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to shew it. There is another sort of men who va. lue themselves upon their merry humour, and that they can make their company laugh when they please. But the more refined and rational part of the world value all these creatures as they do peacocks, or o. ther animals that imitate the voice and actions of man. They use them as an entertainment for their eyes or their ears, to give a fit of diversion, or to pass away a merry hour. We generally look upon this kind of people as very worthless things, as some, thing beneath ourselves, and as sinking below their own species. We seldom converse with them upon thë tavel, or to attain any of the nobler purposes of life, we only borrow their wit, or their folly, their humour, or their finery, for a season of amusement, and justly despise them when the laughing hour is at an end. Reason itself tells us that human nature was made for something greater and better, for contemplation and action much superior to what these trifling creatures are acquainted with,

Again, 2dly, If we consider man as he stands in distinction from childhood, surely a more grave and solemn carriage becomes him. Children are pleased with painted toys'; gaudy. garments and sounding trifles are their chief delight. They are entertained with little impertinencies agreeable to their ignorance and the weakness of their age: But it is a shame to a person of well-grown years to practise the child for ever. He that devotes himself to a life of useless idleness, and treads round the circle of perpetual mirth and amusement, without profit to himself or the world, is but a child in longer garments, or an infant of larger size.

The third general head leads us to consider, what forcible arguments Christianity furnishes us with to practise this sobriety, gravity, and decency of beliaviour: And I shall throw them all into a few expostulations.

1. Do we not bear the name of Christ, a sacred

and a venerable name? And shall we cast disgrace upon it by any thing that is mean and dishonourable? Do we not profess to be the followers of a crucisied Jesus, to be disciples of the cross? But wherein do we follow him, if we spend our days in mirth and trifling? His conduct was all holy and heavenly, and we can never look like his disciples, if our con. versation savour of earth and vanity. What a noble simplicity runs through all his speeches, through all the actions and the behaviour of our blessed Lord ! And how little do'we imitate him, if we fondly pursue all the gay follies of life in our dress, in our speech, and in every thing that we do? No glarings of affected wit, nor insipid pertness, can add any thing to our character as Christians.

2. Let us remember that we are the sons and daugha ters of the most high God. We profess to separate ourselves from the triflings and impertinences of this world, as well as from the impiety and guilt of it ; come out from among them, saith the Lord, and I will be your Father ; and ye shall be my sons, and my daughters saith God Almighty. Surely the children of a prince should behave with solemnity and ho, nour, when they are in the midst of the lower orders of mankind; and the children of the King of hea, ven should remember the dignity of their birth, and their high relation, when they are conversant among the sons of earth. Their carriage indeed should not be proud and haughty to the men of this world; Jesus, the only begotten Son, was meek and lowly : And there is a sacred art of maintaining a divine humility among the meanest of our fellow.creatures, without indulging the practice of any thing mean and ridiculous. Our blessed Lord was a companion of fishermen, but not of mimics and public jesters.

3. Let us think again, that we are bought with an high and valuable price; we are redeemed, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ : as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, 1 Pet. i. 17, 18. And what is it that we are redeemed from ? It is from this evil world, and from a vain conversation. The Son of God has loved us, and washed us in his own blood, and shall we defile these souls of ours with the meannesses of this life, which Christ has cleansed in so rich a laver: He has made us kings and priests to God and lis Father. Let us now and then ask ourselves and inquire, is our language and our behaviour becoming such illustrious names, such titles, such honours, as are put upon us by the Father and the Son. :: 3. Again, let us review our profession: What is our calling ? What is our design? What is our hope? Are we not born from above ? Are we 'not pilgrims and strangers here? Do we not profess to seek a better country, that is, an heavenly? Do we not live for heaven and immortality? How unbecoming is it then for Christians to be perpetually light, and vain, and frothy? How unbecoming our holy and heavenly calling, and Our everlasting hopes ? If we are children of the light and of the day, let us not live as though we belonged to the night and darkness : Let us not sleep, nor trifle as others do, but watch and be sober. And especially if our natural temper be sanguine and sprightly, and incline to assume vain airs, there is more need of constant watchfulness over the heart and life, and a bridle upon the tongue, lest we should speak indecencies, and be guilty of folly and madness.

[Here this Sermon may be divided.]

The last thing I designed, was to propose some di. rections in order to cure the levity of the mind, and to maintain such a decént gravity in the course of our life as becomes the gospel.

Direct. I. Let us meditate often on the most sublime and the most awful parts of Christianity; and through the assistance of the Spirit of God,

these will be effectual guards against this vanity of temper.

The sublime truths of Christianity demand our frequent review.

Let us often rise high in our thoughts, and let our faith look far backwards to the eternal ages before this world was. Let us contem plate the love of God the Father, in contriving our salvation, before he stretched abroad these heavens, or laid the foundations of this earth. Let us think of the condescension of his mercy, when he chose fallen perishing sinners to be the objects of his everlasting love. Let us dwell upon his compassion to man, when he appointed his own Son to take flesh upon him, and to become our Mediator and sacrifice. Let us survey with holy wonder the various glories of the Son of God, by whom and for whom all things were made; who upholds all things by the word of his power; and who is the express image of his Father. Let us behold him consenting to hide all these honours behind a veil of flesh and blood, walking the streets of Jerusalem, and travelling on foot through the villages of Israel, attended with a few poor despicable men, or surrounded with the reproaches of the blaspheming Jews. Let us look upon this illustrious person, who was adored by angels, yet unknown and unglorified among the sons of men, and humbled even to death and the grave; then gaze on him rising again from the dead, and declared to be the Son of God with power, exalted at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and ruling all the millions of inhabitants of the visible and invisible worlds. Surely if our souls were inured to the meditation of such sublime wonders as these, we should not easily immerse ourselves in trifles and fooleries.

Again, Let us meditate on the more awful doctrines, the more solemn and dreadful truths of our religion, and these will be an effectual restraint to a vain temper of mind. Let us think on the justice of God, manifested in the destruction of sinners in all

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ages, when it appeared in a prodigious flood of water, and with a deluge of ruin testified against the wickedness of the old world, and when it came . down in flaming fire upon Sodom and upon the cities of the Plain. Let us meditate on the wrath of God, that has been revealed in numerous instances against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Let us contemplate that divine and severe justice, that appeared in the sufferings and death of God's own Son, when it pleased the Father to bruise him, and to make his soul an offering for sin. Let us think of his agonies in the garden, and on the cross, when he bore the weight of our iniquities, and stood in the place of sinners. Let us send our thoughts down to the regions of death and hell, and behold the fallen angels, bound in chains of darkness, and groaning under present torments, yet waiting for the day of greater vengeance. Let us think with ourselves what millions of our fellow-sinners, the sons and daughters of Adam, lie there banished from the presence of the Lord, and tormented with fire in their consciences, without remedy, and without hope, and say, Why are not we there too?

Let us often look forward to the awful moment of our death, and the time of our departure from all the flattering scenes of this present world. This will put a damp upon the vainest mind, and hang with a painful weight upon the sons of mirth and levity. This will be a means to restrain us from that foolish and trifling behaviour, which otherwise our tempers might incline us to: And let us remember the solemn hour when we must stand before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, divested of all these gaudy shews of life, in which we are now ready to pride ourselves; and there we must receive a sentence without repeal, which shall send us to heaven or to hell at once, and fix our everlasting state. These are terrors or glories too solemn to be trifled with ; these are thoughts that will hold our souls awake and serious ;

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