Dr. Johnson ON THE GREAT DUTY OF Loving and Delighting IN THE PUBLIC WORSHIP of GOD.


A SERMON CONCERNING The OBLIGATIONS We are under to LOVE and DELIGHT IN THE Public Worship of GOD. Preached in CHRIST'S-CHURCH at Stratford, on Occasion of the opening of that Church, July the 8th 1744. With Prayers proper both for the FAMILY and CLOSET.

By Samuel Johnson, D. D. And Missionary from the SOCIETY for propagating the Gospel. Author of the New System of Morality.

O worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness. Psal. xxix. 2.

BOSTON, Printed and Sold by ROGERS and FOWLE in Queen-Street next to the Prison. 1746.


A SERMON Of Loving and Delighting in the Public Worship of GOD.

PSALM XXVI. 8.LORD, I have loved the Habitation of thy House, and the Place where thine Honour dwelleth.

HAVING by the good Hand of our GOD towards us, with so much happy Unanimity and Dis­patch, built this House to the Honour of his Name; and it being henceforward to be dedi­cated to his more immediate Worship and Service, I pro­pose, on this Occasion, from the Example of the holy Psal­mist before us, to engage your Love to it and Delight in it, that you may always be able to say as he does in my Text, LORD, I have loved the Habitation of thy House, and the Place where thine Honour dwelleth.

King David in this Psalm pleads for an Interest in God's Favour and Protection, in Consideration of his Sincerity and Integrity in the general Course of his Behaviour before him. Thy Lovingkindness, says he, is before mine Eyes and I have walked in thy Truth, v. 3. He declares his Abhorrence of evil Practices and evil Company, and his Resolution to main­tain [Page 6] Innocence and Purity, in Order to render his Ap­proaches to GOD in divine Service acceptable to him, ver. 6. I will wash my Hands in Innocency, so will I compass thine Altar, O LORD. On this Occasion he professes and declares in my Text, his great Love to the House and pub­lick Worship of GOD; LORD, says he, I have loved the Habitation of thy House, and the Place where thine Honour dwelleth.

By the House of GOD, we are to understand the Place set apart from worldly Uses for the Worship and Service of GOD: and he calls it the Place where his Honour dwelleth, because it is the Place where he vouchsafes his peculiar Presence, and where we meet together to do Honour to him; to worship and adore him.—And when he tells us, how much he loved the House of GOD, his Meaning is, not that he loved it for its own Sake, but for GOD's Sake, and upon Account of the Worship and Service that is open­ly performed to the Honour of GOD in it; or, which is the same Thing, that he loved and delighted in the public Worship of GOD.—What I propose therefore, is, as I said, to explain and inforce the Great Duty of Loving and Delight­ing in the public Worship of GOD. In doing which,

I. I shall give a general Account of the Nature of Wor­ship, and particularly of the public Worship of GOD.

II. I shall consider what is implied in our Love to the public Worship, the genuine Tokens and Effects of it.

III. I shall set before you the Reasons and Motives on the Account of which we ought to love and delight in it.

I. I am to give you a general Account of the Nature of Worship, and particularly, of the publick Worship of GOD. And in order to this, Worship must be con­sidered both as it is an Act of the Mind, and as it is an Act of the whole Man.—As it is an Act of the Mind, it implies, a deep and habitual Sense of GOD, and of all his adorable Attributes and Perfections, and of our Re­lation [Page 7] to him, and Dependance upon him, and that we do accordingly from our Hearts give him the Glory of all that we are and enjoy: And consequently, it must imply a deep Sense of our Need of his Instruction and Assistance, and of his Favour and Blessing both for Soul and Body, and our earnest Application to him therefor, with a hearty and un­Dedication of our selves and all our Powers and Faculties to his true and faithful Service.—This is Worship as it consists in the Exercise of the Mind.—But, as GOD has given us the Organs and Faculties of the Body where­with to express and testify the inward Sense and Exertions of the Mind, it is fit in it self, and therefore he requires, that our whole Man be employed in his Worship and Ser­vice;—that we glorify him with our Mouths as well as our Minds; with our Bodies as well as our Spirits, which are both equally his, being both alike created and redeemed by him.—It is therefore our Duty to testify the inward Sense and Devotion of our Souls by the outward Language and De­portment of our Bodies; by such a Language, such Gestures and Deportment of the Body as are most expressive of the deepest Humility, Reverence and Devotion of our Souls.—For, since we are sensitive as well as rational Creatures, and are apt to be wro't upon by sensible Objects, it is fit that we make Use of some sensible Means wherewith the better to exert and affect our Minds.—But we must always remem­ber that as our Minds do properly constitute our rational Character as being what we really are, so our Hearts must ever correspond with these outward Professions and Acti­ons, otherwise we may more truly be said to mock God than adore him, and our Performances can be of no Account at all with him: for the Sacrifice of the Wicked is an Abomina­tion to the LORD, but it is the Prayer of the Upright that is his Delight. Prov. 15. 9.

It is moreover necessary to consider Worship both as it is a single and as it is a social Act.—Every particular Per­son has particular Sins of his own to confess and repent of, and both needs and receives many particular Blessings and Favours peculiar to himself, for which he ought in all Rea­son daily to pray to GOD, and to give him the Glory of them: And it is necessary in the Nature of the Thing that [Page 8] Religion be every Man's own personal Act and Deed even in social Worship; for these Reasons our blessed Saviour enjoins it upon all his Disciples as an indispensible Duty, That each Person by himself, enter into his Closet, and shut too the Door, and pray to his Father in secret, that his Father who seeth in secret, may reward him openly. Mat. 6. 4.

But, as we are made for Society, and are a social System of Creatures sensible to each other, and are most apt to be engaged [...] and affected with what we do in Society and Fellowship one with another:—As we have all the same common Enjoyments and common Necessities both tem­poral and spiritual; and what we do in common enjoy, does in all Reason demand a common Tribute of Praise, and what we all equally stand in Need of, it is fit we should jointly and together make our Addresses to God for:—As this is our most reasonable Service in it self, and nothing is more beautiful, fit and amiable than that a System of rea­sonable Creatures should join together with one Heart and Voice in doing the most reasonable Thing in the World, by which their Hearts would be the more effectually unit­ed and knit together in promoting all the Advantages of the social Life;—on these and the like Accounts GOD does more especially require and insist upon social Religion as our most indispensible and bounden Duty, both in Fa­milies and Common Wealths.

Families may be called natural Societies as depending on the Course of Nature, and founded in that natural Affection which subsists among Relatives;—and as these are the Foundation of all other Societies, and consequently the good or ill State of other Communities which are made up of these, does chiefly depend upon the good or ill Habits that we contract in these original Seminaries of Society;—And as the public Weal of any Communities does in a great Measure depend upon a deep Sense of GOD and Religion; it is therefore necessary that this be acquired and cultivated in our Souls from our very Infancy by the constant and regular Exercise of Family-Religion.—Hence it is the Character GOD gives with special Commendation of Abraham the Father of the Faithful, that he would com­mand [Page 9] his House and his Children after him to keep the Way of the Lord. Gen. 18. 10. And it was the pious Resolution of Joshua, Chap. 24. 15. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord. And in Jer. 10. 25. God threatens to pour out his Fury upon the People that know not him, and upon the Families that call not upon his Name.

Civil Governments or Common Wealths are political Socie­ties founded in Compact to promote the general Good of the whole.—Now, as the general Good of every Commu­nity in the whole depends upon the uniform Practice of every Virtue, Temperance, Meekness, and Humility, Jus­tice, Truth, Faithfulness and Integrity, Charity, Mercy, u­niversal Benevolence, and Obedience to Authority, and where the contrary Vices reign, there must necessarily be an utter Dissolution of all that is amiable and comfortable in Society: As it is necessary, that these and the like Vir­tues be founded and rooted in the Heart in Order that they be habitually and steadily exerted in the Life and Behaviour:—And as here is nothing can tend so effectu­ally to operate upon the Hearts and inward Sentiments of the Souls of Men as a deep Sense of the all-seeing and Heart-searching Eye of a most pure and holy, a most kind, true and just GOD, ever present with us and to whom we are accountable for all our Behaviour:—And lastly, as this Sense of GOD is best cultivated by a constant and public Exercise of Religion in the devout Worship and Adoration of this glorious Being on whose Providence all human Af­fairs do incessantly depend; it is hence manifest that who­ever would in the best Manner consult the general Good and public Weal of Mankind, whether in larger or small­er Communities and Combinations, must maintain and pro­mote the public Exercise of Religion, and the devout Wor­ship of Almighty GOD.

And accordingly, as this seems to have been as it were engraven upon the Hearts of all Mankind of every Age and Nation, insomuch that there never have been any Communities of Men who have not cultivated some Sort of public Religion and Worship; so it is remarkable in the History of all Nations, even those who have not had [Page 10] the true Worship of GOD among them, and more especi­ally of his peculiar People, to whom he has prescribed the right Method of his public Worship, (and whom he has appointed and set up as a City upon an Hill to hold forth Light and to be Examples to the rest of the World) that they have ever fared well or ill; have ever met with pro­sperous or adverse Fortune, have ever been treated with Blessings or Curses from Almighty GOD, according as they have been more or less religious and virtuous, and have been more or less zealous and regardful of his public Wor­ship.—So that it is a Matter of the greatest Importance, especially to us Christians, who are infallibly taught by Revelation from Heaven, the right Method of worship­ing GOD, so as to obtain his Favour and Acceptance through the Mediation of his dear Son, and by the Assis­tance of his Holy Spirit, that we rightly understand the Na­ture of the public Worship, and the Obligations we are under to a constant and regular Attendance upon it.—Let us therefore be a little particular upon this great and im­portant Subject.

