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SERM. heavy; and we seem as much afraid of
being confined to our own houses, or our
acts of charity and benevolence, which sERM. ought to occupy all that is not given to the worship of God, it is to be feared, there is but little of true benevolence to be found in large and promiscuous meetings; much more, it is to be apprehended, of vanity, as to what regards ourselves, and of envy and malevolence towards others. Turn to the Apostles' account of true Christian charity, such as ought ever to be the ruling principle of those who would be thought holy in the sight of God, and ask yourselves, what share it is likely to have in the public assemblies, either of the rich or poor. First, that charity is “ kind,” “ envieth not,” “ vaunteth not itself,” “ is not puffed up, “ doth not behave itself unseemly,"
seeketh “ not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh
no evil,” (a rare virtue indeed). Again, it “ rejoiceth not,” that is, has no pleasure “ in iniquity,” but “ rejoiceth in the truth, “ beareth all things, believeth all things,
bopeth all things, endureth all things.” But it is time to come to a close :-notorious acts of profanation every man can
SERM. detect; though, it is to be feared, few re
gard them with the horror and disgust they should do; but besides these, there ought to be a spirit of holiness run through all our actions on that day, which of late seems to be entirely abandoned. If we think at all of God, we quite forget ourselves, and little regard the real good of our neighbours. Some of the day should be exclusively given up to God, in acts of fervent and sincere devotion; some should be carefully appropriated to private meditation, self-examination, and, if it need be, mortification and repentance; and the rest should be devoted to acts of real charity and true genuine benevolence. This is not making the Lord's day a day of pain and gloominess, except to those who cannot relish the most exalted gratifications of which the heart is capable. Let them amend and correct their hearts; at present they are disgustingly degraded below their native dignity. Given up to mammon, the human heart is a sink of corruption; devoted to God, it is the source of every thing amiable and good; and, if
the heart cannot be corrected without SERM. some pangs of repentance and stings of remorse; yet, if it is not corrected in time, sorrow without end, and pain without mitigation, are before us. Be sober and considerate, before it is too late. If it appears unpleasant, it is at least wise: if. in short, we are told, “ the hearts of the 66 wise" must sometimes be " in the house
of mourning,” it is only “ the bearts of
fools” that would always be “ in the “ house of mirth*.”
* Eccles. vii. 4.