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agements which they encountered who firft made profession of a persecuted and hated religion ;-at the fame time that it raises the is dea of the fortitude and fanctity of these holy men, of whom the world is not worthy,--it fadly diminishes that of ourselves, which, though it has all the blessmgs of this life apparently on its side to support it,--yet can fearce be kept alive ;—and if we may form a judgment from the little stock of religion which is left,-fhould God ever exact the same trials, unless we greatly alter for the better, -or there should prove fome fecret charm in perfecution, which we know not of; it is much to be doubted, if the son of man fhould make this proof of this generation, whether there would be found faith upon the earth.
As this argument may convince us---fo let it shame us into virtue,--that the admirable examples of those holy men may not be left us, or commemorated by us to no end ;--but rather that they may anfwer the pious purpose of their institution,-to conform our lives to theirs,—that with them we may be partakers of a glorious inheritance, through Jesus Chrift our Lord. Amen.
1 John v. 3.
N 0,—they are not grievous, my dear auIV ditors.— Amongst the many prejudices which at one time or other have been conceived against our holy religion, there is scarce any one which has done more dishonour to christianity, or which has been more opposite to the spirit of the gospel, than this, in express contradiction to the words of the text, “ That the commandments of God are grievous.”— That the way which leads to life is not only strait, for that our Saviour tells us, and that with much tribulation we shall seek it;-but that christians are bound to make the worst of it, and trade it barefoot upon thorns and briers, --if ever they evpect to arrive happily at their journey's end. And in course,—during this disastrous pilgrimage, it is our duty fo to re
nounce the world, and abstract ourselves from it, as neither to interfere with its interests, or taste any of the pleasures, or any of the enjoyments of this life.
Nor has this been confined merely to fpeculation, but has frequently been extended to practice, as is plain, not only from the lives of many legendary faints and hermits, whose chief commendation seems to have been « That they filed unnaturally from all commerce with their fellow creatures, and then mortified, and piously-half starved themselves. to death ;”but likewise from the many au. stere and fantastic orders which we see in the Romis church, which have all owed their 04 rigin and establishment to the same idle and extravagant opinion.
Nor is it to be doubted, but the affectation of something like it in our Methodists, when they descant upon the necessity of alienating themselves from the world, and selling all that they have, is not to be ascribed to the same miltaken enthusiastic principle, which would cast so black a shade upon religion, as if the kind Author of it had created us on purpose