In public Worship we meet together into one Place, sa­cred to Almighty GOD, as being devoted or set apart to the sole Purpose of doing open and public Honour to him who is the great Maker, Preserver and Governor of the World.—We there acknowledge ourselves to be his Crea­tures; to be made, preserved, maintained and redeemed by him, and give him the Glory of all that we have and are, of all our Enjoyments, and all our Hopes in Time and to all Eternity: We address our selves to him for all that we want both for Soul and Body, and receive his Instructions and devote our selves to be governed by them in Heart and Life.—So that public Worship consists in these four Acts; in jointly praising GOD, and praying to him, and in receiving his Instructions, and devoting our selves to his Service.

1. The first Article of public Worship consists in joint­ly praising GOD. Now to praise GOD is to acknowledge him to be what he is, to recognize his glorious Attributes and Operations, and to acknowledge our selves to be what [Page 11] we are, his Creatures and Dependants, and to give him the Glory of all that we derive from him.—So that in praising GOD we devoutly confess and adore him as a Being of in­finite Perfection, eternal and unchangeable: We admire his all-comprehending Knowledge, his astonishing Wis­dom, his boundless Power, and his unlimited and never-failing Goodness, which are surprizingly displayed in all his Works of Nature, Providence and Grace: We ac­knowledge him to be the Almighty Creator, the most in­dulgent Preserver and supreme Governor of all Things in Heaven and Earth, and declare our sincerest Love and Gra­titude, and our profoundest Submission and Reverence for the unspeakable Goodness, Kindness, Justice, Truth and Faithfulness of all his wise and holy Administrations, in the Government of the World, and our utmost Abhor­rence and Detestation of every Thing inconsistent with the infinite Perfections of his Nature and the express Declara­tions of his Will. We acknowledge that all that we are and enjoy, we have received from him, and hold intirely at his Mercy; that it is He that hath made us, and not we our selves, we are his People and the Sheep of his Pasture. (Psal. 100. 3.) That he upholdeth our Souls in Life, and daily satisfieth our Mouth with good Things, and reneweth our Youth as the Eagles: That he forgiveth all our Iniquities, and healeth all our Diseases: He redeemeth our Life from Destruction, and crowneth us with his Lovingkindness and tender Mercies. (Psal. 103. 3, 4, 5.) And that it is he that giveth us Rain from Heaven and fruitful Seasons, filling our Hearts with Food and Gladness, and bestoweth upon us all Things richly to enjoy. (Acts 14. 17. and 1 Tim. 6. 17.) We do moreover most gratefully acknowledge, that when we had by Rebellion and wicked Works apostatized from him, and cast our­selves out of his Favour, he did, in tender Compassion to our Souls, send his only Son to redeem us, and his Holy Spirit to sanctify us, that we might be recovered again to his Service, and be reinstated in his Favour and Friendship.—I say we acknowledge GOD to be the sole Author of all these Favours and Blessings, and ascribe the Glory of all to him, saying, Not unto us, not unto us, O LORD, but unto thy Name be the Glory, both for thy Truth, and for thy Mercy's Sake. Psal. 115. 1. In such Acknowledgments as [Page 12] these it is, that we perform the great Duty of praising GOD, which is the first Act of Worship: For which Pur­pose the Church of GOD, and our excellent Church in particular, hath always made Use of the Psalms of David, and other devout Hymns, chiefly taken out of the Scrip­tures, as being in the best Manner expressive of these great Subjects of Adoration, Praise and Thanksgiving.

2. The next is public Prayer. By which, having praised GOD for all we enjoy, we make our Addresses to him for whatsoever we want, both for our Souls and Bodies, for our­selves and others. Our first and chief Concern must be for our Souls, that we may obtain those spiritual Blessings without which we must be unavoidably miserable: And these are, The Pardon of our Sins, and the Favour and Acceptance of GOD, the Assistance and Guidance of his Holy Spirit here, and eternal Happiness in the Life to come.—Sin is the most pernicious of all Evils; it is the most fatal Bane of our rational and immortal Natures; for while we continue under the Power and Guilt of it, it is, in the Nature of Things, utterly impossible but that we must be miserable. The first Thing, therefore, that it concerns us to be solicitous, and to pray for, is, that we may be delivered from the Power and Guilt of Sin. In Order to this, it is necessary that we begin our Addresses to GOD, (as our Church does) with a most serious Act of Repentance, which is the sole and indispensible Condi­tion of Pardon, and necessary in Order to render all our subsequent Acts of Prayer and Praise acceptable to him. This implies, that we do sincerely confess our Sins unto GOD and bewail all our Rebellions against him, and this with the lowest Prostration of Soul and unfeigned Contri­tion of Heart, and full Purpose and Resolutions of Amend­ment of Life, as being the Qualifications absolutely neces­sary to render us fit to receive the Blessings we ask for at his Hands.—We then implore his Pardon and Mercy, and intreat his gracious Acceptance of our Repentance, and an Interest in his Favour through the Mediation and interces­sion of his dear Son.—And as we do thus confess our Sins and beg his Pardon, so we do earnestly apply our selves to him for the Grace of his Holy Spirit to enlighten our [Page 13] Souls, to renew our Hearts and to strengthen our Weak­ness that we may be able to withstand the Power of Sin and all Temptations to it, and to assist us in the Exercise of all those Graces and Virtues which are necessary to perfect our Natures, to conform us to his Image and ren­der us pleasing and acceptable in his Sight through the Merits and Mediation of our blessed Redeemer: In a Word, to fix and determine the whole Biass and Temper of our Souls to a sincere Union with his Will, and to enable us to persevere in his Service, in Spite of all the Temptati­ons of the Devil, the World, and the Flesh, faithful to the End of our Days, that we may be qualified for, and at Length admitted to the Enjoyment of endless Felicity and Glory in the Life to come.—And besides these necessary Blessings that we beg for our Souls, we also pray for what­soever we need for the Support of our Bodies; for Deli­verance from whatsoever may be afflictive to us, and the Bestowment of what he sees needful and convenient for us; Peace, Health, Food and Raiment, &c. but all with a humble Submission to his Will, who knows what is best for us, infinitely better than we do our selves.—And last­ly, We not only testify our Humility and Piety in praying for our selves, but also our Benevolence and Charity in in­terceeding for others; for Kings and all that are in Autho­rity both in Church and State, and for all that are in any kind of Affliction either of Body or Mind, and not only for our Friends, but even for our very Enemies.—These are the several Acts of Prayer, which is the second Part of our public Worship; for which Purpose our Church is happily provided with an excellent Liturgy judiciously collected out of the Holy Scriptures.

3. The third is, Receiving GOD's Instructions. For which Purpose he hath given us the Holy Scriptures, wherein he hath explained his Mind and Will to us, and taught us what he would have us believe, and how he would have us behave and conduct our selves in Or­der to our being truly happy. With Regard to each of which (besides the great Principles and Laws of Nature which are therein clearly explained and inculcated) he hath made known to us sundry Things of the greatest Im­portance, [Page 14] for the restoring us from our State of Corruption and Degeneracy to his Image and Favour, which we could never have had the least Imagination of, without a parti­cular and express Revelation.—That therefore we may re­ceive the divine Instructions with Regard to these mo­mentous Affairs, in Order to make us wise unto Salvation, the holy Oracles of GOD are publickly read and explain­ed in our Churches, and the great Doctrines and Laws are opened and enforced upon us.—And our Devotion to GOD with Respect to these, consists in hearing and attending to them with the utmost Reverence and Seriousness; in re­ceiving them, not as the Words of Men, but as being what in Truth they are, the very Words of GOD; (1 Thess. 2. 13.) and in treasuring them up in good and honest Hearts, and practising them in the whole Course of our Lives.

4. In the last Place. The public Worship of GOD im­plies in it our devoting our selves to his Service, by whom, and for whom we were made and redeemed.—And tho' this be the Language and Intent of every Act of Worship, yet CHRIST hath appointed one holy Ordinance in parti­cular for this Purpose, I mean the holy Sacrament of the LORD's Supper: Whereby (having solemnly entered into Covenant with GOD by Baptism, wherein we have de­voted our selves, or been devoted, by our Friends to his Service) we do from Time to Time, refresh upon our Minds a lively Sense of the dying Love of our blessed Sa­viour, and in Consideration thereof do renew our Engage­ments and Resolutions to live unto him who died for us and arose again. And as GOD does therein, on his Part, make over to us all those spiritual Blessings of the New Covenant which CHRIST hath purchased for us by his Blood, so we, on our Part, as a necessary Condition of our being interested in them, do seriously make over, or give up and devote our selves to his true and faithful Service in the Performance of all the Duties he requires of us, in Order to our everlasting Happiness. And as we thus consider this Ordinance as a solemn Act of Devotion, we there­fore receive it in a Posture of Adoration.—These are the several Parts of public Worship, which, as we are Men, [Page 15] but especially as we are Christians, we are bound to love and delight in with all our Hearts:—And I am in the

II. Second Place, to shew you what is implied in our Love to it.—And as to this, we know, Love is that Pas­sion of the Soul whereby we delight in any Thing, and take Pleasure in all Opportunities for the Enjoyment of it; and consequently feel our selves very uneasy if we are deprived of it.—Now therefore to apply this general Notion of Love to the Subject we are upon:—Our Love to the public Worship must imply these Things in it.

