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come, when they shall have to give an account of their knowledge of the intellectual and rational species, stewardehip before the Great Judge of all, when men's is more valuable than that which relates to the good and evil actions will be weighed in a balance, and material world in which they dwell. when the consequences of their immorality and crimes will appear in awful memorial against them.
The suppositions now made, may help us to The good and just man, on the other hand, derives decide on the comparative claims of the boasted comfort and satisfaction every moment of lis existence, science of astronomy, and that of divine revelation. from the consolatory nature of his reflections, from the By means of the former, great light has been consciousness of the rectitude of his intentions, and of thrown on the material system of which our globe the uprightness of his conduct in every transaction of forms a part,—it has added to our knowledze of bis life ; he enjoys the fruits of his honest labours, and the number of the heavenly bodies, has calculated, whatever are the wants of his family, they are supplied by his honourable exertions in the career of useful in with amazing ingenuity and accuracy, their imdustry. He lets“ his light shine before men,” by giv- mense distance from our earth and from one an. ing them an example of perseverance in the path of vir- other, measured their bulk, ascertained their inotue; his domestic circle is always the object of his tions, described their external aspect, and detersolicitude and care, and his offspring learn to venerate mined the fact that they are habitable. Br. and to imitate the character of him to whom, under Providence, they owe their existence. Happiness and beyond this it has not proceeded. It cannot depeace are ever found in his habitation, and he moves
termine whether there are inhabitants in any other progressively on to the close of a long and useful life, planet save our own; and any conclusion of this with a mind at ease, and a conscience void of offence kind, is inconsistent with the fundamental princitowards God and man. At the near approach of that ple on which its most beautiful and best ascertain
. period, when bis earthly tabernacle shall dissolve, heed discoveries rest,-it is mere conjecture and looks up with hope and with joy to the great Author of bis existence, confiding in the mercy of God, through hypothesis. Here, however, revelation comes in the merits of a blessed Redeemer; and while about to
our aid, and without either making pretensions to enter on the confines of another world, he lies down discoveries in the material world, or contradicting peaceably to rest, like the little innocent in his cradle, those which sound philosophy has made, it razne after the joys and prattle of a long day. The soul enlarges our acquaintance with the intellectual and quits its frail tenement, the immortal spirit soars into spiritual world. Besides the correct and exalted the boundless realms of space, and rises “unhurt amidst the war of elements, the wreck of matter, and the views which it gives us of Him that “ made täne crash of worlds."
seven stars and Orion, that turneth the shadow o death into the morning, and maketh the day dari
with night,” it conveys to us the highly interest: DISCOURSE.
ing information, (rendered credible by all the eviBY THE LATE Rev. THOMAS M'CRIE, D.D., dence, external and internal, with which it is acAuthor of the “ Life of John Knox,” &c. &c. companied) that there is between the great Spiri [Occasioned by the Death of the Right Hon. George CANNING, and man, an intermediate order of spirits, whose August 1827.)
habitation is in the high and holy place, where the “ Behold, he put no trust in his servants, and his an- effulgence of the divine majesty'shines,—myriads
gels he charged with folly : How much less in of angels and archangels, cherubim and serapeis, them that dwell in houses of clay, whose founda- exalted in intelligence, brigbt in purity, burrin tion is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to even
with fervour in the service of God, and great a ing; they perish for ever, without any regarding power to execute the commands of the eterns it. Doth not their excellency which is in them king, before whose presence they stand, and bi go away? they die, even without wisdom.”
whom they are sent forth to minister for the Job iy. 18_21.
