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resigning ourselves to God, of knowing him better, of obeying more perfectly his commandments, and of loving him above all things.
25. When worldly objects give us too much pleasure, let us pause and remember that the heart is not to be given to them :-“ My son, give God thine heart," is a precept which we have from God himself: and if we faithfully endeavour to prevent any object (how dear soever it may be to us) from usurping that power over our souls which should belong to God alone, we shall feel that
pure joy, that holy and celestial calm, which God never fails to bestow on the heart devoted to him. When we feel a passionate desire towards any thing, or action, (whatever it may be,) if only to speak a word, to approach a place, or to look upon an object, we should check ourselves, and examine our motive; and however innocent or trifling the action may appear, yet we should consider it well before we surrender our will, and endeavour to calm that too eager and tumultuous wish, which, if indulged on trivial occasions, will acquire power to lead us astray in matters of greater consequence. And remember, that the divine grace and holy spirit of God will never dwell with unrestrained and unsubdued passions.
26. The true sense of these words of our blessed Saviour, Whosoever will be my
is disciple, let him deny himself, and take up
his cross and follow me,” is this, that we renounce our own will, and give it up entirely to Christ; not making a path of our own to walk in, but following Christ implicitly wherever he has vouchsafed to lead the
US, therefore, beseech the God of mercies, the Father of consolation, that he will incline our hearts to his love, and bow our wills to his service; and that, when our weak and frail nature revolts against him, he will not turn away from us, but vouchsafe to us the grace and assistance of his holy Spirit; that the sense of our past errors may humble us in our own eyes, without discouraging us in the performance of our duty.
27. Let us, therefore, humbly lean upon
, our God; let us turn to him for support. Aided by him, we need not fear our own weakness. This is the only way, by which we can endure the humiliating sense of our corrupt nature. We shall not then despair, at the view of our continual errors; we shall sorrow for them; but we shall learn to give glory to God, for the assistance which he offers to us, and acknowledge that, without it, we are helpless and miserable. We must, therefore, pray to God, to take from our hearts all presumptuous confidence in ourselves, on one hand, and all desponding and enervating fear of him on the other. Let us beseech him to strengthen us with the grace of his holy Spirit, that we may be able to comprehend the christian mystery; let us beseech him, that being of the communion of saints, we may follow their holy example on earth, and that, when we die, we may be admitted to their blessed fellowship in heaven.
THOUGHTS ON THE GOODNESS OF GOD;
HIS PROVIDENCE AND JUSTICE IN
THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS WORLD;
AND THE TRUST AND
WHICH HE HAS A RIGHT TO REQUIRE
1. MANKIND often accuse Providence, and question the Wisdom, as well as the Justice of God, in the government and regulation of the affairs of this world; and even good men are grieved, and know not what to say to those who thus murmur against their Creator, when they behold vice and immorality prosperous and triumphant, and virtue so often trampled upon and oppressed. The wicked almost tempt them to believe that God does not regard what passes in the world: but oh, ye righteous! hold fast your integrity, and be patient. Impiety may triumph for a