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had many comforts and few sor- sa fatal to its happiness as a disTOWS, considered themselves so too. contented temper. It poisons every I have been taught to consider source of rational enjoyment, and God as the All-wise Disposer of casts a gloom over the fairest proevents, and to trace the hand of spects of life. Not contented with his Providence in the daily occur- magnifying trifling inconveniences rences of life ; and have supposed into serious trials, it deprives bless. that it was as general for people to ings of their value; and “ shades receive blessings with gratitude, with sorrow, what with smiles and afflictions with resignation, as should glow." But to speak of it to attend to any other religious as destructive to worldly happiness duties. How, then, am I surprised alone, is to bestow upon it a very and disappointed, upon entering into small part of the censure it deserves: the world, to find that I have
been it is much to be feared, that whomistaken! It is a source of serious ever suffers his mind to be imbued grief to me, to observe how great with this temper, is very little un à spirit of discontent exists in der the guidance of that religion minds which ought to be the abode which enjoins us“ in every thing of peace and gratitude. I have to give thanks." recently had peculiar opportunities Senex is surrounded by social of observing its baneful effects; and comfort and domestic blessings, and being extremely desirous that all, possesses a share of health and and particularly, young people; vigour more than common to per: should be warned against encou- sons of his age. "Tis true the raging so great an evil, 1 venture buoyant spirits and the activity of to offer a few remarks, tending to youth are fled, and be must now set forth the value of a grateful, resign to more nervous limbs those contented disposition.
employments and recreations in The praises of a contented dis- which he once delighted. · These position are sounded by people deprivations, trifling as they are, who are little aware of its highest compared with those that other value ; who little understand the aged persons endure, are converted, source from whence it should flow, by the discontented temper: of Seor the ends to which it should be nex, into sources of continual dismade subservient; and whose mean- quietude. Regret for blessings ing would, perhaps, be better ex- that are past, makes him look with pressed by the terin thoughtless- an eye of indifference on those ness, or apathy. I desire, therefore, which remain, and neglect the tato make myself clearly understood lents he has yet to improve. as to the kind of disposition I Though the hand of old age lies se would so strongly recommend. I lightly apon him, bre seems to conwish my readers to distinguish sider it an insupportable burden. between that self-complacency withalu every transient pain, in every which the worldling would say to uncomfortable sensation, he sees himself,“ Soul, take thiue ease; the seeds of some distressing diseat, drink, and be merry;" and that case, that is to carry bim through happy state of mind which Habak- a long course of suffering to the kuk enjoyed when he deelared, that, tomb. This frame of mind accomhowever adverse worldly circum- panies him through the daily walk stanees might prove, yet " le of life, and renders every circumwould rejoice in the Lord; he stance a cause for dissatisfaction. would joy in the God of his salva- Thas does he waste the time wbich tion." Among the numerous dis- for hina is so soon to be no more; orders to which the human mind is shus does he trample under foot subject, there is perlaps not oue those blessings, of the use or abuse
of which he is so soon to give an to that calm serenity, that heartfelt account. O Senex, be persuaded joy, which he alone enjoys who in to lay aside these fruitless cares, the daily occurrences of life traces these restless' anxieties : submit the hand of a wise and beneficent with humility and gratitude to that Providence, where can they turn Being who has led you through a for comfort, to whom apply for long life of health and comfort, consolation ? From the restless and who still: “ daily loadeth you anxiety and dissatisfaction they with benefits.” With all your care evince, we feel inclined to ask and anxiety, you will not mitigate them, in the words of an ensithe sufferings of old age, nor delay nent divine, “When do you begin the approach of death. Be assured, to permit God to govern the God's holy will will be done in world?" Had the Almighty deyou; let it therefore be your care legated to them the office of or. that it is done by you, by gratefully dering the events of their life, and enjoying or patiently suffering the conducting the course of nature as blessings or trials it is his wisdom far as it relates to themselves, to dispense.
their embarrassment and disconFlavia is placed in a situation of tent could hardly be greater; and life, as free from real evil, and then, indeed, it would be natural abounding as much in valuable and unavoidable. But, as it is, blessings, as any this imperfect acknowledging, as they do, an Allstate affords. The pleasures of wise Governor of the world, and social and the endearments of do professing to believe that Book mestic life are continually before which 'assures us, not a sparher, and she possesses the power row falleth to the ground without and opportunity of being useful to his knowledge; how inconsistent, her fellow-creatures in an eminent how blind to their duty and degree. These blessings, though interest, do they shew themselves! of such bigh value, she seem's Perhaps they say that it would scarcely to consider as such, whilst, be presumptuous to suppose that in the petty cares which every a Being so high in majesty and mistress of a family must experi- glory as Jevoval, should condeence, and indeed in almost every scend to attend to the petty conoccurrence, she finds subject for cerns of such mean creatures as murmuring and discontent. Turn- they are. But this they know to ing aside from the pleasant path be an idle excuse, a vague assermarked out for her by Providence, tion. Let them rather reflect with she entangles herself (if I may be comfort, that, though the Almighty allowed the metaphor) in the briers is “the high and lofty One that and brambles which were intended inbabiteth eternity;" though " He only to keep her in the right way, rideth upon the circle of the earth, and to remind her that she is not and the inhabitants thereof are as yet arrived at that country where grashoppers ;" though before Him the rose shall blossom without a “the nations are as a drop in the thorn.
