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sideration, together with the certainty that SERM, he is even now in the favour, and under the protection of an all-powerful Being, cannot fail to support him under all hiş earthly afflictions, and to disarm them of their chief sting:whereas the wicked man, in adversity, has no one comfort to which he can apply all is dark and gloomy; from God he knows he has nothing to hope in this world, and nothing to expect in the next, but wrath and punishmentro Nor in the greatest outward prosperity, can heentirely silence the voice of conscience; that active monitress will at all times interpose and insist on being attended to;-the uncer tainty of life-the certainty of death the tremendous day of judgment and the

dreadful torments which are denounced against the impenitent, are the subjects of her remonstrances; subjects, which from time to time appal the sinner in his most daring moments, and embitter his most

favourite

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SERM. favourite enjoyments. Now the certainty of the favour of God, and the sure expecta tions of eternal rewards, must make the good man, in circumstances however dis astrous, more happy than the most prosperous wicked person, whose pleasures are thus terribly interrupted.. But, added to this, there is much ground to conclude, both from reason and experience, that the religious and benevolent person, one who is devout towards God, and considerate towards men, will, besides his inward satisfaction, obtain according to his birth and education an ample share of earthly good things.

There are many passages in scripture containing assertions and promises to this effect; which, though they are not to be understood strictly, as if the contrary never happened, yet we may depend upon it, that they are true in general. “I have been young, and now am old (says the " psalmist)

psalmist) and yet never saw I the right- SERM.

"eous forsaken, nor his seed begging their

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bread. Thou, Lord, wilt bless the "righteous, with favour wilt thou com

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pass him as with a shield. Seek ye the "kingdom of God and his righteousness, "and all these things shall be added unto

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you," that is, all earthly good things, And many are the texts of the like kind. But besides these promises of God, the virtues which the religious man is obliged to practise have a natural tendency to raise his fortune, and to advance him to distinction. Industry, temperance, punctuality, all of them qualities strictly enjoined by religion, are certainly the readiest means of acquiring riches; while the opposite vices, idleness, extravagance, and thoughtlessness, almost constantly lead to poverty. The vicious man indeed sometimes, from interested motives, may be to a certain degree industrious and temperate;

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SERM perate; but if his wickedness is known (which sooner or later it will be) he is never so much confided in, as the religious man the former, I have much reason to believe, will be no longer honest to me than it is his interest to be so, while I have the strongest security that the latter will be faithful, even against himself. In short, a man, who does not concern himself about another world, does not act rationally, if he denies himself any present pleasure or profit, however much he may injure others, provided he can escape being found out, or being punished. This is very well known by the world; for experience is tolerably uniform, that he who disbelieves or despises his God, is injurious and treacherous towards his fellow-creature:whereas the religious man, who looks forward to a day of judgment when he shall be rewarded or punished everlastingly according as he has behaved in this

world,

སྙ

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world, will never, deliberately injure his sERM. fellow-creature, even though he were sure that it would never be known; because he is convinced, that however much he might acquire by it at present, in the end he would be the greatest of all losers he is certain, that though he should gain the whole world by dishonesty, it would profit him nothing, because he must lose his own soul. Now such a person as this, is certainly one, whom the generality would choose to trust and to. employ; and from the confidence of those around us, and their readiness to employ us in our several trades and professions, arises that degree of riches, which our stations in life will admit. And not only do riches usually follow the conscientious discharge of our duties towards God and man, but the esteem, the affection, the reverence of our fellow-creatures, and all those distinctions and honour's which it is in their

power

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