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be confident, though an host of men encamp against us: for “ the Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of “ Jacob is our refuge.” “ All things are ours, if we “be Christ's:" we need not fear, though the earth be removed. Death is our gain: and this single effect of godliness infinitely exceeds in value the ideal philosopher's stone, the power of changing inferior metals into gold. Even “ the day of judgment, and perdi“tion of ungodly men,” will be the season of the believer's complete redemption, to which he may now look forward with joyful hope,
hope, “O Lord God of “ Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”
But riches are valued as the materials of future enjoyment. _“ Soul, thou hast goods laid up for many
years; take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry; but “God said, thou fool, this night shall thy soul be “ required of thee.”* Our present life is short and
" uncertain; “ Man goeth to his long home.” On our journey we only want enough to bear our expences: yet many a traveller groans, through a great part of the road, under the weight of an useless burden, which he must leave behind him on the shore, when he embarks for his eternal residence!-If riches yield little additional enjoyment during youth and health, they will fail still more in old age. Then the relish for every pleasure becomes languid, desire fails, the organs of sensation wear out; but the passions retain their impotent dominion, unless subdued by divine grace, “ Can thy servant taste what I eat, or drink? “ Can I hear any more the voice of singing men or
singing women?”+ The aged sinner resembles the
* Luke xii, 16-21.
+ 2 Sam. xix. 35.
sapless trunk of an old tree; when the branches are lopped off or withered. He clings to a joyless life from dread of death: yet the thought, that he must soon die, will intrude, and interrupt his expiring comforts. He becomes a burden to himself, and often to others: and the greater his wealth is, the more reason has he to suspect, that many wait for his death with concealed impatience.
Alas, and is this all!—The sanguine youth, the active man of business, look forward, in scenes of peril and fatigue, with the cheering expectation of affluence or preferment; and of tranquil enjoyment in declining life, as the reward of intense application. But how great is the disappointment even of the successful! Most of the candidates terminate their course, before the expected season of repose, or languish out their lives in pain and sickness: the highest prize in this poor lottery has been described: while an eternal state is unprovided for!“ Vanity of vanities, vanity ► of vanities! saith the preacher, all is vanity.
“ But the hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” The consistent Christian will not greatly regret the loss of pleasures which he has long comparatively despised: for he has resources in communion with God and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. Even if poor in this world, he commonly engages the cordial affection of some valued friends, whose society and attention solace the eve of life. Bodily pains and the loss of relatives are rendered tolerable, by faith and humble resignation; while the near approach of death and the prospect of heavenly joys reconcile his mind to transient sorrows
liever's complete redemption
be confident, though an host of men er 's faithus: for “ the Lord of Hosts is with infidence; “ Jacob is our refuge.” “ All thin
Dy the con“ be Christ's:" we need not fear, t' !
His outward removed. Death is our gain: a': is renewed day of godliness infinitely exceeds in ; when flesh and sopher's stone, the power of ch?
.eath with compo
be into gold. Even “the day o Iness of joy, which “ tion of ungodly men,” will evermore." And is
riten look forward with joyful esent world are silenced, “ Hosts, blessed is the mi s for desiring increasing
But riches are valued conduct by pleading their joyment.—“Soul, thor xe ought to endeavour, that Ja
years; take thine ease provided for, and enabled to “ God said, thou foo when we shall be taken from “ required of thee.”) e of advancing them, much above uncertain; “ Man g, the community, is injurious to journey we only wect to their temporal comfort
, their yet many a travell
ince and good behaviour, and the the road, undersmortal souls. How can any one which he must erich his children, if he do not bimhe embarks for? How can he vindicate such an atlittle additional
gyes the words of Christ; si It is easier they will fails go through the eye of a needle
, than for every plea to enter into the kingdom of God?" organs of sen Jucation, an edifying example, many their impote offered by religious parents for their grace. with them, and the little spared from su: “Can I he
rices to relieve the indigent, constitute a
erior value: while habits of industry and
result of right principles, will, by the * Luk
en old tree; when the bus
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routh, the accenes of peril of affluence declining at how Hull
itageous, than unencumbrance of the en acquired. man to be useful to his
way or degree, that may uges derived from godliness. sing in a pious and prudent jaintance, of exhibiting religion miable example, of recommendord in our daily supplications, and eans to render them wise unto salvaumpanied with uniform endeavours to * their temporal concerns, will render us blessings to them, than superior affluence ---And though men flatter themselves with gination, that they should do much good, when tre grown rich: yet supposing the best, which ly happens; the most liberal use of ungodly wealth, ielom compensates the effect of corrupt principles and a bad example thus varnished over.-- On the other hand, the godly man, however poor, is a light in his Heighbourhood and the salt of the earth. He restrains the vicious, encourages the drooping, proniotes piety and righteoustess, professes and adorns the gospel, and in all respects is a blessing to every village, city, or nation in which he resides.--The Lord preserved all who sailed with Paul in answer to his prayers: ten righteous persons would have preserved Sodom: and the scripture fully warrants me to say, that our national preservation hitheito is vouchsafed in answer to the prayers, and for the sake, of the pious remnant among us. In all respects and in every view, “ godliness
and separations. Past experience of the Lord's faithfulness and mercy inspires gratitude and confidence; which are rather increased than impaired by the consciousness of his own unworthiness." His outward “ man decayeth; but the inward man is renewed day by day.” Consolation often abounds when flesh and heart are failing. Thus he meets death with composure, and then enters on that “ fulness of joy, which “ is at the Lord's right hand for evermore." And is not godliness with contentment great gain?
When the lovers of this present world are silenced, in respect of these reasons for desiring increasing wealth; they excuse their conduct by pleading their families: and doubtless we ought to endeavour, that our children may be provided for, and enabled to maintain themselves, when we shall be taken from them. But the desire of advancing them, much above our own station in the community, is injurious to them, both in respect to their temporal comfort, their character for prudence and good behaviour, and the interests of their immortal souls.
How can any one greatly labour to enrich his children, if he do not bimself idolize riches? How can he vindicate such an at. tempt, who believes the words of Christ; “It is easier " for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than “ for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God?" Brit a pious education, an edifying example, many fervent prayers offered by rehgious parents for their children and with them, and the little spared from su. perfluous expences to relieve the indigent, constitute a treasure of superior value: while habits of industry and frugality, the result of right principles, will, by the