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For, is it not a known obligation, that we should aim at as much perfection as we are capable of attaining? But
have renounced this desire altogether. In other words, you have deliberately left off that work to which our Saviour hath expressly commanded us to devote ourselves. For, are not thefe his words ? « Be ye perfect, even as your Father
Facher who is in heaven is perfect.”—Once more, - What hath been faid on this subject ought to quicken the zeal and activity even of chofe who have made the greatest progress in the good ways of God.
The declining state of religion calls loudly on all who are its real friends, to exert themselves to the utmost, in order to revive its influence in the world. Nothing, bé affured, will be fo effectual for accomplishing this desireable object,, as the bright and exemplary lives of professing Christians. Are you then zealous for the glory of God? be “ zealous of good works." Let it appear that your religion gives authority to your confcience, by your being more juft, and humane, and generous than other men.
u Ye are the falt of the earth, ye are the " light of the world.” Your divine Master hath intrufted you with the honour of that religion which he taught on earth, and expects that
you should display it in an amiable light. But surely a mere negative degree of virtue will never convince men that your principles have any excellence superior to their own: and that professing Christians satisfy themselves with a virtue of this fort, is, I am afraid, in no small degree the cause to which the rapid growth of infidelity in these times must be ascribed.
If this is at all the fact, doth it not afford us a subject of the most serious lamentation ?* “ It is impossible but that of“ fences will come, but wo unto him thro' " whom they come.
It were better for him " that a millstone were hanged about his s neck, and he cast into the sea.” O then study to adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour in all things. “ Let your light so 4 shine before men, that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." • Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are hoI 3
“ nest, whatsoever things are just, whatfo. “ ever things are pure, whatsoever things
are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report, and if there be any virtue, if there “ be any praise, think on these things," and do them. This will administer to you true pleasure in life, and solid hope in death ; and hereafter the sound of the last trumpet, the terror of the negligent and unfaithful fervant, will be the triumphant fignal of
your release from the grave, and the summons of your Lord to enter into his joy. Amen. . ;
So to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her
ways, and be wise : which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth ber meat in the summer, and gathereth ber food in the bar. veft.
AN was created with more under
standing than the beasts of the earth: But our minds are so debafed by our apostafy from God, that the meanest creatures may
become our teachers. 'And accordingly, the Spirit of God, in the Scriptures, doth frequently send us to learn our duty from the example of the beasts of the field, and of the fowls of heaven. Thus, ingratitude is reproved by the example of thofe animals which are' accounted the most Atupid and untractable, (Isaiah i. 3.) “ The
ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his “master's crib; but Ifrael doth not know,
my people doth not consider.” An inattention to the conduct of divine Providence, and a neglect of the proper seasons of activity, are in like manner condemned by the example of the fowls of heaven. *"The stork “ knoweth her appointed times, and the turhtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe " the times of their coming ; but my peo
ple (faith God) know not the judgement ^ of the Lord,” (Jerem, viii, 7-) To cure us of excessive carefulness and anxiety, our Saviour sends us to consider the ravens:
they neither sow nor reap, they have « neither storehouse nor barn; yet God « feedeth them: How much more," faith he, "are ye better than the fowls ?" (Luke xii, 24.). And in my text, to cure us of negligence and poth, Solomon fends us to
a creature of the smallest size, but of most wonderful activity. : “ Go to the ant, thou Have fluggard; consider her ways, and be wise :
which having no guide; overseer, or ruler, "" provideth her; meat in the summer, and * gathereth her food in the harvest.'