Joel 2:15-16. Blow the trumpet in Zion This was a signal for assembling the people at the solemn times of public worship. Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly Or, appoint ye a fast, proclaim a solemn day: so Archbishop Newcome. Sanctify the congregation Let the people prepare themselves for this solemn time of humiliation, not only by washing themselves and their clothes, and cleansing themselves from all legal impurities, as is required Exodus 19:10-15, but by true contrition of heart, godly sorrow for, and forsaking all known sin, as also by abstaining from all sensual pleasures, however innocent and allowable at other times. Absolute self-denial is but a reasonable preparation for keeping a day of solemn humiliation before God, on account of national sins or calamities. This kind of abstinence was recommended among the heathen as a necessary preparation for solemn worship. Assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts Let both young and old join in this duty, for all ages joining in it will add much to the solemnity of it, and is very proper to work in men’s minds that sincere contrition, which may avert those judgments which threaten the whole nation, and in which their posterity may suffer. Let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet Even on the day of their marriage, or during the marriage-feast. Let newly-married persons disregard the concerns and enjoyments peculiar to their situation, and afflict themselves with the rest of the people.
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