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SERM. Let us beware of all such imaginary
refinements as produce a total disrelish of our present condition. They are, for the most part, grafted either on disappointed pursuits, or on a melancholy and splenetic cast of mind. They are far from contributing to happiness, and are inconsistent with all the active virtues of man. This life deserves not indeed to be put in competition with that blessed immortality to which God has raised our hopes. But such as it is, it is the gift of God. It is the sphere in which his wisdom has placed us, and appointed us to act our parts. As long as it lasts, we must neither flight the duties which it requires, nor undervalue the innocent enjoyments which it offers. It belongs to a man to live among men as his brethren ; which he who declares himself weary of life is not qualified to do with propriety.
Thus I have placed before you, in various views, the sentiment in the text;
and have shewn in what circumstances, S ERM. and from what causes, that disrelish of life arises which is often found among mankind. On a review of the whole, we cannot but acknowledge, that it is oftener to be ascribed to our own vices and follies, than to any other cause. Among the multitudes in the world, to whom at this day life is burdensome, the far greater number is of those who have rendered it so to themselves. Their idleness, their luxury and pleasures, their criminal deeds, their immoderate passions, their timidity and baseness of mind, have dejected them in such a degree, as to make them weary of their existence. Preyed upon by discontent of their own creating, they complain of life when they ought to reprehend themselves.
Various afflictions there doubtless are in the world ; many persons with whom we have cause to sympathise, and whom we might reasonably forgive for withing death to close their sorrows. But of the evils which embitter life, it must be
SER M. admitted, that the greater part is such as
fuch as, if we were not wanting to our
with disappointments and distresses, they s E r M. complain of life, as if it had cheated and I. betrayed them. God ordained no such possession for man on earth as continued pleasure. Forthe wisest purposes he designed our state to be checquered with pleasure and pain. As such let us receive it, and make the best of what is doomed to be our lot. Let us remain persuaded, that simple and moderate pleasures are always the best; that virtue and a good conscience are the surest foundations of enjoyment; that he who serves his God and his Saviour with the purest intentions, and governs his passions with the greatest care, is likely to lead the happiest life. Following these principles, we shall meet with fewer occasions of being weary of life; we shall alway find some fa- : tisfactions mixed with its crosses ; and shall be enabled to wait with a humble and contented mind till the Almighty, in his appointed time, finish our state of trial, and remove us to a more blessed abode.
On Charity as the End of the Come
1 TIMOTHY i. 5:
Now the end of the commandment is charity
out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.
SER M. TT appears from this chapter, that one La design of the Apostle, in writing to
Timothy, was to guard him against certain corrupters of Christian doctrine, who had already arisen in the church. To their false representations of religion he opposes that general view of it which is given in the text. Such summaries of