God’s people are privileged! This proposition is extracted from Malachi 1:1-5: “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD . . .
An Address to People Who Seldom or Never Go to Church
By the Rev. Robert Lee,
Minister of Campsie
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is”—Heb. 10:25
John Johnstone, 2, Hunter Square, Successor to Waugh and Innes
My friends, there are many questions which cannot be satisfactorily answered, there are many which are not worth answering, and there are many which may be answered most distinctly, and are so important, that no man should give himself a day’s rest till he has settled them to his complete satisfaction. It seems to me, that this question, “Whether it is your duty to attend Church?” is of the last kind, being an inquiry both which may be, and which ought to be, decided upon by every man for himself, without delay.
What is contained in the following paper, I have written with the view of persuading those of my own parishioners, who absent themselves from the house of prayer, to consider the subject. And if God shall be pleased . . .
1. The first reason of this duty, is one which will settle the matter with all men who do not despise the authority of God that made them, and the book which contains the record of his will, God commands it. That he unquestionably does so, I have proved above, in the most undoubted manner. “He, therefore, that despiseth, despiseth not men but God.” Think not, O sinner, this question, or this controversy, is betwixt thee or me . . .
2. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:9,10. So, then, it is the faith of a risen Saviour, not concealed, but publicly professed, to the glory of God and the strengthening of our brethren, by which we must, and without which we cannot, be saved. It is essential to our salvation, not only that . . .
3. A third reason why you should frequent the Church is, that you cannot be so well employed any where else. I have not found many who pretended they could. The case is so clear, in the eyes of those whose minds are not utterly blinded, that they generally do not seek to justify, but only to excuse, their neglect. Some, however, are more hardened, alleging they can spend their time as well meditating in the fields or reading at home. I can tell these people, without any inquiry into their case, that . . .
4. While thousands of men have been made better by attending the public worship of God, no man was ever known to be made worse by such attendance. The only sure way to judge of the tendency of a thing, is to learn, what effects it has commonly produced. If two classes of men, in circumstances altogether similar, who live in the same place, work at the same employments, receive the same amount of wages, have enjoyed the same . . .
5. Of all the millions of men who have, in all ages of the Church, attended the public ordinances of religion, no man of sound mind was ever known to regret his having attended them, but thousands have lamented most deeply and bitterly their failing to wait upon God in that manner; and very many have connected the commencement of that course, which led eventually…
6. As the general habit of church-going is always accompanied with a general decency and regularity of behaviour, so, on the other hand, the general neglect of public religious worship is universally marked by a general profligacy of manners, by the prevalence of open and gross sins, drunkenness, fornication, theft, adultery, violence, murder, and all the other more heinous violations of the laws of God and of man. It is a fact well known…
7. We shall cease to wonder at the powerful and salutary effects which undeniably result from attending the house of God, when we consider, that, God, the Giver of all good, both for the present life and the life to come, gives it under what conditions, and subject to what laws, he himself has seen fit. He preserves our lives on condition that we take food, drink, sleep, and whatever else he has pointed out to us as necessary…