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that he has lost, or the many occasions, on which he has perverted and abused it. Humanity shrinks from the painful task of pursuing the late repentant sinner, through the horrors of a guilty conscience, and the miseries of self-reproach, till death invading every sense, he goes to his long home, the grave closes over him, and, in a short time, he is forgotten, as though he had never been.
These are some of the snares of Prosperity, and such are frequently its lamentable effects on the minds of men. To avoid them requires the vigilance and fortitude of a sound mind, aided by a lively sense of duty, the fervency of prayer, and the mild influence of religion.
But let us not, by any means, confound mankind in one general, indiscriminate mass. If 'there are many among the prosperous, who thus abuse the riches of Divine Love, there are some, we should remember, with pleasure, who multiply the talents bestowed on them by their heavenly Lord, as the seed is increased that is received into good ground. Whatever might be the too general practice, there will be always some, I trust, who may be regarded as "the salt of the earth," as "a light unto the world,” whose good works, in every branch of Christian
duty," so shine before men, that they may see them, and learn to glorify their Father which is in heaven."
But the extremes of virtue and vice, of wisdom and folly, suit but a small number. The great body of mankind lies between. You, therefore, who "are rich in this world,"-who may rank among the prosperous, and yet be free, I hope, from the most glaring abuses of your condition in life ;-you, who are sometimes enthralled in its snares, and who sometimes fulfil its appropriate duties; learn, at all times, to consider prosperity as a trust, a responsibility, a kind of pleasing discipline, and flattering trial of your virtues in the sight of men, and of your sincerity before God. Be assured, it increases your warfare with the world in many respects, though it renders it more easy in others. So far should it be from inspiring you with vanity, pride, and a passion for pleasure ;-so far from making you high-minded, thoughtless, idle, and careless of futurity, it should render you humble, charitable, and temperate; kind to your fellow-creatures, and full of grateful piety to God. If it should please the Almighty, therefore, of his infinite goodness, to send us
the blessing of Prosperity, let us earnestly endeavour to improve its advantages, and be ever ready "to watch, and pray, that we enter not into its temptations."
ON VIGILANCE AND PRAYER.
MATT. XXVI. 41.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.
HAVING, in my last discourse on these words, considered the importance and utility of vigilance in a state of prosperity, I shall endeavour, on the present occasion, to recommend it more particularly to your attention and practice under Adversity. On some future occasion, I purpose, by divine permission, to extend my remarks to that intermediate condition of life, which may be said to be equally remote from poverty and riches and we may close our meditations on the subject, by considering the efficacy of prayer to the Supreme Being in keeping
us from temptation, calming the mind, and strengthening every virtuous resolution.
It has pleased the Almighty Father, in the wise dispensations of his providence, that almost every station in life, and every event that can befal us, should form some portion of that discipline, which was meant to exercise our virtues here, and to prepare us for a better state of existence hereafter. We daily see evil arising out of apparent good; while wisdom, happiness, and power, (attainments that we chiefly covet,) are often the result of temporary difficulties and imaginary misfortunes. Hence, prosperity and adversity are equally calculated to try us. Under their varied forms of sickness and health,-of moderate possessions and craving wants, of pleasure and pain, of gratification and disappointment, they enter largely into that moral system of action, suffering, or forbearance, which so ef fectually disciplines the human heart, and which constitutes our warfare with the world.
Every man, therefore, beside the ordinary temptations of life, has some that are pecu liarly his own;-some that are adapted to his individual character, to his passions, and his temper, his circumstances and pursuits: so that we might well be exhorted, in the words