Imatges de pÓgina
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ceptions, there is reason to hope and believe, that the great body of the people are sound in their principles; and that their native good sense will not easily permit them to be seduced from their duty to God, and their allegiance to the Throne. Let us always remember, that it is the factious and turbulent, who are noisy and clamorous; while the peaceable and orderly, though ten times more numerous, perhaps, are silent, because they are contented.

The poor man should consider, that, in reality, he has little more to do with religion than to follow the path in which he has been trained; to believe its essential doctrines, and endeavour to fulfil its practical duties. And he may rest assured, that he will always have less trouble, and much more satisfaction, in obeying the Laws, than in questioning their wisdom and expediency, or in endeavouring to evade their authority. In the great com. merce of social life, the valuable commodities, which he has to dispose of, are time, and labor. If blest with health and strength, he knows that he can not only gain his daily bread, to which the consciousness of having honestly earned it will always give the highest relish; but that he may, by industry and talents, better his condi

tion, as thousands have done before him, and fill a more elevated, but not perhaps a happier, or more useful station.

Farther, when he reflects on the holy sanctions, the divine precepts, and heavenly rewards of the Gospel of Christ ;-when he meditates on its righteousness and holiness;-its brotherly kindness and humility;-its purity and godly sincerity;-its gentleness and forbearance;→→→→ its forgiveness, its charity, and love ;-above all, when he calls to mind the peculiar blessings and comforts which it pronounces on the Poor; -to barter away these heavenly treasures for the miserable trash of atheism, and infidelity ;to quit the solid rock of salvation, and to plunge into the fathomless ocean of doubt, uncertainty, and despair, would not only be folly, but folly bordering on madness.

Lastly, let every one, who has neither time, talents, nor opportunities, to refute the scepticism and cavils of unbelievers, contemplate for a moment the character and conduct of his Lord and Saviour, not only as the heavenly Mediator and Redeemer of sinful men; but as the living Teacher of the World. Let him consider how, in every instance, his divine example sanctified his precepts, and presented, for our

imitation, such a model of practical perfection, as the wisdom of man could never imagine, much less exhibit, in any living form. Now, if He, who came from the bosom of his Father, to bear witness to the truth, and who suffered the agonies of crucifixion, to appease the wrath of God, and to expiate the sins of men ;-if He, after all, (let even the supposition be made with reverence) can be deemed an Impostor, and if we are to be told, that a system of the purest morals, and the simplest, but sublimest divinity has, notwithstanding, been founded on wilful fraud, and practical deception;-then this will present a greater miracle, morally speaking, and a more irreconcilable contradiction, than ever yet astonished, or perplexed, the human mind.

Without engaging in controversy, the humble Christian, therefore, may well say, "I know in whom I have believed ;" and he should reflect, that when any thing of the utmost importance to his interest, or his happiness, has been proved, even by one solid, and irresistible argument, to be true, not all the sophistry of man can afterwards prove it to be false. Here, then, let us rest, holding fast the form of sound words, in that faith and love, which is in

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Christ Jesus." Be assured of the truth of the apostle, when he says, that "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.' "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

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SERMON XV.

ON THE PATIENCE, THE COMFORT, AND HOPE TO BE DERIVED FROM THE SCRIPTURES.

ROM. XV. 4.

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we, through patience, and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.

THE word here rendered" Patience," has, in the original, a more extensive signification. In addition to its usual sense, it means constancy, as opposed to fickleness, and change; and perseverance, or steadiness of conduct, in contrast with that weakness, and instability of character, which may not be without good intentions, and pious resolutions, but which is not accompanied with sufficient fortitude to carry them into effect. The principles of Christian duty with such persons resemble "the seed that fell upon a

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