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5

SERMON V. RANGERS INCIDENTAL TO THE CLERICAL GHARAC

TER, STATRD, D

Lest that, by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.) Cor. ix. part of the 27th verse.

THESE words discover the anxiety, not to say the fears of the writer, concerning the event of bis personal salvation ; and, when interpre by the words which precede them, strictly connect that event with the purity of bis personal charac. ter.

It is extremely material to remember who it was that felt this deep solicitude for the fate of his spiritual interests, and the persuasion, that his acceptance (in so far as it is procured by human endeavours) would depend upon the care and exactress with which he regulated his own passions, and his own conduct: because if a man ever existed, who, in the zeal and labour with which he served the cause of religion, in the ardour or the efficacy of his preaching, in his sufferings or his success, might hope for some excuse to indulgence, some license for gratifications which were forbidden to others, it was the author of the text which has been now read to you. Yet the apostle appears to have known, and by his knowledge teaches us, that no exertion of industry, no display of talents, no public merit, however great, or however good or sacred be the cause in which it is acquired, will compensate for the neglect of personal self-government

This, in my opinion, is an important lesson to ': to none, certainly, can it be more applicable, .n it is in every age to the teachers of religion; a little observation of the world must have inped us, that the human mind is prone,

almost ond resistance, to sink the weakness or the gularities of private character in the view

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one than commonly posed
Now there good reason for protesting,

et Erora cruelves or others, any energie to

in which the nature of our employee situation may tend to generate: for beses hey will, they only prove, that it happesos powding to the condition of human my benefits to receive some inconvenes

many helps to experience some trials: the many peculiar motives to virtue, and Improvement in it, some obstacles are presa

effort of the mind to surmon net and pastive of which it may require a é

Whend that I am stating a cause of not vous le importance, when amongst these in Met w/ mention, in the first place, the insen

tant intermixture with religious of E

duce. Such is the frame of
1 (and calculated also for the b

whilst all active habits are hened by repetition, imprád

are passive are weakenet on the first of these proper fi Weat measure, the exercise da

the sccond, the capacity

erate: far e, that it!

which the mind possesses of adapting itself to al. nost every situation. This quality is perceived n numerous, and for the most part beneficial exmples. Scenes of terror, spectacles of pain, obects of loathing and disgust, so far lose their efect with their novelty, as to permit professions o be carried on, and conditions of lite to be enCured, which otherwise, although necessary, yould be insupportable. It is a quality, however, hich acts, as other parts of our frame do, by an peration which is general : hence it acts also in istances in which its influence is to be corrected; ad, amongst these, in religion. Every attentive hristian will have observed how much more owerfully he is affected by any form of worship hich is uncommon, than with the familiar reirns of his own religious offices. He will be senble of the difference, when he approaches, a few

mes in the year, the sacrament of the Lord's DET

upper; if he should be present at the visitation

sick; or even if that were unusual to him, cht of a family assembled in prayer. He eive it also upon entering the doors of a congregation; a circumstance which has ay, by causing them to ascribe to some in the conduct of public worship, what,

only the effect of new impressions. w much a lay frequenter of religious ds himself less warmed and stimulated

than by extraordinary acts of devomuch it may be expected, that a cler. itually conversant with the offices of ill be less moved and stimulated than at then is to be done? it is by an effort

by a positive exertion of the mind; this tendency, and by setting ourselves o resist it; that we are to repair the pontaneous piety. We are no more r ourselves to the mechanism of our to the impulse of our passions. We our sensitive by our rational nature. upply this infirmity (for so it may be

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