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A holy and religious life is certainly of vast importance to ourselves ; for on this depends the happiness of our existence through all the succeeding ages of eternal duration. But when we consider ourselves as standing in a near connexion with our fellow probationers; when we realize, how much good a sinner may destroy, or a saint promote ; how many souls may be corrupted by the example of the one, and how many may be converted by the influence of the other; the importance of our personal religion rises beyond all conception.

You view the minister, the ruler, and the parent, as having a station assigned them, in which others are deeply interested. You think, that they ought to act in their places with anxious fidelity, because on this may depend the happiness of multitudes. But remember, no man lives to himself alone. You are in a capacity to do much good ; and your abuse of this capacity may in its conse. quences, prove the ruin of thousands.

Viewing yourselves in this light, you will, in regard to the happiness of others, as well as your own, be careful what manner of persons you are.

6. We see that benevolence must be an essential part of true religion.

If God has placed us in such a connexion with those around us, that their virtue and happiness will be affected by our conduct, we are evidently bound to act with a regard to their interest.

We are, indeed, more capable of serving our own interest, than that of others ; and the interest, of our friends, than that of strangers. therefore, first charged with the care of ourselves, and next with the care of our families and dependents. We know our own and their wants more perfectly, and feel them more sensibly, than we can the wants of those at a distance. But we are to wish well to all; to do good, as we have opportunity; and to

We are,

pray for those, to whom our actual beneficence cannot extend.

Benevolence is a principle which ought uniformly to govern us, in the common duties of life and religion. We are to work with our hands the thing which is good, that we may not only supply our own wants, but give to them who need. And we are to maintain the practice of piety and virtue, that we may not only secure our own reward, but assist others in securing theirs.

On this principle also, we are to exercise forbearance and condescension to one another, and to seek, riot merely our own profit, but the profit of many. The Christian, who, under pretence of promoting piety in his own heart, acts, in doubtful matters, with a haughty indifference to the peace and edification of his brethren, plainly shows that he is void of that charity, which is the glory of religion, and without which all his zeal will profit him nothing.

Let us therefore, as becomes Christians, exhort and comfort, strengthen and encourage one another in every good work, and thus be fellow helpers to the kingdom of God.

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The Vial poured into the Sun ; considered in accoma

modation to the present Times.

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A FAST SERMON, APRIL, 1794.

REVELATION, xvi. 8, 9.

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun ; and pow

er was given unto him to scorch mien with fire. And men were scorched with great heal, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues ; and they repented not to give him glory.

WHATEVER may be the great events, or the precise period, primarily intended in this figurative description ;- it may justly be accommodated to any time, when the vials of God's anger are poured on a guilty world, and the effects produced by them, are increasing infidelity and impiety, instead of general repentance and amendment.

This book of the Revelation is a prophetick de. scription of the most interesting occurrences, relats Vol. II.

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ing to the church, which were to take place in the world, from the time of saint John's vision, down to the final judgment.

Whoever believes, that this book was written sev. enteen hundred years ago, as we have indubitable evidence that it was, must believe, that it was dictated by divine inspiration ; because we see, in fact, that many of the events so long since foretold, have been exactly accomplished. To mention but one instance, and that a marvellous one ; it foretels, That there would arise, in the Christian church, an idolatrous power, which should continue twelve hundred and sixty years--that this power would gradually gain strength, and widely extend its influ. ence--that it would introduce and establish the superstitions of paganism, and cruelly persecute and destroy those who adhered to the purity of the gospel-that, in this long period, true religion would often be reduced to a low,' and almost desperate condition ; but that, all along, there would be some to stand forth as witnesses to its truth, and supporters of its interest, even at the peril of their lives—that toward the close of this period, the idolatrous and persecuting power would gradually decline, until it should be utterly extinguished, and the pure gospel universally prevail

. And, Who does not know, that, within a few centuries after John's' time, there actually arose such a power, which has now continued in the Christian world, for more than a thousand years, exercising all that superstition,' oppression and tyranny, which are here described ? ---And, Who does not see, that this power has for some years, been on the decline, and is now tending to its exit?

As it is difficult to ascertain, with precision, the time when it arose ; so it is difficult to determine, with exactness, the time when it will fall. But that

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it is now drawing towards its dissolution, there can be no reasonable doubt. All appearances justify this expectation.

Its destruction, however, will be attended with violent struggles, and terrible convulsions, the effects of which will be extensively felt. This we may justly apprehend from its national influence and connexions; and this seems agreeable to prophecy.

We are then to look for great events and important changes in the world, before the extinction of this oppressive power.

Some of the changes leading to its dissolution are probably intended in our text. But whether they are already past, or still future, or even now in operation, may perhaps be doubtful.

Mr. Lowman thinks, that the words are a description of the di: visions and convulsions, which rent the papal dominions in the fifteenth century, just before the ref. ormation: And that the next vial, which was poured into the seat of the beast, is a prediction of the reformation itself. Bishop Newton supposes, that none of the seven vials have yet been poured out, but that they all respect times which are still future.

Mr. Fleming, who published his sentiments more than ninety years ago, has applied this prophecy, in part, to the time now present. And he has, with remarkable exactness of time and circumstances, described some of the events of the day; such as the violent contest between France and Aus tria, which are the principal parties in the present war ; the depressed condition of France, and especially of the royal family ; and the superiority, which France, in her turn, should gain over her enes mies. Whether the principles, on which he

on which he grounds his calculations, are just, I shall not take upon me to

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