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SeRM.hear the storm, when it blows with its tJ^j utmost violence around them. The floods have lifted up their voice; they have lifted up all their waves. But the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters; yea, than the mighty waves of the sea*. Of the man who possesses such principles, it is justly said, His heart, is established; he Jhall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord's. Tranquillity, order, and magnanimity, dwell with him; while all is confusion arid trepidation among those, who have nothing to look to but the apparent disorders of the world.

The doctrine of Christ not only arms us, in this manner, with fortitude against the approach of evil; but, supposing evils to fall upon us with their heaviest pressure, it lightens the load by many consolations to which others are strangers. While bad men trace, in the calamities

with

• Psal. xciii. 34. f Psal. cxii. 7, 8.

with which they are visited, the hand of S E R M. an offended sovereign, Christians are i_— taught to view them as the well-intend- 1 ed chastisements of a merciful Father. They hear amidst them, that still voice which a good conscience brings to their ear ; Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for lam thy God*. They apply to themselves the comfortable promises with which the gospel abounds. They discover in these the happy issue decreed to their troubles; and wait with patience till Providence mall have accomplished its great and good designs. In the mean time, devotion opens to them its blessed and holy sanctuary: That sanctuary in which the wounded heart is healed, and the weary mind is at rest; where the cares of the world are forgotten, where its tumults are hushed, and its miseries disappear; where greater objects open to our view than

what

'* Isaiah xli. 10.

6 E R M. what the world presents; where a more x^J^j serene sky shines, and a sweeter and calmer light beams on the afflicted heart. In those moments of devotion, a pious man, pouring out his wants and sorrows to an almighty Supporter, feels that he is not left solitary and forsaken in a vale of woe. God is with him; Christ and the Holy Ghost are with him; and, though he should be bereaved of eVery earthly friend, he can look up in heaven to a Friend who will never die.

To these present consolations, the religion of Christ adds the joyful prospect of that future state, where eternal reft remaineth for the people of God. This life they are taught to consider as only the house of their pilgrimage; the temporary mansion of painful though necessary discipline. But let them endure for a little, and the pilgrimage shall end, the discipline shall be finished; and all the virtuous be assembled in those blissful regions which are prepared for their reward. Such a prospect chears the darkest est hours of life j and affords a remedy S E R M. to every trouble. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which /hallbe revealed*. They appear in this comparative view, as no more than a distressing dream of the night, from which one awakes into heath, and light, and joy.—Peculiar is •' this high consolation to the religion of Christ. It is what all nations had eagerly wished forwhat all philosophy had anxiously sought to discover; but what no research, no philosophy were able to ascertain to mankind, till Christ brought the assurance of life and immortality from heaven; and conferred on his disciples this noble and inestimable gift.

Thus, on the whole, the Christian doctrine is found to be the great Medicine of life. It is the balm of human sorrows and cares. In our present state, where so many are suffering actual distress,

• Rom. viii. 18.

SeRM. tress, of one kind or other, and where ,_.. '_, all have reason to dread the approach of distress, it is religion only that can alleviate the burdens of life, and smooth our passage through this evil world. —i—Let this view of religion persuade us to improve the sacred ordinance of our Lord's supper for coming unto Christ, \ in the way before explained: that is,

joining ourselves to him as his disciples; his disciples, not in words and professions only, but in heart, and in truth; taking upon us his yoke, as is added in the words immediately following the text; and learning of him who is meek and lowly in heart. Let those who labour under the sense of remembered follies and crimes, come unto Christ with penitent dispositions, and they shall obtain pardon. Let those who labour under the suffering of present, or the apprehension of future sorrows, come unto Christ, and they {hall receive consolation. All who are in any sense heavy laden, coming unto him, mall find rest to their souls.

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