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fetter the mind of a praying | act of panting after greater nearman, to be always confined to ness and conformity to God, it one set of words in secret or will be easy and natural, before social duties, whether the du- you ask the Lord to bless the ties be long or short. If our food, to beseech him to bless table duties are uniformly the your souls with his grace and same, word for word, it will the light of his countenance.render them quite irksome to If at another time, you are our families, whether it has that weighed down with a sense of effect upon our own minds or your guilt, at the very moment not.
table duties are required, it will Here let me add, the duties of not be difficult to begin with a the table may be drawn out to confession of entire unworthisuch a length as to fatigue.- ness. It is proper, that in table When they are uniformly long, duties, we should always bring and at the same time very for- into view table mercies, but we mal, the family around the table are not obliged to confine ourfeel uneasy, as soon as the duty selves to these. A grateful begins; for they already antici- heart, when giving thanks for pate the full length of it, and the bounties of the table, will know well every syllable which very naturally think now of this is to be spoken. Would it not mercy, and then of that ; and it be adviseable to vary as to the is not unsuitable that they should length of these duties? Some have a place in our table thankstimes let them be quite short ; givings. at other times, if more things
REFLECTIONS, rush into the mind, the duty 1. They, who entirely negmay be protracted. The fer- lect openly to give God thanks vency of the petition at such at their social meals, make their times will arrest the attention of piety look quite doubtful. all, and it will animate the devo- “Whoso keepeth the whole law tions of kindred souls. This and offendeth in one point, is remark will apply with much guilty of all." the same force to the morning 2. They, who appear to perand evening prayer. Some va- form this duty as a mere cere. riety, as to the matter and length mony, without any life, do also of our family prayers, is neces- inake their piety look doubtful. sary to keep up the attention of “ God is a Spirit, and they who our household ; and to keep up worship him must worship him their attention is a thing of more in spirit and truth.” importance than is commonly 3. Those subordinate memsupposed. If you ask, how you bers of a family, who do not can have this variety in your
to set their hearts to duties? the answer is, Go to attend and unite in this reasonayour duties with firaying hearts. ble service, but whose counteKeep your hearts full of reli- nances and actions exhibit daily gious exercises, and your table proof, that they wish table duduties and your family prayers ties were dispensed with ; such will know it.
persons give us reason to fear If when you are called to the that God is not in all their table, your heart is then in the thoughts. Vol. V. No. 6.
4. If piety will lead to open that this world is our own, and duties in our social meals, then that we have no Lord over us? it will lead to secret duties, at The very common neglect of our solitary meals. We may table duties is a high proof of have secret breathings of grati- our awful departure from God : tude to God, without any visible And our making so light of this signs of our being at prayer.- neglect is a dreadful proof of our But if God, who seeth our stupidity. hearts, never discovers them ascending in grateful emotions, when we receive a morsel of Deceitfulness of Sin. bread, a draught of water, or some of those fruits which he
LL the promises of sin has prepared to delight our
Al are treacherous. It detaste, we give evidence to him ceives us, when it promises pleaand to ourselves, that we are
This is a bait, which is unholy and unthankful.
