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rect the course of events in that way which shall be most subservient to the purposes of his wisdom and benignity, and which shall best co-operate for the benefit of those who are faithful and obedient.
And in order to acquire this happy state of mind, it will be necessary to establish faith in God and his goodness ; and often to dwell in devout meditation
upon cellences of the divine character, the wisdom and goodness of the divine government, and the promises of the everlasting gospel. It is meditation which gives to faith its vital energy and practical influence. It is this which gives a substantial reality to things hoped for, after that, by the exercise of the investigating and reasoning po'wers, we have acquired a firm conviction of the existence of things which are not seen. Contemplation gives force and vividness to the convictions: these rouse the affections; and the affections govern the practice.
And in order to confirm and estabilish faith, and to increase its influence upon the mind, it will be expedient to recollect in how many instances, vicissitudes and trou
bles have produced the best moral effects. What should we ourselves, what would the best characters on earth have been, without the needful salutary discipline of affliction ? Our great Master himself was made perfect through sufferings ; and, lest we be weary and faint in our minds, let us look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith : let us contemplate his bright example. We cannot dwell upon the dignity and sublimity of his character but with admiration and delight; and what we admire and love, we shall be ambitious to imitate and resemble.
Let us live in the practice of all known duty & let our motives be upright, and our hearts pure. Then nothing can surprise us, nothing can hurt us, nothing can eventually come amiss to us. We are sheltered in the arms of omnipotence: it were folly, it were criminal, to fear. But if we are remiss in duty, if we turn aside to sin and wickedness, terror may justly fall upon us; the consciousness of guilt excludes from all comfort, and from all hope.
To conclude, to a mind, so trained and
disciplined as to have no will but the will of God, it is a source of unspeakable satisfaction to reflect, that what it most desires will assuredly come to pass.
God has glorified his name, and he will glorify it again. And this best of purposes will be accomplished by means which to the well-regulated mind will be most acceptable: by means which God himself has chosen, and which must therefore be wisest, and fittest, and best. This consideration will reconcile the virtuous and resigned spirit to all the events, and to all the vicissitudes of life, however unexpected or otherwise unwelcome. At the end of his probationary course he will close his eyes in peace, in joyful assurance that the cause which lies nearest his heart shall continue to prosper and to advance with growing success, till it has triumphed over all opposition, and that at the great consummation of all things he shall awake to the participation of an everlasting reward; and shall then see with unspeakable delight how right the way by which he was conducted ; and how wise
and kind the dispensations of divine providence. Here we know only in part; but then we shall know even as we are known. In that light we shall see light, and in the presence of God possess fulness of joy.
THE PROFIT OF LABOUR.
PROV. XIV. 23.
In all Labour there is Profit.
It is a common, but palpable mistake that indolence and inactivity are essential to happiness. Rest is the end which all have in view in submitting to labour; but that object when attained becomes itself the most insupportable of burdens. None are so unhappy as they who have nothing to do. “ Without employ the mind is on the rack.” “ In all labour there is profit,” says.
the wise man in the text. He adds, “but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury."
The idle and talkative have little chance of success; but the quiet and industrious are seldom wholly disappointed in their pursuit. Seest thou a man diligent in his