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But do they commonly last so long? In many an instance, while they are still attainable, the relish for them is destroyed by satiety. Then how frequently are they banished by vicissitudes of fortune! Riches make themselves wings and fly away. Anxiety pushes into the place of Amusement. Distress occupies the station of delight. Necessity supersedes indulgence. But let the current of prosperity remain full. The tide of youth and strength cannot be sustained. Old age advances with uninterrupted pace. Then come gray hairs and trembling limbs, and painful days and wakeful nights. Where are now the pleasures of the wicked? What is the satisfaction now to be extracted from honour, or from wealth, or from power, or from the friendship of the world? What is become of all the vanities of life? It is not that their servant is shortly to leave them. It is that they have deserted their servant. They have left him a prey to bitter recollection, to fruitless wishes, to disappointment without remedy and without hope. Like the plundered Ephraimite, the wretched votary looks around in vain for his idols. He had set his heart on shadows which cannot prosit j and is miserable because they are U 3 gone.

gone. How fares in the mean time the man of religion? His treasures are not subject to decay. The loss of worldly good manifests the unalterable value of the portion which he has chosen. Stripped of earthly possessions, it is then that he appears tfuly rich. Encompassed with tribulation, it is then that he displays inherent happiness. In penury, in sickness, in affliction, he proves that he retains that which is more valuable* that which in the mojnent of trial he feels to be more valuable, than all that.ithe world can give; that which is.not, like the gifts of the world, perishable ; that which the world is equally unable to give and to take away. But let it be supposed that the wicked man grasps his good things^ be they what they may, until death. The righteous man, travelling by his side, enjoys his delights unto the fame period. So far, as to duration, the servant of God is not under any disadvantage. But from the instant of death how stands the comparison?*That instant which for ever extinguishes the pleasures off. the wicked, fees the happiness of the righteous only in its commencement.' Before the .righteous eternity spreads abroad its. immeasurable and inconceivable extent; and ... .. shews

shews him that extent filled with blessedr nese, filled with'blessedness for him. He can die no more; for he is become like "unto the anjgeis: and is of the children of "God, being of the children of the resurrection. He looks' forward, let it not be' said with hope, for hope is swallowed up in certainty ; he looks forward with assurance incapable of disappointment or diminution to unutterable and progressive bliss, in the presence of Christ, before the throne of God, throughout ages beyond ages, for evermore, world without end." . Religion then, we may affirm, pursues, like wisdom,objects the attainment'of which may be secured: like wisdom, sets her affections upon those things which in their nature are the most excellent t like wisdom, chooses for her portion those acquisitions, which in the possession are accompanies with the highest delight; like wisdoms, steadily seeks after effectual' remedies for evils, actual or probable; like wisdom,' fixes her 'eye' stedfistly on that happiness which is,' in the fullest fense of the term, durable. Is not this to fay that wisdom and religion are the same? Is not this to pronounce that religion is the perfection of wisdom? Is not this to affirm'that U 3 wicked

wickedness is folly; the extreme and the consummation of folly; that it is folly so extravagant and enormous, that every other example or kind of foolishness deserves, when compared with sin, to be denominated wisdom ? Are not your thoughts now ready to break forth in the language of Holy Writ. The sear os the Lord, that is wisdom: and to depart from evil is understanding: It is the fool that maketh a mock at fin: the sogl% 0 Lord, Jhall not Jland in thy fight [e)\ Is this the language of your hearts? See then that yp. -walk circumspectly.; not as fools, but as -wife (s), You know the/ountain of wisdom. Christ is not only the power of God, but the wisdom of God: and of God he is made unto us wisdom no less than righteousness and sanctification and redemption (g). How is wisdom to be obtained? Is any os you lack wisdom, let him ajk os God, who giveth unto all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it Jhall be given him {h). How will God bestow the gift? By the inspiration of his Spirit, the Spirit os Christ, the Spirit of wisdom. What is the description which the spirit of wisdom has delivered of wisdom: not of the

(<) Prov. ix. io. xiv. 9. Job, xxviii. 28. Ps. v. 5. (/) Eph, v. 15. (j) 1 Cor. i. 24. 30. (b) James, i. J.

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,wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with God; but of the wisdom which cometh from above? The wisdom that is from above is first pure 1. then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated; full of mercy and good fruits; without partiality, and without hypocrisy (?').. It is pure: it is holy and undefiled; it leads the heart to devote itself to God; it inspires abhorrence even of the appearance of evil. It is peaceable: it studies those things which make for peace, and things whereby one may edify another. It is gentle: it is averse either to give or to take offence; it deals no unmerited censure; it vents no harsh language; it abounds in humility, meekness, forbearance, and charity. It is easy to be entreated: it lends a willing ear to lenient counsel: it cheerfully forgives a brother even until seventy times seven. It is full of mercy: it is actively and invariably tender, compassionate, and kind ; breathing love for all men, and seeking the welfare of all men. It is full of good fruits: if. honours not Gad with the lips only: It fays not to the naked and hungry, Depart, be ye warmed and silled; and yet gives them not those jhings which are needful; but. it

.»;i,.| '?. , >(i)cJames, iii. 17. f ^ 'i V

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