Imatges de pàgina

owe to him. Our misfortune is, that we too readily give up all our thoughts and affections to the creature, instead of the Creator; and this soon leads us into great sin: God therefore prepares for us a course of events, through which he by degrees takes from us the objects of our excessive, and, therefore, sinful affections; and thus (unless we wilfully resist Him) he recals us to himself. This operation is painful to us, and causes great anguish; but God sees it necessary to our eternal salvation. Do you accuse the surgeon of cruelty, who (when your flesh is corrupted) must, of necessity, cut to the bone, in order to save your limb ?- No; for you are sure that in like manner he would treat his only son.

2. Our gracious God never afflicts us but for our good. He has no pleasure in the miseries of his children, but he pierces to the bottom of our hearts, that he may heal the ulcer which is there.


When deprived of what we value, we weep under his hand, as a child does after some hurtful instrument which, in kindness, is removed from its reach.What we think we have lost, God has placed in safety for us, where it can do us no harm; and he will restore it to us, for ever, if we make ourselves worthy of it.

3. You know that no event can take place, no trial or affliction can come upon you, unknown to God; why will you not, then, confide in him ? He has numbered the very hairs of your head; he has counted the sands of the sea, and not one of them can be lost without his knowledge. Our Saviour says, that a sparrow cannot fall without his Providence-how much more shall he save you,


of little faith! What to your narrow view appears of such magnitude, is nothing in the sight of God; a little more or less of this life to his creatures,

are differences of no account in respect of eternity.--Eternity! O wonderful and sublime idea! compared with it, what is this life; and what matters it whether this body of mine, this poor frail dust, this vase of clay, be broken a little sooner or later?

4. Oh, how short and deceitful are the views of man! You lament the untimely fate of those who are called away in the flower of their years, or in the height of their prosperity ; but for what do you lament?-God has taken the favoured one from a corrupt world, from the midst of iniquity, and from the temptations of the devil: What, then, has he lost? On the contrary, is not the change to him his exceeding gain ? But you will say, the bitter loss is mine: yet, examine it a little; you have lost the poison of worldly felicity, the cause, perhaps, of that forgetfulness of God, into which you were falling. Confess, then, the mercy of God,

in that stroke which has taken him from the evil to come; and is preparing you, through it, to work out your own salvation. O how truly is God our tender and merciful Father, even when he

appears to crush and overwhelm us, till we are ready to rebel against him!-Oh, folly and delusion of mortality! Life passes away as a torrent rolls on its course. Already the past is to us as a dream; the present, even while we enjoy it, is sliding from us; days, months, years press on: Yet a few moments, and all in this world will (to us) be at an end. 'Alas! the time which we now account so long and so heavy, will appear to have been too short, if we have to look back on it unimproved.

Whatever, therefore, be your sorrow, how great soever your trial, submit yourself courageously and humbly to God; it is true, your sufferings may be severe, but God knows them to be so, and sees that they are good for you. The world, perhaps, has smiled upon you, and prosperity has hardened your heart. Would you continue until the awful moment of your death in a state of illusion, luxury, and pride, devoted to the vain joys of a world at enmity with Jesus? This world, for which we risk our eternal happiness, is inconstant and deceitful : How often do we find ourselves exclaiming against its baseness and ingratitude? yet we are not ashamed of our excessive attachment to its deluding pleasures, while we forsake our God, who would deliver us from its bondage. Will you not, then, perceive how much you are your own enemy, in resisting his calls ; in submitting yourself to the yoke of sin, and the dominion of the devil?--Oh, my God, who beholdest our misery, have mercy upon us, and heal us. Give us grace to look unto Thee, and unto thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Endue us with faith, and hope, and love, and Christian patience, that we may behold our blessed Saviour expiring on the Cross for our sins, and remember that he


« AnteriorContinua »