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will deliver you, even the Redeemer that died for you. He it is who will do what no other moral guide can do for you ; will both enable you, by additional supplies of strength, to overcome those lusts which war against your soul, and will also crown that victory by a reward more than adequate to the pain of the conflict. If Christianity requires from its votaries a higher degree of sanctity and purity, and a stricter command over the passions than any other Religion, it has a right to do so; because it affords proportionably greater helps towards accomplishing that great work, and a proportionably greater prize to recompense the labour of it. For however severe this struggle with our appetites may be to us, and severe enough, God knows, it sometimes is, yet it is our comfort, that if we endure to the end, “ those light afflictions
which are but for a moment, shall work “ for us a far more exceeding and eternal 56: weight of glory.” This single consideration is enough to make us “ more than o conquerors through Christ that strength66 eneth us.” For who that has in view immortal joys and incorruptible crowns, can
repine at the conflict he must go through to obtain them? Who, that professes himself in earnest a disciple of Christ, can murmur at the hardship of mortifying his passions, when even they who strive for the mastery in the most trivial contests, and for the silliest rewards, are temperate in all things ? The instance produced in the text to prove this, was füll to the purpose ; was peculiarly calculated to strike the Corinthians, being a familiar, and, as it were, domestic fact, within the compass of their own observation. Its force is very little, if at all, abated, when applied to ourselves ; but if we have a mind for similar instances nearer home, they are to be found in abundance. We may see numbers of our fellowcreatures, on every side of us, undergoing the greatest labours and inconveniences in pursuit of the most trivial and worthless objects. We see the vicious man frequently taking more pains, and struggling through greater distresses, in order to gratify his passions, than it could cost him to subdue them. We see the avaricious man, tormenting himself with continual care and anxiety, submitting to the meanest and
most sordid artifices to acquire wealth and to retain it ; practising severer mortifications than the utmost rigour of monastic discipline would exact, denying himself not only the most innocent gratifications, but the common necessaries of life; and sometimes even perishing for want in the midst of abundance. And what is the great object of all this voluntary self-denial? It is to amass a hoard of wealth which he has not the spirit to use in this world, nor the power of carrying with him into the next.
We see others who cannot justly be charged with avarice; yet stimulated by the ambition of raising themselves, and their families to opulence and distinction, and with that view sacrificing their youth, their ease, their health, their comfort, the best and happiest part of their days, to the labour of some most painful employment, which at last, perhaps, rewards them with a fortune, when disease, or old age, or death, render them incapable of enjoying it.
We see the man of adventure and of enterprise, penetrating the most remote and inhospitable regions of the earth, exposing himself to unwholesome climates and un
tried oceans, encountering the dangers of rocks and tempests, of famine and disease, of treachery and violence from unrelenting savages ; and all this in the pursuit of knowledge or of emolument, which seldom answer his expectations, or of a visionary fame, which perhaps commences not, till he is gone “ to that land where all things “ are forgotten.”
These are instances of self-denial which we have every day before our eyes ; and shall we, then, be deterred from the pursuit of our eternal interests, and of immortal glory, by the restraints and the difficulties attending our Christian warfare, when we see men voluntarily and cheerfully encountering far greater hardships, and far severer trials, for the sake of acquiring what appears to them most valuable in this life, but which they find in the end to be delusive and unsatisfactory?
It is, in short, a vain and a foolish attempt to think of separating, in any instance, great labour and difficulty from great attainments. And the more valuable the acquisition, the more severe are the
hardships that obstruct the way to it. The lowest mechanic arts can never be carried to any degree of perfection without much toil; works of imagination, intellectual accomplishments, require still more; virtue and religion, as being the greatest ornaments of our nature, most of all. But then the reward is in proportion to the labour; and to renounce the one through a cowardly fear of the other, is one of the meanest thoughts that can enter the human mind. · It is hard sometimes, it is confessedly hard, to deny a craving appetite, and to subdue a vicious habit; but is it not still harder to lose everlasting happiness for a momentary indulgence; and, like the wretched Esau, to sell heaven in reversion for a mess of pottage ?
Let us eat and drink, says the voluptuary; let us indulge without delay, and without reserve, every appetite of our nature, for “to-morrow we die,” to-morrow we may cease to exist, and all possibility of any further enjoyment will be for ever gone. Let us, then, take our full measure of it whil we can. “Let us enjoy the good things " that are present. Let us fill ourselves with