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Job x. i.
My soul is weary of my life ,, ,'
JOB, in the first part of his days, was s E RM. the greatest of all the men of the Eajl. I. His possessions were large j his family was numerous and flourishing; his own character was fair and blameless. Yet this man it pleased God to visit with extraordinary reverses of fortune. He was robbed of his whole substance. His sons and daughters all perished; and he himself fallen from his high estate, childVol. IV. A less
S E R M. less and reduced to poverty, was smitten
_" awith sore disease. His friends came
about him, seemingly with the purpose of administering comfort. But from a harsh and ill-sounded construction of the intention of Providence in his disasters, they only added to his sorrows by unjust upbraiding. Hence those many pathetic lamentations with which this book abounds, poured forth in the most beautiful.and touching strain Of Oriental poetry. In one of those hours of lamentation, the sentiment in the text was uttered; My foul is weary of my life; a sentiment, which surely, if any situation can justify it, it was allowable in the cafe of Job.
In situations very different from that of Job, under calamities far less severe, It is not uncommon to find such a sentiment working in the heart, and sometimes breaking forth from the lips of men. Many, very many there are, who on one occasion or other, have experienced
ced this weariness of life, and beenSERM. tempted to wish that it would come to u—^* a close. Let us now examine in what circumstances this feeling may be deemed excuseable; in what it is to be held sinful; and under what restrictions we may, on any occasion, be permitted to fay, My foul is weary of my life.
I Shall consider the words of the text in three lights; as expressing, First, The sentiment of a discontented man; Secondly, The sentiment of an afflicted man; Thirdly, The sentiment of a devout man.
I. Let Us consider the text as expressing the sentiment of a discontented man; with whom it is the effusion of spleen, vexation and dissatisfaction with life, arising from causes neither laudable nor justifiable. There are chiefly three classes of men who are x liable to this disease of the mind: the idle i the luxurious; the criminal.
A 2 First,
, First, This weariness of life is often
found among the idle: persons commonly in easy circumstances of fortune, who
arc not engaged in any of the labori6us" occupations of the worljl, and who are, at the fame time, without energy of mind
,to call them forth into any other line of active exertion. In this languid, or rather torpid state, they have so many vacant hours, and are so much at a loss how to fill up their time, that their spirits utterly sink j they become burdensome to themselves, and to every one around them; and drag with pain the load of existence. What a convincing proof is hereby afforded, that man was designed by his Creator to be an active being, whose happiness is to be found not merely in rest, but in occupation and pursuit? The idle are doomed to suffer the natural punishment of their inactivity and folly; and for their complaints of the tiresomeness of life there is no remedy but to awake from the dream of sloth, and to fill up with proper per employment the miserable vacancies SE RM. of their days. Let them study to be- ^-_l_; come useful to the world, and they shall soon become less burthensome to themselves. They mall begin to enjoy existence; they shall reap the rewards which providence has annexed to virtuous activity; and have no more cause to say, My foul is weary efmy life, .
Next, The luxurious and the dissipated form another class of men, among whom such complaints are still more frequent. With them they are pot the fruit of idle* ness. These are men who have been busied enough; they have run the whole race of pleasure; but they have run it with such inconsiderate speed, that it terminates in weariness and vexation of spirit. By the perpetual course of dissipation in which they are engaged; by the excefles which they indulge; by the riotous revel,, and the midnight or rather morning hours to which they prolong their festivity; they have debilitated :' their