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spair; and it makes the child of God abhor the idolatry, and dwell with complacency on his unchangeable portion.

Consider this, I beseech you, my brethren ; for you are all liable to the firoke of affliction, young and old, rich and poor, holy and unholy. It is indeed lamentable to see the fretful impatience of those to whom the world is blasted from without, but the love of the world, in all its strength, still subsisting within. They have no fource of confolation in themselves; and nothing comfortable can he spoken to them by others in a manner consistent with truth and duty. To deal faithfully with them, we must do our utmost to add the bitterness of repentance to their other sufferings; and this the cruel kindness of surrounding relations will feldom permit to be done. In the case ef dying persons, in particular, with what concern have i heard friends and physicians telling the grosseft falfhoods, in order to keep off, for a few moments, the apprehension of what they knew must immediately and certainly take place, and be the more terrible for the surprise !

On the other hand, it is comfortable to reflect, that the fanctifying influence of afflictions is no less the language of experience than of scripture. Many have borne their testimony, and set their feal to it. Some have been so effectually mortified to pride and vanity, by the injuries or the slanders of others, that they have even felt consolation in the reproach itself. But in a parricular manner, I have been often pleased with young persons to whom the world, and all their expectations from it, have been crucified by early affliction, expressing themselves, not meiely with submission, but with ferenity and thankfulness. Bear with me in mentioning á real instance, known to my. felf, of a young man, who had been long confined with a diseased member, and had a near and certain prospect of his dissolution. When, at the desire of fome person prefent, his loathsome fore was uncovered, he expressed himfelf, to the best of my remembrance, in thele very words: . There it is; and a precious treasure it has been to me! • It saved me from the folly and vanity of youth; it made me cleave to God as my only portion, and eternal glory, “ as my only hope ; and I think it has now brought me “ very near to my Father's house.” Now, what a spring of confolation is here! Our duty, our business, our interest is, to crucify the world, and to be crucified to it. May we not, then, with the utmost gratitude, as well as patience, receive the appointments of that God who has promised, not only to deliver us from all our sufferings in due time, not only to make up and recompense our losses with something better, of a different kind, but has assured us, that these very sufferings and losies, as their immediate effect, shall crucify fin, and further our meetness for his own presence ?

3. Let me improve this subject by earnestly exhorting you to endeavor to acquire more and more of the temper and state of mind expressed by the holy apostle, in the text, " By whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the “ world.” Be persuaded, my beloved hearers, to look upon all created things with the eye of faith. Remember their relation to God. He is their Maker and yours; and they must not be loved or served but in subordination to his glory. Do not place your chief happiness in them ; do not esteem them too highly ; do not love them immoderately; do not prosecute them two violentiy. Place your chief happiness in the favor of God, in communion with him on earth, and the well-grounded hope of the perpetual enjoyment of him in heaven ; and let your regard to earthly things he no other, nor greater, than is suited to this end. That I may press this resolution upon you, allow me to propose the three following considerations.

(1) Consider the unsatisfying nature of all earthly enjoyments. They do not at all carry in them that sweetness and excellence which worldly men fuppose. Sin has drawn a mist of delusion over the minds of men. The inflamed and disordered appetites of our corrupted nature always promise themselves, in worldly possessions, a fatisfaction infinitely greater than they are able to afford. We have this from the confeffion of many who have made the experiment with every possible advantage. The book of Ecclefiaftes is an admirable and animated description of the vanity of human enjoyments. Solomon seems to

have been 'raised up in providence, for this among other ends, that he might leave behind him an account of the vanity of earthly greatness. And this is the title that he hath left written upon all that the world can give: Ecclef. i. 2. “ Vanity of vanities, faith the preacher, vanity of

vanities, all is vanity.” Power and wealth, dignity and fame, variety of pleasures, nay knowledge itself, as a source of present comfort, he affirms the vanity of them all: Ecclef. ii. 11. « Then I looked on all the works that

my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had la“ bored to do: and behold, all was vanity and vexation “ of spirit, and there was no profit under the fun.” And towards the close of the fame book, ch. xii. 12. he says, “ And further, by these, my fon, be admonished : of “ making many books there is no end, and much study " is a weariness of the flesh."

