BV597 W547 v1

98 The Inflitution and Government ftrikes at the Effence of a Church, the Effence being con - fidered as the Form thereof. The Church is a fpiritual Houfe. Now a Houfe confifts of Matter and Form, and it receives the Denomination of a Houfe from its Form. Take the Materials afunder, and it is no Houfe : If every Member fhould neglea their Place as fome do, the Houle would foon be demolifhed. 7. Negligence of your Place hath in it a negle& of the End of Church-Coniiitution : The End of a Church -State is, that God may be woríhipped by an incorporated Body, in a peculiar Way from what he is worfhipped by others : I Pet. ii. 5. re alto as lively Stones are built up a fpiritual Houfe, to ter up fpiritual Sacrifices acceptable unto God by Jefus ChriJ1. The End of Church - Communion Perfons fhould have in their Eye when they give up themfelves each to other ; and this fhould í1i11 be minded by them, as long as they fland in a Church - State, that they might bring thofe Offerings that God calls for, come into his Courts and gwor- Jhip the Lord in the Beauty of Holinef , andgive unto the Lord the Glcry due unto his Name. If Members neglea their Places in the Church, they keep back from God his due: In this refpeft there are a great many indebted to God. But here it may be enquired, What is to le donein cafe Members are negligent in this Matter ? I anfwer, (t.) They fhould be privately admonifhed by their Brethren, they fhould enquire into the Reafon of their Abfence, and exhort them to their Duty, that Negli- gence become not habitual unto them: Heb. iii, 13. But exhort one another daily, left any of you be hardened through the D:ceitfulnefs of Sin. Sin is of a deceitful Nature, and it may cheat Men by degrees, to the indulging themfelves in the neglei of their Duty. This is one Remedy that God hash provided ; Heb. x. i 5 . Not forfaking the alm- blng of yourfelves together, as the Manner cf fame is, but exhorting one another, &c. If each Member would obferve who were wanting, and would, as they live near, enquire into the caufe of their Abfence, and admonifh them to their Duty where Negligence appeared, we might expe& a Bleffìng upon it, because it is a way of God's own appoint- ing; but thofe private Exhortations are too much wanting. (z.) If