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SERMON I.

SERMON I.

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

Or, however free in this respect, do we live to no other passion, equally unworthy? Is not our principal view to be admired for some accomplishment, or applauded for some ability, of very little merit? And are we not led both into follies and sins, to obtain and increase a false kind of esteem from others, that will only tempt us to forget ourselves? Do we attentively distinguish, what is truly of value, and to what degree ? in how many things of consequence we are deficient, in how few we excel ? and who hath made us to differț from the very meanest of our fellow-creatures ? Are we willing, if need require, to be slighted and despised, hated and reproached, for the sake of acting as we ought? Or do we love the praise of mens, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only $?

But, supposing we are clear both of worldliness and vanity, still what can we answer with respect to pleasure? Do we indulge none, that is condemned by impartial reason : or, what we are sure is impartial, tie word of God ? Every forbidden way of gratifying visual desires, visibly produces many and dreadful

the healths, the understandings, the usefulness fortunes, the families, of men. Breach of chastity duces all the same evils, and extends them furt brings innocent persons into guilt and dishor under treacherous pretences of esteem and love volves their innocent friends in distress and sh along with them, and occasions innumerable private and public. But particularly breach of marriage vow dissolves the very bonds of huma ciety. For if faith and truth, solemnly given o not, oblige not both sexes, in this case, wh they in any other ?

other? Are we then innocent, int respects; or have we repented; or do we despise threatening, that they, who do such things, shat inherit the kingdom of God * ?

And, in regard to other indulgences, have we a as becomes rational natures, designed to prepare selves, by the discipline of this life, for spiritual piness in a better? Do we guard with care, aga sinking into delicacy and indolence, against b dissipated amidst a hurry of gaieties, or lost in p amusements and elegant trifles; or are we lover pleasures more than lovers of God ? What pro tion of our income do we spend in deeds of p charity, and proper beneficence? what proportic our time, in the religious and moral improvemer our hearts, and the real duties of our respective tions ? All the wealth we have, and every hou

: live, we must account for. Can we do it with Can we say we have been hitherto working, whe was day, the works of him that sent us $? If not, we now reflect, how fast the night approaches ?

Another very material head of examination that of our resentments. Do we bear ill-will to

+ 2 Tim. ii. 4. I John. ix 4

• Gal. v. 21.

ruin TCPS and crimes. Excess and intemperance r

+ 1 Cor. iv. 7. & John v. 44.

1 Jein i. 15. Icân xi. 43.

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