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yond what either indulgence or diversion or com

pany can do for them. And a succession and la course of such actions and self-denials, springing other from a religious principle and manfully maintain

ed, is the best possible course that can be follow. ed as a remedy for sinkings and oppressions of this 7 kind. Can it then be true that religion leads to melancholy? Occasions rise to every man living ;

to many very severe as well as repeated occasions, they in which the hopes of religion are the only stay

that is left him. Godly men have that within them Which cheers and comforts them in their saddest hours; ungodly men have that which strikes their heart likea dagger, in their gayest moments. God.

men discover, what is very true, but what, by

host men, is found out too late, namely, that a Food conscience, and the hope of our Creator's inal favour and acceptance are the only solid hap

piness to be attained in this world. Experience corresponds with the reason of the thing. I take

pon me to say that religious men are generally 7 leerful. If this be not observed, as might be exected, supposing it to be true, it is because the

erfulness which religion inspires does not shew d el in noise, or in fits and starts of merriment,

is calm and constant. Of this the only true

Faluable kind of cheerfulness, for all other and are hollow and unsatisfying, religious men

weis not less but a greater share than others.

Another destroyer of religious seriousness, and weich is the last I shall mention, is a certain fatal de gra which some minds take, namely, that when

ind difficulties in or concerning religion, or of the tenets of religion, they forth with plunge irreligion ; and make these difficulties, or any ce of uncertainty, which seems to their ap

ension to hang over the subject, a ground and Destion for giving full liberty to their inclina

and for casting off the restraints of religion dy. This is the case with men, who, at the

perhaps, were only bal stoms of religion and the love of pleasure or pf

etween the

MIST INDISPENSABLE.
to this probed, lat, five act faithfuls up to those
ince of his seriez ohich there is no question, most
licious fills, i ne determine upon and chos, our

e side ske sad otse d life recording to those piece

Hits, to the dance, thieball men whateverallow to be sensuala hich wereld die prime ples, and the only penemies

true mea es ; ad ronda curselves sedast acwhen intag uiterde tus chosen, the dificulties moet weetietan a l a vill it more or disturb

4 SERIOUSNESS IN RELIGION
njust gain; but especially the former. In this rhed. Det
recarious state, any objection, or appearance of protecemos
bjection, which diminishes the force of religious still reme
mpression,determines the balance against the side ple and current
Tvirtue, and gives up the doubts to sensuality, to delivery
he world and to the flesh. Now of all ways which do
man can take, this is the surest way to destruc-prices
on. And it is completely irrational; for when funding on

e meditate upon the tremendous consequences and remains
-hich form the subject of religion, we cannot us materiale
void this reflection, that any degree of possibles les des e proceed, terra
-hatever, of religion being true, ought to deterjection; iam
nine a rational creature so to act as to secure him Celties: binte
elf from punishment in a future state ; and the section of the
oss of that happiness which may be attained partial in
Cherefore he has no pretence for alleging unter di Blat

inty as an excuse for his conduct, because better for entre oes not act in conformity with that in which there be the

no uncertainty at all. In the next place, it shop Eving to apparent difficulties more weight the artikel ten ney are entitled to. I only request any man13 de bat are onsider, first, the necessary allowances to a lis ade for the short-sightedness and the weaknes perlas ha hem. would wish the human understanding; secondly, the La

condiv, the nationale brey and for the sun, or any
are of those subjects concerning which religion and there
eats, so remote from our senses, so different from an de
ar experience, so above and beyond the orama
ain and course of our ideas; and then say, ".

er difficulties, and great difficulties also, were pot to be a co to stones u persons in
ot to be expected ; nay farther, whether they were
at in some measure subservient to the very personal them or era
ose of religion. The reward of everlasting lite slabit dies

d the punishment of misery of which we know a lored behna
ed, if they were present and immediate, coure und or bisnes
-t be withstood; and would not leave any room te wech anda
e liberty or choice. But this sort of force L a
e will is not what God designed; nor is sulla

Dent leed to the nature of free, moral, and accou le agents. The truth is, and it was most like fore known that it would be so, that amidst som r

to

us, Tiardened i ints which are dark, some which are dubio ere are many which are clear and certain. No

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He faltbeto preach Christianity to persons in whe ssate has to preach to stones. He must not care pot to be beard, either with completesen orbe Raiseks, et EZSE, E eten to escape R

polleranya anda berdosa. Hadits of thinking are based Fery life by habits of ating; and both too solidy fired to in b o be mored by human persuasion. God in his mer

Could sundor his providentes, as well as by his Spirecom en bouch and soften the heart of stone. And

itable it may be, sudden 'impressions of this kind,

un ton dis saree, savus sentiments ever pena libellostus, tartered in the tranner which come we bare described