Have there not been innumerable examples of the fame testimony in every age and country? And what says your own experience ? or your obfervation of others ? Do men indeed rise in comfort and satisfaction, in proportion as they rise in station or opulence ? On the contrary, do they not rather commonly increase in anxiety and difcontent ? Do you indeed think, that those who appear in gilded equipages have always on that account the most joyful hearts ? Alas! there cannot be a greater mistake. Could you see what passes within, there would appear ungoverned paffions, ungratified desires, and disappointed hopes; and could you enter their houses, you would find weariness and impatience, family-distress, family-disorders, and family-quarrels. It has been an old, and it is a most just observation, particularly upon avarice, That the desire still grows with the posseffion. It is the fame with every other finful paffion. Indulgence does not gratify so much as it inflames them. Let a man climb ever so high on the ladder of ambition, he fees still others before him; and emulation and envy are as strong, or stronger, between those who stand on the adjoining steps at the top as at the bottom. There is one particular remark, that serves at once to show the vanity of the world, and the sinfulness of human nature: The greater variety of the worldly com

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forts any person possesses, he is not the more, but the less content, under the want of any one. The more and the longer any person hath been accustomed to obsequiousness or flattery, he is the more impatient of the least contradiction. The more abundant and universal respect that has been paid to any person, he is the more deeply wounded by neglect or contempt ; as Haman, notwithstanding all his greatness, was quite unsatisfied while there remained one poor man in the king's gate who would not do him re.

Take but one example more. If a man hath great and extensive poffeffions, and is without children, he is but the more distressed to think, that so noble an estate and family should be without an heir, and will often envy the families of the poor, as if it were hard measure, that he who had so many temporal mercies should not have all. Upon the whole, you may fee, that there is a double vani ty in the present state. Created comforts are unsatisfying on the one hand, and human desires are insatiable on the other.

(2) Consider the uncertainty of all earthly enjoyments. No circumstance whatever should more abate our attachment to the world than its instability. What happiness can we receive from, or what value should we put upon those poliessions, which may be taken from us the next moment? The speedy, unexpected, and melancholy change, which often takes place from health to fickness, from wealth to poverty, from honor to contempt, I leave every hearer to meditate upon, from his own knowledge end obferyation of human life; only I cannot help mentioning to you the strong language of the holy scriptures; Prov. xxiii. 5. “ Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which “is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings, " they fly away as an eagle towards heaven.” But the circumstance upon this subject to which I would particu. larly and chiefly point your attention, is, that our poffelfons and enjoyments of every kind are under the immedi. ate and constant direction of Divine Providence. Believe it, Christians, and remember it, the providence of God reaches to every event that befalls you, however inconliderable it may seem. It is God that “ giveth you " power to get wealth.”_It is he by whom you are “ dimi* nished and brought low."--It is he that " raiseth up one, “and putteth down another.”—It is he that makes the “ voice of joy and health” to be heard in your dwellings, or that“ chastises you with pain, and the multitude of your “ bones with strong pain.” If this is the case, what reason have you to be afraid of giving that love and service to any worldly enjoyment that is due to God? Will you

provoke him to jealousy? are you stronger than he?” If you set your affections immoderately on any temporal poffeffion, he can immediately remove it, or turn it into gall and wormwood.

Instead of enumerating the several kinds of present en, joymen I shall only mention one, the desire of which is commonly very strong, viz. children or posterity. Now, how easily can a holy and righteous God take away the desire of your eyes with a stroke? Nay, in how many inftances is the life of children a heavier trial than their death itself ? For I must say upon this subject, as I have said often in your hearing, that to one that truly fears God, I do not know any temporal calamity equal to that of hain ving profane or profligate children,

But perhaps some attentive hearer will hesitate a little, and say, 'I have not observed this to hold true in experi

Even pious persons seem generally to bear the irregularities of their children, though some of them very scandalous, much better than their deaths. Neither is ! it unfrequent to see them excusing or palliating the worst

practices, from the partiality of natural. affection. Perhaps then I must retract, or alter the assertion, and say, it is either the heaviest trial, or the most dangerous temptas tion. But, after all, who can tell what floods of tears are fhed in secret on this subject ? Parents may be often obliged to conceal their forrow from the world, because they know it would be treated with derision. I the rather incline to this supposition in many cases; for where indifference or partiality to the sins of children is fo plain that it cannot be denied, I should greatly sufpect the piety of such persons, let the appearance or profession be as a ming as it will

ence.

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