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For in the midst of so many passions and appe as compose our frame; so many disorders in i we are born with; so many more, as we have si added; such powerful temptations, as surrour on every side; we cannot hope, that the caref attention to ourselves will keep us entirely free faults: but without such care, we shall fall into : more and worse; we shall go much greater le in them; we shall continue the wrong condu have once begun, blind to its guilt and peril, oi quit one error to adopt another; till we fix our down in a confirmed state of sin and misery. little neglect of culture, a soil, so fruitful of ill v will soon be covered with them: besides, that th inclinations of the best minds, if left to thems will run wild and degenerate. And proportiona persons are more exempted from the free admo of others, the more certainly and dangerously must err, unless preserved by a most vigorous their own self-reflections.

A duty, thus plain and thus necessary, Go doubtless expect us to perform very faithfully. what the Almighty commands, we shall alway it our interest to do, never to omit. When we acted amiss indeed, we must feel pain in think it. But it is pain in order to a cure, which and ease will follow : whereas the cowardice searching our wounds will inevitably make then In some of the most trifling affairs of life, we : think it strangely absurd not to observe, wl were doing. But how vastly more is it so, management of the whole of life; on which ou piness or misery depends, in time and to etern

We cannot bear perhaps to be so serious. we refuse it, sooner or later we shall assure

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SERMON 1. For in the midst of so many passions and appetites, as compose our frame; so many disorders in it, as we are born with; so many more, as we have superadded; such powerful temptations, as surround us on every side; we cannot hope, that the carefullest attention to ourselves will keep us entirely free from faults: but without such care, we shall fall into many more and worse; we shall go much greater lengths in them; we shall continue the wrong conduct we have once begun, blind to its guilt and peril

, or only quit one error to adopt another ; till we fix ourselves down in a confirmed state of sin and misery. By a little neglect of culture, a soil, so fruitful of ill weeds, will soon be covered with them: besides, that the best inclinations of the best minds, if left to themselves, will run wild and degenerate. And proportionably as persons are more exempted from the free admonition of others, the more certainly and dangerously they must err, unless preserved by a most vigorous use of their own self-reflections.

A duty, thus plain and thus necessary, God will doubtless expect us to perform very faithfully. And what the Almighty commands, we shall always find

driven to it. And never have there been world poor creatures so dreadfully serious, who have resolved to be always gay and thou Terrors of mind, pains of body, perplexity of have come to be their hourly companions ; t. often life itself hath grown insupportable to and they have desperately broken out of it, an that in vain. Here or hereafter every one think : will we then do it, while it may avail when it can only aggravate our sufferings ? I persons of the greatest levity are serious in points: as earnest, as they are capable of about matters that very little deserve it: and w about the one thing needful ?

But possibly we are not convinced that oui viour is of such infinite and eternal impo However, at least it is of importance to ex whether it be or not. That inquiry can do harm : and it may do us good beyond concept

But perhaps we have inquired, and think ti reason to doubt of what we are commonly concerning these matters. But when did we to think so? Was it before we had grossly s or however, were pretty much resolved to si wanted to be made easy in it? Or was it not sequence of imagining, that an infidel way of ing would give us a distinguished and fashi air ? If so, what chance was there, that our in should be a fair one? It is not picking ur others, or inventing ourselves, a few jests and or even real objections against religion, that e us to say we have examined it: but an im thorough search into every thing, within our favourable to it, as well as contrary. What a then have we read, with what men of learnir

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it our interest to do, never to omit. When we have acted amiss indeed, we must feel pain in thinking of it. But it is pain in order to a cure, which health and ease will follow : whereas the cowardice of not searching our wounds will inevitably make them fatal In some of the most trifling affairs of life, we should think it strangely absurd not to observe, what we were doing. But how vastly more is it so, in the

management of the whole of life; on which our happiness or misery depends, in time and to eternity!

We cannot bear perhaps to be so serious. But if we refuse it, sooner or later we shall assuredly be

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great command of considering their ways; tod ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts *. morrow may be quite too late: and at best delay will make self-inspection more painful, ai condition more hopeless. But how carefully s we may have searched into our breasts already occasions for it will be daily rising; and unle repetition of it be frequent, we shall perform effectually, and very soon leave it off entirely. present season indeed is a yearly memorial of lection and seriousness. But as the mere ou shew of it is of no value; so the more real go of a few weeks, if it end with them, is of very Our business therefore is, so to examine ou now, as to live more christianly ever after. whence can we better begin, than from what w to Him that made us ?

