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Rom. xiv. 12.
Every One Shall Give An Account Of Himself To God.
FOR what end or purpose are we come into the world? Are we to live at large, as accident or passion blindly drive us; or are there any stated laws to controul and regulate our conduct?" Every man should put this question to himself, upon the first dawnings of knowledge and reflexion. Grown up to maturity, in the ferment of swelling passions, and in a world presenting a thousand things around us to inflame and graA 2 tify tisy our desires, we are too apt to consider ourselves as our own masters. Who (cries licentious appetite) is the Lord, that I Jhould obey him; or the Almighty toat I Jhould serve him? I know no superior, no law but will; no restraint, but want of power to compass my desire. Under this impulse, we take our different courses: one pursues his pleasures through the most sacred and endearing relations; another buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by wrong, oppresseth the weak, defraudeth the innocent, and supplanteth his dear-' est friend to accomplish his-selfish designs. The great contest is, who can get most of the good things of life for himself: we disturb and convulse the world with our competitions.
It is true, we have the power of committing all these outrages. But let us not mistake indulgence for privilege, or a discretionary power for a full and absolute right. For though, O ignorant
man, man, God permits thee, for many wise reasons, to walk in the ways of thy heart and thejight of thine eyes, yet he, by no means an idle spectator of the world, looks down from above, observes thy actions, and for all these things will bring thee into judgment. Eccles. xi. 9. For
EVERY" ONE MUST GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO GoD.
We need only consult our common feelings and experience to convince ourselves of the power and superintendence of Providence. We feel the Maker in every state of life, and we see him in every object around us. We come not into the world of ourselves: we come without our knowledge, and leave it without our choice. While we live, we live and move and have our being in some superior agent. We are but mere instruments in the very actions that support our life. The heart beats, the lungs respire, the vital fluid circulates, without our concurrence, or even withA 3 out