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SERM. their bodies, and worn out their spirits \.,r-^j Satiated with the repetition of their accustomed pleasures, and yet unable to find any. new ones in their place; wan-dering round and round their former haunts of joy, and ever returning disappointed; weary of themselves, and of all things about them, their spirits are oppressed with a deadly gloom, and the complaint bursts forth of odious life and a miserable world. Never are these complaints more frequent than at the close of rounds of amusement, and after • long repetition of festal pleasures; when the spirits which had been forced up, as by some intoxicating drug, to an unnatural height, subside into profound dejection. What increases the evil is, that it is not among the infirm and tho aged, but among the young, the gay, and the prosperous, who ought to be reputed the happiest men, that this distaste of life most frequently prevails,
When persons of this description, in (heir peevisti and splenetic hours, ex
claim, My foul is weary of my life, let SE RM. them know, let them be assured, that imm^mmJ this is no other than the judgment of God overtaking them for their vices and follies. Their complaints of misery are entitled to no compassion; nay, they are sinful, because they arise from a sinful cause j from a mind broken and debased by luxury and corruption. They are the authors of their own misery, by having thrown away on the follies of the world those powers which God had bestowed on them for nobler ends.—Let them return to the duties of men and christians. Let them retreat from frivolity, and abstain from excess. Let them study temperance, moderation, and self.command. By entering on a virtuous and manly course of action, and applying to the ho- » npurable discharge of the functions of their station, they will acquire different views. They will obtain more real enjoyment pf life, and become more willing to prolong it. But, after the
warnings which God has given them of
S E R M. their misbehaviour by the inward misery i.J^j they suffer, if they 1 still continue. to run the same intemperate round, and to drain pleasure to the last dregs, it shall come to pass, that they who now contemn life, and are impatient of its continuance, mall be the persons most.eager to prolong it. When they behold it- in reality drawing towards a close, and arc obliged too look forward to what is to come after it, they shall be rendered awfully sensible of its value. They will then grasp eagerly at the flying hours; anxious to stop them if they could, and to employ every moment that remains in reparing their past errors, and in making their peace if possible, with God and heaven. According as they have sown, they now reap. They are reduced to eat the fruit oj their own waysy and to be filled with their own devices.
There remains still a third class of those who from discontent are become weary of liffj/uch as have embittered it
to themselves by the consciousness ofSERM. criminal deeds. They have been, per- ^~^j. haps, unnatural to their parents, or treacherous to their friends; they have violated their fidelity; have ensnared and ruined the innocent; or have occasioned the death of others. There is no wonder that such persons should lose their relish for life. To whatever arts they may have recourse for procuring a deceitful peace, conscience will at times exert its native power, and shake over them its terrific scourge. The internal misery they endure has sometimes arisen to such a height, as has made them terminate, with their own hands, an existence which they felt to be insupportable.—To the complaints of such persons no remedy can be furnished, except what arises from the bitterness of sincere and deep repentance. We cart do no more than exhort them to atone as much as is in their power for the evils they have Committed; and to fly to the divine mercy through Jesus
s E R M. Christ for pardon and forgiveness. Let us now,
II, Turn to persons of another description, and consider the sentiment in, the text as extorted by situations of distress. These are so variously multiplied in the world, and often so oppressive and heavy, that assuredly it is not uncommon to hear the afflicted complain that they are weary of life. Their complaints, if not always allowable, yet certainly are more excusable than those which flow from the sources of dissatisfaction already mentioned. They are sufferers, not so much through their own misconduct, as through the appointment of Providence j and therefore to persons in this situation it may seem more needful to offer consolation, than to give admonition. However, as the evils which produce this impatience of life are of different forts, a distinction must be made as to the situations which can most excuse it.