who shall be heirs of salvation. Divine revelaties If an enterprising navigator were to discover a lays open the heaven of heavens, and there, hy the large and beautiful island, which had hitherto glass of faith, clearer and stronger than the teles, escaped the observation of all his predecessors, to cope of any astronomer, we see “ the ancient of sail round it, fix its exact place on the map, de- days,” sitting on a throne like the fiery fzme. scribe its bays, creeks, and inlets, and give us some while “ thousand thousands minister unto him, idea of the general appearance of the interior, as and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before viewed from a distance, we would hail his disco- him." very as not only gratifying to our curiosity, but But, my brethren, the discoveries which dirin as an accession to the knowledge which we pre- revelation makes to us of the invisible world, ser viously possessed of the globe that we inhabit. prising and sublime as they are, were not intende But if another navigator, who commenced his voy- to raise our astonishment, or gratify our curiosti. age about the same time, should proceed to the They are uniformiy brought forward in the Scrip same island by a different course, land on its shores, tures for practical purposes of the highest ki. huld intercourse with its inhabitants, and bring The doctrine of angels is introduced to illustrata home the most credible and authentic proofs of the amazing condescension of the Son of G their vast superiority in intellect, in science, in who stooped to take on him our nature
, and age morals, in religion, and in happiness, to the most being made for a little lower than the angels that civilized portions of the hitherto known world, we he might sutier death, was exa'ted far abuse ari would regard his discoverics as excelling those of principality and power
, and might and dozens the former, inasmuch as whatever adds to the At other times it is taught for the consolation di i3
saints who, amidst all the dangers and privations of they run in the present time, they shew that what their present condition, have assurance that they is asserted of angels in the text is applicable to are encompassed, preserved, and provided for by them still. God only possesses in himself being God's invisible host. At other times, it is ad- and all excellence, whether natural or moral, esduced to set forth the greatness, wisdom, and ho- sentially, independently, unchangeably, indefinitely, liness of God, on the one hand, and the folly, and in perfection. Angels derived their being, and weakness, and nothingness of man, on the other. all its excellencies, from him ; they depend on This is the view with which it is introduced in him for it every moment, and have no security for the text, which contains an oracular sentence, so- its continuance but what is founded on his pleasure lemnly pronounced by a spirit which passed before and purpose ; for “ of him are all things, in heaven Eliphaz, at the silent hour when deep sleep falleth and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be
thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers, The description given of the light in which the and by him all things consist.' Talk we of be. Supreme regards the angels, and the judgment ing? 'He only can say, “ I am.” Of well-bewhich he forms of them, is expressed here in the ing? He only is blessed. Of endless being ? past time. And what a striking and awful com- He only hath immortality. Of power ? His is mentary have we on the words, according to this the greatness and the strength. Of wisdom ? He sense, in the fate of a portion of the angelical fa- is the only, as well as the all-wise. Of holiness? nily, as revealed to us in Scripture! They occu- There is none holy but the Lord. Of goodness? pied the same high rank, and enjoyed the same There is none good but God. In comparison blissful and glorious abodes with the elect angels, with what is in God, all the power, and wisdom, but, by pride and rebellion, they forfeited their and goodness which are to be found in the most place, and were doomed to shame and everlasting honoured of creatures, is unworthy of
of these contempt. “ God spared not the angels
that sin- names ; " for who in the heaven can be compared ned, but cast them down into hell.”. From the unto the Lord ? who, among the sons of the first day that he created them, when they shouted mighty, can be likened unto the Lord ?” What for joy at the laying of the foundation-stone of the the apostle says of men, “ the foolishness of God universe, he knew that they would prove trans- is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is gressors, and therefore withheld bis confidence stronger than men,” is in our text applied to angels. from them. Behold how “he put no trust in his | He knows that if the world were committed to saints, and charged his angels with folly.” And their government, it would go into confusion. was he, after this, to place his confidence in man, Accordingly, “ he will not trust them on account even though created in his own image, and honour of their strength, nor leave his labour to them ;” ed to wear the crown of his delegated authority on but his eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth?
earth, and he worketh all things according to the But, my friends, there is another striking proof counsel of his own will. of the truth of the leading proposition in the text, How forcible, my brethren, does the inference in relation to the angels who did not involve them- drawn from the proposition thus established, now selves in the apostasy of their fellows. Having appear! If such is the estimate which the Most formed the gracious purpose of recovering a num- High forms of angels, who are exalted in rank, ber of the family of Adam, who had fallen into power, and intelligence, then how insignificant and the snare and condemnation of the devil, and to contemptible must we be in his sight? Behold, glorify himself by forming a new world out of the he put not trust in his angels as charged with ruins of the old, God looked around him for a de- folly,—“how much less in them that dwell in houses liverer and restorer. But he could find none of clay; whose foundation is in the dust!” The among the highest order of beings whom he had angels are pure spirits, and have their abode in created, adequate to the task, or worthy to be in that house which is eternal in the heavens. We trusted with the vindication of the divine honour dwell on the earth. “There is a spirit in man, in the salvation of sinners. “ Unto the angels also, “and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth liath he not put into subjection the world to come, him understanding ;” but then that spirit and that whereof we speak." And, therefore, he sent on understanding are lodged in a house of clay, whose this errand his own Son, the brightness of his foundation is in the dust. This is applicable to all glory, by whom, also, he had at the beginning men, whatever their rank and qualities may be; made the worlds. Behold, again, how he put no and it is descriptive at once of their meanness and trust in his saints, and charged his angels with their frailty. What are our bodies, but moulded, folly.” And shall man attempt to be his own moving, breathing, speaking clay! Wonderfully Saviour, or dare to approach the spotless Being but fearfully made, inasmuch as the very fineness whom he hath offended, with the view of propi- and complexity of their mechanism portends and tiating him? “ Behold he putteth no trust in his threatens their dissolution. What can be frailer saints (his holy ones); yea, the heavens are not than a house of clay, founded not on a rock, but clean in his sight; how much more abominable on the flitting dust, which the slightest violence and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like will overturn, and which, if it escape the external water !” (chap. xv. 15.)
