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man owes to himself; and without temperance he can not live soberly. This, as well as all other personal duties, we owe to society ; since we can not be good members of society without it: but by neglecting it, we first wrong ourselves. By intemperance, especially in the use of strong drink, a man makes a dreadful assault on himself; on his health, and even life; on his property, his reputation; and, what crowns the whole, he takes the readiest way to destroy his own soul. Every man is under obligation to himself, to do all in his power to preserve the place in the creation which has been assigned him by his benevo. lent Creator ; and his is the place of an intelligent creature. But the drunkard seerns voluntarily to abdicate his throne, and to give up his elevated station for one which is below that of the irrational animals. In view of our own well-being, both in this and the future world, we are powerfully urged to be temperate in all things; and where the re. ligion of the gospel has taken possession of the heart, a temperate life will be the result.

Thirdly. Chastity is a personal duty, and is as necessarily comprehended in living soberly, as it is in living righteously and gedly. No man can be said to keep himself unspotted from the world, who “ walks after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness.” There is not a more de. basing and souldestroying sin on earth. The feelings of our Creator towards it, may be learned from one of the coinmands which he wrote with his own finger on the tables of stone. And how pointedly did our Savior condemn all approximations towards an open transgression of the seventh commandment. Matt. v. 28. Every thing in a man's behavior, words, and even thoughts, contrary to the most rigid purity, is not only offensive to God, but is also a sin against himself-against both soul and body. When the apostle had said, in one of his epistles, “ Flee fornication,” he enforces the injunction with this remark :

Every sin that a man doth is without the body ; but he that commit. teth fornication, sinneth against his own body.1 Cor. vi. 18.

While the scriptures sanction marriage, and declare that it is honor. able in all, they assure us that whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. The heinousness of this sin can not be too deeply impressed on our minds. It can not be too deeply impressed on the minds of the young. It is eminently a “ youthful lust," and one of those from which they are commanded to flee. Here is a place where their ad. versary the devil, who, like a roaring lion, is seeking to devour them, will assume the character of their friend, and ply his temptations with peculiar art. This "pleasure of sin” he will strip of its filthy rags, and array it in a fascinating dress. But let them dispel the charm by calling to mind what God, their real friend, has said on this subject. Let the young man remember that God has said, “Whoso committeth adultery with a woman, Jacketh understanding; he that doeth it, de. stroyeth his own soul.Let him also remember the passage of scripture in which this interesting question, "Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?" is thus answered By taking heed thereto accord. ing to thy word.” And let the young female remember what the scripture says concerning the wanton woman : " But she that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth.” Let all remember the example of young Joseph, and, whenever temptation assails them, say with


him, “ How shall we do this great wickedness, and sin against God ?" Gen. xxxix. 9.

Fourthly. The improvement of time may be ranked among the per. sonal duties. The command given us, to redeem the time, implies some. thing more than an obligation to be industrious, for the purpose of ac. cumulating property, or of supplying the wants of our families; it im. poses an obligation on the rich, as well as on the poor, on the hoary.. headed, as well as on men in the vigor of their days. Every man owes it to himself, (if his obligations extended no further,) to fill up the whole of his short probation in doing something; something, too, which will not only tend to promote the general good, but be calculated to expand his own mind, and purify his heart, and thus prepare him for the employments and pleasures of the heavenly state. The gospel, when received into the heart, creates such a principle of action, that no man under its influence can be idle, and yet feel himself innocent. He may be innocent without laboring in the field or the shop ; or with out laboring anywhere else with his hands; but unless he is conscious that he is endeavoring to improve his time to some good purpose, and in such a way as he believes will meet the approbation of God, he will feel himself guilty

