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SERM. the world, and be the caufe of much good, II. both temporal and fpiritual, to many perfons. You will promote the happineffe of men by kind offices. You may ftrengthen, encourage, and edify fome good men and may reclaim some finers by your counsel and example.
6. Early, and conftant, and perfevering piety is very honorable. It is to the advan Acts xxii. tage of Mnason, that he is called an old difSt. Paul fpeaks honorably of fome, Rom. xvi. who were in Chrift before him. He humCor. xv. bles and abases himself, when he says: And laft of all he was feen of me, as of one born out Rom. xvi. of due time. And the first fruits of any place unto Chrift, they and theirs, are fometimes particularly mentioned by him in his 1 Cor. xvi. epiftles, and affectionatly recommended to the special regard of others.
7. The coming to a full determination in this point, and turning our feet without delay to God's commandments, will contribute to the comfort and peace of our minds. For we are then fited for life, and for death: and prepared for all the events of this variable and inconftant ftate of things. It must be a great advantage, to know, and confider
this to be able to view death, and all the SERM. evils of life, without terrour, or much dif- 11. composure of mind.
8. Laftly, they who give themselves up to God in their youth, and ferve him faithfully all their days, may hope for some distinguishing honour in the great day of recompenie. Indeed fome, who set out late, may outgo others, that began more early. They excel, it may be, in perfonal abilities and attainments by which they are peculiarly qualified for important fervices in the cause of God and religion. But ufually they who begin early, and perfevere to the end, will have the advantage.
And may these things be ferioufly attended to, and confidered by all of us! Are we not grieved, that fome things have been fo long deferred? Let us not defer any longer. Let not this prefent exhortation be flighted, leaft we should not have another. Felix and Acts xxiv. Drufilla once defired to hear Paul of Chrift's doctrine, and Felix trembled. But he deferred for that season. And we do not know, that he trembled again or ever gave Paul another opportunity of entering again upon the like argument,
Let us then beg of God, to incline our hearts to his teftimonies: and to teach us his ftatutes, that we may keep them unto the
The several Branches of moral Righteoufneffe.
MICAH. vi. 8.
He bath fhewed thee, o man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercie, and to walk humbly with thy God?
N the preceding verfes a very important question is propofed Wherewith fhall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the most high God? It is anfwered in the words of the text. What God chiefly reE quires
Serm. I. upon the
SERM, requires of men is, that they do justly, and love mercie, and walk humbly with him.
This is the immediate occafion of the words. But I prefume it may be useful to take a more extenfive and diftinct view of the preceding context.
The chapter begins with these words. Hear ye now, what the Lord faith. Arife, contend thou before the mountains, and let the bills bear thy voice. Hear ye, o mountains, the Lord's controverfie, and ye ftrong foundations of the earth: for the Lord hath a controverfie with his people, and he will plead with Ifrael.
It is not unusual for God to befpeak the attention of inanimate creatures, and appeal to them for the juftice of his proceedings, more emphatically to reprefent the stupidity and thoughtleffneffe of men. So by Mofes of old: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day. Give ear, o ye beavens, and I will speak: Hear, o earth, the words of my mouth. So alfo by later Prophets : Hear, o heavens, and give ear, o earth. For the Lord has spoken: I have nourished up children, and they have rebelled against me.