Imatges de pàgina
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a period to his views, and fix him in repose and felicity:

Ask the idle and voluptuous, who is throwing away his irreparable hours in the unmean. ing circle of faihionable delights, when he will think of his duty to his God and his fellow-creatures, and become a useful member of fociety ? he will declare he has just finished his course of pleasures, that he hath fufficiently experienced the vanity and vexation of them, and that to-morrow he intends to quit the paths of folly and impertinence, and strike directly into the road of virtue.--And what is (for the most part) the consequence of all these solemn profeflions? To-morrome comes ! this great reclaimer of finners, this universal reformer of mankind ! and finds the miser at his treasures, the courtier at his levee, the man of pleasure at his diversions ! All, in short, engaged in the very fame pursuits, making the same promises and protestations, and with just the same degree of truth and sincerity.

Since such then is the inftability of human happiness, and such the uncertainty of human virtue, ought we ever to boast of, or depend upon either of them? Lad not the wise man but too much rcaron to cry out, Boysl noi 116Felf of to-morrotes for their knorr fi not what a ccy mily bring forih! Let lis not then flatter ours selves that we are to depend on to-morrow. Let him who is in the pride of health call to mind, that sickness may come to-morrow, and put an end to it. Let him that glorieth in his

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riches remember, that poverty, like an armed man, may come suddenly and seize on him. Let him that is wife know, that folly may in a moment overtake him. And let not him that is virtuous to-day, forget that vice may take possession of him before tc-morrow;

if he stand therefore, let him take heed left he fall.

In the common affairs of life beiter advice cannot be given, than that what we can do to-day, we Mhould never defer till to-morrow. In regard to our pursuits after the transitory goods of this life, it is certain that procrastination is the parent of disappointment; the fault punishes itself: and they who depend on futurity for their share of happiness, do very feldoin obtain it; but when this absurd reli. ance on to-morrow is confirmed into habit, when it induces hy degrees to neglect the great work of our salvation, the folly swells into a crime, and may become the dreadful means of involving us in everlasting destruction. The business of a fincere repentance, is a bufiness which (if we hope for pardon) must at fome time of life be performed by all; yet it is generally the very last we think of. Youth is too idle, and manhood too busy and ambitious, old age too fecble and decrepid, or too perverse and obftinate to engage in it. Tomorror', thiet universal sponsor, whose faith is plighted to pay every debt, is appointed to discharge this alfo : and this he most generally performs, like the other offices committed to his charge. As this debt increases,

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we for the most part grow more unwilling to pay it: as thought and reflection become more necessary, they become more diftateful also : and when the disease of fin is grown to such a malignancy, to-morrow, even if it comes can bring no medicine to remove it. A deathbed repentance is by no means to be relied on, and yet, in hopes of this to-morrow, we still go on, forgetful of the great design for which we were created.

As the consideration of the words before us may serve to repress the pride of the infolent, fo it may at the same time smooth the rugged brow of adversity, and turn aside the arrows of affliction. It may afford fome consolation to the poor and destitute, to those who are oppressed by forrow and misfortune, to reflect that such is the viciffitude of human affairs, so uncertain is the lot and portion of mortality, that we know not what a day may bring forth : a sudden and unexpected change may happen, that from a state of bitterness and misery, shall raise the drooping heart to joy and gladness. When the poor and read;" fork water and find none, and their tongue failcih jer thirst, I the Lord will hear them, the God of Ifrael will not forsake them. Let not then the poor be opprefied, and the wretched give themselves up as a prey to despair and melancholy, but let them rely on him who is both able and willing to reliere them : they know not what a day may bring forth; forrow and disquietude may endure for a night, and joy and peace may yet salute their morning. Dd 2

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To conclude then-Whatsoever ihy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wifdom, in the

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whither thou goeft. Our short day of life is all that is allotted us for work, the morrow brings the reward, whether it be for good or evil; work therefore whilst it is day, before the night cometh wherein ng man can work. It will be too late for thee, O man! when thy feet are słumbling upon the high mountains, and the shadows of the evening have overtaken thee.

Let the deceived procrastinator then remember, that his delays are dangerous and destructive ; that what he fondly expects may never come; that he who hath promised pardon to our repentance, hath no where promised life till we repent; that the morrow therefore which he hath fo little reason to hope, he may have but too much reason to fear : since, if it doth not bring forth our repentance, it must heighten our condemnation, which may God of his mercy avert, and give us grace to make the best use of today.

SERMON

ON PRIDE AND SELF-CONCEIT.

S E R M ON

XLI.

PROVERBS XVI. 5.

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomina

tion to the Lord.

F

ROM a serious and impartial view of the

state of man here on earth, from a few reflections on his situation and end, his powers and faculties, from a confideration of him as a creature formed out of the dust, and speedily to return to it; attacked on every side by evil and corrupt affections; beset with dangers and calamities; at best but partially and imperfectly happy; one would not suppose that such a vice as pride could poflibly subsist in the universe, and much less that it was full of very little else; that it had spread itself over the whole face of nature, corrupted (in fome degree) every heart, and become the plague of all mankind!

Since, however, we are but too well convinced, that pride is universal, let us endeavour to trace the secret springs of it; let us fee what broad and extenlive foundation there is for so large and magnificent a structure. The principal columns which support this mighty

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