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the language of Scripture,) they may be wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."
But the strong delusions that are supported by pleasure, and cherished by folly, must soon vanish. The voice of nature will be heard, though religion might have often warned, and commanded in vain. The frail tenement that now envelopes the immortal spirit, even when invigorated by exercise, and cherished by temperance, can last but a few years. The excesses and irregularities of a life of continued indul. gence must hasten its dissolution, or bring it, by generating the diseases of luxury and intemper. ance, to the bed of languor and of pain. There view the wretched viction of worldly pleasure, rëpining for past enjoyments, and without hopes of future comfort. With a debilitated body, and a mind piteously irritable and weak, he is forced, for the first time, perhaps, to think seriously of eternity ;-to meditate on what he has done, as well as what he has left undone, and to adjust the awful account between God and his own conscience. When life is gone, he thinks of the purposes for which it was granted; and when he has no longer the power to do good, he remembers the many opportunities, 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,
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 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 ;-90 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