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SERM. hensions of the day of judgment. The XIX.

last opportunity of doing what, perhaps, ought to have been done long ago, is arrived ; if, therefore, we have defrauded our neighbour, as I have before said, we must make restitution ; if we have hurt his character by our calumnies, we must recant what we have advanced to his prejudice ; if we have been injurious to him in any other respect, have oppressed, harrassed, or insulted him, we must sincerely ask his forgiveness, and seek with him a thorough reconciliation. And while we are endeavouring to appease those whom we have injured, we must, in our turn, be ready to pardon those who have injured us: to retain cur resentment at such a time, would be to cherish a temper of mind very unfit for that place, to which we are to hope we are going. It is right likewise not only to subdue all anger in our own minds, but to give some outward token of it either to the parties


themselves, who have offended us, or if that SERM.

XIX. be impracticable or inconvenient, to those who may be around us at the time. Other duties are required from us when we are sick, which respect our fellow-creature, and which, though they do not come precisely under the head of justice, are scarcely less important, such as kindness and consideration for those who attend upon us in our illness, and seasonable advice adapted to their particular situations, and drawn from

It is more peculiarly necessary to press the first of these, because sickness is too apt to be accompanied with peevishness and impatience, to cause us to imagine things amiss beyond what they really are, and to make us expect from our friends more care, skill, and dexterity, than they are capable of exerting.

This is a propensity which it is our duty to do our best to overcome, and that for various reasons; in the first place, it in



SERM. creases our own sufferings, which patience XIX.

and resignation would greatly mitigate; and secondly, it is very unjust to our friends, to whose cares we ought to remember we are so much obliged; who go through so fatiguing and disagreeable an office on our account, and whom our frowardness is very unlikely to make more diligent in their attendance, but will, most probably, discourage and abate their zeal in our service.

Seasonable advice to those around us, in our dying hours, drawn from our own situation, and adapted to theirs, is, as I observed, a duty particularly incumbent on

The time is awful, and the hearts of the dying person's friends are commonly deeply touched, and open to any im pression, which, in his last words, he may wish to make upon them: this is an opportunity which ought not to be neglected; he ought to represent to them what will, full surely, be his own feelings, the vanity and emptiness of all earthly concerns, the little SERM.



XIX pleasure with which he now looks back on any worldly acquirements which he may have made, on any worldly accomplishments which he may have possessed; the recollection of having been regular and constant in the performance of his duty towards God—just and charitable according to his means, in his behaviour towards his fellow-creatures and sober, chaste, and temperate, in his own personal conduct,he will assure them, are now his only comforts ;-on the other hand, if unhappily he has not this to say, he may tell them, for he will full certainly experience it, of the remorse which he feels for the sins of which he has been guilty, and for the various virtues which he has omitted-and how very different a course of life he will pursue in future, if it should please God to restore him to health. Let him not fear to declare this resolution, from the Vol. I.



SER M. apprehension that if he recovers he shall XIX.

disgrace himself by not adhering to it, since he cannot but know how deeply he is interested in it; and perhaps the having openly declared his intentious, may be one means of keeping him to them in case of his recovery

They who are able may say much more than what I have recommended, but all may say this; all may say, how much pleasure the recollection of their good actions gives thein, and how much concern and terror the remembrance of their vices ; all may recommend the former, and earnestly conjure those who are around them to avoid the latter. The good may thus confirm the virtuous impression which their lives have made on their friends, by this counsel at their deaths ; and the wicked may in some measure (at least it is all which they can do) weaken the bad effects of the past vicious example which


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