bim; who shew not, by any church. But will they do so? Will united act, that they even consider persons, perhaps not well educated, his blessing to be of any importance and at a time of life when they are 10 them! Surely we may expect apt to be thoughtless, do this. And that his displeasure will be shewn to may not the judicious and kind adthe families who thus disregard bis vice of a master greatly help to fix holy name.
their principles and direct their con2. But let us consider the utility duct through life; as the neglect of a master's care at that critical time idea of an unseen Being, and feel may be the means of their ruin? their minds impressed with awe and They have now no parents to watch reverence, before they can affix any over them : they are left to them. meaning to the name of God. And selves, or, rather, are committed by whatever lessons a parent may give Providence to the care of masters, them concerning the nature and will who stand in the place of parents to of God, and the way of obtaining his them.
favour through Jesus Christ; or the But if it be the duty of a master importance of the eternal world, and to attend to the religious improve the means of being prepared for it; ment of his servants, this must be will all be greatly enforced by the done at some stated time, or it will tenor of his daily devotions, and by be seldom done at all. And if it be the excellent admonitions which the his duty to instruct one servant, it is word of God, when solemnly read a duty which he owes equally to all. and judiciously explained, will afIt is a matter of convenience, there. ford. Nor should it be forgotten, fore, to do it daily; and to assemble that when they hear their own cases the whole family for that purpose. solemnly mentioned before God, and Instruction may then be given to all, the Divine blessing implored for and it may be given without the dis- them, it may help to affect their satisfaction which might attend a hearts with a sense of their parent's particular address to an individual tender concern for their good, and selected from the rest.
add great weight to his instructions ; Family worship is, in the second so that, while he is praying, it may place, a most advantageous way of appear that God is answering his giving religious instruction to chile prayers. dren. It is thus communicated 10 And now, in the third place, I them, like language, by insensible would beg leave to ask the heads of degrees; for they must have line families, if they do not themselves upon line, and precept upon precept. need those helps which the perThey may learn to conceive aright formance of family worship will of the Divine perfections, when they give them.---May not the instruchear a parent daily acknowledging tions, the confessions, the prayers, them. Their hearts may be touch- the intercessions, the thanksgivings, ed with remorse for sin, when they which may be so useful to their hear the confessions of a parent daily children and servants, be useful to poured out before God. They will themselves also? May not their know what mercies they should imown hearts have advantages, for plore for themselves, by observing being suitably impressed when perwhat turn a parent's petitions take. forming their domestic devotions, His daily intercessions may infuse even beyond what they have in into their young minds a spirit of private ? And may not such devolove to mankind, a concern for the tions have a considerable influence interests of their country and of the on their conduct at other times? A church of Christ, and sentiments of sense of common decency would attachment to their king. His so- engage those who pray with their lemn thanksgiving for the bounties families to avoid many evils, which of Providence, and for spiritual would appear doubly wrong in a blessings,may produce those grateful father or master who took the lead impressions respecting the gracious in the devotions of his family? Author of all good, which may ex- Could drunkenness, or lewdness, or cite in their breasts love to Him; that swearing, or quarrelling, or evil noblest, most acceptable, and most speaking, be indulged by him who efficacious of all principles. By ob- daily prayed with his family for serving bis reverent and solemn be. grace? Would not the inconsistency haviour, they may obtain some just be so glaring, that either the sins or