1. If we love the public Worship of GOD, we shall be so far from thinking it a Burthen, that it will be the great­est Uneasiness to us to be deprived of the Opportunities of attending upon it. We shall not be of the Humour of those in the Prophet Malachi, Ch. 1. Ver. 3. Who say, What Profit is there in serving the LORD, and behold what a Weariness is it? And when will the Sabbath be ended, that we may buy and sell and get Gain?—This is the Language rather of an Atheist than a Christian, and favours of a Soul alienated from GOD, immersed in Flesh and Sense, and destitute of the spiritual and truly rational and divine Life.—Can there be the least Spark of the Love of GOD in our Hearts if we have no Taste; no Relish for his Wor­ship, and take no Delight in his Service, and find it a Bur­then to wait upon him and pay our Duty to him?—On the other Hand, if we have any Love for the House of GOD, when we are deprived of it, we shall think our­selves in the like melancholly Situation with David in the Wilderness, and be apt to say with him. Psal. 42. and 43. As the Hart panteth after the Water-Brooks, so panteth my Soul after thee, O GOD; my Soul thirsteth for GOD even for the living GOD; O when shall I come and appear before GOD? When shall I see thy Goings, my King and my GOD, in thy Sanctuary? O send forth thy Light and thy Truth, let them lead me, and bring me into thy holy Hill, and to thy Ta­bernacle?

[Page 16] 2. If we love the public Worship we shall delight in the Returns of the Times and Seasons of it, and be far from suffering any slight Temptation to prevail upon us to neg­lect it. This was the Temper of the holy Person whose Example we are now recommending, Psal. 122. 1. I was glad, says he, when they said, Come let us go into the House of the LORD, our Feet shall stand within thy Gates, O Jerusa­lem, whither the Tribes go up, the Tribes of the LORD unto the Testimony of Israel to give Thanks unto the Name of the LORD.—He seems to be in a Rapture at the Thoughts of that heavenly Exercise wherein he so much delighted, nay, seems as if he could be glad to be always in the Way of it, Psal. 27. 4. One Thing have I desired, says he, and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the House of the LORD all the Days of my Life, to behold the fair Beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his Temple.—Now how contrary to this is the Temper of the Generality of us now a-days; how dull and lazy, how cold and indifferent with Regard to the public Worship? And how little and trifling a Matter will be sufficient to excuse many of us from attend­ing upon it? A little Degree of bad Weather, or per­haps only some probable Symptoms of it: A slight Indis­position or perhaps only an idle dull Humour will be a sufficient Temptation to us to neglect it.—How ought we to be ashamed of such a Spirit of Indifference to that which is our most reasonable Service, and to be resolutely engaged in the Reformation of it? For in vain do we pretend to any true Love to GOD or serious Care for our Souls everlasting Weal, if a small Excuse will keep us a­way from the public Worship, which is the chief Testi­mony we can give of our Love to him, and as necessary to the Nourishment and Support of the spiritual Life of our Souls, as our daily Bread is to the animal Life of our Bo­dies.—As therefore, an utter Loss of Appetite is a fatal Symptom with Regard to the Health and Life of the Body; so, not to hunger and thirst after Righteousness and the Means necessary for it, is a no less fatal Symptom with Regard to the Life and Health of the Soul.—So that a good Man who loves the public Worship (as we ought all to do) like his necessary Food, will studiously take Care to prevent every Thing that may hinder his Attendance, [Page 17] and will not only order his Affairs so as to attend con­stantly himself, but will take his Family; his Children and Servants; all that possibly he can with him to the House of GOD; it being, as I said, his stedfast Resoluti­on with good Joshua, As for me and my House, we will serve the LORD. In a Word, I would advise every one when he finds himself tempted by any Excuse to neglect the pub­lic Worship of GOD, as well as any other Duty, seriously to lay his Hand upon his Heart, and ask himself this Question, Whether he can in earnest think that Excuse, whatever it be, will be sufficient to justify him in the great Day of Accounts? and let him conduct according to the Views the he may reasonably suppose he will then have of it.*

3. A Man that truly loves the public Worship, will make the best Advantage he can of it for the Purposes for which it is appointed.—As he will come in good Sea­son, with a Heart duly prepared for a serious Attendance, that he may be present at the preparatory Office of con­fessing and repenting of his Sins, and receiving GOD's Declaration of Pardon to all true Penitents; so he will take Care, as far as may be, to loose nothing of it, will attend diligently to every Part of it, endeavouring to keep his Heart with all Diligence (Prov. 4. 23.) and be duly intent and engaged in the Exercise of all the Acts of Worship, making each of them his own Act and Deed; remembring the wise Man's Advice, Eccles. 5. 1. Keep thy Foot when thou goest to the House of GOD, and be more ready to hear than to offer the Sacrifice of Fools.—He will endeavour to chastize and call back every wandering Thought, and to banish every vain and worldly Imagina­tion: He will rouse himself up and keep his Senses and Understanding awake, and with the utmost Struggle en­deavour to chase away all Dulness and Listlessness:—He will strive to have devout and raised Affections at the Consideration of the great, sublime and noble Objects a­bout which his Mind is employed, and to exert all the Powers of his Soul in the heavenly Exercise in which he [Page 18] is engaged.—His Heart will ascend up to GOD with earnest Desires at the offering up of every Petition, and be inspired with ardent Devotion at every Act of Praise. It will be affected with the sincerest Grief, attended with truly pious Resolutions on Occasion of the Confession of Sin, and renewing of Repentance, and with lively Senti­ments of Gratitude upon the Recollection of the several Instances of the divine Goodness:—It will suffer a strong Impression from the Instructions, Admonitions and Exhor­tations that are suggested, and from a deep Sense of the dying Love of the blessed JESUS, be unfeignedly devoted for his Sake, to the faithful Service of Almighty GOD. In a Word, he will endeavour to conduct himself through all the Acts of public Worship, as in the Presence and at the Service of that great and all-seeing GOD who ob­serves every Motion of his Heart, and to whom he is ac­countable for all his Behaviour.—And as his Business there is to worship GOD, he will not divert his Tho'ts to pay his Respects unto Men, but will employ them to the best Advantage he can in answering the Ends of his attending upon the public Worship, which are the improv­ing and perfecting his rational and immortal Nature in all those Qualifications and Accomplishments that are especi­ally necessary to its everlasting Happiness.—According­ly he applies himself with the utmost Diligence in the Use of all the public Administrations of Religion, to raise his Soul to a truly divine and heavenly Temper, to increase in his Mind a deep and devout Sense of GOD, to mortify and subdue all vicious Habits and perverse Tempers, and to improve himself in all Kinds of Virtue and Holiness, that he may be qualified for and intitled to an everlasting Interest in the Favour and Acceptance of Almighty GOD. These are the Ends he sincerely aims at: And for that Reason he will not, when Service is over, go into Com­pany and Diversion which will disengage his Thoughts and Heart from what he has heard, and wipe out the good Impressions he has received: But he retires home and keeps out of the World that he may cherish and im­prove them by private Reading, Meditation and Devotion, and take Care of his Family, his Children and Servants, [Page 19] that the Seeds of true Religion may be early sown in their Hearts.

4. And lastly, He that thus loves the public Worship of GOD, will chearfully and liberally contribute, according to the utmost of his Ability to maintain and provide hon­ourably for it; whether it be for building or repairing Houses for the public Worship, or for providing Utensils for it, or for supporting the Ministers of Religion, &c. as knowing that, since it is GOD that gives him all Things richly to enjoy, it is but his reasonable Service and bounden Duty, that he should, in Testimony of his Gratitude to his great Benefactor, and for securing his Blessing for the future upon all that he hath, be always ready to honour the LORD with his Substance. (Prov. 3. 9.) And he that finds himself of a reluctant, narrow and contracted Spirit when any good Opportunity offers for doing Honour to GOD this Way, has but too much Reason to conclude that he loves the World and himself more than GOD, and consequently that the Love of the Father is not in him. 1 Joh. 2. 15. And if this be the Case, his Soul is in a very miserable Situation indeed.—These and the like, are the genuine Exercises and Fruits, and consequently the true Evidences of this excellent Temper I am recommend­ing, viz. A sincere Love to the public Worship of GOD. Let us therefore, my Brethren, earnestly endeavour to find them in us, and by no Means content our selves without them: For if we are destitute of them we are void of the true Temper and Spirit of Christianity. And to move us the more strongly hereunto, let us,

III. In the third Place, set before our selves the Rea­sons and Motives, on the Account of which, we ought to love and delight in the public Worship. And to this Pur­pose let it be considered, that it is a Duty most reasona­ble,—most amiable,—vastly advantageous,—expresly commanded,—and was accordingly ever practised by all good and holy Communities both of Men and Angels.

