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in that golden mean, which is equally remote from extremes; and there is not a more mischievous, or mistaken notion, than to suppose, that there are not blameable excesses even in the practice of our best virtues. The truth is, that every thing may be changed, and perverted from its right use and nature by addition, as well as by diminution ; so that there is not a duty, or quality of the human mind, however natural and commendable in its proper degree, which may not thus be productive of folly, misery, and vice. Who knows not that generosity and friendship must be restricted to certain limits, by prudence and discretion, unless we fear not to waste the means of happiness, and occasionally, also, to reap the harvest of folly, while suffering the stings of ingratitude and self-reproach ? Even the most natural of all duties,--the affection of a parent for his child, requires the sober guidance and control of religion to prevent its excesses from leading to evil. The consequence of fondness that is never restrained, and of indulgence that knows no limit, will generally be, the nourishment and growth of every vain, proud, and selfish passion. All notions of submission, docility, and obedience, are in danger of being lost, in the strong desire of liberty, and

of promiscuous enjoyment, from the toys of childhood, to the play-things of riper years.

The love, which is thus foolishly and lavishly bestowed, which frustrates its own ends, and ruins its unhappy object, it may be remarked, is scarcely ever acknowledged, or returned; and, indeed, the order of nature and of Providence seems so thoroughly perverted by sạch conduct, that the parent is rendered by it more dependent on the child, than the child is on the parent.

I shall only exemplify the great truth expressed in the text, by noticing one subject

The distinguished duty of Christian Charity, amiable and extensive as it is, and ought to be, requires, in practice, the application of that sober rule of divine wisdom, which would guard us equally against doing too little, and too much. On few occasions will it be found more necessary to " add to our virtue knowledge;" or to attend to the precept of the apostle St. Jude, who says, “ of some have compassion, making a difference.” Unless we do this, the lavish and indiscriminate alms of the charitable will often serve to encourage helplessness and sloth, pauperism and mendicity, with all its concomitant vices, instead of allevi308 On the Duty of neither adding to the Word, -woru. 1094? ?1


TO YOH 3 ating the sufferings of virtue, relieving the temporary, wants, or incidental ills of honest poyerty, and enabling the industrious and welldisposed, by the blessing of God, to earn their daily bread, without being a permanent burden to their fellow-creatures.

It should be remembered, also, as an inducement for us to be more vigilant and circumspect in the discharge of duty, within our respective parishes, that the public example of a man living from day to day, and year to year, on alms which he deserves not, or passing life away

in a state of beggary and idleness, has the most mischievous effect on the principles and habits of the lower classes of the community. It paralyses the efforts of the industrious, and produces envyings and repinings among them ;-it disheartens them amidst their daily labors, or renders them less careful of their character and conduct;-and, lastly, it is apt to teach many the ruinous lesson of living on chance, and depending on any thing for future subsistence but their own exertions.

In turning over the pages of Holy Scripture, let us endeavour, therefore, with reverence and humility, to learn what the measure of our duty is, both towards God and towards our neighbour, and then let us strive, by the gracious aids of

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Eduro?! si vi malho biurand i 10 808 the Holy Spirit, to fulfil it as we ought. Knowing that we are surrounded with errors and in firmities of various kinds, let us humbly pray, 09 that our Almighty Father will be pleased to bestow on us some portion of that divine wisdom, which distinguished the holy apostles, and which consisted, we read, not in “ the spirit fear,” meaning groundless, and superstitious fear; “ 'but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Then, while others wander 'to the right and left, losing themselves in the perplexing labyrinths of folly and of sin, we may be enabled to pursue that middle path, which

“ the way of pleasantness and peace” in this present life, and may hereafter lead to the blessings of immortality, through the merits, mediation, and atonement of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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MATT. v. 22.

But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in

danger of hell-fire.

BEFORE we enter into any minute discussion of this apparently awful denunciation of our blessed Lord, it will be necessary to take a short view of the context. This chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel opens with the commencement of the divine Sermon, which was pronounced, it is supposed, on Mount Tabor, near Capernaum. Beside the beatitudes, as the verses beginning with “ Blessed,” are generally called, it contains many precepts of divine wisdom and love; some of which are calculated expressly to shew the superior sanctity and purity of the Holy Gospel, as well as the mildness of its sanctions, when contrasted with the laws of Moses.

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