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expect, what must be the fate of these men? Doubtless that they shall suddenly confume, perish, and come to a fearful end.
A time must come when the secrets of all men shall be laid open, when many of those actions which have perhaps so dazzled, and astonished us with specious appearances of grandeur, will be discovered to have sprung from the meanest and most selfish motives: a place must one day be visited, where every thing will put on its true and native colour, where the hypocrite and his hope must perish together. The time may come when he who has been esteemed and respected for his goodness and piety by weak and short-fighted men, may be punished for his wickednefs by the justice of an all-feeing God, when many perhaps of those who have been canonized for faints in this world, may inherit the portion of finners in the other.
Since then, my brethren, the practice of this vice is attended with such fatal confequences both to others and to curselves; since its advantages are so few and so uncertain, and the guilt of it so heinous and offensive, what remains that can poflibly perfuade us to a con. tinuance in it?
What but the fatal influence of a corrupt world, and the bad example of a licentious age? Hypocrisy is fashionable, and thercfore we pursue it; and for the same reason, wo might be slanderers, infidels, atheists, murderers, adulterers, guilty, in short, of every human vice; the world indeed is scarce any thing but hypocrisy,
The refinement and ingenuity of modern times, has invented as great a variety of difguises to hide the soul, as of habits to cover and adorn the body; the face is no longer the index of the mind, nor the tongue the interpreter of the heart; almost every feature is ftudied, and every gesture marked out, and determined, and dissimulation is so universal, that were it not for that artless fimplicity which youth sometimes presents to us, we should be almost inclined to dispute that such a virtue as fincerity were left amongst us, and be ready to cry out with the holy psalmist, that. faith and truth were departed from among the children of men.
We are beset with falsehood and hypocrisy on every
fide: what are all our passions, but so many base, delusive hypocrites, who pretend to bestow pleasure and happiness, and then miferably deceive and betray us; who, like Satan, first fawn upon and cajole, and when they have us in polfefsion, destroy and torment us?
But will this plead in our favour with those men whom we have betrayed ?. Will it
procure our padon from that God whom we have offended? Whilit we are so proud of deceiving others, we are in reality, only deceiving our. felres. Instead of amailing a goodly treasure, as we fondly imagine, we are only contracting a debt, that debt which we owe to truth and virtue, and which God, who is their faithful steward, will not fail one day to require at our hands
Let us then shake off the chains of that tyrant, custom, and be no longer the Naves of passion and prejudice; the road of truth and fincerity is smooth and easy, but the labyrinth of falsehood is full of crooked and perplexing intricacies; her ways are not ways of pleasant. ness, nor can they ever be the paths of peace.
Let us reflect that God is always fincere to. wards us, and therefore we should be fo to him; that it would be ingratitude to deceive him if we could, and that it is the height of folly to attempt it when we cannot.
Let us then beware of the leaven of the Pharifees, which is hypocrisy: Let us always stick to truth and sincerity; the voice of nature requires it at our hands, the God of nature de. mands it; it is unprofitable to dissemble, and therefore we should neglect it; it is mean, and therefore we should despise it; it is wicked and destructive of our interest, and therefore we should avoid and deteft it.
I cannot conclude this discourse better than by a caution against hypocrisy:-In all our connections with each other, be open, honest, and ingenuous, never appearing, or pretending to be what we are 110t; never lie, Aatter, or deceive; never profess friendships which we do not feel; boast of virtues which we have not; deny or conceal those vices and frailties which we have.
So shall we gain trust and confidence from our neighbours an inward satisfaction and complacency from ourselves—the esteem, love, and affection of all good men here--the pardon, approbation, the applause, and the reward of God himself hereafter,
ON THE SACRAMEN T.
S E R M ON
I CORINTHIANS XI. 24.
This do in remembrance of me.
S a serious attention to, and frequent par.
ticipation of the Holy Communion hath ever been considered as a very important article of our religious duty, and on which our eternal falvation doth greatly depend, it cannot I think be too often, or too warmly recommended to all, and by all, and especially by those who are appointed by their office and ministry to deliver God's holy word and commandments. As often therefore, and as fully as it hath been already spoken to by men of the greatest piety, learning and abilities, it is no less my duty also, to exhort you to the practice of it. I propose therefore in the following discourse to lay before you, first, The great usefulness and excellence of this divine institution; and secondly, The obligations which we all lie under to comply with it.
First then, In regard to its great use and ex. cellency: Such is the amazing baseness and ingratitude of mankind, that though the least and most trifling injuries done to them, are very feldom, even long after they have been
done, either forgot or forgiven; benefits on the other hand, frequently conferred, are for the most part quickly and easily buried in oblivion. Our Saviour therefore, who well knew that nature which he had assumed, after a life spent in the service of man, wisely foresaw that his fervants, like others, when their mafter was gone away from them, would become every day more and more neglectful of those commandments which he had left behind him, and in a long tract of time, perhaps, utterly forget every thing which he had done for them; to the end, therefore, that we should always remember his exceeding great love in living and dying for us; he instituted and ordained holy mysteries as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort, as often as we eat this bread and drink of this cup, we do fhew the Lord's death till he come; this do, says he, in remembrance of me.
The religion of Christ, none can ohject to, as loaded with positive institutions. Surely his yoke (if fuch we may term it) is easy; his burthen, if such we will esteem it, is extremely light. He might have said, ye fee how I afflict and torment myself for your sakes; how I have fafted and prayed: go therefore, lash and torment yourselves, abstain from food and nourishment, take no pleasure, receive no comfort, seek nothing but forrow, acquaint yourselves with nothing but grief, do this in remembrance of me: but instead of this, he only imposeth on us this light and easy labour; a task