is by no means to be confounded with that constitutional hardiness, or apathy of mind, which renders some men insensible to the most affecting events. A person of this cast will make no allowance for the an. guish of the mourner, whose heart bleeds for the loss of a much-loved relative or friend, or for the sick who groan by reason of affliction; and while he condemns such persons as betraying a despicable weak. ness of spirit, boasts of the agonies he has borne in silence, and the friends he has laid in the dust, with. out a tear ; but a thoughtless disregard, a sullen contempt, or a proud defiance of God's correcting hand, must not be accounted patience. With the most rigid of the ancient philosophers, insensibility was deemed the perfection of wisdom and virtue ; and with barbarous nations it is considered as the noblest heroism to endure the most horrid torture without shrinking. We wonder not at the false views of the savage, when we consider the scenes in which he moves, and the habits to which he is formed; but it is amazing that men, to whom human nature was the object of elaborate study in its passions and feelings, should have placed excellence in the suppression and not in the regulation of these principles.

In order to constitute patience there must be a deep sense of the value of the blessings of which we are deprived, and of the necessity of those for which we wait; and it is the proper work of this principle to check all those murmurs which might be produced by the removal of the one, or by the delay of the other.

Such a principle can be produced by no efforts of “ Be

reason, and by no deductions of philosophy. By such methods men may be brought to a forgetfulness or to a disregard of the evils of life; but it is Divine grace alone which can teach us to recognize the hand of God in calamity, and which makes us hear with meekness and with awe the voice which

says, still, and know that I am God.” The fruit of the Spirit is long suffering. By the discipline of conviction he humbles the pride of the heart; by his illumination of the mind he gives us such views of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, as show us the reasonableness of acquiescence in all that he does; and by his sanctifying influence he makes us willing to be what God commands, to bear what he imposes, to relinquish what he requires, and to wait till he relieves or bestows.

2. Patience is manifested in a cheerful submission to the trials of life. The good man is led to such views of the necessity of these trials, and of the end of Providence in sending them, as cannot fail to calm his mind. He perceives the mercy there is in God's frowns, and the kindness there is in his strokes. How full of force and beauty is the reasoning of the Apostle Paul," We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness."* Figure to yourselves a good man confined for years

* Heb. xii. 9, 10.


to a bed of languishing, chastened frequently with sore pain, his worldly substance exhausted by his being so long debarred from labour, his friends ceasing to act to him with kindness, and his neighbours shutting their bowels of compassion : instead of the condolence of pity, or the ministrations of kindness, he has to bear cold neglect and cruel mockery. Place a worldly man in such circumstances, and every waking hour will be spent in cursing the day of his birth and the severity of Providence; but the good man is meek and calm, and when he opens his lips it is to sing of mercy rejoicing over judgment.

This patience under afflictions results from a conviction of their beneficent object. The good man is convinced that the advantages of which he has been deprived could not have been retained without injury to his best interests, and that he is much safer and should be much happier without them. Better is the contempt that humbles us, the loss which detaches us from the world, and the disease that wastes our strength, than the applause which puffs up, the prosperity which makes earth attractive, and the vigour which cherishes presumption. We are offended with the froward child who struggles to retain that with which he will undoubtedly do harm either to himself et to others, and who frets and rages when it is taken from him; and much more to be condemned are we when we strive with our Maker, while he removes what would be kept to our ruin. This is another cona videration which produces this submission under the ultictions of life, that God corrects us in measure, and drastises us less than our sins deserve. What is the

situation of him who is afflicted in body to that of the wounded spirit? What are the decaying faculties of age to hopeless idiocy or raging madness? What is the situation of him who has met with considerable losses to his who hath been bereft of his all ? And what is the gloom and anguish of the most unhappy lot on earth to the misery of that place where the smoke of torment ascendeth up for ever and ever? He who is delivered from the wrath to come hath no reason to complain, though from the troubles and sorrows of the world death alone should free him.

3. It is manifested in the steadfast pursuit of religion in spite of all its difficulties. View it as apparent in the pursuit of religious knowledge. In all subjects of speculation, difficulties must occur to damp the ardour of inquiry. Many efforts are made in vain to obtain a solution of the difficulties which perplex us; our investigations are censured as presumptuous and ridiculed as hopeless, and the abuse which is sometimes made of the principles we have laid down stamps them with discredit. Perseverance, in spite of these obstacles, displays the energy of the mind, and is accomplished by means of patience. Had it not been for this principle, men of wisdom and genius would have abandoned those researches which have terminated so gloriously. Important discoveries have been sometimes made by a short and simple process, in an unexpected moment and by incidents apparently accidental; but in general they have been the result of long and laborious application, in which discouragements have been resisted and opposition overcome by a patience zealous, steadfast, and enduring.

Many are the difficulties we must expect to meet with in the pursuit of religious knowledge. The corruptions and prejudices of our own minds, the errors and mistakes of our brethren, and the sublimity of gospel-truths, so far transcending our limited powers, form obstructions in our way which patience only can surmount. It is not in compliance with a feeble wish that light will arise to us; we must cry after knowledge, and lift up our voice for understanding. It is not by a slight examination of the surface that it is to be found; we must seek for it as for silver, and search for it as for hid treasure; then shall we understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

Patience, too, is manifested in the practice of religion. Many are the difficulties which impede the exercise of the Christian graces, and some of them arise from ourselves, others from the world. Many have abandoned their sober habits because they wanted firmness to resist the enticements of the dissolute; and some have discontinued their charities because of the ungrateful returns which were made for their bounty. Some have been zealous for the Lord of hosts while a religious profession was new to them, while they were animated by the ardour of pious guides, and while they saw it to be a ready way to influence and to reputation; but when these considerations cease to operate, they become indifferent to the interests of truth and godliness.

But we must run with patience the race that is set before us. Though the wicked should try to drive us from our course, though they should ridicule us as righteous overmuch, abuse the most honourable

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