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Tapprehend, that, if we act faithfully up to those points concerning which there is no question, most especially, if we determine upon and choose our rule and course of life according to those princi. ples of choice, which all men whatever allow to be Vise and safe principles, and the only principles which are so; and conduct ourselves stedfast according to the rule thus chosen, the difficulties which remain in religion will not more or disturb us much; and will, as we proceed, become gradually less and fewer. Whereas, if we begin with objections; if all we consider about religion be its difficulties: but, most especially, if we permit the suggestion of these difficulties to drive us into a practical rejection of religion itself, and to afford Ds, which is what we wanted, an excuse to our

selves for casting off its restraints ; then the event Geld will be, that its difficulties will multiply upon us ; 190 its light grow more and more dim, and we shall el settle in the worst and most hopeless of all condi

tions, the last condition, I will venture to say, in which any man living would wish his son, or any one whom he loved, and for whose happiness he was anxious, to be placed, a life of confirmed vice and dissoluteness ; founded in a formal renuncia

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He that has to preach Christianity to persons in this state has to preach to stones. He must not espect to be heard, either with complacency or seriousness, or patience, or even to escape contempt and derision. Habits of thinking are fixed y habits of acting; and both too solidly fixed to be moved by human persuasion. God in his merM%, and by his providences, as well as by his Spir.

Scan touch and soften the heart of stone. And Felis seldom perhaps that without some strong, 120 m, it may be, sudden impressions of this kind, 000 fi'om this source, serious sentiments ever penliberate dispositions, hardened in the manner which

Whave here described,

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SERMON II.

THE LOVE OF GOD.
Cove him, because he first loved us. 1 John iv. 19.
ELIGION may, and it can hardly I think be

tioned but that it sometimes does, spring from or, from grief, from pain, from punishment, n the approach of death ; and provided it be ere, that is, such as either actually produces,

would produce a change of life, it is genuine gion, notwithstanding the bitterness, the love of the e, or if it must be so called, the baseness and their fall orthiness of the motive from which it pro is. We are not to narrow the promises of .: and acceptance is promised to sincere penis e, without specifying the cause from which anates, or confining it to one origin more than her. There are however higher and worthier better motives, from which religion may in the heart; and on this account especially

they to be deemed better motives, that there on, which issues from them, has a greater

p aratler lity of being sincere. I repeat again, that e religion from any motive will be effectu. there is a great deal of difference in the par lity of its being sincere, according to the cu nt cause in the mind from which it sets out "he purest motive of human action is the lo God. There may be motives stronger an. -e general, but none so pure. The religion, me, which owes its birth in the soul to this me is always genuine religion; always true

Indeed, speaking of religion, I should love of God not so much the groundwo gion, as religion itself. So far as religion 1 tion, it is religion itself. But though of it. Ishall

it be more than the groundwork; yet to the wa sposition of mind, like other dispositions Ince ground work of action. Well might our DS . Pply gener Saviour preach up, as he did, the love of a is the source of every thing which is good

there did not that I can find a freelete the
love of that Deky, e o prose and saletto
their followers, as to make itagorating, watae
ting principle of life amongst them. This did .
way or rather God by the mouth of Moses, el
peely, formally, solemnly. This dis Christ,
udsopting, repeating, ratifying that the law had
alredes declared; and not only rising, but
singling it out from the body of prevents, which
composed the old institution, and giving it a pro
eminence to every other

Now this love, so important to our religious
DIOS taratter, and, by its effect upon that, to our sale
hat sin turn, which is the end of religin; this love, I

ay is to be engendered in the soul, con. so metu
by bearing the words of others, or by estrutina
from others, as by a secret and habitual enten
plation of God Almighty's bounty, and by a un.
Vizant referring of our enjoyments and our breato
bila golanges. This is in a great degree a Fetta
of habit; and, like all good habits, particularly
mental habits, is what every perso must fou in
himself and for himself by endeavour and persze
Terance. In this great article, as well as in others
which are less, every man must be the anthose to

limself of his train of thinking, be it good or bad.
relli Ithill only observe that when this babit, or,
et belle we would call it, this tum and course of thought
jong, ace happily generated, occasions will contine

bles Sfarise to minister to its exercise and arguese
of Ge n. A night's rest, or a comfortable mal,

immediately director gratitude to God. The

not mean that it is the only source, or ss can proceed from no other, but that ples of conduct it is the safest, the best, the highest. Perhaps it is peculiar to and Christian dispensations (and, if it eculiar excellency in them) to have d solemnly laid down this principle, 1 of human action. I shall not deny, d notions were entertained of the Dei. wise and excellent heathens : but even not, that I can find, so inculcate the t Deity, or so propose and state it to vers, as to make it a governing, actua. ole of life amongst them. This did Mo. her God by the mouth of Moses, exrmally, solemnly. This did Christ, epeating, ratifying what the law had clared; and not only ratitying, but out from the body of precepts, which the old institution, and giving it a preo every other 3 love, so important to our religious and, by its effect upon that, to our salch is the end of religion; this love, I e engendered in the soul, not so much the words of others, or by instruction s, as by a secret and habitual contemGod Almighty's bounty, and by a conring of our enjoyments and our hopes to 35. This is in a great degree a matter and, like all good habits, particularly pits, is what every person must form in d for himself by endeavour and perseIn this great article, as well as in others less, every man must be the author to nis train of thinking, be it good or bad. 7 observe that when this Habit, or, as Acall it, this turn and course of thought, pily generated, occasions will continto minister to its exercise and augmen

night's rest, or a comfortable meat, liately directour gratitude to God. The

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