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dence of God interposed for children thus blessed in a manner which has struck all around. The patrons who assist, the friends who éncourage, the angels who guard them, are the instruments of Providence in fulfilling the declaration of his word,“ The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.”* Even when such children have been led forth with the workers of iniquity, the Almighty abandons them with reluctance, saying, “ How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thee, Israel ?” Often hath it been seen, that when the misconduct of such persons hath provoked God to correct and to humble them, the remembrance of the relation which his mercy had formed betwixt himself and their fathers hath made him say,-" Is Ephraim, my dear son, is he a pleasant child? my bowels are troubled for him, and I will surely have mercy on him, saith the Lord.”+

CONCLUSION. How clearly are they refuted by this passage who entertain degrading ideas of the private affections of domestic life. Universal benevolence is the darling theme of some; and, unable or unwilling to discover the consistency of this with the workings of friendship or of natural affection, they speak of these as contracting the heart, and rendering it indifferent to the welfare of all but those who move in a narrow circle. The charity which they extol is that which forgets family and friends, and devotes itself to pub

Psalm cii. 23.

+ Jer. XXXI. 20.

lic utility. It is said, that no private feeling checks the ardour of the true philanthropist in goodness ; and, instead of having his dying moments engrossed with those anxieties about relations, which, at such a season, harass weak and contracted minds, his last wishes are for the happiness of his species, and his spirit, rising above the interest of the surrounding scene, soars to heaven with the request, that light and virtue, freedom and peace, may be as extensive as the dwellings of human beings. In opposition to such romantic declamation it may be stated, that he on whose heart the claims of kindred make no impression is a stranger to the spirit of goodness, and that he who can part from them in death without the least anxiety for their welfare, is regardless of the last duties of a social being. It is in a family that the stream of charity first yields refreshment and beauty, which afterwards spreads its blessings far and wide. View the good man in his life, and you

will see him a public blessing by his example, influence, and prayers, while he provides especially for the spiritual and temporal happiness of his own; and view him on his death-bed, and while zeal for his Saviour's honour dictates the prayer

--" Let the whole earth be filled with his glory,” his heart clings, like that of Jacob, to his surrounding family, nor can be quit them till he has implored for them the best of blessings.

Let us all be properly influenced by the views we have taken of the Divine mercy. Let us be humbled on this account, that we have so often overlooked and so poorly improved the Divine kindness. Often hath thanksgiving been a mere form, and often has chur

lishness and selfishness withheld that which the ho. nour of God and the misery of the unhappy demanded. Cast thy bread now on the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days. God fills not your barns with plenty, nor does he make your presses to burst with new wine, that you may live in pleasure, but that you may give wine to him that is of a heavy heart, and bread to the man that is ready to perish.

Let the angel of the covenant who hath done so much for you be the object of your continued trust. Has he redeemed you from so many evils, and can you doubt his power to save you in future? No enemy can resist his power, who took the

prey from the Mighty. Has he taken you from the fearful pit and from the miry clay, and will he be unable to redeem you from the

power of the grave ? Imitate him in your efforts to rescue those who are in situations of danger and distress. If it is in the power of your hand to liberate the prisoner, whose sorrowful sighing has come up before you, or to protect the helpless from the stroke of oppression, be not reluctant to do it, but think of him who is afflicted in all our afflictions, and redeemed us in his love and pity. Give to this Redeemer your supreme love and homage. No benefactor can be compared with him, and no privilege can be likened to this redemption. You see this redemption not in indications scanty and obscure, but in narratives vivid and circumstantial, in revelations ample and clear, in commemorations expressive and solemn, and in blessings various and important. Let the redeemed of the Lord say in the face of every foe, of every trouble, and of their last enemy, “ Bless the

with ve

Lord, O my soul, who redeemeth thy life from destruction;" and you shall soon say, in an assembly, where, amidst the most wonderful variety in character and circumstances, redemption shall be seen to be in all rich in grace and bright in glory, “Salvation to our God that sits on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Let this subject recommend to us all walking before God. This hath been the practice of the best of men, of those to whom the feeling mind looks up neration and love. Let us think of its advantages and comforts. In arduous duties, how animating is the thought, the Lord is a witness of our struggles; and when we have none to take our part, how encouraging is the thought, the Mighty Lord is on my side! Amidst temptations to secret wickedness, this reflection will keep us from yielding to give even one wishful look to the forbidden object," Thou, God, seest me." Let it not be said, that this will bring an awe and horror over the spirit which will keep us from every pleasing scene, or make them hateful to us, “like songs to a heavy heart.”. The Being before whom the saint walks is a Father; and as well might you say, that the eye of a parent would damp the satisfaction of a virtuous child, as that the inspection of Jehovah would sadden the spirit of the pious. Think not that the attainment of the patriarchs is beyond the reach of ordinary Christians ; for the same grace by which they were actuated is sufficient for you, and the way of the Lord is strength to the upright.

This subject suggests various exhortations to the

young. If ye are walking in the steps of pious fathers, you may cherish the fullest assurance of the blessing. Show the same diligence in the work of the Lord which they manifested ; on you they will look with complacency, and every act of obedience will call forth new acknowledgments to Him who is with you as he was with them.

But there are some young persons, descended from pious parents, who walk in the ways of sinners, and it must be gross presumption in them to expect the fulfilment of a father's blessing in such a course. Could the lips which once blessed you speak to you from the grave, they would upbraid you with your folly, and say,-“ Know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” The God who fed them will soon refuse you the least relief in your misery, and the angel that redeemed them from all evil shall punish you with everlasting destruction from his presence. By a father's vows, and by a mother's tears, I entreat you to forsake the foolish and to walk in the way of understanding.

Let the young, like the two sons of Joseph, be willing to go to the scene of wisdom, however dark to nature. Even though you were called to witness the frame of an aged relative disfigured by decay, or the mind sunk in dotage, this would be useful as a preservative from the vanity to which youth is so prone. " It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting : for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to heart." “ The heart of the wise is in the house of mourn

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