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happen hereafter, so long as we are doing at pre ert what is pleasing in the sight of God. We may indeed, sometimes, form plans for the future; but of how much anxiety would it relieve us, if we left our plans with God, to dispose of them as he thought best, in the certain faith that he would decide them as was best for us ! And for the other--the one lesson that should be fixed deeply on the hearts of us all from our earliest childhood ; above all, that should be cherished as the only guide to our conduct at that perilous moment when we are first entering upon the business of life, should be the command, to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. How safely, and steadily, and boldly, should we then walk, with no turnings to the right or the left, none of those struggles which perplex the double-minded man, while striving to make his duty suit with his own desires; instead of doing his duty first, and praying to God to make his heart and desires conformable with it. The question then with regard to our future business in life would be, not what is the most pleasant, or in what shall we gain most profit; but rather, for what are we most fitted, and in what shall we be most likely to fulfil the purposes of God, in giving us the power of choice? That our

worldly happiness would be best promoted by entering upon the world with such a spirit, is as certain as that it is the only path to the happiness that is beyond the grave. If the common proverb be true, that "Honesty is the best policy,” much more may the same be said of a principle far more extensive than mere honesty, and which most naturally draws towards itself the respect and good-will of every man: to say nothing of the happiness of moderate wishes and subdued passions, which every man understands as far as he has in any degree experienced them. But of this sure method of sweetening the cup of life, we deprive ourselves through our unbelief. We will not trust God with our happiness, but rather seek to make it out our own way.

We know well enough that it is not the kingdom of God which men seek commonly in the first place. And, therefore, because of our unbelief, God cannot work the mighty works which he designs for us; he cannot free us from the worst evils of life; he cannot, as he would, make the world less the scene of weariness and vexation of spirit, than so many now find it to be. As of old, he does but heal a few ; those who believe in him, and take him at his word, and find the blessing which he promised; whilst so many look upon


his promises with unbelief, and not choosing to seek God in the way in which he may be found, complain that he has forgotten to be gracious, and through their own fault make the complaint in their own case true.


MATTHEW xxvi. 38.

Jesus said unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even

unto death : tarry ye here, and watch with me.

THE sorrow which our Lord felt at the time when he spoke these words, was the beginning of that great inward suffering which is commonly called his agony. It is described in three out of the four Gospels, and it appears to have been the severest part of the trial which Christ underwent for our sakes. St. Luke says, that in the midst of it there appeared an angel unto him from Heaven, strengthening him; and, that being in an agony, he prayed more fervently; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. This was not recorded merely to add an interest to the story; there is no appearance in any of the Gospels of an endeavour to work upon the feelings of the reader; but it was mentioned to give us some sort of notion of the impression produced upon our Saviour's mind, by the thought of the evil which existed in the world. and of the awful power of death over so large

portion of the human race. It shows too, in a very striking manner, how completely Christ was made like unto us, and how truly he felt those human fears and shrinkings at the approach of extreme suffering, which all must feel, however much they may be enabled to struggle with success against them. The reality of his sufferings sets forth more clearly the greatness of his love. No man took his life from him, but he laid it down of himself; and even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Many persons, from natural constitution, or from the weakness produced by disease, or from not fully comprehending the freeness of Christ's redemption, are troubled with an excessive fear of death, even whilst those around them have every reason to believe, that death, whenever it visits them, will to them be gain. Many persons, also, have been oppressed with these fears, and with most miserable feelings of being forsaken by God, even up to the very moment of their quitting the body. The death-bed of the just is not always peaceful; nor the prospect of Heaven granted before

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