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all things. It is not more manifestly our duty to obey his law as the rule of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, than it is to submit to his providential government, as furnishing the rule of our comforts, hopes, and sufferings. Our right to all that we call ours is founded on his favour ; and the resumption of any part of it ought surely to be viewed with humble submission, and even with the frame of thankfulness. This consideration led Job, when deprived of all his comforts, with composure and acquiescence to say, “ Naked came I into the world, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken

away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” The sufferer, when under the influence of this calm, submissive, and heavenly state of mind, hears the voice of God addressing him amid his distresses and bereavements, “ Be still, and know that I am God. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. What art thou, to express a murmur at any of my dispensations, or to think of questioning the entire rectitude of any part of my procedure? I will do what I will with mine own."

II. Reflect further on the infinite purity and rectitude of God, and we cannot doubt the duty of the most entire submission to His will. His

government is conducted in judgment and in justice; and he cannot, in any part of his procedure towards the subjects of his vast empire, do any thing unworthy of boundless rectitude and goodness.

With regard to us he does not and cannot injure

us; for we have incurred the penalty of transgressors, and our sufferings are less than our iniquities deserve. “ Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ?" Surely, it is meet to be said unto God, “ I will not offend any more. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, and because his compassions fail not.” With just views of the character of God as holy and righteous, and of the unalterable obligation and authority of his law, and of our own deserts, we shall see much mercy accompanying our severest sufferings, and we shall be disposed to say, “ I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him. I will submit cheerfully to his will, and patiently wait for him."

III. We must also regard his fatherly love in our afflictions. This consideration will greatly tend to reconcile us to the most painful events of our lot; since it will teach us to regard them all as not only proceeding from the hand of a Father, but of a Father whose love to us has been shewn by unnumbered blessings, and by an unspeakable gift. Can we doubt as to the light in which we ought to view our privations and sufferings, when he himself has told us in his word, “ If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments, then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and

scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons ; for what'son is he whom the father chasteneth not ?"

When we consider, then, that however severe may be our sufferings they proceed from love, and are designed in mercy to soften and purify our dispositions, to deaden our sensibilities to earth, and to make them more alive to heaven, we have a powerful motive to induce us to exercise the most contented and submissive frame of mind under the will of God. What reason have we to feel otherwise, when we are already assured, not only of the origin, but of the final issue of pain, and sorrow, and death? These are among the things that work together for good to them that love God. Their light affliction which is but for a moment worketh out for them a far more exceeding, even an eternal weight of glory.

There are three things which we shall find most helpful to us in the discharge of the great duty of submission to the will of God.

I. A heart full of love to God. We can bear much from a beloved object, which we could not endure from the same person had we viewed him with mere indifference, and still less had there been any hostile bias in our mind against him. On this principle, trials and bereavements irritate the feelings of the wicked, and awaken their complainings and murmurs against the wisdom and goodness of the providential government of God. They are fitly compared to a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Judging from the apparent effects of their afflictions, we might ask, why

should ye be stricken any more, for ye will revolt more and more?

It is otherwise with those who love God. There is that affection in their hearts to their heavenly Father, which assures them that all his ways must be mercy and truth towards them; and that beyond the cloud which now throws its shadow around them, is the light of God's countenance, the eternal sunshine of his favour and presence. Loving, as they do, the Lord God, how easily can they trust in his wisdom and love, even when their sorrows abound, and confi. dently hope for deliverance, as well as for increasing conformity to the divine will and likeness.

II. A prudent anticipation of the evils which are incident to the present state. We know not all the evils which, in passing onwards to a better world, we shall be called to endure; but we know that it is appointed for all men once to die.

We must go the way whence we shall not return.

Before we reach the termination of our earthly course, there may be before us trials of which we are now little aware, arising from bereavement of friends, from sufferings in our property, in our health, in our reputation. Would it not be well for us at all times to think of our liability to these, and many other evils ? Would it not be wise in us to conceive ourselves visited with such afflictions ! But, especially would it not become us to remember our latter end, and thus, as the Apostle expresses it, to die daily? In this case, when sickness and death actually arrived, we should not feel as if some strange

thing had happened unto us; but we should be able to welcome them as events for which we had long made preparation. Having been accustomed to contemplate them, we should be better able to say when called to encounter them,-- Into thy hands, O my heavenly Father, I commit my spirit. I resign myself to thy guidance, to thy disposal, to thy boundless love and mercy in Christ Jesus.

III. Fervent prayer. This has been found in experience to be the most effectual means of communicating the peace of God which passeth all understanding. It calms the mind under sufferings, whether they arise from our fellow-creatures, or from the immediate visitation of God. It reminds us where we are to seek for comfort and support, to whom we are to look and to cry for deliverance, that God is our refuge and our strength, and a very present help in the time of trouble. The example has been left us by the faithful in every age, who when their hearts were overwhelmed within them, had recourse to the Rock that is higher than they, and every one of whom had always good reason to say, “I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplications. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Above all, the example has been left us by our blessed Lord, who when in agony prayed frequently and still more earnestly to God.

In exercising unreserved submission to the divine will, then, we should remember, that it is the will of our sovereign Lord, who has an indisputable right to govern us, and an absolute power to dispose of us, and respecting whom we should ever say, “ It is

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