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and his neighbour. It is indeed the ulti-S ERM. mate aim, to which the wishes of the
XIII. wise and reflecting have ever been directed, that with a mind undisturbed by anxieties, cares, and fears, they might pass their days in a pleasing serenity. They justly concluded that, by enjoying themselves in peace, they would enjoy, to the greatest advantage, all the comforts of life that came within their reach.
This happy tranquillity, the multitude conceive to be most readily attainable by means of wealth, or, at least, of an easy fortune; which they imagine would set them above all the ordinary disturbances of life. That it has some effect for this purpose, cannot be denied. Poverty and straitened circumstances, are often inconfistent with tranquillity. To be destitute of those conveniencies that suit our rank in the world, to be burdened with anxiety about making provision for every day which passes over our head; instead of bringing comfort to a family who look up to us for, aid, to behold ourselves sur
Vol. IV. S rounded
SER M. rounded with their wants and complaints,
are circumstances which cannot fail to give much uneasiness to every feeling mind. To take measures, therefore, for attaining a competent fortune, by landable means, is wise and proper. Entire negligence of our affairs, and indifference about our worldly circumstances, is, for the most part, the consequence of some vice, or some folly.--At the same time, I must observe, that the attainment of opulence is no certain method of attaining tranquillity Embarrassments and vexations often attend it; and long experience has shown, that tranquillity is far from being always found among the rich. Nay, the higher that men rise in the world, the greater degrees of power and distinction which they acquire, they are often the farther removed from internal peace. The world affords so many instances of miseries abounding in the higher ranks of life, that it were needless to enlarge on a topic fo generally known and admitted.
Affuming it, therefore, for an ủn-SE R M. doubted truth, that the mere possession of the goods of fortune may be consiftent with the want of inward tranquillity, we must look around for other more certain grounds of it. We must enquire whether any line of conduct can be, pointed out, which, independent of external situation in the world, shall tend to make us eafy in mind; shall either bestow, or aid, that tranquillity which all men desire. The remaining part of this discourse shall be employed in suggesting, with great plainness of speech, such directions as appear to'me the most material on this important subject. ,' ,
· The first direction, which I have to suggest, is, that we imitate the character of the man who is described in this psalm as walking uprightly, working righteousness, and speaking the truth, as he thinketh in his heart; that we study to preserve a clear conscience, and to lead a virtuous and honourable, at least an inoffensive and innocent, life. Of such a man only it can
SE R M. be faid, that doing these things he shall neXlll., ver be moved. So great is the power of
conscience over every human being, that the remembrance of crimes never fails to overthrow tranquillity of mind. Be afsured, that he who defrauds his neighbour, who has ensnared the innocent, has violated his trust, or betrayed his friend, shall never enjoy within himfelf undifturbed quiet. His evil deeds will. at times recur to his thoughts, like ghosts rifing up in black array before him to haunt his couch. Even the sense of a foolish and trifling conduct, of a life past in idleness and diffipation; by which, though a man has not been guilty of great crimes, he has however wasted his substance, mispent his time, and brought upon himself just reproach; even this, I say, is sufficient to create much uneasiness and disquiet to the heart. Let him, therefore, who wishes to enjoy tranquillity, study above all things, toact an irreproachable part. With comfort he will reft his head on his pillow at night, when he is conscious that through
out the day he has been doing his duty S E R M.
XIII. towards God and man; when none of the tranfactions of that day come back, in painful remembrancé, to upbraid him. To this testimony of a good conscience, let him be able,
In the second place, to join humble trust in the favour of God. As, after the best endeavours we can use, no man's behaviour will be entirely faultlefs, it is essential to peace of mind, that we have fome ground for hope in the Divine mercy, that, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our defects shall be forgiven, and grace be fhewn us by Heaven. This includes all the duties of faith and repentance that are required by the Gospel; the faithful discharge of which duties is absolutely necessary for delivering us from those fears of another world, which, if not allayed, are sufficient to banish all tranquillity from the heart. Our religious principles must at the fame time be found and pure; and carefully preserved from the