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who fear set times of prayer, may reflect, that all the works of God are in regular order; and, that faithful saints live by rule. "Daniel kneeled three times a day and prayed." David said, "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud." "Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer." If the apostles observed "the hour of prayer, why need we fear to have an hour of prayer? Now the promises of God are sure. And if Christians trust in them, and call on him as they ought, he will grant them blessings, which will make them happy in this life, and in that which is to come.
Religious Meetings.-When I have seen professed Christians so careless, and inattentive to the interests of the church, that prayer, conference, and other meetings are neglected by a greater part of the members, my soul has been pained; and I have been led to wonder how any can, if they wish to retain the name of a Christian, or how they dare, neglect those meetings on which the prosperity of the church depends. Paul said, "Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together-but exhort one another; and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." But how often do professors say, like the unbelieving world, that their attendance at the house of God will do no good. Were all Christians to say thus, and act accordingly, how soon would "the salt of the earth" lose "its savour,” and the world go to destruction! If we would obey the law of Christ, every Christian must labour to feel an interest in the welfare of Zion; and if possible, attend every appointment of the church. We must always come together in the name of the Lord, keep a watchful eye on every saint, and ever be willing, even to "lay down our lives for the brethren." Were each member of the church thus stirred up to diligence, the affection of every Christian would centre wholly in God, and the world would be converted.
Ministry. In point of importance, the office of gospel ministers bears no comparison with the offices of state, and the principalities of the world. The
ministers of Christ come with authority from the King of kings, and bring terms of salvation to a perishing world. They have much to do; and if we judge from the extent of the harvest, from the scarcity of labourers, from the iniquity of the world, from the enfeebled state of the church, from the duty enjoined on them, "to preach the gospel to every creature, "to make disciples of all nations;" or, from the short time they have to do it in, it is evident ministers ought to awake-disentangle themselves from the affairs of this life"-" lay aside every weight," and flee from every thing that hinders their winning souls to Christ.
And the Lord hath ordained that they that preach the gospel, should live of the gospel. "Let him that is taught in the word, communicate to him that teacheth in all good things. Paul says, 2 Cor. 11: 7,8: "Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them to do you service." But does not covetousness sometimes influence brethren to wrest these and other scriptures on this subject, contrary to the mind of Christ? "Covetousness is idolatry." If it have no influence on brethren, why is it that so many, who can bear other expenses, communicate so sparingly to ministers, who devote their lives and substance to labor in the gospel? Ministers are servants to the church "for Christ's sake." Will not good masters comfortably maintain their faithful servants? And how can Christians have honour from God, or obtain a good report, unless they give to those who serve in the gospel, those things which are needful to the body. How can ministers give themselves wholly to their work, if their brethren supply not their necessities? O, my brethren, see to this; lest, through your neglect, the Macedonian cries be not answered and the blood of souls he required at your hand.
State of the Church.-The power of the gospel is rapidly spreading through Christendom, and through the world-and the signs of the coming of the Son of
man appear. Yet alas! there remains among Christians, a criminal conformity to the world. Paul says, Rom. 12:1,2: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed," &c. No excuse will stand, in the judgment, for neglecting to separate ourselves, as Christ has commanded, from all needless expenses and fashions, and from the lusts and friendship of the world. In short, dear brethren, in order to "go on to perfection," and "glorify God in our body, and in our spirit, which are God's, a knowledge of the Scriptures should be much increased. Every Christian should search the Scriptures, meditate on the doctrine they contain, conform to the practices they enjoin, enter daily into an examination of his own heart, and submit to God in all things. The worship of God should be maintained in every church-family-and closet. All ministers should "give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word," be willing to suffer the "loss of all things" to save souls. Like the holy prophets and apostles, they should preach the whole truth as contained in the Scriptures, in opposition to all the iniquities that corrupt men. An unholy, lifeless, manpleasing ministry should be rejected, and that which is in demonstration and power should be encouraged. Repentance, faith, baptism, communion, and washing the saints' feet, should be preached with "the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven." 66 Finally, brethren, farewell." None can 66 harm us if we be followers of that which is good." The Lord will be our helper, and heaven our home. Let us spend our life-our all in his service; preach and practice the commandments of God, according to the grace given us, striving, with spiritual weapons, to pull down the strong holds of Satan. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with us all. Amen.