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them celebrate the praises of the All-bountiful and All-wife for their existence and his bounties, rejoice in their connection with him, and renew their vows of fidelity and obedience: what an impression must it not make upon me! How forcibly must I not then feel my own imbecility, my entire dependance on that fovereign fpirit, how intimately feel his prefence! How ftrongly feel myself penetrated with reverence, with love towards him, with fubmiffion to his will, with confidence in him, with joy at all. the inftances of his mercy! How important must not religion then appear to me! How light and chearful muft not I there find myfelf, humbling my. felf in the duft, with all my brethren and fifters, high and low, rich and poor, in the prefence of our common creator and father, adoring his infinite greatness, and drawing life and happiness from his sufficiency! And must not this incitement, this ardency of devotion, though it fhould not always have place in an equal, and still less always in a fuperior degree, muft it not give a great value to public and focial worship?

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What a value, in fhort, muft it not receive from hence that by it the fentiment of the natural equality of mankind and their mutual affinity, is maintained and invigorated, and that they are brought into fo close a connection and so intimate a union together by its means! Every thing that is here tranf. acted and taught reminds us of our common origin, of our common wants and infirmities, of our com

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mon destination. Every thing that paffes here must humble the pride of the great, and infpire courage and confidence into them of low degree; every thing must promote the interests of humanity and love. And what binds men more together than the community of faith, of hope, of religious worship? Here we all present ourselves as feeble, dependent creatures, as creatures that are in want of inftruction, of ability, of fupport and affiftance, who cannot fubfist of themselves; all as frail, finful beings, who are asking for grace and pity. Here we all humble ourfelves before him who only is wife, only mighty, only great, and to whom all men, all nations, all worlds, are as nothing. Here we all eat of the fame bread, drink of the fame cup, and, as the children of one father, all enjoy at one table the repast of christian love. Here the distinction of rank and dignity falls totally away, or meets with no peculiar regard. We are here, and feel ourselves, not as powerful or weak, not as fuperior or inferior, but as men, as christians; are all fubjects, all children of God, all the redeemed of Jefus, the prince as the vaffal, the rich as the poor, the learned as the ignorant. The prince now hears himself thus addreffed: Thou art a god upon the earth, but thou wilt die like any child of man. Abuse not thy power, for thou haft a master, a judge, in heaven, with whom there is no refpect of perfons. And the pooreft, the lowest of the people, is thus at the fame time admonished:-Even thou art formed after the image of thy God, thee too hath Jesus redeemed

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deemed, and thou art immortal; thee likewife an eternal life awaits; forget not thy dignity, and by a generous and independent conduct fhew thyself worthy of thy origin and thy deftination.-And a divine fervice, which may contribute, and actually does contribute fo much to our inftruction, to our improvement, to our repofe, to the exciting and inflaming of our devotion, to the advancement of humanity and brotherly love, muft furely poffefs a great, an ineftimable value.

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Yes, ever fhall ye be hailed, ever blessed shall ye be of me, ye places confecrated to the adoration of God, ye folemn affemblies of his worshipers on earth! With the profoundest reverence, with a thankful and chearful heart will I enter your gates, and celebrate with my brethren the worthieft, the nobleft folemnities that mankind can perform on earth. Here will I wholly furrender myself to the fentiment of what God is and of what he is to me; and while I fulfil the duties of a worshiper and a child of God, will at the fame time enjoy the bleffedness of being fo. Here will I enter into the closest bands of affection with all who know and love God, and Jefus Christ whom he has fent, and enjoy my own felicity and theirs. Here will I feek nourishment for my mind and my heart, deeply imprint every leffon of truth, every word of exhortation, of comfort and peace, that fhall be delivered to me, and thence return to my business in the world with invigorated powers, more joyfully discharge every duty of life,

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and bear every burden of it with more fubmiffive refignation. Here will I take on my pilgrimage, the comforts that refresh and reftore my foul; I will confider my way, reprefent to myself the prize for which I am striving, and then with new courage purfue my course. Here will I enjoy in foretaste the bleffedness of that better world, where I fhall be furrounded by a purer emanation of day, where my faith fhall be changed into fight, where, with the just made perfect, with spirits of a fuperior order, I shall adore him, and celebrate his praises who lives for ever and ever!

Thefe, my dear brethren, must be the fentiments with which you are impreffed by the confideration of the great importance of focial and public worship; these the difpofitions and views in which you must frequent it; this the generous fruit you will gather from it. So will it conftantly become more estimable, more venerable, more delightful to you, never be irksome or unpleafant, and will procure you never-ending felicity and blifs.

SERMON XXVII.

The Value of Solitude.

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GOD, thou haft elevated us to the rank of intelligent beings, made us creatures who have a clear inward consciousness of themselves and their condition, who can act with confideration and from perfpicuously known principles, who can make ever farther progress in wisdom and virtue, who can feel thy being and thy prefence, and have communion with thee the father of fpirits. Oh that we might never mistake these our privileges, never leave them unemployed, and conftantly make the beft ufe of them! We are ftill, alas, oppreffed by the yoke of fenfuality, we still too often and too eafily are induced to withdraw from ourselves and from thee our creator and father, and wander about, unconscious of ourfelves, beguiled by fenfual lufts among things that have more femblance than reality! Alas, but too feldom

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