Well, but, brethren, let us see if in thus going along with our Lord, and admiring what He did when He cleansed the Temple, we are not at the same time judging and rebuking ourselves.

Change the scene from Jerusalem, and transfer it to our own land. We, it is true, have no one building like the Jews' Temple, but we have in every part of our country what is the same thing. We have in every parish throughout England a place set apart by a solemn rite for the public worship of God; a place in which God has promised to be present - where He hears, and answers prayer; a place from which all worldly business ought to be shut out; which we enter with bared heads, and hushed voices, as into the presence of the great King — that place, need I say it, is our parish church.

Built, in many instances, centuries ago,—from time to time restored, and beautified,- these churches still stand, to be a witness to us that the Lord He is God; that He made us, and not we ourselves; that we are His people and the

; sheep of His pasture!

And how do we use these churches ? I am not speaking of the many who use them not at all; who, to their loss, are never to be seen in a church; but how do we, brethren,- we who do come to church; we who have always kept true to the good old custom in which we were brought up, and who come hither, Sunday after Sunday, to worship God,-how do we behave when met together in this His House? Is there nothing in our conduct here to call down the reproach of old,—“ Make not my Father's House a house of merchandize?” Do we not, I mean, sometimes bring with us to church our busy earthly thoughts

our gains and losses in the past week? Do we not let our hearts wander from our proper work of prayer and praise, and the hearing of God's word, to the market, or to the shop, or to our employments, or to our pleasures, which occupy us when at home? Are we, when the Lord comes to His Temple, and looks upon us here assembled, found, as Daniel was, “praying and making supplication ;” or are

, we found with our lips dumb; with our thoughts and affections far away; with our hearts preoccupied, overcharged with cares and anxieties, filled with the lusts of other things?

These are questions that we ought not to leave unanswered. It is a matter of the gravest importance how we behave ourselves in the House of God. On it, on our conduct in church, may hang the issues of life and death — " them that honour me I will honour; and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

Observe my words, brethren—a habit of reve

rence; respect for the place of God's worship; a sober and serious demeanour when engaged in that worship; an ear that listens to His word; an eye turned away from beholding vanity; a heart whose

; affections are set on things above; which in God's Presence thinks only about God; which is closed and shut, for that time at least, against the world, these are ever the distinguishing marks of an acceptable worshipper. Where these are found, there God's blessing comes down like the dew ; there the way is prepared for the visitings of His grace; there the promise is made good,—“ I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Cor. vi. 16.)

And so, on the other hand, where there are none of these things,- no reverence, no attention, no careful keeping of the thoughts of the heart, no check on the eye from roving, no sending up of the soul to God, no meekly kneeling on the knees in prayer, no sign of our being conscious that the Lord is in this place,” that this is “holy ground,', - where this is the case, there no blessing can be expected; nay, rather, the opposite to a blessing is to be expected. For by such careless, irreverent ways, we are tempting God to forsake us; we are doing away with the good which we might else surely get by coming to church; we are calling down upon our heads those words of severe


rebuke which we have heard in the First Lesson for to-day—the words spoken of old to the Israelites, when they had corrupted God's worship,— “ To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?.... When

ye come



who hath required this at your hands to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations: incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with: it is

uity, even the solemn meeting.” (Isa. i. 11-13.) And now, brethren, with these remarks on the

, use and abuse of our meeting together in church, suggested by the incident in the Gospel, I shall close my sermon to

for the present.


I hope, at some future day enter more at length into the meaning of our Church services, and their fitness to our spiritual wants. But what I desire to leave impressed on your minds to-day, is, this one thought, that our parish church- be it the humblest in its outward shape, and the least adorned within-is a holy place; that it is God's House of Prayer; the appointed spot to us for our common, national, public worship; and that, being such, it becomes us to regard it, and to behave in it, with the utmost respect, reverence, and devotion: to come into it, and to go out of it, gently, quietly, silently; to come into it disengaged from all worldly thoughts and cares, bearing no other burden than that of our sins, which we seek to roll off here at the feet of Jesus Christ: to come, I say, hither, as those who require and seek a great favour; who have petitions to prefer to the King of kings,-requests to make to God for pardon, for grace, for power to stand against the Tempter, for food, for health, for all things.

Surely, where such are our needs, it does, indeed, seem fit that we should enter God's House with reverence, and conduct ourselves while in it with humility,—and by humility I mean that we should, in making our prayers, make them upon our knees.

It grieves me to be obliged to notice how generally we are at fault about this; how little we seem to Him, who looketh on, as a people that prayeth!

And why is it so ? Surely the posture which all religious men have used since the world began, when engaged in an act of worship- the posture which our Lord used, and His Apostles used, and all the whole Church of Christ uses — is the one that we ought to use also; which we cannot omit to use without harm, without breaking the order of a devout congregation, and marring the effect of common prayer.

I am not one who would plead for a form for form's sake; but I feel, that in our observing a

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