Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

ther very careful man, Luke xii. 16,—20, where his picture is drawn with inimitable ftrength. He is reprefented in a mufing pofture, thinking within himself, and faying, "What fhall I do?" The question betrays the greatest uneafinefs and perplexity. A, poor ftarving beggar, who had not a morfel of bread, nor knew where to find it, could have faid nothing more expreffive of distrust and anxiety. And what do you really think ailed this man? Did he want bread? Quite the contrary; he had got too much: his barns were not large enough to contain the product of his ground: "Į "have no room," faid he, "where to be"flow my fruits." And it was this that made him cry out, "What fhall I do?" If you defire any further information concerning him, you will find it at verfe 20, "But God faid unto him, Thou fool, this night thy foul fhall be required of thee; "then whofe fhall thofe things be which "thou haft provided?" It would appear, that his fituation with refpect to an heir

66

was fimilar to what Solomon defcribes, Ecclef. iv. 8. "There is one alone, and

“there

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

"there is not a fecond; yea, he hath nei"ther child nor brother: yet there is no "end of all his labour," &c. But whatever became of his fruits, we know that his folly proved a lafting eftate, for it continues to be the inheritance of many at this day. I believe there are numbers among ourselves, whofe minds are continually on the rack, so that they cannot fleep, with laying schemes about the mereft trifles in the world. In this age of gaiety and frivolous oftentation, I make no doubt, that the fuperfluities of drefs, furniture, equipage, and the like, employ the thoughts of the rich (or of people of fashion, whether they be rich or not) as anxiously, as the clothing that is necessary to cover their nakedness employs the thoughts of the poor and destitute. It is the care of fome to overtop their neighbours it is the care of others to over-reach at gaming; and indeed the mind of á gamefter must be in perpetual fufpenfe and agitation.-Surely I need not tell you, that it would be impious to caft fuch cares upon God. We are not at liberty to choose ap random whatsoever is agreeable to fancy or

appetite;

appetite; and, when our paffions are inflamed, and our hearts overcharged with difquieting cares, attempt to roll these over upon God. We must first examine the object of our defire, whether it be good in itfelf, and fit for us; whether it be confiftent with and fubfervient to our fpiritual intereft: and if, upon inquiry, it shall appear that these qualifications are wanting, we must neither caft the care of it upon God, nor keep it to ourselves, but throw it away altogether; praying, that our folly may be forgiven, our diseased affections healed, and led forth to other objects more worthy of our purfuit. This being laid down, then, as a fundamental principle, that the object of our defire muft be lawful and good, the practice of the duty which my text recommends, may be confidered as including the following particulars.

ft, A ftedfaft perfuafion, that all events are ordered and directed by God; that we and all our interests are continually in his hand; and that nothing can befall us without his appointment or permiffion. This was the foundation of David's confidence, when he

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

he faid, "Into thine hands I commit my "fpirit: Thou haft redeemed me, O Lord "God of truth.-I have heard the flander "of many; fear was on every fide; while "they took counfel together against me,

66

they devised to take away my life. But "I trusted in thee, O Lord: I faid, Thou art my God, my times are in thy hand.' Herein lies the difference betwixt the judge ment of fanctified believers and that of worldly men: The laft, confining their views to the objects of fenfe, place their whole dependence upon weak and mu table creatures like themselves. They court the fmiles, and tremble at the frowns, ofthose who are raifed a little above them; and have no higher aim, than to recommend themselves to the favour and protection of fuch perfons as are most likely to gratify their ambition or covetousness: Whereas the believer, knowing that God is fupreme, and that the highest creatures are only inftruments which he employs at his pleasure, keeps his eye continually fixed upon him, and hath no other concern than to be found walking in those ways which he

hath

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

hath appointed; being fully assured, that all events, of whatever kind, are ordered by his reconciled Father in Christ Jefus, and fhall infallibly work together for his fpiritual improvement in this state of discipline, and iffue in his complete and everlasting felicity.

2dly, To caft our care upon God, is to make his will the guide and measure of ours. We may defire, we may ask, what appears to us good in its own nature, and conducive either to our comfort or usefulness in a prefent world; we may lawfully with to be delivered from trouble, to enjoy health of body, compofure and cheerfulness of mind, the pleasures of virtuous friendship, and a competent portion of the good things of this life: but ftill we must defire and afk these bleffings with due fubmiffion to the will of God, leaving it entirely to his unerring wifdom to give or to with-hold them, as feemeth good unto himself. We have a lovely example of this temper in the behaviour of David upon a very trying occafion. When the unexpected rebellion of his unnatural fon Abfalom, which threatened him with the

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »