Sivut kuvina

adapted to impart full satisfaction. There ought to be a due proportion between the objects which we seek, and the faculties of the mind. To think that the capacious powers and ardent desires of the immortal soul can be filled and satisfied with merely temporal things, is as unreasonable, as to expect that the body can be fed and supported by air. This important truth is but too little weighed and applied. The restless cry of worldly, men still is, " What shall we eat, what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?” They continue to seek the living among the dead, to look for substantial happiness in a region of shadows, and a settled calm in the troubled ocean. They do not consider that every flower hath a worm at its root, and what we most prize often gives us the most pain. Hence, says a judicious writer, “ The generality of mankind persist in seeking their happiness from the same perishing objects, notwithstanding innumerable miscarriages and disappointments, which they rather choose to ascribe to accidental causes, than to any inherent imperfection in the things themselves. They cannot resist the persuasion, that riches, power, and sensual pleasures would yield them full contentment, provided certain untoward circumstances could be retrenched ; and under this deception they return again and again to

their former purpose, in hope that by more skilful efforts they shall be able to overcome every adventitious obstruction, and extract that felicity which hitherto has eluded their pursuit,” When the banquet is prepared, some unbending Mordecai, some thwarting event, sours all its sweets, and makes the miserable wretch exclaim, “ AU this availeth me nothing.” Even the splendour and luxuries of a palace are too little to yield content, if the sickening eye of envy happen to fix on some poor Naboth’s vineyard. Separate from the hopes and comforts of religion, every thing below the sun has written upon it, in legible characters, ** vanity and vexation of spirit,” though too few learn to read, or fully believe it.

Let us now examine the satisfactory enjoyments of the Christian. Ask him, “ What think you of Christ?” He will answer, “ Since I knew his preciousness, he is to me all in all. Yes, the Lord is my light and my salvation, the strength of my life, in whom all my springs are found. Ye · glittering toys! Ye tempting sweets! Ye empty,

worthless, delusive trifles! Your charms have lost their power! • Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; who healeth all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life

from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindnesses and tender mercies.' Oblessed Saviour! How sweet are thy promises, how suitable to my case, how sure in their performance ! I have found in thee all I want. Thou hast given me the lot of those who fear and serve thee. Thy pardoning grace hath blotted out my sins, rescued my soul from the brink of ruin, and raised me to a share in thy kingdom. Adorable and precious Redeemer! I am fully satisfied with the provisions of thy Gospel. I have tasted the heavenly manna, and would cry, Lord, evermore give me this bread. I know by experience, that whosoever • drinketh of the water that thou givest, can tiever thirst again," or seek, as he once did, the dangerovs and polluted pleasures of sin.” Such is the satisfaction, and such the grateful language of one who believeth in Jesus to the saving of the soul. Should it be said, do not un easiness and sorrow often invade the breast of the saint? True, but not because he has found any deficiency in his Lord, any failure in his promises, or any want in the treasures of his heavenly Father's house. He is often dissatisfied with him self, never with his precious Saviour

Have you, reader, found happiness in Christ, after every thing else failed to bestow it? Have you experienced a solid consolation and soul. refreshing joy in the Gospel ? If so, what cause have you to be unfeignedly thankful. Dwell theu in a constant meditation on the excellency of Christ. Surely experience has convinced you, that your comfort depends on nearness to him. If you have been drawn aside, entangled, and distressed, return to your rest, to him who is the health of your countenance and your God. Or, do you try a thousand expedients to gain happiness in the pursuit of worldly pleasure, but in vain? Do you still find dregs of bitterness at the bottom of every cup? Have you found the joys of the world, and the flesh, like the broken, disordered scenes of a vision ? And do you still continue to chase the airy phantoms with as much eagerness as ever? Do you still listen to the beguiling voice of a flattering world? Can you not yet bear the thought of giving up the fruits of iniquity? Let me here address you in the words of a faithful monitor, “ Wretched soul ! Hath thy sin proved so profitable a commodity, so necessary a companion, so delightful an employment, that thou canst not think of parting with it? May not God justly grant thee thy wishes, and seal thee a lease of thy distance from, him, and nail thy ears to these doors of misery, and exclade thee eternally from his glory?". . and transitory, while those of the believer are permanent. .. What has been already said, of the unsatisfactory nature of all earthly things, might be sufficient to show the folly of seeking a portion in them. But could the worldling prove that he has in his present possessions a pleasure unmingled in kind, and exquisite in degree, how greatly would , this consideration add to the anxiety of that precarious tenure by which they are all held. “ Riches make to themselves wings, and flee away, as an eagle towards heaven.” Fame, though it glitters at a distance, is but an empty bubble, which a slight touch destroys. “ Mirth is justly likened to the crackling of thorns under a pot, a sudden blaze, soon lost in smoke and darkness." " The world,” says the inspired writer, “passeth away, and the fashion thereof." How poor then is the best inheritance within the narrow limits of this terrestrial spot, and confined to a few uncertain moments of time! How strange, how unreasonable, how presumptuous is their conduct, who live and act as if present, fading objects, were stamped with the insurance of immortality, and future things were nothing but dreams and fables ! How different will be their feelings, when the illusion

4. The enjoyments of the world are uncertain

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »