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circumstances, fet a double watch upon your con. duct, and earnestly pray that God may preserve you from fraud and difingenuity of every kind. Rather fuffer yourselves to be stripped of every thing, and apply to the charity of others, which is not finful, and ought not to be shameful, than take any dishoneft methods of bettering your ftate. O melancholy thought, that many when they become defperate in their circumstances, become also desperate in their courses, and drown the reflection of their consciences in flothfulness and fenfuality ? Sincerity, integrity, patience and fobriety in a ruined fortune, are doubly eminent, at least, whatever they may be in the fight of the world, they are honourable and precious in the sight of God, and of all good men.
Before concluding, fuffer me to make one or two reflections on the fubject in general ; the feveral parts of which I have now explained. And,
1. On what hath been faid on this subject, I would graft this important leffon, that you fhould not only study to preserve yourselves from fin, but from all such circumstances of temptation as are dangerous to human conftaney. This was the very ground of the prayer of the Prophet in my text, and is the substance of the reasons he assigns for his request. We are taught the same thing in the ftrongest manner, by the several instances of human frailty, and the folly of prefumptuous confidence, recorded in Scrip
ture. Now all these things happened unto
them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ' world are come. Wherefore, let him that
thinketh he standeth take heed left he fall. We are also taught the same thing by him who knew what was in man, as he has given us directions in the form of prayer which he taught his disciples. to say, Lord,' lead us not into temptation.'
Are you really unwilling to do evil, you will be concerned to keep yourselves out of the way of every solicitation to it. This is constantly the effect of a judicious and solid piety, and those who act otherwise shew, that they either have no real goodness, or that they are very weak Christians, and little acquainted either with themselves, or this present evil world.
2. You may learn how necessary it is, that you should look for the Divine affiftance and direction, to avoid the temptation of every state of life. We are truly of ourselves unequal to the trials with which we are surrounded. Not that there, is any thing unjust or oppressive in the measures of Providence; but because it seems good to our Maker to oblige us to a constant dependence upon himself and his promised help.
But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will ? with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.' K
The may rest
The least temptation may prove too hard for us, if we neglect to apply for fupreme aid ; but in divine ftrength, we may bid defiance to the most formidable opposition. This temper is well exemplified and described by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians.
6 And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is
made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, there* fore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
upon me. There: fore, I take pleafure in infirmities, in reproaches, (in neceflities, in perfecution, in distreffes for • Christ's fake ; for when I am weak then am I * firong.'
2. From what hath been faid, you may fee what an inseparable connection there is between true religion, and your employments and state in this present world. They have a mutual, strong, and constant influence upon one another. It is a fatal, though a common error, to separate them ; entirely to confine religion to the times and places of immediate worship, and suppose that it hath nothing to do with the maxims of trade and commerce, or other worldly callings. On the contrary, your impressions of things fpiritual and eternal, will direct and regulate your views as to the present life; and your success or misfortunes in worldly schemes will have a certain and visible effect upon your Christian conversation, and the state of
souls. Therefore, let them never be separated in your own views, and let them still
be kept in their proper order and subordination Though the light and trivial use, not only of the name of God, but of fcripture-language, is both finful and dangerous ; and though a forward of tentatious piety may fometimes look suspicious, yet
it were to be wished we had more of a grave and habitual acknowle<lgement of God in all our ways. This was the language of the Patriarchs of old. In one of the former discourses upon this subject, I took notice of Jacob's prayer, when he set out for Padan-aram. See after the increase of his family, how he expresses himself in answer to his brother Ifaac. « And he lift up his
eyes and saw the women and children, and
faid, who are those with thee? And he said, • the children which God hath graciously given • thy servant.' See also the Apostolical direction for the manner of projecting our future pur*poses. • Go to now, ye that say to-day, or tomorrow,
into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and
4. In the last place, let me beseech, in the tenderest manner, every one of you, rich and poor, to remember an approaching eternity. It will not be long till the honourable and despised, the wealthy and the needy, the master and the servant, shall lie down in the dust. Lay hold of that covenant of peace, which is ordered in all things and sure. Hear a great and constant truth : What is a man profited, though he should gain
(the whole world and lose his own soul, or ' what shall a man give in exchange for his ' foul ?' How many a Lazarus is now in Abraham's bofom; and how many a rich man, that once lived delicately on earth, is at this moment tormented in hell-fire ! The Gospel of peace is now preached in your ears. Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Chrift, and ye shall be saved. I cannot promise that you shall be rich, but ali things neceffary are assured to you by the divine promise ; food and raiment, support under trials, strength for duty, and in the world to come everlasting resta