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SERM. III. felf. We seldom have that Charity which

covers a Multitude of Faults in our Neigh-
bours and we much feldomer want that
Self-Love which covers a Multitude of
Faults in ourselves. The Truth is, the
Bulk of Mankind do not reflect

upon

what they do : There could not be so many unkind Things said or done, and fo many

kind
ones omitted by those, who are not void of
a Sense of Religion ; if they took a Survey
of every Thing that passed. What is in-
deed notorious, extraordinary, and out of
the common Road in our Conduct, will en-
gage our Attention : For what is notorious
and glaring, forces itself upon our Obfer-
vation : But

upon
what is common,

ordina-
ry, and frequent, in our Intercourse with
one another, we seldom refle&t åt all, or at
least very transiently.

transiently. Single Axts of Sin may be owing to some violent Sally of Paffion; but a continued Course of Sinning, in any one Instance, must be owing to SelfDeceit, occasioned by Want of Self-Reflection, or to the delusive Hopes of repenting some Time or other. For a Man cannot otherwise constantly allow himself, in the Practice of what he constantly condemns. Without Self-Reflection, a Man may have

every Vice under the Sun, without knowing Serm. III. he has any ; provided he has it not in a high Degree.

Consider not what the World thinks of such a Crime, but what it is in itself. For the World, in Matters of Opinion, is-swayed more by Authority than Argument ; in Matters of Practice, by Example than Rule; and in few Things is governed by pure Reason only. Are you as apprehensive of a Mistake, as cautious not to take wrong Measures, as vigilant and circumspect in your grand Concernment, your eternal Welfare ; as you would be in Cases on which your Life and Fortune depended ? If you are, you will seldom'act amifs : If you are not, you shew that a Worldly Temper prevails more with

you,

than the Hopes of God's Favour, and the Desire of Salvation," Many excellent Books are written, many weekly Lectures are continually founding in our Ears, with all the Strength of Reasoning, and Beauty of Eloquence, to persuade us to-What? one would think it should be something seemingly hurtful and disadvantageous to us.--No, no such Thing. It is only to persuade us, what, one would think, is no difficult Matter, and yet is the

most

Serm.III. moft difficult of all, that we would not

make ourselves eternally miserable, that we would endeavour after Eternal Happiness. For one, that perishes for Want of knowing his Duty, there are Numbers, who are lost for ever, for Want of seriously confidering it, and laying it to Heart. But I am persuaded better Things of you, my Brethren ; you will reflect, that if there be not another World, there is scarce any Thing worth Living for here, and if there be, our main Concern in This, is to fit, ourselves.. for That.

But this brings me, IIIdly, and lastly, To conclude with a short Address to you.

It signifies little, what Notions, a Perfon fo obscure and undistinguished as I am, , entertain, But Gince - several Persons have been; without just Grounds, suspected of believing differently, from what they profefs, and to have an inward: Doctrine, which they reserve to themselves, or communicate only to fome few select Friends; I here declare, in the Presence of God, that I am fully persuaded of the Truth of Christianity, and the important Doctrines thereof, which I have, during the Space of nine Years, oft

inculcated

inculcated to you ; that I chuse to live, and Serm.III.
hope to die in that Perfuafion ; that, after
having read the most considerable Books
that have been written against it, I do not
know any Objection, but what has received
repeated and fatisfactory Anfwers. A tho-
rough Christian in Principle, I wish I was
as good a one in my Practice : and then I
Mould, in some Measure, deserve that Ap-
probation, with which

you

have honoured

me.

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I heartily thank

you,
that
you

have can-
didly overlooked my numerous Defects,
kindly accepted my well-meant Endeavours
to serve you, both from the Desk and from
the Pulpit; and, what is more, generously
encouraged them. And, to your other
Obligations, which you have conferred on
me, be pleased to add this, which will be
the greatest Obligation of all, viz. to make
Me, in some Degree, instrumental to your
Salvation, by deliberately weighing what I
have laid down.

They are the last Words of a departing, though not a dying Friend ; and let them therefore make a suitable Impression. Quit

your Religion, your Trust in God, your Virtue, for any Pleasure or Profit, which

not

Serm. III. this World can give, for the World itself.

For all the Profit and Pleasure this World can give, this World itself may shortly be nothing to you : But Religion and Virtue will make you happy, when Life's idle Employments, and it's idler Follies, when the World, when Time shall be no more. False Friends will forsake you, and true Friends may either leave

either leave you through ne. cessary Avocations, or they may be divided from you by Death : False Friends will stand afar off in the Day of Trouble, and even true Friends can, in some Cases, stand only looking upon your Misery, afflicted indeed in all your Affliction, but without any Power to ease your Calamities : But God is a present Friend, infinitely powerful and good, in all Cases, at all Times, in all Places; He is able to hear

us, wheresoever dispersed ; and to relieve us, howsoever distressed : Almost every Thing may separate us from other Friends ; But neither Life nor Death, nor Principalities nor Powers; nothing but Sin, can separate us from Him, and the blessed Influences of his Presence.

Some there have been here, and some there are here, to whom I am in a parti

cular

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