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preacher's province. And until there is a change in their physical economy, all the succours of religion will be urged in vain. Such persons will go to their minister for comfort, when they ought rather to go to their physician for advice. They are in the ways of the Lord, but through physical causes, their soul is cast down and disquieted within them. Sometimes this depression arises from spiritual causes. Comparing what they ought to be with what they are, they are led to doubt their acceptance with God. They mistake the degree of their Christian experience, for the ground of their hope, and their confidence varies with their frames. When Peter withdrew his eyes from Jesus and fixed them on the waters, he began to sink, and terror took hold of his fainting spirit. In the Lord Jehovah we have righteousness and strength. His grace is sufficient for us--sufficient for us all—sufficient for us always—and were we only and ever looking to Jesus, our joy would be full and constant. Instead of this many a good man goes mourning all his days. He is in the position described by the prophet Isaiah, and he would do well to ponder the prophet's advice : “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” He is walking in the ways of the Lord, going straight on in the path of duty, and no power can turn him aside, but he is walking in darkness ; it is night with him providentially and spiritually, and his heart is not lifted up. Now, this case, though not comparable to that of Jehoshaphat, which we shall shortly consider, is yet infinitely better than the first. Better be a doubting, desponding Christian, than no Christian at all. Better have an oppressed, a fearful, almost an agonizing conscience, scarcely less than the darkness of despair, than have a conscience that is seared
with a hot iron, a conscience that is sermon-proof. Indeed, the first case is the very worst conceivable ; for if a man be not in the ways of the Lord, it would be far better for him not to have his heart lifted up at all. The sense of dissatisfaction may send him to the Saviour, who alone can
supply his need « Blessed are they that mourn,” to whom mourning has taught the need of celestial consolations.
He can say,
III. SOME MEN
THEIR HEARTS LIFTED UP, LIKE JEHOSHAPHAT, IN THE WAYS OF THE LORD. The Christian need not doubt, need not despond; it is his privilege to rejoice, to rejoice in the Lord, to rejoice always. He need not waste his time in sighing, he may pursue his way Being in the ways of the Lord, he ought to have his heart lifted up, ay, even though he may not, like Jehoshaphat, have “ riches and honor in abundance." It is his privilege to “glory in tribulations; knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.”
“ These light afflictions which are but for a moment, are working out for us a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” The ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. There may be storms around, but the path is peace, if there is peace in the traveller's heart. “ The peace of God, keeping the heart within, will beam out on the untrodden way, and gild its jagged sides with gladness." Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.”
Let the Christian man whom God hath prospered in the world, compare his condition with that of others, and with what it once was ; and as he reviews the way in which he hath been led, and sees how “the lines have fallen to him in pleasant places, and how he hath a goodly heritage;" let him say “Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Some of you began life in humble circumstances; you can remember a time when you had no inheritance, no, not so much as to set your foot on; and if any one had foretold that you would have come to have riches and honor in abundance, you would not have believed it. Surely with Jacob you will say, “ Lord I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies
and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands.” Surely you will retire before the Lord as did David, and say, “ O Lord God, what is my house that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God, but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come; and is this the manner of man, O Lord God ?” Thus continually and gratefully recognise the hand of God in all your mercies. Repress pride and self-sufficiency. Guard against those occasions and circumstances of temptation peculiar to a state of prosperity and abundance. Ever. keep in mind how undeserving you are of benefits so rich and so numerous. Consecrate yourselves and all your blessings to the Lord, and strive the more you receive at his hand the more to prepare for giving in an account of your stewardship. “So shall your hearts be ever lifted up in the ways of the Lord.”
ROBERT HARLEY, F.R.A.S.
SUBJECT :-Rejoicing in God and Doing Good.
“He hath made everything beautiful in his time : also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man' can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.” Ecclesiastes iii. 11, 12.
Jnalysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Seventy-first.
Tae wisdom of Solomon entitles his judgment respecting the design of our existence to profound respect; and the fact that he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, renders that judgment binding on our conscience. Concerning earthly possessions and gratifications, he tells us ; “I builded houses, I planted vineyards, I made gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits. Vol. ix.
I made pools of water, I got servants and maidens, and I had large possessions of great and small cattle. I gathered silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and the provinces. I got men singers and women singers, and musical instruments of all sorts. Whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy, and behold all was vanity and vexation of spirit.” Concerning knowledge and wisdom he states; “I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven. My heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” His general estimate of human life is given in the dirge-like strain, “ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” But he does not leave successive generations to read and ponder without hope these dark and melancholy pencillings. From the outer edges of his cloudy representations he pours a stream of holy light to illumine and cheer the human race. He vindicates the ways of God, and opens unto man the path of enjoyment and usefulness. He testifies, “ Jehovah has made everything beautiful,” &c.
These words indicate :
I. A FACT. “God has made everything beautiful in his time,”-in its season. We should not interpret the word “ beautiful” in the definite and restricted sense of pleasantness to the eye, but in the large and comprehensive sense of suitableness to effect a benign result of being done wisely and well by Jehovah.
First : God has made everything beautiful in its season in creation. The seasons are beneficial. Winter, with its fantastic frosts, affords rest to the ground, and prepares it for fruitfulness. Spring, with its winds and showers, causes grass to grow, trees to bud, and flowers to bloom. Summer, with its light and heat, makes the valleys stand thick with corn, and the little hills rejoice on every side. Autumn, with its golden radiance, gives glowing tints and mellow ripeness to
the fruits of the earth, that we may have all things richly to enjoy. The tides of ocean purify its waters, and the ocean yields resources to refresh the fields. Thunder storms, fierce winds, and rolling floods, remove noxious elements, and render the atmosphere healthful. The calm and clear blue sky imparts a sense of duty and enjoyment. The strata of the earth furnish mineral treasures ; the forests of the wilderness supply useful timber; the quiet river invests an extensive region with fertility; the sun fills the hemisphere with light; noble quadrupeds, birds of bright plumage, and glittering insects, fulfil important objects in the economy of nature; human beings, with high faculties and strong affections, associate as families, tribes and nations, working out thereby the wonderful designs of God. “O, Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all."
Secondly: God has made everything beautiful in its season in providence. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die,” &c. This element of change is highly expressive of wisdom and kindness. Without it life would lose its sweetest charm. Without it we should have to endure a monotonous existence: Melancholy would cloud our minds, and the years which note the progress of our being, would seem long and dreary. But we are not thus dealt with, we are not situate where nothing shifts, where nothing alters. God has placed us amidst scenes and circumstances which are ever changing.. Innumerable objects, interests, and pursuits, arrest our attention, and employ our powers. Thus our thoughts, feelings, and energies, are brought into new combinations, and kept in gratifying exercise. We wake, we sleep ; we toil, we rest ; we keep silence, we converse; we feel anxious, we feel at ease; we part with friends, we meet with friends; we contend with difficulties, we move on prosperously ; we shed tears, we brighten into smiles ; we are downcast with fear, we are animated with hope ; we go forward on our earthly pilgrimage, we arrive at its end. Words cannot express how largely these vicissitudes excite