Do we then often think of him, and cons reverence him, as the wise and good, the ju powerful, ruler of the world? Do we praise h his mercies, pray for his pardon, protectio grace, not only now and then in public forr daily in private, with a deep and awful sense o we say before him? Or can we perhaps some remember when we prayed in secret and in e last ? If not, why this neglect of the Author we enjoy, the Disposer of all we hope for? O think it meanness to honour him, even wit lowest submission? Do we think it meanness inferiors to pay due respect to us?

If not, 1 us to pay all respect to God? Will we then a do it for the future? Resolving otherwise i rately, comes very little short of renouncing and ing him ; and dare we then go thus far?

# Psalm xcv. 8.

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SERMON I. great command of considering their ways; today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts *. Tomorrow may be quite too late : and at best every delay will make self-inspection more painful, and our condition more hopeless. But how carefully soever we may have searched into our breasts already, fresh occasions for it will be daily rising; and unless the repetition of it be frequent, we shall perform it ineffectually, and very soon leave it off entirely. The present season indeed is a yearly memorial of recollection and seriousness. But as the mere outward shew of it is of no value; so the more real goodness of a few weeks, if it end with them, is of very little. Our business therefore is, so to examine ourselves now, as to live more christianly ever after. And whence can we better begin, than from what we owe to Him that made us ?

Do we then often think of him, and constantly reverence him, as the wise and good, the just and powerful

, ruler of the world? Do we praise him for his mercies, pray for his pardon, protection and grace, not only now and then in public form, but daily in private, with a deep and awful sense of what we say before him! Or can we perhaps some of us remember when we prayed in secret and in earnest

would it deserve were we to treat an earthly sur so? What doth it deserve, if we treat the Lore King of all so?

But besides worship, we owe him further, fai what he teaches, obedience to what he comm Have we then inquired with humility of heart, doctrines he hath proposed to our belief, what he hath prescribed to our conduct, by reason velation? Or do we set up our own fancy and ca for absolute judges of his declarations and apr ments: indolently and securely determining, tha article of faith, or rule of life, be its evidence it will, cannot come from him; and another, th it doth, ought however to give way to our pr interest, ease, or humour? Could such treat of human laws be borne? And will the Almi and All-wise bear it ? Be not deceived: God ia mocked.

But, how fully soever we own the authorit religion, do we practise it? What is our great and endeavour here? Is it to secure a happy mortality ? or to grasp as many as we can, o splendid bubbles of this momentary scene; to little more power, or wealth, or rank, and then, unabated thirst, a little more still ; even to the night, that our souls shall be required of us? W do we think happy ? the virtuous, the humble, good? or the artful, the prosperous, the great ? V do we rejoice in, or grieve at ? Is it our profici or failure, in love and duty to God, in reason ness of heart, uprightness of behaviour, diseng ment from this trifling world? Are these the th we are concerned about? or a very different so advantages and pre-eminences, belonging to the sent state of things entirely, and many of them

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last? If not, why this neglect of the Author of all we enjoy, the Disposer of all we hope for? Can we think it meanness to honour him, even with the

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lowest submission? Do we think it meanness in our inferiors to pay due respect to us? If not, why in us to pay all respect to God? Will we then at least do it for the future? Resolving otherwise deliberately, comes very little short of renouncing and defying him; and dare we then go thus far? What

Psalm xcv. 8.

contemptible, even were no other to follow ? our duty and our interest thwart each other, hc we act ? honestly and cheerfully give up the la or frame poor excuses for preferring it, or contrivances for reconciling it, to the former? " are questions of the last importance. For if th of the world be our reigning passion, the love Father is not in us *. Which do we choose earth or heaven? Let us not cheat ourselves speak it out to our own hearts.

Or, however free in this respect, do we live other passion, equally unworthy? Is not our cipal view to be admired for some accomplishme applauded for some ability, of very little merit ? are we not led both into follies and sins, to c and increase a false kind of esteem from others, will only tempt us to forget ourselves ? Do tentively distinguish, what is truly of value, a what degree? in how many things of conseqi we are deficient, in how few we excel ? and who made us to differs from the very meanest of ou low-creatures ? Are we willing, if need requi be slighted and despised, hated and reproache the sake of acting as we ought? Or do we lo praise of ment, and seek not the honour that c from God only $?

But, supposing we are clear both of world and vanity, still what can we answer with respe pleasure? Do we indulge none, that is condemn impartial reason: or, what we are sure is impa the word of God ? Every forbidden way of grati sensual desires, visibly produces many and dre mischiefs and crimes. Excess and intemperance 1 Join ii. 15.

+ 1 Cor. iv. 7. John xii. 43.

& John v. 44.

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