« ZurückWeiter »
chastity always expose him to the same undeserved sufferings; yet he will be forced to encounter a variety of other evils, equally perhaps distressing, and which will go as near his heart. He will see his fairest hopes, and his most flattering schemes of happiness, often baffled and disappointed. He will experience melancholy reverses in his fortunes; pains and diseases will macerate and afflict his body. He will feel the goading stings of envy; he will see the pointed finger of scorn; the chilliig horrors of neglect will pierce his inmost soul. He will be robbed of his ease and peace of mind by malice and ill-nature, and the perfidy or ingratitude of those among whom he dwells. He will successively lose the most valuable of his friends, and the dearest of his relations. He will drop the unavailing tear of sorrow over his children when' dead; or, what is infinitely worse, he will experience their ingratitude and disobedience when living, and have his grey Ivairs brought down with 'sorrow to the grave. Finally, lie will be harassed by ten thousand other melancholy accidents, which no human wisdom can foresee or prerent.
Yet, though all this will probably happen, lift up your heads, ye sons and daughters of affliction, if ye in earnest believe that your Redeemer livethi, and shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. The man who has no religion eanhave no hope: he has no future prospect in heaven to console his present misery on earth: for to him death shall never be swallowed up
in victory, nor mortal dust put on glorious immortality. But behold the day of your redemption draweth nigh, —that day when ye shall be delivered from all the troubles and follies of this vain life, and be rewarded with a happiness and satisfaction far superior to that which either Joseph or his father felt upon their being restored to each other. Ye shall be translated from this land of Egyptian darkness and slavery to your native country; ye shall come unto Mount Sion, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable
company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
Unto which happy state may God, of his infinite mercy bring us all, through Jesus Christ our Lord !
LUKE xxii. 42.
Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done,
the various distresses and troubles of human life, is one of the most difficult, and yet at the same time one of the most necessary, duties of our holy religion ; either, as it is the most convincing proof of our trust and confidence in God's goodness, or as it is the best foundation of that peace and tranquillity of mind, which is the true and only source of joy and happiness. And indeed in general we Vol. IV, R
find mankind ready enough to own, when not under the immediate pressure of any calamity; when they are surrounded with prosperity, and in no danger of a storm breaking upon them; that as the creatures and dependents of an all-wise and powerful Being, they are under an obligation to resign themselves to God's disposal; that, in whatever manner he pleases to regulate the affairs of this lower world, their duty is resignation to his will; as knowing that he ruleth over all, and that he can do what he pleases in the armies of heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth. But, God knows, this is too often only the language of the happy and fortunate. For, change the scene, and see the same persons under affliction, surrounded with a multitude of sorrows, smarting under pain, reduced to want and poverty, tenderly affected with he loss, or, what is more grievous, with the unkindness and treachery of friends ; then is the great trial of submission, then is the hard struggle betwixt duty and the sense of what they feel. And if a man under these circumstances, can maintain