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have shewn, salutary and comforting to SERMON the heart. Thankful that our times are
in the hand of a Sovereign, who is both wise and gracious, let us prepare ourselves to meet the approaching events of life with becoming resignation, and at the same time with manly constancy and firm trust in God. As long as it shall please him to continue our abode in the world, let us remain faithful to our duty; and when it shall please him. to give the command for our removal hence, let us utter only this voice: "In "thy hand, O my God, my times are. "Thou art calling me away. Here I "am ready to obey thy call, and at thy signal to go forth. I thank thee that "I have been admitted to partake so "long of the comforts of life, and to
"be a spectator of the "ness displayed in thy
wisdom and good-
"thee that thou hast borne so long with
my infirmities and provocations; hast "allowed me to look up to thy promises in the gospel, and to hear the words of eternal life uttered by my great Redeemer, With gratitude, faith, and
hope, I commit my soul to thee. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in
peace; for mine eyes have seen thy sal"vation."-Such are the sentiments with which every pious and good man should conclude his life. Such indeed are the sen-. timents which he ought to carry through every part of life. With these may we begin, and with these conclude, every succeeding year which God shall think fit to add to our earthly existence.
On the Mixture of BAD MEN with the
MATTH. xiii. 30.
Let both grow together until the harvest.
HE parable of which these words SERMON are a part, contains a prophetical description of the state of the church. Our Lord predicts that the societies of Christians were to be infected with persons of loose principles and bad dispositions, whom he likens to tares springing up among whea". He intimates that there should arise some whose officious zeal would prompt the desire of exterminating
SERMON immediately all such evil men; but that
this were contrary to the designs of Providence, and to the spirit of Christianity; that a complete separation was indeed to be made at last between the good and the bad; but that this separation was to be delayed till the end of the world, when, in the style of the parable, the tares should be entirely gathered out from among the wheat. Let both grow together until the
When we look around us, nothing is more conspicuous in the state of the world than that broad mixture of the religious and the impious, the virtuous and the wicked, which we find taking place in every society. Strong objections seem hence to arise against either the wisdom or goodness of divine Providence; especially when we behold bad men not only tolerated in the world, but occasionally exalted in their circumstances, to the depression of the just. Why, it will be said, if a Supreme Being exist, and if his justice rule the universe, does he allow such infamous persons as the records of history often present, to have a place,
and even to make a figure in his world? SERMON Why sleeps the thunder idle in his hand, when it could so easily blast them? What shall we think of one who, having the power of exterminating them always at his command, permits them to proceed without disturbance; nay, sometimes appears to look on them with complacency? It becomes highly worthy of our attention to consider what answer can be made to these objections; to inquire whether any reasons can be given that serve to justify this dispensation of Providence, in allowing a mixture of bad men to continue on the face of the earth until the end of time. This inquiry shall make the subject of the present discourse, together with such reflections as naturally arise from surveying the state of human affairs.
BUT, before entering directly on such inquiry, it may be proper to take notice, that in our estimation of who are the good, who are the bad, we are often in hazard of committing mistakes. The real characters of men are known only