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be reckoned a breach of good manners to introduce any thing that related to their Father in heaven ;-to his house with many mansions, where they all hoped to dwell ; -or to that precious Redeemer, who hath gone before to prepare a place for them. Might it not rather be expected, that besides occasional converse upon subjects of fo interesting a nature, they would choose to set apart fome portions of time for the fole purpose of " comforting themselves toge“ ther, and edifying one another,” according to the early practice of the Christians at Thessalonica, which our Apostle fo highly. commends, 1 Theff. v. II.?

Thus have I given you my cool deliberate sentiments upon the practical influence of the great doctrines of the gospel, and that kind of conversation towards God and man which is best suited to the belief of them, Should any indeed be fo perverse as to resist the influence of these doctrines, and counteract their native and most obyious tendency, while at the fame time they acknowledged the evidence of their truth,

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it would not at all surprise me, to see them
crowding, from day to day, the public
theatres, that the regularity and decorum of
a fictitious representation might draw their
attention away from that real and ill-con-
ducted medley in which they themselves
acted their disgraceful parts. I should not
wonder to behold them flying with eager-
ness to cards and dice, and seeking aid from
every engine of diffipation and noise, to
conceal the lapse of time, and to bear down
the clamours of an accusing conscience. It
would not even surprise me, to see them
rushing beadlong into the haunts of riot
and debauch, that the intoxicating cup
might either stupify or madden their rea-
fon; which, if left to its sober exercise,
would anticipate the evil day, and torment
them before the time. Such things as
these I should expect to fee: but for none of
them could I find any place at all in the
natural and orderly state of reasonable crea-
tures, whose temper and conduct, as I have
all along fupposed, were formed and regu-
lated by the doctrines of the gospel.
How far my reasoning upon this branch

. , of

of the subject hath been juft, will more fully appear afterwards. It no doubt exhibits te our viev a state of things widely different from what we at present behold; which, I am aware, may furnith us all with matter of humbling and painful reflection. This, however, shall not discourage me from proceeding in my inquiry; as I well know, that if, “ by the sadneis of the countenance, " the heart be made better," we shall in the issue be infinite gainers, and obtain from him who is “ the comforter of those that " are cast down,” “ the oil of joy for 55 mourning, and the garments of praise for « the fpirit of heaviness.”

May God dispose and enable us all to “ judge righteous judgement." Amen.

SER

S E R M O N

XIII.

PHILIPPIANS I. 27.

only let your conversation be as it becometh the

suspel of Christ.

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TITE have already considered the most

VV essential doctrines contained in the gospel of Christ, and the influence that the cordial belief of such interesting truths might be expected to have upon our temper and practice...

I am not sensible that any of the con-' clusions I drew were strained, or even obscure. To me they appeared, and, after the most serious and impartial examina- . tion, still do appear, fo reasonable and obvious, and withal so moderate, that I cannot think they are liable to any just objection.

At the same time, as they present to our view a state of things so widely different :

: from

from that which daily passeth before our eyes, I shall now proceed to consider the LAWS or precepts of our holy religion ; that, from the review of these, we may discover, with still greater certainty, what the converfation is that may be said to become the gospel of Christ.

But before I descend to particulars upon this extensive subject, I must beg your attention to a few remarks I have to make upon the precepts or laws of the gospel in general.

With regard to their authority, there can be no doubt. He who enacted them hath an unquestionable right to our most perfect obedience : « In the beginning was the « Word, and the Word was with God, and “ the Word was God : all things were made " by him, and without him was not any " thing made that was made." We are therefore his property in the most absolute and unlimited fenfe of that expression. He called us into being when as yet we were not, and every moment he sustains that existence which he gave us ; for “ in him we

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