Imagens da página

disappointment, bereavement, and sorrow. Our houses perhaps are not so with God as they were at the beginning of the year. They have been deprived of their firmest supports, of their brightest ornaments, of their most pleasing, perhaps their only hope.-But have we any cause to complain? Who are we, and what is our house, that we should be exempted from human vicissitude ? And after all, are we sure that there is no loving-kindness in these visitations ? In the dark scenes through which we have been conducted has there been no presiding wisdom ? no ruling benevolence? Has all been darkness without one ray of light ? has all been despondency, dejection, and despair, without one gleam of hope to break through the impervious gloom? God forbid! Who will venture to call in question the wisdom and the mercy of God? who will presume to say that the calamity by which we have been wrung was not in all its circumstances the best that could have happened-best for society, best for the individual, best for our

selves ? and in the darkest and severest dispensations has there not been cause to acknowledge many alleviating circumstances, many soothing considerations, and, perhaps, soine beneficial effects ? All has not been evil; things might have been worse; if much has been taken, much has also been left: fruits of heavenly fragrance have grown from a bitter root: in the midst of judgment mercy has shone triumphant: the heart, separated and weaned from created confidence, has learned to repose wholly upon God. And the well-disciplined mind, upon a calm review of all circumstances, will see reason to join issue with the sacred poet; “I know, Lord, that thy judgments are right, and though my house be not so with God, as a morning without clouds, he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, well ordered in all things, and sure, which is all my salvation, and all my desire.”

Such are the reflections which naturally present themselves at the commencement of the new year, when the pious mind, in its devout meditations in the temple of God, calls to remembrance the multiplied instances of divine loving-kindness in the year that has lately closed. And such reflections ought not to be limited to the hours of public worship, nor to any particular time or place: they ought at all times to occupy the thoughts: they should be made habitual : they should become our constant companions, our bosom guests.

The advantages resulting from the habitual entertainment of such thoughts as these, would be incalculable. They would fill the mind with joy and confidence in God: they would inspire habitual gratitude, serenity, and cheerfulness of spirit : they would constitute the noblest, the most active, and the most uniform incentive to the practice of universal virtue: they would produce content in every situation, and fortitude and firmness in the vicissitudes of life. In a world of danger, calamity, and death, they would inspire confidence in the providence and promises of God; and would set the aching-heart completely at

rest, in the full persuasion that nothing can happen without the appointment of God; and that under the divine government ALL IS WELL.




John, XII. 27, 28.

Now is my soul troubled : and what shall I say? Fas

ther, sade me from this hour ? But for this cause came I to this hour. Father, glorify thy name.

There is no history which contains such powerful internal evidence of its truth, as the New Testament. I do not give the publicans and the fishermen of Galilee credit for genius to delineate a more perfect character than had ever existed in the world, if that character had not been exhibited before their eyes. In the conduct of Jesus, as recorded by the evangelists, there is that consummate dignity, consistency, propriety, and excellence; all that he saith, and all that he doth, is so perfectly agreeable to the extraordinary office which he assumes as

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »