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guilty pleasures that are past, or looking forward to joys of the like nature. You have said to yourselves then, perhaps, in the pride of your hearts, My house shall never be moved. But I will make some fuppofitions, that are often verified in life, which may, perhaps, convince you of the necessity of reflecting in time. I will suppose that you yet retain the virtue of natural affection, and that you have friends and children who are dear to you. God fees fit to send the rod of affliction, and to take them out of life. Attending upon their funeral, when every eye is ready to drop a tear, will you still allow thoughtlessness and inconsideration to possess your hearts ? Perhaps you may here be able to boast of your superiority. But know, that by folly many have been brought to a morsel of bread, and by unforeseen accidents, this hath fometimes been the fate of those in whom the wisdom of this world has been remarkable. If you are sent, then, to the cheerless hut of miserable poverty, dependent, perhaps, upon the charity of those whom you formerly defpised ; will your former companjons now visit you, to fill up every vacant and lonely hour ? Upon the very street, they would pass
you without seeming to know you. Though in the days of your plenty, they squandered profusely with you at the debauch or entertainment, yet they will now treat you, as reflection, perhaps, will inform you, you treated the beggar who was shivering at your door, while you was wallowing in plenty. Finally, I will suppose that those afflictions which befal many, pain, disquiet, sickness, shall befal you. And no matter whether you are rich or poor, for it will make very small difference. Can you then believe that the goblet, sparkling with wine or strong drink, is the banisher of care? Will your vicious companions, sitting at your bed-side, prevent a visit from these strangers, thoughtfulness and recollection? Then, indeed, in any of these or the like circumstances in which you may be, they will lay hold on you, and you can neither banish them, nor fly from them. They might have come to your aid and support, like guardian angels : but now they come like an armed force to bind you, and deliver you up to the tormentors. Therefore, my brethren, consider the situation in which you are, the misfortunes to which you are liable, which will oblige you to think U 2
. and reflect, even in spite of yourselves : be persuaded now to accustom yourselves to these, that you may meet recollection and retirement, when they are necessary, with peace and satisfaction. As you would wish to abstain from vice, to improve in virtue, to enjoy the pleasures of devotion, not to render sickness, or poverty, or death intolerable, comply now with the advice of the Psalmist, Commune with your own hearts upon your bed, and be flill. Believe me, my brethren, by following this advice, you will live the more harmoniously in the same fociety and neighbourhood : you will love one ano. ther the better, be more willing to overlook each others frailties and faults. You will be the more faithful ministers, the more diligent teachers, the more upright merchants, the more honest artificers, the more affectionate parents, the more dutiful children. In a word, you will be the more perfect in all the relations and circumstances of life in which you may be placed.
And one of the pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And behold, a woman in the city, which was a finner, when she knew that Jesus fat at meat in the pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to washi his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the pharisee which had bidden him, faw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who, and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him : for she is a finner. And Jesus answering, said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he sayeth, Mafter, say on. There was a certain creditor, which had two debtors : U 3
the one oved five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, be frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love bim most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave moft. And be said unto him, Thou haft rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seeft thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet : but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of ber head. Thou gavest me no kiss : but this woman, fince the time I came in, bath not ceased to kiss my feet. Mine bead with oil thou didst not anoint : but this woman bath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her fins, which are many, are forgiven, for the loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little, And he said unto her, Thy fins are forgiven,
FROM many principles of the human conftitution, it might easily be shewn, that there is no method of instruction fo pleasing and powerful, as that which is derived from a