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way previously supposed. The clouds which appear blackest in the distance, sometimes pass almost harmlessly over our heads, or turn aside in the midst of their career, or bring wind only, instead of hail and rain, or, otherwise, turn out less overwhelming than we had expected. Should, however, the calamities which threaten us, really advance, and come upon us, even to the uttermost, in some future day, that is no reason for beginning to suffer them now in thought, before the time when God will comfort us under them, and while the present has sufficient evil of its own to exercise our powers of endurance and resignation.

On the whole, therefore, my brethren, as you would avoid being “swallowed up” of much vexation, without any comfortable hope of deliverance, receive, and obey the advice contained in my text. Nothing has been said, which can justly be interpreted as affording countenance to that brutal maxim—“Let us “ eat and drink, for to-morrow we die"-which, notwithstanding that life and immortality have been brought to light through the Gospel, is still practically adopted by not a few. Nor have the words of Jesus been explained, as if idle and extravagant persons, or persons determined at all events to gratify some present inclination, should not be left by God to suffer the want which their imprudence may have deserved. Only, the industrious and prudent have been admonished, by the authority of our common Lord, not to be soon troubled in mind, not to be anxious, or mistrustful about the future; but, on the contrary, under all circumstances, to seek first, without distraction, the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, as the good which it will most behove them to obtain. And His promise, if men will thus commit their way unto the Lord, I have explained to be, that He will generally provide for them, not the luxuries, nor, perhaps, so much as we have used ourselves to esteem the becoming ornaments and conveniences of life, but, simply food and raiment sufficient to keep them in health, until the days of their pilgrimage shall have been accomplished. Trouble and difficulties may, nevertheless, frequently befall them; and they may be quite unable to find relief, before the very moment when they can no longer abide without it.--Finally, however, let no one deem the injunction hard, or the encouragement to obey it slender. “A small thing, that “ the righteous hath, is better than great riches “ of the ungodly.” (Psalm xxxvii. 16.) Moreover, to them who put their trust in God, and habitually moderate their desires, every evil is merely for a day. Men of this character never “ pierce themselves through with many sor“ rows” at one time, nor collect, and invent distresses, more in number than they can obtain fortitude to bear. The changing scenes of life are endured by them, one after the other, with a pious composure of spirit; and, beyond all earthly things, they have an interest in that better country, where there shall be neither hunger nor thirst, nor any fear of evil; but one unclouded day of happiness without alloy, and without end.

SERMON XVI.

Psalm lxxiii. 24. Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward

receive me to glory. THE Psalm from which these words are taken, is one of the most interesting character. It contains an account, at considerable length, of a temptation, such as is still very common to man, and of a happy recurrence by the Psalmist to the Divine power and wisdom, when it had almost gotten the better of his constancy. This, my brethren, I will here accordingly describe, as an expedient introduction to my text.

The author asserts, in his first verse, “ Truly “ God is good to Israel, even to such as are of “ a clean heart." Not, however, without much previous difficulty and mistrust, had he established himself in so pious a conviction. Like a traveller, who, having reached a firm and comfortable resting-place in despite of many obstacles, delights thence to look back upon, and contemplate the toil and dangers, which he hath gone through,—after the manner of one

The Christian's Hope of Guidance and Glory. 237 thus landed, he recollects his past distressing apprehensions, and states, for the instruction of others, by what way, or process, he had surmounted them, and attained to such an elevated confidence. Having expressed his present assurance of the lovingkindness of God to Israel, who would, in heart, be His people, he directly confesses, “ But as for me, my feet “ were almost gone; my steps had well nigh

slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, “ when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Yea, from observing their wealth, notwithstanding their haughty, and blasphemous language, and their self-will, and the oppressive extortion which they were guilty of, he had nearly fallen into murmuring and unbelief. Conscious of his own comparative uprightness, he had complained, “Verily, I have cleansed my heart in “ vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For “ all the day long have I been plagued, and “ chastened every morning." Upon that, the Psalmist calls to mind his natural foolishness and ignorance, and his gross incapacity, which, by speaking thus rashly, he had betrayed, to order himself wisely, and to fathom the counsels of the Most High, and goes on declaring the place, where he had happily found light for his darkness, and a foresight of deliverance from the tyrannous pride which was confounding

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