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of the doctrine of the text, that our times SERM.

III. are in the hand of God. It asserts a fact, the truth of which can be called in question by none; a fact which, whether persons have

any

sentiments of religion or not, is calculated to make a serious impression on every mind; especially at seafons when the revolution of years gives us warning that our duration on earth is measured, and advances towards its period. To persons who are religiously disposed, who study to improve life to its proper purposes, to do their duty towards God and man, and through the merits of their Redeemer to obtain

grace and favour from Heaven, the doctrine of the text is still more important. Among them it tends to awaken impresfions which are not only serious, but, as I have shown, falutary and comforting to the heart.---Thankful that our times are in the hand of a Sovereign, who is both wise and gracious, let us prepare ourselves to meet the approaching events of life with becoming resignation, and

at

111.

SER M. at the fame time with manly constancy

and firm trust in God. As long as it shall please him to continue our abode in the world, let us remain faithful to our duty; and when it shall please him to give the command for our removal hence, let us utter only this voice: “In * thy hand, O my God, my times are. “ Thou art calling me away.

Here I “am, ready to obey thy call, and at thy

signal to go forth. I thank thee that “ I have been admitted to partake so

· long of the comforts of life, and to “ be a spectator of the wisdom and good“ness displayed in thy works. I thank “ thee that thou hast borne so long with my infirmities and provocations; hast “s allowed me to look up to thy promises “ in the gospel, and to hear the words “ of eternal life uttered by my great Re« deemer. With gratitude, faith, and “ hope, I commit my soul to thee. Lord,

now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine

eyes have seen thy salvation.” Such are the sentiments with

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III.

which every pious and good man should S ER M. conclude his life. Such indeed are the sentiments which he ought to carry through every part of life. With these may we begin, and with these conclude, every succeeding year which God Ihall think fit to add to our earthly existence !

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SERMON IV.

On the Mixture of Bad Men with the

Good in HUMAN SOCIETY,

МАТтн. xiii. 30.

Let both grow together until the harvest.

SERM. HE parable, of which these words IV.

are a part, contains a prophetical defcription of the state of the church. Our Lord predicts that the societies of Christians were to be infected with persons of loose principles and bad dispositions, whom he likens to tares springing up among wheat. He intimates that there should arise fome whose officious

zeal

IV.

zeal would prompt the desire of exter-S ER M.
minating immediately all such evil men; u
but that this were contrary to the de-
signs of providence, and to the spirit of
Christianity; that a complete separation
was indeed to be made at last between
the good and the bad; but that this se-
paration was to be delayed till the end
of the world, when, in the stile of the
parable, the tares should be entirely ga-
thered out from among the wheat. Let
both grow together until the harvest.

When we look around us, nothing is
more conspicuous in the state of the
world, than that broad mixture of the
religious and the impious, the virtuous
and the wicked, which we find taking
place in every society. Strong objec-
tions seem hence to arise against either
the wisdom or goodness of divine Pro-
vidence; efpecially when we behold bad
men not only tolerated in the world, but
occasionally exalted in their circumftan-
ces, to the depression of the just. Why,
it will be said, if a Supreme Being exist,
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