תמונות בעמוד

inipossible), but all serious solicitude concerning your future and eternal destiny? «Are there any delights that this world has to offer that can compensate for the loss of heaven? Some of you have perhaps run your career of power, of pleasure, of gaiety, of luxury, of glory, and of fame, and can tell the true amount, the real value of these enjoyments. Suy then honestly, whether any one of them has answered your expectations: whether they have left your minds perfectly content and satisfied; whether they have proved số solid, so durable, so perfect, as to be wörth purchasing at the expence of eternal happiness? I will venture to abide by your answer. Trust then to your own experience, and be no longer the dupes of illusions which have so long misled you. And if you have any feeling, any pity for the young, the thoughtless, and the inexperienced, let them profit by the instructions, the salutary lessons you are so well qualified to give them; let your warning voice restrain them from rushing headlong into those errors, into which you have sperhaps been unfortunately betrayed." sh.01-2001 ALAO .


3 an

Tell them (for you know it to be true), that whatever flattering prospects the world may present to their ardent imaginations at their first entrance into life, there is no solid ground for permanent comfort and content of mind, but a conscientious discharge of their duty to God and man, an anxious endeavour to recommend themselves to the favour of the Almighty, and a hope of pardon and acceptance through the merits of their Redeemer. These alone can smooth the path of life and the bed of death ; these alone. can bring a man peace at the last. 1.11.383447X8

Reflections such as these must, in all times, and under all circumstances, operate most powerfully on every considerate mind; but they receive ten-fold weight from the peciuliar complexion of the present period, and the awful situation into which, by the dispensations of Providence, we are now casti. Never since the world began were such tremendous proofs held up to the observation of mankind, of the slender and precarious tenure on which we hold every thing that we deem mostovaluable in the present life, as have been of late presented to our view. Look around you for a


moment; consider what has been passing on the continent of Europe for the last ten years, and then say what is there left for you in this world worthy of your attention, on the possession of which, for any length of time, you can with any degree of security rely? You must have been very inattentive observers indeed, not to have perceived that all the great objects of human wishes, rank, power, honour, dignity, fame, riches, pleasures, gaieties, all the pomp, and pride, and splendour, and luxury of life, may, when you least think of it, contrary to all expectation and all probability, be swept away from you in one, moment, and you yourselves thrown as it were a miserable wreck on some desert shore, not only without the elegancies and the comforts, but even without the common necessaries of life. That this is no imaginary representation you all know too well; you see too many melancholy proofs of it in those unfortunate exiles, who have taken refuge in this country; many of whom have experienced, in the utmost extent, the very calamities I have been here describing; and who, but a few years ago, had as little reason to w siell i Lin. 1.A A 3 ... expect

[ocr errors]

expect such a dreadful reverse of fortune as any one who now hears me lira va bucu

It is true, indeed, that hitherto we have been most wonderfully preserved by a kind Providence from those miseries that have des solated the rest of Europe, and have mains tained a noble, though a bitter conflict, during many years - for our religion, our liberty, our independence, our unrivalled constitution, and every thing that is dear and valuable to man. But it must at the same time be admitted, that we are still in a most critical and doubts ful situation, and that our 'final success must principally depend on that to which we have a thousand times, owed our preservation, the favour and protection of heaven.n l --The rapid, the astonishing, the unexampled vicissitudes, which have repeatedly taken place during the whole of this arduous contest, most clearly shew, that there is something in it more than common, something out of the ordinary çourse of human affairs, something which baffles all conjecture and all calculation, and which all the wisdom of man cannot compre hend or controll. What then is this some



<thing, what is this secret and invisible agent which so evidently overrules every important event in the present convulsed state of the world, and so frequently confounds the best -concerted projects and designs? Is it fate, is siti necessity, is it chance, is iti fortune? These, alast we all knov, are mere names, are Mere unmeaning words, by which we express tour, total ignorance of the true cause. That cause can be nothing else than the hand of that omnipotent Being, who first created and still preserves the universe; who is "the governor among the nations, and ruleth'unto the ends of the earth.” To make him then our friend is of the very last importance; and it highly behoves us to consider, whether we have hitherto taken the right way to niake him so. The answer to this question is, I fear, to be found in the unfavourable aspect of affairs abroad, and the severe distresses arising from unpropitious seasons at home, which too plainly shew that the hand of the Almighty is upon us, that we are a sinful people, and He an offended God*...

the year 1801.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* This Lecture was given in the Spring

« הקודםהמשך »