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SER M. frail and moral creatures, preparing for

that eternal habitation into which we know not how soon we are to pass.

IF, with such sentiments and impresfions, we join in the worship of God, and the ordinances of religion, we may justly hope that they shall be accompanied to us with the divine blessing. It is the express precept of God, not to forJake the assembling of ourselves together. * Gather together the people, men, women, and children, that they may bear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord. your God, and observe to do all the words of this lawt. Enter his gates with thanks. giving, and his courts with praise. Give unto the Lord the glory due to his name. Thus hath God commanded, and he never commanded his people to seek his name in vain. For, where two or three are gathered together in his name, our Lórd bath told us that he is in the midst of them. I God hath said that he loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwel

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*Heb. 10.25. + Deut, xxxi. 12. $Matth. xviii. 20.

XI.

lings of Jacob.* The prayer of the up-SERM. right is his delight. Both in their temporal and spiritual concerns, they, may be most expected to prosper, who can

say with the Psalmist in the text, Lord " I have loved the habitation of thy houses,

and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

* Psalm lxxxvii. 26

SERMON

SERMON XII.

On the FASHION of the Worưd paf

fing away.

1 Cor. vii. 31:

-The fashion of this world passeth away,

SERM. TO use this world so as not to abuse it,

o 1 is one of the most important, and at

the same time one of the most difficult lessons which religion teaches. By so many desires and passions we are connected with the objects around us, that our attachment to them is always in hazard of becoming excessive and finful. hence religion is often employed in moderating this attachment, by rectifying

our

XII.

our erroneous opinions, and instructing SERM. us in the proper value we ought to set i on worldly things. Such was particularly the scope of the Apostle in this con-' text. He is putting the Corinthians in mind that their time is short ; that every thing here is transitory: and therefore, that in all the different occupations of human life, in weeping and rejoicing, and buying and pofleffing, they were ever to keep in view this consideration, that the fashion of this world passeth away. The original expression imports, the figure or form under which the world presents itself to us. The meaning is, All that belongs to this visible state is continually changing. Nothing in human affairs is fixed or stable. All is in motion and fluctuation ; altering its appearance every moment and passing into some new form. Let us meditate for a little on the ferious view which is here given us of the world, in order that we may attend to the improvements which it suggests.

I. The fashion of the world passeth away, as the opinions, ideas, and man-..

ners

SER M,ners of men are always changing. We 11. , look in vain for a standard to ascertain

and fix any of these; in vain expect that what has been approved and established for a while, is always to endure. Principles which were of high authority among our ancestors are now exploded. Systems of philofophy which were once universally received, and taught as infallible truths, are now obliterated and forgotten. Modes of living, behaving, and employing time, the pursuits of the busy, and the entertainments of the gay, have been entirely changed. They were the offspring of fashion, the children of a day. When they had run their course, they expired; and were succeed ed by other modes of living, and thinking, and acting, which the gloss of novelty recommended for a while to the public taste.

When we read an account of the manners and occupations, of the studies and opinions even of our own countrymen, in some remote age, we seem to be reading the history of a different world

from

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