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bravest of the sons of men. Wisely, therefore, said the Prophet,. "Cease ye from man, whose "breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he "to be accounted of? Put not your trust in princes, nor nor in any child of man, for there is << no help in them; for, when the breath of man "goeth forth, he shall turn again to the earth, "and then all his thoughts perish :" all his. wealth and pomp, his designs and contrivances perish with him, and he has no more a portion in any thing that is done under the sun. then can he help others, who is no longer capable of helping himself? Or how shall he not deceive our expectations and confidence, when he is so miserably and so often deceived in his own?

How

Such then, and so frail, is the confidence we place in man! Let us see, therefore, whether it will not be better to trust in the Lord, who is such an inexhaustible fountain of power and goodness, that he can never fail or deceive us. Let us reflect on the excellence of all his attributes, and consider whether these do not render him the best and only fit object of full trust and assurance in all the dangers of this tempestuous ocean of life.

The love of man is partial and narrow, confined within the narrow circle of his own friends

and

and companions, or cramped by the baser fetters of interest or advantage: but the love of God is unconfined and universal: his tender mercies are over all his works, and, like the beams of the sun, scatter bounty and blessings over the whole creation. The love of man is inconstant and uncertain; may be alienated by needless jealousies, or lost by false suspicions: but God is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever: in him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning his affections cannot change, unless we drive them from us by our own obstinacy and sinfulness; and even then he does not entirely cast away his love from us, but endeavours by all gentle and endearing marks of kindness, to reclaim and reform us. And if we return to him with humble and truly penitent hearts, he willingly blots out our past transgressions, and the arms of his mercy are ever open to receive us, though, like the prodigal in the Gospel, we have squandered our portion with riotous living. If God then hath thus loved the world in all ages, we can have no doubt, but that he will ever be ready to promote our happiness, and to comfort and support those who flee to him for succour. And this also he is the better able to do from the superiority of his wisdom and knowledge.

The

The children of men are ever lost in mazes, and perplexed with errors: the clouds and darkness of ignorance ever rest upon their best designs so that they can neither clearly discern the dangers of life, nor certainly point out the means of redressing them. But God, who is light, distinctly beholdeth all things past, present, and to come, and by him all things are foreseen, determined, and conducted to their respective ends and purposes. We form not the

most secret wish in our hearts but he knoweth it altogether; we fall not into the most hidden danger, but it is present to his all-seeing eye. There is not the least circumstance, that may be improved to our advantage, can escape his notice. So that, in all conditions, we may rest assured, that as he perfectly knoweth our wants, so also his wisdom will direct him to the most proper and effectual means for our comfort and support. For, to use the expressive words of in- spiration, "he is a God of knowledge, and by "him actions are weighed."

Again: The power of men is limited and of small extent, so that they cannot always afford the help and assistance they are willing to do. But as for our God, he is in heaven, he hath done whatsoever pleased him. His almighty arm is not stopped by any resistance, disabled by any casualties,

VOL. II.

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casualties, or straitened by any time. That voice, which first raised man from the dust, can also raise him from the brink of destruction, can support him under all his afflictions, and guard him from all evil. Well, therefore, said the Prophet, "trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the "Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. Fear "thou not, for I am with thee, be not dis"mayed, for I am thy God."

Another strong consideration to engage us to trust in God, is his eternity.

We want no proof that the life of man is short. The graves of our friends, and the mouldering monuments of mortality, which are spread around us in this sacred place, too strongly proclaim this solemn truth. Whilst we have these before us, we cannot but be sensible of the justice of those various comparisons, which are used in scrrpture to remind us of the shortness of our existence that our days are a span long; that we flee like a shadow and continue not; that we wither like grass, and fade as a flower of the field.

But life is one of God's unchangeable prerogatives; which all other beings derive from him, and hold only during his pleasure. He alone

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has life in and from himself, and his existence alone is measured not by time but by eternity. Hence he is stiled in scripture "the high and "lofty one, that inhabiteth eternity," "liveth for ever," "whose years fail not," and "whose remembrance endureth throughout all "generations." What greater comfort then canst thou require, O child of mortality, than that which Moses pronounced as the greatest blessing to the tribe of Jeshurun: "Underneath "thee are the everlasting arms the eternal God " is thy refuge "

But, lest any doubt should still remain upon our minds; lest we should still be disquieted in vain; God hath even condescended to engage himself by the most solemn promises never to leave or forsake those who put their trust in him. He hath assured us, that he will be the helper of the friendless, the supporter of the poor and needy, the comforter of the broken hearted, and will, in all situations, give us what is requisite and necessary as well for the body as the soul. "Hast thou not known," saith he; "hast thou "not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, "the creator of heaven and earth fainteth not, "neither is weary? He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he "increaseth strength. Even the youths shall "faint

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