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tion to the discharge of the duties, and to a SERMON participation of the enjoyments of life.
One great cause of men's becoming weary of life is grounded on the mistaken views of it which they have formed, and the false hopes which they have entertained from it. They have expected a scene of enjoyment; and when they meet with disappointments and distresses, they complain of life as if it had cheated and betrayed them. God ordained no such possession for man on earth as continued pleasure. For the 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
SERMON of life; we shall always find some satisfactions 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
I 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.
IT appears from this chapter that one SERMON 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. their false representations of religion he opposes that general view of it which is given in the text. Such summaries of religion frequently occur in the sacred writings; and are extremely useful. By C 3
SERMON the comprehensive energy with which they express the great lines of our duty, they both imprint them on our memory, and bring them home to our conscience with force. In the progress of this discourse, I hope to make it appear, that the words of the text afford a most enlarged and instructive view of religion in all its chief parts.
The Apostle pronounces charity to be the end or scope of the commandment, that is, of the law of God. At the same time, in order to prevent mistakes on this most important subject, he subjoins to charity certain adjuncts, as necessary to qualify it, and to render the Christian character complete. These are the pure heart, the good conscience, and faith unfeigned. treating of these, I shall shew the nature of their connexion with charity, and the importance of their being always united with it.
The end of the commandment is charity. Charity is the same with benevolence or love; and is the term uniformly employed, in the New Testament, to denote all the good affections which we ought
to bear towards one another. It consists SERMON not in speculative ideas of general benevolence floating in the head, and leaving the heart, as speculations too often do, untouched and cold. Neither is it confined to that indolent good-nature, which makes us rest satisfied with being free from inveterate malice, or ill-will to our fellow-creatures, without prompting us to be of service to any. True charity is an active principle. It is not properly a single virtue; but a disposition residing in the heart, as a fountain whence all the virtues of benignity, candour, forbearance, generosity, compassion, and liberality flow, as so many native streams. From general good-will to all, it extends its influence particularly to those with whom we stand in nearest connection, and who are directly within the sphere of our good offices. From the country or community to which we belong, it descends to the smaller associations of neighbourhood, relations, and friends; and spreads itself over the whole circle of social and domestic life. I mean not that it imports a promiscuous undistinguishing