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May these prayers be answered. Shortly accomplish the number of thine elect, O God. "The "Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand "times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as "he hath promised you!"* Amen.

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DISCOURSE XXIII.

THE SEASON OF LABOR LIMITED.

PSALM civ. 23.

Man goeth forth unto his work, and his labor until the evening.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven; a time of labor and a time of repose; and it is no small happiness to ascertain the period when He, whose we are, and whom we are bound to obey, commands us to commence our work, or permits us to retire from toil and take our rest.

In the natural world, when the sun ariseth, and the beasts of darkness have laid themselves down in their dens," Man goeth forth to his work, and "his labor until the evening." In the world, moral and religious, there are events which have some

perceptible analogy to the rising of the sun; when we are called to our labors, and hear the voice of Divine goodness saying, “Go work in my vineyard, "arise, for thy light is come, and the glory of the "Lord is risen upon thee." Such as pay a prompt obedience to this injunction, shall, after having as the hireling, fulfilled their day, be kindly allowed to enter into rest,-that rest which remaineth for the people of God. And as he that laboreth, sleeps soundly and sweetly whether he eat little or much, those who give all diligence in the work of salvation, shall enjoy very much of the “rest and quiet"ness of assurance and peace" in this world, as preparatory to that repose which is uninterrupted and eternal.

True wisdom is evinced in being ever attentive to the calls of Divine Providence, which "waken "us morning by morning," and urge us to work while it is called to-day, for the night cometh when no man can work. None exemplified this disposition more than He, who, although as God, had ceased from his work, yet becoming man for our sakes, thus went forth in the "form of a servant" unto his laborious work, at which he continued incessantly employed, until the dark shades of that evening arrived when he was heard to say, "It is -"finished-I have finished the work which thou "gavest me to do."

While He is the blameless example placed before us, both for our encouragement and imitation, there is an immense number,-a cloud of witnesses with which we are encompassed-who now inherit the promises, and whose impressive language to each of us is, "Be not slothful, but followers of us."

Too long, alas! have many of us stood idle in the market-place-this spacious world where numbers are busily engaged, either in the pursuit of perishing property, or in that merchandise which, in its profitable results, shall establish the wisdom of his choice, who, although derided at the time, sold all that he had, to possess the pearl of great price.

If literally unemployed, or merely "busy idlers "in concerns of little moment and no worth," on this day shall you be deprived of the oft-repeated apology for indolence, "No man hath hired us," for now is the acceptable time when you are asked to work—are urged to hire yourselves to Him who gives large wages, and whose encouraging language is, "the laborer is worthy of his hire." Yes, my hearers, and such are the delights of his service, and such the liberality of his rewards, that this hour shall be the happiest of your lives, if we may now

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say of this and that man-he goeth forth to his work and his labor to the evening.

Our text represents, the life of man as a life of occupation, man goeth forth to work and labor; intimates, that each individual has his appropriate work-man goeth forth to his work and his labor; and finally, that the season of service is limited— until the evening.

I. The life of man, is in our text represented, as a life of occupation; the day referred to, may with propriety be considered as the period of our mortal existence-those twelve hours in which a man ought to work-and which are succeeded by the night, when no man can work.

1. Labor is of universal obligation, for such is the consequence of Adam's apostacy. The ground no longer yielding her strength, and offering supplies only to the industrious, man must labor, his mouth—his necessities-craving it of him.

Labor is likewise the result of the Divine appointment, for God has ordained that in the sweat of his brow, man should eat his bread. And the very constitution of civilized society, renders it personally disgraceful, and to others unsafe, for any to

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