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I have thus endeavoured to impress upon you the importance of establishing the heart, as it renders righteousness more secure, and more easy; those who have ever practised this truly christian discipline, can need no other incentive to its continuation than the immediate pleasure they have derived from it; and that feeling of inviolable security which must ever be the lot of those in whom outward, and visible virtue is the accurate sign of inward, and spiritual purity. If, by a vigorous exertion of our own powers, and by earnest prayer to God, we can guard, from pollution, this fountain of evil, and of good, we have little to fear from all which the world can inflict; and at the moment when this mortal body is crumbling into dust, the heart, established in upright thoughts, shall animate the dying christian, and strengthen his faith in the mercies of his God.
ST. MATTHEW XV. VERSE XXXVII.
And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, gave up the ghost.
THE last scenes of our Saviour's life, and the particular circumstances of his death, are fit subjects for examination, either as they afford an additional example of the truth of the christian religion, or a practical example of morality. Whether we would learn how persecution is to be endured, and death and adversity supported; or would try, by the events of so critical a period, the authenticity of our Saviour's mission, this part of the gospel history ought powerfully to arrest, and deeply to engage