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ing out his wants and sorrows to an SERMON almighty Supporter, feels that he is not left solitary and forsaken in a vale of woe. God is with him, Christ and the Holy Ghost are with him; and though he should be bereaved of every earthly friend, he can look up in heaven to a friend who will never die.
To these present consolations, the religion of Christ adds the joyful prospect of that future state, where eternal rest remaineth for the people of God. This life they are taught to consider as only the house of their pilgrimage; the temporary mansion of painful though necessary discipline. But let them endure for a little, and the pilgrimage shall end, the discipline shall be finished; and all the virtuous be assembled in those blissful, regions which are prepared for their reward. Such a prospect cheers the darkest hours of life; and affords a remedy to every trouble. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed *. They appear, in this comparative view, as no more
SERMON than a distressing dream of the night, from which one awakes into health, and light, and joy. Peculiar is this high consolation to the religion of Christ. It is what all nations had eagerly wished for; what all philosophy had anxiously sought to discover; but what no research, no philosophy were able to ascertain to mankind, till Christ brought the assurance of life and immortality from heaven; and conferred on his disciples this noble and inestimable gift.
THUS, on the whole, the Christian doctrine is found to be the great medicine of life. It is the balm of human sorrows and cares. In our present state, where so many are suffering actual distress, of one kind or other, and where all have reason dread the approach of distress, it is religion only that can alleviate the burdens of life, and smooth our passage through this evil world. Let this view of religion persuade us to improve the sacred ordinance of our Lord's supper for coming unto Christ in the way before explained: that is, joining ourselves to him as his disciples; his
disciples, not in words and professions only' SERMON but in heart and in truth; taking upon us his yoke, as is added in the words immediately following the text and learning of bim who is meek and lowly in heart. Let those who labour under the sense of remembered follies and crimes, come unto Christ with penitent dispositions, and they shall obtain pardon. Let those who labour under the suffering of present, or the apprehension of future sorrows, come unto Christ, and they shall receive consolation. All who are in any sense heavy laden, coming unto him, shall find rest to their souls.
BEFORE Concluding this discourse, there is another set of men not yet mentioned, to whom I must also address the exhortation in the text; those I mean who, la. bouring under none of the distressful burdens of life, are surfeited of its pleasures; who labour under the burden only of languid ease, and the load of insipid prosperity. You drag, my friends, but a miserable existence. Oppressed by no sorrow, you feel vacuity and dissatisfaction within; you
SERMON are often weary of Life; and in your so~ litary hours, are disposed to confess that all you have experienced is vanity. Wherefore should you any longer spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Come to the waters which are now offered to you, and drink. Hear, and your souls shall live. Retreat from the corrupting vanities of the world to Christ, to religion, and to virtue. New sources of enjoyment shall then be opened to you. A world yet untried shall display itself to your view. You shall be formed to a relish for the quiet and innocent pleasures of piety and devotion; of friendship and good affections of useful knowledge, and virtuous activity; of calm society, and seasonable retirement; pleasures of which at present you have no concep→ tion; but which, upon trial, you shall find superiour to the trifling or turbulent amusements, in which you have hitherto passed your days.-The true satisfaction of the human mind is only to be found in religion and goodness; in a purified heart and a virtuous life. All other plans of happiness áre fallacious, and pregnant with disappoint