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acknowledging and praising God, and owning our dependence upon him, may be put into practice, in one instance or other, every day, every hour of our lives.
And be assured of it, Christians, you can do nothing more pleasing to God, nor more beneficial to yourselves.
God has given most of us understanding souls. To make us value this mighty blessing, he now and then sends among us a poor idiot. Instead of making a jest of such an object of compassion, let us bless God, who has been so good to us, as to give us reason; and let us beg of him to give us grace never to abuse it.
He has given you an healthful body. You see many others labouring under infirmities. Be not unthankful to God for so great a favour. And if the same good God thinks it best for you, and for his glory, to visit you with sickness, you will still have reason to be thankful, if that sickness of the body shall, through his grace, be a means of healing the diseases of your soul.
You have a convenient place to sleep in, and you have the comfort of sleep. Consider how many want one or both these blessings, and you can hardly forget to give God thanks every morning of your life.
You have health and strength to labour, and to get an honest livelihood for yourself and family. Think often of this, and you will be thankful to God, who for good reasons known to himself, has denied many others this blessing.
Every meal sit down to, should put you in mind of your dependence upon God for life, and food, and power to take it. to take it. And they that eat without praising God, and begging his blessing upon his gifts, act too like beasts, and are in danger of perishing with them.
When God gives us seasonable wealth, favourable seed-times, the former and the latter rains in their season, and plentiful harvests, how are we bound to thank him for these general blessings to ourselves and others! And when he denies us these blessings, which he never does but for our good, we are bound, even then, to be thankful.
You are in want of the necessaries of life, and are indebted to others for help and assistance. What is your duty? Why, to bless God for your condition, which is the very best for you, (because he hath appointed it,) and to thank God that he has enabled others to help you, and for that he has given them grace, and a heart
to do it.
The same gracious God gives another every thing that his soul can desire: for what end, when others want bread? Why, he makes him his steward, he puts these talents into his hands, and he will fully reward him, if he improves them to his Lord's honour, and the benefit of his Master's family.
You have escaped some great danger or sad misfortune: the very first thing you will dowhich you ought at least to do, if you have any sense of religion-is, to give God thanks your deliverance.
You have been sick, and God has been gracious to you, and hearkened to your prayers, and the prayers of others, for your recovery. Will you expect that your prayers will be heard hereafter, if you neglect to praise God for his late mercies?
You have the great comfort of dutiful children. Will you not thank God, every day of your life, for so great a blessing? You will surely do so, when you look into the world, and see how many parents are made miserable by the unhappy and bad lives of their children.
In short it will be impossible to recount all the occasions a good Christian will have, and take, to praise God for his mercies; for all the known and for all the unobserved favours, deliverances, visitations, chastisements, and graces, of his holy Spirit, vouchsafed unto himself, his friends, and family.
But above all things, let no man who calls himself a Christian, forget or neglect to praise God, for his inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. All our happiness in this life and in the life to come, depends upon this invaluable blessing, and on our being truly sensible of and thankful for it.
To conclude:-The practice of this great duty of praising God for his works, and for his mercies, will preserve in our souls a constant and lively sense of his glorious perfections; which will be a means of making us truly religious, and will make all other religious duties easy and pleasant to us. His Almighty power
will make us dread offending him; the sense of our dependence upon him, and his continual care of us, will incline us to love him with all our heart and soul; and the grateful remembrance of his past mercies will make us put our whole trust in him for the time to come.
May God give us all grace to consider these things; that we may with heart and voice join with the heavenly company mentioned in the Revelations, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive honour, and power, and glory; for Thou hast created all things, and for thy glory they are and were created.
To him therefore be ascribed all honour and glory, by us and all his faithful servants, for ever and ever. Amen.
THE GREAT DANGER OF DELAYING OUR
JOHN ix. 4.
THE NIGHT COMETH, WHEN NO MAN CAN WORK.*
F this gracious intimation of our Lord were well considered, it would prevent two very great evils. It would awaken Christians who are too apt to live without thought, and without concern, as if they had no work, no business, upon their hands; and it would hinder those, who know that they have something to do, from putting it off till it is too late to finish it.
Our Saviour's words in the text suppose that every man has a work of importance upon his hands; and they serve to warn us of the danger of leaving our work undone, till it is impossible to finish it. The night cometh, when no man can work; that is, death is near at hand, as sure as the night follows the day; and therefore, whatever our hand findeth to do, we ought to do it with all our might; the consequence of a surprise being most dreadful.
To prevent this, let us consider, in the first place, that we have all a work of importance upon our hands.
2dly. That we are hastening on towards death, as the day does towards night; and as
• See John xii. 35. Jer. xiii. 16. Eccles. ix, 10.