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“Why is the House of God forsaken." - NEHEMIAH xiii. 11.
SEELEY AND BURNSIDE.
W. WIGHT, CHELTENHAM.
Pues, Nutwritused 864962-291
It may tend to explain the nature of the following
First, an earnest desire to induce those who habitually neglect public worship, to engage in this reasonable and delightful service. Secondly, the humble hope of leading others to a more regular and profitable attendance upon Divine ordinances. And, thirdly, the desire to induce those who value and enjoy the services of the sanctuary, to exert their influence in drawing others to adopt the same sentiments.
There are few subjects more generally and deeply lamented than the neglect of public worship, and the want of profitable attendance upon its ordinances; yet it is somewhat remarkable, that less has been written on this subject, than on any other of equal importance, connected with the spread of the Redeemer's kingdom. And when it is remembered, that from calculations
made by those who have the best means of information, not more than one-third of the population of this
country attend any place of public worship, it is deeply to be regretted that more strenuous and effectual efforts have not been made to induce the people to attend the house of God.
The Author has long felt the necessity of some small publication embracing the subjects of the following Discourses, as the neglecters of public worship are necessarily deprived of the means of public instruction ; and it is frequently difficult, for many reasons, to gain access to them in private, or, in those short interviews, to be able to correct their errors, and inform their minds on a subject of such extent and importance.
He gladly avails himself of this opportunity to express (in common with many of his brethren in the ministry,) his sense of deep gratitude to those valuable members of society, our Sunday School Teachers, and District Visitors, who so materially contribute to alleviate the weight of ministerial responsi, bility, and to render our ministry effective, especially in large towns. He would affectionately submit to their consideration the following extract from an American writer, (with which he has lately been furnished) as it embodies and happily expresses some of the objects aimed at in the following Discourses, and will be found literally applicable to this land as well as to America.
“ The people of God might effect great things by a general, united, systematic, and persevering course of efforts, to induce the community to go to the house of God on the Sabbath. Even in the most favoured and religious part of this land, it has been computed that not more than one-third of the population are in the habit of regularly going to public worship. There are no limits to the power of kind persuasion. And if the church of Christ would make but half the efforts to induce the people to go to the house of God, which is frequently made to get people to our elections, the almost entire population would be found regularly at the sanctuary of God. How few churches have made any attempts to induce the people to go with them to the house of God! In almost every village there are scores sleeping in the grave-yards, and scores now living, who, with proper efforts, might have been regular attendants at church; but whose feet, as things have been, have seldom entered the sacred place. This is new field of labour and enterprize, and one which, I doubt not, would yield our churches an abundant harvest.”
May the Lord graciously grant that this feeble effort to promote His glory, and the welfare of men, may be owned and blessed by Him “ without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy;" and that it may induce some to attend the house of God, and assist others in deriving benefit from its ordinances; and stimulate Christians more frequently to address to their neighbours the beautiful invitation, “Come ye, and let us go up to