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can be furnished, except what arises from SERMON the bitterness of sincere and deep repentance. We can do no more than exhort them to atone as much as is in their power for the evils they have committed; and to fly to the divine mercy through Jesus Christ for pardon and forgiveness.
II. TURN to persons of another description, and consider the sentiment in the text as extorted by situations of distress. These are so variously multiplied in the world, and often so oppressive and heavy, that assuredly it is not uncommon to hear the afflicted complain that they are wealy of life. Their complaints, if not always allowable, yet certainly are more excusable than those which flow from the sources of dissatisfaction already mentioned. are sufferers, not so much through their own misconduct, as through the appointment of Providence; and therefore to persons in this situation it may seem more needful to offer consolation, than to give admonition. However, as the evils which produce this impatience of life are of differ.
SERMON ent sorts, a distinction must be made as to
SOMET ETIMES, the exclamation in the text may be occasioned by deep and overwhelming grief. When they whom we had most affectionately loved, and in whom we had placed the felicity of our days, are taken away, our connection with life appears to be dissolved. Why "should we survive those to whom our "souls were tied? Would to God we
had died before them! Now when they "are gone, all pleasure and hope is gone
as to us. To us the sun no longer shines "with its usual brightness. No longer
"cheerfulness invests the face of Nature. "On every object a sad gloom appears. "to rest; and every employment of life " is become an oppressive burden." With the feelings of those who are thus distressed we naturally sympathise. They are frequently the feelings of the most virtuous and amiable minds: And yet such, persons must be told, that grief may be indulged so far as to become immoderate and improper. There are bounds
which are prescribed to it both by reason SERMON and by religion. A Christian ought not to mourn like those who have no hope. While he feels his sorrows as a man, he should also study to bear them like a man, with fortitude; and not abandon himself to feeble and fruitless melancholy. Let him have recourse to a strenuous discharge of the duties of his station, and consider it as incumbent on him to make the best improvement that he can of those comforts which Providence has still left in his possession.
AGAIN; it sometimes happens that, apart from grief, great reverses of worldly fortune give rise to the lamentation in the text. This was the case with Job himself. A sudden fall from opulence into indigence and want; some undeserved disgrace incurred, or some unexpected cloud thrown över former reputation and fame; the unkindness and desertion of friends, or the insolent triumph of enemies, are apt to overwhelm the minds of men with gloom, and to reduce them to be weary of life. To persons under
SERMON such calamities, sympathy is due.
sympathy, however, will be proportioned to the degree in which we consider them as free from blame in the misfortunes
which they suffer. As far as, through their own misconduct and vice, they have been the authors to themselves, of those misfortunes, we withdraw our pity. The burden which they have brought on themselves, we leave them to bear as they can; and with little concern we hear them exclaim that their souls are weary of life.Not only so, but even in cases where calamities have fallen on the innocent, to the pity which we feel for them will be joined a secret contempt, if we perceive that together with their prosperity, their courage and fortitude have also forsaken them. To abandon themselves to dejection, carries no mark of a great or a worthy mind. Instead of declaring that his soul is weary of his life, it becomes a brave and a good man, in the evil day, with firmness to maintain his post; to bear up against the storm; to have recourse to those advantages which, in the worst of times, are
always left to integrity and virtue; and SERMON never to give up the hope that better days may yet arise.
It is good for persons in such situations to remark that, though Job was for a long while severely tried by a variety of distresses, yet his condition was not left finally unhappy. On the contrary, the goodness of that God whom he had served returned at last to shine upon him with greater brightness than ever. His riches were restored to him twofold. The losses in his family were repaired by a new offspring. His name became again renowned in the east; and the latter end of Job, we are told, was more blessed than the beginning.
Bur still, it may be asked, will not the continuance of long and severe disease justify the exclamation in the text, My soul is weary of my life? To persons who are forsaken by all the blessings of health, and who have no prospect left, but that of lingering under sickness or pain, Job's complaint may assuredly be forgiven more than to any others. Though