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M. with gratitude, temperance, and mo, desty. If it mall bring forth evil, prepare to receive it with manly fortitude. Let no events of any kind, derange your equanimity, or make your constancy. Contract your desires, and moderate your hopes. Expect not more from the world than it is able to afford you. Take it for granted that what is naturally mutable, will one day change; that what was designed to be transient, will pass away.—Look forward to futurity without impatience. Be not desirous to know it. It belongs to God. Let him bring forward the events of the world, in his own way. Imagine that you continually hear those words, which our Lord once addressed to Peter, when he was enquiring about what was to happen to a fellow-disciple, What is that to thee? Follow thou me. Amidst all the uncertainty of future events, this road of clear and plain duty lies before you; follow Christ, and inquire no farther. Seek no crooked path, in order to avoid impending dangers. turn not to the right hand, nor to the
left i but commit thy way unto the Lord; SERM. trust also in him, and he the desires of thy heart.
trust also in him, and he Jhall bring to pass t^^^,
V. Build your hopes of happiness on somewhat more solid and lasting, than what either to-day or to-morrow are likely to produce. From what has been said, you may clearly perceive, that he who rests wholly upon this world, builds his house upon the sand. This life, by means of wisdom and virtue, may be rendered to a good man, a tolerable, nay, a comfortable, state. But he who expects complete happiness from it, will be greatly deceived. Man, in his most flourishing condition, were much to be pitied, if he was destitute of any higher hope. Rolling from change to change, throughout all the days of his life, with a dark and unknown prospect always before him in futurity, what would avail a few short interrupted glimpses of happiness, which, from time to time, he was permitted to enjoy? Can we believe, that only for such a state as this, man was
M. designed by his great and good Creator? —No: Let us bless the God and Father of our Lord "Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again into a lively hope, by the resurrection of Chrift from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undesled, and that fadetb not away. Kere is the Rock on which the mind, however tost by the storms of life, can securely rest. Here is the object to which a wife man will bend his chief attention, that, after having acted his part on earth with firdelity and honour, he may be enabled, through the merits of his Saviour, to look for a place in the mansions of eternal and untroubled peace. This prospect is the great corrective of the pre-r sent vanity of human life. It gives significance and .importance to its most transitory scenes; and, in the midst of its mutability, discovers one fixed point of rest. He who is habitually influenced by the hope of immortality, will be able to look without dismay on the changes of the world. He will neither boast of to-morrow, nor be afraid of it;
but will pass through the varieties ofSERM.
life with a manly and unbroken mind; with a noble superiority to those fears and expectations, those cares and sorrows, which agitate the multitude.— Such are the native effects of Christian faith and hope. To them alone it belongs, to surmount all the discouragements to which we are now exposed; to render our life comfortable, and our death blessed; nay, to make the day of our death better than the day of our birth,
On following the Multitude to do
Exodus xxiii. 2.
Tboujhalt not follow a multitude to do evil.
S ^rx*' T ^ *k*s wor^,we are placed as compau-v—i A nions and assistants to one another. Depending, for most of the comforts of life, on mutual intercoursejandaid, it was necessary, that we should be formed to desire the company, and to take pleasure in the good will of our fellows. But this sociability of man, though essential to his