Imatges de pÓgina
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to salute his servants, and to cheer their labor by his presence and approving smiles; but lo, Providence has been preparing for him a more enlarged view, has enriched his field with a nobler portion than he had any apprehension of. Thy ways, my King and my God, thy ways are in the sea, and thy path in the deep waters, and thy judgments are unsearchable. The great God is working unseen, unnoticed. He is preparing his instruments at a distance, arranging his agents in the dark. Unseen to, unknown by one another, without concert or design, they came forth at the moment, they perform the part assigned them; they speak and act in perfect unison, they accomplish the purpose of the Eternal. Boaz and Ruth, behold th n together in the field, remote as penury and fulness, as obscurity and celebrity, as dependence and being depended up, on. Nevertheless they meet, and Heaven from above, crowns the hallowed union with her olive."

But might not the pious spirit annex a caution to his exhortation on this subject. "Beware of taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who taketh his name in vain. Holy and reverend is his name. Even in blessing it is to be used solemnly, piously, sparingly who then shall dare to employ it wantonly, needlessly, profanely, impiously, blasphemously? Who shall presume to abuse it, in swearing falsely by it, or in imprecating a curse under that dreadful sanction upon the head of his brother? Avert, merciful Heaven, avert from my guil ty, heavy-laden country, the heavy, the bitter curse which this sin deserves! O let not profane swearing, let not wilful deliberate perjury, prove its ruin!"

....Thus have I endeavored, by assuming several supposed characters, to give life and energy to the simple, rural scene under consideration. It furnishes copious matter of instruction to every teacher, and to every class of mankind. The careful, prudent man of the world; the moralist; the calm observer; the pi-.

ous instructor, are all here provided with useful topics of address to their several pupils, according to their se veral views. The master and the servant, the hireling and his employer, the rich and the poor, here meet together, and are together informed, by more than a code of laws, by plain but striking example, of their mutual relation and dependence, and of the duties which arise out of them, and of the comforts which flow from them. Happiness is here represented as built on the sure foundation of kind affections, of useful industry, of reciprocal good offices, and of the tear of the Lord. Where all these unite, that house must stand, that family must prosper. In proportion as all or any of them are wanting, a partial or total ruin must ensue. Let the apostolic injunctions serve practically to enforce the subject. "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening; knowing that your master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him," Ephes. vi. 5....9.

...." Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life," 1 Tim. vi. 17....19. "Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him," James ii. 5.....

"You yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, it is more blessed to give than to receive," Acts xx. 34, 35. "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth," Ephes. iv. 28.

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HISTORY OF RUTH.

LECTURE XII.

Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that come back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: and she said, I pray you let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens. Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? And when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn. Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me ail that thou hast done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come

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to trust. Then she said, let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine hand-maid, though I be not like unto one of thine hand-maidens. And Boaz said unto her, at meal time come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. And when she was rising up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not. And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, aud leave them that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned and it was about an ephah of barley....RUTH ii. 5....17.

TH

HE life of the husbandman is full of labor and anxiety, but is also sweetened and relieved by many peculiar delights. He must rise early, and often retire late to rest; he is exposed now to the scorching heat of the meridian sun, and now to the unwholsome damps of the night. He has to watch every aspect of the sky, and to guard against the strife of contending elements and after all bis vigilance and foresight, he has frequently the mortification to see the exertions, and the hopes of a whole year, destroyed in an hour. But on the other hand, the very variety which his profession admits of, deceives the toils of it; his life is constantly a life of hope; his health and prosperity flow from the same source; he spends not his strength for nought and in vain; the bountiful parent earth restores the precious seed cast into it with large increase, thirty, sixty, an hundred fold. He has the pleasure of observing the hourly progress of vegetation; of seeing his supplies coming immediately from the hand of Providence. Piety and profit are promoted by the same employments and pursuits, and the sublimest truths of

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