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LUKE xvi. 10, 11, 12. He that is faithfull in that which is

leaft, is faithfull also in much : and *** he that is unjust in the leaft, is un

just also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithfull in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit " to your trust the true riches? And

if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall

give you that which is

your own?"

The representation here given of our situation in this life is similar to that made of the sojournment of the Children of Israel in the wilderness ;


where, where, we read, the Lord “ led them

to humble them, and to prove them, " to know what was in their heart, “ whether they would keep His com“ mandments or not." For it is in like manner suggested by the words before us, that according to the proofs which we now give of fidelity in the use of the powers entrusted to us, will be the recompence awarded in another and more lasting state. This idea of human life, as a time allowed to men in which to form and manifest their real character is so easy and so evidently just, that it requires very little reflection to make any mind acknowledge its truth, and acquiesce in the equity of the dispensation. If the good order and peace of a society be to be preserved, what so proper to this end as to admit into it no one, who has not previously manifehled a disposition ftrengthened by habit, to conform to its usages, and


obey its laws? Or if a bountifull Superiour be pleased to distribute larger pofsessions, or confer greater powers on His servants, will wisdom and justice require that this be promiscuously done, or not rather that those individuals be selected for the objects of additional munificence, who have not by misusing what was before committed to their charge, proved themselves unworthy of further trust? The powers we at present poffefs are greatly circumscribed, so much so indeed, as to convince us on almost every exertion of our want of more ; short too is the time in which we can exercise these powers little as they are, while of both the shortness and uncertainty of that time, the Divine Providence hath furnished men with numerous admonitions : how then would the wisdom of our Heavenly Governour be manifested, in giving to those who under constant proofs of their own



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weakness already dare to disobey His laws, more extensive powers ? or in granting to those, who amid hourly notices of the uncertainty of their continuance in this life presume to waste or mispend their time, another life which shall never be taken from them? And thus it being once known, that the existence of mankind comprehends two states, the one present and of short duration, the other future and endless; there becomes visible a necessity in nature, that our situation in the latter should be regulated by our conduct in the former, and our lot hereafter, depend on our behaviour here: While these two portions of our being are to be considered as making but one whole, the first serving as a preparation and education for the last. Strongly is this particular noted in the text; what men hold on earth is there represented as trifling in comparison with what they shall possess in another world;

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