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of weakness; although, indeed, it is a character of all others the most noble. In recommendation of this character let me obferve, that in this, as in all the particulars mentioned above, "the wicked worketh a deceitful work; "but he that walketh uprightly walketh furely." Suppofing a man to have the prudence and difcretion not to fpeak without neceffity, I affirm there is no end which a good man ought to aim at, which may not be more certainly, fafely, and fpeedily obtained by the ftricteft and moft inviolable fincerity, than by any acts of diffimulation whatever.

But after all, what fignify any ends of prefent conveniency, which diffimulation may pretend to answer, compared to the favor of God, which is forfeited by it? Hear what the Pfalmift fays. "Who fhall abide in thy taber"nacle, who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh "uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the "truth in his heart."-Let us, therefore, add this to the other views of the prophet's comprehenfive prayer-"Re"move far from me vanity and lies."

For the improvement of this part of the subject, obferve,

1. You may learn from it how to attain, not only a juftnefs and propriety, but a readinefs and fulness in the duty of prayer.

Nothing is a greater hinderance, either to the fervency of our affections, or the force of our expreffions in prayer, than when the object of our defires is confufed and general. But when we perceive clearly what it is that is needful to us, and how much we do need it, this gives us, indeed, the fpirit of fupplication. Perhaps it is more neceffary to attend to this circumftance, in what we ask for our fouls than for our bodies. When we want any thing that relates to present conveniency, it is clearly understood, because it is fenfibly felt.-There is no difficulty in crying for deliverance from poverty, ficknefs, reproach, or any other earthly fuffering; nay, the difficulty here is not in exciting our defires, but in moderating them: not in producing fervor, but in promoting fubmiffion: But in what relates to our fouls, becaufe many or moft temptations are

agreeable to the flesh, we forefee danger lefs perfectly, and even feel it lefs fenfibly; therefore, a clole and deliberate attention to our fituation and trials, as opened in the preceding difcourfe, is of the utmoft moment, "both to carry "us to the throne of grace, and to direct our fpirit when แ we are there."

2. What hath been faid will ferve to excite us to habitual watchfulnefs, and to direct our daily converfation. The fame things that are the fubjects of prayer, are allo the objects of diligence.-Prayer and diligence are joined by our Saviour, and ought never to be feparated by his people.-Prayer without watchfulness is not fincere, and watchfulnefs without prayer will not be fuccefsful. The fame views of fin and duty-of the flrength and frequency of temptation, and the weakness of the tempted, lead equally to both. Let me befeech you then, to walk circumfpectly, not as fools, but as wife. Maintain an habitual diffidence of yourfelves-Attend to the various dangers to which you are expofed. Watchfulness of itfelf will fave you from many temptations, and will give you an inward warrant, and humble confidence, to afk of God fupport under, and deliverance from fuch as it is impoffible to avoid..

3. In the laft place, fince every thing comprehended in the petition in the text, is viewed in the light of falfehood and deceit, fuffer me, in the most earnest manner, to recommend to my hearers, and particularly to all the young perfons under my care, "an invariable adherence to truth, and the moft undifguifed fimplicity and fincerity "in the whole of their converfation and carriage." I do not know where to begin or end in speaking of the excellency and beauty of fincerity, or the bafenefs of falsehood. Sincerity is amiable, honorable and profitable. It is the moft fhining part of a commendable character, and the moft winning apology for any mifcarriage or unadvised action. There is fearcely any action in itself fo bad, as what is implied in the hardened front of him who covers the truth with a lie: Befiles, it is always a fign of long practice in wickednefs. Any man may be feduced or furprized into a fault, but none but the habitual villain


can deny it with steady calmnefs and obftinacy. In this refpect, we unhappily find fome who are young offenders, but old finners.

It is not in religion only, but even among worldly men, that lying is counted the utmoft pitch of bafenefs; and to be called a liar the most insupportable reproach. No wonder, indeed, for it is the very effence of cowardice to dare to do a thing which you have not courage to avow. The very worst of finners are fenfible of it themselves, for they deeply resent the imputation of it; and, if I do not mistake, have never yet arrived at the abfurdity of defending it. There is fcarcely any other crime, but some are profligate enough to boast of it; but I do not remember ever to have heard of any who made his boast, that he was a liar. To crown all, lying is the most wretched folly. Juftly does Solomon fay: "A lying tongue is but for a "moment." It is eafily difcovered. Truth is a firm confiftent thing, every part of which agrees with, and ftrongly fupports another. But lies are not only repugnant to truth, but repugnant to each other; and commonly the means, like a treacherous thief, of the detection of the whole. Let me, therefore, once more recommend to every one of you, the noble character of fincerity.-Endeavor to establish your credit in this refpect fo entirely, that every word you speak may be beyond the imputation of deceit; so that enemies may, themselves, be fenfible, that though you should abuse them, you will never deceive them.

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Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.


PROCEED now to confider the fecond branch of the prophet's prayer, which regards his outward condition or circumstances, in the prefent world. On this fubject he expresses himself thus: "Give me neither poverty nor


Do not think, my brethren, that this is a fubject of little importance; or that it is unconnected with the spiritual life. On the contrary, there are few things of more moment, than to have our defires of temporal bleflings limited and directed in a proper manner. Not only is worldly mindedness the everlasting ruin of those who are entirely under its dominion; but even good men are liable to many temptations from the fame quarter. They may hurt their own peace, give offence to others, or lef fen their usefulness by a finful excefs in their attachment to the world, or by a criminal negligence in not giving a prudent and proper attention to it. attention to it. Be not surprised that

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