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before we prefer the folly, the insincerity, and the hypocrisy of the world, to the divine satisfaction of loving God, whose end in creating us was our happiness here and hereafter. Let us see this world as it is, a thing incapable of satisfying a being destined for eternity. Love and serve God, therefore, to the utmost of your power, and strive to conquer your passions; he can, and will reward you, perhaps in this world, but most assuredly in the world to come.
8. How can we reflect for a moment, and be guilty of the dreadful crime of resisting the grace of God in our hearts, and wilfully shutting our eyes against the truths of his gospel? There are few who have not experienced the ingratitude and unworthiness of the world, few who will not own how illusive is the bliss which it bestows upon its votaries. Can we then, for its fleeting momentary pleasures, exchange the hopes of eternity and the joys
of heaven? None of us can really doubt that we were created by God, and that the universe is the work of his power: how much more criminal then are men, in behaving with ingratitude to their creator, than to one another ? yet, though forgetful of the divine goodness to ourselves, we are ready to exclaim against society, and to condemn our fellow-creatures, when we meet with ingratitude from them.
9. We can have no assurance that the love of God exists in our hearts, but by the conformity of our lives to the rules and precepts of the Gospel. Let us be satisfied with the light that shines upon us without vainly scrutinizing, or presumptuously doubting, the truth of that light; and since we know not the day nor the hour when we shall be called upon to give an account of the work we may have done, let us prepare ourselves while yet we have time. Self-love produces in us doubts, envy, revenge, distrust, and an uncharitable disposition ; than which nothing can be more removed from the love of God, and more opposite to that blessed, peaceful, humble, resigned and contented disposition and frame of mind, which is the certain portion of an heart that sincerely feels the true love of God.
10. Jesus Christ has left us true riches in leaving us this poverty; but we impoverish ourselves in our eager pursuits after worldly good. We may have nothing, and yet possess all things. Whatever we forego or resign for the love of God, he will make up to us, in that peace and comfort to our souls which ever attend the sacrifice.
11. When we have made any progress in goodness and the service of God, we are too much inclined to fall into a state of negligent security, and to imagine that we are stedfast and iminovable, forget
ting the words of our blessed Lord, “ Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." And thus, instead of daily becoming more zealous for God's service, and more perfect in our duty, we content ourselves with not falling into the commission of any heinous sins: but in not making constant use of our means of salvation to the utmost of our power, we are as faulty as those, who, perhaps for want of such means, are guilty of more serious crimes. And farther, we provoke God to withdraw bis holy spirit from us, by our ingratitude for it, and our neglect of its suggestions.
12. We should constantly strive, without loitering or carelessness, to advance in that path which we shall never be permitted to re-trace, with watchfulness and humility, since we can have no security for our continuing in it, nor any knowledge of the hour when we shall be summoned before our Creator, to give
an account of the manner in which we shall have performed our journey here.
13. We must carefully beware of that presumption which too often over-rates our virtues, and the performance of our duties. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who knew his disciples better than they did themselves, told them, that they were not able, in their present state, to bear all that he had to say to them. And when he was entering on his Passion and Cross, he said, that in that very night they would all be ashamed of him, that one of them would betray, and another deny him. St. Peter (to whom our Lord here alluded) replied that, “ Though he should die with him, he would not deny him in any wise:” but Jesus, who knew his weakness and presumption, told him, that before a few hours should pass, he would be capable of affirming that he had never seen him; and we find that the simple assertion of a servant-maid was enough