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SERMON That unequal distribution takes place in



appearance only, not in reality.
whole conduct of Providence sufficiently
marks, which of those classes of men it

blesses and protects. The prosperity of

sinners is no more than a deceitful show. The great materials of happiness are provided for the virtuous; and evil never fails to pursue the wicked. I shall close the discourse with observing,

In the fourth and last place, the necessity which plainly arises from our present condition, of looking up to God for direction and aid in the conduct of life. The result of the whole doctrine I have now delivered is, that man's happiness or misery is, in a great measure, put into his own hands. In vain he complains of Providence. If his heart fret against the Lord, it is only because his foolishness hath perverted his way for on himself, for on himself, and his own behaviour, it depends, to be free of those miseries which harass the wicked. But, alas! when we say, that this depends upon man, on what uncertain ground do we place his security? Is man,

when left to


X V.

himself equal to this high trust that is SERMON reposed in him, this important charge that is committed to him, of attaining happiness, by wise and irreproachable conduct? Inconstant as he is in virtue, variable in his resolutions, soft and yielding in his nature to a thousand temptations; how shall he guide himself through such slippery and dangerous paths as those of human life; where many hidden precipices surround him; many false lights lead him astray; and where the consequence of every step he takes may be destruction and ruin? Thankful let us be to Heaven, that, in this situation, a merciful guide stretches out his hand to aid us; that a celestial light shines upon us from above; that a divine Spirit is promised to illumi nate and strengthen us. Let us humbly request of Heaven, that this Spirit of the Almighty may ever be our guide; never presumptuously trusting in our own wisdom, but listening attentively to the voice of God; and in all our ways acknowledging Him who only can direct our steps.-Upon the whole let us hold fast the persuasion of these fundamental truths ; that, in all his dis

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SERMON pensations, God is just and good; that the cause of all the troubles we suffer is in ourselves, not in Him; that virtue is the surest guide to a happy life; that he who forsakes this guide, enters upon the path of death; but that he who walketh uprightly, walketh surely; and that he who keepeth the commandment, keepeth his own soul.




The integrity of the upright shall guide



IGHTEOUSNESS and sin are, in this book of Proverbs, frequently contrasted with each other, and the advantages of the former displayed. The righteous man is shewn to be more excellent than his neighbour, as the ways in which he walks are ways of pleasantness, while the way of trangressors is hard. represented as attending the shame is the portion of the path of the one leads to life; that

Honour is


one, while


of the





SERMON other to destruction. In the text, an advantage of righteousness is specified, which is not commonly attended to, and which some will not readily allow that it posWe are told by the wise man, that




it affords light and direction to conduct,
and will prove our best guide through
all the intricacies of life. The integrity
of the upright shall guide them; or, as
it is added, to the same purpose, in a fol-
lowing verse, the righteousness of the perfect
shall direct his way.
There are many
will admit, that integrity is an amiable qua-
lity; that it is entitled to much respect, and
in most cases ought to influence our beha-
viour; who nevertheless are unwilling to
allow it the chief place in the direction of
their worldly conduct. They hold, that
a certain artful sagacity, founded upon
knowledge of the world,
ductor of every one who

is the best con

would be a successful adventurer in life; and that a strict attention to integrity, as his only guide, would often lead him into danger and distress. In opposition to tenets of this kind, I now purpose to show that, amidst all perplexities and dangers, there is no

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