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IX

consistent line of virtue throughout your SERMON conduct, you must allot to every transaction its place and its season. Hurry, and mult, disorder and confusion, are both the characteristics of vice and the parents of it. Let your time be regularly distributed, and all your affairs be arranged with propriety, in method and train. Thus, and thus only, can you be masters of yourselves ; your time and your life will be your own; and what is serious and important, will not be justled out of its place, by that crowd of inferiour cares, which are for ever pressing on the disorderly, and frustrating the plans which they had formed for the wise and proper regulation of life.—Consider too, that, if order be not studied, there can be no prudent economy in the management of your fortune and worldly affairs ; and æconomy, be assured is a great guardian of all the private and domestic virtues. When order and economy are neglected, you are in hazard of being first involved in distresses, and then inveigled into crimes whereas, under the direction of regular conduct, both your worldly and your religious

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IX.

VIIÍ. That we should give attention to all the auxiliary means which religion offers for assisting and guiding us to walk wisely in a perfect way,

These open a large field to the care of every good man, We must always remember that virtue is not a plant which will spontaneously grow up and flourish in the human heart. The soil is far from being so favourable to its many shoots of an adverse nature are ever springing up, and much preparation and culture are required for cherishing the good seed, and raising it to full maturity. Among the means for this purpose, let me first mention the serious reading of the holy Scripture. That sacred book, as the standard of our belief and practice, claims on every account, our frequent perusal. In the New Testament, the brightest display of our Lord's energetic example, joined with his simple, affecting, and instructive discourses,

illustrated by the writings of his inspired followers; in the Old Testament,

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the variety of matter, the ardent glow of SERMON devotion in some parts, and the mysterious sublimity of others; all conspire to affect the mind with serious and solemn emotions. Passages impressed on the memory from those sacred volumes, have often, from their recurrence, had a happy effect. early years, most of us were accustomed to look with respect upon those venerable records; and woe be to them, who, looking back upon the days of their father's house, can trample with scorn on the memory of those whose pious cares were employed in forming them to good principles, and teaching them to reverence the word of God!

Let me next recommend a serious regard to all the established means of religious instruction ; as, attending regularly the preaching of the word, partaking frequently of the Holy Sacrament, and preserving a sacred reverence for the Lord's day. Whenever all regard to the Lord's day becomes abolished; when on it we are allowed to mingle without any distinction in our common affairs, and even in our ordinary diversions and amusements, we may account this a certain symptom of declining virtue, .

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IX.

SERMON and of approaching general immorality,

We have beheld in a neighbouring kingdom, how fatally it proved the forerunner of an entire dissolution both of moral and civil order in society. Whatever disregard cer-tain modern refiners of morality may attempt to throw on all the instituted means, of public religion, assuredly they must, in their lowest view, be considered as the outguards and fences of virtuous conduct; and even in this view must deserve the esteem and respect of all good men. We know, and are often enough told, that the form of godliness may subsist without the power of it. But depend upon it, wherever the form of godliness in entirely gone, the puin of its power is not far off. Whoever has studied the human mind, may soon be satisfied of this truth.

Besides attention to the public means of religious improvement, much will depend on our own private exercises of devotion and serious thought. Prayer, in particular, operates to our high advantage, both by the immediate assistance which we may hope it will

procure from Him who is the author and inspirer of virtue, and by its native in,

fluence

IX.

Auence in softening, purifying, and exalting SERMON the heart. In vain would he attempt to behave himself wisely in a perfect way, who looks not frequently up to God for grace and aid; and who would presumptuously attempt to separate moral virtue from devotion, its natural and original ally. Besides the exercises of religious worship, both public and private, seasonable returns of retirement from the world, of calm recollection and serious thought, are most important auxiliaries to virtue. He who is without intermission engaged in the bustle of society and worldly occupation, becomes incapable of exercising that discipline over himself, and giving that attention to his temper and character which virtue requires. Commune with your own hearts on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord*.

By the observance of such rules and maxims as have been now pointed out, it may be hoped that, through divine grace, we may be enabled to behave ourselves wisely in ? perfect way, until, in the end, we receive

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