It is not the legitimate influence of religion on the heart, to cause à man to pursue recreation and amusement as a business. Religion con. siders amusements to be lawful, only as means for qualifying us to pur. sue things of greater importance; and therefore reprobates all such as have a contrary tendency. It says of that laughter, which is the hap. piness of the gay world, it is mad, and of their mirth, what doth it! ? The Christian and the man of pleasure, are very different characters. The Christian feels that the obligation he is under to himself, over and above his obligation to God and the interests of his kingdom, forbid him to waste away lise in a round of vain amusements ; going from the theatre to the circus, and from the circus to the dance, and from the dance to the card table, and from this to the party, and so on, until his Lord shall come. He looks at this round of folly, and if he has ever been so thoughtless as to pursue it himself, he makes the hearty confession: “I have sinned und perverted that which was right, and it profited it me not." It is now an affecting consideration to his mind, that ihe probation of creatures who are under the wrath of God, and who must repent, and that very soon, or perish forever, should be filled up in a way so calculated to prevent their ever repenting and being saved. Christians are commanded to come out from among the wicked and be separate, and not be conformed to the world; but surely, such as go with the world in all these vanities, have not obeyed the com. mand. Let us only feel the obligation resting on us to redeem our time, and this alone will decide the point, that these fascinating and empty amusements should form no part of the employment of our lives.

The redeeming of time will lead us not only to avoid things which are pernicious and frivolous, but to employ ourselves in those which are improving to our own minds, and calculated to render us useful to others. Besides attending to the business of our calling, and the stated devotions of the day, we may prevent the fragments of our time from being lost, by devoting them to useful reading, (especially to the study of the scriptures and books of piety,) and to more immediate converse with Him who heareth prayer. In this way can the super. annuated improve those last remains of life, which would otherwise bo vacant and tedious. And are not both men and women, who have reached an advanced age, under obligation to devote an extraordinary proportion of their time to the exercise of reading and prayer ? They are now becoming incapable of the labors of this life, but not of the exercises of religion. Even when the infirmities of age are so multi. plied that they are chiefly confined to their own habitations, they can still cultivate piety in their own hearts, and pray for the peace of Jeru. salem. Let aged Christians anticipate the employments of heaven, and be much in the mount, holding converse with God. It will make their wrinkled faces shine, and cause them to bring forth fruit in old age. And will not this be the best means of preparing them for a peaceful, if not a triumphant death?

How much more worthily do they conduct who thus improve the leisure of old age, than they do, who are always teasing themselves about those goods of time, which in a very few days they must leave, to enjoy no more forever : or, than those who are seen in places of public resort, exciting the laughter of fools by telling them ludicrous stories. Yea, how much more worthily do they conduct than those of their own age, who occupy their time in light reading ; such as novels and romances; or who will, perhaps, be seen poring over all the gazettes which come within their reach, eagerly entering into all the party politics of the day, which the light of another world will show to have been the merest vanity. O that aged men of this de. scription, could but feel the force of such divine admonitions as these : “Redeeming the time.” “ The time is short.” “ But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." And let the young be reminded, that to be prepared for a useful and happy old age, they must redeem from misspense the morning of their life.

Let it not be thought that too much has been said on the obligation of improving time; since on its proper improvement every thing de. pends. Time is a precious gift, dealt out to us in moments; and each must be improved while it is passing, or it will be forever beyond our reach. The gift of one moment does not insure the gift of another; and yet on the improvement of a single moment, may be suspended an eternity of blessedness. Let these thoughts have their due influence, and we shall dread to incur the guilt of slothfulness, as we should that of some heinous crime. In view of the obligation every one is under to improve his time to the best advantage, it will not appear to bim a matter of indifference whether he rise early or late in the morning. “ Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty ; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread." This proverb is manifestly designed to encourage early rising ; and this practice is no less important in relation to spiritual, than temporal things..

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The personal duties are in harmony one with another. There is no discord between the different branches of personal duty. The life is more than meat, and the body than raiment; therefore, life and health are not to be sacrificed to procure sumptuous fare and costly apparel. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and is therefore never to be sacrificed for the sake of acquiring them. And as the interests of time are infinitely outweighed by those of eternity, we are under obligation to treat them accordingly; we should be ready to part with them all for the pearl of great price. Men not un. frequently repute him a fool, who makes it not his aim to amass earthly treasure ; but in God's account, he is the veriest fool, who makes no provision for his soul : “ But God said unto him,” (that is, to the man who had laid up many years' provision for the body,) “ Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided ?" The Christian is required to abstain from fleshly lusts, (that is, from such a gratification of his animal pro. pensities as is sinful,) because they war against the soul. From all these lusts he must abstain ; else there can be no consistency in his religion. How inconsistent, and how deficient in the duties he owes to himself, would he bo, who should abstain from one branch of intem. perance, but indulge himself in the other; or who should abstain from both drunkenness and gluttony, but walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness. And should he avoid these scandalous sins, and yet idlo away his life in a round of fashionable amusements and parties of pleasure, he could not be said to keep himself unspotted from the world; and therefore could have no reason to think himself possessed of that religion which is pure and undefiled before God and the Father.