1. It is most reasonable in it self that we do publickly and jointly worship and adore Almighty GOD.—For [Page 20] this is the first and most important Principle of Reason, that we should think and act with Regard to every Be­ing; every Person and Thing, as being what it really is. Since therefore GOD the great Object of our Worship, is that glorious Being who made, preserves and governs the World and every Creature therein, nothing can be more fit and reasonable than that we do acknowledge and adore him as such. And since we derived our Being from him, and do, by the Necessity of our Nature depend upon him every Moment, for the Continuance of it and all the Means necessary for the Support of it; and do, on these Accounts, stand in a most near and unalterable Relation to him as his Creatures and Dependents; since we are made after his Image, being by him endowed with rational Powers and Faculties, whereby we are capable of understanding in what Relation we stand towards him, of being sensible of our absolute Dependence upon him and innumerable Obli­gations to his infinite Goodness, and of being affected and conducting in some Measure towards him accordingly;—and, since, when we had destroyed our selves by our Re­bellion against him, he was graciously pleased, of his meer Mercy, to send his blessed Son, and holy Spirit to recover us and bring us back to our Duty and his Favour; that be­ing delivered from the greatest Misery, we might be put into a Capacity for the Enjoyment of the greatest Happi­ness:—I say, the Case being really thus, nothing can be more fit and reasonable than that we should, not only be deeply and most gratefully sensible of all these Things, but likewise frequently express this Sense of our Minds, by our grateful Acknowledgments for all that we have and are, and by seriously addressing our selves to him for whatsoever we want, and by living and behaving ourselves as it becomes such a Condition and Apprehension of Things: Otherwise we do not act like Men endowed with Reason and Consideration, but rather like irrational and unthinking Beasts.—And lastly, Inasmuch as we all in common partake of these Benefits and Advantages of Be­ing, Preservation and the Enjoyment of our selves and every Thing about us, and all equally live, move and have our Being in him, and not only all partake in common of the constant Fruits of his fatherly Care and his most kind [Page 21] and watchful Providence, but are all equally redeemed by the Blood of his dear Son, and consequently all equally al­lied to him as our common Father, and to one another as Brethren: there is therefore all the Reason in the World that we should jointly and in common meet together to pay our Duty and Acknowledgments to him, and give him the Glory of the common Blessings we enjoy, and apply to him for the Supply of our common Wants and Necessities. Thus you see that to attend constantly upon the public Worship of Almighty GOD, and there to present our Bodies a living Sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him, is our most rea­sonable Service, (Rom. 12. 1.) So that we shall act a most unreasonable, unnatural and brutish Part if we neglect it.


2. As it is thus most reasonable, so it is on the same Ac­counts most amiable: For the Amiable in the Actions and Behaviour of reasonable Creatures consists in doing what is fit and right upon all Occasions, and what will not fail to approve it self as such, to the Reason and Consci­ence of every intelligent Being.—Hence, Whatsoever Things are lovely, in St. Paul's Account, (Phil. 4. 8.) are the same with Whatsoever Things are true, just, honest, pure, and of good Report: Among which the public Worship of GOD must be undoubtedly reckoned, since it is founded in Reason and Truth, and in the Fitness and Nature of Things, and consequently cannot fail of the Approbation and Esteem of every one that is capable of considering Things as being what they really are. For it is what re­sults as a necessary Consequence from our Relation as Crea­tures and Dependents to him as our great Creator and Be­nefactor. And by a Conduct fit and sutable to this Rela­tion we do him the greatest Honour we possibly can.—And by how much the greater Number there are that join together in the Performance of so fit, so right, and rea­sonable a Service as this is, by so much the greater Ho­nour we do to him who is our common Father, Preserver, and Benefactor.—The Glory of a Prince is the Multitude of his obedient Subjects;—the Glory of a Master is the Number of his faithful Servants;—and the Glory of a Father is a numerous, dutiful, obsequious and grateful Pro­geny, [Page 22] all chearfully owning their Dependance upon him; all thankfully paying their Duty, Homage and Acknow­ledgments to him, and obediently conducting themselves con­formable to his Injunctions:—This is indeed a most amiable Sight.—In like Manner, what can be more amiable in itself, and what can more redound to the Honour and Glory of GOD our kind indulgent heavenly Father, our supreme Kind, Lord and Governor, than for a great Number of us, all deeply sensible of his All-sufficiency and our Dependance, and the manifold Blessings we receive from him and de­pend upon him for, to conspire together, with one Heart and Voice, in a holy Strife, contending as it were, which of us shall do him the greatest Honour, and endeavouring to out-vie each other in ascribing to him the Praise and Glory of all the liberal and plentiful Provision he makes for us for our Well-being and Happiness both in Time and to all Eternity; and not for us only, but for all his numerous Offspring, the whole Family of Heaven and Earth on whom, as a most tender Parent he is continually pour­ing his innumerable Benefits?—This is indeed, a most graceful, a most beautiful and amiable Sight!—This is to worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness!—And what is so amiable in it self, ought certainly to attract the Love and engage the Delight of every reasonable Crea­ture. For it is a good Thing to sing Praises to our GOD, it is pleasant, and Praise is comely; yea, a joyful and pleasant Thing it is to be thankful.—It is a good Thing to give Thanks unto the LORD, and to sing Praises to thy Name, O most High, to shew forth thy Lovingkindness in the Morning, and thy Faithfulness every Night. Thus David sings, Ps. 147. 1. and 92. 1. And you see it was the Reasonableness, Beau­ty and Amiableness of the Thing that raised these noble Strains of Devotion and Poetry in him. Can we then re­flect on the manifold Blessings we derive from GOD and our absolute Dependance upon him, without being enflam­ed with the same Love and Zeal for his Honour and Ser­vice, and without having the same Sense of the Fitness and Amiableness of it? How amiable are thy Tabernacles, O LORD thou GOD of Hosts! Psal. 84. 1.

[Page 23] 3. It is not only most reasonable and amiable, but it is moreover vastly for our own Good and Advantage to wait upon GOD in the holy Services of his Worship.—It cannot be denied, that whatsoever tends to raise and per­fect our rational and immortal Nature and make it as hap­py as it is capable of being, not only in Time but to the endless Ages of Eternity, is of the highest Advantage to us. Now it is manifest that the Knowledge, Love and Practice of whatsoever is fit and reasonable in it self can­not fail of perfecting our reasonable Nature as such, and consequently must render it happy as long as it conti­nues what it is; and since it endures for ever it must render it happy forever. Since therefore we have proved that Religion and the Worship of GOD is the most fit and reasonable Thing in the World, it evidently follows, that this must tend in the directest Manner to our highest Perfection and Happiness. Especially, since the great Object of religious Worship and all the glorious Things that attend it, which Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, nor hath it entered into the Heart of Man to conceive, are coex­tensive in their Duration with that of our immortal Souls, and consequently must be their proper Objects, and a ne­ver-ceasing Fund of Happiness to them as long as Eterni­ty it self endures.—Accordingly, the devout Worship­pers of Almighty GOD have always experienced that the frequent Practice of worshipping and adoring him, by in­uring their Minds to the Contemplation of the glorious and ever enduring Objects of Religion, which are truly the noblest and sublimest Objects, does abundantly tend to their greatest Improvement and Perfection; that as these are the proper Objects of their Souls, so the more they converse with them, the more they love them and the greater Relish they have for them. They find that it disengages their Minds from the Love of base and sensu­al Gratifications, delivers them from the Entanglements of carnal Appetites and low grovelling Pleasures, purifies their Intentions, conforms them to GOD, and makes them Partakers of the divine Nature: And in a Word, that it is the Source and Nourishment of all those heavenly Virtues that do immediately and in the Nature of the Things them­selves qualify them for, and give them a Foretaste of the end­less [Page 24] Glories and Felicities of the heavenly State.—In Con­sequence of this, they cannot fail of feeling inexpressible Calmness and Tranquillity of Mind, a Peace that passeth all Understanding, and a Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory, while they have the comfortable Applauses of a good Con­science and the glorious Hopes and Expectations of a blessed Immortality.—This enables them to take the most solid Comfort in every Thing they enjoy in this World, and encourages them to confide in GOD's good Provi­dence for his Blessing on all their Undertakings and En­joyments; for Godliness hath the Promise of the Life that now is, as well as that which is to come. 2 Tim. 4. 8.—So many and great Advantages is the devout worshipping of GOD attended with!—How then can we fail of de­lighting in it, and pronouncing with the holy Psalmist, Surely One Day spent in the House of GOD is better than a Thousand elsewhere. I had rather be a Door-Keeper in the House of my GOD, than to dwell in the Tents of Wickedness: For the LORD GOD is a Sun and a Shield: He will give Grace and Glory, and no good Thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly, Psal. 84.

