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ed of his ancient people, that by the wickedness of their lives they had caused 6 his holy name to be profaned among

the heathen.” They who love their country, will be jealous of its credit in foreign parts, and carefully avoid every thing that hath a tendency to bring upon it the least stain or reproach. Accordingly, we are exhorted in Scripture, to " adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things;" “ to walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise;" and particularly, “ to walk in wisdom towards them that are without.” Indeed, as I formerly observed, our first care should be, that we ourselves receive no hurt; but I must now remind you, that something more is incumbent upon us than regard to our own safety: We ought not only to avoid or resist temptations to sin, but also to sbine in all the virtues of a boly life, that by the light of our good works others may be excited to glorify our Father who is in heaven. We have two things that should engage our attention; first, our own welfare; and next, the credit and honour of that religion we profess: And he is too selfish to be a good Christian, who minds only the one, and overlooks the other. Wide, my brethren, is the compass of our duty; the spiritual sojourner hath many parts to perform; he must not satisfy himself with a retired and private virtue, but is bound by the strictest ties of gratitude, “ to show forth the praises of that God, who hath called him out of darkness into bis marvellous light.” Every step of our conduct is of the greatest importance, not to ourselves only, but to others also; and therefore we ought to move with caution and accuracy. It is not enougb that we cease to do evil;" we must likewise “ learn to do well.” Nor should we even think it enough to do what is simply good; we should aim at that good which is most seasonable and excellent. In fine, to live as becom

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eth trae pilgrims, is to walk with our rule continually in our eye, and never knowingly to deviate from it, either to the right hand or to the left: It is to ponder every step we take; to weigh every undertaking, with all its circumstances, in the balance of the sanctuary: It is to consider the consequences of our behaviour with regard to others; to have our whole conversation, our words, and our actions, “ seasoned with salt," as the Apostle hath expressed it; that is, not only innocent in theinselves, but, as much as may be, edifying also, that they may minister grace to those who hear or behold us.

There is an affected singularity, which is conceited and disobliging, and does real dishonour to religion, representing it as childish, trifling, and capricious; on the other hand, there is a servile compliance with the maxims and fashions of the world, which is mean and pusillanimous, and represents religion as variable, timid, and irresolute: Betwixt these two extremes lies a middle plan of conduct, which expresseth the true genius of Christianity, representing it as generous, intrepid, and disinterested. When we dare avow the sentiments of our hearts, and obey the dictates of conscience, and the laws of our God, in the face of the sun; when our whole behaviour is cousistent and uniform, and shows that we have no other aim but to promote the honour of our heavenly Father, and to obtain his approbation; then we act up to the dignity of our Christian character; then we live as strangers and sojourners upon earth.

There is one thing in particular I would recommend to you as peculiarly suited to the condition of pilgrims; and that is a decent sobriety of manners, a grave and serious deportment, in opposition to what the Scriptures call a “ vain conversation." I do not mean that you should be sad and dejected; blessed be God, the Chris

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tian hath a more extensive field of pleasure before him than Fancy itself can represent to the sensual mind. The seriousness to which I am pressing you is not opposed to joy, but to levity: I call you to delights that are pure, sincere, and inward, in opposition to “ the laughter of the fool, and that delusive mirth that ends in heaviness." I would only have you to show, that you find a present reward in the service of God, and that the joys of religion are of too sublime a quality to mix and incorporate with the dead and polluted pleasures of sense: I would have you to behave with that spirit which becomes your high birth ; like persons who know that God is their father, that Christ is their elder brother, and the Holy Spirit their comforter and guide. In short, I would have you to act like citizens of heaven, who are only passing through this earth, and have little more concern in it than to escape its pollutions, by keeping the strait and narrow road that leads to the promised land of rest. Why should you borrow, nay, why should you seem to borrow, water from the “ broken” and dirty 6 cisterns" of the sensualist, who have access to the fountain of living waters ?” Is it not your duty, is it not your honour, to show the world, that no part of your happiness depends upon such low gratifications ? that you find enough in God to quench your thirst, and to satisfy the most unbounded desires of your soul? This, my brethren, is the way, the only way, to awaken the attention of secure, besotted sinners. Let them see what true godliness can do by itself; and this may beget in them a conviction of its worth and excellence. But how shall they discover that religion bath any peculiar virtue to strengthen and comfort the soul, so long as they can observe those who profess it walking in the same road, and frequenting the same haunts of vanity with themselves?

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There is a majesty in strict and serious godliness, that commands esteem and reverence even from the worst of men: But when religion assumes the habit and complexion of the world, when it is blended with the fashiona. ble follies of the age, it usually makes such a clumsy figure, such a motley appearance, that it becomes more ridiculous and contemptible than pure, unmixed folly it. self. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Once more, in the

6th place, If indeed we have turned our back upon this world, and are travelling to a better country, let us help one another by the way, and carry as many home with us as we can. Do we meet with any who are feeble and dejected? let us do every thing in our power to strengthen and encourage them. Are any doubtful and hesitating about the right path? let us give them our best advice, and, according to our ability, show them the way wherein they ought to go. Are any discouraged by the opposition they meet with, or the dangers they fear? let us take the road before them, and animate them to follow our example. Do we see any stopping short, or even looking aside to some alluring objects, that have a tendency to withdraw their hearts from God? let us, in the spirit of meekness, reprove and admonish them. Above all, let us beware of falling out with our fellow-travellers; for that must necessarily mar the progress of both : if they and we are going to the same place, let that suffice to unite us in affection; and let it be agreed, that we may differ in lesser things.

But many, alas ! take the opposite road, and walk in “the broad way that leadeth to destruction." How shall

we behave with respect to these? Let us remember, my friends, that they are still our brethren; and that the time was when we ourselves were “foolish and disobedient," even as they are. Should we meet with one of our countrymen in a foreign land, living in a poor and abject condition, and at the same time knew that he was heir to a plentiful estate at home, would we not endeavour to make him sensible of his folly? would we not use every argument to persuade him to return with us ?—Why, this is the very case. We see immortal creatures forget. ting themselves, and the great things they may possess in the heavenly world, pleased and deluded with the ve. riest trifles, with lying vanities that perish in the using. They are really our brethren; and there is enough in our Father's house both for them and us. Indeed, if the provision were scanty, we might have some colour of excuse for leaving them behind us; but the heavenly inheritance is sufficient for us all; nay, the number of coheirs, instead of diminishing, increaseth the happiness of each individual.

We had all wandered into “ a far country,” when our compassionate Father sent his beloved Son to invite us home. And if any of us have got our minds enlightened; if by grace we have been awakened from our fatal lethargy, and determined to comply with the kind invitation; shall we not do what in us lies to awaken those who are still asleep? shall we not tell them the good news, and press them to go with us? Oh! it is terrible to think of an everlasting separation. Place yourselves before the judgment-seat, and think how affecting that awful moment shall be, when the Judge shall pronounce the final doom, and send away from his presence some of those with whom we once were acquainted, perhaps intimately connected, nay, whom we dearly loved; send

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VOL. I.

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