There is no discord between personal and relative duties. Religion does not allow one to set up his own interest in opposition to that of his family, and to sacrifice their comfort to his own caprice. A right understanding and performance of the duties he owes to himself, will render him better qualified to discharge the various duties that pertain to the family state. That man who neglects his own soul, will most certainly neglect the souls of his family. If he does not pray for him. self, he will not pray for them; if he does not read the word of God, he will not teach his children to read it; if he does not sanctify the Sabbath, he will allow them to profane it; and if he lays up his treas. ure on the earth, he will not urge them to lay up theirs in heaven. Instead, therefore, of personal duties being a hindrance to the discharge of those which are relative, the former prepare the way for the latter. When the apostle was about to urge relative duties on the Ephesian elders, he first urges those that were personal, as being a necessary preparation for the former : “ Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock.” This same address may with propriety be made to parents, in view of the duties which they owe to their offspring : “ Take heed to yourselves, and to all the children which God has entrusted to your care.”

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Attention to personal duties will make children filial, just as it will make parents parental. When we see children evince insubordina. tion to paren' 1 government, do we not necessarily infer that these children are glecting their own souls? And as a proper aitention to the duties they owe themselves, will make them better sons and daughters, so will it make them better brothers and sisters. A right apprehension and a faithful discharge of their personal duties, will prevent collisions, and cause them to treat each other affectionately, not only in childhood, but during life.

What has now been said of the happy influence of personal duties on the relations of the family, will apply to all the other relations which exist in society. They who are most attentive to personal du. ties, will make the best rulers and subjects, the best instructors and pupils, the best pastors and congregations.

If we can discover an agreement between the duties we owe our. selves, and those we owe to such as we are connected with by relative ties, there will be no difficulty in discovering their agreement with the duties which we owe to society at large. These duties are en. tirely harmonious. If I seek my own good in a selfish manner, this is at war with sceking the common good of man : but duty forbids me to seek my own good in this way. When a man seeks bis own good selfishly, he regards himself as of more consequence, not only than any one of his neighbors, but of more than all of them. God as much forbids selfishness in the discharge of the duties which a man owes himself, as in the discharge of any others. Personal duties, then, if performed in the spirit of the divine requirements, do not at all interfere with the discharge of general duties.

No man is under obligation to regard his own interest, either tempo. ral or eternal, above its real and comparative value. He is bound to possess universal and impartial benevolence, and to manifest this by doing good to all men as he has opportunity. And since he has greater opportunity to do good to himself than to others, his obligation to do it is proportionably augmented. Tho' many of the daties of an individual consist in a proper care of his own body and soul, still he has no right, in any instance, to set up his private interest in opposition to that of the public. “ Let no man seek his own, but every man an. other's wealth.” A man's own wealth must not be sought exclusively, and never in opposition to the wealth of the nation ; nor is he ever to balance his own happiness against that of the world. The divine command, Thou shalt lore thy neighbor as thyself, balances his happi. ness with that of a single individual,*

* Some may imagine, that in the precept, Thou shalt love thy neighbor es thyself, the connecting word as is not intended to describe an equal degree of love to our neighbor as to ourselves, but only a similarity of affection. This, however, is not its natural import; nor is such an interpretation most consistent : for what reason, except a selfish one, can be assigned why a man should not love his neighbor as much as himself, if he is equal to him in a capacity to do and enjoy good ? If the law of God allows me to love my neighbo: less than myself, I should need to be told how much less. In this case, we should want a new rule to regulate the exercise of our love. Ifihe law of God Avere to allow a man to love himself more than his neighbor, merely because it was himself, would it not legalize the principle of selfishness, which, in a more universal sense than even the love of money, is the root of all evil? If a man is tolerated in er. ercising more of the love of good will to himself, merely as self, why may he not, for

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