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truth respectable and amiable to all men, by the modesty and meekness with which you deliver it, by the hilarity, and serenity with which you possess and display it, by the influence it has on your temper and
Recommend and disperse all good writings, that promote reflection among mankind, and are favourable to the knowledge of truth. Pay particular attention to the instruction and formation of young persons, and thus lay the foundation of greater proficiency for the next generation.
In fine, if you confess the value of greater intellectual improvement, and actually enjoy the benefits of it; walk, as we are exhorted to do in our text, as children of light. Let your light so shine before men, that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your father who is in heaven. Live as men who profess the truth, and are become wife and free by the knowledge of it. Let its light not merely have an influence on your mind, but let it govern your heart and actuate your whole demeanour. Be faithful to your convictions. Exhibit your character as much, and even more, by generous sentiments and good deeds, than by just conceptions. Light, that does not at once animate, warm and fertilize, knowledge that does not make us wiser and better, is of no great value, is frequently more prejudicial than useful to us.
Your progress in knowledge should be not so much an ultimate object, as means to higher aims; means to purer virtue, to greater perfection and happiness. The truth
that reigns in your ideas should likewise reign in your feelings, in your views and endeavours, in your dispositions and actions, in your whole deportment. Only by judging in every concern, by being difpofed in every circumstance, and by acting in every occurrence, as the nature and constitution of it requires, and is consistent with your correlative fituations, will you be ever advancing nearer to perfection and to its fupreme and eternal original, the deity; only thus the knowledge of truth can and will become to you a never-failing, a constantly augmenting source of happiness.
The Value of Africtions and Tribulations.
GOD, parent and lord of universal nature, thou
haft placed us here in a state of discipline and exercise. Here we are never entirely that which, according to our native tendencies, according to our faculties and capacities we may and should be. But it is thy gracious will that these dispolitions, these faculties, these capacities should here be gradually unfolded, formed, brought into action. Here we are in the state of infancy, but by it we are gradually to grow up to maturity. Yes, here thou wouldlt educate us for a sphere of exertion more extensive and brilliant, for a better, a fuperior life, and train us up, by various exercises to the occupations and felicities of it.
All that we here are and do, that we enjoy and suffer, all that happens to us, are so many means to this exalted purpose. All is calculated to render us more intelligent, wiser, better, more perfect. In this view halt thou, wisely gracious, subjected us and all that is around us to so many accidents and vicissitudes, for our trial and exercise. To this end halt thou strewn our course with so many difficulties and impediments that call forth every effort, every exertion of our faculties.' To this end haft thou so closely and fo variously interspersed light and dark. ness, joys and forrows, progress and opposition, profperity and adversity in our present state, leading us to our appointment one while on a plain and even path and then by rugged ways. Oh might we suffer ourselves always to be led and directed by thee, our Father, as obedient children! Even then submit to thy guidance, when it is at variance with our inclinations and designs, when we are unable to discover the end and aim of it! Might we accustoin ourselves to look up to thee, who disposest of human affairs, not with reverence only, but with confidence and joy. In the most distressing and alarming situation, may we see thy mercy shining through the cloud, and discern thy hand conducting us by the various measures of thy providence to regions of neverfailing happiness! Knowing that even iliy severest correction is the correction of a father, of the wifest and tenderest of fathers; assuredly convinced that thy purposes can never fail, that thou best knowest how to complete them, and that thy everlasting purpose is and can be no other than to render us happy! Yes, in this ailurance we will relign ourselves entirely to thee. with filial confidence ; entirely acquiesce in thee and
thy decrees ; and thankfully receive from thy hand as benefactions, good and evil, joys and sorrows. Oh lead and guide us by thy counsel! Thy counfel is ever wise and good. Conducted by thee, we shall never go astray. Under thy protection and thy guidance we shall infallibly reach the mark of our high calling. God, strengthen and confirm us in these pious sentiments, and grant that the meditations we are now about to begin in this view may be blessed. These our humble fupplications we present unto thee as the followers of thy fon Jesus, who has taught us to know and to love thee as our common parent; and, as believers in that gospel, which encourages all men to address thee as their God and father, and to hope for thy fa. vour in the practice of truth and righteousness, we conclude them in his words : Our father, &c.
HEBREW'S xii. 11.
Nochallening for the present feemeth to le joyous, but griev.
ous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousncfs unto them which are exercised thereby.
GOD loves his creatures of the human race.
This all nature proclaims aloud. This is declared by all the capacities and powers that God has given us, all the arrangements he has made in the moral and the physical world. Happiness is our