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casting all your care on him," and then follows no flourish of rhetoric, no parade of reasons, but this

- how happily selected, I would say, but that he wrote by inspiration, which does every thing felicitously—"for he careth for you." Why should you care for yourself, since God cares for you ? Ah, here is a topic not for the meditation of an hour merely, but of an eternity. He careth for you. Can it be? O why should he? What a thought to carry through this vale of tears, and to go down with into the deeper valley of death, that God cares for me! He concerns himself about me. Let the scholar look at the original. The English is good enough, but the Greek is still more interesting. God has me on his heart. Some poor saints think nobody cares for them. But God does. Is not that enough? He that regards the cry of the raven, and gives all the fowls of heaven their food, and decks the lilies of the field, doth much more care for you. He concerns himself for his creatures, will he not much more for his children? Are ye not of much more value, whom no less a price could redeem than the blood of his Son ? Let this suffice for you.

I know not any thing that goes so soon and surely to my heart, as the sight of a poor sobbing, or sorrowfully looking child, an orphan, or worse than parentless, whom no one seems to care for. But if I weep at such a sight, it dries up my tears to think that there is, after all, one who cares for the poor

child, even he who said, “Suffer little children to come unto me.” O come, let us cast our care on God. Let us go to Jesus for rest. In him'we shall find sympathy such as man can feel, with support such as only God can afford. There we shall meet with such pity as at first weeps with the sufferer, and then wipes away his tears. Surely he who bare our sins will not refuse our cares. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows."

39. Do you enjoy Religion 3

I do not ask you if you possess religion, but do you enjoy it? Does it make you happy? The question is not whether being, as you hope, a religious person, you are also happy; but is it your religion which makes you happy? Are you happy, because religious ? A person may acknowledge God, and have joy, and yet not " joy in God.” Perhaps you will say it helps to make you happy—that is, religion and certain other things together make you happy. But this answer is not satisfactory. Religion must more than help to make you happy. If it only helps, it does no more than many

other things. They help. In that case religion might be needful to happiness, even as money is reckoned by many to be; but it could not be pronounced to be the one thing needful. Religion ought to make you happy without the aid of any thing else. You should enjoy it, though you had nothing else to enjoy. Habakkuk says, “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” He regarded religion as able alone to make him happy. And are we not commanded to be happy in religion alone—40 " rejoice in the Lord," and that “evermore ?" Should we be commanded to be happy in it, if it, needed some assistance to make us happy?

Religion is both exactly adapted and entirely adequate to make its subjects happy. It supplies the soul with a portion; and what does the soul want to make it happy but a suitable and sufficient portion? This the religious man has. THE LORD is his portion. Is not that a portion to make him happy? Is it not good enough, and large enough? If the world can make one happy, as some suppose, cannot much more the Maker of all worlds, and the owner of the universe ? This portion is infinite, so that it can never be exhausted; and it is eternal, so that it can never fail. And while religion gives

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us a portion, what a protector, what a provider, what a comforter it affords us! The best of fathers, and the friend that is more constant than a brother! Then, what present good it yields, and what promises it makes of greater good to come! What a prospect it holds out! O what hopes it inspires ! The Christian has all these to rejoice in—Christ Jesus, the "exceeding great and precious promises," the first fruits of the Spirit, and the hope of glory. Can any one say what is wanting in religion to make one happy?

Religion has made many happy. Peter, in his first general epistle, within the compass of only three verses, speaks of Christians as not only rejoicing, but rejoicing a greatly,” yea, “ with joy unspeakable and full of glory." He speaks of it not as a duty, or as a privilege, but as a fact. They did so. And what they so rejoiced in was Jesus Christ, and the prospect of the incorruptible inheritance, both which Christians have the same warrant to rejoice in now. Now, if religion made these happy, why should it not make others happy? Why should one enjoy it, and another not enjoy it, if both possess it? It was intended to make all its subjects happy-very happy.

I ask then, does it make you happy? Do you enjoy religion ? Now, do not evade the question. What is to become of us, if religion does not make us happy? If we do not enjoy it here, how shall we enjoy it hereafter ? Barely to possess it hereafter would not satisfy, even if such a thing could be. How can a religion which does not make us happy on earth, make us happy in heaven? The religion of heaven is the same in kind with that of earth. The only difference is in degree. The religion of earth is communicated from heaven. It must be of the same nature with it.

Besides, if our religion does not make us happy, how do we do our duty ? We are commanded to rejoice. It is a part of practical Christianity to be happy. It is obedience to a precept. It belongs to the character of the doer of the word. Moreover, how are we to have satisfactory evidence that we possess true religion, if we have not joy in it? Suppose we had not love, would we be Christians then ? No, certainly; for without charity a man is nothing. But why can we not be Christians without love? Because it is the fruit of the Spirit. And is not joy also the fruit of the Spirit? If love is the first named of the nine, joy is the second. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, &c.” Gal. 5:22, 23. And these are not said to be the fruits of the Spirit. It is not the plural form that is used. They are not distinct produc tions. They are all one cluster—"the fruit of the Spirit.” Now, since we have not love, we conclude we have not the Spirit; why should we not conclude the same if we have not joy? I know it may be said that there are many things to interfere with Christian joy. But while these may and do dimi

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