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SERM.f{.cÆ//^ and mother, wife and childrsn, IX. "brethren and sisters, yea' and. fa

5* life alfa." . :. /c:vd ^-iridO

This, in the cafe of temptationto idolatry, was expreffly provided against by a divine declaration; and it may by parity of reafon be applied to other cases. Deut. xiii. 6, 8. "If thy brother, the son of thy mother\ar ** thy son, or thy daughter, or the wifejof "thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine "own foul, entice thee secretly, faying, Jet ** us gO) and serve other Gods—' Thou shalt "not consent unto him, nor hearken unto "him." Besides this, there are other temptations which derive their force from the lame root, the love of our intimate friends j and are only defeated by the fame principle, a superior affection to Christ. There is nothing more common in the world, than for mens families to be snares to them: While to make a large, or (as they pretend) a competent provision for them, they violate their consciences, and sin against God, either by direct injustice, or, at least, by such immoderate sollicitude, and incessant toil, as is inconsistent'with piety, leaving no room for the exercises of it; or by such narrowness, and witholding more than is meet, os is directly

contrary contrary to charity. But, let us remember, S E R M. that this is to render ourselves unworthy of EL Christ, by loving sons or daughters, or other '-jr~•~,L-/ worldly interests more than him.

Besides, distresies befalling our friends, their deaths and misfortunes, which, considering the vicissitude of human affairs, are always to be expected, and they are to some Vminds, at least, among the most sensibly affecting trials in life j these are to be sup*-'|)orted on the same principle. An inconsolable grief for them can never consist with ^transcendent love to God, and our Saviour. iJ?or so long as the supreme object of affection remains unalterable, there is always a sufficient fund of consolation against all inajferior losses.

-ca ;Thus you fee of what general use to all
: jthe purposes of a religious and happy life,
altfois condition of diseiplestiip, or of christi-
anity would be, which our Saviour here
requires. It would establish us in our
christian profession; it would produce uni-
versal obedience to his laws, and make our
'Works perfect before God: It would be a
defence against all forts of temptation, and
minister comfort under the most grievous
distresses in life. When we fail in any of
•: Q^2 these.

Se Rm. these articles, it is to be charged to the_ag'ebnlht of a defect here, to the want, 'Weakness of our love to Christ.

The conclusion, then, is, that we sliouki endeavour always to have this. principle strengthened in us, as the root, from which every religious virtue must grow up to its full maturity. I do not mean by this, a mere zeal of affection, and vehement emotion of mind without understanding; but a rational and deliberate esteem, founded on a clear, apprehension of infinitely amiable moral, e^ cellency, and calmly directing to every good; work, according to that admirable defcrip-^ tion the apostle gives in the ist chapters' of, the epistle to the Philippians from the verse, " that your love may abound yet more "and more in knowledge and in all judgment: "That ye may approve things that are ex-*. "cellent, that fe may be sincere , and without "offence till the day of Christ. Being silled "with the fruits of righteousness, which are "by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise "os God." In order to this, nothing can be so effectual (indeed without it nothing can be effectual) as a serious attention to the motives of love. What else can excite a rational affection? If we compare all the objects

jects that follicit our desires, every enjoyrSES. ment in life, with the amiable glories of the IX divine nature, and the excellent and right things of religious wisdom, they will be found lighter than vanity, unworthy of our choice. And for raising this esteem, and inflaming your grateful and pious affections to God, you have a great advantage by the gospel ministrations, which represent to you jb clearly the glory of God in Christ, and the greatness of his love manifested in our redemption. Meditate on this, that your Hdarts may be warmed with fervent love to him, who so tenderly loved you; and that the love of Christ may constrain you, thus judging, * " that if one died for all, then "were all dead: And that he died for all\ *i that they who live, should not henceforth "live unto themselves, but unto him, which "died for them, and rose again."

* 2 Cor., v. 14,15. '.

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. SERMON X.

Os the proper Improvement rririf
Occasions of Sorrow.

.... .r-i.q Ecclesiasties, vii. 2, 3, 4.

It is better to go to the house of mourning) than to go to the house of fensing, for that Is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better'.'*' tfkt

1 . T SO*

heart of the wife is in the house of mourhing, bat the heart of fools is in the hpujt of mirth.

ERM.fl~"MIE main subject of this took is ^ I the vanity of all things under tne fun. Though the frame of k tihis world is very good, and so the wife creator pronounced it when it came out of his forming hand, that is, it was fashioned exactly according to his own model for the intended

purposes j

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