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"Lord." And saith not every day's experience the same? For what can be a greater curse than trust for our support in man?
Or what can be a greater wretchedness than a servile dependence on the favour of the great and opulent? To stand, like Tantalus *, with burning lips, amidst streams which we are forbidden to taste;-to grasp, with extended hands, at pleasures which we can never reach;-to sacrifice our understanding to the man we despise; -to watch the nod of folly, or court the smiles of ignorance ;-to echo back the aphorisms of dullness, or reflect the grin of conceit;-to bear the insults of pride with awe, and the injuries of oppression with tameness; and, after all, perhaps, to be capriciously deprived of our hopes, without just cause or pretence:-these are miseries which would extort from meekness itself the feeling apostrophe of the poet,
"Turn thy complexion thence, Patience, thou young and rose-lip'd cherubim."
Should you doubt of this, ask those who have put their trust in the arm of flesh, and they will readily own that their condition is truly miserable and horrid. This is the best of their condition, even when fortune smiles upon them,
* Vide Rambler.
and they meet with no obstacles to their success. But when, after all their worldly policy and wisdom, some cross accident intervenes, to baffle their designs, and confound their devices; when they see themselves forgotten, despised, and neglected by those in whom they trusted; -when they look back with shame upon their own base compliances and unmanly servilities; --then do they truly feel the bitterness of that curse which the prophet denounces against those that put their trust in man, and depart from the living God; then would they willingly change their plan, and fly for protection to that Providence, which was not before in all their thoughts. But, unhappy men ! 'as they insulted over God in their prosperity, so will he refuse to hear them in the day of their distress. They would not own him as a Father, they will, therefore, now feel him as a Judge; he will justly ask them, in the language of scripture,
" Where “ now are their gods, their rock in whom they " trusted? Let them rise
up and help you, and “ be your protection.” These were the gods of your prosperous days, in whom ye trusted, neglecting my power and fatherly care; apply, therefore to them in your adversity, and, if they are able, let them save you and deliver you out of
But how different is the situation of the man who is able to say, with 'the noble confidence of the apostle, “I know in whom I have believed, , " and I am persuaded, that he is able to keep " that which I have committed unto him!” Wherever I am, or whatever I do, I know that I ain still under the watchful care of God's Providence, which is able to preserve me from all dangers. And though sometimes his footsteps are hid in darkness, and his ways past' finding out, I will yet acquiesce in his dispensations, nor pretend with mortal eye to measure the heights of infinity. He is a God, I am but a worm: is it, therefore, to be wondered at, that I cannot always discover the reasons of his administration ? But my past experience of his mercy and protection, and the general harmony apparent in the government of the world proclaim him wise, and just, and good.' I will, therefore, submit to his will with reverence: “ It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him
good.” If his Providence scatters the blessings of life around me, I will receive them with thankfulness: if it rains down afflictions upon me, I will bear them with submission : in every event of life, mine shall be the humble language of Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath “ taken away, blessed be the name of the $ Lord.”
May May this holy spirit be in the breast of every one that heareth me this day! May we love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, with all our might, and with all our strength! May his will be done in earth, as it is in heaven! May all the scattered nations of the world acknowledge his kingdom, and adore his power! May the lowest look up to him with confidence and comfort: for he is the friend of the friendless, the comforter of the poor and needy. And may the highest bow down to him with submissive fear and filial reverence: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth; he is King of kings, and Lord of lords.