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SERMON active exertion.
I. ther topid state,
In this languid, or ra
they have so many vacant hours, and are so much at a loss how to fill up their time, that their spirits utterly sink; they become burdensome to themselves, and to every one around them; and drag with pain the load of existence. What a convincing proof is hereby afforded, that man was designed by his Creator to be an active being, whose happiness is to be found not merely in rest, but in but in occupation and pursuit! The idle are doomed to suffer the natural punishment of their inactivity and folly; and from their complaints of the tiresomeness of life there is no remedy but to awake from the dream of sloth, and to fill up with proper employment the miserable vacancies of their days. Let them study to become useful to the world, and they shall soon become less burdensome to themselves. They shall begin to enjoy existence; they shall reap the rewards which Providence has annexed to virtuous ac tivity; and have no more cause to My soul is weary of my life.
Next, THE luxurious and the dissipated SERMON form another class of men, among whom such complaints are still more frequent. With them they are not the fruit of idleness. These are men who have been busied enough; they have run the whole race of pleasure; but they have run it with such inconsiderate speed, that it terminates in weariness and vexation of spirit. By the perpetual course of dissipation in which they are engaged; by the excesses which they indulge; by the riotous revel, and the midnight, or rather morning, hours to which they prolong their festivity; they have debilitated their bodies, and worn out their spirits. Satiated with the repetition of their accustomed pleasures, and yet unable to find any new ones in their places; wandering round and round their former haunts of joy, and ever returning disappointed; weary of themselves, and of all things about them, their spirits are oppressed with a deadly gloom, and the complaint bursts forth of odious life and a miserable world. Never are these complaints more frequent than at the close
SERMON of rounds of amusement, and after a long J. repetition of festal pleasures; when the
spirits which had been forced up, as by some intoxicating drug, to an unnatural height, subside into profound dejection. What increases the evil is, that it is not among the infirm, and the aged, but among the young, the gay, and the prosperous, who ought to be reputed the happiest men, that this distaste of life most frequently prevails.
When persons of this description, in their peevish and splenetic hours, exclaim, My soul is weary of my life, let them know, let them be assured, that this is no other than the judgment of God overtaking them for their vices and follies. Their complaints of misery are entitled to no compassion; nay, they are sinful, because they arise from a sinful cause; from a mind broken and debased by luxury and corruption. They are the authors of their own misery, by having thrown away on the follies of the world those powers which God had bestowed on them for nobler ends.-Let them return to the duties of men and Christians,
Let them retreat from frivolity, and ab- SERMON stain from excess. Let them study temperance, moderation, and self-command. By entering on a virtuous and manly course of action, and applying to the honourable discharge of the functions of their station, they will acquire different views. They will obtain more real enjoyment of life, and become more willing to prolong it. But, after the warnings which God has given them of their misbehaviour by the inward misery they suffer, if they still continue to run the same intemperate round, and to drain pleasure to the last dregs, it shall come to pass, that they who now contemn life, and are impatient of its continuance, shall be the persons most eager to prolong it. When they behold it in reality drawing towards a close, and are obliged to look forward to what is to come after it, they shall be rendered awfully sensible of its value. They will then grasp eagerly at the flying hours; anxious to stop them if they could, and to employ every moment that remains in repairing their past errors, and in making their
peace, if possible, with God and heaven. According as they have sown, they now reap. They are reduced to eat the fruit of their own ways, and to be filled with their own devices.
THERE remains still a third class of those who from discontent are become weary of life; such as have embittered it to themselves by the consciousness of criminal deeds. They have been, perhaps, unnatural to their parents, or treacherous to their to their friends; they have violated their fidelity; have ensnared and ruined the innocent; the death of others.
or have occasioned There is no won
should lose their
der that such persons