Imatges de pàgina


foct view may be of God's dealing with us, we shall find rest unto our souls, until it please God to dissolve our earthly tabernacle. We know, that their we shall have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the hea

Let us, therefore, follow continually that guiding star, which beams upon our darkened way. Let us, with a willing and steady mind, embrace the occasions which each day may offer us of advans cing towards our heavenly country, where we shall find our everlasting home. This is our daily bread, our manna in the wil. derness of life: with this let us be content. If we presumptuously seek to look into futurity, our endeavours will be like the forbidden provision of the Israelites, Not only superfluous, but noxious to ourselves.

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7.6. It is the dependance of a child upon its parent, which God requires from us. He is our heavenly Fathery (and he dispenses to us our trials, as a parent appoints a task to his children. He does not overwhelm us with too much burden at once: He waits till we have finished one, before he lays another upon us. When God loves us, he does not leave our souls long in the temptation of prosperity; when we have passed through one trial, we are called to another; but his infinite mercy conceals from us the approaching blow, till we have regained strength to support it: And in thus receiving our daily allotments from God, we find continual reason for reproving our own sinful hearts; God then discovers to us our iniquities, which the mist of our self-love concealed. Occasion calls them forth, and we are filled with horror at perceiving them. We have, each of us, in the bottom of our hearts, a sink of infirmity and sin, which we cannot bear to own even to ourselves; we hate to cast our eyes inwards, upon what must give us 'so much mortification, yet there it lies; and if we refuse to look into our hearts, when God (by various means) calls upon us to do so, he then withdraws from us his


of which we are become unworthy; and by leaving us to continual prosperity, he abandons our souls to a state of blindness and security, which leads us to forget him entirely, until that awful hour overtakes us, in which we must appear before his Almighty throne, to give in our final account. How shall we, then, endure his anger? Will the prosperity, and worldly enjoyments of our past lives, then avail us; or will they afford us even a drop of water, when, with Dives, we are tormented in that flame, where the worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched ?

7. It is our duty to accept whatever God thinks fit to send us, notwithstand-, ing our natural repugnance to it; we must receive it as coming from him, for

an exercise of our faith, and a test of our allegiance to our heavenly King. If it pleases him to spare us any great and severe trials, it is well for us; and we need not torment ourselves with fearing that God is therefore the less watchful over us; or with imagining how we should have acted under them.

When we are exempt from worldly sorrows and afflictions, let us humbly and gratefully offer up our thanks to God; and when they come upon us, let us patiently and submissively receive them, as becomes the disciples of Jesus Christ. This frame of mind, once established in us, will endure as long as we live, because it will be constantly nourished by the divine grace, provided we do not lose it by attachments to sinful objects, or unlawful pur

suits. Di

God, indeed, often bestows great temporal blessings on wicked men, in order to, shew how little value, he places on them. To those whom he loves, he sends afflictions and trials, that they may be hallowed and sanctified under bis hand, and become more worthy of liis love. Happy are we, then, when God visits us with trials and temptations (whether from within or from without) in this vain world. They are the sure marks of his love and care for our souls; and if we bear them as becomes his children, he will preserve us to everlasting life.

8. We are but too apt to accuse Providence when any great affliction falls upon us; we rebel against the will of heaven; forgetting that, by temporal calamities; God recals us to himself. We should, then, pray to Hiin, not to deliver us from our sufferings'; 'but (since it is his will that we should suffer) that he would be pleased to-sanctify our afflictions to us, and give us patience and strength under them. When the deep wounds of our

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