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desire of man, the increase and perfection of his intelligence, which it fully satisfies; in regard to the ability, which it affords a man to fill those post's in society, to which Providence calls him : in regard to those scruples, which disturb a man's peace,

, concerning the choice of a religion, scruples which truth perfectly calms; and, finally, in regard to the banishment of those doubts, which distress people in a dying hour, doubts, which are always intolerable, and which become most exquisitely so, when they relate to questions so interesting as those, that revolve in the mind of a dying man.

Having thus endeavored to engage you to buy the truth, when it is proposed to you, we are going to exhort you to day to preserve it earefully after you have acquired it. We are going to inforce this salutary advice, that, were ten thousand envoys from Moab, and from Midian, to endeavor to ensnare you, you ought to sacrifice all things rather than betray it, and to attend to the same Solomon, who last Lord's-day said, Buy the truth, saying to you to-day, and sell it not.

If what we shall propose to you now require less exercise of your minds than what we said to you in our former discourse, it will excite a greater exercise of your hearts. When

When you hear us examine the several cases, in which the truth is sold, you may perhaps have occasion for all your respect for us to hear with patience what we shall say on these subjects.

But, if a preacher always enervate the force of his preaching, when he violates the precepts himself, the necessity of which he urgeth to others, doth he not enervate them in a far more odious manner still, when he violates them while he is recommending them; preaching humility with pride and arrogance ; enforcing restitution on others,

while he himself is clothed with the spoils of the fatherless and the widow ; pressing the importance of fraternal love with hands reeking, as it were, with the blood of his brethren ? What idea, then, would you form of us, if wbile we are exhorting you not to sell truth, any human motives should induce us to sell it, by avoiding to present portraits too striking, lest any of you

should know yourselves again. God forbid we should do so! If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, lo speak less or more. Allow us, then, that noble liberty, which is not inconsistent with the profound respect, which persons of our inferior station owe to an auditory as illustrious as this, to which we have the honor to preach. Permit us to forget every interest but that of Truth ; and to have no object in view but your salvation and our own. And thou, God of truth ! fill my mind, during the whole of this sermon, with this exhortation of thine apostle ; charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom ; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhori with all long-suffering and doctrine, 2 Tim. iv. 1. 2. Take heed unto thyself, and unto thy doctrine ; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee, 1 Tim. iv. 16. Amen.

You may comprehend what we mean by selling truth, if you remember what, we said, it is to buy it. Truth, according to our definition last Lord'sday, is put in our text for an agreement between the nature of an object and the idea we form of it. To buy Truth is to make all the sacrifices, which are necessary for the obtaining of ideas conformable to the objects, of which they ought to be the exs



press images. On this principle, our text, I think, will admit of only three senses, in each of which, we may sell truth.

1. Sell not the truth, that is to say, do not lose the disposition of mind, that aptness to universal truth, when you have acquired it. Justness of thinking, and accuracy of reasoning, are preserved by the same means, by which they are procured. As the constant use of these means is attended with difficulty, the practice of them frequently tires people out. There are seeds of some passions,

. which remain, as it were, buried during the first years of life, and which vegetate only in mature age. There are virtues, which some men would have practised till death, had their condition been always the same. A Roman historian remarks of an emperor, that he always would have merited the imperial dignity, had he never arrived at it. He, who was a model of docility, when he was only a disciple, became inaccessible to reason and evidence as soon as he was placed in a doctor's chair. He, who applied himself wholly to the sciences, while he considered his application as a road to the first offices in the state, became wild in his notions, and lost all the fruits of his former attention, as soon as he obtained the post, which had been the object of all his wishes. As people neglect advancing in the path of truth, they lose the habit of walking in it. The mind needs aliment and nourishment, as well as the body. To sell truth is to lose, by dissipation, that aptness to universal truth, which had been acquired by attention; to lose, by precipitation, by prejudice, by obstinacy, by curiosity, by gratifying the passions, those dispositions, which had been acquired by opposite means. This is the first

This is the first sense, that may be given to the precept, Sell not the truth.

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2: The wise man perhaps intended to excite those, who possess superior knowledge, to communicate it freely to others. He intended, probably, to reprove those mercenary souls, who trade with their wisdom, and sell it, as it were, by the penny. This sense seems to be verified by the following words, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Some supply the first verb buy, buy wisdom and instruction. The last verb may also be naturally joined to the same words, and the passage may be read. Sell neither wisdom, nor instruction. Not that Solomon intended to subvert an order established in society; for it is equitable, that they, who have spent their youth in acquiring literature, and have laid out a part of their fortune in the acquisition, should reap the fruit of their labor, and be indemnified for the expence of their education; the workman is worthy of his meat, and they, who preach the gospel, should live of the gospel, Matt. x. 10. I Cor. ix. 14. Yet, the same Jesus Christ, who was the herald, as well as the pattern of disinterestedness, said to his disciples, when he was speaking to them of the miracles, which he had impowered them to perform ; and of the truths of the gospel in general, which he intrusted them to preach, Freely ye have receired, freely give, Matt. x. 8. And St. Paul was so far from staining his apostleship with a mercenary spirit, that, when he thought a reward for his ministry was likely to tarnish its glory, he chose rather to work with his hands than to accept it. That great man, who had acquired the delightful habit of living upon meditation and study, and of expanding his soul in contemplating abstract things ; that great man was seen to supply his wants by working at the mean trade of tent-making, while he was laboring at the same time in constructing she mystical tabernacle, the church; greater in this noble abasement than his pretended successors in all their pride and pomp. A man of superior understanding ought to devote bimself to the service of the state. His depth of knowledge should be a public fount, from which each individual should have a liberty to draw. A physician owes that succor to the poor, which his profession affords ; the counsellor owes them his advice; the casuist his directions; without expecting any other reward than that, which God hath promised to benevolence. I cannot help repeating here the idea, which Cicero gives us of those ancient Romans, who lived in the days of the liberty, and of the true glory of Rome. They acquainted themselves, says the orator, with whatever might be useful to the republic. They were seen walking backward and forward, in the public places of the city, in order to afford a freedom of access to any of the citizens, who wanted their advice, not only on matters of jurisprudence, but on any other affairs, as on the marrying of a daughter, the purchasing, or improving of a farm, or, in short, on any other article, that might concern them.

3. A third sense may be given to the precept. of Solomon, and, by selling we may understand what, in modern style, we call betraying truth. To betray truth is, through any sordid motive, to suppress, or to disguise, things of consequence to the glory of religion, the interest of a neighbor, or the good of society.

It would be difficult to demonstrate which of these three meanings is most conformable to the design of Solomon. In detached sentences, such as most of the writings of Solomon are, an absolute sense cannot be precisely determined: but, if the interpreter ought to suspend his judgment, the

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