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Univerfally, therefore, to every person, in every condition of life, in every ftage of his fpiritual progress, frequent SELF-COMMUNION is an indispensable duty. If we are accountable beings, and that we are, not only the Sacred Writings declare, but our faculties, our feelings, our confciences, irrefiftibly prove to us; if we cannot, without the utmost hazard, go on at random, as appetite prompts or accident leads us; if every step we take in our moral conduct must bring us nearer to heaven or to hell; furely it behoves us to call our ways ferioufly and frequently to remembrance; to confider them with the utmost care and circumfpection, and obferve where they terminate, and to what point they will carry us. Should we find ourselves in the right way, we shall have the fatisfaction of going on in the consciousness of being right, and of acting well upon principle. Should we have departed widely from the path of our duty, it will be high time for us to return to it, left we go too far to retreat, and rush thoughtlessly forward into irretrievable deftruction. If we have deviated but flightly, we fhall prevent this deviation from growing infenfibly wider, and

regain the ground we have loft with little trouble or pain. In many things we offend all, even the very best of us; and it is far more wife and prudent to find out these offences by reflexion, and to correct them by suitable refolutions, than to let them accumulate by neglect, till fome fatal mifchief awake us to a fenfe of our duty, or the stroke of death render it no longer practicable. This single confideration, the poffibility of being called, even the healthiest and the youngest of us, fuddenly and unexpectedly called, to give an account of ourselves to God, before we have properly fettled that account, is of itself enough to make us reflect on our condition, and to do it alfo without delay. We fee almost every day of our lives the moft ftriking and affecting inftances of our precarious condition. We fee our friends and neighbours fuddenly fnatched away from us, at a time when we (perhaps they too) leaft expected it. We see multitudes of others drop around us, one by one, till we are left almost alone in a wide world, deserted by all those whom we moft intimately knew and esteemed. Yet all this feems to


make little or no impreffion upon us, We follow our acquaintances to the grave; we drop,

drop, perhaps, a few parting unavailing tears
over them, and then return again to the cares,
the pleasures, the follies and the vices, of the
world, with as much eagerness and alacrity,
as if nothing at all had happened that in the
leaft concerned ourfelves; as if there was not
the least chance or poffibility, that the danger,
which we fee fo near us, fhould at last come
home to us. But, furely, thefe convincing,
these alarming proofs of our mortality, ought
to have a little more effect on our hearts.
When we fee thoufands fall befide us, and ten
thousands at our right hand, we ought to re-
flect, that our turn may, perhaps, be next; that,
at the very best, we have no time to lofe, and
that it highly behoves us to call our ways im-
mediately to remembrance; to make hafte,
(for death will not wait for us) to make hafte,
and prolong not the time, to keep God's com-
mandments. When, in short, we confider the
extreme uncertainty of life, and the abfolute
certainty of appearing before our Judge in the
fame ftate in which that life is taken
away from us, with all our fins and all our in-
firmities to anfwer for, we can never confent
to trust our all on fo precarious a bottom, nor
to let our most important concerns lie at the

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mercy of every accident that may befal us. The lofs of a year, the lofs of a day, may be the lofs of heaven: "thou fool, this night "shall thy foul be required of thee." This was faid for our admonition: and if, under this apprehenfion, we can calmly lay ourselves. down to fleep, without reviewing our conduct, or preparing ourselves to wake, as we may do, in another world, it is in vain to use any further exhortations. If an argument fo plain, fo fimple, fo forcible, has no influence upon our minds, Reason and Religion can do nothing more for us; our obftinacy is incurable, our danger inexpreffible.

From that danger, may God of his infinite mercy preserve us all, through Jefus Chrift our Lord.

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