4. It being thus reasonable, amiable and advantageous, GOD does moreover, and for these Reasons, expresly re­quire and command us to worship him as our bounden Duty, and that not only singly but jointly.—Thou shalt worship the LORD thy GOD, and him only shalt thou serve. Matth. 4. 10. And the Father seeks such to worship him as worship him in Spirit and in Truth, says our blessed Saviour, Joh. 4. 23. And when the Psalmist says, Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness, (Psal. 29. 2.) he means as I ob­served above, in that amiable Manner which is implied in the joint Address of a great Number, unanimously con­spiring together in devoting themselves to the faithful Service of Almighty GOD.—Accordingly we find that the primitive Christians, (Acts 4. 24.) whose excellent Ex­ample we follow in our Church, Lift up their Voice with one Accord in the Worship of GOD: And St. Paul requires that we should, with one Mind and one Mouth glorify GOD, even the Father of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.—Not that GOD requires us to worship him because it is any [Page 25] Advantage to him; for what Profit can it be to the Al­mighty that we serve him? But it is meerly because he knows it is for our own greatest Good and Advantage, and that we do thereby pursue our highest Perfection and Happiness.—We must not therefore imagine that GOD requires us to worship him for his own Sake, or that he seeks to add any Thing to his Happiness from it: That he does it because he takes Pleasure in hearing himself applauded by us, or aims at gratifying his arbitrary Will and Pleasure by exacting our Obedience: No, these are Ends infinitely beneath him who has a boundless All-suf­ficiency within himself for his own Happiness, and there­fore cannot possibly stand in Need of us or any of our Services: But he does it purely because it is fit and right in it self, and upon many Accounts useful and necessary for us to live under a constant and habitual Sense of our absolute Dependance upon him: And that nothing can so effectually tend to keep up a lively Sense of this upon our Minds, which is the Foundation of all other Virtues, as to live in the daily Practice of attending upon his Wor­ship: He does it because he would have us happy, and he knows we cannot be happy without it. How much the greater Reason have we then to love and delight in his Service when we know that he requires it of us so dis­interestedly, and from so much Kindness and Good-Will towards us? But let us also remember that we must ex­pect to be so much the more severely punished for our Ingratitude and Perverseness if we live in the Neglect of it.

5. And lastly, To worship GOD, has accordingly been always the Practice of all good and holy Persons and Com­munities both of Men and Angels: They are ever repre­sented as accounting it their Meat and their Drink, and what they preferred above their chiefest Joy. It would be endless for me to exemplify this in the particular In­stances that occur in History whether sacred or profane: The Holy Scriptures are full of them from the Beginning to the End: But there is scarce any Instance so remarka­ble as that of the holy Person whose Example we have now under our Consideration, who besides innumerable [Page 26] other Expressions of his Love and Zeal for GOD's public Worship, tells us in Ps. 69. 9. That the Zeal of GOD's House had even eaten him up: Which Words are applied to CHRIST his great Antitype, by the Apostle in St. John 2. 17. when he expressed his Zeal for the House of GOD by driving away the Money-Changers. And this is repre­sented as the chief Employment of the holy Angels, those glorious Spirits who continually attend the Throne of GOD, and cease not Day and Night to sing the most devout and joyful Hallelujahs to the Glory of the great Creator and Almighty Governor of the World, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy LORD GOD of Hosts, which was, and is, and is to come; Heaven and Earth are full of thy Glory: Great and marvellous are thy Works, O LORD, GOD Almighty, just, and true are thy Ways, thou King of Saints: Blessing, and Honour, and Glory, and Power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever. Rev. 4. 8. and 5. 13. and 15. 3, &c. What then can be Matter of greater Love and Delight to us here, than to be of such glorious Company, in such noble Exercises, to hold Communion with all the heavenly Hosts of GOD; to make that our Business and Delight now, which is to be our Employ­ment and Happiness forever?—What can be of so great Importance to us, if ever we hope to be happy with the blessed Company of pure and holy Spirits above, as to learn their blessed Trade and Business while we are here, by accustoming our selves to these holy and devout Exer­cises, wherein the Happiness of Heaven it self consists, and by which we shall acquire that divine and heavenly Temper which will make us meet to be Partakers of the In­heritance of the Saints in Light; that when our Time is out and we have done with this World, we may be ready to join with our heavenly Kindred above, and enter upon the Possession of the inconceivable and everlasting Glories of the heavenly State?

Let us then, my Brethren, in Consideration of all these weighty Reasons and most engaging Motives, manifest our Sollicitude for the everlasting Happiness of our Souls and the Souls of our Children after us, by inuring both our selves and them to a devout and constant Attendance [Page 27] on the public Worship of GOD.—Let us offer up all our Prayers and Praises to him with clean Hands and a pure Heart, through the Mediation of JESUS CHRIST the great High-Priest of our Profession, and according to the Methods which he hath prescribed, who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.—Let us ever account this the most reasonable and amiable, and the most advantageous and delightful Thing that we can possibly set our selves a­bout: and let us address our selves to it with the utmost Force and Attention of our Minds, and with the sincerest Intention and most ardent Affection of our Hearts; with an unfeigned Design to do our Duty in the Performance of it, and to be the more firmly engaged in the Love and Practice of all Holiness and Virtue throughout the whole Course of our Lives, and to make all possible Im­provement and Proficiency therein till we arrive at the intire Perfection of every Grace and Virtue in eternal Glory.

For these blessed Purposes, Let this House be hence­forward sacred to Almighty GOD! And as it is built to the Honour of CHRIST, his blessed Son, the great Foun­der of our holy Religion, Let it be called by the Name of CHRIST's CHURCH.

And now, my Brethren, Let us all devoutly pray with the holy Psalmist, in Psalm 132. Ver 8. &c. Arise, O LORD, into thy resting Place, Thou and the Ark of thy Strength: Let thy Priests be clothed with Righteousness, and thy Saints shout aloud for Joy: Let them always enter into thy Gates with Thanksgiving and into thy Courts with Praise: And let them ever be thankful to GOD and speak Good of his Name: For the LORD is gracious, his Mercy is everlasting, and his Truth endureth from Generation to Generation.—This is the House of GOD, this is the Gate of Heaven.—May the good Spirit of GOD perpetually attend the Administrati­ons of his House, and Success attend the Means of Grace.—Particularly, May the Word of GOD which shall be delivered from this Place never return empty, but accomplish the End for which it is sent: May it ever take deep Root in all our Hearts, and bring forth Fruit abundantly in our [Page 28] Lives!—May all those that shall be here dedicated to GOD in their Baptism be stedfastly true to their sacred Vows and Obligations, and ever remain in the Number of his faithful and elect Children.—And may those who shall here devote themselves to GOD from Time to Time, in the Participation of the Bread of Life; the LORD's Sup­per, in a thankful Commemoration of the Death of CHRIST, have their Souls plentifully nourished thereby, and grow up in Holiness and Comfort through Faith unto eternal Salvati­on!—And let the Blessings of that Covenant which is in all Things well ordered and sure, ever descend upon us, and upon our Children who shall continually wait upon him in this his holy Mountain, and devoutly worship him in this House of Prayer! And whenever we pray and make our Supplica­tions to him in this Place, may he hear in Heaven his Dwell­ing Place and answer our Requests, and do for us abundantly above all that we are able to ask or think! And being plant­ed in the House of the LORD, may we flourish in the Courts of the House of our GOD, and bring forth Fruit even in old Age, and happily enjoy both the Blessings of his House here and Life for evermore!

To conclude, May we ever delight above all Things, in the public Worship and Service of GOD, and conti­nually increase in all the Graces of his Holy Spirit as long as we live, that it may be our greatest Comfort and Satis­faction when we come to leave this World, to be able to say with the holy Psalmist, LORD, I have loved the Habita­tion of thy House and the Place where thy Honour dwelleth; and that, having happily finished our Course, we may then be translated from worshipping and praising GOD here on Earth, to sing his Praises and be forever happy with him in that House not made with Hands, which is eternal in the Heavens.—Which GOD of his infinite Mercy grant through the Merits and Mediation of his blessed Son, and by the gracious Conduct and Assistance of his Holy Spirit.

To which One Eternal GOD in three Persons, be as­cribed, as is most due, all Honour and Glory, Domi­nion and Power World without End. Amen.



HAVING at Length concluded to yield to the Request of those that were desirous this Sermon on the public Worship should be printed, I thought it might be of some Use to add a few Pages, for the Assistance of those into whose Hands it may fall, in the devout Performance of Family Worship, which I doubt begins very much to de­cay in this Country: And it is probable, one Reason of that Decay may be the Want of proper Helps for the right Discharge of that Duty, and the Difficulty People find themselves under of expressing themselves with tole­rable Decency, in the extemporary Way; (a Method which is so far from being proper, or even excusable, that it will be found, as Mr. Wallaston justly observes Rel. Nat. p. 124. (besure I have found it so) to be one of the most difficult Compositions, to be performed with Justness and Propriety, that a Man can set himself about.) And be­cause it is not likely that any one should perform either Public or Family Worship with a true Spirit of Devotion, unless he be accustomed to the serious and daily Exercise of the Worship of GOD in his Closet; I have moreover added Forms for that Purpose, and I pray GOD's Blessing may attend the Use of them.

S. J.
[Page 30]


Family PRAYERS for the Morning.

1. ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy Ways like lost Sheep; we have followed too much the Devices and De­sires of our own Hearts; we have offended against thy holy Laws; we have left undone those Things which we ought to have done, and have done those Things which we ought not to have done; and there is no Health in us: But Thou O LORD, have Mercy upon us miserable Offenders; spare thou them O GOD, which confess their Faults: Restore thou them that are penitent, according to thy Promises declared unto Mankind in CHRIST JESU, our LORD: And grant, O most merciful Father for his Sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and sober Life, to the Glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

2. Almighty and everlasting GOD, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the Sins of all them that are penitent, create and make in us new and contrite Hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our Sins and acknow­ledging our Wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the GOD of all Mercy, perfect Remission and Forgiveness, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.