blast, will soon fall by its own weight! Not a These, also, are the words of Eliphaz, and as I day nor an hour passes in which these clay cot
tages are not to be seen demolished, and their in- | confidence and boasting? If we are to avoid the habitants crushed beneath them, like or before the worshipping of angels, or putting our trust in moth. “ They are destroyed from morning to them instead of the living God, much more ought evening.” Many of them “perish for ever, with we to shun yielding this homage to human be out any regarding it.” And as for those whose ings, how exalted soever their rank, and how emifall attracts notice, on account of the conspicuous- nent soever their talents, their virtues, or their serness of their place, or certain shining exterior vices. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man qualities by which they were distinguished from and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart deothers around them, “Doth not their excellency parteth from the Lord.” Christians are taught which is in them go away? they die even without this, in the most impressive manner, by the me wisdom.”
thod which God has taken for calling sinners from What are the practical lessons which this sub- darkness to light, and translating them into the ject teaches us?
kingdom of his dear Son. “He hath chosen the 1. It teaches us the folly of covetousness and foolish things of the world to confound the wise, ambition. How preposterous for such a frail, and the weak things of the world to confound the short-lived creature as man, “whose days are as things that are mighty, that no flesh should glory a shadow, and who hath no abiding,” to be eager in his presence.” 6 Where is the wise? Where in heaping up to himself treasure, which he can is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? enjoy here only for a short season, and cannot Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this carry hence when death shall put an end to his world ?” But all men may learn this, from the days! Covetousness is in itself sinful, and as it frailty and mortality of those to whom they are usurps the place due to God in the heart, it is most apt to give this undue homage. From the islolatry; but when viewed in the light of the text, death-bed and the tomb of the great, the voice is it is folly and madness, and wilful madness which heard, “ Put not your trust in princes, nor in the exposes its victim to merited derision. “ 'Thou son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath fool! this night thy soul shall be required of thee: goeth forth, he returneth to his earth ; in that very then whose shall those things be, which thou hast day his thoughts perish.” provided ?” Even when he is yet alive, and weary- As the deifying of dead men was one of the ing himself with his vain efforts, he shall have this most irrational of pagan and popish idolatries ; so taunting proverb cast in his teeth, “Woe to him the fulsome flattery which is so often lavished on that increaseth that which is not his ! how long? | the dead, is one of the worst species of gloryin: and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!” in man. Flattery, when offered to the living
, i (Hab. ii. 6.)
a snare to them, as in the case of Herod, (Acts And how does death write folly on the short xii. 21—23.) Flattery to the dead is an insult osand panting career of the ambitious man, who fered to them. It is a solemn mockery of fallea “enlargeth his desire as hell
, and is as death, and greatness—it is a sacrilegious intrusion on the sicannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all na- lence of the dead, and is only worthy of those idol. tions, and heapeth unto him all people!” (Hab. ii. atrous priests who cried from morning to Do 5.) Figure to yourself a man climbing a huge “ ( Baal, hear us; O Baal, hear us !” Come bimound of sand," disentangling himself from the ther, ye ignorant Aatterers, approach this bier, and grasp of his competitors, losing in a minute what converse with the object of your idolatry. Speak he had gained in an hour, alternately falling and to him. He does not answer. Listen to ho recovering, until at last having gained the slippery He does not breathe. Look upon him. He is eminence amidst the acclamations of his friends, pale and ghastly. Touch him. He is cold as clay, he falls lifeless and exhausted with his own exer- Move him. He is stiff as marble. Smell bits tions! “ This also is vanity.”
