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ourfelves, that, if we live in the wilful tranf greffion of the commandments, and are to be judged at the last day by the Gospel, we shall, notwithstanding, be preserved from wrath, and entitled to mercy? Impoffible! No man, who ever reads or hears the word of God, can amuse himself with an expectation fo egregiously deceitful. "Be not deceived, God is not "mocked; for whatsoever a man foweth, "that," and that only," fhall he reap." If then, according to our works, we are to be punished, or rewarded; and if, when we lie on the bed of death, our comfort is to be derived from

our being made like unto Jefus Christ;" if we defire to be poffeffed of the animating affurance, that, when we walk through the

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valley of the fhadow of death, the rod and "the staff of God" will fupport and comfort us; can we be so infatuated as not to implore by prayer, and obtain by piety, this heavenly affiftance? By bringing frequently to our reflection the concluding fcene of our lives, we fhall be induced, and, by the fupport of God's grace, fhall be enabled, to live in fuch a manner, that we may anticipate it, without confternation. For as it is a feason that must arrive,

a trial

a trial we must undergo, not to be prepared against its approach, is to act in oppofition to every principle of reason, to every fuggeftion of wisdom. To apply our hearts unto wisdom, by rightly numbering our days, or by making a true estimate of life, is to look forward to the time, when life fhall cease, and eternity commence, and to be able to review our conduct, if not with cordial approbation at least, without fevere reproach.

I will trefpafs a little longer on your patience, whilst I make an application that may, perhaps, be thought not unsuitable, to the present season.

As we have almost completed another annual revolution of time, let us be prevailed with to examine seriously our past conduct. Since the commencement of the period which is now expiring, fome of our friends, our relations, and acquaintances have been carried to their graves. Mortality hath made a rapid advance, and hath spared neither fex, nor age, but with unrelenting violence, has destroyed helpless innocence, and decrepid infirmity, the bloom of beauty, and the vigor of health. To the Providence of the Almighty it is owing,

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that we have been spared.

Had we been of

the number of those who are now in the regions of death, could we have appeared, in the prefence of our Maker, as rational creatures, who had been bleffed with a revelation from heaven, to enlighten our minds, and regulate our lives? Or would the violation of its laws, and the tranfgreffion of its commandments

have rifen up against us, and condemned "us? Let us confider what it is to die with any one fin, on our head. It is to appear before Almighty God, and make an open acknowlegement, that we have lived in rebellion against him, that we have difregarded his laws, and renounced his protection. God of his mercy grant, that no one here, may die, in fuch a fituation! Our lives, we know, are uncertain-this is the last time, it may be, fome of us fhall be permitted to worship God, in this congregation-let us, therefore, from this day, begin to reform our conduct, to "repent and

turn to God." Let us not enter on another year, without the strongest resolutions, without the most fervent prayers to the Almighty, to enable us, by his grace, to live well. Let us, from this day, expel every paffion that alienates

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our heart from God. Let us become his fervants, and demonftrate our fidelity, by that teft, which can alone be acceptable to him, and fatisfactory to ourselves, obedience. Inftead of putting off the thoughts of death, let us live, from this day, to learn to die. Let us often contemplate the time" when this mortal fhall "put on immortality"-when the Judge of the world will fend us the fummons, to appear in his more immediate prefence. Whether we may live to enter upon another year, we know not; but in all human probability, before the close of it, fome of us, who are now here, fhall be reduced to duft; fhall become as though we had never been. The brighest eyes in this affembly may, before that period, have waxed dim-before that period, the pleafing profpect of comfort and happiness, which many children now behold, may, by the loss of their affectionate parents, have vanished-before that period, many tender wives, ftricken with grief, may lament the lofs of their indulgent husbands-many difconfolate husbands, overwhelmed with cares, may be deprived of the deareft objects of their affections!

Such being the uncertainty of human life,

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let us not continue under fuch infatuation, as to defer any longer being reconciled to God, that if it fhall pleafe him to prolong our lives to the revolution of another year, we may, from this day, date our entrance upon a new existence; we may, from this day, "have "ceafed to do evil, and have learned to do "well." It will be a day we shall then review, not with guilty defpondence, but with religious cheerfulness: instead of living under the displeasure of God; inftead of being fubject to the depreffions of melancholy, and the dif quietudes of grief, when we are visited with fickness, or overwhelmed with afflictions, even then "we shall fear no evil; for God will be "our God for ever, and ever, He will be our "guide unto death."

I Grant, we beseech Thee, gracious God! when thou art pleafed to call us to thyself; when that awful moment approaches, that the delights of riches, and the hardships of poverty fhall ceafe from before our eyes; when we are bidding a long adieu to our friends, relations, and every thing in this life; when we are encompaffed with the horrors of death, and are about to be launched into

eternity;

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