frequently used to beguile men. 5. The tables of the pious There is doubtless a short and poor are better furnished than feverish pleasure which sinners the tables of the graceless rich : taste ; but it quickly passes and Tho' the poor have not so many is immediately succeeded with dainties, yet they have the bless- languor and regret. The seat ing of the Lord, and that mak- of sinful gratification is in the eth truly rich, and he addeth no passions. From these solid satsorrow thereto. They who feed iafaction cannot arise. When on a coarse and scanty fare, irregularly indulged, they crewith a lively sense and acknowl- ate a deep and lasting torment edgment of the divine munifi- in the mind. Sin addresses itcence, do, no doubt, enjoy even self to the passions, the weaker their meals better than those parts of human nature, and not who fare sumptuously every to reason and judgment. Those day ; but who do not look to are more easily deceived, and and adore the hand that feeds when once perverted prove
danthem. Let not any of the poor gerous. To them sinful plealose this privilege of having the sure is represented an imporblessing of God, to enrich their tant object. But, tho' the obtable. Some have said, thatject in appearance be a bed of the thanksgiving of the table was roses, experience finds it a bed worth more than the food. of thorns. Ask the drunkard,
6. What a proof of prevailing when sober, whether he found impiety is the general neglect unmixed pleasure in his cups; of these plain, easy and reason- whether reflection can bear the able duties? How many tables brutish spectacle, which intemin this Christian land, wher perance made him. Ask the our heavenly Benefactor is no libertine, in a calm moment, more acknowledged than tho whether his pleasures are worth they were furnished independ what they cost; the loss of a ent:y of his Providence ? Is not sound mind in a sound bodythis denying the God who made Will a father, who has pursued and preserves us? Do we not the paths of sin in search of manifest by this, that we feel pleasures, advise his son to tread
in the same treacherous road; / When the belief of heaven and will he encourage him as being hell cannot be erased from the in the way to happiness? A mind, being fixed there upon Christian country produced one the fullest conviction, that they such father, * who taught his are both plainly, and equally son vice by precept and exam- | plainly, revealed in the sacred ple; but such an unnatural fa- scriptures; when this point canther is both the wonder and de- not be gained, sin would pertestation of the world. At first, suade us that these eternal rethey who seek pleasures from alities are very distant, and by the gratification of sense, may their supr.used distance, endeavglide in a smooth current, but or to diminish their restrain. soon will find themselves on a ing influence upon the mind.tempestuous sea, whose "waters In this it is deceitful; for the cast up mire and dirt."
longest life throws them back When sin promises wealth but a little way; innumerable as a reward of pursuing it, pov- accidents may fix us in one of erty, disgrace or both, are the them immediately. real inheritance acquired. Sin affects to be less criminal Wealth gotten by iniquity than it is ; bids the passions proves a curse to its owner. plead their natural propensity;
The wreath of laurel promis- calls their indulgence infirmity ; ed by sinful ambition proves begins with those acts which are but a fading flower, or a stig-less flagrant, establishes a habit; ma of foul disgrace. All the then proceeds one step further, wealth, pleasure or honor, ob- which is likewise secured.-tained through its influence, is Thus an imperceptible progress transitory and vanishes like the is ultimately made to a point, morning cloud or early dew. which would have startled the
But the great point, in which young offender. If the mind, sin is most deceptive, is the for a moment, be alarmed by its making light of future realities. situation, sin has a delusive The cheat, which it practises opiate ; it represents danger as upon men in this life; all the distant, and future time more true pleasure of which it robs than enough to set all right.them ; all the pain of body and But if the time be too surely anguish of mind, into which it short, and the soul be just launplunges them here, are the dust ching into eternity, sin still has of the balance. We can lose or
its quieting draught, and the suffer but little in this world.- sinking soul is braced to the last But when sin represents the with a false representation of joys of heaven and the sorrows the divine benevolence. As fuof hell of trifling consequence ; ture punishment is the strong. when it persuades us the forest restraint upon sin, next to mer is easily attained, and the the animating hope of future latter easily avoided, it is most glory, sin would persuade us of all deceitful. If sin can gain that there is some escape from this point, nothing can raise a it, otherwise than by holiness.--mound to stop its progress. Its language to the tempted' is,
“ Ye shall not surely die.”Chesterfield.
And if, like our first parents,
they give heed to it, they must | as the darkness and inclemency be awfully undeceived in the of the times, when affairs of imfuture world.
portance cannot be well concertSometimes, however, the priced and effected: Nor as the soner is thought so secure in scorching heat of the sun at the shackles of sin, that the noon, distressing and destroymask is dropped, and sin itself ing his subjects by tyranny and declares, there is no hope, and persecution. And, as the tendelivers over its captive to im- der grass springing out of the mediate despair.
earth, by clear and influential Wherefore, exhort one another shining after rain ; so, under his daily, lest any of you be hardened benevolent, gentle and efficathro' the deceitfulness of sin. cious administration, shall his
OBED. subjects flourish, prosper and
And David said, Although For the Connecticut Evangeli- my house, i.e. my descendants, cal Magazine.
who shall, in succession, sit on
my throne, will not, all of them, A Paraphrase and Note on 2 Sam. sustain such an excellent, princexxiii. 3, 4, 5.
