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6 ER M. what the world presents ; where a more
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 folitary and forsaken in a vale
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 eternalreft remaineth for the people of GodThis 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 dark
est hours of life; and affords a remedy SERM.
Thus, on the whole, the Christian doctrine is found to be the great Medicine of life. It is the balm of human forrows and cares. In our present state, where so many are suffering actual dis
Rom. viii. 18.
SER M. 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.
-Let this view of religion perfuade us to improve the sacred ordinance of our Lord's supper for coming unto Chrift, in the way before explained: that is, joining ourselves to him as his disciples ; his disciples, not in words and profeffions only, but in heart, and in truth; taking upon ús 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 forrows, come unto Chrift, and they shall receive consolation. All who are in
any sense heavy laden, coming unto him, shall find rest to their fouls.
BEFORE concluding this discourse, S ER M. there is another set of men, not yet mentioned, to whom I must also address the exhortation in the text: those I mean, who labouring under' none of the distressful burdens of life, are surfeited with its pleasures; who labour under the burden only of languid ease, and the load of insipid prosperity. You drag, my friends, but a miserable existence. Oppressed by no forrow, you feel vacuity and diffatisfaction within ; you are often weary of life; and in your folitary hours, are disposed to confess that all you
have experienced is vanity. Wherefore should you any longer spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Come to the waters which are now offered
and drink. Hear, and your souls Jhall live. Retreat from the corrupting vanities of the world, to Christ, to religion, and to virtue. New sources of enjoyment shall then be opened to you. A world yet untried shall display itself to your view. You shall be formed to a re
SER M. lish for the quiet and innocent pleasures
of piety and devotion; of friendship, and good affections; of useful knowledge, and virtuous activity; of calm society, and seasonable retirement; pleasures of which at present you have no conception; but which, upon trial, you shall find superior to the trifling, or turbulent amusements, in which you have hitherto passed your days.—The true satisfaction of the human mind is only to be found in religion and goodness; in a purified heart, and a virtuous life. All other plans of happiness are fallacious, and pregnant with disappointment. It is only by acquainting ourselves with God that we can find peace: And those who are weary and heavy laden now, shall be weary and heavy laden to the end, unless they come to him who only can give