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as shall at once increase his capacity and his inclination to do good; to make himself respected and beloved by the spotless purity of his manners, the unimpeached integrity of his heart, and the unaffected kindness of his actions; and finally, to consider every hour of his life, as an additional opportunity bestowed for increasing the amount of his recompense hereafter, and for obtaining a more certain interest in that “ eternal life;" which, with mingled hope and awe and gratitude, he truly owns to be " the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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a Rom. vi. 23.--The view here taken of this important subject is confirmed by Dr. Samuel Clarke, Sermon LXIII. p. 359. Vol. II. Dublin ;--and by Dr. Paley, Moral Philosophy, Vol. I. p. 48. also in one of his posthumous Sermons. See Origen, in Lardner's Works, Vol. II. p. 464—5. and Bishop Middleton's Sermon on the first Sunday in Advent, 1820.

p. 22.

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In these observations of the Royal Psalmist, simplicity and pathos; the result of extensive experience and the practical instruction to be derived from it; are combined in no common degree. While they describe in few, but expressive words the insensible advance of time, the progress from youth to age; they point out also the provision made by the Almighty Ruler of the universe for rendering the portion of time, assigned to each individual, available to the best purposes of existence. Briefly, but emphatically, they set forth the encouragement supplied by the wise dispensations of Providence to the resolute employment of our faculties, moral and intellectual, in such pursuits as tend to the happiness of others and of ourselves. They suggest

They suggest at the same time a powerful dissuasive not merely from positive habits of vice and fraud and violence, but from the scarcely less dangerous indulgence of feelings, which owe their origin to want of energy and resolution, to the love

of ease and idleness, and to undue and unwise despondency.

Altogether then, the sentiments expressed in the text convey a suitable subject of meditation to every rank and every age: and that subject seems peculiarly susceptible of improvement; surely it must strike upon every

serious mind with uncommon force; at the commencement of a New Year. Never indeed can it be un. seasonable, when urged in the words of the “sweet singer of Israel,” to an audience like this which consists of the young and the old. Nor, I trust, can it be without its use to remind some of the former, in their entrance upon a toilsome profession, that much privation must be endured, and much labour encountered by him, who wishes to arrive at eminence. That lesson must ever be salutary and ever seasonable, which teaches us that integrity and industry are not often prevented, even in this chequered scene, from securing a full harvest of esteem from all, whose esteem is worth acquiring; and of independence, tenfold more valuable, when it is accompanied with the consciousness of virtuous intention and unremitted diligence.

Without further preface, I will endeavour to make a suitable improvement of the words of the text with especial reference to the season of the year, and to the feelings, expectations, and duties, of the younger part of my audience.

First ; then “I have been young, and now am old." -Few there are, in proportion to the innumerable crowds of human beings, who are brought into existence, who can use these words according to the sense, in which youth and age are generally employed,

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They usually denote the extremes of human life; or at least, those extreme points, in which reason dawns and in which it declines. There is however no necessity to consider these extreme points of human life; it is sufficient for our purpose, and indeed sufficiently within the scope of the Sacred Writer, if we suppose them to denote such a change in the successive years of existence, as to justify the supposition that some power of reflection has been exerted, some experience gained, during the passage from one period to the other.

What then are the reflections, which ought to arise in the mind of every one, who is capable of exercising his reason so far as to say, “ I have been young, and now am old;" or of every one, who has passed from one stage of existence to another sufficiently distant to enable him to perceive the irrevocable lapse of time, and to call forth the idea, that a change has taken place in the mode and extent of his being ?-He feels that he is older now than he was at a former period, which from some circumstance pressed upon his attention; and we may observe that no circumstance is more likely to impress such a feeling, than the recurrence of some stated season, marked by an event of peculiar interest to himself, to his family, or those around him. Thus the return of a season, consecrated to religion; the anniversary of one's birth above all, that progress of time which is shewn by the introduction of a New Year; all these are calculated to produce in a mind, which possesses the faculty of reason, some reflections upon the use as well as progress of time, some consciousness of good or ill desert from the manner in which it has previously been employed. “ I have been young, and now am old." However young the person may be, who reaches the point of time, which he remembers to have arrived at an whole year before, he cannot fail to be aware that he is now grown older, that he is placed in a somewhat different situation than he was at the former period, and that, with the alteration of age, some change of feeling has insensibly been produced, and perhaps that some change of conduct may also be necessary. Reflections, as to the fact of age in some degree advanced, cannot fail to arise in every bosom. Whether the suitable reflections as to change of conduct will be equally produced, cannot be affirmed with the same certainty; or rather, I am afraid, we must pronounce with certainty that due reflections upon the change of purpose and change of habit, which should accompany the advance in life, will not occur by any means so frequently as they ought. Nevertheless, there can be no difficulty in deciding upon the sort of feelings, that should be called forth in every bosom upon all such occasions; and, in order to assist your meditations when a new period of existence has just opened upon you, I will shortly point out, in what manner the progress, which has been effected in the duration of our being, should operate upon minds, conscious that they are accountable for their actions.

The whole extent of human life may be divided into three distinct stages; youth, middle age, and old age.-Now, according to the difference there is in these several stages of life, different feelings will

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