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“ Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.” “ Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for I cry unto thee daily.” These are expressions of the Bible, which is God manifest in the Word, and they contain the most obvious duties of true religion. Regular attendance on the public worship of God is implied in the first sentence, a constant reverence for, and dependence upon God, is included in the second. Persons who attend the public worship of God in the great congregation do well; they fulfil a scriptural command, and present an excellent example: but it will be admitted, that as long as they thus limit their religious duties, the man is more advanced on the road to Zion than they, who continues instant in prayer, who is ever aspiring to a life of holiness; to frequent communion with God; to a walk and conversation becoming the Gospel; and who not only worships God regularly in his temple, but likewise rears a family altar, and most especially on the Lord's Day, with his assembled household unites in the sacred enjoyments of domestic devotion. This Christian duty is now, happily, becoming general, and we gladly hail, as proofs of its extending influence, the many excellent works already published, which are intended as auxiliaries to family, or social worship. Several of these works contain prayers, others contain sermons, THE FAMILY SANCTUARY” includes both. Whether it be generally read or not, its Author rejoices he has been enabled to add another to the numerous publications of his country intended to promote personal and family religion, convinced as he is, that under God, upon these united to our solemn public services, the security of the Established Church, and of the British Constitution altogether depends. Assailed as the Church may expect to be, those of her members who desire to wield irresistible weapons in her defence, will acquire them by a closer walk with
Jehovah, in more earnest and more faithful prayer, in more devout acknowledgment of dependence upon God's mercy in the Redeemer, and by more willing obedience to his laws; for with the mercy of God in Christ Jesus faithfully proclaimed in the pulpit, and God constantly recognised as a reconciled God, through his blessed Son, in the family, the institutions of our country thus rest upon a Rock, against which no enemy shall ever prevail. Evangelical doctrine renders the Church impregnable, - deprive her of it, and her fall is certain ; thus LUTHER thought, when he characterised it as “Articulus stantis vel cadentis Ecclesiæ.” Although it be not, therefore, with carnal weapons, that the cause of the Church is to be exclusively maintained, still there are seasons in which her banners may be unfurled, her numbers announced, and her power to resist her adversaries may be judiciously displayed, for she is alike bound to demand her rights, and to defend them. That season has now arrived, and we are confident, under the Divine blessing, her exertions will be effectual, not only for securing her own stability, but in greatly adding to her resources for promoting the cause of national religion.
The discourses in the work now before the reader, are from a great variety of texts, but all connected with the announcement of God as a reconciled God, in Christ Jesus. Indeed, from the prominence given to this doctrine, the Author is aware he may subject himsef to a charge of Methodism, from certain well-intentioned members of the Church of England. He bows to the charge, which he is well able to bear in its doctrinal application, while in its practical application, he refers those who consider methodism as hostile to the Church, to the conduct of a numerous body, who cheerfully assume that name, and who, in trying circumstances, have illustrated how beautifully the pure doctrines of Christianity direct the sincere heart in the paths of peace, and of true wisdom. The Wesleyan Methodists have refused to join in the calumnies and misrepresentations of the enemies of the Established Church, and in thus declining to unite with them for her overthrow, have hitherto presented an important barrier between the Church, and her unreasonable foes. While the Author has, therefore, en