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We have made store general reflections on this fad story, and proceed now to the main thing proposed; which is, su 100) isdi ,

v ac64.300 JO -- 6 b First, To give some account of the nature, origin, and ufe of fettivals, and more efpecially of domestic or family entertainments and then, ideh's A $350.

Secondly, To direct to such a prudent arrangement of circumstances in these circular vifits, as may prevent the irregularities they are sometimes the oce eations of, and secure all the falutary advantages pro. posed by them. ' . 4 ." Stil "


5 5 ** Frost, Feftivals, of which we are here to give some general account, may be considered in three views, as religious,-civil-ad domeflic... pro i Sz '

Religious festivals have obtained time immemorial in all countries, among Pagans, Mahometans, Jews, and Chriftians. Dismissing however those of the two former profeffions, the rites and grounds of which are all of human invention, and which it is not to our purpose here to examine , it shalt suffice to observe, that those only of the two latter owe their authority to divine appointment. The festivals enjoined by Moses were founded in reason, and adapted, circumstanced as the Israelitish nation was, to anfver very important political and religious purposes. But these festivals are now at an end, the positive laws respecting them being expressly repealed: by the fame authority that enacted them. And under the Chriftian dispensation, no rite of this fort that I know of is in force, but that of the Lord's fupper. This was instituted by Chrift who hath commanded that it should be obferved ito: the end of time ; and is with good reason spoken of in the New Testament as a feast one tos bairros y T5

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3* Ais do the numerous feftivals of the Romillochutch, and those fill retained in the establithed church of this country, there appears to me to be ao foundation for them in the word of God;On the contrary, we are satirer cautioned against such ceremonialobfervances, as tending to enllave the mindst of omen,sando to begetrarkind of superftition very injurious ito, religion * To which it may be added, that the scriptures seem to have purposely left us in the dark about the exact time when those great events happened, the commemoration of which on certain daysis neverthe less enjoined by human authority -zan authority which, with all becoming deference, we are obliged to pro. test against as not competent to such injunctions. But it is not our business here to enter particularly into this argument. We must; however, maintain that it is lawful for any number of Christians, with mutual consent, to fet apart days of thanksgiving for blessings they bave received, and days of humiliation under ca. lamities they füffér; nor is it only allowable to do so, it is their incumbent duty. And indeed it strikes nie, that it is an expreffion of very unreasonable and crimiwal perverseness in any peaple who dissent from the established religion of their country, to refuse, at the Intance of the civil-power, to acknowledge national benefits and to deprecate national judgments. And then, as to public feftivals that are purely civil, and to tally unconnected with religious matters, there furely can be no harm in paying a decent regard to them, provided they are held under due regulations. They have their use in fociety, to promote benevolence and a good understanding among mankind. 10 i1691 16 10

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But our views at present is to festivals of sa private or domestic kind, observed by families periodically, or con occasion of prosperous events, fuchs as marriages, births; removals to new habitations, and the like. In moft ages and countries, it has been usual for relations and friends to entertain one another, on bluch.occafons,cat their houses. The practice has ever been held lawful sand commendable.. Abraham made i a feast at the weaning of his son Isaae *. These circular feasts in the family of Job, however abused, were conformable to the custom of the times. Samson made a feast at his marriage, which lasted seven days to And we read of a yearly facrifice, or feast, there was at : Bethlehem, for all the family of Jesse, the father "S of David I.??. Indeed, it were endless: to renume. rate the many instances of this fort which occur in the Old Testament. And in the New, we frequently sead of our Saviour's being entertained at the houses of his friends, and once of bis being present at a marriage fealt in Cana of Galileel. : A practice, there. fore, in which mankind have lo universally agreed, is no doubt patural and lawful. ; And as it is iọnocent,

o it is capable, if properly conducted, of answering very useful purposes. The harmony of families is hereby preserved, and friendship among individuals promoted. Indeed the noblest ends, civil, moral, and religious, may hereby be attained, But then it must be admitted, on the other hand, that these festivities are capable of being abused to the most pernicious purposes. They have sometimes proved the unhap. py, occasions of intemperance, animosity, and flander; or at least of indecent levity and dissipation. We will go on therefore,

Secondly, * Gen. xxi. 8. 1 Judg, xiv. 10, 17. 1 Sam. xx. 6 I John ii. 1, 2. SECONDLY, To offer fome advice respecting the sanagement of these circular vifitsy in order tos prevent the irregularities jul menuioned, and to fecure the fae lutary advantages proposed bsng90.9 vsds ets32991:0

Here it must be observed before we proceed, that the company on these occasions is supposed to confitt of various forts of persons, fome elder, and others younger ; fome serious and others gay, but all of them relations and friends, and of decent reputable characters. And their object, we take it for granted, is relaxation, and the enjoyment of a cheerfutsafter. noon and evening together. Thus circumftanced, pera mit me, Sirs, to exhort you, I was th e

. To beware of Intemperances is..." . . You are now under a temptation to this great evil, For though good manners may secure you from brutal excess, yet fitting down at a table covered with delioacies, your appetite keen, your hot generous, and your affociates all of them brisks and gay . you are in danger of going beyond the fri& bounds of fobriety. Be therefore on your guard. Remember intemperance is an odious vice, displeasing to God, degrading to human nature, and productive of the most pernici: ous consequences. Besides the injury it does the confritution, it deprives persons of many rational and manly pleasures they might expect to enjoy on these occafions, makes them disagreeable to each other, ex-1 cites animosity, and if carried to the utmost length brings destruction after it. The manner in which the feitts {poken of in our text were conducted, and the event of them very well justify the suspicion, that intemperance reigned in the family of Jobs His fons and daughters, as we have seeni, and


their deompanions, 9 mets together to make merry. They ațecand dranki without regard either to health or decencyai:They grew poily and quarrelsome. From one excess they proceeded to another. Till at length, having curfed God in their hearts, they cursed him with their lips..'11 Horrid impiety! And what was the confequence? Juftice revenged the infult offered to Heaven, and these daring finners were instantly buried beneath the ruins of this wretched temple, consecrated to vice and debauchery, weil is:.7 • To enjoy the blessings of providence, and to be more than ordinarily pleasant on these occafions, is by no means criminal. You may eat, and drink, and be cheerful, without_offending either God or man. But if you exceed, depend upon it you will pay dearly for it': you will fuffer in your health, your character, and your peace, . Let the master of the family, therefore, take heed that he does. not tempt his guests to intemperance, by presenting them with too great a variety and abundance, or with delicacies unsuitable to their rank and to his circumftances. Let there be plenty without luxury : and let the rule observed at Abafhuerus's feast be strictly regarded, to compel no one to eat or drink beyond his inclination *.*. And let the guests, amidit all the ease and freedom that should prevail on these occafions, fee to it they do not tranfgress the bounds of moderation.''

: It is related of the Egyptians, by Herodotus andi others, that in order to prevent irregularities at their entertainments, and to give fome check to excessives mirth; they were ufed to bring into the room after fupper, when they began their wine, a coffin with the

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