Ah! he stinketh. “Cease then from man, whicse 2. It teaches us to avoid pride and security. breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is be to be Ah! what have those to be vain of, or to trust accounted of ?” in, “ who dwell in houses of clay, whose founda- Providence, my brethren, has been proclaiming, tion is in the dust, who are crushed before the with a loud voice, all these lessons, by the ereafs moth?” Their beauty? It is but painted clay. which have taken place since I last had an oppo Their strength? It will go up like the dust. Their tunity of addressing you, by the removal of indriches ? They will not purchase them a moment's viduals, distinguished both in the State and in te respite from death. Their wisdom? It shall die Church,-persons possessed of splendid talents with, if not before them. “ The voice said, Cry. and commanding influence, and some of the And he said, What shall I cry? All Aesh is grass, raised to stations which excited the envy of 08 and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of class, and called forth the gratulations of anoth: the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; O that we and the nation at large had ears to be because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: and a heart to understand the language of the olsa surely the people is grass.” (Isa. xl. 6, 7.) pensation! Their ruce is run. Death hath
3. It teaches us not to trust or glory in man. end hoth to their love and their hatred. T:: Why has God declared his distrust in his servants, eloquence, which enabled them the applesai ana accused his angels of foily, but to teach us listening senates to command,” is mute for eveti more effectually the sin and danger of all creature and their ear is deaf and insensible equally to be
voice of fame and of censure. The excellency being satisfied with the coarsest productions of nature; which was in them is gone away, and their wis
but he is very particular as to the manner in which he dom, so far as it was secular, is perished with
quencbes his thirst, drinking nothing but the clearest
In the days of the patriarchs, when men lived them. How ought this to check ambition, repress in primitive simplicity, the ass was considered an impride, awaken from security, discourage confidence portant part of a man's wealth, and great attention was in man, and silence the tongue of Hattery or of paid to the rearing of this animal. We find that Anah, faction! *
one of the dukes of Seir, was engaged in feeding the
" This was that Anah that found the mules in
the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his faTHE ASS.
ther.” Gen. xxxvi. 24. And, in like manner, David BY THE REv, David MITCHELL.
employed Jehdeiah, a prince in Israel, for the same
purpose. I Chron. xxvii. 30. The ass is to be found both in a wild and domestic
The ass was used for various purposes in domestic state. When in the former he is commonly called the life by the orientals. It was alsed for riding, and cnagar or wild ass. This animal is superior to the do- highly esteemed for that purpose.
Those in greatest mestic or common ass in appearance and activity. He repute were supposed to be descended from tamed onahas an arched forehead, long erect ears, and limbs beau- gars, and were of a silvery white colour. They were titully formed. He is of a silvery white colour, and held in great estimation by the nobles, and they appear carries his head with great dignity. His senses are to have been alluded to in the book of Judges: “ Speak, very acute, and he is animated by an unconquernble ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and love of liberty. The onagar is to be found in Peisia, walk hy the way.” Judges v. 10. These were acute and inhabits the dreary wilderness, the barren desert, in seeing and hearing, and discerned objects in their and the salt marsh. He is so quick in his movements way with great nicety. They were exceedingly obsti. that be bids defiance to the most expert hunter ; he of- nate when driven out of their path, and also when beat ten, as it were, mocks his pursuers, sometimes remain- behind. Balaam's ass was supposed to be of this kind. ing until they nearly overtake him, and then bounding The female ass was considered by the orientals of away with almost incredible agility, as if he treated
greater value than the male. She did not only subsist them with derision. “ Who hath sent out the wild ass on coarse and scanty fare, as she travelled through the free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass ? parched desert ; she also nourished the weary and faintWhose house I have made the wilderness, and the bar- ing traveller with her milk. We find that when Job's ren land bis dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of wealth was detailed, it is said of him that he had " tive the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.' hundred she asses. Job i. 3. And, again, it is said Job xxxix. 5_-7.
