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God, what he has delivered us to perform ; the more will he confide to us to tranfact and to use in other provinces of his kingdom. The more extensively we here operate about us in views of general utility; so much the larger the field of operation he there will assign as.
The better we here allow ourselves to be educated and formed by our heavenly father, the better will he be able to employ us there when we fhall have exchanged this state of infancy for manhood. Rest and refreshment without previous toil, payment without feryice, perfection without the best and faithfullest use of our powers, bliss without an active, busy life, can no more be thought of in heaven than it can upon earth, can there no more exist than here. What an encouraging profpect for the man that leads a life of bufiness! And what a comfortless, melancholy idea for the flothful, who passes his days in loitering and idleness.
And now, my pious hearers, take all this into your minds at one view, confider, that a busy life exempts a man from the oppressive load of listleff ness; that it secures him from a thousand follies and finful excesses; that it most cogently incites him to unfold his capacities, to exert and exercise his faculties, and thereby induces and impels him to advance his perfection; that it furnishes him with means and opportunities of being useful to mankind in the greatest variety of ways, and of acquiring a vast influence on the general intereft ; that it is a rich fource of pleasure and happiness to himself;
that in short it prepares and fits him for a higher and better state: and say after all, whether a life of business is not of real, of great value; whether it is not far preferable to an inactive, idle, unoccupied life.
Certainly, my dear friends, this is the best, the noblest use of life. Hereto are we ordained and called; hereto has God entrusted to us capacities and powers, and given us so many urgent wants. : Thus alone can we accomplish his will and be subfervient to his purposes on earth. Thus alone can we become as perfect, as happy as man can be in the present state, and extract from this, usually fo fhort and uncertain a life, as much advantage as it is able to afford. Thus no moment of it passes empty and unenjoyed away. Thus we as it were multiply our existence and lengthen our life. Thus we live and operate in others and through others, and frequently even to the latest posterity. Render therefore thanks to God, my dear friends, if he has placed you by his providence in a busy station, proportionate to your powers, and adequate to your time. Complain not of the multiplicity and trouble of it. Be not drowzy and indolent in the performance of it. It is suited to the state of exercise and education we live in at present; and if you carry it on with understanding, with regularity, with confcientiousness, if you consider and treat it as a task afligned you by God, you will pursue it with fatiffaction and ease, and not without advantage.
Therefore, long not for the imaginary happiness of an indolent repose, as you would not foon severely pay for your
foolish with. Let it rather be to you, as it was to our saviour, your meat, your pleasure, to perform what God has given you to do, to work indefatigably while yet it is day, left the gloomy night of affliction and forrow, or the impenetrable shades of death, come on before you have finished your task. Be like the faithful servants, whom their lord, at his coming, be it late or early, finds busily employed in his service.
The Value of Commerce.
GOD, who art the governor and ruler of all, the
parts as well as the whole, the small as well as the great, what connection, what order and harmony prevail throughout the whole of thy immense domain; and how much more should we be lost in profound astonishment and joyful transport, could we survey and comprehend in our minds a larger portion of it! But even on our terrestrial globe, even in the government which thou exercisest over us men, what traces of the wifest, most benevolent direction and providence are discoverable ! How exactly adapted is all to the greatest possible velfare of animated nature ! How intimately all is connected and interwoven together! What an indiffoluble chain of causes and effects encircle all, the ultimate tendency and result whereof is life and happiness! To each of us halt thou allotted his proper place, on each bestowed his appointed measure of capacities and powers, to each of us assigned
his sphere of operation, to each of us committed his particular affairs; and if every individual do that which thou callest him to do, then each person provides and works for all, and all provide and work for everyone, and thus the whole innumerable fa. mily of thy offspring on earth, are brought conftantly nearer to their perfection. How honourable likewise in this respect is the vocation to which thou haft called us! How greatly it behoves us to fulfill the several duties of it with cheerful minds, with unabated zeal, with unimpeachable fidelity! Oh teach us then likewise herein to acknowledge and revere thy purposes as those of the wisest and kindest parent; let us by constantly esteeming the business of our station and calling on earth as highly important, be strongly incited to prosecute it with ever increasing care and dignity. Bless to this end our meditations on the lessons of truth that are now to be delivered to us. Let our perceptions be increased and our sentiments elevated and ennobled by them. In this behalf we offer up unto thee our sup. plications in the name of Jesus Christ our lord, and address thee further, trusting in his promises, as, Our father, &c.