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of their ground, and the advantageous disposal
of its produce'; or with schemes to draw cul-
tomers to their compting-house or their shop,
and to lay in their commodities at the cheapest
rate ; or to place out their money on the best
security, and at the highest interest. At the
end of every year they are become richer :
but they are not become more religious. They
have increased in poffeffions : but they have
not grown in grace. They have accumulated
fubftance on earth : but have not laid up trea-
fure in the sight of God. During all this
time they imagine that they are religious :
and are even ready to profess a conviction
that this scraping laborious life is one proof
of religion. How hardening is the deceit-
fulness of fin (d)! How darkening the influ-
ence ofaworldly spirit! What specious evidence
have they to produce of their religion? Let
their cause be exhibited in the most favour.
able light.

They have not been spendthrifts.
They have observed common honesty in their
dealings. They have seldom omitted their
devotions at the returns of night and of morn-
ing. They have attended public worship,
and even the sacrament, with decent frequency.
But let every person of this description answer
to himself a short question : Where has your

(d) Heb. iii. 13. P2

heart

heart been fixed ? On the next world, or on this ? Your answer will tell you that, if you die in your present state, your condemnation is certain and just. Others make pleasures and amusements their idols. They conceive that, because they are under no pecuniary necessity of addicting themselves to business, they need not disappoint their inclinations. They do not mean, they profess, to live wickedly: but they think that they have a right to entertain themselves. Amusements accordingly constitute their leading pursuit. Hounds and horses, or other sports of the field; or public places and unprofitable visiting and the indolent perusal of triling and uninstructive books, take possession of their time and their thoughts. The amusements which each person selects for himselt depend on his fituation, and other accidental circumstances. But of all such persons, amusement, whatever shape it may assume, is the object. And because they follow such amusements as are not in their own nature necessarily sinful; and because they are not regardless of the forms of devotion, and fome other outward duties of religion ; they flatter themselves that they are sufficiently good Christians. But let such persons also be asked: Where has

your

heart been fixed ? Can you think that the life

which you have led has been to live unto God and unto Christ? Has - your life been that of a person who feeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? The persons who were previously described perish by the cares and the riches of the world.

You perish. by its idleness and its pleasures. Industry, grounded on Christian motives, and governed by Christian rules, is not only not a sin, but an absolute duty. Amusements, innocent in their nature, and moderate in degree, are at proper times allowable. But if either the acquisition of money, or the pursuit of amusement, be the leading object of your thoughts and wishes, the ruling principle of your heart : cease to imagine that you are religious; anticipate the condemnation which

I dwell not on other idols. What though power, and learning, and reputation, have also their worshippers ? Is the idolatry of another man à vindication of yours ? God acknowledges none as his servants, except those whose predominant desire and delight is to promote his glory and obey his commandments. To no others does he promise' pardon and grace and falvation through Jesus Christ. Deceive yourself no longer. Lean no longer on a broken reed. Away with every excuse for delaying to

P 3

resign

awaits you.

resign your whole heart to your Redeemer. Some excuses may be more absurd, some may be more presumptuous, than others. But if

you trust to any excuse whatever, you will fall into everlasting condemnation.

1

SERMON X.

On Stedfastness in Obedience to God.

NUMBERS, xiv. 24.

But my

Servant Caleb, because he had another Spirit with him and bath followed me fully,

him will I bring into the Land. THE children of Israel, about fifteen months

after their departure from Egypt, were now arrived on the borders of the land of promise. Moses, according to the command of God, sent forth twelve chosen men, one from each tribe, to examine the country: and directed them to bring accurate information to their brethren, whether the soil was rich and fruitful, or lean and barren ; whether the inhabitants were few and feeble, or numerous and warlike ; whether they were

dwellers

P4

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