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that we recommend you to cherish everlasting apprehension and gloom. Much of our happiness lies in freedom from suspicion and anxiety. To live with a troubled and desponding mind is as bad as any thing we can actually suffer. Imaginary grief is frequently worse than real. It is displeasing to God when we sour the mercies he gives us to enjoy by distrust. We may avoid solicitude, and not be guilty of the worldly confidence which we have condemned. But it does require you,
First, To be moderate in your attachments, and sober in your expectations. The way to escape disappointment, is to keep your hopes humble, and to cultivate such a disposition as David expressed when he said, “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes “ lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, « or in things too high for me. Surely I have be“ haved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned “ of his mother : my soul is even as a weaned child.” The admonition of the wise man is not designed to embitter the comforts of life, but to remind us of its unavoidable calamities, and to keep us from being surprised and disconcerted when they arrive ; “If a “man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet “ let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall “ be many : all that cometh is vanity.” If, in spite of reason, and the uniform deposition of travellers, you will go forth, assured that in your journey the weather will be always fair, and the road always smooth, you must be left to the tuition of events. If you will enter the world expecting to find it a paradise, thorns and briars and scorpions and drought will
soon convince you that you are in a wilderness. This caution, my young Friends, peculiarly belongs to you. Your age is sanguine, . You are most liable to be deceived by appearances, because you have not found how seldom they accord with reality. Do not form too flattering a picture of human life. Believe the testimony of Scripture. Go sometimes to the house of mourning, rather than to the house of mirth. Listen to those who have gone before you. You only see a little narrow arm of the sea sheltered by the neighbouring hills; but some have sailed beyond the reach of your eye, and have seen storms and wrecks.
Secondly, It calls upon you to seek a better ground of confidence, and to make the Lord your trust. Creatures are broken reeds, but he is the Rock of Ages. They are broken cisterns, but he is the Fountain of Living Waters. “ Put not your trust in princes, nor “ in the son of man in whom there is no help. His “ breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth ; in " that very day his thoughts perish.” “Happy is he " that hath the God of Jacob for, his help, whose hope “ is in the Lord his God." Yes, there is something firm and certain. God will not. deceive us, cannot disappoint us. His power is almighty, his mercy endureth for ever, his word is faithfulness and truth. “ Therefore will I look unto the Lord, I will wait for “ the God of my salvation.” Having committed all my concerns into his hands, and knowing that he car. eth for me, I am careful for nothing. Persuaded that He who has the direction of every event will make all things to work together for my good, I feel a peace which passeth all understanding, and rejoice in the language of the Church, “God is our refuge and “strength, a very present help in trouble: therefore “ will we not fear though the earth be removed, and
though the mountains be carried into the midst of " the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be " troubled, and the mountains shake with the swelling « thereof." “There is a river, the streams whereof “ shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of " the tabernacles of the Most High.”
Thirdly, It calls upon you to seek after a preparation for all the changing scenes of life. It is better to depend upon constitution than atmosphere, and to be equal to any climate rather than confined to one." It is better to depend upon appetite than dainties ; delịcacies are not always to be procured, and what be; comes of you when they are wanting if you cannot live upon common food ? Divine Grace will preserve the balance of the soul in varying conditions ; it will secure you in prosperity, and sustain you in the day of adversity. This sanctified Daniel when a minister of state, and soothed him when in the den of lions. This enabled Paul to say, “I know both how to be “abased, and I know how to abound: every where " and in all things I am instructed both to be full and “ to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
Finally, It calls upon you to look beyond this vain and mutable world, to a state of solid and unchangea. ble happiness. Whatever advantages religion affords, by enabling us to endure and to improve the difficul. ties and troubles of life, it does not hinder us from feeling ourselves in circumstances of trial and imperfection. “ We are troubled on every side," if “ not “ distressed; we are perplexed,” if “not in despair ; “ persecuted,” if “ not forsaken; cast down,” if " not
destroyed.” To die is gain. Death ends our toil and our strife, and brings us to the rest that “remains “ for the people of God.” Then shadows will be ex. changed for substance. Then we shall embrace our enjoyments without fear of losing them. Then fare well care and disappointment. Our “
Our “ sun shall no “ more go down, nor” our moon withdraw her “ shining ; for God” is our “everlasting light, and “ the days of” our « mourning" are “ended."
S ER MON XXIII.
NEUTRALITY IN RELIGION EXPOSED.
MAT. vi. 24.
NO MAN CAN SERVE TIVO MASTERS : FOR BITHER HE WILL HATE THE
ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER ; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER, YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON.
THERE is something in the Scripture suited to every taste except a sinful one. The Bible indeed is so pure, so holy in its Author, its principles, and its design, that it is the easiest thing in the world to account for infidelity and error ; they are the natural opposition of men of corrupt minds. But with regard to others, every peculiar turn of mind may be indulged, and the same end may be secured by various
Some are fond of history; and here we lave narrations placing before us striking characters and occurrences. Some love a series of proof and a process of argumentation ; and here we have frequent specimens of close reasoning. Some take pleasure in imagery and comparisons ; and here we have a pleni. tude of parables and metaphors. And some are charm.