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was never known to smile on earth. But we reckon it strange and quite unaccountable, if we may not smile perpetually. He wept, while we regard each tear we shed as a mystery. What bereavement have any of God's adopted children ever suffered, tlie sense of which was so keen as that under which the only-begotten Son cried out, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

We wonder that God does not hear every prayer we offer to him for every sort of thing, for health, for success in worldly matters, for exemption from bereavement, &c. never reflecting that if he did so, he would cease to be the governor of the world, except in name.

He would be but our agent. He would reign in subordination to us. We should rule all things by the sway of our prayers. And where would be the difference between being on the throne ourselves, and directing him who occupies it? Who would care to hold the reins of government, if he might by the expression of his desire control the being in whose hands they are? What a world this would soon become, if every prayer, every expres. sion of desire offered to God even by his own children, were answered according to the term of it! The voices of them in heaven who say, “ Alleluia : for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth," would be hushcd at once. O, shall God be infinitely wise and intelligent, and not employ his boundless wisdom and knowledge in managing the affairs of his creatures ? Shall his omniscience of all things in all periods exert no influence on his determinations ? Shall he, to gratify us, hear'a prayer which we would never offer if we saw what he sees, or what we ourselves may discover in the progress of a few short years? What strange beings we are to expect or desire such a thing!

Are we the only persons whose happiness is to be regarded by God in his dispensations? What if an event affect us with sorrow? The same event may affect others with joy, and God may be receiving their praises, while he hears our complaints. Are we alone to be considered, and not they? We grieve, perhaps, because one


dear to us has been taken from carth to heaven. We prayed importunately that it might be otherwise, but we were not heard. We know not what to make of it, and are on the point of murmuring. But was not thy friend's happiness to be taken into the account, as well as thine ? Is the event so very mournful a one in the aspect of it which he contemplates ? Does he grieve that he has made the exchange? If thy loss were equivalent to his gain, it would be unkind to complain of the dispensation. But what is the loss to thee in comparison with the gain to him ? Is not thy friend satisfied with what God has done? And shall you indulge discontent ? If you cannot but grieve, yet you should be willing to shed many tears for the sake of having all his wiped away. Can a soul too soon cease from

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sin and sorrow? Can heaven be entered prematurely? Do you not read, and believe that it is better, far better, to depart and be with Christ?

How very inconsistent we are! If God, wearied with our discontent and complainings, should say,

Well, since you desire it, be it according to you mind,” is there one Christian who would not instantly respond, “ Nay, rather be it according to thine ?" Who would exercise the fearful privilege of ordering a single event which is to affect him ? And shall we contend for a privilege which we would not exercise if we had it? Shall we claim to choose in a case in which, if the right of choice were given us, we should immediately give it back into the hands of God?

34. Should it be according to thy Mind 3

This question Elihu asked of Job. Things were not according to the mind of Job; and he complained,

; and was unhappy that they were not. He wanted them to be according to his mind. Perhaps it is so with you. But should it be according to thy mind, when there is another mind in the universe which is exercised and employed about the affairs of mortals: and that mind infinite, while yours is finiteinfallible, while yours is liable to a thousand errors and mistakes, in which you have often been detected even by yourself-possessed of all knowledge too, while you "are of yesterday, and know nothing ?" Should it not be rather according to his mind ? Should the inferior mind dispose and direct things!

If there were but one such mind the demand would not be quite so unreasonable. But should it be according to thy mind, when upon the same principle it should be according to the mind of others, your fel. low-creatures, as wise and good as you, as much entitled and as well qualified to govern as you, whose minds nevertheless are in opposition to yours, so that it could not be according to theirs and yours also ? Many of your views and wishes are at war with theirs. The gratification of your

desires would often be incompatible with the gratification of theirs. Now should one creature rule all other creatures, and the creator too? Is it not better to let the


mind direct for all ? when, moreover, this creature, who would rule all others, does not and cannot rule his own spirit ? Methinks he who aspires to command and control others, should begin with commanding and controling himself.

But what still more unfits him to order things, is that his mind not only is at variance with other minds, but does not agree with itself. Sometimes it inclines to one thing, and again it inclines to the opposite Nothing, not even the inconstant wind, is


so changeable as this mind, which would have things to be according to it. Should such a changeable mind rule, rather than he who is “ in one mind," and whom none can turn—"the Father of ligtits, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning ?

But not only does this mind disagree with itself at different times, but often at the very same moment it is at war with itself; forming plans and cherishing inclinations which are opposite to each other; so that it could not accomplish one of its purposes without defeating another; and could not gratify itself in one respect without denying itself in another. Should it be according to a mind, according to which it could not be? We often have a mind to an end, when we have no mind to the means necessary to secure that end. Who has not a mind 10 be saved ? But many have no mind to the way of being saved. Self-gratification is the thing men plead for, which implies that they have no mind to self-denial; and yet, if they would be saved, they must deny themselves. In order to have things according to their mind hereafter, they must consent that they should not be according to their mind now. Things cannot be according to their mind in time and in eternity both. How merciful it is in God not to let things be to our mind in this present brief life !

Should it be according to thy mind, when thou dost not always know thy own mind? In such a


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