Imatges de pàgina
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anguish, and even whilst they felt the inconveniencies of pain, had the folly to deny its existence.

It would become the man, who is proud of his knowledge, to reflect, that the wiseft of men, after he had toiled through the whole round of science, and had seen all things under the sun, confefied his knowledge to be vanity, and felt it to be vexation also.

And no less would it become the man who is proud of his virtue, to call to mind what our blessed Redeemer said when he was faluted by the name of good, Why coll you me good? said he, there is none good but one.

Shall we, my brethren, be proud of knowledge, when he who had the best title to the name of wise, acknowledged himself ignorant? or shall we be proud of our virtue, when he who alone deserved the name of good, refused to be called fo?

God graciously implanted in the mind of man, a capacity of knowledge to improve and adorn it, and fowed the seeds of virtue in his heart, that they might yield the future harvest of felicity. To be proud, therefore, of knowledge, is to be blind with light; and to be proud of virtue, is to poison ourselves with the antidote. Is it not strange that such foul fireams flow from fountains so pure? and that what was doubtless designed by the Almighty to render us meek and lowly, should fill us with pride and infolence ?

But there is a species of pride very different from those already mentioned, and far more

attoniti

aitouiting; and that is, the strange and unaccountable pride of our follies, vices, and imper-, tefionis.

What is it after all, that men will not be proud of which we ice such as value themselves on their knowiedge of mankind, make no fcruple to boalt of their success in the art of fraud and treachery? as if there were any real merit in docciving their fellow-creatures, and that no qualities were so amiable as falsehood and diffimulation.

What is it nen will not be proud of, when we see them degrade piety into weakness, and brand compailion with the name of folly; when we hear them boafiing of their apathy as a perfection, and exulting in their inhuma

nity?

Such is the fatal power and influence of example, that a time may come (and perhaps is not far from us) when idleness may be fo fafhionable a vice, that industry ihall be looked upou as a reproach, and to do nothing, and think of nothing, fhall be ranked amongst the greate privileges of our nature.

Pridsis of ail vices the most unfortunate, and always fails of its end. The covetous man gains his point when he has amaised his treasures, and is breeding over his mammon: the senqualift gains his when he revels in the pleasures of fenic, and, at lealt for a time, enjoys himtof: whilst the proud ma!, infiead of that dePience and respect which he is in perpetual Kärch of, is for the most part rewarded with thing but contempt.

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To make us cheerful and happy in each other, there must be an equality of condition; a kind of common chain, to link and units the affections; the ground must be levelled, before we can walk together with any tolerable ease or satisfa Stion. But where thcre is pride, there must be distance and dependancy; and where dependance is, freedom cannot enter. The proud man, therefore, cuts himself off from the body of fociety, and is excluded from all the mutual endearments of social converse ; he can keep company with none but those he muft hate; associate with none but such as he must despise. If he fets himself up as an idol, if he will have worship and adoration, he cau receive it from none but fools or knaves; from fools who do not know what he is made of, or from knaves who do. What is it then to be proud? To live the life of an idol of wood er Itone, and to be like uto it; to lose all the privileges and all the pleasures of our nature; to facrifice every real blefling, for such as are merely imaginary ; to be above the wants ani necessities, and at the same time allo above the joys and comforts of life; to be laughed at hy our fellow.creatures, and despired by our Creaa tor; to be the scorn and derision of inen, the hatred and abomination of God! Aind zicí, as the Prophet says, we call proud hob).-- If they are wise, it is a wisdom we ought to be afhania ed of; if they are happy, it is a happiness we have no reason to envy.

Let us then attend the commands of our God; he speaks to us every day by the voice

of

of Death, that great teacher of mankind; commiffioned by him to rule over the children of pride; to bind their kings in chains, their nobles in links of iron. He is the great leveller who subdueth all beneath his feet; from him who sitteth on a throne of glory, to him that is humbled in earth and ashes. Alas! when the thought of our final dissolution strikes our imagination, how do all the idle distinctions amongst us vanish and disappear! Where are the votaries of ambition, or the heroes of the war? Where are the rich, the powerful, the wise, and the learned? The small and great are there! they fall lie down alone in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.

Let us therefore already imagine ourselves to be, what in a little time we inevitably must be, all upon a level, high and low, rich and poor, one with another. These considerations will most probably induce us to behave with humility towards each other, not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, but to love justice and mercy; and to walk humbly with our God. To lend cur knowledge to ina itruct the ignorant; our power to protect the treak; our riches to relieve the poor and needy. If we would be efteemed the followers of Christ, we inuft aci like him; we must floop to imitate his meekness, if we would rise to inherit his favour; for he hath declared, that in the last day, he that exaliein himself, frall be abajed, and hie that humble!h himself, and he only, shall be exalted,

SERMON

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Behold how good and joyful a thing it is for brea

thren to dwell together in unity.

MONGST all the indelible traces, the

glorious marks of divine wisdom and power in the formation of the universe, no. thing hath perhaps more awakened the minds of men to a contemplation on the omniscience and goodness of their Creator, than the serious confideration of that constant union and har. mony, which the Supreme Disposer of all things hath diffused over all his works.

Unity is the great chain which firit combined, and still holds together the frame of nature, which bids different elements conspire, and different seasons join in sweet variety to make our habitation here pleasant and commodious, and promote the general ease and happiness of mankind.

It is observable that the same scheme of previdence which God thought fit to constitute in the natural world, hath he also appointed in the moral one.

That man was made for union and society, doth fufficiently appear both from the frame

and

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