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Third, Because it is safe.

In the profession of this independence, you will be safe from the domination of your own påssions ; for the subjugation of passion is a part of its nature. A weak wavering man is continually galled and jaded by his passions, particularly by his love of applause and popularity, his fear of censure, and his dread of being alone either in his opinions or practices. In this manner he is perpetually driven from what he thinks right, and goaded into what he knows to be wrong. You, on the contrary, in the possession of this high attribute, will lay your passions at your feet, and only call them in as servants to your aid as you find occasion may require. What a mighty deliverance will even this be !

The wavering man, also, will be perpetually solicited by a thousand tempters, because they suspect him to yield of course, and every temptation will find him unprepared, feeble, and defenceless. Few temptations, on the contrary, will approach you, because they will know that they cannot prevail. Who would have offered a bribe to Aristides, have solicited Washington to betray his country, or have asked Paul to pervert the truth? The temptations, also, which actually assail you, will find you guarded at all points. You will not enter upon this war without money, without arms, without soldiers; but with twenty thousand will go forth to meet him that cometh against you with ten thousand. What is more, infinitely more, you will be watched by the omniscient eye, and protected by the almighty hand of God. “ I will never leave * thee, nor forsake thee,” is a promise in a peculiar sense appropriated to Christians, determined to do their duty.

Nor will you find at all the same vexations and embarrassments from your fellow-men. Few persons think of contending against the public conduct of the legislator, or the magistrate, who is believed, from principle, faithfully and firmly to do what he thinks right. The minister, who is acknowledged to adhere undauntedly to the truth of the Scriptures, will be quietly permitted to preach whatever he believes to be


Fourth, Because it is honourable. 2. Look back upon the history of man, and tell me who, in your own opinion, have been the honourable members of the human race. Is one warping wavering man in the number? Among all those who have sacrificed their own judgment and conscience to the opinion of others, to the dread of censure, to the love of popularity and applause, to the desire of advancement, to the lust for office, is there a single Washington, a Chatham, an Alfred, a Gustavus, an Aristides, a Leonidas, a Judas Maccabeus, an apostle, a prophet, or a patriarch ? How infinitely different is this conduct from that of the Saviour of mankind, who set his face as a flint against the opposing opinions, slanders, and persecutions of the whole nation in which he was born, and sealed the truth of his testimony on the accursed tree. Glory and honour, in the supreme and immortal sense, belong only to those who patiently, or, as it is in the original, s firmly and perseveringly continue in well doing." These are the men whom, in your consciences, you respect and reverence. These are the men who are reverenced by mankind; who receive here, and throughout eternal ages will receive hereafter, " the honour which cometh from God only." These are the greatest, while wavering Christians, although really possessing the Christian character, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven; and while few, very few, among all those who yield themselves to mental bondage, will ever be found in the regions of life.

Fifth, Because it is delightful.

All the observations which have been already made, illustrate this important truth. The character which is safe, useful, and honourable, cannot but be pleasant to the possessor. This, however, is far from being all. The independence which I am urging is the direct source of peace in the soul; the peace derived from an approving conscience and an approving God; the beginning and the end of all sincere enjoyment. In its retrospective views, it finds a multitude of objects on which its eye fastens with delight, and over which conscience sheds a perpetual sunshine. Its prospects, its future designs, still brighter and better with


continually increasing excellence, are a regular progress in the highway of holiness towards the paradise of God. Temptations may betide, dangers may multiply, and sufferings may threaten; but the Christian hero, possessing his soul in the fortitude of the Gospel, will be able to say, 66 None of these things move me ; neither count I


life dear anto myself, so that " I may

finish my course with joy.” Secure of the smiles of God, on death he will look with serenity, and to the world beyond the grave with hope which maketh not ashamed. There he will see a divine reward prepared for him ; a crown of glory, at the sight of which earthly diadems are changed into dross and dirt ; and there he will be welcomed to the impumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, as a glorious addition to their number and their joys.

My young friends, you have begun life with many blessings, promises, and hopes. Your behaviour, while under my care, has strongly recommended you to my affection. You go into the world with my best wishes and my fervent prayers. May the Lord God be with you, and make your way through life prosperous ! May he enable you to be strong, and very courageous, to do all the words of his law, and not to turn from it to the right hand or to the left. In this way you wilt find life a blessing to yourselves. In this way you will be blessings to your fellow-men. In this way the rod and staff of the good Shepherd will support you as you pass through the valley of the shadow of death; and in this way you will ascend to immortal glory beyond the grave.

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As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men,

especially unto them who are of the household of faith..

166 let us

This passage of Scripture is founded upon that which immediately precedes it, “ And let us not be weary in well-doing; “ for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not.” That which we may be expected in this case to reap, is mentioned in the 8th verse, viz. life everlasting. The original language at the commencement of the 9th verse is Tð dè nandy TOPŠVTES, un funaxãmev : literally, “ While we are doing that which is morally 66. excellent, beautiful, or lovely, let us not flag, "“ not lose our energy, nor become feeble and spiritless in our “ exertions.” On the contrary, let us always be vigorous and animated in the performance of this great duty. The original words rendered let us do good, are šgra úzeba od drobov : " let us labour that which is good," i. e. “ let us do it with “ the diligence and exertion with which industrious men la« bour in their ordinary business.” From a comparison of this phraseology we learn, that that which is to be done by us, is not only to be beneficial to mankind, but is to be done with such a disposition as will render the performance morally excellent and lovely in the sight of God; and that it is our duty to labour in this employment with firm resolution and unremitted energy.

This duty we are required to perform especially towards those who are of the household of faith. For this part of the injunction, obvious and ample reasons may without any difficulty be alleged. But the time will not permit me to consider either the reasons or the injunction itself. I shall therefore confine my observations to the general precepts in the text, which requires us

To do good unto all men as we have opportunity.

The first care of every man is undoubtedly to be employed, in all ordinary cases, upon himself; and the next, upon his family. The reasons are plain and decisive. God has committed these objects peculiarly to him. To them he can do more good than to any others, as they are always within his reach, as their wants are more immediately and perfectly known to him, and as he can supply them more easily, more uniformly, and more effectually than he can those of any other persons. It is hardly necessary to observe, that what is true of their wants is equally true of all their other interests. In addition to this it is to be remembered, that unless he perform the duty here specified, it will never be performed; for his fellow-men will never take the charge of it upon themselves.

But besides this great and indispensable duty of all men, it is in the power of all to do some, and of most to do much good to others, who are not their immediate connections. The performance of this duty I consider as the great object of the Apostle in the text; an object worthy of his commission, of his inspiration, and of the glorious Being by whom he was inspired.!

What St. Paul thought it proper thus solemnly to enjoin upon the minds of all to whom the Gospel should come, I shall endeavour to impress upon the minds of my audience, and particularly upon the youths, for whom the present discourse is especially intended.

You are now, my young friends, about to take your leave

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