of him he had “ a thousand she asses. Job xlii. 12. The onagar can subsist on the most scanty fare, - on It was considered an honour, in the early part of the a few tufts of stumted grass, and a little brackish water. Jewish history, to ride on an ass. Abdon, one of the He has been known to live days without water and with judges of Israel," had forty sons and thirty nephews, scarcely any food; but when the heat becomes exces- that rode on threescore and ten asg-colts." Judges xii. sive, and his scanty subsistence of sickly grass is con- 14 But the practice seems to have changed in later sumed; when the spring fails at the fountain, and the times; for when Christ's entrance into Jerusalem is herb is burnt up by the rays of a scorching sun, the described, his riding upon an ass is mentioned as a toonagar sutfers very acutely. On such an occasion as ken of his humility: “ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of this, he ascends the lofty mountain, and takes his sta- Zion; shout, o daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy tion on the summit of a rock, in order that his heated King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvaframe may be cooled by the refreshing breeze. The tion; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the foal of an ass. Zech. ix. 9. the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because The ass was employed for carrying burdens, and also there was no grass. Jer, xiv. 6.
used in the various departments of husbandry, for The wildness and untameableness of this animal have plowing and the like. Where the prohibition of clean been employed in Scripture as a fit emblem of the de- and unclean beasts was not observed, the ox and the pravity of man, and his unwillingness to learn that ass were often put in the same yoke, but this was forwisdom which cometh from above. “ Vain man would bidden in the law of Moses : Thou shalt not plow de wise, though man be born like the wild ass's colt. with an ox and an ass together.” Deut. xxii. 10. God Job xi. 12. And when the angel of the Lord appear- doubtless had a higher object in view than the beast of ad to Hagar in the wilderness, and told her the charac- the field when he gave this injunction; it was calculater of her son Ishmael, the heavenly messenger said, ed to teach a great moral lesson, and the Apostle Paul · He will be a wild man," literally, “ a wild ass man.' refers to it for this purpose, in bis 2d Epistle to the Gen. xvi. 12. Now, if we examine the history of Corinthians, when describing the impropriety of unislamnael and his seed, we shall see that the prediction godly connections: “ Be ye not unequally yoked with has been fulfilled to the letter. The descendants of unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness shmael are still the unconquered inhabitants of the with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light lesert of Arabia. The barren wilderness is their coun- with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with ry, and their tent their abode. They roam to and fro Belial ? or what part hath he that believeth with an vithout restraint, and plunder the pilgrims as they infidel?” 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. ass. The language of Job may be applied to them The ass was employed in preparing rice ground vith great propriety when he saith, “ Behold, as wild which had been flooded, for the seed, by treading upon sses of the desert, go they forth to their work, rising the soil, and working it with his feet. The prophet etimes for a prey.' Job xxiv. 5.
Isaiah is supposed to refer to this practice when he The domestic or common ass is a useful animal, and saith, “ Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that ill deserving the contempt with which he is frequent send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
treated by men. He is very easy to please of food, Isaiah xxxii. 20. * We had fully intended to have inserted, before this time, a
The ass was also employed for grinding; this work (etch of the Christian and Literary career of the distinguished Au- was often performed by the lowest menial, who accomfor of the above discourse, but we are happy to understand that plished it by the quern or hand-mill; but there was copious and authentic Life is in course of preparation by his son od successor the Rev. Thomas M'Crie.
also a more extensive one used, which was turned by
Our Saviour seems to allude to this in Luke's | amusing ourselves with the imaginary wonders which Gospel: “ It is impossible but that offences will come: we should perform in the cause of religion and benevo. but woe unto him through whom they come! It were lence, if we were in a station of greater wealth and better for him that a millstone were hanged about his influence, which, however, very probably we may never neck, and he cast into the sea. Luke xvii. 1, 2. reach, let us attend to the call of present duty, and let
It will be seen by the preceding remarks, that the ass us be careful to acquit ourselves well in the place was formerly considered an animal of great value, and we now fill. Now is the time to move, both for our employed in the service of man for very important pur- lawful worldly benefit, and also for the more eserria! poses. He was used for riding, for plowing, for benefit of our souls. O let us not, in idle dreams, preparing rice ground, and for driving the mill. The suffer the present season to glide unbeeded and unisass is also mentioned in the Word of God as entitled proved away. Let us not sacrifice this precious op to the rest from labour which the Sabbath affords: portunity, to the slothful indulgence of airy specula“ That thine ox and thine ass may rest together.” tions on the possible occurrences of some distant peo Exodus xxiii. 12. But the usefulness of this animal, riod, when long before that period shall hare arrived, and the specific notice taken of him by liis Maker, did another person may be occupying our dwelling and not shield him from the tyranny and oppression of man. our situation in society, and the green grass be covering The ass was not only beaten and severely treated while
our grave. he performed important services; his very carcass, when It is vain, too, to distress ourselves with the appredeprived of existence, was treated with indignity and hension of future troubles. How common is it for contempt. The ingratitude of the Jews to this animal men to escape the evils which they dreaded, and, on was such, that when life became extinct, his body was the other hand, to be visited with those of which they thrown into a ditch, or into the open field, a prey to never thought! Let it, therefore, be our care to Lire the vulture and the ravenous beast. The burial of an as the children of God, and to improve our present ass was reckoned a most ignominious thing in the eyes trials, and then we need have no other care. Then of a Hebrew. When the prophet Jeremiah described we may rest contented with the general assurance tbs, the fate of Jehoiakim, he said, “ They shall not lament whatever happen, our strength shall be as our day. for him, saying, Ah my brother ! or, Ah sister! they Thanks be to the Lord for such gracious words as shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord ! or, Ah these: “ Take no thought for the morrow; for the his glory! He shall be buried with the burial of an morrow shall take thought for the things of itsei ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusa- Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." be lem." Jer. xxii. 18, 19.
