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SERMON V.
Dangers incidental to the Clerical Character et

ted, in a Sermon, preached before the Univer
sity of Cambridge, at Great St. Mary's Church,
on Sunday, July 5, being Commencement Sun
day. . . . . . . . . . . Page 3

SERMON VI.
A Sermon, preached at the Assizes at Durban No impresion
July 29, 1795, and published at the request derly life, so far
of the Lord Bishop, the Honourable the Judge now and then
of Assize, and the Grand Jury, ... 30

SENIOUSSESS IN RELIGION A MOST INDISPENSA

BLE DISPOSITION
395) Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

1 Pet. iv.7.
THE first requisite in religion is seriousness,
Durban, No impresion can be made without it. An or

request derly life, so far as others are able to observe, is
the Judges now and then produced by prudential motives or

3 by dint of habit; but without seriousness there

can be no religious principle at the bottom, no
course of conduct Aowing from religious motives;
in a word, there can be no religion. This cannot
exist without seriousness upon the subject. Per
haps a teacher of religion has more difficulty in
producing seriousness amongst his hearers, than
in any other part of his office. Until he succeed
in this, he loses his labour : and when once, from
any cause whatever, a spirit of levity has taken
hold of a mind, it is next to impossible to plant
serious considerations in that mind. It is seldom
to be done, except by some great shock or alarm,
sufficient to make a radical change in the disposi-
tion; and which is Gou's own way of bringing
about the business.

One might have expected that events so awful
and tremendous, as death and judgment; that a
questionso deeply interesting, as whether we shall
go to heaven or to hell, could in no possible case
and in no constitution of mind whatever, fail of
exciting the most serious apprehension and con-
tern. But this is not so.-In a thoughtless, a care-
less, sensual world, many are always found, who
can resist, and who do resist, the force and impor-
tance of all these reflections ; that is to say, they
suffer nothing of the kind to enter into their
thoughts. There are gravemen and womaen, nay,
even middle aged persons, who have not thought

SERIOUSNESS IN BELIGION A MOST INDISPENSA

BLE DISPOSITION. Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

1 Pet. iv. 7. THE first requisite in religion is seriousness. No impression can be made without it. An orderly life, so far as others are able to observe, is now and then produced by prudential motives or by dint of habit ; but without seriousness there can be no religious principle at the bottom, no course of conduct flowing from religious motives; in a word, there can be no religion. This cannot exist without seriousness upon the subiect. Per. haps a teacher of religion has more difficulty in producing seriousness amongst his hearers, than in any other part of his office. Until he succeed in this, he loses his labour: and when once, from any cause whatever, a spirit of levity has taken hold of a mind, it is next to impossible to plant serious considerations in that mind. It is seldom to be done, except by some great shock or alarm, sufficient to make a radical change in the disposition; and which is God's own way of bringing about the business.

One might have expected that events so awful and tremendous, as death and judgment; that a question so deeply interesting, as whether we shall go to heaven or to hell, could in no possible case and in no constitution of mind whatever, fail of exciting the most serious apprehension and concern. But this is not so.-In a thoughtless, a careless, sensual world, many are always found, who can resist, and who do resist, the force and importance of all these reflections; that is to say, they suffer nothing of the kind to enter into the thoughts. There are gravemen and wom even middle aged persons, who have

B

they who will

also in a state in not to be des with respect

2 SERIOUSNESS IN RELIGION seriously about religion an hour, nor a quarter of an hour, in the whole course of their lives. This great object of human solicitude affects not them in any manner whatever.

It cannot be without its use to inquire into the cause of a levity of temper, which so effectually obstructs the admission of every religious influ. ence, and which I should almost call unnatural.

1st. Now there is a numerous class of mankind, who are wrought upon by nothing but what applies immediately to their senses; by what they see or by what they feel; by pleasures or pains, or by the near prospect of pleasures and pains which they actually experience or actually obe serve. But it is the characteristic of religion to hold out to our consideration inquiries which we do not perceive at the time. That is its very of fice and province. Therefore if men will restrict and confine all their regards and all their cares to things which they perceive with their outward şenses; if they will yield up their understanding to their senses both in what these senses are fitted to apprehend, and in what they are not fitted 10 apprehend, it is utterly impossible for religion to settle in their hearts, or for them to entertain any serious concern about the matter. But surely this conduct is completely irrational, and can lead to nothing but ruin. It proceeds upon the sap. position, that there is nothing above us, about us, or future, by which we can be affected, but the things which we see with our eyes or feel by our touch. All which is untrue." The invisible things of God from the creation of the world arc clearly seen, being understood by the things that are seen ; even his eternal power and Godhead;" which means, that the order, contrivance and de. sign, displayed in the creation, prove with certain. ty that there is more in nature than what we really see ; and that amongst the invisible things of the universe there is a Being, the author and origin of all this contrivance and design, and, by con. sequence, a being of stupendous power, and wis

MOST INDISPENSABLE 3
sto ad koowledge, incomparably exalted abere
any reshoma or knowledge, which'we sec in man,
zed that he stands in the same relation to us as
the Mater does to the thing made. The things
which are seen are not made of the things which
Boppar. This is plais; and this argument
is inerendent of serintare and revelation.
What darker moral or religious consequences
properly been it is another question, but the pro-
positiva itself shews that they who cannot, and
they who will noty raise their moinds above the
mere information of their senses, are in a state of
gross error as to the real truth of things, and are

also in a state to which the faculties of muan qrught
y not to be degraded. A person of this sort mar

with respect to religion remain a child all his life. A child naturally has no concern but about the things which directly meet its senses; and the person we describe is in the same condition,

Again. There is a race of giddy thoughtless
pien and women, of young men and young wo-
then more especially, who look no farther than
the next day, the next week, the next month;
seldom or ever so far as the next year.

Present pleasure is everything with them.
The sports of the day, the amusements of the
trening, entertainments and diversions opeupy
all their coneerd; and so long as these can be
supplied in succession, so long as they go from
me diversion to another, their minds remain in a
state of perfect indifference to everything, except
their pleasures. Now what chance has religion
with such dispositions as these ! yet these dispo-
sitions begun in early life, and favoured by cir-
cumstances, that is by affluence and health, cleave
to a man's character much beyond the period of
life in which they might seem to be excusable
Excusable, did I say; Iought rather to have said
that they are contrary to reason and duty in eve-
y condition and at every period of life. Even in
youth they are built upon falsehood and folly
lomas persoas, as well as old, find that thing

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