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SERM. to our temporal comfort, and conIX. tributes rather to enlarge than to dimi
nish every worldly possession. While it forbids what is unlawful, and restrains what is intemperate or excessive, it enhances our enjoyment of every worldly pleasure: while it teaches us to be upright and diligent and industrious in our several callings, it promotes our attainment of worldly wealth; or it supplies what is better than wealth, the virtue of being contented with a little: and while it requires us to let our light shine before men, and to provide things honest in the sight of all men, it procures us that reputation, which in the esteem of all the excellent of the earth is accounted the highest pinnacle of human honour. Thus godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and also of that which is to comek i
But since a competition of service must sometimes occur between the things of this and of another life, it is certainly the dictate of true wisdom, that we relinquish the less to attain the greater good, that we express our regard to this invitation of our Lord by SERM. giving it a preference to erery worldly IX. pursuit, and that we readily forego every temporal possession or gratification, which contributes in any degrec to hinder our acceptance among the Guests of Heaven.
k i Tim. iv. 8. 8 ,
To conclude: from this parable let us severally take a caution to ourselves, that we readily comply with this divine invitation, as soon as ever we receive it. To him, who is called among the first, who by nicans of a good education is made acquainted with the gospel promises in the morning of his days, be it a chief concern to cultivate them faithfully for the remainder of his life. As he has more abundant cause of gratitude to God for an early communication of divine light and truth, so it is the more incumbent on him to improve them with all diligence and application. To him, who has been called among the last, who through the defect or default of education has failed of attaining this first and most necessary knowledge in the most convenient hour of youth, be it also a chief concern to improve this knowledge and to grow in grace, as
SERM. soon as he has means and opportuni
Ix. ties. As the time is become conm tracted for so important a work, let
him be the more earnest immediately to set about it, and to repair the days, which have been already lost in ignorance or in error, by a strict application for the rest of his life to this chief and most essential good.
Be it the assiduous endeavour of us all, whether invited early or invited late, to relinquish every pleasure, every business, every honour, that comes in competition with this heavenly call. In all the engagements of this mortal life be it our first and last concern to comply without reluctance or delay with these precious overtures of lieaven. While we suffer the things of this world to engage a portion of our care, let us always be upon our guard that they do not engross too great a share of our affections. Let us never lose sight of this encouraging admonition of our blessed Lord, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you'. In the present life we shall
Matt. vi. 33.
hare have the testimony of our conscience SERM. which is a continual feast; and in the 1x. future life we shall have the inestimable privilege of sitting down with the Patriarchs and Apostles, and eating the bread of life in the Kingdom of God.