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we may observe, that the desponding victims of adversity are generally found among the rich and indolent ;-among those who, having no necessary employment,-nothing which they are compelled to do, are at leisure to cherish sorrow, and increase their own wretchedness.

Religion, therefore, making proper allowance for the weakness of our nature, even sanctifying the tear that springs from a feeling heart, by the example of the Saviour of the world himself, requires us “ not to sorrow as those that are without hope, for those who depart in the Lord,” but tells us that “virtue is made perfect by suffering.” She farther declares, that “they who sow in tears shall reap in joy,” and pronounces her blessing on “ those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

The uses which religion would make of adversity are numerous. She would at all times rouse us from the slothful despondency of grief, by teaching us to consider it as a warning from God, that “this is not our resting place;"—that we, and all that we can call ours, in this world, are changing, or fleeting away fast as the vaporous cloud before the wind ; that, after the short sleep of death, the immortal spirit shall wake in eternity;—and that our happiness there


will depend, through the mediation and atones! ment of Christ, on our constant exertion, ource vigilance, and continuance in well-doing" id while here.

: 1 }} els 18 god But lasting dejection of mind is not the only o! ill effect arising from adversity. It often pro- d duces a carelessness of reputation, and a total! disregard for the world, which may lead to the indulgence of every vicious and intemperate desire. « When once the mind, indeed, has lost its strength, or rather, when it passively resigns its powers, we need not wonder that the feeble il outworks of virtue should soon be demolished Those who no longer respect themselves, who are sick of the world, because they have noti suffered religion to impress them with a proper sense of its value, are not likely to be restrained, in the weak and languid hour of adversity, from:) gratifying any appetite, however sordid, thati might crave for indulgence, and promise com-15 fort. Hence it sometimes happens, that those i who, at a former period of life, were frugal, s chåste, and temperate, guarded also from every: irregular appetite and passion by a modesty, and delicacy peculiar to their sex and character, have fallen victims to the grosser vices of sensuality and intemperance. While others, in

the lower classes of society, exposed to the or same temptations, and caught in the same snares, instead of endeavouring, by cheerful labor and diligent perseverance, to repair the » losses which a short season of Adversity might have produced, lapse into all the disorders of all: lazy and profligate life; and, at length, sum up! their other vices, perhaps, by adding those of 1, public robbery, or private fraud.

But, in this world of good and evil, where one misfortune, or calamity, proceeds simply from

any extraordinary visitation of divine Proti vidence, many are immediately connected with our own vices and follies, or spring from those I of others. When this is the case, instead ofia learning the true lesson of wisdom from Ada versity, we fall into temptation and a share; (to use the language of the apostle) and, instead of enlarging and humanising the mind, it sours, and contracts it. We seldom apply such events : to the religious discipline of our own hearts, or :) ask whether there was no imprudence, no just provocation, no perverse error, and no foolish confidence, or credulity, on our part; but brood i over the disappointments, and vexations that is befal us, with a surly spirit of melancholy," i and grow dissatisfied with our present state, se


without qualifying ourselves for a better. Whereas the virtuous man and the Christian, if he meet adversity in this form, suffers it patiently. In the meekness of humility, he will generally attribute something to his own expectations, that ran too high, or to his want of knowledge, prudence, and circumspection. After all, he seeketh not the praise, or the reward of men, but the perfection of his nature, and the favor of God. If he grieves, therefore, for some instances of ingratitude, unkindness, treachery, or malevolence, he looks around him, and views the grateful, the affectionate, and faithful friend with24

pleasure. Thus he continues his labors of love, assured that in due time he shall “reap if he faint not." While the man of the world, who neither watches nor prays against the snares of Adversity, nor sees the uses for which it often is mercifully sent, becomes fretful, suspicious, and morose. ---Selfishness and misery are scattered around him ;--the odious vices of misanthropy fasten on his mind, and he shrinks, as it were, into his own contracted heart, that feels not for others, and yet corrodes itself. Like a true miser in sorrows, he treasures up the memory of misfortunes, but forgets the enjoyment of blessings; and would extend his little narrow experience to the great body of his fellow creatures. Because he has suffered from the vices of a few, there is no such thing as virtue ; and because gratitude, in some instances, has not returned her debt with interest, friendship and affection are banished from the world.

These are among the common evils incident to men; by which they would poison the ingenuous minds of youth with suspicion, weary out the patience of the aged with fruitless accusations, or complaints, and journey on to the grave themselves, with unavailing regret at miseries, which they make no effort to relieve, and at vices, which their own example rather tends to encourage than correct.

Equally lamentable are the effects of Adversity, when it arises from our own faults, or from the want of that vigilance and caution, which the Gospel of Christ inculcates. Instead of regarding it as the needful chastisement of Heaven in this life; or adverting to the inseparable connection of guilt and misery, as cause and effect, we are apt to think ourselves peculiarly unfortunate, and the world uncharitable and severe. Even the professed libertine, the prodigal, the gambler, the drunkard, and the


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