3. We humbly beseech Thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon our Infirmities, and, for the Glory of thy Name, turn from us all those Evils that we most righteously have deserved; and grant that in all our Troubles, we may put our whole Trust and Confidence in thy Mercy, and evermore serve thee in Holiness and Pureness of living to [Page 31] thy Honour and Glory, through our only Mediator and Advocate, JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.

4. Almighty GOD, Father of all Mercies, we thine un­worthy Servants, do give thee most humble and hearty Thanks for all thy Goodness and Lovingkindness to us and to all Men: We bless thee for our Creation, Preser­vation, (especially the Night past) and all the Blessings of this Life: But above all, for thine inestimable Love in the Redemption of the World, by our LORD JESUS CHRIST, for the Means of Grace and for the Hope of Glory; and we beseech thee give us that due Sense of all thy Mercies that our Hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we may shew forth thy Praise, not only with our Lips, but in our Lives, by giving up our selves to thy Service, and by walking before thee in Holiness and Righteousness all our Days, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD, to whom with thee, and the Holy Ghost, be all Honour and Glory, World without End. Amen.

5. O LORD our heavenly Father, Almighty and ever­lasting GOD, who has safely brought us to the Beginning of this Day, defend us in the same with thy mighty Pow­er, and grant that this Day we sall into no Sin neither run into any Kind of Danger, but that all our Doings may be ordered by thy Governance to do always that is righteous in thy Sight through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.

6.* O GOD who feest that we have no Power of our selves to help our selves, keep us both outwardly in our Bodies, and inwardly in our Souls, that we may be de­fended from all Adversities that may happen to the Body, and from all evil Thoughts that may assault and hurt the Soul, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.

[Page 32] 7. Prevent us O LORD in all our Doings with thy most gracious Favour, and further us with thy continual Help, that in all our Works, begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy Mercy obtain everlasting Life, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.

8. O GOD the Creator and Preserver of all Mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all Sorts and Conditions of Men, that thou wilt be pleased to make thy Ways known unto them, thy saving Health unto all Nations. More especially we pray for the good Estate of the Catholick Church, that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Chri­stians may be led into the Way of Truth, and hold the Faith in Unity of the Spirit, and in the Bonds of Peace and in Righteousness of Life.— [And we beseech thee to save and defend all Christian Kings, Princes and Go­vernors, especially thy Servant GEORGE our King, that under him we may be godly and quietly governed, and grant to his whole Council, and all that are put in Autho­rity under him, that they may truly and indifferently mi­nister Justice, to the Punishment of Wickedness and Vice, and the Maintenance of thy true Religion and Virtue: Give Grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and Cu­rates, that both by their Life and Doctrine, they may set forth thy true and lively Word and rightly and duly ad­minister thy holy Sacraments: And to all thy People give thy heavenly Grace,—that with meek Heart and due Reverence, they may hear and receive thy holy Word, truly serving thee in true Holiness and Righteousness all the Days of their Life.] Finally, we commend to thy fa­therly Goodness all those that are any Ways afflicted or distressed in Mind, Body or Estate, (especially,* &c.) that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several Necessities, giving them Patience under their Sufferings, and an happy Issue out of all their Af­flictions, [Page 33] and this we beg for JESUS CHRIST his Sake—In whose holy Name and Words, we commend ourselves, our Friends, and all thy People to thy infinite Mercies, Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name, &c.—

PRAYERS for the Evening.

The four first Collects may be the same with those for the Morning, and instead of the rest you may use this follow­ing.—

5. Lighten our Darkness, we beseech thee, O LORD, and of thy great Mercy defend us from all Perils and Dangers of this Night, for the Love of thy only Son our Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. Amen.

6. O GOD, from whom all holy Desires, all good Counsels and all just Works do proceed, give unto thy Servants that Peace which the World cannot give, that, both our Hearts may be set to obey thy Commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the Fear of our Enemies, we may pass our Time in Rest and Quiet­ness, through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST our Saviour.—Amen.

7. O GOD the Protector of all that trust in thee, with­out whom, nothing is strong, nothing is holy; increase and multiply upon us thy Mercy, that thou being our Ruler and Guide, we may so pass through Things tempo­ral, that we finally loose not the Things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the Sake of JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.

8. Through whom we beseech Thee to hear our Pray­ers, and do for us and for all thy People, for all Orders and Conditions of Men both in Church and State; for all that are in any Kind of Affliction either in Body or Mind, and for all our Friends and Relatives, in all Things need­ful [Page 34] both for the Life that now is, and that which is to come, abundantly above all that we are able to ask or think, which we humbly beg through the Merits and Me­diation of thy blessed SON JESUS CHRIST, comprehending them with ourselves in those holy Words which he hath taught us.—Our Father, &c.

N. B. This last Collect may be used instead of the 8th in the Morning Prayer, if the Time be too short for that; and also that that 8th Collect may be used here, if the Time will admit of it.

The following Prayers may be used either for Morning or Evening: only observing the Differences peculiar to Day and Night.—They may also be used either for the Fa­mily or Closet, only observing the proper Distinctions of Per­sons, changing, We, Us and Our, for I, Me and My, in the Places where those Words are used.

A PRAYER for either Morning or Evening.

O most, holy, blessed and glorious GOD, FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST, have Mercy upon us miserable Sin­ners.—

LORD, hear our Prayer, and hearken to the Voice of our Supplications!

1. O GOD, the GOD of our Fathers, and whom we have chosen for our GOD, Thou art that most glorious Being who hast made Heaven and Earth, even the whole World, and all Things therein, and Thou preservest and governest them all, and the Host of Heaven praiseth Thee: In Thee, O LORD, we live, and move, and have [Page 35] our Being, and we humbly adore thy great and glorious Majesty.

2. Thou hast made us and given us Understandings to know thee; Give us, we beseech Thee, Wills and Resolutions to love and serve thee with perfect Hearts and willing Minds.

3. Thou givest us our daily Bread, our Food and Rai­ment and all the Comforts and Accommodations of this Life: And thou preservest our Lives and our Health, and savest us from the many Calamities to which we are ex­posed here, and hast given us the glorious Hopes of a blessed Immortality in the Life to come: We thank thee with all our Hearts for these and all thy Favours, and be­seech thee to give us Grace that we may evermore trust in thee and live to thy Glory.

4. Thou, O LORD, art present every where, and be­holdest all Things, thou seest all that we do and lookest into our very Hearts: O! that we could always walk in thy Fear as being ever in thy Presence, and that we might do nothing to offend thee, and all that we can to please thee.

5. For thou art an Almighty GOD, and nothing is too hard for thy tremendous Power, let us therefore dread thy Displeasure and trust in thy All-sufficiency, and take care above all Things to secure thy Favour and Protection by all holy and virtuous Living.

6. For thou art a most holy, true, righteous and good GOD, the great Governour of the World to whom we are accountable for all our Behaviour: Let us, therefore be ever faithfully devoted to the Obedience of thy holy Laws, hating all Sin and Wickedness as being contrary to the Purity and Perfection of thy Nature and the express Declarations of thy Will, and learn to be like thee, and that in Obedience to thee, Holy as thou art holy, righteous as thou art righteous, and true and faithful, kind and mer­ciful as thou art.

[Page 36] 7. But we confess, O LORD, that instead of this, we have been very sinful and perverse Creatures: Great and many have our Offences been, in Thought, Word and Deed: We are heartily sorry that we have offended so good and gracious a GOD as thou art, and that we have violated thy most righteous and reasonable Laws: But we humbly desire and purpose by thy Grace to amend our Ways, and be more careful to do our Duty for the Time to come: And we do earnestly beg thy most gra­cious Assistance to enable us to subdue our Lusts and cor­rupt Affections, to watch and strive against all Temptati­ons, and to make it our greatest Care to bring forth Fruits meet for Repentance.

8. We humbly thank thee O gracious Father of Mer­cies, for thy wondrous Love and Compassion to Mankind in sending thy blessed Son JESUS CHRIST to redeem and save us, and thy Holy Spirit to renew and sanctify us; we beseech Thee grant that through the Merits and Me­diation of thy dear Son who died for us, and arose again and ascended to thy right Hand to interceed for us, we may obtain Pardon, Favour and Acceptance in thy Sight, and for his Sake, grant us the Help of thy Holy Spirit to enable us ever to please thee, by living a sober, godly, and righteous Life.

9. That, as we grow in Age we may grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of Thee our GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom thou hast sent; ever mindful of our sacred Vows and Obligations, of the Shortness and Uncertainty of our Continuance here, and of the great Day when we must appear before thee to give an Account of all our Beha­viour in this World.

10. With a View at these Things, O LORD, help us to walk very circumspectly and redeem the Time: And do thou save us, as far as may be, from the Snares and Temptations, and from the Calamities and Afflictions of this sinful and troublesome World: And let us be ever faithful to thee our GOD, all our Days, that we may [Page 37] escape the Wrath to come; and be for ever happy with thee in thy Kingdom of Glory through JESUS CHRIST.