careful for nothing : but in every thing by prace and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request
be made known unto God. And the peace of God, ON TITE EVIL OF
which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts VAIN CURIOSITY, AND INDETERMINABLE and minds through Christ Jesus.” AND USELESS SPECULATIONS.
There is especially one event in our history,
which, if we could only find its particulars, we shred No. III.
probably sometimes turn with the most intense in??" BY THE Rev. James Foote, A.M.,
rest,—the event of our own death, in all its circumstants Minister of the East Parish of Aberdeen.
of time, and place, and manner.
“ How long hare i
yet to live? and when shall my course be run 2 Wheft The last topic to which we adverted, in illustration of am I to breathe my last ? Am I to waste awash the evil of vain curiosity, and indeterminable and use- slow degrees, or to be suddenly cut off?” So a la less speculations, was that of inquisitiveness with re- might be disposed to ask; but all in vain. Tretes gard to things relating to others. There is still another indeed, “ an appointed time for man upon earth," the view in which the evil in question calls for our serious bounds appointed that he cannot pass,” but “ consideration, and that is, in reference to much matter of number of his months is with God," and not 12 anxious curiosity relating to our own future history. the knowledge of man himself. Let us be contraddle
The past of our life belongs to us, as we can retrace that such is the case, and let us be ever preparing og it in memory; the present belongs to us, still more waiting for our change. If we would die unto tu completely, as it is now with us to be wisely or foolishly | Lord, let us live unto the Lord; for thus living 23. spent; but the future is not ours, for it lies hid behind dying we shall be the Lord's. an impenetrable veil. We sometimes, however, feel Our history may, perhaps not inaptly, be considera a desire to have the veil drawn aside; and when this as written, or rather in the course of being written, 2 desire is unchecked by sober reflection, it gives rise to a book. That book, we shall say, was bound and of such inquiries and anxieties as the following :-“ Is plete from the first, but was all clean paper. 022 this particular scheme into which I am entering to prove tory is entered into a certain number of successful ? How would I conduct myself if I were the beginning up to the page that corresponds advanced to that higher sphere at which I am aiming? present hour of our existence, and all the rest What is to be the general complexion of my future lot | pages are still clean. What is written may be res in the world ? Is poverty or wealth, is obscurity or ably consulted; but what wiser could we become fame, to be my portion ? What trials are coming on poring over the blank leaves towards the end of t me ? and how shall I bear them ? Alas! if such cala- volume? Of as little use is it for us to induces mities, diseases, and temptations shall befall me, as I anxious curiosity with regard to our future bisco see befalling some of my acquaintances, I fear I shall which, to us at least, is as completely a blank, a be entirely overwhelmed.” Now, in reference to each blank leaves of our imaginary book. of these, and every similar inquiry, our Lord may be But even suppose, my reader, that, by some ps" considered as saying, “ What is that to thee? Follow it were in your power to discover what is yet to be thou me.
It is difficult to see how any good can arise you; suppose, for example, there were not from bewildering ourselves with things which we can- your hands what might be called the book of ro" rot by any means ascertain. Why distress ourselves life, dictated by divine inspiration, and contans about such supposed consequences of our measures as whole of your history, from the cradle to be cannot be foreseen? Is it not rather our duty to be suppose, that having perused this book from the careful to take our measures conscientiously and pru- ning, you bad read as far as to the page which ist dently, and then leave the result to God ? 'Instead of your present circumstances, where the volume 13 ***