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of public worship, rest and retirement from business and company, spiritual conversation, and the religious instruction of those who need it at home. The other, having no deep sense of the duty of a right observance of the Lord's day, nor any spiritual pleasure in the services of the Lord's house, would be glad to embrace every excuse for nonattendance, would not scruple unnecessarily to occupy the time of servants, would urge the receiving or the joining with parties of visiting or pleasure, or otherwise would spend the irksome hours in unbecoming employments or listless indolence. And where again, during every day of the week, could there be any concert and co-operation in the bringing up of children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? What hope of the constant observance of family prayer, and of any due regard to the eternal interests of the household placed under your care? Alas, all these things, even if you retained your own religion, would be wholly neglected, or at least most imperfectly and insufficiently performed.

But would there not be an alarming

danger lest you sbould lose your own religion altogether ? Unhappily observation proves that this is too commonly the consequence. The spiritual feeling, having nothing to cherish and strengthen it, but on the contrary every thing to cool and deaden it, begins imperceptibly to decline; it cannot support itself under such a constantly counteracting influence; it withers and dies. Perhaps there may be even something of judicial punishment; and God withdraws that special grace of his Spirit, without which it is impossible either to begin or to continue to serve him. Then the mind of one who has so fallen away either flees for refuge to an incessant round of dissipation, and becomes more vain and worldly even than others; or it seeks, and thereby easily finds, some cause of quarrel with religion, by which it may endeavour to justify itself; or it falls into a hatred of those principles and habits in which it can no longer delight; or it sinks into despondency, and cries in bitterness of heart from day to day, “Oh, that it were with me as in months past !"

Such are the lamentable effects which may be dreaded when spiritual persons unite themselves to those who are destitute of the principles of true and vital religion. And this apprehension, I trust, will induce all such most sacredly to regard the Apostle's prohibition, and particularly in the case of marriage, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” And in like manner I trust they will remember his divinelyinspired directions, and, when they marry, will marry “only in the Lord.”

II. I now proceed, secondly, to take notice of the other particular which seems to have been a point of anxious desire in Abraham's mind respecting his son, namely, that Isaac, even though he should take a wife out of his father's kindred, should nevertheless not be induced by her and her family to return and settle in the country out of which they had been called, and so to desert that which God had promised to give them.

When Abraham required a solemn oath of his servant, that he would not take a wife to Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites,

but would go to his father's house, and to his kindred, and take a wife for his son, the man naturally observed “Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land ; must I needs bring thy son again to the land from whence thou camest?" In answer Abraham strictly charged him, saying “Beware that thou bring not my son thither again ;" and he told him that he should be free from the obligation of his oath, only if she refused to accompany him into Canaan. Moreover the patriarch added, in the full confidence of faith, “ The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me saying, unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.”

I have before observed to you that Abraham stands in the holy scriptures as a pattern of faith. He had been called out of his own country; he had had a promise given him that the land into which he had been brought

should be his and his seed's; and he lived and acted upon that promise all his life long. Against present appearances, and all things that are called human probabilities, he maintained an unshaken confidence in the fulfilment of the promise, and took all his measures accordingly. As he had buried Sarah in it under this assured expectation, so he would not allow Isaac on any account to remove out of it; he would not seem to frustrate the promise made to him, but would take every means to secure its accomplishment.

We also have a promise, a promise of another country, a better land, even a heavenly inheritance. Let us live in faith of this. Let us learn to make all our earthly arrangements with a view to it, and bring up our families, and order all things concerning them in such a way as may best secure it for them, as well as for ourselves.

As I endeavoured to shew you from the call of Abraham that we must come out from the world, and seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, so now we learn

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