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taking her departure, amidst the loud acclamations of the mariners on board, and of anxious relations and other spectators on shore; amidst the mutual expressions of affection, and prayers for health and prosperity. The pleasantness of such a scene to me is frequently overcast, from the melancholy reflection, that between some on board and on shore the separation may indeed be sudden and final. I tremble to think that the swift wings of the wind may be hurrying some one thoughtless, graceless, hardened creature to hopeless misery; to think how soon the cheerfulness of the jovial crew may be turned into heaviness, with some into the blackness of despair; to think how few are prepared for sudden death, and judgment, and eternity.

Suffer me then, my dear brethren, to charge, to exhort, to beseech you, as upon my bended knees to beseech you, by every dear, every tender name, by the infinite worth of your precious souls, by the ardent love I bear you, by the bowels and mercies of the compassionate Redeemer, before you venture to sea again, before you reimbark in your painful, your dangerous occupation, fly, fly to the mercy of God through Jesus Christ; fly to the wide extended friendly port of a Saviour's out-stretched arms; fly for

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shelter to the covert of his blood and righteousness, lest the furious storm of divine wrath overtake you. Secure omnipotence for your safeguard; secure an interest in redeeming love, as your everlasting portion ; secure the pardon and peace of God, the only balm for a wounded conscience; secure the blessed hope of glory and immortality, as an anchor for the soul, to establish you in safety and comfort amidst the wars of convulsed elements, and the agonies of approaching dissolution, and then go undismayed through winds and waves, through rocks and quicksands, for every element shall then become friendly, because God himself is your friend; then danger shall change its frightful aspect, distress shall smile, and death itself prove unspeakable gain.

Forgive my importunity, forgive my zeal; I cannot, must not think of parting with you, till I have gained my point; let me obtain sonie small reward of my labour; let me obtain your concurrence with my humble wishes and efforts to promote your spiritual interests; I ask no greater, no other recompence; let me be successful in bringing so much as one precious soul to God, and the fatigues of a whole life are more than repaid. Resolve at least to take these things under serious consideration ; make a beginning, and make it forthwith. Defer not, my brother, to cast thyself before God, to implore his merty, his direction, his assistance. To the love of God I recommend you all, to the compassion and friendship of our heavenly advocate, and to the teaching and comfort of the Spirit of grace and truth. By his blessed influence may you be enabled to discern, having discerned to approve and choose, having chosen to pursue, and having pursued and persevered even unto the end, may you at length obtain the full reward of “ wisdom's

ways, which are pleasantness, and all whose paths are peace.”

72

SERMON XXI.

Acts xxiv. 16. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void

of offence toward God and toward men.

ON PURITY OF CONSCIENCE.

It is a very common, and I believe a very just observation, that happiness in one shape or other is the uniform and universal pursuit of all mankind: and it has frequently this further one added to it, namely, that it is as generally missed as it is eagerly sought after : to prove which, the usual complaining and discontent of the sons of men are insisted upon as demonstrative. It is undoubtedly certain, that most men are in a very considerable degree uneasy, not to say unhappy, and indeed it can hardly fail to be so, when we consider the means that are for the most part made use of, in order to arrive at happiness. Reason and experience with their united voice declare, that those enjoyments which commonly go by the name of the gifts of fortune, are altogether incapable of yielding any solid and lasting happiness, both on account of their unsatisfying nature, and the uncertain tenure by which they are possessed : the gratifications of sense are wholly disproportioned to the desires of an immortal and spiritual substance, such as is the human soul; and, in fact, we may see from every day's observation, as many instances of vexation and discontent in high as in low life, in those who have a great, as in those who have a small portion of the good things of this world. If we would therefore travel the certain road to real happiness, we will find ourselves much deceived, if we seek for it in the objects which surround us. There is but a very inconsiderable proportion of the human race who have it in their power to obtain it in this way.

. As we would not wish therefore to be eternally disappointed, let us lay the foundation of bliss in our own breasts, let us endeavour to banish thence whatever wounds or defiles, thereby securing the approbation of our Maker, and of our own hearts, exercising ourselves constantly in this with the great apostle of the Gentiles, “ to “ have a conscience void of offence toward God " and toward men," and this we will find a

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