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productive of good, as it brings the Scriptures into a clearer light, and causes them to be more investigated; but the mischief will be found in our own hearts and tempers, which argument sometimes sours and disturbs. Therefore, bear in mind, what the wise man saith ; " Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Seneca, though a heathen, may even now condemn some of this generation ; he was not favoured with the help of the Holy Scriptures, yet his practice was in many things conformable to the spirit of the Gospel. He was accustomed to examine every night
the events of the past day, and see what temper had produced every action; and by this he praised or condemned himself. This procedure is worthy of a christian, and will not disgrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Be punctual in the practice of private retirement for devotion; regular, but not ostentatious; in the spirit of humility, present your requests unto God for his blessing on your designs; and offer him thanks and praises for the mercies which crown your days.
It is observable, in reading accounts of persons who have suffered
for their crimes the punishments assigned by law, many have acknowledged it was the neglect of the duty of prayer and bad company which brought them to this sad end; for, who can stand by his own strength? I would also enjoin a careful participation of the company of sober and religious people as often as suitable opportunities present themselves. And to this I would add, the strict and regular attendance of the place of public worship, especially on the first day of the week, called sunday or sabbath, and to avoid the too common practice of spending the rest of that day in un
profitable company, visits, &c. but endeavour to improve it for the purposes for which it was set aside, namely, as a day of rest and religious improvement. The last thing I would suggest, on this head, is, the frequent reading the holy Scriptures: fail not to be diligent in this exercise, which will, at most, occupy but a few minutes of your time, and these minutes, though daily thus employed, .will not be missed from the day. For where, but in the sacred volume, can we find penned all those necessary instructions for our conduct, that direct us where to look for all the supports and aids the distresses of life call for. What excellent direc
tions have we here to fit us for heaven ! The wisest philosophers, and the best men, have constantly declared, that the Scriptures are truly sublime and contain pure morality, important history, and impressive eloquence. Engage not too much
in the controversial parts of religion, which is apt to make a man more busily inquisitive, than practically useful. Why break the golden chain of brotherly love for speculative · points, which are very far outweighed by faith, and good works? Give a reason for the hope that is in you, with clearness, and coolness; but let your conduct be the best comment on