ly character with God; yet,
under the afflictive prospect, I THE God of Israel said, have this consideration for my
the rock of Israel spake support : He hath made with to me, He that ruleth over men, me an everlasting covenant, so must be just, ruling in the fear wisely and graciously ordered, of God. And he shall be as the that whatever cometh to pass light of the morning, when the shall subserve its accomplishsun riseth, even a morning with ment. He hath engaged, with out clouds; as the clear shin- an oath, that my house and my ing after rain. Although my kingdom shall be established to house be not so with God, yet all generations; and that, of the he hath made with me an ever- fruit of my loins, according to lasting covenant, ordered in all the flesh, he will raise up the things and sure: For, this is all Messiah, to sit on my throne, my salvation and all my desire, (2 Sam. vii. 16. Psal. lxxxix. although he make it not to 3, 4. Acts ii. 30) even the grow.”
great Prince of Peace, the true The God of Israel, who like a and everlasting Redeemer, unrock, is their strength and re- der whose auspicious governfuge, spake to David, saying, ment, his subjects shall yield Whoever is advanced to the cheerful submission, shall be high and important office of rul- exceedingly numerous and uning over men, must be just, rul- speakably happy; and through ing in the fear or reverential re- whose meritorious and efficient gard of God. And he shall be grace, I, and all who trust in as the light of the morning, and obey him, shall receive eterwhen the sun riseth, even a nal salvation. God hath made morning without clouds; i.e. with me this covenant; for, it he shall be discerning, wise, is so well adapted for the manimerciful and prosperous: Not! festation of his own glory, and
A Paraphrase and Note on 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4, 5.
for the security of my present being fully persuaded that he and everlasting salvation, that I was able to fulfil his promise, expect and desire no other fa- and would even raise Isaac from vors, than those which result the dead, or intervene some from it. And altho' he make other way, to prove himself unit not to grow; i. e. though there changeably true in his covenant be times, in which his providen- engagement. tial dispensations be so dark, Notwithstanding David's piethat his covenant does not, by ty, and the success and prossensible objects, flourish, or ap- perity of his reign ; yet, in the pear to my perception; yet, even course of events of divine disthen, do I confide in his truth pensations to him, he had many and faithfulness ; trusting that pressing afflictions to endure : he will accomplish it in his own His prospects of the fulfilment appointed way and time.
of the divine promises were, no
doubt, often obscured. But, to NOTE.
adduce and particularize the It is the character of true many passages of scripture, faith, to prevail and live under which lead us to this conclusion, the pressure of trial. The good would far exceed the intended man's faith, oftentimes, appears brevity of this note. One pasmore conspicuously in adversiiy sage, however, I may quote, in than in the sunshine of outward which it appears, that his mind prosperity. The stars, which was touched with melancholy, cannot shine, through the efful- or distrust, and his spiritual gence of day, discover their views were much darkened. brightness and beauty at night. My covenant will I not break, We admire the firmness and nor alter the thing that is gone constancy of an hero, in battle, out of my lips. Once have I and the skill and exertion of a sworn by my holiness, that I pilot, in a storm, at sea. Pre- will not lie unto David. His viously to the remarkable trial, seed shall endure forever, and through which he called his his throne as the sun before me. faithful Abraham to pass, God But thou hast cast off and abhad established with him his horred; thou hast been wroth covenant ; and said, “ Fear not, with thine anointed ; thou hast Abraham, I am thy shield, and made void the covenant of thy thy exceeding great reward. I servant; thou hast profaned his am God Almighty; walk be- crown, by casting it to the fore me, and be thou perfect.”ground.” (Psal. Ixxxix. 35, 36, And the divine power and good 38, 39.) But, though this pasness were admirably manifested sage indicates, that his lively in the firmness and endurance exercise of faith was much deadof his faith. His eye of sense ened; yet there are other sencould not perceive how he could tences, in the same Psalm, which sacrifice his Son, in a consis- express the vigor of his gratitency with the Messiah's advent tude and hope, in his celebratand kingdom. Nevertheless, he ing the divine faithfulness and staggered not at the promise pleading with God, for the rethro' unbelief; but was strong newal of his loving kindnesses. in faith, giving glory to God; And though he uttered these