« EelmineJätka »
it within you. Depend upon his grace, which will be “ sufficient for you;” and “ being made free from sin,
and become servants to God, you will have your
fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For “ the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is “ eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen.
Psalm cxviii. 15.
THE VOICE OF REJOICING IS IN THE TABERNACLES OF THE RIGHTEOUS:
NOTHING can more usefully engage our attention than Human Nature and Human Life. The proper study of mankind is Man. His origin and his end ; the structure of his body and the powers of his mind; his situation and his connections ; are all capable of yielding us boundless and edifying instruction.
In observing mankind, the private and familiar views of their character are by far the most curious, interesting, and profitable. The greater part of our history is composed of minute and common incidents ; and little and ordinary things serve more to discover a man, and conduce more to render him useful than splendid and rare occurences. Abroad a man appears cautious; at home he is unreserved. Abroad he is artificial ; at home he is real. Abroad he is. useful; at home he is necessary; and of this we may be fully assured, that a man is in truth what he is in
his own family, whether vicious or virtuous, tyrannical or mild, miserable or happy.
My Brethren, we are going to enter one of those houses, of which David speaks; a tabernacle “ filled $ with the voice of rejoicing.” Domestic Felicity is * our present subject. Let us consider two things; the IMPORTANCE, and the source of this happiness. 1. WHAT MAY BE SAID IN COMMENDATION OF IT. II. WHAT WILL BE NECESSARY TO THE POSSESSION
O Thou, who hast said, “k is not good for “ man to be alone,” “God of the families of all “ the earth,” may thy secret be upon our tabernacles ; under the influence of thy Providence and Grace may we derive from our unions all the blessedness they are capable of affording; and to this end guide and sanctify our meditations.
Part I. One of the most agreeable scenes we can ever survey upon earth, is a peaceful and happy family; where friendship comes in to draw more closely the bonds of nature; where the individuals resemble the human body, and if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, and if one member be honoured, all the members rejoice; where every care is divided, every sorrow diminished, every joy redoubled, by discovery, by sympathy, by communion ; where mutual confidence prevails, and advice, consolation, and succour are reciprocally given and received. To such a sight God himself calls our attention ; “ Behold how good and pleasant a thing it is for “ brethren to dwell together in unity!" Some things are good but not pleasant, and some things are pleas
ant but not good. Here both are combined, and the effect is fragrant as the sacred perfume, and reviving as the influences of Heaven. “It is like the precious $ ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the “ beard, even Aaron's beard ; that went down to the “ skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and
as the dew that descended upon the mountains of “ Zion : for there the Lord commanded his blessing, " even life for evermore." Let us establish the im. PORTANCE of Domestic Happiness, by taking some particular views of its connections and influence.
And, First, We may consider it in reference to our AVOCATIONS and CARES. These are numerous and diversified, and demand relaxation and relief. Who could endure perpetual drudgery and fatigue ? and, Oh, what so refreshing, so soothing, so satisfying as the placid joys of home!
See the traveller. Does duty call him for a season to leave his beloved circle? The image of his earthly happiness continues vividly in his remem. brance; it quickens him to diligence; it cheers him under difficulties; it makes him hail the hour which sees his purpose accomplished, and his face turned towards home; it communes with him as he journeys ; and he hears the promise which causes hini to hope, “ Thou shalt know also that thy tabernable shall be in
peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation and not “ sin.” Oh, the joyful re-union of a divided family; the pleasures of renewed interview and conversation after days of absence !
Behold the man of science. He drops the labour and painfulness of research, closes his volume, smooths his wrinkled brows, leaves his study, and unbending himself, stoops to the capacities, yields to the wishes, and mingles with the diversions of his children.
"He will not blush that has a father's heart,
Take the man of trade. What reconciles him to the toil of business? What enables him to endure the fastidiousness and impertinence of customers ? What rewards him for so many hours of tedious confinement ? By and by the season of intercourse will arrive; he will be imbosomed in the caresses of his family : he will behold the desire of his eyes, and the children of his love, for whom he resigns his ease ; and in their welfare and smiles he will find his recompense.
Yonder comes the labourer. He has borne the burden and heat of the day ; the descending sun has released him from his toil, and he is hastening home to enjoy repose. Half-way down the lane, by the side of which stands his cottagę, his children run to meet him ; one he carries, and one he leads. The companion of his humble life is ready to furnish him with his plain repast. See his toil-worn countenance assumes an air of cheerfulness ; his hardships are forgotten; fatigue vanishes : he eats and is satisfied; the evening fair, he walks with uncovered head around his garden ; enters again and retires to rest, and “ the “ rest of a labouring man is sweet whether he eat lit. “ tle or much.” Inhabitant of this lonely, lowly dwelling, who can be indifferent to thy comfort ! * Peace be to this house."