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ments, and bereavements. This is a vale of tears, where the hearts of men are wrung with the keenest sorrows. And saints have a share, if not more than an equal proportion of the troubles of life. Jacob's troubles were great and proverbial. Job passed inonths of vanity and wearisome nights were appointed unto him. David was drowned in tears till he was weary of his groanings. Elijah was bowed down with darkness and despondency. Jeremiah was a man of sorrows. And the apostles and primitive christians were always sorrowful. It is certainly wearisome to live in a world where troubles are always to be seen and to be felt. And the longer saints live in the world, the more troublesome they find it. The pains and evils of life commonly increase as its length is protracted. Old age never fails to bring along with it infirmities of body and trou. bles of mind. And there is nothing more wearisome than troubles. Many who can endure labor cannot endure trouble. This makes the heart stoop, and weakens the mind as well as body. A troublesome world must be a wearisome world.
3. This is a dark world. What is past, what is present, as well as what is to come, lies involved in darkness. All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and 10 the wicked. No man knows either love or hatred, by his outward circumstances of life. Strange and unexpected events are continually happening, which disappoint the hopes and frustrate the designs of men. Kingdoms are rising and falling. Societies are increasing and diminishing. Individuals are passing from light to darkness, from joy to sorrow, from prosperity to adversity. A thousand small and imperceptible causes are producing great and adverse events. Religion and virtue are decaying, and vice and irreligion increasing, in one place and another; and all classes of men are continually acting the most absurd and inconsistent parts. Such are the scenes of this evil world, which are dark and trying to the friends of God, who attentively and anxiously discern the signs of the times. It was the darkness of providence which overwhelmed Jacob. It was the darkness of providence which perplexed
It was mysterious and distressing to him, that the tabernacles of robbers prospered, while he was loaded with calamities. David was envious at the prosperity of the wicked, and was ready to doubt the rewards of virtue and the equity of providence. Good men are often weary of conjectures, and despond under the darkness of divine dispensations. They are tired of living in a world which subjects them to continual anxiety and suspense.
4. This is a sinful world. Ever since the first apostacy it has been the seat of iniquity. All evil beings have made this
world the scene of action. Satan has fixed his throne here, and claims to be the prince of the power of the air. Hither he has collected his legions of evil spirits, who have been continually employed in working wickedness. Here Satan and his angels have perpetrated their most enormous crimes. The devil deceived, and, as far as he could, destroyed Adam and his posterity. He and his legions have opposed the kingdom of Christ, and done all in their power to injure the souls of men. They have reigned triumphant over the heathen world, and in the christian world they have blinded the minds of them that believe not. The whole world still lies in wickedness, and it must be grievous to good men to live in it. It was grievous to Lot, and vexed his righteous soul. It was grievous to David, and drew rivers of water from his eyes. It was grievous to Elijah, who lamented the universal degeneracy in Israel. It was grievous to Paul to see the Athenians wholly given to idolatry. In a word, all good men sigh and cry on account of the abounding of sin all over the world. They are weary of living in a world so full of both natural and moral evil, notwithstanding all the restraints God has laid upon it.
I now proceed to show,
II. That when saints are weary of the world, they may find comfort in Christ. They are then prepared to receive comfort; and Christ is always ready to bestow comfort upon those who are prepared for it. Good men are not always weary of the world, and when this is the case, they will not seek and cannot find comfort in Christ. When a person does not feel heat, he will not fly to the shade. When saints do not feel their need of Christ, they will not fly to him for support or relief. But when they are weary and heavy laden, they will repair to him for rest, which he is always ready to grant. If they feel the wind, he will be a hiding place. If they feel or fear the tempest, he will be a covert. If they are thirsty, he will give them the water of life. And if they are fainting with heat, he will be as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Whenever they are really weary of the world, let their weariness arise from what source it will, they may find relief in Christ, in whom all fulness dwells. In particular,
1. They may always find compassion in Christ, which is a source of comfort. Christ has gone through the heat and cold, the storms and tempests, the labors and troubles of this world. He knows what it is to be faint and weary. He knows the heart of a pilgrim and stranger. And he has the tenderest compassion for his friends in distress, or want. While he tabernacled in the flesh, he never saw an object of compassion but he felt compassion. He enters into the feelings of all his followers in all their sufferings. This the apostle exhorts christians to believe. “ Seeing then that we have a great highpriest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an highpriest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." He feels all the evils his followers feel. If any offend one of the little ones that believe in him, he says, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. When Saul was making havoc of the church, and abusing his disciples, he felt all their sufferings, and asked their persecutor why he persecuted him. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Christ feels the same compassion for his suffering friends now, that he did while upon earth. Whenever they are weary and heavy laden, they may safely cast all their cares and burdens on his arm, who will never leave nor forsake them, but graciously grant them the balm of sympathy and compassion.
