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being accountable to any one for the application of them. There is One, most assuredly, who may, and who has declared that he will, call you to an account, for the use of that leisure and those riches, which he bestowed upon you for far other purpofes than that mean ignoble one of mere selfish gratification. There are duties of the last importance owing to your families, your friends, your country, your fellow-creatures, your Creator, which you are bound under the most facred ties to perform ; and whatever calls off your attention from these, does from that moment cease to be innocent. Here then is the precise point at which you ought to stop. You may be LOVERS OF PLEASURE ; it is natural, it is reasonable, for you to be so; but you must not be LOVERS OF PLEASURE, MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD. This is the true line that separates harmless gayety from criminal disipation. It is a line drawn by the hand of God himself, and he will never suffer it to be passed with impunity. HE claims, on the justest grounds, the first place in your hearts. His laws and precepts are to be the first object of your regard. And be assured, that by suffering them to be so, you will be no losers even in present felicity. It is a truth demonstrable by reason, and confirmed by invariable experience, that a perpetual round of fashionable gayety, is not the road to real substantial happiness. Ask those who have tried it, and they will all (if they are honest) with one voice declare, that it is not.

It is indeed in the very nature of things impossible that it should be fo. This world is not calculated to afford, the human mind is not formed to bear, a constant succession of new and exquisite delights. To aim therefore at uninterrupted, unbounded gayety, to make pleasure so necessary to your existence, that you cannot fubsist one moment without it, is to convert every thing that is not absolute pleasure into absolute pain, and to lay the foundation of certain misery. Diversions are of too thin and unsubstantial a nature to fill the whole capacity of a rational mind, or to satisfy the cravings of a soul formed for immortality. They must, they do, tire and disgust; you see it every day; you see men flying from one amusement to another ; affecting to be happy, yet feeling themselves miserable ; fa

tigued

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tigued with pursuing their pleasures, yet uneasy without them ; growing sick at last of them all, of themselves, and every thing around them; and compelled perhaps at last to have recourse to folitude, without the least provision made for it; without any fund of entertainment within, to render it supportable. From this wretched state it is that religion would preserve you ; and the very worst

you

have to fear from it, is nothing more than such gentle restraints on your gayety, as tend to promote the end you have in view, the true enjoyment even of the present life. Suffer it then to do you this kind office; and do not look on Christianity in that gloomy light, in which it sometimes perhaps appears to you. Far from being an enemy to chearfulness, it is the truest friend to it. That sober and temperate use of diversions, which it allows and recommends, is the furest way to preserve their power to please, and your capacity to enjoy them. At the same time, though it forbids excess in our pleasures, yet it multiplies the number of them and disposes the mind to receive entertainment from a variety of objects and pursuits, 6

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which to the gay part of mankind are abso-
lutely flat and insipid. To a body in perfect,
health the plainest food is relishing, and to a
soul rightly harmonized by religion every
thing affords delight. Rural retirement, do-
mestic tranquillity, friendly conversation,
literary pursuits, philosophical enquiries,
works of genius and imagination ; nay even
the silent beauties of unadorned nature, a.
bright day, a still evening, a starry hemi-
sphere, are sources of unadulterated pleasure
to those whose taste is not vitiated by crimi-
nal indulgences, or debased by trifling ones.,
And when from these you rise to the still
more rational and manly delights of virtue ; .
to that self-congratulation which springs up,
in the soul from the consciousness of having
used
your

best endeavours to act up to the precepts of the Gospel ; of having done your utmost, with the help of Divine Grace, to correct your infirmities, to subdue your par- . sions, to improve your understandings, to exalt and purify your affections, to promote the welfare of all within your reach, to love and obey your Maker and your Redeemer ; then. is human happiness wound up to its utmost

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pitch;

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pitch; and this world has no higher gratifications to give. Try then, you, who are in search of plea

among the rest; try, above all others, the pleasures of devotion. Think not that they are nothing more than the vifions of a heated imagination. They are real, they are exquisite. They are what thousands have experienced, what thousands still experience, what you yourselves may experience if you please. Acquire only a taste for devotion, (as you often do for other things of far less value) in the beginning of life, and it will be your support and comfort through the whole extent of it. It will raise you above all low cares, and little gratifications; it will give dignity and sublimity to your sentiments, inspire you with fortitude in danger, with patience in adversity, with moderation in prosperity, with alacrity in all your undertakings, with watchfulness over your own conduct, with benevolence to all mankind. It will be so far from throwing a damp on your other pleasures, that it will give new life and spirit to them, and make all nature look gay around you. It will be a

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