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of their ground, and the advantageous difpofal of its produce; or with schemes to draw cuftomers to their compting-house or their shop, and to lay in their commodities at the cheapest rate; or to place out their money on the best fecurity, and at the highest interest. At the end of every year they are become richer: but they are not become more religious. They have increased in poffeffions: but they have not grown in grace. They have accumulated fubftance on earth: but have not laid up treafure in the fight of God. During all this time they imagine that they are religious: and are even ready to profefs a conviction that this fcraping laborious life is one proof of religion. How hardening is the deceitfulness of fin (d)! How darkening the influence of a worldly fpirit! What fpecious evidence have they to produce of their religion? Let their caufe be exhibited in the most favourable light. They have not been fpendthrifts. They have obferved common honesty in their dealings. They have feldom omitted their devotions at the returns of night and of morning. They have attended public worship, and even the facrament, with decent frequency. But let every person of this defcription answer to himself a short question: Where has your

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heart been fixed? On the next world, or on this? Your anfwer will tell you that, if you die in your prefent ftate, your condemnation is certain and juft. Others make pleasures and amufements their idols. They conceive that, because they are under no pecuniary neceffity of addicting themselves to business, they need not difappoint their inclinations. They do not mean, they profefs, to live wickedly but they think that they have a right to entertain themselves. Amusements accordingly conftitute their leading pursuit. Hounds and horfes, or other sports of the field; or public places and unprofitable vifiting and the indolent perufal of trifling and uninftructive books, take poffeffion of their time. and their thoughts. The amufements which each perfon felects for himfelt depend on his fituation, and other accidental circumstances. But of all fuch perfons, amusement, whatever fhape it may affume, is the object. And because they follow fuch amufements as are not in their own nature neceffarily finful; and because they are not regardless of the forms of devotion, and fome other outward duties of religion; they flatter themselves that they are fufficiently good Chriftians. But let fuch perfons alfo be afked: Where has your heart been fixed? Can you think that the e

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which you have led has been to live unto God and unto Chrift?/Has your life been that of a perfon who feeks firft the kingdom of God and his righteousness? The perfons who were previously described perish by the cares and the riches of the world. You perish. by its idleness and its pleasures. Industry, grounded on Christian motives, and governed by Christian rules, is not only not a fin, but an abfolute duty. Amusements, innocent in their nature, and moderate in degree, are at proper times allowable. But if either the acquifition of money, or the pursuit of amusement, be the leading object of your thoughts and wishes, the ruling principle of your heart ceafe to imagine that you are religious; anticipate the condemnation which awaits you. I dwell not on other idols. What though power, and learning, and reputation, have also their worshippers? Is the idolatry of another man a vindication of yours? God acknowledges none as his fervants, except those whose predominant defire and delight is to promote his glory and obey his commandments. To no others does he promise pardon and grace and falvation through Jefus Chrift. Deceive yourself no longer. Lean no longer on a broken reed. Away with every excufe for delaying to P 3


refign your whole heart to your Redeemer. Some excufes may be more abfurd, fome may be more prefumptuous, than others. But if you truft to any excufe whatever, you will fall into everlafting condem


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NUMBERS, xiv. 24.

But my Servant Caleb, because he had another
Spirit with him and hath followed me fully,
him will I bring into the Land.

THE children of Ifrael, about fifteen months

after their departure from Egypt, were now arrived on the borders of the land of promife. Mofes, according to the command of God, fent forth twelve chofen men, one from each tribe, to examine the country: and directed them to bring accurate information to their brethren, whether the foil was rich and fruitful, or lean and barren; whether the inhabitants were few and feeble, or numerous and warlike; whether they were dwellers



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