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another; for it is fine to observe, that reason, when she meddles with science, or with any thing which has a cold, and distant connection with human life, can wait to be intricate, and subtle; she can toil through many steps, and be content with small acquirements, and wait patiently, and retrace carefully; but when she comes to the business of salvation, to right and wrong, to holy and unholy, she is as quick as an Eagle's wing, and as rapid as the lightning of God: In a moment she pierces through a thousand intricacies, shivers into atoms the dull, heartless sophistry which is opposed to her course, and, breaking into the chambers of the soul, scares guilt with the amazing splendor of truth. Seek and ye shall find; ye shall have; knock and it shall be opened to you. No man ever turned to

ask and

look for the evil that was within him and was repulsed with the difficulty. Whatever God has made necessary, God has made easy every man who searcheth his heart diligently, will find in it the issues of life.

There is nothing which can be substituted instead of self-examination, renewed

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at intervals; self-examination, voluntarily,
and intentionally entered into. Sickness
prompts us to examine our own hearts; but
we may not be in that manner visited by the
Almighty; old age warns us to this salutary
task; but we may perish in youth; misfor-
tune is a great master of reflection; but we
may be successful in our sins, and a long
course of lucky vice may obliterate every
chance, and possibility of melioration.

Self-examination drives men to great exertions, by inflicting upon them great pains; for the remembrance of a mispent life, commonly brings on remorse, a feeling that the harm cannot be recalled, or repaired; it is not like falsehood, which may be corrected, and injustice, which may be atoned for; but the evil done is often out of the power of repentance, and beyond the possibility of change. It is this which makes a man start up in the midst of irreverent old age, and struggle to give a few months, or years to God, doubting of mercy, and not knowing if the relics of his days will be accepted at the throne of grace : If timely thought can save us from a state,




like this, it is, indeed, worth while to think.


In this process of self-examination, we should, among other subjects of enquiry, put to our own hearts these two questions: are we happy ourselves, are we beloved by our fellow creatures :-if we are really contented, it is no mean evidence that we have a right to be so: if no human being is in a state of hostility against us, it is presumptive evidence, that we have given no occasion of offence; by tracing up our miseries we shall arrive at our vices; and by putting on the feelings of our enemies, and entering into their views of our conduct, we may make their hostility a motive for compensation, and a mean of improvement.

In self-examination I would have a man think of death; he should ask his own heart, if he is afraid of death, why he is afraid of death? what he has done to

make it an
an object of fear? what he
could do to make it an object of hope? in
what way he can make ready to appear
before his Saviour, and all the host of Hea-
yen, at the sound of the everlasting trum-`

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pet, when the Heavens, and the earth are expiring? The use of self-examination is to prepare for the worst, to place ourselves in other situations, and other circumstances, before they really exist, that we may meet them with the proper energy, when they are brought round by the revolutions of the world. The business is to think of sickness

upon old age in youth,

in health, to reflect
to remember death in life, to think of the
necessity of rendering an account now,
while perfect freedom of action remains:
to feel that these are not situations which
may happen, but situations which must
happen. Consider the life which human
beings lead, and tell me if there are many
men who put these things faithfully, and
strongly to their own hearts: Look at a
young man in all the flower, and freshness
of youth; he acts, and he thinks, and he
speaks, as if that condition of body' was
ever to remain; he forgets, when his
strength is gone, and his nerves are trem-
bling with old age, that another set of opi-
nions, congenial to the mouldring frame,
will get possession of his mind; and that all
his animal bravery, and animal happiness,

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will vanish as the machine decays by which
it was put in action; so with injustice and
oppression, when a poor man is ground to
the earth, when the wealthy Ahab says,
"His vineyard shall be mine; there is no
judgment for the poor; I am the Lord of the
earth;" how foolish to forget that God sees
it all, that the great day will come, when the
oppressor will be turned into the criminal;
when the master will find a greater master
than he; when every wildness, and wanton-
ness of power, will be subjected to the
searching eye of omnipotent justice;
therefore, the use of self-examination is to
see all these consequences remotely, and at a
distance, to measure them fairly, and to de-
liberate duly upon them, while we are yet
secure; not to determine upon actions which
must affect our future lives, and endanger
our salvation, through the influence of feel-
ings, which will cease with that portion of
existence from which they spring, and to
which they are appropriate; but the truly
evangelical habit of self-examination, will
teach us to consider the life of man in all its
parts, and under all its reyolutions; will
teach us to diminish those sufferings with

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