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Membership ended. 1844. May 3.
Lemuel E. Caswell, Garden St. Ch.
Sarah Jane Vinal, Walpole, April 25, 1845. .
Dolly C. Blake, Ashby, Ms.
Elizabeth F. Crosby,
Margaret B. Hall,
Susan C. Perrin,
Abigail Ann Appleton,
Membership ended. 1846. Jan. 2.
Membership ended. 1846. Jan. 2.
Samuel Chadwick, Hempstead, L. I.
Sarah J. Vinal,
Mary Ann Masters,
Whole number, 213.
PRACTICAL HINTS FOR CHURCH MEMBERS.
ATTENDING THE MEETINGS OF THE CHURCH.
The church appoints the exercises of the Sabbath and of the week by the authority of Christ,—with the concurrence of its members,-and with a supreme regard to the glory of God, the good of the church, and the spiritual interests of its members. Members, therefore, are under solemn obligations to God, as well as to the church, and to themselves, to attend upon them all, regularly, punctually, spiritually and devotedly.
1. Whatever is authorized by the church, not inconsistent with the authority of Christ, or contrary to his injunctions, constitutes an obligation on the members ; as also, whatever necessary to carry into full efficiency the injunctions of Christ, and to secure the perfect holiness of his church and people.
2. Every member of this church has publicly pledged himself before the church, before God, and holy angels, that he will obey the church in all its regulations, and unite in promoting all its interests,--so long as he remains a member of the same.
3. To stay away on Sabbath afternoon, or on Friday evening, or from the Preparatory Lecture, or from the Monthly Concert, to neglect the Sabbath school and its meetings, or the prayer meeting, is not therefore an indifferent matter; if done without a good reason, it is a positive sin, by whatever member of this church it is done. For
1. Even were these things indifferent in themselves or to others, they are not so to you; you have engaged to observe them.
2. You thus violate your own solemn promise.
3. You thus throw a slight upon these ordinances, and upon the church ordaining them,
4. You detract from their efficiency.
6. You injure yourself by depriving yourself of means found, by all who diligently use them, to be helpful for piety.
7. You expose yourself to temptation.
8. You habituate yourself to neglect duty.
9. You make your feelings, and not duty, the standard of your conduct.
10. You rob God.
But you will say, Is there no exception to this rule? We answer, assuredly there is. You may be providentially hindered. You may be sick. You may be so infirm as not to be, prudently, out at night. Or your family may demand your immediate care. But, then, professor of religion, we would most solemnly remind you that God will measure all such excuses by the weight they have when you are invited to attend an evening party, or to visit some place of amusement, or to wait upon a friend, or to attend some public or political meeting. If you have no good reason which keeps you away from one or all of these, then neither have you any which should keep you away from religious meetings. God will judge you by your acknowledged course of life, and by your own conduct will he condemn you as faithless, and cold to him, to his cause, and to religion, while thus compliant to the world.
Many excuse themselves from attendance on church because it rains. Now, in many cases, it is proper and advisable for persons who are delicate, and who would suffer by exposure, to remain at home, wait upon God in their closets, by reading the Bible, or spiritual works, and by prayer.
But do you stay away from church, when, were it a week day, you would unhesitatingly go to your business, or visit a friend, or attend upon an evening party? Then surely you condemn yourself, and confess that obedience to God and the worship of God, and the interests of your soul, are of less importance than the claims of the world, or of pleasure. Is not this honoring and serving the creature more than the Creator, and loving pleasure more than God? And does not God pronounce this to be idolatry?
Again. Do you stay away from church when you think your minister, though he may be as delicate as yourself, ought nevertheless to attend? Then you again condemn yourself. For he is under no more obligation to minister, than you to be ministered unto, or to preach, than you to hear, or to conduct the worship of God, than you to render that worship which is due unto him.