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SERM, human life, the manifest dissolution of the XII. body, the hopes and expectations awaiting the immortal soul. Let each of us apply to ourselves the instruction we stand in need of; nor let so great and solemn an occasion pass away without its proper impression. While we weep for the dead because they have lost the light, let us bewail the condition of the fool who, refusing to be admonished by the continual instances of mortality that occur, hath not understanding enough to turn away in time from the wickedness that he hath committed, to save his soul alive; while we manifest a confidence in the gracious promises of our crucified Redeemer, by making but little weeping for the dead, in the hope that they are passed on to the rest that is prepared for the people of God, let us reflect, that the life of the fool, (that is, of the inconsiderate and irreligious man) is worse than death: that all the mournful and gloomy appendages of this solemn service for the dead, are nothing in comparison with the land of darkness, and shadow of death, to which the wicked man is hastening.
hastening. Let us remember what, though SERM. it is the warning of an Apostle, is so ob- XII. vious to reason, as scarcely to need so sacred an authority; that "all that is in the "world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust ❝of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not "of the Father, but is of the world-and "the world passeth away, and the lust "thereof; but be that doeth the will of God, "abideth for ever."-1 John ii. 16, 17.
"the utterance of a conceit in the heart of a XIII. "man;" which, whether it is rightly rendered, or we have the original correct or not, admits surely, as it stands, of a very reasonable interpretation, and may pass as a just illustration of the foregoing figure. As the fruit declareth the condition of the tree, so conversation commonly discovers the intentions and disposition of the heart of man*. But the comparison may with great propriety be extended to every part of a man's conduct. All our actions flow
Compare Matt. xii. 34, 35, Luke vi. 45.
SERM. from principles within us, as the fruit has XIII. its flavor from the juices of the tree. Our blessed Lord adopts the same figure; (Matt. vii. 15, &c. Matt. xii. 33,) though it may be doubtful how he meant exactly to apply it, in the case of the false prophets to whom he alludes in the first passage. Generally speaking, however, it is a beautiful and apt comparison, as applied to the outward actions of man, and as it stands, in the words of my text, may reasonably be submitted to your more particular consideration. We read in Scripture of the fruits of the Spirit, and we have them distinctly enumerated by St. Paul: they are, " love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance* ;" or else summed up more concisely by the same Apostle in another place, the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth. That is, (if there is any sense at all in these expressions) such are the virtues naturally springing from a well-disciplined heart,
* Galatians, v. 22, 23.
+ Eccles. v. 9.