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WHATEVER may be our fituation here--wheth-ve have kind and faithful friends, or are left olate, or are surrounded with enemies ; wheth===we have joys or forrows, we need the divine luence to enable us to make a good improverent, and to render them the occafion of good. e need divine aid and influence, no lefs in Lofperity than in adverfity. adverfity. Whatever, therere, may be our fituation and circumftarces, fenole of our weakness and blindness, let us return God as our reft, truft* in him, and continue in pplications and prayers night and day; and his race will be fufficient for us; for he hath faid to lone" feek ye my face in vain.".
r effect is different they increase our guilt, and A increase our condemnation.
ing but his grace will be fufficient for them, and all work for their good.
WE are fure that God orders wifely. The fta tion then, which he affigns to us, is moft fuitable for us; the comforts and corrections which he difpenfes, most fit and proper. If wife for ourfelves we would not wifh for alterations in them. We shall only be concerned to follow where God leads, and only pray that he will not leave us, but guide us to his kingdom.
LET us bring home these confiderations, and inquire how we are affected by God's dealings with us, and what temper we maintain? We have comforts and corrections. Do we fee the hand of God in them; acknowledge the comforts to be undeferved, and the corrections lefs than our demerits? Do we bless God for the former, and humble ourfelves under the latter? Or do the former render us forgetful of God, and proud and scornful towards men? Do the latter humble and abafe us; keep us mindful that this is not our reft, and quicken our preparations for that world where all tears will be wiped away from our eyes? Or do they cause us to murmur and repine, as though we fuffered unjustly?
BOTH mercies and afflictions will be a favor of life or death, according to the effect which they have upon us, and the temper and difpofition they produce in us. If mercies increase our love to God, and concern to honor him, then are they mercies indeed. So are afflictions, if they humble us and quicken us in the way of duty; but if
their effect is different they increase our guilt, and will increase our condemnation.
WHATEVER may be our fituation here-whether we have kind and faithful friends, or are left defolate, or are furrounded with enemies; whether we have joys or forrows, we need the divine influence to enable us to make a good improvement, and to render them the occafion of good. We need divine aid and influence, no less in profperity than in adverfity. Whatever, therefore, may be our fituation and circumftar.ces, fenfible of our weakness and blindness, let us return to God as our reft, truft in him, and continue in fupplications and prayers night and day; and his grace will be fufficient for us; for he hath faid to none" feek ye my face in vain.”.
The Good Man Useful in Life and Happy in Death.
PSALM XXXvii. 37.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: For the end of that man is peace.*
THE fubject of this pfalm is the way and end of the righteous and the wicked. It is defigned to calm the minds of good people when tried with adverfity, and to reconcile them to the divine admin. istration in the unequal distributions of Providence, and the apparent difregard of character, in those diftributions. With these views, the writer, after glancing at the lives of faints and finners, calls our attention to their end, noting the manner of their exit out of life.
THE text relates to the righteous. In difcourfing upon it, We fhall confider the excellence of their characters, and their peaceful end; and add a few reflections.
* Preached at the Funeral of Afa Witter, Efq. O&. 9th, 1792.
I. We are to confider the excellence of their charatters. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright.—
THE perfect man.-This may feem a strange reprefentation of an imperfect creature-a creature which viewed in the glafs of the divine law appears deformed, and tried by the perfect rule must be condemned-a creature whose best services can find acceptance with God, only on the plan of grace! For fuch is man fince the apoftacy-such the faints feel and confefs themselves. But however ftrange the representation, it is drawn by the pen of inspiration, and applied to the faints.
PERFECTION is fometimes attributed to particular faints." Noah was a juft man and perfect in his generation." Similar is the defcription given. of Job. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job: And that man was perfect and upright."
IN the text, the term perfect, hath not a particular reference, but refers generally, to those who have been renewed by divine grace. But when applied to a fallen creature it must be understood with limitation. We have feen it applied to Job: Hear him then speaking of himself" If I justify myself, my own mouth fhall condemn me. If I fay I am perfect it fhall prove me perverse."
ST. JOHN held a high rank among the faithful; yet speaking of the faints, and including himself, he obferves-"If we fay that we have no fin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us-If we confess our fins, he is faithful and just to for