bucket, and the small dust of the Alas, how widely does this differ balance;" yet “ his eyes are over from Christian perfection! How the righteous, and his ears are might these characters glorify God, open to their prayers." Let them and increase their own happiness, assure themselves, that the eye
of would they but conform themselves Omniscience is “about their bed, to the precepts of that religion and about their ways;" that he “ whose ways are ways of plea- marks the gloomy countenance, santness, and all whose patlıs are the tone of impatience, the sigh of peace!" Strangers, as they must be, discontent; and will require an
account of moments spent in fruits glory.;"" and these he will consider less regret or impious distrust, pearls of so great a price, that he which might bave borne to heaven will willingly relinquish any thing sone tribute of praise or token of to secure them. Thus cheering, meek submission.
thus smooth, is the path of ChrisThe Christian, who knows that tian holiness. Thus peaceful is his to love God is his highest happi- mind whose constant aim it is both Dess, as well as duty, will be anxious to do and suffer the will of his fully to appreciate every blessing heavenly Father. Unharassed by he possesses, iu order that the doubt and distrust, he can take a gratitude he feels for them may calm survey of the objects of time continually increase his divine love. · and sense, and he finds them unThe peculiar advantages of his situ- worthy to disturb the tranquillity ation in life, the opportunities he or engross the powers of a soul may have of being useful to his formed for heaven and immortality. fellow-creatures, and his mental Oh, you, whose tempers are yet endowments, will be the subjects of unfixed, whose minds are yet suscontinual thankfulness. But it is ceptible of the emotions of gratinot alone the signal instances of tude, endeavour to maintain within God's goodness that will raise his yourselves this happy disposition. gratitude, and inspire his love: in Then will you find comfort and " the narrow sphere of sweet satisfaction in whatever station you domestic comfort,” he will look are placed. As you proceed on around, and see innumerable bless your journey through life, you will ings which call for his acknow- cull with pleasure the flowers which ledgment and improvement. Tri- a kind Providence strews in your filing as they may be in themselves, way; and, when your path is rugged they will be sweet to him; for he and perplexed with thorns, the will enjoy them for the sake of the steady arm of faith shall support Giver, and he will feel how much and guide you, whilst greater they are than he deserves.
- Hope shall point to distant years, The content and satisfaction which Fair op’ning through this vale of tears will then be diffused over the soul, A vista to the sky. . will give cheerfulness to his de
EUSEBIA. meanour, pleasantness to his temper, and activity to his kindness. Ile will be desirous that others FAMILY SERMONS. No. LXXV. should share the happiness he enjoys ; and thus will be shew Acts xi. 24.-He was a good man. forth, in his life, the praise that No expression is employed with ever bangs upon his lips. When more various meaning tban that of it shall please Providence to resume the text-he is “ a good-man." bis gifts, he will not murmur or Sometimes you hear the title aprepine, but will patiently dismiss plied to a man who, without having them, happy in the reflection, that the least religion, is benevolent: they have in some measure answered sometimes to him who, - without their intended purpose; and that, at being even benevolent, is goodthe great day of account, they will tempered: sometiines to him who, appear as so many witnesses to bear without possessing any otlrer good testimony to the faithfulness of his quality, is just. Often, when perstewardship. Even under severe sons have been stating some such afflictions his contentment will not fault in the conduct of another as forsake him, for he will know that plainly condemns him in the sight they are only blessings in a rougher of God, you hear them conclude guise ; he will still possess the the statement by saying, "I believe
means of grace and hopes of him, however, to be a good man.”
Now, if such language had merely fihost. And with this sentiment the effect of rendering us more the general doctrine of the Bible charitable to others, the abuse of accords. It teaches, that no map language might be less condemned is esteemed good in the sight of for the sake of the practical benefits God, who is not thus influenced by arising from it. But the fact is, his Spirit. " Except (it says) a man that such low estimates of goodness is born again of the Spirit, he can. have the effect of confounding good not enter into the kingdom of and evil; of destroying the serip. God"-"except ye be converted tural standard of right and wrong; (or changed by the Holy Spirit), of leading us to view in ourselves ye cannot enter in the kingdom of and others, without any feelings of God"—" if any man has not the indignation or regret, vices which spirit of Christ, he is none of his"it is essential to our safety to sub- as many as are led by the Spirit due. If we deem ourselves or of God, they are the sons of God." others sufficiently “good,” it is Yon see, then, that the first feature obvious that we shall attempt no. of the “good man” of the Scrip. thing for their improvement or for tures is, that he is influenced my
But, amidst this variety the Spirit of God; that his underof opinion, how are we to decide standing is enlightened ; that his who is really the good man? There nature is renewed; that his heart is only one means, -an appeal to is sanctified; that his conduct is some common standard ; to some governed by a power without and Judge, in whose decision all parties beyond himself--a power not bu. will be disposed to acquiesce. And man, but Divine. How, then, my such a standard I may venture to brethren, allow me to ask, can that say is the Bible, and such a Judge man be really "good," who, though is God Almighty. Now, turn to possessed of many amiable qualithe text. Here is a person who is ties, is plainly not under the insaid, by God himself, to have been fuence of the Holy Spirit-perhaps “a good man." Let us then ex- devies all such influence; or unamine the conduct and cbaracter of dervalues it; or neglects all the Barnabas, who is the person thus means of grace, to the use of wbich described, and we shall at once the gift of the Holy Spirit is prodiscover to what class of men the mised? He may possibly be amidescription really applies. There able, may be gentle, may be beneare five distinct circumstances in volent; but he is not "good"-he the history of Barnabas which are has not that “ holiness, without worthy of notice, and these I shall which no man sball see the Lord.” proceed to point out.
