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rally effaced by the vain, trifling, or worldly conversation which so frequently take place immediately on or before leaving the Church.* Thus good impressions, and the benefit of public worship, are often lost, even at the door of the pew: thus the seed falls by the way-side, and the moment the sower stayed his hand, the fowls came and devoured it. When they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that

sown in their hearts." Mark. iv, 15. Satan, the adversary, resists men in all their purposes of amendment, and opposes to the utmost of his power, the influences of divine grace upon the heart.

And the careless hearer is compared to the way-side, because his heart is, as it were, an open road, where evil affections, vain, foolish, and hurtful desires, continually pass and re-pass without either restraint or attention. If a stranger were to overtake a group or company of worshippers in their return from the house of God, and enquire,

* " When the seed is sown, the Devil comes immediately (Mark iv, 15.) and takes it out of the hearts of many of the hearers. Hence it is evident how dangerous a custom it is for the people to stay in the church yard, chattering about indifferent matters as soon as the sermon is ended." Warn those therefore, in whom there is

any seriousness, to proceed from Church to some retired plaoe in their own houses, or to converse with their families on what they have been hearing."

Sir J. Stonehouse's Hints to a Curate, p. 45.

" What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another as ye walk ?" they could not but rarely reply, that they are such communications as become the place we have just left, and the solemn services in which we have been just engaged. The conversation of people too often upon leaving a place of worship is occupied in trifling chat,*--about the news of the neighbourhood, the state of the weather, of the markets, politics of the day, the dress and appearance of certain individuals in the congregation, or about any thing but religious subjects.

The Christian worshipper should meditate in his heart and revolve in his mind the things which he has heard. He is to “ mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the word of God. The

*“ I was quite as bad in the church yard, as I was in the Church: not a word had any of us to say about what we had been hearing or doing; yet it is amazing how glib all our tongues wonld run about the news of the week, and about every body's concerns but our own.”

Village Dialogues, vol. i, p. 42.

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person who hears much, and never meditates, is like one who eats much, and never digests: as the constitution of the latter must be unhealthy, so the soul of the former feeds not upon " the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow thereby," and lives not upon the bread of life. The word of God is the food of the soul; but it must be digested, in order to nourish and strengthen the soul, and to produce a growth “ in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The solemn services of the sanctuary should be made a subject of prayer. The Christian should retire, when practicable, from the house of God to the closet, to examine what has been the state of his mind, to meditate and pray over what he has done and heard. Praying over what we have heard, will greatly tend to impress the truth on our heart; and confessing the sins which have been brought home to our conscience, and imploring the help of divine grace to fulfil the duties which have been enforced, is the way to bring down a blessing upon the christian pastor and his flock. It was the pious practice of our forefathers,

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that on Sunday evenings the masters or heads of families, would call together every one of their children and domestics, who had attended divine worship, to give some account of what they heard that day, and would endeavour to inculcate upon them the necessity of putting into practice what they knew and understood of the word of God. This was a pious and laudable custom: it would be very desirable if' masters of families would thus decidedly shew, that whatever others do, they and theirs will serve the Lord. God enjoined the children of Israel, and said, "These words which I command thee, shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.". Deut. vi, 6, 7. Thus the word of God was to be their constant topic : and the word of God is required to dwell in Christians richly, as the unfailing source of consolation, of holy meditation, of edifying discourse, and of habitual practice. Our blessed Lord concluded his sermon on the mount with the following awful admonition:

Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matt. vii, 26, 27.*

The writer recommends to the serious reader the attentive perusal of a Tract called “ Directions for a Devout and Decent Behaviour in the Public Worship of God, &c.” published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and sometimes bound with Common Prayer Books.

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