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SERMON it might be suggested to them, that even I. in old age and sickness, except in very extreme cases some resources are always left, of which they may avail themselves for relief; yet it must be admitted, that lawfully they may wish their sufferings to be brought to an end. Still, however, they must remember, that resignation to the pleasure of Heaven continues to be their duty to the last. As long as any part remains to be acted, as long as their continuance in the world can serve any valuable purpose, it is more honourable to bear the load with magnanimity, than to give way to a querulous and dejected spirit. It remains,

III. To address myself to another order of men, among whom, though more rarely than among those whom I have described, the sentiment of the text is to be found. They are persons who have no particular complaint to make of the injustice of the world, or the afflictions of their state. But they are tired of the vanity of the world, of its insipid enjoyments, and its perpetually revolving circle



of trifles and follies. They feel them- SERMON selves made for something greater and nobler. They are disgusted and hurt with the scenes of wickedness that are often passing before their eyes. Their hearts are warmed with the thoughts of a purer and more perfect existence designed for man; and in the moments of aspiration after it, the exclamation breaks forth, My soul is weary of my life.-Oh! that I had wings like a dove! for then I would fly away and be at rest. Lo! then I would wander afar off, and remain in the wilderI would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. For I have seen violence and strife in the city. Wickedness is in the midst thereof; deceit and guile depart not from her streets *. In this view the sentiment in the text may sometimes be that of a devout man. But such persons I must admonish, that their devotion, however sincere, is not altogether of a rational and chastened kind. It was from this temper that, in former ages of the church, the numerous race sprung of an


Psalm lv. 6-il.


SERMON chorets, hermits, and all the variotis

orders who voluntarily abandoned the
world, to people the lonely desarts and
the monastic retreat. The ordinary course
of things seemed below them as candidates
for heaven. The concerns of the world
appeared unworthy of their attention, and
dangerous to their virtute. Breathing after
a higher state, they imagined that they
could not abstract themselves too much
from every earthly amusement, as long
as they were forced to remain in this place
of exile.

Let us beware of all such imaginary
refinements as produce a total disrelish
of our present condition. They are, for
the most part, grafted either on disap-
pointed pursuits, or on a melancholy and
splenetic cast of mind. They are far
from contributing to happiness, and are
inconsistent with all the active virtues of
man. This life deserves not indeed to
be put in competition with that blessed
immortality to which God has raised our
hopes. But such as it is, it is the gift
of God. It is the sphere in which his
wisdom has placed us, and appointed us


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to act our parts. As long as it lasts, we SERMON must neither slight the duties which it requires, nor undervalue the innocent enjoyments which it offers. It belongs to a man to live among men as his brethren; which he who declares himself weary of life is not qualified to do with propriety.

THUS I have placed before you, in various views, the sentiment in the text; and have shewn in what circumstances, and from what causes, that disrelish of life arises which is often found among mankind. On a review of the whole we cannot but acknowledge, that it is oftener to be ascribed to our own vices and follies, than to any other cause. Among the multitudes in the world, to whom at this day life is burdensome, the far greater number is of those who have rendered it so themselves. Their idleness, their luxury and pleasures, their criminal deeds, their immoderate passions, their timidity and baseness of mind, have dejected them in such a degree, as to VOL. IV. make


SERMON make them weary of their existence. I. Preyed upon by discontent of their own creating, they complain of life when they ought to reprehend themselves.

Various afflictions there doubtless are in the world; many persons with whom we have cause to sympathise, and whom we might reasonably forgive for wishing death to close their sorrows. But of the evils which imbitter life, it must be admitted, that the greater part is such as we have brought on ourselves; or at least such as, if we were not wanting to ourselves, might be tolerably supported. When we compute the numbers of those who are disposed to say, My soul is weary of my life, some there are to whom this sentiment is excusable; but many more among whom it is in no way justifiable. I admit that among the worthiest and the best, there may be dark moments in which some feeling of this nature may be apt to intrude upon their minds. their minds. But with them

they are only moments of occasional and

passing gloom. They soon recal the vigour of their minds; and return with satisfac

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