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account of every day, every hour, every instant of our duration; but this is not the gospel of most christians. What we have been proposing seem to most hearers mere maxims of the preacher, more proper to adorn a public discourse than to compose a system of religion.

Why are not ecclesiastical bodies as rigid and severe against heresies of practice, as they are against heresies of speculation? Certainly there are heresies in morality, as well as in theology. Councils and synods reduce the doctrines of faith to certain propositional points, and thunder anathemas against all, who refuse to subscribe them. They say, Cursed be he, who doth not believe the divinity of Christ: cursed be he, who doth not believe hypostatical union, and the mystery of the cross: cursed be he, who denies the inward operations of grace, and the irresistible efficacy of the holy Spirit. I wish they would make a few canons against moral heresies! How many are there of this kind among our people? Among our people we may put many, who are in another class. Let me make canons. In the first I would put a heresy too common, that is, that the calling of a christian consists less in the practice of virtue than in abstaining from gross vices; and I would say, if any man think, that he sufficiently answers the obligations of christianity by not being avaricious, oppressive and inteinperate; if he do not allow that he ought to be zealous, fervent, and detached from the world, let him be accursed. In a second canon, I would put another heresy, equally general, and equally dangerous, and which regards the delay of conversion; and I would say, If any one imagine that, after a life spent in sin, a few regrets proceeding more from a fear of death and hell than from a principle of love to God, are sufficient to


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open the gates of heaven, let him be accursed. In a third canon I would put . fill up the list yourselves, my brethren, and let us return to our subject. To confine one's-self to a certain circle of virtues; to stop at a fixed point; to be satisfied with a given degree of piety, is an error, it is a heresy, which deserves as many anathemas, and ecclesiastical thunders, as all the other, which have been unanimously denounced by all christians.

My brethren, let us rectify our ideas, in order to rectify our conduct. Let us run with patience the race set before us, let us go on till we can say with St. Paul, I have finished my course. Be not terrified at this idea of progressive religion. Some great efforts must have been made by all holy men in this place to arrive at that degree of virtue, which they have obtained: but the hardest part of the work is done, henceforward what remains is easy. The way to heaven is narrow at the entrance; but it widens as we go on. The yoke of Christ is heavy at first; but it weighs little when it hath been long worn.

After all, there is a way of softening all the pains, to which we are exposed by continuing our efforts. St. Paul practised this art with great success; it consists in fixing the eye on the end of the race. At the end of the race he saw two objects, the first the prize. How easy to brave the enemies of salvation, when the eye is full of the prospect of it! How tolerable appear the pains of the present state, when the sufferings of the present time are compared with, and weighed against the glory that follows. Next, St. Paul saw Jesus Christ at the end of the race, another object which animated him. He was animated by the example of Christ to finish his course with joy; he was animated by the assistances, which supported him; he was ani

mated by the promise of Christ telling him, He that overcometh shall sit down in my throne; he was animated by the mercy, which he knew, how weak soever his efforts might be, would be approved at the tribunal of Jesus Christ, provided they were sincere, for Jesus himself conquered for him, and himself acquired that prize for the apostle, at which he aspired; in a word he was animated by his love, Jesus Christ is at the end of the race, and Paul loved Jesus Christ, and longed to be with him. I said, he saw two objects, the prize of victory, and Jesus Christ, but these make only one object.. St. Paul's prize is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Paul's paradise. According to him Christ is the most desirable part of celestial felicity: Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; we are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord, 2 Cor. v. 6. 8. I desire to depart, and to be with Christ, Phil. i. 23. I press toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, chap. iii. 14. This thought, that every step he took brought him nearer to Jesus Christ, this thought rendered him insensible to all the fatigue of the race, and enabled him to redouble his efforts to arrive at the end.

O flames of divine love! Shall we never know you except by the examples of the primitive christians! O flames of divine love, which we have so often described, shall we never feel you in our own souls! Fire us, inflame us with your ardor, and make us understand that all things are easy to the man, who sincerely loves God! God grant us this grace! To him be glory for ever. Amen.




Psalm cxix. 46.

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.


T is not only under the reign of a tyrant, that religion involves its disciples in persecution, it is in times of the greatest tranquillity, and even when virtue seems to sit on a throne. A christian is often subject to punishments different from wheels and racks. People united to him by the same profession of religion, having received the same baptism, and called him to aspire at the same glory, not unfrequently press him to deny Jesus Christ, and prepare punishments for him, if he have courage to confess him. Religion is proposed to us in two different points of view, a point of speculation, and a point of practice. Accordingly there are two sorts of martyrdoms, a martyrdom for doctrine, and a martyrdom for morality. It is for the last that the prophet prepares us in the words of the text, and to the same end I dedicate the sermon, which I am going to address to you to-day. I come into this place, that affords a happy asylum for confessors and martyrs, to utter in your hearing these words of Jesus Christ, Whosoever shall

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