« FöregåendeFortsätt »
passions and infirmities, the sufferings and mortality of his own creation;-yet this Ancient of Days, whose outgoings have been from everlasting, was wrapped in mean swaddling-clothes, and the majesty of the high and holy One laid in a manger; and all this for the sake of us poor and miserable sinners.
Hear this and blush, ye high and lofty ones of this world; who, puffed up with pride, and. elated with prosperity, look down upon your fellow-creatures with contempt; as beings below your notice or regard. Learn from Him, who died to save the lowest as well as the greatest of men, that all men are equally dear to God. Let his example teach you, that no person, however high, can be debased by condescension, and that the truest and most solid honour hath its foundation in humility; and that if we would approve ourselves the servants of God, to do his pleasure, we must, like him, endeavour to promote the good of our fellow-creatures by acts of humility and charity, of kindness and forbearance, as good stewards of those good things which we have received at the hands of God.
Let us hear then the conclusion of the whole matter.-I need not tell you that we are all of
us heirs of mortality, and, therefore, all of us subject to those various turns of fortune, which this chequered scene of things affords. The sunshine of prosperity and the storms of misfortune, like the rain from heaven, descend alike on the just and on the unjust: we have, doubtless, each of us had our share of both already: perhaps even the present moment, little as we think of it, may be adding to the number; it may demand our gratitude for some unlooked-for blessing, or call forth our tears for some unexpected misfortune:-some happy chance, to us unknown, may now smile upon our fortunes; or, on the contrary, some heavy calamity may be ready to greet our ears with its unwelcome tidings; some distant friend may be labouring under the agonies of distress; some distant and darling child may be uttering the pang which is heard no more. These are events which are hourly taking place, and therefore are never impossible. But what lot yet awaits us in the bosom of fate, is known only to that God, whose judgments are like the great deep, and his ways past finding out :-vain, therefore, and fruitless will be our endeavours to pry into our future fortune; what that shall be, it is God's to ordain, it is our's to bear.
But, in the mean time, it is our duty, it is our interest, to arm our souls with patience against the various events of life. We cannot appoint the part we are to act on the stage of life, but we may be prepared to act it properly. We know not whether we shall continue to receive good or evil at the hand of God, but we may be ready to receive both with that heavenly temper which inspired that godlike sentiment into the breast of holy Job, " the Lord gave, " and the Lord hath taken away blessed be "the name of the Lord."
Let, therefore, as many as are successful in life learn not to be high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God: to do good, to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves, by acts of charity and beneficence, a good foundation, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
And let those who are afflicted in life, whether by sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity, cast their burden upon the Lord, and patiently await his all-righteous decision of their fate. Amidst all their troubles and distresses in this vale of tears, let them boldly
up to Jesus, the author and finisher of their
"faith; who, for the joy that was set before "him, endured the cross, despising the shame, "and is now set down at the right hand " of God."
PSALM xiv. Ver. 1.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
AMID the various dangers and accidents to
which human life is exposed, it seems the only true basis of consolation to a reasonable mind, that there is a God, who ruleth over all :
that nothing happens in heaven or in earth, but by his pleasure and permission; and that we may, therefore, securely rely on his wisdom, who best knows what is fitting and convenient for us.
It cannot, therefore, but seem strange, that any should be foolish enough to reject this anchor of hope, and, by denying the providence of God, expose themselves, friendless and unprotected, to the tempestuous ocean of human