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flance, than that which has been the subject of this difcourse, viz. that the gifts of God, in the courfe of his Providence, are fo far from exciting our gratitude, in proportion to their number and value, that on the contrary, thofe who receive most are ufually most profane. They make his favors inftruments of rebellion against him, and return contempt for his indulgence, and hatred for his love.

Let us not take occafion from this to gratify our own envy, by particular or perfonal reproach against thofe who are great, or have become rich amongft ourselves; but let us act a far wifer and jufter part, and be humbled for the finfulness of our nature, and warned of the deceitfulnefs of fin. We may feel the feeds of this difpofition in us all. You find the wife man charging a fimilar ingratitude upon man in general. "Because fentence against "an evil work is not executed fpeedily, therefore the "heart of the fons of men is fully fet in them to do evil." And do you not observe every day, nay, has it is not turned into a proverb, that we think light of our mercies, fpiritual and temporal, when they are common and abundant? And what is the true and proper interpretation of this, but that the greater God's goodness is to us, commonly the lefs is our gratitude to him?

2. Let me beseech you to make a wife improvement of the advantages you enjoy over one another. Let them excite in you a holy emulation to teftify your fenfe of fuperior blefings, by fuperior piety and ufefulnefs. Do you excel others in any refpect? Are you fuccessful in trade? Have you rifen to reputation? Are you exalted to offices of dignity? Are you endowed with capacity of mind? Can you remember the time when thofe were your equals who are now your inferiors? Do not look with infolence upon others, making odious, and perhaps unjust comparifons. Do not fwell in pride and felf-complacence, as if by your own power you had made yourselves to differ, but rather look the other way, to God, who is the maker both of rich and poor, and pray that your thankfulness and duty to him may exceed that of the poor man, as much as his liberality to you exceeds what he has thought pro

per to bestow upon him. This affords me an opportunity of relating a little piece of private hiftory, that happened in Great Britain, and appears to me very worthy of re. membrance, and very conducive to the ends of edificati



A gentleman of very confiderable fortune, but a firanger to either personal or family religion, one evening took a folitary walk through a part of his own grounds. He happened to come near to a mean hut, where a poor man with a numerous family lived, who earned their bread by daily labor. He heard a voice pretty loud and continued.— Not knowing what it was, curiofity prompted him to lif The man, who was pioufly difpofed, happened to be at prayer with his family. So foon as he could diftinguish the words, he heard him giving thanks with great affection to God, for the goodnefs of his providence, in giving them food to eat, and raiment to put on, and in fupplying them with what was neceffary and comfortable in the prefent life. He was immediately, no doubt, by divine power, ftruck with astonishment and confufion, and faid to himfelf, does this poor man, who has nothing but the meanest fare, and that purchased by fevere labor, give thanks to God for his goodness to himfclf and family, and I, who enjoy eafe and honor, and every thing that is grateful and defirable, have hardly ever bent my knee, or made any acknowledgment to my Maker and preserver. It pleafed God that this providential occurrence proved the mean of bringing him to a real and lasting sense of God and religion.

Let all perfons in health, quiet and plentiful circumstances, learn from the preceding difcourfe, what it is they ought clearly to guard against.-Pride, fecurity, forgetfulnefs of God, are peculiarly incident to that ftate. "Lo "this," faith the Lord to Jerufalem, "was the iniquity "of thy fifter Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abun"dance of idlenefs was in her, and in her daughters,

neither did fhe ftrengthen the hand of the poor and needy." A ferious reflection on the obligation fuch lie under to God for what they have received in their continued dependance upon him, and the inflability of all

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earthly things, would fave them from the hurtful influence of worldly profperity. To enforce this, I fhall only read the apoftolic charge to Timothy. Charge them that "are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, "nor truft in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who "giveth us all things richly to enjoy; that they do good, "that they be rich in good works, ready to diftribute, "willing to communicate; laying up in flore for themfelves a good foundation against the time to come, that "they may lay hold on eternal life."




Lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.


PROCEED now to confider the argument by which the prophet urges the fecond branch of his requeft, which, in connexion, runs thus-"Give me not poverty, "left I be poor and fteal." Having not only explained the general principle that runs through the whole of this fubject, but also very particularly pointed out the dangers attending an opulent and wealthy ftate, I fhall endeavor to do the fame thing with refpect to a ftate of poverty and ftraitnefs. While I attempt this, I am fincerely forry that there is fo much propriety in the subject; and that it is fo well fuited to the circumftances of the inhabitants of this place. You fee the prophet confiders the great and general temptation to which the poor are expofed, to be difhoneft, by using fraudulent means of relieving their wants, or bettering their condition. You fee alfo, he confiders this temptation in its progrefs, not only inclining them to act unjustly, but fometimes proceeding to the terrible degree of concealing or fupporting the fraud by fallehood, and perhaps at laft by perjury or falfe fwearing; "left I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God

"in vain."

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