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truth refpectable and amiable to all men, by the modesty and meekness with which you deliver it, by the hilarity and ferenity with which you possess and difplay it, by the influence it has on your temper and manners. Recommend and disperse all good writings, that promote reflection among mankind, and are favourable to the knowledge of truth. Pay particular attention to the inftruction and formation of young perfons, and thus lay the foundation of greater proficiency for the next generation.
In fine, if you confefs 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 fo fhine before men, that they, feeing 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 fentiments and good deeds, than by just conceptions. Light, that does not at once animate, warm and fertilize, knowledge that does not make us wifer and better, is of no great value, is frequently more prejudicial than ufeful to us. Your progress in knowledge fhould be not fo 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 fhould likewife reign in your feelings, in your views and endeavours, in your difpofitions and actions, in your whole deportment. Only by judging in every concern, by being difpofed in every circumftance, and by acting in every occurrence, as the nature and conftitution of it requires, and is confiftent 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 conftantly augmenting fource of happiness.
The Value of Afflictions and Tribulations.
GOD, parent and lord of univerfal nature, thou
hast 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 fhould be. But it is thy gracious will that thefe difpofitions, these faculties, these capacities fhould here be gradually unfolded, formed, brought into action. Here we are in the ftate of infancy, but by it we are gradually to grow up to maturity. Yes, here thou wouldst educate us for a fphere of exertion more extenfive 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 fuffer, all that happens to us, are fo many means to this exalted purpose. All is calculated to render us more intelligent, wifer, better, more perfect. In this view haft thou, wifely gracious, fubjected us and all that
is around us to fo many accidents and viciffitudes, for our trial and exercife. To this end haft thou ftrewn our courfe with fo many difficulties and impediments that call forth every effort, every exertion of our faculties. To this end haft thou fo closely and fo variously interfperfed light and darknefs, joys and forrows, progrefs and oppofition, profperity and adversity in our prefent state, leading us to our appointment one while on a plain and even path and then by rugged ways. Oh might we fuffer ourselves always to be led and directed by thee, our Father, as obedient children! Even then fubmit to thy guidance, when it is at variance with our inclinations and defigns, when we are unable to difcover the end and aim of it! Might we ac custom ourselves to look up to thee, who difpofeft of human affairs, not with reverence only, but with confidence and joy. In the moft diftreffing and alarming fituation, may we fee thy mercy fhining through the cloud, and difcern thy hand conducting us by the various meafures of thy providence to regions of neverfailing happiness! Knowing that even thy fevereft correction is the correction of a father, of the wifeft and tendereft of fathers; affuredly convinced that thy purposes can never fail, that thou best knowest how to complete them, and that thy everlafting purpofe is and can be no other than to render us happy! Yes, in this affurance we will refign ourfelves entirely to thee. with filial confidence; entirely acquiefce in thee and
thy decrees; and thankfully receive from thy hand. as benefactions, good and evil, joys and forrows. Oh lead and guide us by thy counfel! Thy counfel is ever wife and good. Conducted by thee, we fhall never go aftray. Under thy protection and thy guidance we fhall infallibly reach the mark of our high calling. God, ftrengthen and confirm us in these pious fentiments, and grant that the meditations we are now about to begin in this view may be bleffed. These our humble fupplications we prefent unto thee as the followers of thy fon Jefus, who has taught us to know and to love thee as our common parent; and, as believers in that gofpel, which encourages all men to addrefs thee as their God and father, and to hope for thy favour in the practice of truth and righteousness, we conclude them in his words: Our father, &c.
HEBREWS xii. 11.
No chaftening for the prefent feemeth to be joyous, but griev ous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteoufacfs unto them which are exercited 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 phyfical world. Happiness is our true,