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all, the union of vigilance and Prayer ; and though the man, who treads the middle path of life, may be said to be equally removed from the snares of Riches and the miseries of Poverty; yet he will have difficulties and trials to exercise his virtue, as well as his fellow-creatures. The competency of his condition will not always check the repinings of envy and discon. tent. Instead of diligently improving the comforts of his station, he will sacrifice them, perhaps, to a foolish ambition; or suffer them to pass away unenjoyed, from a species of worldlymindedness, that is never to be satisfied. This selfish disposition, which always craves for more, --which constantly looks forward to what is beyond its reach, instead of acknowledging, with pious gratitude, what has been already bestowed, embitters every condition. It sharpens the arrows of Adversity, and it poisons the cup of Prosperity: but it becomes more sinful, as well as more foolish, when cherished by those in middle life. : The murmurs of discontent will often be forced from the poor man by the peculiar hardships of his lot; and the rich, from the disorders of a sickly imagination, and a sort of irritable weakness, or sensitive disease both of body and

of mind, that is produced by luxury and indolence, might sorrow and repine, while surrounded with blessings of every kind. But those who enjoy mediocrity, are equally removed from the real distresses of poverty, and the imaginary, though often no less severe calamities of wealth. Their lot therefore is fallen on a good ground, where the virtues of industry and temperance may be exerted with the moșt beneficial effects; and where no insuperable barriers oppose their progress to higher stations. They are neither checked, at their first outset, by hopeless despondency, nor are their powers lost in that satiety of enjoyment, which opulence too often affords. By laudable exertions, they may improve the respective talents entrusted to their care, without any imputation of covetousness; and the fruits of their industry may make that provision for themselves and their own houshold, which Christianity not only permits, but enjoins.

Yet, in doing this, let them remember that the same divine authority, which tells them “ not to be slothful in business,” bids them take heed lest they violate the sacred duties of justice, and neighbourly love, by indulging any concealed fraud, avarice, or oppression. The


virtues and the vices of men, we may remark, are a kind of reciprocals; and exhortations to the one, and dissuasives from the other, areri nearly of the same import. In encouraging is those in middle life to industry and activity, we sufficiently warn them against idleness and selfie indulgence; and in the practice of almost every i duty, there are extremes bordering on vice and, fully, which require both the vigilance and prayer » commanded in the text to guard against.

But, to descend to particulars--Let those, who rank in the middle classes of society, be- ;, ware how they in any form or degree oppress: the Poor; and, by reflecting on what it is their duty to do, they may learn what transgressions iş and omissions they ought to avoid.

Let it be considered that to them, chiefly, the Poor look up for instruction, employment and relief. Between the highest orders of the i community and the lowest, unfortunately, there; is scarcely any intercourse. It is with those in

1 middle life, that the Poor are connected in the numerous and useful relations of servants, labourers, artizans, and manufacturers. , And letis the merchant, the husbandman, and trader re-, flect, that it is chiefly by the work of their hands that they grow rich, and must depend for future

comfort and support!'){This should teach themiy at all times, to respect the usefulness of theiris, humble station ; and to be particularly kind to! them under their little hardships and misforan tunes, considering, that what are trifling losses it and calamities to somé, might be attended with a irretrievable ruin to others. Sickness, moreri especially, should claim a large portion of that: 6 “charity which is the bond of perfectness;" ast should also those inclement seasons, which pre clude many kinds of labor, and those long and dreary intervals, when, from a state of warfare, 's the caprices of fashion, and other causes, the artist and manufacturer might be deprived of is their daily employment, and consequently of 5 their daily bread.

On all occasions, indeed, those who enjoy the privileges of masters, should learn to be “ kind, it knowing that they also have a Master in heá- II ven." When po unusual circumstances call foros particular attention, they should in their general ei treatment and conversation “ be, as the apostlese exhorts, pitiful and courteous;"~avoiding all a unnecessary harshness, they should be models of conduct to them in the humble circle, where they also are required to act and govern, as masters' of housholds, and fathers of families ; tanı


models that would be more generally imitated were they more generally known : but the misfortune is, that the relation between the master and the servant, in many instances, and between the employer and the employed, is too distant-there is unavoidably, perhaps, in the present state of society, too little personal intercourse between them. What is worse, the rich now shrink from the important office of guardians and superintendants of the poor ; and therefore every thing that tends to raise or sink their condition,-every thing that is generously meant to increase the poor man's comforts, or that might serve ultimately, but unintentionally, to add to his hardships, by diminishing exertion, and quenching the last spark of independence in his heart, reaches him through the medium of under agents, with this peculiar disadvantage, that the good is generally diminished, and the evil is always increased.

This neglect is productive of much depravity among our poor brethren, while it greatly augments their difficulties and distresses. Were they not a sort of insulated body, as it were, in society, but more particularly in the metropolis, (where, it must be allowed, it would be extremely difficult to remedy this, and many

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