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of the doctrine of the text, that our times SER M. are in the hand of God. It afferts a fact, the 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
SERM. at the same time with manly constancy
ard firm trust in God. As long as it
which every pious and good man should SER 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 shall think fit to add to our earthly existence !
On the Mixture of Bad Men with the
Good in Human Society,
MATTH. xiii. 30.
Let both grow together until the harvest. SERM. THE parable, of which these words IV.
1 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 (hould arise some whole officious zeal would prompt the desire of exter-S ER M. minating immediately all such evil men; but that this were contrary to the designs 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 separation was to be delayed till the end of the world, when, in the stile of the parable, the tares should be entirely gathered 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 objections seem hence to arise against either the wisdom or goodness of divine Providence; especially when we behold bad men not only tolerated in the world, but occasionally exalted in their circumstançes, to the depression of the just. Why, it will be said, if a Supreme Being exist,
E 2. . . and