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less, great Reason have they to thank God, both for his appointing these weekly Days for his Worship, and likewise for his keeping them from that Impudence in finning, that they do not despise Sundays, but will on those Days come to Church, and do as their Neighbours do: For, certainly, tho' they do not grow better hereby ; yet, by using these Means, they are kept from growing worse. And if they should give themselves over to the total Neglect or Disuse of these publick Exercises of Piety, good God! to what a deplorable Condition would they, in time, reduce themselves ? Whoever therefore hath any serious Desire, either that Men should grow better, or that they should not grow worse ; whoever hath any hearty Concern for Religion and Piety, and would not have it quite banished out of the World; every such Man must needs be convinced, that it is of infinite Concernment, that the strict Observation of the Lord's Day should be most religiously kept up among us. :'. · I have one Thing more to add upon this Point, and I have done.
In the Fifth Place ; If these Arguments I have insisted on will not prevail with you, to make a Conscience of strictly observing the Lord's Day, yet, I beg of you let other Peoples Experience do it. When Reason doth not prevail,, we appeal to
Experience; and in this Matter I appeal to all Men that have made Trial of it."
And these two Things I account all Men, that have made Trial, will give their Afa sent to.
First of all; Whoever makes a Conscience of strictly observing the Lord's Day (supposing he doth it not out of Hypocrisy. but bears an honest Mind towards God; I fay, every such Person) never failed to grow in Virtue and Goodness. God always accepted his Services ; : and he finds the good Effects of them in the greater Measure of Grace and Strength that is afforded to him for the living a holy and - virtuous Life.
Nay, some devout Persons have extended this point farther; they will tell you, That they have always observed, that, as they kept the Lord's Day more or less carefully, so has their Business prosper'd more or less succesfully all the Week after: and that they have particularly experienced, over and over again, that when they have most fervently set themselves to observe God on Sunday, they have been remarkably blessed the following Week.,
But, Secondly; It hath been hardly known, that any one that was a notorious Sabbathbreaker (which is the Word we usually express such Offenders by) ever came to good. Those Persons that make no Conscience of observing the Lord's Day, as they Vol. IV.
rarely rarely ever attain to a true Sense of Virtue and Piety; so, most commonly, they are given over to a reprobate Mind, and do grow worfe and worse.
And this Thing is very observable, that most of these lewd and profligate People, that have run into all sorts of Extravagancies, when they come, at their Death, to reflect on their Lives past, and to give an Account of what led them into all those Ex. cesses and Wickednesses, the most common Thing that they impute all to, was, their not observing the Lord's Day ; but, when they should have been at the Church, they gave themselves up to idle and vicious Company, that, by degrees, perverted their Manners, and drew them into these Mischiefs, which it is now too late to redress.
These Things, I think, may be sufficient to possess you all with a hearty Sense of the Obligation that is upon us, strictly to observe the Lord's Day. I dare not stay to inforce this farther.
I pray God give us all Grace, that we may
so serve him here, both on this Day, and all the other Days of our Life, that bereafter we may be Ďartakers of his eternal Glory.
SER MON XV.
HEBR. IV. 11.
that now hear me do believe a
future State ; and that we do not or cease to be, when we leave this
World, but that we must live for ever, either in Happiness or Misery.
I take it for granted, that none here doubts, but that there doth remain a Rest for the People of God in the other World ; and therefore this point I wholly wave, and shall not trouble you with offering at a Proof of it.
My present Business is, to do what I can to persuade you all to the Practice of the Apostle's Exhortation in my Text; to wit, to labour to enter into that Rest, in ThewY 2
ing you that it is a Rett exceedingly worth our labouring for ; that it doth richly deserve all the Diligence, and Pains, and Application, that we can possibly bestow towards the obtaining of it; because, when it is obtained, it will abundantly compensate for them all.
Now you fee, that, in order to the speaking justly to this point, I am obliged to enter into a Discourse of the Excellency of this Rest, and to give fome Account of the many Blessings that are contained in it. .
And I hope nobody will think this to be an improper Argument at this Season ; since it was the great Business and End of Our Saviour's Death and Passion (which we commemorate this Week) to procure this eternal Rest for us, and the great Business of our Lord's Resurrection (which we are to commemorate the next Week). to assure us that he hath effectually done it ; and that he will one Day raise us up to partake of that Glory, which he now poffefses at the Right-hand of God.
To come then to my Business, to give some Account of the many Blessings that are contained in that Rest, which our Saviour hath purchased for us : And, Oh! that I could do it so effectually, that we might all 'fall in Love with it; that we
could so affect our Minds with the solid "Happiness of thë other World, that we