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perfections, in their proper and fliction, or distress ; while crossgenuine fruits. It is that sensi- ed in the beloved object of his ble medium by which the divine hope, embittering his afflictions character is diffused and acted with unavailing murmurs, and out. It is God's internal glory looking about him, in vain, for or füllness existing externally in comfort, from creature enjoyits emanation. In a word, it is ments. A mind thus affected the visible portraiture of the in- would be liable to misconstrue visible God, drawn by his own the sentiment of the Psalmist, hand, and corresponding, in all and consider it as the effusion of points, with infinite exactness, selfish joy, arising from some to its eternal original.
pleasing advancement of his own If then, the Divine character private interest and worldly be infinitely amiable and ex- prosperity. Judging from the cellent, such is the divine go disposition and tendency of his vernment ; for it is a perfect own heart, he would be ready to copy of that original. if God argue, surely David did not serve be love, all his conduct is be- God for nought. He surely had nevolent. If he alone be wor- obtained the desires of his heart, thy of our supreme affection, and without any thorn to infest his government is like himself his pillow, or any bitter ingrediit affords just ground of joy and ent in his cup, full well might he happiness to the whole rational rejoice in the government of creation.
God, and bless the kind hand so Such, we find, were the views munificently extended in his faand feelings of the inspired vor. In sailing a sea naturally Psalmist. “ The Lord reigneth rough and tempestuous, who let the earth rejoice ; let the would not rejoice to find a multitude of isles be glad there smooth surface and a favoring of. Clouds and darkness are gale, and extol the power so proround about him ; righteous- pitious to his views ? But had he ness and judgment are the ha- felt my afflictions—had he sufbitation of his throne." Let us fered the disappointment of his take this sentiment along with fondest hopes, and mourned the us, as a lamp to enlighten us in loss of his dearest enjoyments in the contemplation of this sub-lifewhat room for joy? what lime and interesting subject. ground for exultation would
Reason approves the senti. have been left ? Far different *ment and joins her voice with had been his feelings from the that of the Psalmist-yet, to the language he uttered. The voice unthoughtful and inattentive of joy would but have sickened mind to the man wedded to his heart, and the breath of de. worldly prosperity, supremely votion have frozen upon his attached to the enjoyments of tongue. sense, and heated in the pursuit But neither the connection of of pleasure, wealth or fame ; the passage, northe history of Dait but illy accords with his feel- vid’s life, gives.the least countenings, and speaks a language fo- ance to a sentiment so dishonoring reign from his heart. It is es- to religion, soopposed to the spirpecially so, if we view him in it of Christianity, and every genthe hour of disappointment, af- uine feeling of the good man's
heart. With respect to out- love, which seeketh not her.
66 Whom have I in while losses and crosses, disapheaven but thee, and there is pointments and vexations, pain, none upon earth, whom I de- sickness and death are the comsire besides thee,” breathes the mon lot of all ?-aware, I say, of same self-denying spirit and all such reasonings of the carnal would readily adopt the same mind, he proceeds to describe, language with that of the proph-in a word, the general excelet Habakkuk “ Although the lency of the divine government, fig-tree shall not blossom, nei- as the special and substantial ther shall fruit be in the vine, ground of his joy. And noththe labor of the olive shall fail, ing more was necessary, in orand the field shall yield no meat, der to remove every objection. the flocks shall be cut off from It needed only to be seen just the fold, and there shall be no as it was, for every caviling herd in the stall, yet I will re- mouth to be stopped, and every joice in the Lord, I will joy in benevolent heart to be filled with the God of my salvation.” joy.The Lord reigreth, the
The same spirit of self-deni. Psalmist had declared, and calal—the same humble devoted-led on creatures to triumph with ness of soul to God the genul him in this joyful assurance.ine breathings of that' divine / But, how doth he reign ? Are
the measures of his government simplicit confidence in the wise dictated by an imperfect view of dom of that government, whose things, by prejudice, passion or reason and measures we are una caprice? Are they such as the able to comprehend-saying frailty of human reason would “ The Lord reigneth, let the prescribe, or the short sighted earth rejoice”-fully confiding powers of creatures can com- in the universality of a Divine prehend ? Shall man presume Providence that infinite wise to enter the pavilion of his ma- dom which cannot err, orders ker, scrutinize the propriety of and disposes all things, in the his government, and dare to wisest and best manner; and say, what doest thou ? Shall he though “ clouds and darkness who is but of yesterday, and are round about Him, yet, rightknows nothing teach infinite wis- eousness, and judgment are the dom how to rule ? Shall he that habitation of his throne. is nothing, lend assistance to These impressions and views almighty power? And shall he of the divine government are not that deserves nothing but destruc- calculated to lead us astray, but tion, censure the conduct of in- | to conduct us in the path of true finite goodness, and feel him- wisdom, and enable us to make self aggrieved ? No. Let us progress in divine knowledge. be humble and be wise. Let us Being the language of truth, and be still and know that He is the dictates
dictates of indispensible God.--"Clouds and darkness are duty, they are no less conducive round about hiin, yet righteous to our highest interest ; and ness and judgment are the ha- whether in prosperity, or adbitation of his throne."
