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rich, and bringeth no sorrow with it:” for, whatever the careless may think, God is the same he ever was ; and his threats and promises have the same force, as when they were first declared unto mankind.
There is one thing I would most earnestly press upon your mind, which is a constant regard to your eternal interest; the greater part of mankind being led only by what is temporal. Education, and the sentiments of those around them, more frequently produce in men the religion they profess, than those principles, faith, and a rational con
viction of the great truths of the gospel, would cause to spring up. Thus the man who takes up religion, because it is the custom of those around him, and he who embraces it from the force of truth, differ widely from each other. The grand truths of religion are not so difficult as some disputers would render them; they are so clearly shown, that he who runs may read," unless he willfully shut his eyes : and, however the christian world my be divided in name, in the fundamental articles of our belief all will be found to unite. Our greatest danger lies not in controversy, which may sometimes be
productive of good, as it brings the Scriptures into a clearer light, and causes them to be more investigated; but the mischief will be found in our own hearts and tempers, which arguinent sometimes sours and disturbs. Therefore, bear in mind, what the wise man saith ; “ Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Seneca, though a heathen, may even now condemn some of this generation ; he was not faroured with the help of the Holy Scriptures, yet his practice was in many things conformable to the spirit of the Gospel. He was accustomed to examine every night
the events of the past day, and see what temper had produced every action'; and by this he praised or condemned himself. This procedure is worthy of a christian, and will not disgrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Be punctual in the practice of private retirement for devotion; regular, but not ostentatious ; in the spirit of humility, present your requests unto God for his blessing on your designs; and offer him thanks and praises for the mercies which crown your days.
It is observable, in reading accounts of persons who have suffered * for their crimes the punishments assigned by law, many have acknowledged it was the neglect of the duty of prayer and bad company which brought them to this sad end; for, who can stand by his own strength ? I would also enjoin a careful participation of the company of sober and religious people as often as suitable opportunities present themselves. And to this I would add, the strict and regular attendance of the place of public worship, especially on the first day of the week, called sunday or sabbath, and to avoid the too common practice of spending the rest of that day in un