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humbly hopes to fee, and with unutterable rapture of mind, he longs to proftrate himself, with profound homage and adoration, before the God he loves!— Unworthy as he knows himself to be, he is confident of the Lord's goodness, mercy, and love-and is affured he shall be happy for ever.

Thus, firs, you fee how honorable, how eafy, how useful, the truly christian life-what confidence, and what profpects the good man has, as to the diffolution of the body; and what glory, honor, peace, and felicity, are his in heaven, through the boundless ages of eternity. Animated by these bleffed confiderations, let us give up our minds to the divine influence of love and wifdom from the Lord-depart from all that is evil-live a life of love, charity, and use-daily rife and improve in the heavenly state-till we are meetened to dwell in the eternal world-unite with our brethren there, and be holy, happy, honored angels, in that celeftial kingdom, for ever and ever. Amen.

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MATT. xxiii. 27, 28.

Wo unto you fcribes and pharifees, hypocrites; for ye are like unto whited fepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleannefs. Even fo ye alfo outwardly appear righteous unto men; but within ye are full of hypocrify and iniquity.

Of all the abominations which are abhorrent and offenfive in the eyes of the Divine Being, that of hypocrify appears to me one of the vilest and moft execrable. It is an evil big with a thousand others. It is as unprofitable as it is deteftible-much more difficult in the practice than its oppofite virtue-when detected it is the most odious

odious-and the man who is guilty of it, is the object of fcorn and contempt to angels, to men,

and even to devils.

One would almoft think that

human nature could never fink low enough to commit it, if we did not daily behold it before

our eyes.


Hypocrify and deceit, in any concerns of life, even the lowest and least important, is deteftible; but in matters of religion, in what concerns God and our fouls, it is fo vile, fo odious, that it wants a And that it is a crime the most offensive in the eyes of the Lord Jefus, is evident from this confideration; that he denounced more woes against those who were guilty of it, than against any others. The scribes and pharifees were of all others, in the days of our Lord, the most given to this vice; and they had fuch an artful method of concealing their real internal state, that the common people thought them the most boly and righteous of men. In confequence of the people looking up to these characters fo much, the Lord fays unto them, and particularly to his difciples, "That except your righ"teousness fhall exceed the righteousness of the "fcribes and pharifees, ye fhall in no cafe enter into "the kingdom of heaven."

It seems that these hypocrites appeared fo very righteous, as to their external conduct, that many of their obfervers thought it was almost impossible to come up to their virtue and goodness. They paid all their tythes and dues-they fafted twice a week

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week-they offered up their facrifices-attended the fervice of the fynagogue-made long prayersftood in the corners of the streets, and in public places, to pray they gave much alms-they hung down their heads-carried a very fanctified appearance-feemed very abftemious and temperateand were fo fcrupulous, exact, and circumfpect, in every outward thing, that no one could well lay any thing to their charge. And why did they obferve this apparently religious conduct? What was their motive for all this outward fanctity?-Why, truly, a moft noble, generous, and laudable one!! It was, that they might have THE PRAISE OF MEN. That men might think thefe hypocrites, faints that they might think thefe devils were angels !This was the reward they fought, and they obtained it; they had it-they enjoyed it. But how long?-A day, a week, or a year; and then they funk into contempt, and fhame, and misery.

But is it not to be lamented, that thefe fair charafters, these righteous fouls, these so very religious people, fhould fink into shame and mifery, after they had lived so strict, so virtuous, and so religious a life? Let us fee what their true character is, and then we fhall better judge. They fhut up the kingdom of heaven against men; they neither went in themfelves, nor fuffered others to enter; they devoured widows houses; they compaffed fea and land to make one profelyte, and made him two-fold more the child of hell than themselves; they omitted the


law, judgment, mercy, and faith; they ftrained at a gnat, and swallowed a camel; they were full of extortion and excess; they were full of hypocrify and iniquity; a generation of ferpents and wipers :therefore our Lord fays, "How can ye escape the "damnation of hell?"

This, then, was their true and real characterdeclared by infinite wifdom and truth itself-by that God who knows all hearts, and cannot be deceived. And by this we learn, how far men may go in outward fanctity, in the appearance of religion, and yet be the most abominable and vile in the heart the internal life. And we alfo learn, by these woes denounced against fuch characters, how very difagreeable and odious they are in the fight of a holy and good God.

In fpeaking from these words a little further, I fhall,

First, Confider what is the real cause and motive of this bypocrify.

Secondly, Notice how far men may go in fuch a conduct, under the influence of that motive.

Thirdly, Obferve how difficult the practice is-how fmall the reward-and how great the punish


Fourthly, Prove that the oppofite virtue is much more eafy, fafe, and honorable.

Fifthly, Conclude with ferious enquiry and advice.



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