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SERM.f Father and mother, wife and children,
IX. brethren and fifters, yea and his own
life also.

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This, in the cafe of temptation to idolatry,
was expressly 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, or use thy fon, or thy daughter, or the wife of

thy bofom, or thy friend, whicb is as tbine own soul, entice thee fecretly, saying, Jet

us go, and serve other Gods-Thou fbalt not confent unto him, nor bearken unto « him.Besides this, there are other temptations which derive their force from the fame root, the love of our intimate friends;

and are only defeated by the fame principle, : a fuperior affection to Chrift. 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 fuch immoderate sollicitude, and inceffant toil, as is inconsistent with piety, leaving no room for the exercises of it ; or by such narrowness, and witholding more than is meet, as is directly

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- contrary to charity. But, let us remember, SERM. that this is to render ourselves unworthy of IX.

Christ, by loving sons or daughters, or other * worldly interests more than him.

90. Besides, distresses befalling our friends,

their deaths and misfortunes, which, conI lidering the vicissitude of human affairs, ate

always to be expected, and they are to some

minds, at least, among the most sensibly at affecting trials in life ; these are to be sup

ported on the same principle. An incon

folable grief for them can never consist with a transcendent love to God, and our Saviour.

For so long as the supreme object of affection remains unalterable, there is always a fufficient fund of consolation against all inferior loffes. - Thus you see of what general use to all

the purpofes of a religious and happy life, is this condition of discipleship, or of christi

anity would be, which our Saviour here requires.

It would establish us in our christian profession; it would produce uni

Verfal obedience to his laws, and make our is works perfe&t before God: It would be a

defence against all sorts of temptation, and minister comfort under the most grievous y diftreffes in life. When we fail in any of

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ŚERM. these articles, it is to be charged to the acIX.' count of a defect here, to the want, or

weakness of our love to Christ.

The conclusion, then, is, that we should 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 excellency, and calmly directing to every good work, according to that admirable description the apostle gives in the ist chapter of the epistle to the Philippians from the 9th verse,

love
тау

abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment :: That ye may approve things that are ex

cellent, that ye may be fincere, and without

offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are

by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise « of 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 ob

jects

" that your

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jects that follicit our desires, every enjoy-SERM.
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
fo clearly the glory of God in Chrift, and
the greatness of his love manifested in our
redemption. Meditate on this, that your
hearts may

be warmed with fervent love to t 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,
« that they who live, Mould not benceforth
live unto themselves, but unto him, which
« died for them, and rose again.",

* 2 Cor. v. 142 15

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Ecclesiasties, vii. 2, -3, 4.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than

to go to the house of feasting, 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 coun-
tenance the beart is made better. The
beart of the wife is in the house of mouru-
ing, but the heart of fools is in the house

. of mirth. SERM.! HE main subject of this book is X.

the vanity of all things under the

sun. Though the frame of this world is very good, and so the wise 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 ;

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