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His heart is established, he shall not be afraid.

THE Psalmist, in stating the happiness of a righteous man, comes, at last, to that essential part of it, the government of the heart; and, impressed with the security which such a state of thoughts, and feelings, must afford, says, his heart is established, he shall not be afraid.

The Psalmist means, I should suppose, by this establishment of heart, an habitual regulation of passions, opinions, and imagination;-a suspicious examination, not of

our actions, but of the motives of our actions; and such a government of the thoughts, as is most likely to conduce to a moral, and religious life.

I shall, therefore, endeavour to enforce such valuable doctrine, and to unfold the principles on which it is founded.

The intimate connection between our ideas, and our actions, is such, that, as often as the moment comes for doing, or for abstaining, every previous thought which has been harboured in the understanding rushes in, and exercises a share of influence in the decision.-The pleasing pictures of sin we have drawn, in the absence of temptation, dazzle us, in its presence, with a more brilliant colouring, become more vivid, more artful, and more resistless; when the moment arrives for actual gratification, we do not forget the gratification we have enjoyed, by anticipation, when conscience should rise up in all its terrors; we cannot exclude from our minds all the previous sophistry with which it has been disarmed, when the terror of God should

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alarm us; by this vicious indulgence of our thoughts we have lessened our sense of his vigilance, buoyed up our spirits with the fallacious promise of future repentance, or cast from us, altogether, the shackles, and bondage of religion. It is no wonder that men should so often yield to temptation, when they trust to the casual virtue of the moment, and bring to the contest, feelings which have never been subjected to a single instant of discipline, and controul :—When they abolish every out-post, rase every advanced defence, and trust every thing to the strength of the inward fortress alone, Virtue, under such a system as this, is not only difficult, it is almost impossible;—it is the result of accident, depending upon circumstances, which he, whom they influence, can neither explain, nor command; it is not that virtue which flows from a trained, and disciplined heart, the effects of which are uniform; and, as far as we may say so of what belongs to our fallen nature, certain. To make virtue easy, we must lay the foundations of it in thought; when the temptation is not present, it is easy to find reasonings against it;-and, when it is at

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hand, there are, then, many confirmed opinions, and inveterate aversions, to guard us from its influence: he, who has cautiously excluded from his mind, pictures of vicious gratification, and considered a bad life, rather with respect to the permanent evil it inflicts, than the transient pleasure it affords, will be more likely to see, in real vice, horror, than allurement; he will dwell, rather, on the rewards, than the difficulties of virtue; if he has spurned, even in thought, that worldly good which is purchased by sin, he will, in action, trample it beneath his feet;-if he has enjoyed in fancy, the sweet security of an irreproachable life, he will not yield it up to the gold of Ophir; if he has taught himself to shudder at the thought, even of disguised crimes, he will throw open the gates of his soul, and defy the keenest inquisition of the human race; his deeds will be pure as the heavens, lofty as the hills, and clear as the light. On the contrary, most men give the full rein to their thoughts; and, as long as they abstain from the action, liberally indulge in the notion; they never think of stopping till they have inflamed themselves,

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