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better than himself? the reason is, he sees and feels his own corruptions in such a degree as he cannot see or feel those of

any
other

person. It will be said, perhaps, ALL CANNOT BE THE WORST ;" therefore he may be mistaken in putting himself down in the lowest place. We will not dispute this ; only we wish there were not mistakes, on the contrary part, far more hurtful. To think too well of ourselves, through the great and deceitful partiality of our own hearts, is far more common. Certain it is, that the christian doctrine, rightly felt in the heart, has a tendency to make a man think himself to be worse than others; it is difficult for him not to think so. I do not say he is obliged absolutely to believe this of himself; but I say a true knowledge of himself will be apt to PRODUCE this effect: Nor will such a one be disposed to take pains to avoid the conclusion. For, he is then admirably fitted to "esteem others : better than himself.” The feeling of the doctrine, you see, provides for the practice of the precept. He will not seek his own glory but that of his master; and will, of course, be a man of peace; the great idol of SELF being now dethroned. How well is he then qualified to support the christian tempers of humility, peace, and love!

Every one owns, that these tempers are amiable and excellent : that they make the person, who cultivates them, happy; and, that they are of the most friendly tendency to mankind.-But herein lies our mistake : We would have all men to possess and cultivate these tempers without being acquainted, in their hearts, with the christian doctrine. Take

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away the fall and redemption ; and no soil will remain, in which humility, peace and love can grow. We have seen that these virtues shoot entirely out of christian ground. Look where you please, besides, you will find no such precepts as these of the Text. The light of nature, corrupted and darkened as it is by sin and the fall, knows them not. We must go to Christ, fall at the foot of his cross as poor sinners, and learn them there or no where.

“ Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Mankind are naturally selfish. We are desirous that every one should attend to us; and promote our profit, honour, or pleasure. Any man, who has examined his own heart with coolness and attention, must feel that he has within him this inordinate self-love. How heinous and strong appear injuries and wrongs done to himself! How light and trivial the affronts and unkindness which he has shewn to others ! How clear and positive do men, who quarrel with one another about property, appear, each that he is right, when a third person can generally see that there are faults on both sides. Time would fail in an attempt to show the abundance of the proofs of this selfishness, of which I speak. Men are so blinded by it, as to claim a most unreasonable regard from others : And while they give their tongues all liberty in speaking contemptuously of other men, they are amazingly hurt that any person should speak contemptuously of them.

These things, which are moral evils, and which any thinking person may feel to spring spontaneously from his own heart, certainly do not arise from custom or education,--though they are often much increased by them ;—but are as natural to a man as it is to breathe. Look at man in his infant state. Before your child can speak, this selfishness is discovered. He would be lord and tyrant;-all must submit to him. Hence children quarrel with each other as naturally as they breathe. Because all are disposed to domineer and none to submit, they cross each other's will; and hence arise envy and rage.

Against this selfish spirit, hear how divinely the Apostle speaks in the Text. He speaks to CHRISTIANS, to men, who feel the power of christian doctrine, who have tasted the love of Jesus, and been humbled because of their selfishness, for which HE has made atonement by his blood. Thankful for the redemption which his blood has bought for them, they feel themselves now called upon to imitate this example, in forgetting SELF, and in promoting sincerely the good of their brethren in genuine love. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus :” The mind of humble condescension and sincere love. United to Christ by the participation of his spirit, and expecting ere long to be with him in heaven, they labour on earth more and more to resemble him. O blessed Religion ! which alone cures human miseries, cultivates humility and love, gives men an object to trust in, and an example to copy after in the Lord Jesus Christ, and restores them to the right knowledge of God and of themselves. Any man, who views these things right, will feel, that this is TRUTH, this is happiness, this will make a man wise and happy to eternity.

But we must become deeply sensible how contrary we are, by nature, to all this, and learn to hate and despise ourselves on account of the opposite dispositions, if we would learn Christian doctrine and feel its practical influence. While we cherish flattering thoughts of ourselves we can learn nothing of this sort; and therefore, when persons, who have heard the truth, concerning man's baseness and Christ's excellence, plainly pointed out, will not give way to conviction, but suffer the pride of their hearts,—which cannot endure the idea of a man's thinking meanly of himself,—to stifle all just sensations of these things, they confirm themselves in evil, and hinder their own conversion and their own happiness ; for a plague to himself man must to eternity be, while he remains the slave of selfishness, and pride.—The Text has now been opened ; will

! you permit me to apply it for your good?

1. I see persons in a mere state of nature, averse from Christian principles. To such I can apply the Text, only by the rule of contraries, and endeavour to show them their misery and their danger.

2. I see others who have obtained some Christian light and notions, but yet are destitute of any true spiritual apprehension of them. I must show such the marks of their bad state also.

3. I see true Christians practising these precepts, and expressing the force of Christian doctrine in their tempers and practice.-A suitable word must be addressed to each class; and may God bless it to their souls for the conversion of the unconverted, and for the growth in grace and improvement in real holiness of the truly religious, to all eternity.

VOL. I.

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First, I address myself to the man who is in a state of nature altogether, without any light, or views, or profession of Christian principles. His life may be decent, his character fair, and his conduct in society, in general, blameless or even useful. Or, he may be scandalously immoral. Self, how- . ever, in either case, is his end, his grand object, his God. So wrapt up is he in self-love, that he has not any the least relish of living for the love of God or of his neighbour, If he do a kind and useful action to his neighbour, it is, with him, altogether lost, if he do not conceive of it as contributing to the aggrandizement of himself. He must be praised, esteemed, and extolled. He would have every one give way to his humour. He would cross others, but he would never be crossed himself. He will kindle strife and contention ; but then others, never himself,--are to blame. He desires to be honoured very much beyond his real desert, yet would be thought modest and humble. He cannot bear that other men should be preferred to himself, yet you must not call him a vain-glorious man. He naturally looks at himself as the most important of all beings; to whose satisfaction every one ought to contribute, as if he were more worthy than all others; yet, though he might, one should think, consider that others are as selfish as himself, he makes no allowances for their selfishness; but upbraids

; them for this very spirit, which he cherishes so much in his own temper. His love extends but little

. beyond himself, for though he may have some affection for his children and family, perhaps also for his country or his party, yet as he has been used to con

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