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and upon a Lord's day morning, wherein I hope again the joyful sound, and see his power and glo sanctuary"
If it is a summer morning, when the sun may be shining when thou awakest, then think, Christ the the world rose early this morning from the dar wherein he lay buried for my sake. "The Sun
eousness was up this day before the natural su think, this is the day wherein God said, "Let light, and it was so." Is the light so sweet and pleasant a thing for the eyes to behold the sun? much more to see Christ the bright Morning-Star by the eye of faith, to see the SUN of righteousness in the firmament of gospel ordinances! Let me prepare for this sight; that my eyes may be clea the mote taken out of the eye of faith, that I may see him, in comparison of whom the sun is but a da of earth! O my soul, rise from the earth this day, moon under thy feet, and clothe thyself with the Sur nigh to God in Christ, and set thy affections on above thou art capable of communion with God, debase thyself in raking always in the dunghill world, in licking the dust with the serpent, or feed husks with the swine, as if thou hadst no higher serve than the world. Why wilt thou lie among and wallow in the puddle, when crystal streams near?
Or think, "How happy are the angels, who are exo from the necessity of sleep! They never rest, nor of God's work, but praise him day and night. B the sun never wearies to serve his Creator: How thousand miles has the sun travelled since the last I went to rest, that he might bring the light of a new I day to me, a poor undeserving creature! And, shall rise with cheerfulness to celebrate this day, and ser God and Saviour upon it? It is a mercy the natura is risen; but a far greater, that the Sun of righteous is up, and hath ascended to his meridian, that he ma better diffuse the influences of light and heat upon cold and blind souls, such as I am; I will get up this and lie in his way as he passeth by, and cry with the
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Lastly, The morning sun may mind thee of the of secure Christless souls. The sun shone bright on that morning it was destroyed: Little did they thin fair morning, that the clouds would gather on a s and drop fire on their heads; neither knowest thou () less sinner, what a storm of wrath may fall on thee night Wherefore flee presently out of the Sodo natural state, to the Zoar of Christ's righteousness.
III. Rise full as early this day as on other days, as soon at God's work this day, as you are at you work on other days. God is the best Master, his wo sweetest, and his wages the greatest. Yet alas! the many who lie long on the morning of the Lord's day are loth to rise and fall to God's work; and whe rise, they have no time for secret and family duties the public-worship: so that they are either slightly pe ed, or wholly neglected. O foolish sinner! dos think thy worldly business more worthy of thy early than thy spiritual employment? Or, wilt thou shew ter regard to thy worthless body, than to thy graciou and thy precious soul! You owe thanks to God. th have had the bypast week for your own affairs, and the you have the prospect of another for them, and tha lets you see the first day of it; but O consider, tha Creator and Redeemer puts in for some time with All your time is not your own, neither is it in you hands? God alone is the Author and Disposer of it. then, now is the time, this is the day that he requires him have it wholly, seeing he gives you six times as for yourselves. And grudge him not the morning own day. Remember that promise, Prov. viii. 17 that seek me early shall find me In the morni spirits are most fresh and lively, and fittest for cont tion and prayer. We are told, Exod. xvi. 13. that morning the dew and manna fell : Wouldst thou ha dew of a blessing to fall on thy soul, and to make th watered garden then rise early to wait for it. Th the practice of the saints: Job rose early and offer sacrifices, Job. i. 5. David prevented the dawning morning with his prayers, Psal. cxix. 147. Christ ro ly this day before the sun. And for what end did he
Avon to instifu and cave his people
Saviour rise early this morning to justify you, and will you not rise early this day to glorify him? This is the great design of the Sabbath. And the xcii. psalm, which is entitled, "A song for the Sabbath-day," saith, "It is good to shew forth God's loving kindness in the morning.' • Timely at God's work on this day, or diligence in it, will not prove prejudicial to health for, since God hath pronounced a special blessing upon the Sabbath, you have ground to expect that less sleep, food and refreshment, than at other times, will be blessed for your support in his work, and that you shall live in the doing thereof.
