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conclude that all do not truly turn to him: we must conclude that all have not that firm unwavering faith in him, that full and unhesitating reliance upon his power and his promises, which would enable them with him to overcome the world. “Cure sin," it has been said with great propriety, “and you cure sorrow.” The two are inseparably connected—the one the cause—the other the effect. There is no sin which does not produce sorrow—there is no sorrow which is not the consequence, remote or immediate, of sin.—But the Christian, as we have said before, has been redeemed from sin, therefore sorrow must have lost his power over him; and if he ever sorrow at all after a worldly sort, it is only because and so far as the taint of sin still hangs about him.
Do I include in this apparently sweeping condemnation, all the sufferings which arise from what are justly termed the finer and holier sympathies of our nature ? Is there sin in the sorrow which a parent feels for the loss of his child, or a child for the loss of its parent, or a friend for the death of that one who was dear to him as his own soul ?—My brethren, of all the griefs that rack the heart of man, there are none more pious (to use that word in an old sense) than these, but at the same time the Christian is the last man in the world who can be pardoned for an excessive indulgence of them. We feel them by the law of nature—we have been relieved from them by the law of grace--we have heard a voice which cries “ I am the resurrection and the life-he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die !!" What notions must that man have of the joy of his Lord, who can lament that his brother has entered before him into it ?What estimate must he have formed of the rest that remaineth for the people of God, who can grieve that a parent has received it, in exchange for the increase of pain and care which increase of years seldom fails to bring with it?
Do we say then, that events such as those to which we are now alluding, are not to be felt at all by the real Christian? Do we say that smiles instead of tears should be the accompaniments of a Christian's funeral ?-Not so, my brethren, but we say that it is the Christian's privilege to see his friends go down into the tomb with feelings in which to other man can share : with regret doubtless for the temporary separation which must intervene, but at the same time, in the sure and certain hope of a resurrection to eternal life, and of a re-union in that life for ever.
It cannot be necessary to point out to you in detail, the manner in which Christianity destroys the power of the various other distresses and misfortunes, with which human life abounds—making the bitter sweet, and raising up light in the darkness. You'well know, that it has its appropriate remedy for every particular case, and that this is the great fountain from which all its consolations spring namely, from the consideration that man was created for eternity, and that everything which can befal him in this portion of his existence, is intended to fit and prepare him for his removal into the next. . He knows that he must be tried like as silver is tried, and if each successive ordeal renders the metal purer, by removing some defilement, purging away some dross, he receives it with thankfulness instead of repining. It serves only to exalt him more and more in heart and affection unto that place whither Christ his Saviour is gone before; and consequently, removes him more and more continually above the remaining trials, which are yet appointed for him. In short, he seems to have acquired a share of that power over the world and its evils, which Christ promised should be exhibited in the first converts, “ These signs shall follow them that believe-in my name they shall cast out devils—they shall speak with new tongues—they shall take up serpents—and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them!.”
Again, I ask, my brethren, how far have we availed ourselves of this our invaluable privilege ?-Do we perceive that it really is our privilege ?-Do we feel that in the victory over the world which Christ has permitted us to share with him, is included a victory over sorrow of every kind ?-Can we take the spoiling of our goods cheerfully-can we endure the pains and infirmities of the body patiently -can we see with pious resignation the removal of our friends !-At all events, what progress have we made towards this perfect acquiescence in the divine will ? Grieve we must, in some degree, while we are upon earth.
So long as we are in the world we shall have tribulation : but how is that tribulation received, how is it borne ?—Let me suggest this to you, my brethren, as an useful practical test of your religious condition. If we find (as it is most probable we every one of us shall find) that in neither of the points we have been examining, is the state of our hearts what we could wish it to be, if the temptations that are in the world,