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feveral turnings and windings of the heart, and detect it through all the shapes and appearances which it puts on.



ET us go into the house of mourning, made fo

by such afflictions as have been brought on, merely by the common cross accidents and disasters to which our condition is exposed, -where, perhaps, the aged parents fit broken hearted, pierced to their souls' with the folly and indiscretion of a thankless child

the child of their prayers, in whom all their hopes and expectations centered :-perhaps a more affecting scene-a virtuous family lying pinched with want, where the unfortunate support of it, hav. ing long struggled with a train of misfortunes, and bravely fought up against them,is now piteously borne down at the last-moverwhelmed with a cruel blow which no forecast or frugality could have prevented.- O God! look upon his afflictions- Behold him distracted with many sorrows, surrounded with the tender pledges of his love, and the partner of his cares--without bread to give them, unable, from the remembrance of better days, to dig;-to beg, ashamed.

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When we enter into the house of mourning such as this it is impossible to insult the unfortunate even with an improper look--Under whatever levity and dilipation of heart, such objects catch our eyes, they catch likewise our attentions, collect and call home our scattered thoughts, and exercise them with wisdom. A transient scene of distress, such as is here sketched, how soon does it furnish materials to fet the mind at work! how necessarily does it engage it to the consideration of the miseries and misfortunes, the dangers and calamities to which the life of man is subject! By holding up such a glass before it, it forces the mind to see and reflect upon the vanitythe perishing condition, and uncertain tenure of every thing in this world.

From reflections of this ferious cast, how insensibly do the thoughts carry us farther and from considering what we are--what kind of world we live in, and what evils befal us in it, how naturally do they set us to look forwards at what possibly we shall be,- for what kind of world we are intended - what evils may befal us there and what provisions we should make against them here, whilst we have time and opportunity ! If these lessons are fo inseparable from the house of mourning here supposed--we shall find it a still more instructive school cf wisdom when we take a view of the place in that more affecting light in which the wise man seems to confine it in the text; in which, by the house of mourning, I believe he means that particular scene of sorrow, where there is lamenta

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tion and mourning for the dead. Turn hither, I beseech


for a moment. Behold a dead man ready to be carried out, the only son of his mother, and the a widow! Perhaps a more affecting spectacle, a kind and indulgent father of a numerous family, lies breathless-snatched away in the strength of his agetorn in an evil hour from his children and the bosom of a difconfolate wife! Behold much people of the city gathered together to mix their tears, with settled sorrow in their looks, going heavily along to the house of mourning, to perform the last melancholy office, which, when the debt of nature is paid, we are called upon to pay each other! If this fad occafion which leads him there, has not done it already, take notice to what a serious and devout frame of mind every man is reduced, the moment he enters this gate of affli&tion. The busy and fluttering fpirits which in the house of mirth were wont to transport him from one diverting object to another-see how they are fallen ! how peaceably they are laid! In this gloomy manfion full of shades and uncomfortable damps to seize the soul, --see, the light and easy heart, which never knew what it was to think before, how pensive it is now, how soft, how susceptible, how full of religious impreslions, how deeply it is Imitten with a sense and with a love of virtue ! Could we, in this crisis, whilst the empire of reason and religion lasts, and the heart is thus exercised with wifdom, and busied with heavenly contemplations could we see it naked as it is--stripped of its paffions, une


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{potted by the world, and regardless of its pleasures.com we might then safely rest our cause upon this fingle evidence, and appeal to the most sensual, whether Solomon has not made a just determination here in favour of the house of mourning? not for its own sake, but as it is fruitful in virtue, and becomes the occasion of so much good. Without this end, sorrow, I own, has no use but to shorten a man's days--nor can gravity, with all its studied folemnity of look and carriage, serve

any end but to make one half of the world merry, and impose upon the other,

SERM. 11. P. 33.

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HE best of men appear sometimes to be strange

compounds of contradictory qualities; and, were the accidental oversights and folly of the wisest man,--the failings and imperfections of a religious man,—the hasty acts and passionate words of a meek man; were they to rise up in judgment against them, --and an ill-natured judge be suffered to mark in this manner, what has been done amiss--what character so unexceptionable as to be able to stand before him?


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T is the fate of mankind, too often, to seem inseo. fible of what they may enjoy at the eatiest rate.

SERM. XLII. P. 126.


THERE is no condition in life so fixed and per-

manent as to be out of danger, or the reach of change: and we all may depend upon it, that we shall take our turns of wanting and defiring. By how many unforeseen causes may riches take wing !--The crowns of princes may be fhaken, and the greatest that ever 'awed the world have experienced what the turn of the wheel can do.--That which hath happened to one man, may befal another; and, therefore, that excellent kule of our Saviour's ought to govern us in all our actions,—Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewife.-Time and chance happen to all; and the most affluent may be stript.of all, and find his worldly comforts like so many withered leaves dropping from him.

SERM. XLI. 8. 209.

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