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of worship. If, through the weakness of human nature, or the suddenness of temptation, the heart be unhappily surprised; and sin, for the moment, get the mastery of us; GOD, who is infinitely compassionate, will, for the sake of JESUS CHRIST, "for"give us our sin," provided it be not a wilful and habitual one; and that we deeply and seriously lament and abhor it. But, if men knowingly and willingly do that which is contrary to christian duty, then the rule, "he that offendeth in one point, is "guilty of all," will apply to them; they will be considered, by GoD, as transgressors of the whole law; and everlasting death will be the inevitable portion of "these sin"ners against their own souls.".
For the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity.]
MATTHEW vi. 34.
Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
UR blessed LORD's Sermon on the
the gospel for christian, a treaIn it he finds all
the day is taken, is, to the sure of inestimable value. that can give him wisdom and knowledge; consolation, hope, and joy; all that can afford him instruction to pass through "things temporal," virtuously, peaceably, and creditably; and to obtain, when he quits this world, and its concerns, "the "things eternal." The text contains an admonition that applies chiefly to this life; and directs us not to be too eager or anxious
about making provision for coming years; nor to spoil the comfort and innocent enjoyment of the present time, by painful solicitude about what may be the events, or wants, or sorrows, of a future period. In other words, my friends, it teaches us the great duty of content; of cultivating a satisfied disposition; and being grateful, thankful, and cheerful, in that situation, of life, in which it has pleased GOD to place us here below.
To endeavour to prove, that the rich and prosperous ought to be contented in their situation, appears to be unnecessary; because, Gor has been pleased to bestow upon them so largely the means of being happy themselves, and of making others happy also; that it is sufficiently evident, any feeling of discontent in their minds, must be the basest ingratitude to the bountiful Giver of all good. Indeed, it will be the more criminal in his sight, because, it clearly arises from their having abused the advantages He has given them; since any man, who disposes of a plentiful income in the manner which reason, conscience, and the gospel tell him he should expend it, will see so much good produced to others by his means, and will have so many blessings showered upon him by those who have been benefited by his
christian bounty; that it is impossible, he should be dissatisfied with a situation which has enabled him (through God's grace) to be so largely beneficial to his fellow-creatures. To endeavour, however, to persuade those who are badly off in life, to be contented in the situation wherein GoD has placed them, is, at once an important and a pleasing task. It is important, because the disposition of contentment makes a great part of christian duty; and no man can pretend to be a follower of CHRIST, who does not cultivate it in his heart, since that Saviour, whose steps we are bound to follow, never murmured, repined, or was dissatisfied, "though "he had not where to lay his head." It is a pleasing task, because there seems to be no difficulty in finding arguments to prove, that those classes of society, the poor and labouring ones, which appear, to the thoughtless, to be less kindly regarded by Provi dence than the rich and great, have, in reality, many advantages on their side; which, if properly attended to, and justly valued, ought to make them at once both contented and grateful. It is no small advantage to the lower orders, in the first place, that they are free from those temptations in the world, and that responsibility to GOD, to which the rich and the great are liable.
The power of indulging every wish of the heart generally leads to sin; because, the inclinations of the heart, unless purified and corrected by the Holy Spirit, are, in conse quence of our fallen nature, always on the side of what is wrong. Had Solomon been a poor man, he would never have been led into those follies and vices, which, for some years of his life, made him hateful in the sight of GOD, and contemptible to man; and which would certainly have ruined his soul, had not God mercifully opened his eyes at the close of life; enabled him to see " the error of his ways;" and taught him that wisdom, which he himself afterwards taught others, in his excellent book of Proverbs. It was that pride and vanity also, which riches are so apt to produce, that led Hezekiah to display his treasures to the servants of the king of Babylon; for which, as his punishment, GOD declared by Isaiah the prophet, that all the store of them which his fathers had laid up, should be carried unto Babylon; and that nothing of them should be left. And it was the same consequences of worldly prosperity, that brought Haman to the "gallows of fifty feet high, which he had "built for Mordecai the Jew:" and caused Herod, as we find in the twelfth chapter of Acts, "to be smitten of God, and eaten up