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fore your imagination, through all the mazes of injustice, oppression, flattery, dissimulation and corruption. By the false lustre which these objects assume, thousands have been deluded. In search of the happiness which they promise, thousands have relinquished all the noble pursuits, and resigned all the substantial pleasures of wisdom and virtue. Imagine not, then, that you are invincibly armed against the assaults of these subtle and powerful adversaries. Flatter not yourselves that your danger is past before you have begun the combat ; or think that you shall obtain a cheap and easy conquest.

• Let not him that gir« deth on his harness, boast himself as he that putteth it off.”

Such are the difficulties, such the dangers to which you are exposed, which you must, expect to meet with in your passage through life. Judge ye,

whether

you
have

any room for confidence and presumption, whether your situation doth not require all the caution and circumspection which you can command.

It is not, however, the design of what has been said to fill you with gloomy ideas of human life, to discourage you in the pursuit of happiness, or the practice of virtue, or to in

your

cline you to sit down in indolence and despair. Though you are liable to disappointments and calamities, you may, also, reasonably hope to enjoy, even in this world, a considerable share of felicity. Though your virtue be exposed to many trials, though temptations surround you on every side, it is still in your power, by the blessing and assistance of God, to hold fast your integrity, and continue stedfast and immovable in the practice of duty. Be not, then, discouraged by difficulties, or terrified by dangers. Be cautious and diffident, but be not timid or desponding. In circumspection lies your safety : on diligence and resolution depend your improvement and happiness. Let me, therefore, recommend to your serious consideration and practical regard the following points of advice, which, for want of time, I can only mention, but which are too plain to stand in need of much illustration.

Be diffident of your own abilities, express your opinions with modesty, and without obstinate opposition to those of greater experience and wisdom. Be slow to speak, patient to hear, and willing to learn. This is the surest road to wisdom, and the best claim to esteem.

Be moderate in your wishes and expecta

tions of happiness. Nay, lay your account with disappointment and misfortune. Thus you will be better prepared to bear calamity, if it should come ; and if prosperity, only, should be poured into your cup, it will be the greater from it's being unexpected.

Be careful in the choice of your friends. Be not rash in forming connections. Above all things, avoid the society of the wicked. For evil communications corrupt good manners, and the companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Guard against the first beginning, the smallest appearance of evil. Say not, it is a little thing. Unimportant as it may be in itself, it leaves behind it a stain which will not so easily be removed. Every the most trifling transgression tends to widen the breach. When the constitution is once affected with the disease of sin, no medicine but divine grace can stop it's progress. It eateth as a canker, and biteth as a serpent.

Be careful and diligent to impress upon your minds a sense of God and of religion. For this purpose, dedicate a portion of your time to the reading of the sacred scriptures, and religious compositions. Neglect not the important duty of private prayer, or, what is equally important, attendance on publick worship. Seek, as the first object of your life, to obtain the favour of God; and remember, for your encouragement, that, they who seek him early shall find him. Without this, all hope of happiness and success in life were vain : possessed of this, you have the best reason for trust and confidence. His arm can give strength to the weak. His

will enable you to resist every temptation. His comforts will delight your souls in the day of adversity and distress.

grace

287

SERMON XIII.

Funeral sermon on the death of the Reverend

J. Malcomson,

PHILIPPIANS, CHAP. 21, VER. 1.

“For to me, to die is gain.”

DEATH has been styled the king of terrours, through fear of whom many are all their lifetime subject to bondage. And, indeed, if we consider this event as nothing but a cessation of existence, as a restoration of the dust of which we are formed to its original source, it is natural to expect that creatures, actuated by a strong desire of self-preservation, should feel impressions of sadness and dejection when they look forward to its approach. To bid an eternal adieu to those whom affection and friendship have entwined around our hearts ; to shut our eyes for ever to the cheerful light of day, and all the scenes of former enjoyment; to be deprived of sense and motion,

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