versity, are alike necessary for This may well check a spirit the enjoyment of any real comof restless inquietude, from fort. « Behold,” saith the invainly seeking to pry into the spired Prophet, “his soul which depths of the eternal mind, and is lifted up, is not upright in examining the purposes of God him, but the just shall live by his by the standard of human wis- faith.” Hab. ij. 4. From this dom, blinded as it is by the sel- it is plain, that both the experifish feelings and corrupt affec-mental knowledge, and the comtions of a depraved and wicked forts of religion, are the fruits heart. It is from this quarter only of faith ; and that to judge only, that our danger arises.-aright of the ways of God, we In humility, our wisdom and must first realize our own true safety consist. Without this, characters as dependent, sinful, all our researches will be vain weak, and fallible creatures. and fruitless, and the further we This most surely is necessary, proceed, the further shall we when we consider the perfection wander from the right path, and of God's reason, and the weakthe more difficult and uncertain ness of our own. And even in will be our return. As pride is matters which are, as it were, the very essence of folly, it is just within our reach, what the fruitful parent of all evil. In would become of the world, if the present dark state, we are to the practice of all moral duties, walk by faith and not by sight, and the foundations of society, and to content ourselves witi anl rested upon having their reasans made clear and demonstrative for it is built upon the wisdom to every individual ? We may and rectitude of an infinite, an be satisfied that a mind, which unchangeable God. has no restraint from a sense of This gives us full assurance its own weakness, of its subor- of a Divine Providence, both dinate rank in the creation, and universal and particular ; and of the extreme danger of letting ough God's ways may to us the imagination loose upon some appear dark, mysterious and unsubjects, which being the most accountable, yet righteousness sublime, are for the same reason and judgment are the habitation the least comprehensible, might of his throne. There is no convery plausibly attack every tingency in the system-nothing thing, even the most excellent takes place by chance; but diand venerable that it would vine counsel determines and dinot be difficult in this way, to cri- rects all events, and will finally ticise, even the government of bring good out of evil, light out God; and that, if we were to of darkness, and order out of examine the divine conduct, confusion. An infinitely wise by our ideas of reason and fit- and powerful being, though ness, and to use the same me- invisible in his essence, and enthod of attack, by which many throned in heaven, is yet conpeople assault the dearest and stantly present with all his most important doctrines of re- works-in him we live and move vealed religion, we might, with and have our beings. He who as good color, and the same suc- first created, hath ever supportcess, make the wisdom and pow. ed and governed the universe. er of God in his providence, He first bade the wheels of naappear to many, no better than ture roll. He conducts the infolly and injustice. How im finitely various parts of the great portant, then is this practical machine, to an inimitable beauty instruction of his word, to crea- and perfection. tures so exceedingly liable to
ASAPH. err, and to forsake the real object (To be continued.) of happiness, for a delusive and imaginary good ? How necessary is such a divine declaration, on the one hand, to point out Manual labor a branch of the duty the proper limits of our enqui- which God requires of man. ries, and, on the other, to direct
S and comfort our hearts! Clouds and darkness are round about of mankind is usually employed him ; righteousness and judg- in labor, to obtain the necessament are the habitation of his ries and comforts of life, or to throne. This, while it holds ) advance their worldly interests ; forth a solemn reproof to our and as many consider it a matpride speaks peace to the hum-ter of importance, to labor with ble soul, suggests the noblest diligence, and to employ their motives of consolation, and lays time to the best advantage, for the most permanent foundation these purposes; it is thought it for support to the afflicted ;- | may be proper and useful, to
bur views, establish our faith; A time of a large majority
attempt some exhibition of what | subjected to hard and wearisome may be learned from the scrip- labor, to obtain from the earth tures, respecting the duty and the food necessary for his sup, obligation of laboring to obtain port, till the time arrived for his the things of this world. For it return to the dust. Hence, the is undoubtedly of importance to painful exertions and fatiguing understand and comply with the labors, which the bulk of man. will of God in this particular. kind find necessary, to obtain
In Gen. ii. 15, it is written, the means of a comfortable sub“ And the Lord God took the sistence, are to be viewed as a man, and put him in the garden consequence of our apostacy from of Eden, to dress it, and to keep God, and regarded as a constant it.” By these words it appears, testimony of his righteous disthat man, in his original state, pleasure. Again. It is written was formed and designed for la- in Exod. xx. 9. “Six days shalt bor. God's putting him in the thou labor, and do all thy work." garden of Eden, to dress it, and This passage in its connection, ifit to keep it, certainly implies, does not command us to employ that he was not to be occupied six days out of every seven in do wholly and exclusively in the ing our own work, allows us sa exercises of devotion and reli- to do: or rather, it forbids our gious contemplation ; but that doing any of our own work on some care and bodily labor, and the seventh day, the sabbath, and exercise, in watching or pre requires us to perform all the la. serving and cultivating the gar- bor requisite about our worldly den, were required of him.
affairs, for our temporal support Bodily exercise appears to be on the other six days of the necessary for the health and week, and grants a liberty to comfort of creatures possessed spend the six days, in ordinary of a body, consisting of flesh and cases, or when not otherwise en. blood. But if Adam had pre-joined by God, in transacting our served his original rectitude and worldly business. This plainly perfectly obeyed the will of imports, that it is the design of God, it is not to be supposed, God, that a large proportion of that any irksome or fatiguing our time should be employed labor would have been required about the things of this life, of him ;- but only such as he though, as will be hereafter would have performed with ease shown, with an ultimate view to and satisfaction, as an agreeable a higher good. amusement.
From the scriptures of the But after Adam transgressed New Testament it is also mathe command of God, the ground nifest, that men by becoming was cursed for his sake, and Christians, and interested in the God said to him, “ In the sweat benefits of Christ's redemption, of thy face shalt thou eat bread, are not exempted, during the tillthou return unto the ground.” present life, from the obligation Gen. jii: 17, 18, 19. From this to labor for their living ; but passage in its connection it ap- that this is enjoined upon them pears, that in consequence of by the authority of Christ. Tho' man's disobedience it was the theft was allowed by many of the will of God, that he should be pagan nations, and considered.