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drink, and be merry. But God said to him, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided "* How long have you to live that you should indulge in sloth and indolence, saying, “ Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep?" How long have you to live that you should be so sluggish in working out your salvation? for the night cometh in which no man can work.
If the aged are to be patient under their infirmi. ties, much more should you be so under the ailments you may be visited with. They have no hope of release from their frailties till death brings it; they have every reason to suppose that they will be aggravated; but you expect days of vigorous health, and that you shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. You are now immersed in the bustle of the world; take heed lest your chief toil be for the meat that perisheth, but labour for that which endureth to everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you. Let not your most active days be all devoted to the world. Amidst the connexions that are rising up around you, forget not your father and your mother. Show that, amidst the engagements of the world, you cannot neglect them: and, amidst your labours to promote the temporal interests of your children, teach them the good and the right way, and commend them to the Lord by whom
Finally, This subject is rich in instruction to the
• Luke xii. 19, 20.
young. How long have you to live, that you should neglect the great salvation ? Many a grave-stone can tell
you how often death and youth have met ; or, if you will not go to such a scene of solemn admonition, be warned by the fading blossom that meets you in the scene of beauty. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth. To
you the honours and pleasures of the world appear in their fairest attractions; and you think that they deserve and will reward your pursuit; but these splendours are but a gilded vapour, and that crown of rose-buds is thickly set with thorns. I mean not that you are to be indifferent about your worldly interests, but I say, “ Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom.” “ Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness of it, and all other things shall be added to you.” The idea of being burdensome to your parents should be painful to you. Much they have done for you already, and you ought not, for one moment longer than is necessary, to lean on them. It is most disgraceful to behold young men, qualified to earn their bread in a respectable business or profession, in the spirit of indolence lounging at home, making use of the meanest pretexts to justify their sloth, and abusing the indulgence of their parents for its gratification. It is peculiarly shameful in the young, whose spirit might be supposed to be more independent, to fasten themselves to others, and to act as parasites from selfish motives. Why should you owe to another what you can procure for yourselves ? Beware of that vain glory to which youth is so prone. Be clothed with humility,
which is the loveliest attire of the young; and in your warm affections let your parents have their due share. They may be still with you ; but remember that they are returning to their earth, and that the grave which closes on them shall
you. A parent's curse or a parent's blessing is before you. O live with them so as that your flesh may rest with them in hope, and your spirits may mingle with theirs in glory!
THE CLAIMS OF WIDOWS.
1 TIMOTHY v. 3.
Honour widows that are widows
It is a beautiful arrangement of Providence, that while the relations of life open a sphere for the exercise of various graces and virtues, the dissolution of those connexions calls forth principles into operation which could not have been exemplified with such lustre or utility in any other circumstances. Men under the impulse of caprice may leave that which they have reared to perish through their neglect, or may destroy it in the rage of malignant passion : but whatever superficial observers may suppose, or whatever the mind may suggest under the influence of gloomy forebodings and of disappointed hope, respecting the procedure of the Almighty, he wounds the heart to form it to penitence and devotion ; and calls us to new scenes of action, that pious utility may show more abundantly the power of his grace, and mild resignation the efficacy of his consolations. It is thus apparent how dear our religious improvement is to the Father of goodness, and that for this purpose his wisdom and his love regulate the various changes of our condition.
The relation of husband and wife was formed by God, to excite those thus united to love and to good works; and the separation which death produces hath led to the display of a faith and patience of the noblest order. Thus, also, an opportunity is afforded for the exercise of charity in its best modifications, in the relief of those whom sorrow hath bowed down, and for the improvement of our own hearts in sobriety and compassion. We are led to these remarks by the character and by the precept in the text. Widows formed a numerous class in the primitive church ; and the Apostle felt himself called upon to state to them their appropriate duties, and to others the respect which they owed them. We will not wonder ' at the favour with which persons of this class regarded the gospel, when we consider the light which it sheds on a future state, and the sympathy it provides for the mourners, and contrast this with the uncertainty as to another life in which heathenism left them, and the cold and selfish spirit which it breathed. - In this discourse I shall call
attention, in the first place, to the spirit and character of the true widow, and shall then explain the honour here enjoined to be paid to her.
I. Let us then consider the spirit and character of the true widow.' The accuracy and fidelity of the Apostle are apparent in the moral discrimination with which he delineates their characters, to whom the pri. vileges and the consolations he is describing pertain ; and while he encourages the humble and the timid, he represses the presumptuous with due severity. The widow he recommends to the countenance of the church, is one whose character is such as entitles her to it.