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scheme?ion J Srhkh they meditate will- be tw<&sttplistie& if a person mentions a journey jwhich he-proposes toundertake 'some months hence; how usual is it for him to speak of it JasJ though' it wicrecau-. aiFair placed'wholly ewkhin his own power, and to ^ be decided jne/ely byyhis-owH inclination. If sickness, ibRitoms. othefTchange cos circumstances,'p'reyeiUohbUJfirottiiiexecuting his design i"; how -ready i«;betorgi^etway to fretfulness, &id*o adoptLthe danguage of disappointment';-^ though he had experienced some strange aft'd mmisual event contrary to the natural (course of just expectation. Others you hear speaking .in .terms equally confident concerning pr^ojeas .tfthTmore distant. One person irirtirMs^u, that when he shall have employed two" fcirfhWe future years in making himself master of:hls trade or profession at the place where he now xesides;. he shall remove to such a.-townyor into the neighbourhood of such a manufactory, where tike others before him, he stiasl-speedily :acquire a fortune. Another observes, that after }he shati have conducted his business suntilfeis xhildrertj who are - now scarcely idnrancfed beyond infaney, are able to taketh^rtianageTj»ent.of: it,,upQstIthemselves;,;he ÆMktfeeh -withdraw from the concent, antr^shill enjoy ,him&l£ia. kisuresanxi-rctirerlientJ" Another ibidw- t Y wearie*

wearies you with a detail of the alterations whieh be meant • to carry into effect, and the manner in which he designs to lite, when upon the death of some relation, at present neither old nor unhealthy, he (hall iriherit an addition to his estate. Another is occupied in laying plans for the disposal of a succession of daughters in marriage: and tells you that when he shall have settled the youngest, lie (hall detach himself from the large circle of society in which he deems it necessary to continue until that object is attained, and shall remove into a more private and quiet part of the country. These remote purposes are stated with decision and unconcern, as though they could be completed to-morrow. Or if an expression, alluding to a possible uncertainty in human affairs, be interwoven: it is too often accompanied with a tone and a countenance which evince that it comes not from the heart, but is inserted only to preserve , appearances. The end to which St. James intimates that these schemes are most commonly directed is gain. It is the end of the pursuits of most men. Our blessed Lord looked upon riches with an eye very different from that of the world. He law, that they generally proved grievous hindrances to religion. To that memorable expression, in .... Y 2 which which he avers that, but for the grace of God with whoin all things are possible, they would prove themselves insuperable obstacles an the path of salvation, I have already had occasion to refer. At another time he describes riches by the names of the Mammon of * unrighteousness^ the unrighteous Mammon; because they are so continually abused topur'jposes of unrighteousness, to covetousness,. to .pride, to dissipation, tofcnsuality, to corruption. Yet on this dangerous acquisition what multitudes set their hearts! The hope of obtaining'.wealth, or of indulging in the enjoyment of it,, ensnares men into forgetfuloeis of .God, into disregard of salvation, into guiky and pursuits, into deliberate fraud .and open violence: and is one of the, principal causes of that daring self-dependence, that jpr.oud security, which encourage them presumptuously to form schemes of distant execution, to utter great swelling words of'vanity, ^and to triumph long beforehand in the sup«. posed accomplishment of their extravagant .expectations, as though they were themselves entrusted with the management of earth 3ivy\ ... vv . ... :° ... .

a^n.d its concerns, and exalted beyond the

Yeach of opposition from their fellow-creatures and 'of control from above.

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IL The next observation furnisland hy the text proves the extreme folly of such presumption. Te know not what shall- be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is eyeri a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and theg vani/hetb away. Take, thine ease; said the' rich man to his soul. Thou hqst much goocL laid up for many years. Eat',.. drink, and be merry. But what said God? Thou foot i This night foall tbfsotd be required of tbet (dK). Suppose your plans free from those causes of failure, which the world, willing as it were to exclude God from the government of hU own works, denominates accidental events. Suppose every precaution which prudence can devise to have been adopted sot the funtherance of your designs. Suppose fortune, as the phrase is, to smile upon you. "Suppose every thing, to speak after the manner of men, to turn out Well. Have you any certainty of the fulfilment of your wishes? "Have you the slightest assurance that you have in reality advanced one step towards the attainment of your Object?" I look not forward," you Jreply, "to distant years. The complete "success of my undertaking is close at hand, "To-morrow it will be within my grasp.'* Boafl not thyself of to-morrow :for thou knowefl

(d) Luke, xii. 19, 20.

not vtfbata' day may bring forth (e). '0eath comes: and in a moment''sweeps' away thee and thy' plans for ever. As for man, bis 'days are as grafs : as a flower of the field, so he flourish eth. For the windpasseth over it, arid it is gone: and the place thereof shall know it Wb more'(s).' Can riches bribe death, or'rnaKe a bargain with the tomb? As the flower of the grafs Jhall the rich man pass away. For the fun is no sooner risen -with a burning beat But it withereth the grafs, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it-pcrifheth : so also shall the rich man fade away (g). During the period which has elapsed 'sincei I first undertook the office of instructing you, however imperfectly yet according 'to the extent of my knowledge, in the word of God and the gospel of his Son; how many schemes and projects formed by your neighbours and by your relations have been disconcerted by death! How many persons, whom in successive years I have beheld and addressed from this place, have vanished from among the children of men, and have left their stations to be filled by you! Where are now the plans to which many of them had given up their hearts; the confident expectations

(*) Prov. xxvii. i. (/) Psalm pi}. 15,16. {g) J^mes, i. ID, II.


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