IV. When you are up, hasten to put on your clothes, and spend as little time this day in dressing yourself as possible, that you may have time for secret duties, and retired converse with God. But since the body must be clothed this day, let your thoughts be well employed in the time you are doing it : Think on sin that was the cause of your soul's makedness, and of your body's need of apparel. Remember from whom you have your clothes, to cover, keep warm, and adorn your bodies, even from God, it is his wool and his flax; therefore give thanks to him for your raiment, as well as your food. And though your clothes be not so fine as you would wish, yet mind, that these of whom the world was not worthy, wandered about in sheep's skins and goat's skins :" And, if you be not so outwardly splendid as others, seek that decking which will make you all glorious within." When others are following vain fashions, seek ye to be "covered with the robes of Christ's righteousness." And, since you are this day to nake a solemn appearance before God your heavenly Fa ther, you must be sure, like Jacob, to come in the garments of your elder Brother, otherwise you cannot expect your Father's blessing. Put no confidence in your own right. eousness; for it is no better than rags, or a garment full of holes, the least whereof is sufficient to let in the curse of God upon you. Therefore put on the Lord Jesus," if you would this day appear before God, and be accepted of hin. Take care also, that your bodies this day be gravely and decently apparelled, and beware of pride and vanity this way, if ye would have God to own you; the adorning which he recommends, is not that of plaiting the hair, wearing of gold, and patting on of apparel, but the hidden
man of the heart. in that which is not corruptible. even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price," 1 Pet. i 3. 4. Most people on the Sabbath are concerned to adorn their bodies with their best clothes; but, alas! who among you is careful to attire his soul as he ought on this day, when he is going to meet the blessed Redeemer of souls, the King of glory?
Mind your souls chiefly this day, and take care, whatever you be doing about your bodies, that your hearts be employed in spiritual meditations. Do you comb your head? you may think how numerous your sins are more than the hairs of your head," so that "none can reckon them," Psal. xl. 12. And to be sure, if you cannot reckon them, you are far less able to reckon for them. Do you wash your hands! think on the necessity of "washing your hands in innocency, that so ye may compass the altar of God." For these that would "ascend the hill of God, and stand in his holy place, must have clean hands and pure hearts." Holiness both in heart and life is absolutely needful, in order to our enjoying communion with God in ordinances.
V. As soon as possibly you can, retire this morning for the duties of secret prayer, praise, reading the word, meditation, and self-examination. Much of the Sabbath. and especially the morning of it, should be spent in praise and thanksgiving, upon account of God's goodness both common and special, manifested in the works of creation and redemption. It is a most necessary and proper duty, to "shew forth God's loving kindness on the Sabbath morning," Psal. xcii. 2. Thanksgiving is the great end of the day, and of the mercies of it; "the redeemed of the Lord" ought this day to sing, "His mercy endureth for ever," Psal. cvii. 2. for God sent his Son to redeem us for this very end, that he might have from us "the praise of the glory of his grace," Eph. i. 6. 12. 14, And if you deny him praise, you do what you can to disappoint him of the design of this wonderful work. Many serious souls think the Sabbath should be spent only in prayer, mourning, mortification, &c. and almost wholly neglect the duty of praise, which ought to be the principal, and wherewith God is best pleased. Remember, that praise is not only the end of the day, but the end of your lives; yea, the design of all God's
works: God made man the tongue of the creation, to trumpet forth aloud what the rest of the creation do but silently whisper.
Directions in performing the foresaid duties.
BEFORE I proceed further, I shall give some special advices concerning the duties of secret reading, prayer, and self-searching.
1. Of reading the Word.
1. As to the reading of God's word, if you would do it with profit, then, 1. Look up to God for his blessing upon it: When you begin, pray that he may open your eyes to see the wonders of it," and that he may 66 open your ears and hearts to hear and comply with it as the voice of God."
2. In reading the word, quicken yourselves to all possible attention. As children will rouse up themselve at the reading of their father's will, out of expectation of some portion or legacy bequeathed them therein by their father; so ought you to rouse up yourselves in reading of the word, in regard of the many rich and precious legacies which your Saviour hath bequeathed to you, in that last will and testament of his, sealed by his own blood.
3. Read the word with holy reverence, as if Jehovah himself stood by, and spake these words unto you; for reading is a kind of holy conference with God, and therefore ought to be gone about with a holy awe and concern. I do not mean that this reverence is to be shown to the paper and print, but the matter contained therein; though even these. as the dead bodies of saints, ought not to be used dishonourably, as I have heard some graceless merchants do, by rolling up their small wares in leaves of the Bible. Is this like the practice of the ancient martyrs, who made more account of a leaf of the Bible than of a treasure ?. And indeed the leaves of the Bible, in some sense, are the field where the treasure is hid, and the pearl of price may be found they are the swadling clothes of the holy Jesus. And therefore, in the next place,
4. Have an eye to Christ in every thing ye read, for he is the end, scope, and substance of the whole Bible, and every thing in it is reducible to him.