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she man whose single aim is to obtain the approbation of God. He will continue firm and unshaken, amidst the greatest sufferings; whilst the hypocrite, like the base multitude who followed Christ only for the loaves, will be offended, and fall off, when a day of trouble cømęs. I hall only add, in the

5th and last place, That this divine principle will make a man easy and satisfied, whatever be his outward condition in the world. He knows that his lot is appointed by God, and his only anxiety is to perform that part which hath been assigned to him: being fully assured that God, who is no respecter of perfons, will graciously accept his sincere endeavours to please him, whether his station be high or low, whether his circumstances be rich or poor. His only concern is, that Christ may be magnified in his body. Like a determined traveller, he takes the road as he finds it, and makes no complaints, provided it lead him to the end of his journey,

These are some of the advantages which would flow from a sincere and steady desire

of

of pleafing God, and him only.—But to set these advantages in a more striking light, let us a little examine the opposite principle, and take a view of the man whose great aim is to obtain the approbation of his fellow-cream tures. Consider then,

11, To what a drudgery he fubjects himfelf, and what a strange and inconsistent part he inyst act. He makes himself the servant of every man, whose cenfure he feais, or whose praise he covers. He renounceth his own will and reason; and to whom? Not to God, who requires nothing but what is holy, just, and good; but to creatures like himself, ignorant, perverte, and capricious. He who is resolved to please men, must follow them through all their jarring inconsistent humours. He must undo to-morrow what he does to-day; he must assume a different appearance in every company; he must be the servant of ser. ! yants, contemptible in the fight of God, and often despised by those very men whose approbation he courts. For it is to be ob served, that respect and esteein are sooner found by an honest indifference about them,

than

than by an anxious pursuit of them. They who are fatisfied with the approbation of their heavenly Father, who seeth them in secret, are for the most part rewarded by him openly, according to what the wise man faith, “ When a man's ways please the Lord, “ he maketh even his enemies to be at peace “ with him.” Whereas it holds almoft univerfally true, that men lofę respect in proportion as they are observed to court it with anxiety, and fink thereby into greater contempt than otherwife they would have done. But,

2dly, Let us fuppofe that they obtain what they covet so earnestly ; How trivial is the acquisition ! " Verily,” faith our Lord concerning men-pleasers, “ they have their re“ ward." Ah! poor reward ! to obtain the favour and friendship of dying men, instead of the approbation of God, and the testimony of a good conscience; to remember, in hell, that they were well spoken of on earth, and that the sentence of their Judge was the first thing that undeceived their fellow-creatures as to their true character. This is the whole amount of their gain, even

fuppofing

supposing that they succeed in their pursuit: -But I must now add, in the - 3d place, That this is only a supposition ; for so great is the difficulty of pleafing men; that, after all your pains, it is ten thousand to one but you fhall fail in the attempt. The very number of those whom you would please, renders it almoit impossible to succeed in it. We cannot at one time observe all who observe us, and expect to be pleafed by us. We are like a person who has but'a few pieces of money in his pocket, and a crowd of beggars about him. If, according to his best judgement, he divides the whole among the most needy, that he may please God, he is sure of attaining his end. But if he attempts to manage so as to please them, he will be miserably disappointed. For though the few that shared of his bounty, may possibly be satisfied with their proportion; yet the rest, who got nothing, will revile, and perhaps curse him, as penurious and unmerciful. Besides, the different parties and interfering interests of men, makes it impossible to please all. If, in any case you join with one party, the other, of course,

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will be offended : if you keep yourself difengaged from either side, you will probably incur the resentment of both : or, if you think to keep the good-will of both by trimining, making each believe that you are on their fide, besides the baseness of the practice, which must set a man at irreconcileable variance with himself, you must live in a perpetual fear of a discovery; and when you are detected, both will hate you worse than they do each other.--- Nay, in the

4th, place, Should you give up the idea of obtaining universal favour, and content yourselves with pleasing a few; yet such is the mutability of mens tempers, that your success, even in this limited attempt, is very precarious. For how variable is the mind of man? ever shifting about, and alternately pleased and displeased with the fame thing. When you have spent the best of your days in building upon this fand, one blast shall throw down the laborious fabric in a moment. For difficult 'as it is to gain the favour of men, it is still more difficult to preserve it, or to regain it when it is loft. Serve them as submissively as

you

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