Imatges de pÓgina
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now received its brightest ornament, my family its fir mest support, my estate its most prudent and faithful. dispenser. I have done my duty. I have respected the majesty of the law. I have followed where Providence led the way, and I have my reward, in the peace of my own mind, in the possession of a wise and good woman, in the blessing of that God who has done all things for me, and who does all things wisely. and well."

Behold a match formed immediately by the band of Providence, through the happy concurrence of little incidental circumstances; a match built, not on the brittle foundation of sordid interest, but on the solid basis of mutual affection, of generosity, of wisdom, of religion; a match pregnant with what consequences to Bethlehem-Judah, to all Israel, to the human race!

From this advantage of ground, how pleasant it is to trace the sweetly meandering course of the river of prophecy and promise united, toward the vast, the immeasurable ocean of accomplishment. Now the tribe of Judah is rising into consequence, now the royal sceptre is ready to be put into his hand, never to depart thence " till Shiloh come, of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end; to whom the gathering of the people shall be." Now the star of Jacob begins to appear. Now the "tender plant" begins to rear its head, and the " root out of the dry ground to spring up; it buds and blossoms as the rose, and its smell is as the smell of Lebanon.

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But what eye can discover, what created spirit take in the whole extent of "God's purpose and grace given in Christ Jesus before the world began," and termi nating in the final and everlasting redemption of a lost world, through faith in his blood? The veil of eternityis drawn over it; "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," 1 Cor. ii. 9. Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

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Disdain to envy any one, at least until thou hast thoroughly examined into the estate of him whom thou art disposed to envy.

He is destitute of the happiest preparation for the relish and enjoyment of prosperity, who has not arrived at it through the path of adversity. To receive with thankfulness, to enjoy with moderation, to resign with cheerfulness, to endure with patience, is the highest pitch of human virtue. W

Men are often fulfilling a plan of Providence, without intending, or even being conscious of it. They are acting a double part at the same instant; the one private and personal, local and transitory, the other public, comprehensive and permanent: they may be building up at once a private family, and the church of God, carrying on and maintaining the succession to an inheritance, to a throne, and ministering to the extension and progress of a kingdom which shall never be moved or shaken.

In the kingdom of nature, there is high and low, mountain and valley, sameness with diversity in the kingdom of Providence, there is difference of rank and station, of talent and accomplishment, of fortune and success, but a mutual and necessary connexion and dependence. In the kingdom of grace, there is diversity of gifts and offices, but the same Spirit; and so in the kingdom of glory, different degrees of lustre, as stars differ one from another, but one universal glory, of which all the redeemed are together partakers, all being kings and priests unto God. Throughout the whole, there is a gradation which at once pleases and confounds, that depresses and exalts, that inspires contentment and teaches to aspire, that now attracts to the pure fountain of uncreated light, and now repels the bold inquirer to his native darkness and distance again.

Is it pleasant to survey from the exceeding high mountain, where the christian tabernacle is pitched, the course of that river whose streams make glad the city of our God? What will it be, from the summit of yonder eternal bills, to contemplate the whole extent of Emanuel's land," watered with the pure river of water of life;" to mingle with the nations of them that are saved, as they expatiate through the blissful groves, planted with the tree of lite: to converse with the distinguished personages who shine on this hallowed page, and

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HISTORY OF RUTH.

LECTURE XIV.

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age. For thy daughter-in-law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became it nurse unto it. And the women her neighbors gave a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi, and they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse the father of David....RUTH iv. 13...17.

THERE is an obvious resemblance between the general plan of the divine providence, and the separate and detached parts of it. The life of almost every good man exhibits virtue for a season struggling with difficulty, overwhelmed with distress, but emergfug, rising, triumphing at length. Through much tribulation the christian must enter into the kingdom of God, and on his way be often in heaviness through manifold temptations. It is the wise ordinance of infinite goodness. Opposition rouses, calls forth the latent powers of the soul; success is heightened by the danger to which we are exposed, by the trouble which it

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