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Wouldst thou, thirdly, render the enjoyment of this happiness lasting as well as complete? Then deal circumspectly with thy friend. The flower of friendship must be reared and tended with a gentle hand; it has need of nurture and refreshment, to preserve it from fading and withering away. Bear then with the harmless weaknesses of thy friend, though probably distasteful to thee. Impose on him no burden that he may find difficult to bear. Give him as freely, at least, as thou receivest of him. Put him not to trials which may imply distrust or awake suspicion. Extort no services or at. tentions; and force not from him the secret with which he is not willing to entrust thee. Beware of imputing to him each look, each word, each trifling action, which might not, probably, have been accompanied with a sufficient degree of energy, as a breach of friendship, when thou art once become sure of his heart. Let not the power thou hast over him degenerate into authority and rigour; or the freedom and familiarity that subsists between you, into a total neglect of the rules of good breeding and propriety.

Wouldst thou, lastly, enjoy the happiness of friend. ship, and learn its full value from experience; then be punctual and exact in the discharge of all the duties thou owest to thy friend. Pay a sedulous attention to his wants, his views, and his connections ; think nothing that concerns him to be indifferent to thee, but consider his interests as in

separable

separable from thy own. Be before-hand with him, as often as thou canst, in what he may expect or require from thy friendship; and let chearfulness and pleasure accompany and animate whatever thou doft in his behalf. Thank him for the civilities and services he accepts from thee, as much as for those thou receivest from him. Above all things be scrupulously exact and faithful in the most important and

generous demonstrations of virtuous friendship. Exhort, incite, encourage, and stimulate him to every thing that is laudable and good; and be not deterred from it by the fear of forfeiting his esteem and affection. The friendship that will not stand this trial, that will not be the firmer for it, is not deserving of that honourable name, deserves not to be cherished with all possible care, as the chiefest felicity of life.

Indeed, thou must not be discou. raged by the first unsuccessful attempt. Thou must even endeavour to procure admission and audience to thy admonitions, thy warnings and thy reprehenfions, by every thing that is persuasive and prevailing in friendship. Thou must even repeatedly bear with the displeasure of thy once more equitable friend, and bear it with undiminished affection. But, when he will by no means allow himself to be admonished, to be cautioned, to be reprehended by thee, if he will only endure to be flattered ; then — let the bond of attachment between you be cancelled for ever. It was not dictated by wisdom and virtue, and might easily have led thee into a snare. N 2

But,

But, if thou art justified in requiring this of thy friend, then likewise, on the other hand, take the admoni, tions, the suggestions, the remonftrances and reproofs of thy friend in good part, and with a grateful resentment. Respect and love him the more, that he may have less frequent occasions of giving thee such testimonies of his esteem and affection; and fo run with him towards the mark of human perfection, to which every virtue, every species of happiness, and therefore friendship, infallibly conducts.

SERMON XXXV:

The Value of civil and religious Liberty:

O GOD, the creator and father of mankind, far

hast thou elevated us above the beasts of the field ! Of greater perfection and happiness hast thou rendered us capable! Thou hast imparted to us reason and liberty. And what blessings hast thou not granted us by them! What means of becoming ever better, ever wiser, ever happier ! Yes, thou haft formed us after thy own image, and imprinted on us, thy children, evident marks of our origin from thee. By reason and liberty we can have communion with thee, and ever approach nearer to thee, ever gain a greater resemblance to thee, the first, the most perfect being O God, with what privileges hast thou not endowed us, the inhabitants of the earth!

How happy are we, in being that which thy love has ordered us to be! Oh might we but

N 3

ever

ever become more intimately sensible to our dignity and that of our brethren, and ever think and act in greater conformity with it! We are all thy children, all of divine descent, all endowed by thee with the same privileges, all ordained by thee to perfection and happiness. And as such we should all esteem and love each other, all live together as brethren and sisters, and none mislead another from his vocation or degrade him from his dignity, but all be aiding to each other towards the attainment and maintenance of it.

This is thy will, thou gracious parent of us all; and to do thy will is our glory and our felicity. Oh teach us then, with ever increasing fidelity to accomplish thy will, and ever more completely to enjoy that felicity. Worthily to use our own li. berty, and to respect and promote the liberty of our brethren, should be the honour, the most zealous endeavour of us all! Do thou, most merciful father, put a stop to the oppression and tyranny of

every kind under the burden whereof so many of thy children on earth continue to figh; break the bonds that disfigure and degrade the work of thy hands; revive and raise the sentiment of their dignity almost extinct in such numbers of mankind, and let the triumphs of freedom over thraldom be more con. spicuous and glorious from day to day. Bless the meditations on thy word which we are now about to begin. Teach us all duly to estimate the value of liberty, and let the sentiment of it inspire us with all generous dispositions, with dispositions worthy of the

man

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