11. And besides the Petitions which we offer up for our selves, we do moreover pray, for all Mankind, that thy Ways may be known upon Earth, and thy saving Health among all Nations; and for thy universal Church that thou wilt built it up in Peace and Truth and Holi­ness, and let all that name the Name of CHRIST depart from all Iniquity.—We pray for thy Church and People in our Nation and this Land, and for all Orders of Men, both in Church and State, that they may wisely and faith­fully discharge their Duty in their several Stations, and that Success may attend their Labours: Plead the Cause of thy Gospel, and of thy Church and our Nation against all the Enemies thereof.—We also pray for all that are under any Kind of Affliction either of Body or Mind, that thou wilt support, comfort and relieve them, and be a ready Help in Time of Trouble.—And for all our Re­lations, Friends and Benefactors, that thou wilt bestow up­on them and theirs all the Blessings of thine everlasting Covenant.—Let us all ever be under thy most gracious Protection and Conduct, and learn to be so conformed and united to thee here, that we may at Length meet to­gether, and be for ever happy with thee in thy heavenly Kingdom.—

12. We humbly thank thee most gracious and merciful GOD, as for all thy Blessings and Favours, temporal and spiritual, so in particular, for this Day's, (Night's,) Pre­servation: We beseech thee forgive whatsoever the pure Eyes of thy Glory have discerned amiss in our Conduct.—And keep us this Night (Day) in thy Fear and under thy Protection, from every Sin and Calamity to which we are exposed: Direct and succeed us in all our Affairs, and inspire us with that Wisdom which is from above, and lead us in the Way of Truth and Virtue to everlasting Hap­piness; that being faithful in thy Service all our Days, we may at last be presented faultless before the Presence of thy Glory with exceeding Joy, through thy free Grace of CHRIST JESUS the Son of thy Love, our great Redeemer and Me­diator; [Page 38] in whose holy and prevailing Name and com­prehensive Words, we humbly offer up all our Requests,

Our Father, &c.

A short PRAYER for the Closet to be used either Morning or Evening.

O most Holy, Blessed and Glorious GOD, FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST, have Mercy on me a miserable Sinner.—LORD, hear my Prayer, and let my Cry come unto thee.—

Almighty and most merciful GOD, I thy sinful Crea­ture humbly prostrate my self before thee confessing and bewailing my manifold Iniquities and Offences against thy Divine Majesty.—I have, notwithstanding my holy Pro­fession, corrupted my Ways from my Youth up, serving divers Lusts and Pleasures; in Thought, Word and Deed violating thy most holy Laws.—(Here mention particu­lar Sins.) I acknowledge I deserve nothing but to feel the sad Effects of thy severe Displeasure, to which I am sensible my Sins have justly exposed me: I desire there­fore earnestly to repent of them and forsake them that I may obtain Mercy.—For this End I humbly implore the Assistance of thy Holy Spirit to work in me such a godly Sorrow and such a truly broken and contrite Heart as Thou, O my GOD, wilt not despise, that I may sin­cerely hate every Sin, and watch and strive against all Temptations.—And I humbly beseech Thee O merci­ful Father, for the Sake of JESUS CHRIST, thy beloved SON, my dear REDEEMER, to pardon all my Sins, and through him let me obtain Favour and Acceptance in thy Sight.

And vouchsafe me the Almighty Aids of thy heavenly Grace to enable me to live in the Exercise of a lively Faith in Thee my GOD, O Father, who hast made, pre­servest and governest the World; and in JESUS CHRIST [Page 39] thy beloved Son, who came into our Nature, taught us, died for us, and arose again, and ascended to thy right Hand to interceed for us; and in the Holy Ghost, whom thou hast sent to guide assist and comfort us. And help me to hope in thy Promises, to dread thy Threatnings, and to serve thee more faithfully for the Time to come, in all Temperance and Meekness in the Government of my Lusts and Passions, in Piety and Devotion towards thee my GOD, and Justice and Charity towards Men, and to persevere in thy Service in a stedfast Opposition to all the Temptations of the World the Flesh and the Devil, under a lively and habitual Sense of my entire De­pendance upon thee, and innumerable Obligations to thy infinite Goodness, of thy all-seeing Eye, and the Account I am to give of my self to thee, that persevering, faithful to the End, in the Ways of Well-doing I may continue thine forever, and increase more and more in thy Holy Spirit, till I come to thine everlasting Kingdom.

And I intreat thee, O LORD, to have Mercy upon the whole World of Mankind: Send forth thy Light and thy Truth throughout the Earth, and build up thy univer­sal Church in Truth and Peace and Holiness:—Let all Kings and Princes, and all subordinate Officers in Church and State wisely and faithfully endeavour to promote Righteousness, Peace and Order, Religion and Virtue, among thy People every where, and especially in our Nation and in this Land.—Pity the Cries of the many Afflicted, whether in Body or Mind, give them Patience under all their Sorrows and a happy Deliverance from them in thy due Time.—Bless all my Friends and Rela­tions,—especially, &c.—Bestow upon them all Things needful both for Life and Godliness; Give them thy Grace here, and Glory hereafter, and be thou their GOD and Guide and Portion in the Land of the Living and for ever.

I humbly thank Thee, gracious Father of Mercies for my Being and all my Enjoyments, my Life and Health and all my Salvations, temporal and spiritual: And above all for the great Gift of thy Son, the glorious Hopes of [Page 40] the Gospel, the Means of Grace and thy Patience and Forbearance towards me hitherto, notwithstanding all my Provocations, and especially for my Preservation the Night (Day) past.—I beseech thee forgive my Sins, and keep me this Day, (Night) under thy most gracious Protection from Sin and from Sorrow: And grant me the merciful Guidance and Conduct of thy Holy Spirit throughout the whole Course of my Pilgrimage in this World, and an everlasting Interest in thy Favour in the Life to come, thro' CHRIST JESUS the Son of thy Love, our only Saviour and mighty Redeemer: In whose holy Name and Words, I humbly offer up all my Requests for my self, my Friends and all thy People. Our Father, &c.

A larger Prayer for the Closet. Begin as in the former Prayer.

1. A Confession of Sin.

O most holy GOD, who art of purer Eyes than to be­hold Iniquity, and abhorrest all the Works of Wicked­ness, being, by the essential Purity of thy Nature, remo­ved at an infinite Distance from all Imperfection. I thy sinful Creature, in all Humility, cast my self down at thy Feet, acknowledging that I am not worthy to take thy holy and tremendous Name into my Mouth, much less to call thee Father, for I have sinned against Heaven, and be­fore thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son. *—I bewail the Untowardness of my Nature, my perverse Backwardness to Good and Proneness to Evil, and confess that my Guilt has been vastly increased by innumerable evil Practices from my Youth up.—For though by my Baptism and holy Profession I am under the solemnest O­bligations to the contrary, yet I acknowledge I have grie­vously sinned in Thought, Word and Deed, against thee, my GOD, my Neighbour, and my self, neglecting to do [Page 41] what thou hast commanded, and doing what thou hast for­bidden. Yea, LORD, I must confess that I have sinned thro' Wilfulness and Perverseness, as well as Ignorance and Frailty, and that against thy most obliging Goodness as well as thy tremendous Authority!—Alas! how many, how great have the Instances of my Rebellion been! [Here mention Particulars.]—O LORD, to me belongs Shame and Confu­sion of Face, but unto thee the LORD my GOD, belongs Mercy and Forgiveness, though I have rebelled against thee! Have Mercy upon me, O my GOD! Have Mercy upon me, thine own Offspring, the Purchase of the Blood of thy dear Son! O let me not perish for thy Mercies Sake in JESUS CHRIST. Amen.

2. Petition for Pardon and Grace.

And that my Soul may live and not die; I humbly in­treat the Assistance of thy Holy Spirit, to touch my Heart with a deep and bitter Sense of all my Sins, that from an unfeigned godly Sorrow and true Contrition, the whole Biass of my Soul may be turned into a perfect Hatred of them, and an effectual Resolution against them, and give me Strength to withstand all Temptations leading to them. And, as I humbly purpose by thy Grace to reform more and more the Things that are amiss, and to yield a sin­cere, constant and universal Obedience to thy holy Will for the Time to come; so I do most earnestly beseech thee to pardon all my Sins for the Merits and Intercessi­on of thy dear Son, in whom thou art ever well pleased and through him let me obtain Favour and Acceptance in thy Sight.—And for his Sake, vouchsafe me the Assist­ance of thy Holy Spirit to enable me to moderate my Af­fections towards every other Object, and to love thee the LORD my GOD, with all my Heart and Soul, and Mind, and Might, and my Neighbour as my self.—That I may adorn the Doctrine of GOD my Saviour in all Things, by all Sobriety, Meekness and Humility in the Government of my Lusts and Passions, by Piety and Devotion towards thee my GOD, and Justice and Charity towards Men:—Daily adding to my Faith, Virtue, and Knowledge, and Tem­perance, and Patience, and Godliness, and Brotherly Kindness, [Page 42] and Charity; that persevering and abounding in these and all other Fruits of Righteousness to the End of my Days, when I leave this World, abundant Entrance may be admi­nistered unto me into the everlasting Kingdom of my LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, which I humbly beg for his Sake. Amen.

