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Con the knowledge of his infinite perfections, of our own nature, of the relation we stand in to him, and expressed by correspondent words and actions? The higher, therefore, the sense of our obligation to him iś, the higher, consequently, will be our devotion and our endeavours to please him, which constitute the very essence of religion : and this implies a constant and diligent exertion of all our powers of mind, and body, and is directly opposite to idleness, which is nothing else but an indisposition or aversion to action. When the soul, the spring of action, is wound up to the height, by contemplation of its own excellent nature, and of the adorable attributes of God, either investigated by reason or discovered by revelation : so won
derfully derfully and gloriously displayed in the creation of the universe; and much more surprizingly and miraculously in the redemption, and fancțification of man; in consequence of which unspeakable and inconceivable happiness and glory are prepared for his eternal enjoyment; with what activity are all its powers and passions invigorated?-reason is strengthened; hope is confirmed; faith is enlivened; the understanding is improved and enlarged ; love is refined and enflamed, and purged from fear; desire is sharpened; and the whole intention is directed to serve God in spirit and in truth; in love and holiness here on earth; and to enjoy his glorious presence for ever in heaven.
3d. In so large. a field of action; in so pleasing an employment; with such powers, encouragements, and rewards; how shameful and inglori. ous must the least degree of idleness appear; and how ungrateful to that good God, whose we are, and who hath given us all things richly to enjoy; who hath called us out of darkness into light; who hath redeemed us from the slavery of sin, and Satan, to the glorious liberty of the sons of God; who hath a right to our whole service; who hath invited us to it by his only Son, his prophets, and apoAlles; by whom we are instructed how to perform his will; and hath agreed with us for an hire richer and
greater than our desires could form, or our conceptions comprehend. --- Idleness
in this case must imply the most shameful stupidity, or the foules ingratitude: the heinousness of which is further aggravated by the unwearied diligence of the servants of a most tyrannical master, whose wages are death and eternal torments. Το fee them “ rising early, and very late,
taking reft, and eating the bread 4 of carefulness; bearing the burden " and heat of the day;" and deny. ing themselves the necessary repose of the night; to heap up riches that profit them nothing; or compassing sea and land, and running all ha: zards to gratify their lust or ambi, tion : what a disgrace doth this reflect upon our sluggishness in so good a cause as that of religion! How doth it upbraid our negligence or omission of gospel duties! and our
weariness and fleepinefs in the common offices of devotion! especially when we know that pur diligence in thefe duties will be crowned with an inestimable reward S--Aconduct so preposterous, so absurd, so shocking to reason, that humanity blushes at it!
41h. The shame and disgrace of idleness in religion will appear ftill? greater, if we consider that it is an: act of disobedience to God and a di.. rect violation of his positive cont înand, defrauding him of his right. --For thus it is written, “ Thou
fhalt worship the Lord thy God, " and him only shalt thou serve." But how do we worship him, when we either wholly refrain from his ta. bernacles, or approach them with ir,