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cidents, hinder us from reaping all the joy and improvement we might expect from such society.
But in that other state beyond the grave, there will be no uneasiness from interference of contrary tempers or jarring of interests; but all will harmonize and unite together in the same virtuous labours, notwithstanding their different tempers, capacities, and attainments; and it will be found, that it is not the largeness of the talents and powers committed to his creatures, but the faithful diligent use and improvement of them, which will constitute the happiness of each, and make them acceptable to the great giver of all things.
O thou, the benevolent parent of the universe! who art the only refuge and restingplace of thy creatures, who depend upon thee each moment; without whom, whosoever liveth, walketh in darkness and seeth nothing!
We again approach thee with humblest reverence, to express in the best manner we are able our grateful sense of thy favours to us in our present enjoyments, and those future hopes of blessings without name or number
which thou hast given us by the holy Jesus thy servant, and our honoured Lord and Master!
And as it is thy command unto us by him, O Lord our God, that we should openly confess him before men, that thy name and goodness may be known to all others for their benefit, and that they may be partakers of thy great salvation, and come to eternal life;
Make us thankful for the unspeakable honour done unto us, in thus condescending to employ us in thy service, and to labour earnestly therein, lest we lose the opportunity of recommending ourselves to thee by contributing to the virtue and eternal good of others, which may never return.
And, forasmuch as we are beset with various temptations to draw us from this our great business, as the disciples of Christ, preserve us from all mean compliances with the guise and fashion of this world, in stifling thy truth for selfish purposes, and through a mean fear of men and their displeasure, lest we forfeit thy loving-kindness and favour, which nothing can repair.
Give us, therefore, we pray thee, the continual assistance of thy good spirit; that, by a life devoted to the obedience of thy laws, and
and an attention to bring others to the knowledge of thee and thy truth, we may not live for ourselves only, but for others; and that when we leave these transitory scenes, as ere long we must, we may have the consolation of reflecting, that we have not misled any of our fellow-creatures, or drawn them to offend against thee to their ruin; but have been made instruments, through thy blessing, of bringing some to a better knowledge of thee, and to walk in the paths of piety and virtue : and that we, together with them, may be admitted to the participation of that pure and perfect bliss, which is thy promise to us by Christ our Lord! and may rejoice with all thy faithful servants over the dangers and difficulties of this our mortal probationary state.
Now unto Thee, O Father, &c.
November 14, 1784.
MATTHEW vii. 24-27.
Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto wise man, which built his house upon a rock : and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his bouse upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.
THIS is the winding up and conclusion of the longest of our Lord's discourses, replete with such excellent rules for the attainment of piety and virtue, and the highest felicity, as were never before delivered to mortal men.