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to be weary of life. To persons under S E RM. such calamities, sympathy is due. That i sympathy, however, will be proportioned to the degree in which we consider them as free from blame in the misfortunes which they suffer. As far as, through their own misconduct and vice, they have been the authors to themselves of those misfortunes, we withdraw our pity. The burthen which they have brought on themselves we leave them to bear as they can; and with little concern we hear them exclaim that their souls are weary of life.-Not only so, but even in cases where calamities have fallen on the innocent, to the pity which we feel for them will be joined a secret contempt, if we perceive that together with their prosperity, their courage and fortitude have also forsaken them. To abandon themselves to dejection carries no mark of a great or a worthy mind. Instead of declaring that his foul is weary
of his life, it becomes a brave and a good · man, in the evil day, with firmness to
SERM. maintain his post; to bear up against the
u storm; to have recourse to those advan
tages which, in the worst of times, are always left to integrity and virtue; and never to give up the hope that better days may yet arise.
It is good for persons in such fituations to remark that, though Job was for a long while severely tried by a variety of distresses, yet his condition was not left finally unhappy. On the contrary, the goodness of that God whom he had served returned at last, to shine upon him with greater brightness than ever. His riches were restored to him twofold. The loffes in his family were repaired by a new offspring. His name became again renowned in the East ; and the latter end of Job, we are told, was more blessed than the beginning.
But still, it may be asked, will not the continuance of long and severe difease justify the exclamation in the text, My soul is weary of my life? To persons
who are forsaken by all the blessings of s ER M. health, and who have no prospect left, but that of lingering under fickness or pain, Job's complaint may assuredly be forgiven more than to any others. Thoo it might be suggested to them, that even in old age and sickness, except in very extreme cases, some resources are always left, of which they may avail themselves for relief; yet it must be admitted, that lawfully they may wish their sufferings to be brought to an end." Still, however, they must remember, that refignation to the pleasure of heaven continues to be their duty to the last. As long as any part remains to be acted, as long as their continuance in the world can serve any valuable purpose, it is more honourable to bear the load with magnanimity, than to give way to a querulous and dejected spirit. It remains,
. III. To address myself to another order of men, among whom, though more rarely than among those whom I have
SER M. described, the sentiment of the text is to n be found. They are persons who have
no particular complaint to make of the injustice of the world, or the afflictions of their state. But they are tired of the vanity of the world, of its infipid enjoyments, and its perpetually revolving circle of trifles and follies. They feel themselves made for something greater and nobler. They are disgusted and hurt with the scenes of wickedness that are often passing before their eyes. Their hearts are warmed with the thoughts of a purer and more perfect existence defigned for man; and in the moments of aspiration afterit, theexclamation breaks forth, My foul is weary of my life.--O that I had wings like a dove! for then I would fly away and be at rejt. Lo then I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. I would hajten my escape from the windy storm and tempeft. For I have seen viclence and strife in the city. Wickedness is in the midA thereof; deceit and guile de
part not from her streets *- In this view.SERM. the sentiment in the text may sometimes be that of a devout man. But such persons I must admonish, that their devotion, how sincere however, is not altogether of a rational and chastened kind. It was from this temper that, in former ages of the church, the numerous race sprung of anchorets, hermits, and all the various orders who voluntarily abandoned the world, to people the lonely desarts and the monastic retreat. The ordinary course of things seemed below them as candidates for heaven. The concerns of the world appeared unworthy of their attention, and dangerous to their virtue. Breathing after a higher state, they imagined that they could not abstract themselves too much from every earthly amusement, as long as they were forced to remain in this place of exile.
* Pfal, Iv. 6,---11.