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were there no need of patience. But thus runs the universal sentence: “ Cursed is the ground for thy “ sake. In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days “ of thy life : thorns also and thistles shall it bring " forth to thee. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou

eat bread, till thou return to the ground out of “ which thou wast taken.” By this sentence are we all bound, as by a chain of adamant; and every man, s from þim that sitteth upon the throne to him that “ lieth in the dungeon,” must have labour and sorrow for his portion, till he depart out of this mortal life. And to this sad truth we all bear testimony, as soon as we come into it. The cries of the new-born infant testify that it is born to sorrow. Tribulation, thus necessarily entailed upon us, admits of no remedy but patience; the reasonableness of which is strongly enforced by the consideration, that our sufferings are the punishment of our sins. We indeed “ receive the due reward of our deeds;" one man only suffered, who “had done nothing amiss.” In Christians it is more especially requisite, who, besides the ordinary calamities of life, have the devil with all his wiles to resist, the flesh with all its desires to mortify, the world with all its temptations and terrors to over

The devil cannot be resisted, the flesh cannot be mortified, the world cannot be overcome, without patience; by which alone repentance is perfected, faith is supported, hope is preserved alive, charity is nourished, and all those holy tempers are formed in us which Christ in his sermon on the mount hath pronounced blessed ; yea, and they ever shall be blessed. We, therefore, surely have of all men the most need of patience, that after we have thereby done and suffered the will of God, we may receive the promises : for the promises are these“He that endureth to the end shall be saved. Be “ thou faithful unto death, and I will give

come.

will give thee a " crown of life." But how shall we endure to the end ? how shall we be faithful unto death, if we have not patience ? as the wise man pathetically exclaims : “ Woe unto you that have lost patience: and what « will ye do, when the Lord shall visit you? Patience is the only armour that is proof against all assaults, and he who has well buckled it on, needeth not to fear any temptation. Money cannot tempt him who can endure poverty: honour cannot corrupt him who can endure disgrace; pleasure cannot seduce him who can endure pain ; in short, nothing can prevail over him who can endure all things, waiting the Lord's time for his deliverance and reward. Over him the evil one hath no power; and all the comfort to be had in this world is his. It is

" Blessed is the man that hath no trouble;" for there is no such man, nor ever was, nor ever will be; but we must say,

< Blessed is the man " who best beareth that portion of trouble which “ falleth to his share."

VI. The manifold inconveniences of impatience will set this truth off to great advantage. tience is the attribute of God, impatience had its beginning from Satan. Through envy of the devil,” saith the wise man,

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came death into the world."

As pa

a Ecclus. ii, 14.

And whence proceeds envy, but from impatience of beholding the happiness of another? Impatience and malice therefore had one father, and they have grown together in his children ever since. An impatient desire of the forbidden fruit lost Paradise, which patience to persevere in obedience to the commandment, had preserved to this day. Impatient at beholding his brother's sacrifice accepted and his own rejected, Cain murdered Abel. Unable, through impatience, to bear the uneasiness of hunger, Esau sold his birthright. Through impatience the patriarchs, moved with envy at the love which Jacob bare to Joseph and the predictions of his exaltation, sold their brother into Egypt. Through impatience the Israelites, when Moses was gone up into the mount, turned aside to idolatry. Through impatience of a superior, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram became schismatics and rebels. And, to mention no more examples, through impatience of sound doctrine and wholesome reproof, the Jews killed the prophets, and crucified the Son of God. In a word, as patience is the foundation of all good, impatience is the seed-plot of all evil, which may not improperly be called "impatience of good;" as no man commences vicious, but for want of patience to persevere in virtue and to resist temptation. And as that which is the cause of sin can be but an ill cure for sorrow, he that is impatient under any load which it pleases God to lay upon him, only renders it heavier, and new points the thorns of the fall, that they may the more sensibly gall and afflict him. All sufferings are infinitely aggravated by impatience, and

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some owe their very being to it; insomuch that a peevish, fretful temper will be “ vexed, even as a

thing that is raw,” by every object it touches; it will most ingeniously contrive to keep itself always on the rack, on account of trifling incidents, which, in a mind endued with the grace of patience, could not have produced the least shadow of uneasiness. In this, therefore, as in other cases, God hath annexed a blessing to virtue, and hath made man's real happiness to consist in the performance of his duty.

Lastly, let me set before you, in one view, the incomparable excellences and advantages of this lovely grace of patience. Patience, then, commends us to God, and keeps us his. Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility : patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, refrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom. Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes

; us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man;

is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex, and every age. Behold her appearance and her attire. Her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her forehead. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eye-brows sit' cheerfulness and joy. Her mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and colour that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, despising and laughing him to scorn. She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross. She rides not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion, but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace.

If, therefore, to be made like unto God; if to be conformed to the image of Christ; if to follow the precepts of the Gospel; if to write after the copies of saints; if to render our present state comfortable, and ensure our final redemption from sin and sorrow; if to avoid the manifold inconveniences of impatience, and enjoy the incomparable excellences and advantages of patience; if these are things desirable, let us from henceforth give ourselves to the pursuit of this divine virtue; let us “ follow after patience.” And for this purpose, let us adore and imitate the long-suffering of God; let us contemplate and transcribe into our practice the patience of Jesus Christ;

The portrait here presented to the reader is copied from TerTULLIAN's noble treatise on the subject, to which we owe that of CYPRIAN. This discourse is an abstract of both.

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