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find that thing, whatever it is, that can preserve us, in the midst of plenty, from being undone by the allurements and temptations of the world ; that can secure our peace against the casualties of fortune, and the torments which the disappointinents of the world bring with them ; that can save us from the cares and solicitudes which attend upon large poffelfions, and give us a mind capable of relishingthegood things before us; easy and satisfied as to the prefent, fecure and void of fear as to the future. And what is this remedy ? and who is he that can supply it ? He only it is who is the author of every good and perfect gift; whom to know and to love, is a perpetual spring of joy and felicity. The man who enjoys the world under a sense of religion, and of the power and goodness of God, will fo use the world as not to abuse it; will look upon the uncertainties of life with the unconcernedness of a man who knows he has a much nobler poffeffion, of which no one can rob him: he will part with his riches without torment, he will keep them without anxiety, and use them so as to make them a blessing to himself and all around him. - If the course of the world be difordered, and threatens the inhabitants thereof with calamity and distress, he will maintain his inward peace, knowing that the Lord is King, be the earth ever fo unquiet: he will look with pleasure into all the scenes of futurity, being well assured, that the world that now is, and the world that is to come, are in the hands of God. These are the comforts which, in the multitude of sorrows which surround us, will refresh the foul of a religious man, whilst they who forget God are spending a wretched life

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in lamenting over the misfortunes of this world, and are ending it to begin a more wretched life in the world that is to come.

As the comforts flowing from a true sense of religion are the only true support of the spirit of a man, in all circumstances and conditions ; so the loss of them is frequently attended with a misery, of all others the sharpest, and which the mind of man can leaft bear. We call this misery by the name of despair: a grief it is, which pierces through the soul, and racks it in every part. There are two sorts of it. One has God for its object, but God clothed in anger and vengeance ; it has no trust or confidence in him; it is all fear and dread, as living under a Being supposed to want no power, and to have no mercy; or thinking itself incapable of all mercy, as a vessel of wrath, fitted to destruction: the other disbelieves the being of a God, or his providence and care over his creatures; it sees the world in disorder and confusion, the righteous afflicted, the wicked in great prosperity, and hastily concludes, that there is no God, or that he regards none of these things : a conclufion which either fills our hearts with all the pains of desponding melancholy, seeing ourselves surround. ed with innumerable troubles, and no helping hand near to lend us affiftance; or else makes them obdurate and fully set to do evil, seeing the prosperity of the wicked, and none near to call them to account. Need I now add any thing to shew the wretchedness of these conditions? Is it not a miserable state to live in a world where no justice is to be expected ; to struggle not only with the acci

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dents of life, but with the wickedness of men, with the violence of the oppreffor, with the fraud of the deceitful, with the envy of the malicious, and with the jealousies and suspicions of all about us? to have all our hopes and expectations confined within this narrow scene of wickedness and confusion, and no power to overrule this disorder, no hand to guide us through the storm? Is it not ftill more wretched to live under the constant dread of an incensed power ; in daily expectation of the time shortly to come, which will deliver us up to his wrath ; a wrath which no repentance can appease, no tears can foften? No imagination can form to itself a misery exceeding this.

These are the sorrows to which we are exposed, when once we let go our trust and confidence in God, and render ourselves incapable of his comforts. As long as we have hope in God, we fee our way through the world, and move within fight of a sure haven of rest and peace : if the wicked prosper, we know there is a day of account; if the righteous suffer, we know his reward is not far off: if all things about us seem disturbed, we know whose word can bring order out of confusion : whatever our state and condition are, we poffefs our souls in patience, and in full affurance that all things are subject to him, who is our God, and our Redeemer.

I shall detain you no longer than to lay two consequences before you, arising from what has been said. First, Since the evils of life do so necessarily force us to have resort to the comforts of religion, being capable of no other cure or remedy, it may shew us some marks of God's goodness and care of us, even in his permitting these many evils in the world': they are so many calls to us, to search out and secure to ourselves that real happiness to which we are ordained. Had we been made for this world only, it would be impossible to imagine a reason, why a Being of infinite goodness should place us in the midst of so many fears and sorrows : but as we are formed for a more lasting state than this, and are placed here for our trial only, it was neceffary and agreeable to the wife ends of Providence to surround us on all fides with warnings not to set up our reft here, but to remember, and with all our might to labour for the life that shall never perish. To this end the evils of the world are very subfervient; they are diffused through all conditions of life, and are calls to persons 'of all conditions to remember God in all their ways, and to keep a steadfaft eye upon the things which God has prepared for those who love him.

Secondly, Since the evils of life cannot be avoided, nor yet be cured without the helps and affiftances which religion alone can afford; let us confider, what a sad choice we make for ourselves, when we throw from us the hopes and comforts which flow from a due acknowledgment of God. If we have hope in this life only, we must be miserable. We are born to misery, and we must die to be happy. But if we add to the terrors of death, by renouncing or forfeiting all hopes of futurity; if we corrupt the few pleasures of life by the fears of guilt, and give weight and sharpness to all our other afflictions, by a fearful looking for of judg

ment to come; our condition, even in this world, will be deplorable, and our life but one continued scene of hopeless misery. As we value therefore even the pleasures of this life, and our share in the good things of the world, which the providence of God has placed before us, let us keep ourselves in a capacity of enjoying them, by holding fast the comforts of religion. These only can give us a true relish of our pleasures; these only can enable us to bear like men our share of evil and affliction : our hearts will often be disquieted within us, and we shall, in the multitude of our thoughts, find a multitude of sorrows: let us therefore keep God our friend, whose comforts will refresh our fouls.

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