3. Intercession for others.

O LORD, whose tender Mercies are over all thy Works, and who delightest in the universal Weal of thy Creatures, I beseech thee to have Mercy upon all Men, and let the precious Ransom thy Son hath paid for all Men be effectual to the saving of them.—Enlighten and convert the dark and ignorant World, and bless thy uni­versal Church: Let the Truth as it is in Jesus shine forth to the utter Dissipation of all Infidelity, Superstition, He­resy and Schism, and to the Advancement of all Holiness and Righteousness among Men.—Let all Kings and Princes, especially our Sovereign, be nursing Fathers to thy Church, and let them and all subordinate Officers under them in­dustriously consult the Weal of thy People.—May the Bishops and Clergy be faithful Stewards of thy Mysteries and abundant Success attend the Means of Grace.—Pity the Cries of all that are under any Kind of Affliction: Heal the Sick, succour the Tempted, comfort the bereav­ed, provide for the Widow and Fatherless, plead the Cause of the Oppressed, relieve the Wants of the Poor and Needy, redeem Prisoners and Captives, compose the Distracted, enlighten those that are in Darkness, and re­cover such as are fallen into Sin, and be merciful to all that need thy Help and Pity, according to the Multitude of thy Mercies.—Bless all my Friends and Relations, [Particularly, &c.] Preserve them from all Evil, and be­stow upon them all the Blessings of this Life, needful and convenient for them, but above all give them thy Holy Spirit, and let no Iniquity ever have Dominion over them. Let us all fear thee and keep all thy Commandments always, that it may be well with us and ours forever, through JESUS CHRIST. Amen.

[Page 43]

4. A Thanksgiving.

I humbly thank thee, O gracious Father of Mercies for all the Instances of thy Goodness towards me; for my Creation, Preservation and Redemption; for all the Bles­sings of this Life and the Hopes of a better and all the Means that lead to it. I admire, with all the Sentiments of a grateful Heart, thy wondrous Love in CHRIST JESUS, in his holy Incarnation and Instructions, his heavenly Life and bitter Death, and glorious Resurrection, Exaltation and Intercession with all the blessed Fruits of it:—I thank thee for thy Holy Spirit and all his Assistances, for thy Word and Sacraments and all the Advantages thou hast placed me under to make me wise and good and happy both here and forever: That thou invitest me to Repen­tance after all my Provocations, and hast at any Time kept me back from the greatest Evil and assisted me to the least Good, and lengthened out thy Patience and For­bearance towards me even to Long-suffering, and hast add­ed another Night, (Day) to the rest of my Life: I be­seech thee forgive my Sins and take me this Day (Night) into thy Care and Protection: Keep me from all Sin and Calamity: Direct me in all my Affairs, and feed me with Food convenient for me: Give me Wisdom and make me faithful and successful in thy Service.—And as my Time passes away let me be seriously thoughtful of my Depar­ture from off this Stage, that it may be my greatest Care to get my Soul raised more and more into such an holy and heavenly Temper, such a Delight in GOD, such un­spotted Purity and unfeigned and fervent Charity as may best qualify me for the Company of Saints and Angels in thy heavenly Kingdom; that while I live I may live unto the LORD, and that when I come to die I may die in the LORD, that henceforth, whether living or dying I may be thine forever.—Through JESUS CHRIST my only Saviour and dear Redeemer, in whose holy Name and Words I humbly offer up all my Requests, for my self, my Friends and all thy People.

Our Father, &c.

[Page 44]

Instead of this last Thanksgiving, that which follows may be used on the LORD's Day or other Holy-Days, taken out of Mr. Nelson's Feasts and Fasts, with some small Additions.

Worthy art thou, O LORD of Heaven and Earth, to re­ceive Glory, and Honour and Power, for thou hast created all Things, and for thy Pleasure they are and were created.—Thou hast made Heaven, even the Heaven of Heavens with all its Host, the Earth and all Things therein, and thou pre­servest and governest them all, and the Host of Heaven praiseth thee.—Glory be unto thee O LORD GOD Al­mighty for creating Man after thine own Image, and ma­king so great a Variety of Creatures to minister to his Use.—Glory be to thee, O heavenly Father, for my Be­ing and Preservation, my Health and Strength, my Under­standing and Memory, my Friends and Benefactors, and for all my Abilities and Advantages of Body and Mind.—Glory be to thee for my competent Livelihood; for the inestimable Advantages of a Christian Education; for all my known, or unobserv'd Deliverances, and for the Guar­dianship and good Offices of thy holy Angels.—But a­bove all, Glory be to thee for giving thy Son to die for my Sins, and for the Assistance of thy Holy Spirit, and all other spiritual Blessings he hath purchased for me; for my Baptism, and all the Opportunities thou givest me of serving thee and receiving the holy Eucharist; for whatsoever Sin I have escaped, and whatsoever Good I have done or thought; for all my Helps of Grace and Hopes of Heaven, Glory be to thee.—Bless the LORD, O my Soul, and all that is within me, praise his holy Name!—

Glory be to thee, O LORD JESUS, for thy inexpressible Love to lost Man in condescending to take our frail Na­ture upon thee; for all thy heavenly Doctrine to instruct [Page 45] us, thy great Miracles to convince us, and thy unblamea­ble Example to be a Guide to us: Glory be to thee for thine Agony and bloody Sweat, and for all the Torments and Anguish of thy bitter Passion: Glory be to thee for thy glorious Resurrection from the Grave, and Ascention into Heaven and Intercession for us at the right Hand of thy Father. O gracious LORD who hast done and suf­fered so much for me, how can I ever sufficiently praise and love thee?—Let my Soul praise thee while I live, and all that is within me bless thy holy Name.

Glory be to thee, O blessed Spirit, Glory be to thee, for all the miraculous Gifts and Graces thou didst bestow upon the holy Apostles to fit them to convert the World, and for inspiring the sacred Penmen of the holy Scriptures: Glory be to thee for instilling holy Thoughts into my Soul; for all the spiritual Strength and Support, Illumi­nation and Comfort I receive from thee; for preventing, restraining and sanctifying Grace, Glory be to thee, bless­ed Spirit.—O let me never more by my Sins grieve thee, who art the Author of Life and Joy to me!—Let my Soul praise thee while I live, and all that is within me bless thy holy Name!

Blessing and Honour, Thanksgiving and Praise, more than I can utter, more than I can conceive, be ascribed unto thee, O most adorable Majesty, O GOD the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, by all Angels, all Men, all Creatures for ever and ever. Amen. Amen.

To this, on the LORD's Day Morning add.

I praise thee O LORD who hast preserved me this Night, and brought me to the Light of another LORD's Day, I pray thee forgive my Sins, and assist me in all the Service to be performed this Day: Let me go up to thy House with an Heart full of Affection to thy Service, and let thy holy Spirit be with me, and touch me with such a Sense of thy Presence as may fix my wandering Tho'ts, stir up my flat and cold Desires, that I may be devout, serious and attentive: Let me join in the Prayers and [Page 46] Praises of thy Church with fervent and heavenly Affecti­ons, and attend to thy Word with great Diligence and Resolution to be obedient to thy Will, that in the Use of the Means of Grace, I may grow in Grace, and in the Know­ledge of thee my GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom thou hast sent, till Grace shall be perfect in eternal Glory, which I humbly ask for his Sake, in whose holy Name and Words, &c. Our Father, &c.

In the Evening may be added,

I humbly thank thee, O LORD, for the Opportunity of this Day and for the Liberty of thy House: Forgive, I beseech thee, the Infirmity and Negligence that have attended me in thy Service: And sanctify thy Word to me and to all that have heard it, that treasuring it up in good and honest Hearts, we may be fruitful in our Lives, in every good Word and Work.—Keep me this Night from Sin and Sorrow, and always in thy Way and Fear, that I may grow up in Holiness and Comfort through Faith unto Sal­vation, and at last be presented faultless before the Presence of thy Glory, with exceeding Joy, through JESUS CHRIST my only Saviour and mighty Redeemer:—In whose holy Name and Words, &c. Our Father, &c.


Now in the Press, And speedily will be publish'd, and Sold by Rogers and Fowle in Queen-street, and by J. Edwards in Cornhill, Boston,

PRactical Discourses on the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Being a serious Call the Admonition to Watchfulness and Diligence in preparing for Death and Judgment. By BENJAMIN COLMAN, D. D. Pastor of a Church in Boston, New-England.

Just Publish'd, And Sold by Rogers and Fowle in Queen-street next to the Prison, and by J. Blanchard at the Bible and Crown in Dock-Square, Boston, SERMONS on Various Subjects, DIVINE and MORAL: With a SACRED HYMN suited to each SUBJECT. Designed for the Use of CHRISTIAN FAMILIES, as well as for the Hours fo DEVOUT RETIREMENT. By I. WATTS, D. D. Formerly publish'd in Two VOLUMES, and now reduced into ONE. The Seventh Edition.

☞The SUBSCRIBERS are desired to send for their Books. At the above Places

SUBSCRIPTIONS are taken in for Dr. WATTS'S Two Volumes of Discourses on The World to come: Or, The Joys or Sorrows of departed Souls at Death, and the Glory and Terror of the Resurrection: To which is prefix'd, An Essay towards a Proof of a separate State of Souls. To be printed in One handsome Octavo Volume.

And also for Dr. WATTS'S Lyrick Poems.

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