2. Weary saints may find comfort in the intercession, as well as in the sympathy and compassion of Christ. Christ ever lives to make intercession for them. As he interceded for his disciples before his crucifixion, so he still intercedes for them. As he prayed for Peter, that his faith might not fail, so he still intercedes for the faith and constancy of all his true followers. He makes continual intercession, that they may be either kept from the evils that are in the world, or may be supported under them. He knows all the labors, trials and sufferings of his friends before they experience them, and intercedes for them, that they may be safely carried through. When weary saints, therefore, realize the constant intercession of Christ, it must afford them ground of courage, fortitude and comfort. For they know the Father always hears the Son. His intercession is always prevalent. He obtains all he asks for, and he asks for all that it is best his friends should enjoy. This ought to give them contentment at all times and in all circumstances, as it did the primitive christians, who
“ We are troubled, but not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair ; we are cast down, but not destroyed.”
3. When saints are weary of the world, they may always find comfort in the strength of Christ. He can give power to the faint, and to them that have no might he can increase strength. He can give strength to the body, and strength to the mind. Weakness is the cause of weariness, and the weary
always want strength, which they may always find in Christ. Paul found this in Christ, which made him confident of persevering in duty. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” When he had a thorn in his flesh, of which he was weary, and for the removal of which he most earnestly prayed, Christ comforted him with this answer: “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." After this he could say from happy experience, “ When I am weak, then am I strong.” When he was sensible of his own weakness, he repaired to Christ for strength, and always found it. It must be a source of comfort to weary saints to reflect that there is strength in Christ, and that he will always impart it to them when they really need it, and sincerely seek it. They may always take hold of his strength, which is sufficient to carry them through the wearisome scenes of this wearisome world. They may always renew their strength, and run, and not be weary.
4. When saints are weary of the world, they may find comfort in the government of Christ. The Father hath committed the government of the world to his Son. He hath given him
. all power in heaven and earth, and made him head over all things to the church. He hath set his king on his holy hill of Zion, and said unto Zion, “ Behold, thy God reigneth.” This must be a source of joy to the children of Zion; and so it is represented in the text and context, “ Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness. And he shall be a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” When saints are weary of the darkness, tumults, and confusions of the world ; when the winds blow and the storms beat, they may repair to Christ, and rejoice that he reigneth, and holds the winds, and waves, and storms in his hand. It is only for him to say, “ Peace, be still," and a calm shall ensue. But if he sees fit to increase the storms and tempests, they may be still and safe under the covert of his wings, and rejoice in the promise that all things shall work together for their good, under his government, who has set them as a seal upon his heart and upon his arm. Christ governs all things for the benefit of his church, of which he is as tender as of the apple of
Hence he says to his friends, he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye. The church is Christ's vineyard, which he constantly cultivates and protects. Hence he says,
“ I the Lord do keep it: I will water it every moment; I will keep it night and day.” Since Christ has the government of all things in his hands, his people may safely confide in his wisdom, power, and compassion, to defend his own
cause, and to repel every weapon formed against it. Though the kings of the earth may set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord's anointed; yet he shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. Zion has nothing to fear so long as her God reigneth. I may add,
5. When saints are weary of the world, they may find comfort in the promises of Christ. He has promised to give them peace, even in this world.
“ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation ; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. . And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” And agreeably to these promises, he has ordered it to be written, “ Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord; for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." These great and precious promises, which Christ has given to his weary and heavy laden friends, may afford them all the peace and consolation they need until they arrive at their future and eternal rest.
1. May the friends of Christ always find comfort in him, when they are weary of the world ? Hence we may see the reason why he forbids them to be conformed to it, or seek to derive their supreme happiness from it. He knows what is in man, and what is in the world. He knows that the world is very fascinating to the human heart, and that his followers are in danger of placing their supreme affections upon it, which will divert them from the service and enjoyment of himself. Therefore he says to them, “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal : But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. No man can serve two masters : for her he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” If christians suffer the world to get the ascendency