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nations, who have been instructed in S ERM.
prayer, repentance, faith, and all those, duties, by means of which we may hope, through a divine Mediator and intercessor, to be reconciled to heaven. Natural and revealed religion here appear in concord. We behold the original dictates of the human heart laying a foundation for the glad reception of the comfortable tidings of the gospel.
I HAVE thus endeavoured to thew in what manner, by regarding the work of the Lord, and considering the operation of his hands, we may prevent the dangers arising from a thoughtless indulgence of pleasure; we may be furnished with an antidote to the poison which is too often mixed in that intoxicating cup. Human life is full of troubles. We are all tempted to alleviate them as much as we can, by freely enjoying the pleasurable moments which providence thinks fit to al
SER M. low us. Enjoy them we may: But, if
we would enjoy them fafely, and enjoy them long, let us temper them with the fear of God. As soon as this is forgotten and obliterated, the sound of the harp and the viol is changed into the signal of death. The serpent comes forth from the roses where it had lain in ambush, and gives the fåtal sting. Pleasure in moderation is the cordial, in excess it is the bane, of life,
SE R M O N VII.
On the PRESENCE of God in a Future
Thou wilt Shew me the path of life: In thy
presence is fulness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermoré.
HE apostle Peter, in a discourse SER M.
plies this passage, in a mystical and prophetical sense, to the Messiah*. But, in its literal and primitive meaning, it expresses the exalted hopes by which the
SER M. Psalmist David supported himself amidst
the changes and revolutions, of which his life was full. By thefe hopes, when flying before Saul, when driven from his throne, and persecuted by an unnatural fon, he was enabled to preserve his virtue, and to maintain unshaken trust in God.-In that early age of the world, those explicit discoveries of a state of immortality, which we enjoy, had not yet been given to mankind. But though the Sun of righteousness was not arisen, the dawn had appeared of that glorious day which he was to introduce. Even in those antient times, holy men, as the apostle writes to the Hebrews, saw the promises afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them; and confessing that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth, declared that they fought after a better country, that is an heavenly* Indeed, in every age, God permitted such hopes to afford support and consolation to those who served him. The full
* Heb. xi. 13,-16.
effect of them we behold in those tri-SERM.
VII. umphant expressions of the text, which are to be the subject of this discourse. They lead us to consider; first, The hope of the Psalmist in his present state; Thou wilt fhew me the path of life. And, secondly, the termination of his hope in that future state, where in the presence of God is fulness of joy, and at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Í: Thou wilt shew me the paths of life. This plainly imports that there are different paths or courses of conduct, which may be pursued by men in this world; a path which leads to life or happiness, and a path which issues in death or destruction. These opposite lines of conduct are determined by the choice which men make of virtue or of vice; and hence men are divided into two great claffes, according as their inclinations lead them to good or to evil. The path of life is often a rough and difficult path, followed