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whom God hath blessed with the means,
and for whom he has done more, in blessing them likewise with a disposition, have abundant reason to be thankful to him, as the author of every good gift, for the measure he hath bestowed to them of both. 'Tis the refuge against the stormy wind and tempest, which he has planted in our hearts; and the constant fluctuation of every thing in this world, forces all the sons and daughters of Adam to seek shelter under it by turns. Guard it by entails and settlements as we will, the most affluent plenty may be stripp'd, and find all its worldly comforts, like so many withered leaves dropping from us The crowns of princes may be shaken ; and the greatest that ever awed the world, have looked back and moralized upon the turn of the wheel !
That which has happened to one,-may happen to every man : and therefore that excellent rule of our Saviour, in acts of benevolence, as well as every thing else, should govern us ; That whatsoever
ye would that men should do to you, do yo also unto them.”
Hast thou ever lain upon the bed of languishing ? or laboured under a distemper which threatened thy life ?-Call to mind thy sorrowful and pensive spirit at that time, and say, What.it was that made the thoughts of death so bitter !If thou hadst children,-I affirm it, the bitterness of death lay there!
If unbrought up, and unprovided for, What will become of them? Where will they find a friend when I am gone? Who will stand up for them, and plead their cause against the wicked?
Blessed God! to thee, who art a father to the fatherless, and a husband to the widow,-I intrust 'them!
Hast thou ever sustained any considerable shock in thy fortune ? or, Has the scantiness of thy condition hurried thee into great straits, and brought thee almost to distraction ? Consider, who was it that spread a table in that wilderness of thought? who made thy cup to overflow? Was it not a friend of consolation who stepped in,-saw thee embarrassed with the tender pledges of thy love, and the partner of thy cares-took them under his protection ?-(Heaven ! thou wilt reward him for it!) and freed thee from all the terrifying apprehensions. of a parent's loye? Hast thou ?
But how shall I ask a question which must. bring tears into so many eyes ?-Hast thou ever been wounded in a more affecting manner still, by the loss of a most obliging friend ?-or been torn away from the embraces of a dear and promising child by the stroke of death ?-Bitter remembrance ! Nature droops at it ;-but nature is the same in all conditions and lots of life. A child thrust forth in an evil hour, without food, without raiment, bereft of instruction, and the means of its salvation, isa subject of more tender heart-aches, and will awaken every power of nature !As we have felt for ourselves, let us feel for Christ's sake ;-let us feel for theirs; and may the God of all comfort bless you ! Amen.
LUKE XIV. 10, 11,
But thou, when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room,
that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say to thee, Friend, go up higher ; then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them who sit at meat with thee; for whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased ; anů he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
It is an exhortation of our Saviour's to humility, addressed, by way of inference, from what he had said in the three foregoing verses of the chapter; where, upon entering into the house of one of the chief pharisees to eat bread, and marking how small a portion of this necessary virtue entered in with the several guests, discovering itself from their choosing the chief rooms, and most distinguished places of honour,-he takes the occasion which such a behaviour offered, to caution them against pride ; -states the inconvenience of the passion,-shews the disappointments which attend it--the disgrace in which it generally ends, in being forced at last to recede from the pretensions to what is more than our due ; which, by the way, is the very thing the passion is eternally prompting us to expect. When, therefore, thou art bidden to a wedding, says our Saviour, sit not down in the highest room, lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him ; and he that bade thee and him, come and say to thee,
-Give this man place ; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
-But thou, when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room.Hard lecture ! In the lowest room!-What!--do I owe nothing to myself? Must I forget my station, my character in life? Resign the precedence which my birth, my fortune, my talents, have already placed me in possession of? -give all up! and suffer inferiors to take my honours ? Yes ;--for that, says our Saviour, is the road to it : « For when he that bade thee cometh, he will
say to thee, Friend, go up higher; then shalt thou « have worship in the presence of them who sit at “ meat with thee :-for whosoever exalteth himself u shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself 6 shall be exalted."
To make good the truth of which declaration, it is not necessary we should look beyond this life, and say, That in the day of retribution, wherein every high thing shall be brought low, and every irregular passion dealt with as it deserves that pride, amongst the rest (considered as a vitious character) shall meet with its proper punishment of being abased, and lying down forever in shame and dishonour. -It is not necessary we should look so far forwards for the accomplishment of this : the words seem not so much to imply the threat of a distant punishment; the execution of which was to be respited to that day,as the declaration of a plain truth depending upon the natural course of things, and evidently verified in every hour's commerce of the world ; from whence, as well as from our reasoning upon the point, it is found, that pride lays us open to so many mortifying encounters, which humility, in its own
nature, rests secure from that verily, each of them, in this world, have their reward faithfully dealt out by the natural workings of men's passions ; -which, though very bad executioners in general, yet are so far just ones in this, that they seldom suffer the exultations of an insolent temper to escape the abasement, or the deportment of a humble one to fail of the honour which each of their characters do deserve.
In other vitious excesses which a man commits, the world (though it is not much to its credit) seems to stand pretty neuter. If you are extravagant or intemperate, you are looked-upon as the greatest enemy to yourself ;-or, if an enemy to the publick, at least, you are so remote a one to each individual, that no one feels himself immediately concerned in your punishment:but, in the instances of pride, the attack is personal; for, as this passion can only take its rise from a secret comparison, which the party has been making of himself to my disadvantage, every intimation he gives me of what he thinks of the matter, is so far a direct injury, either as it withholds the respect which is my due,-or, perhaps, denies me to have any; or else, which presses equal ly hard, as it puts me in mind of the defects which I really have, and of which I am truly conscious, and, consequently, think myself the less deserving of an admonition : in every one of which cases, the proud man, in whatever language he speaksity--if it is expressive of this superiority over me, either in the gifts of fortune, the advantages of birth or improve. ments, as it has proceeded from a mean estimation, and possibly. a very unfair one, of the like pretensions in myself,
the attack, I say, is personal, and has generally the fate to be felt and resented as sucho