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plans as to certain events, presumption which he had already shewn to be the height of folly, is equally to be stigmatised as guilt. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. The presumptuous men, to whom his epiftle was in the first instance addressed, prided themselves in their self-dependence; and openly took pleasure and triumphed in their vain-glorious boastings. Well would it have been for the Christian world, if the spirit of those vaunters had died with them! Well is it for yourselves, if no portion of it has descended unto you! Every degree, even the smallest degree, of such triumph, of such confidence, is fin. For what is it, but to exalt man against his Maker; to gratify human arrogance at the expence of the glory of God? Is it not fin to refuse unequivocally to submit yourself to the governinent of infinite power: of that infinite

power which moulded you out of nothing, and con


very faculties which you are employing as instruments of disobedience? Is it not fin to refuse to resign yourself to the direction of infinite wisdom: of that infinite wisdom which has unceasingly displayed itself in providing for your welfare ; and has devised for your deliverance from sin and death eternal, a plan of redemption so stupendous

ferred upon you


as to fill the hosts of heaven with admiration and amazement ? Is it not sin to refuse joyfully to acquiesce in the determinations of infinite goodness: of that infinite goodness which is every moment ministering to your comfort; which drew down the Son of the Most High from the bosom of the Father, to die for you, while you were yet enemies, that He might reconcile you to God by His blood? Where is rebellion, where is pride, where is ingratitude, if not here? Where is your faith in God, if you hesitate unrefervedly to confide in Him? Where is your reverence for Him, if you scruple any token of obedience? Where is your humility, if you abase not your own judgement before His counfels ? Where is your resignation, if you furrender not all your wishes to. His choice? Where is your patience, if you are not content to await His pleasure? Where is your fortitude, if you shrink from bearing the absence of that which He sees fit to withhold, the loss of that which He sees fit to take away? Where is your love for Christ, if you decline any fubmission, any sacrifice, for His fake? Where is the spirit of a Christian, if you daringły form plans, or boastfully proclaim them, as though you were independent of God? Where is the imitation of your

Lord, Lord, if

you refuse to pray, like Him, in the sincerity of your soul; Father! Nót my will but thine be done?

V. The inspired penman, having thus set forth the proneness of men presumptuously to promise to themselves the success of distant schemes and undertakings, the folly and the sinfulness of such conduct, and the submissive and pious temper of mind with which the plans and purposes of a Christian must be accompanied; concludes the subject with a most important admonition.'. Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to bim it is fin. The knowledge of our duty, fince the Giver of good gifts offers to all men ability to perform that which they know him to require, takes away all pretences for not performing it, and leaves us without excuse. If I had not come and spoken unto them, said Christ, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their fin. If je were blind; if you had not the natural capacity of understanding your duty, or if you had never poffessed the means of ascertaining the will of God; ye should have no fin. But now ye say, We see: therefore your fin remaineth (2). Ignorance, not if it be wilful, but if it be un

(?) Jólin, ix. 41. XY. 22.

avoidable, avoidable, is an apology for neglect and transgression. The times of such ignorance God may have winked at. But now commands he every man every where to repent. You may have been, and it is probable that most of you have been, of the number of those who have again and again committed that very fin, concerning which St. James discourses in the passage which you have heard. Reflect, and call yourselves to an account. Consider whether you have not indulged yourselves in the habit of laying plans including a large space of time, and of looking forward to expected events still at a distance, without a due and lively sense of the uncertainty and the shortness of life, the vanity of all worldly wisdom, and the perpetual changes, impossible to be foreseen by man, to which all human affairs are every moment exposed; in a word, without a faithful and lively recollection of the overruling providence of God, a cheerful submission to His counsels, and a grateful de- . pendence on Him alone for strength, protedion, and success. Consider whether your language, when you have communicated your designs to others, has not been a counterpart, in fpirit: if not in expression, to that of the boasters in the days of St. James, who arrogantly declared their intentions of going to


traffic for a year in this or in that city with
as much confidence as though there had not
exifted a God to controul or to cut them off.
Consider whether, if on such occasions you
have introduced some mention of reference
to the divine pleasure and permission, the
expression of resignation and dependence has.
fiowed warmly from your heart; or has been
a cold and formal phrase produced only to
Luftain a decorous appearance among men.
Does your conscience reply that in spirit
and in language you have resembled those
children of pride? I fear that you have lit-
tle to plead in extenuation on the ground of
ignorance. In this country, and in your
situation, you cannot have remained venially
ignorant of your duty. In this country, and
in your situation, in proportion as you have
been ignorant, you have been ignorant wil-
fully. Humble yourselves therefore and re-
pent. In the sincerity of humiliation and
penitence fupplicate the Father of mercies,
that through the atonement and the intercef.
fion of the Lord Jesus your


be blotted out: that for His fake the presumptuous devices of your heart and the boastful lan. guage of your lips may be forgiven; and that grace may be bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit to preserve you

from repeat+

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