תמונות בעמוד

pose, (James v. 1.) “Go to noir, ye rich | tering a picture of the world into our men, weep and howl for your miseries that minds, or of expecting more from it than shall come upon you.

Your riches are it is able to bestow. Let us correct our corrupted, and your garments are moth- florid and gaudy expectations, and make eaten; your gold and silver is cankered, a sober estimate of its real amount. For and the rust of them shall be a witness this purpose go sometimes to the house of against you, and shall eat your flesh as it mourning, rather than to the house of feastwere fire.

Ye have heaped treasures to. ing. Behold there the untimely hand of gether for the last day.” Such is the pre- death, taking away the desire of the eyes sent wretchedness and the miserable por- with a stroke, blasting the most virtuous tion at last of an earthly mind. Whereas, joys of humanity, tearing asunder the dear

IV. An heart disengaged from this ex- est connections, demolishing the painted cessive love of the world, would not only tapestry, and hanging up in its place the prevent all this misery, but likewise, give solemn sable and escutcheon. us the true relish of life, and make death Such objects, viewed with seriousness itself easy and comfortable. Take away and attention, are far more profitable than earthly things from a worldly man, and the gilded scenes of mirth and gayety; they you take away his all; but the same things check that wantonness which is the growth withdrawn from an heavenly minded of case and prosperity, and lead us to re. Christian, do not annihilate his fund of flect that this world is not our home, but a happiness. When the streams of created foreign land, in which our vexations and comforts fail, he resorts to the fountain ; disappointments are designed to turn our when the creatures forsake him, he can re- view's towards that higher and better state joice in the Creator, and joy in the God which we are destined to inherit. of his salvation. The good things he pos- 2dly. Be very suspicious of a prospersesseth have a peculiar relish, which earth- ous state, and fear the world more when ly minds are incapable of feeling. He sees it smiles than when it frowns. It is diffithe bounty of God in every gift, and the cult to possess much of it, without loving faithfulness of his covenant in every com- (it to excess. The great enemy of our souls fort he enjoys. He, therefore, eats his is well aware of this, and therefore would bread with joy, and drinks his wine with give all his servants liberal portions in this a merry heart; and while he thus sits world, were it in his power. This was his cheerfully at the feast which Providence last effort in the train of temptations which has set before him, he fears not the intru- he addressed to our Lord in the wildersion of any unwelcome messenger to inter- ness, and when this failed he immediately rupt his peace. He is not afraid of evil departed from him. tidings, his heart is fixed, trusting in the There is not a more salutary maxim in Lord. Prepared for all the vicissitudes religious concerns, than always to suspect of life, adversity can take nothing from danger where we feel much delight. If him, which, in the discipline of his own our situation be such as entirely pleases mind, he has not resigned already. Nay, our natural desires, it is high time to look death itself, that presentiment so dreadful well to the soul, and to set a strict guard to the worldly mind, is to him, in a great on our heart, lest, by these pleasing enjoy. measure, divested of its terrors : For he ments, they should be betrayed and alienknows, " that if this earthly house of his ated from God, who alone has a right to tabernacle were dissolved, he has a build-them. ing of God, an house not made with hands, 3dly. Make a wise improvement of the eternal in the heavens."

afflictions with which you may at any time Having thus endeavored to enforce the be visited. Beware of repining under them, exhortation in the text, it only remains or thinking them greater evils than they that I offer a few directions for the help really are; but rather believe that they are of those who are desirous to have their af- graciously sent for the benefit of your fections weaned from the world, that they souls, to mortify your inordinate affections may rise upwards to spiritual things. to the present world. " Whom the Lord

ist. Let us beware of receiving too flat- I loveth he chasteneth.”-Nay, the season




A more

able visitation of temporal calamities, is final state shall be allotted according to his included in the tenor of that everlasting present behavior ? Must not the fore. covenant, which is well ordered in all sight of this awful trial disengage his mind things and sure. Does the world then from the world, and cure his anxiety about frown on you? Are you afflicted with earthly things, by producing in him an poverty, sickness, pain, and reproach ? anxiety about matters of infinitely greater Do relations grieve you? Do friends consequence? “Let your moderation be prove unfaithful ? or are you bereaved of known unto all men," saith the apostle; them by death ? Neglect not so fair an

AT HAND." opportunity of instruction, when you have powerful argument could not be used. experience itself to disgrace the preten. An habitual impression of this awful truth, sions of the world, and your very flesh is that the Lord is at hand, that he standeth made to feel that it is both vain and vexa. before the door, would effectually cure our tious. Remember that God has sent these feverish desires after earthly things, and rough messengers to bring you home to awaken us to a deep concern about the in himself. Gratefully, then, comply with his terests of our precious and immortal souls. call, and choose him for your portion, leav. Finally, let us be wise in time, and give ing the world to those who have no better the supreme affections of our hearts to sources of satisfaction.

God, who alone is worthy of them; imAthly. Look forward to eternity, and ploring, for this purpose, the aid of his take a serious view of that world, wherein Holy Spirit, to enable us to comply with you must dwell for ever, after you have his own gracious expostulation, (Isa. lv. 2.) spent a few more days and nights in this." Wherefore do ye spend money for that Remember that heaven or hell must be which is not bread, and your labor for that your everlasting abode; and must it not which satisfieth not? hearken diligently be of the last importance to know which unto me, and eat ye that which is good, of these different states shall be your lot ? and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Can that man spend his time and strength Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, in the pursuit of trifles, who believes and and your souls shall live; and I will make who considers that he is hastening to ap with you an everlasting covenant, even the pear before God in judgment, when his sure mercies of David." Amen.













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