Howemphatic is the description of 1. In the first place, he is de- Barnabas ! “ He was full of the scribed in the words immediately HolyGhost;"-anexpression which, following the text, as a man " fuit bad it been employed by man, had of the Holy Ghost."-This expres- at least bordered upon blasphemy
sion cannot, of course, applymerely an expression conveying the idea to his power of working miracles, that every motive, wish, principle, because many bad men possessed taste, desire of the heart, was so that power in common with him. occupied by a heavenly influence, self. “Many,” it is said, “ shall as to exclude every other; that, say, In thy name have we cast out as the Shechinalı, the cloud of devils;" to whom Christ will reply, the Divine presence, descended and “I never knew you.” The ex- filled the temple, so God had de“pression, therefore, extends to the soended, and made the body of ordinary gifts of the Spirit-to the Barnabas the temple of the Holy change and sanctification of the Ghost.
Ghost. Mysterious, indeed, is heart by the Intluences of the Holy such language, but full of comfort
to the devout mind. May it teach of spirits—a world of inconceivable us to pray, in the language of our joy and splendour, lighted by a Church, “Cleanse the thoughts of sun which never goes down, and our hearts by the inspiration of thy watered by that river which “makes Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly glad the city of God.” He belove thee, and worthily magnify thy lieved, also, that the Son of God holy Name !"
was the Lamb who had died for 2. A second feature pointed out the sins of the world. And, amidst in the character of Barnabas is, all the perplexities and calamities that he “ was (also) full of faith" of life, he looked forward to a "a good man, full of the Holy state where his unceasing employGhost and of faith.”—The Holy ment and privilege should be to Spirit does not act upon men as ascribe honour, and glory, and dothough they were machines. God minion to Him that sitteth on the has given us reason, and memory, throne, and to the Lamb for ever and many affections and passions and ever. Here, then, was a faith of the mind; and it is upon these which so enlarged and changed the Holy Spirit acts. God has his views, that it evidently conespecially gives us a power, under stituted the main feature of his the blessed influence of his Spirit, character. It was the fountainto believe or reject certain truths; head of his actions, tempers, and and the belief of the truths he desires. It was the good principle teaches is, in the Scriptures, called which formed the “ good man." “ faith.” Barnabas, then, was full But, if this was the case, what of faith ; full, that is, of a new right have we to call him “ good" belief, communicated by God, who is wholly wanting in this prinwhich, as a master-principle, ciple; who, perhaps, suspects or guided and controuled every ac- despises it ; who, perhaps, little tion of his life. If you look into concerns himself with what he is the history of mankind, you will to believe ; who, perhaps, does not find that a man can scarcely believe read the book in which his faith is in any new truth or fact without to be formed; who adopts the its producing some change in his creed which he finds in his family, conduct. Much less, then, can or in his neighbourhood, or which his faith be unproductive when is suited to his interest and his be either believes in general the pleasures. Surely if the good man doctrines of the Gospel, or the of the Bible was “ full of faith”single fact, that the Son of God so exclusively occupied by it, that died for the sins of the world. no other motive or principle deSach a faith must produce a power- served to be named with it--if the ful effect upon his character. Now, “good man” of the Scriptures was of this living, practical “faith," "full" of this, he cannot be "good" Barnabas was “ full.” He believed, who does not possess it, and will that is, in the whole revelation of not seek it. Here, also, then, may God. He believed there was a we be led to pray,
“ Lord, we God; the Maker, the Father, the believe; help thou our unbelief." Righteous Governor of the uni- 3. A third feature in the verse, to whom all beings should character of Barnabas was, that answer for the deeds done in religion was the business of his the body. He believed that the life, and, I may add, the joy of his wicked should finally go away heart.–Of the time, thought, and into everlasting punishment, and labour which he dedicated to relithe righteous into life eternal. gion, the whole book of Acts is He believed that the world on one great monument; and as to which he now stood, would soon the joy with which he contemplated be shaken to its foundation ; but its growing interests, the verse