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to adore the power, and revere the wisdom, of your Creator.
Secondly. This subject reminds us of Him through "whom we have access to the Father." He who is the Maker, is also become the Saviour of the world by his obedience unto death. Mysterious as the union is, even by the confession of an apostle,* we ought not to oppose our feeble reason to the plain declarations of scripture; nor suffer the perverse ingenuity of criticism to deprive us of their obvious meaning. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."+ "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist."+ O let us adore his condescension, "who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."§ Amidst all the cavils of specious sophistry on the one hand, and the sandy hopes of Pharisaism on the other, let our faith rest on Him, "whom God hath highly exalted, and to whom he hath given a name above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow;" assured that He who made the world is adequate to its redemption. And while we think on the majesty of his
* 1 Tim. iii. 16.
Col. i. 14-17.
t John i. 1--3.
Phil. ii. 6, 7, 9, 10.
character, as the Creator of all things, let us meditate on Him, as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground, without form or comeliness," or beauty to excite desire. But if this was the case with respect to the lowliness of his birth, still He is "the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the vallies." May not this flower of unspotted purity denote his unsullied holiness?-who though he knew no sin was made sin for us," and who, though slandered by the tongue of malignity, could defy it to convict Him, and who, amidst all the calumnies of implacable foes, could appeal to his Father, that He "was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." And should it not also remind us of the necessity of that internal renovation, and conformity to Christ, without which we cannot dwell with Him?
Thirdly. Let us learn lessons of spiritual wisdom from The Saviour sends us to the every thing around us. ravens for instruction as to providence; and draws the conclusion, that forasmuch as we are "better than they" -of superior dignity in creation, and more capable, from greater strength, to work for our maintenance, we ought to devolve all our concerns on Him who taketh care of them. And how many profitable reflections are suggested by the shrub in the forest and the field. We are commanded to mark their growth: to set our eye on the progression they make, and to imitate it.
The Christian should proceed from the "blade to the ear, and then to the full corn in the ear." And this is the promise: The righteous shall flourish like the palmtree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in be fat and flourishing.'
old age; they shall
Psalm xcii. 12-14.
be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon."* To the genial influences of heaven- the cheering smile of "the Sun of Righteousness," and the refreshing consolations of "the Holy Ghost, the Comforter," I affectionately commend you. Amen.
*Hosea xiv. 5.
MATTHEW vi. 31-34.
"THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED? (FOR AFTER ALL THESE THINGS DO THE GENTILES SEEK :) FOR YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU. TAKE THEREFORE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW : FOR THE MORROW SHALL TAKE THOUGHT FOR THE THINGS OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF."
There are few
and avoid the
THE human mind is prone to extremes. persons who wholly take the middle path, dangerous errors which abound on either side. Some are wholly unprospective, and never glance a thought towards to-morrow's wants or duties. The "joyful present" is all their concern and happiness. There are others altogether as anxious, and cannot enjoy the mercies of to-day, for fear they may lack them to-morrow. Both these classes sin; the first from impiety, the second from unbelief, springing generally from a covetous spirit. The former tempts
providence, the latter distrusts and dishonours it. It is with the last that we have to do on the present occasion. Such individuals are frequently found, not only among the hearers of the word, but in communion with the visible church of Christ; and their sin is the greater, because it is against "light, knowledge, and truth."
You are aware, my brethren, that the text is an inference drawn from the representations which the Saviour has just made of the bountiful care of an all-wise and gracious God over every part of creation. A particular explanation of the connection is unnecessary, inasmuch as it is obvious at first view. My design is to endeavour to set before you,
CONCLUSION WHICH OUR LORD INFERS
FROM THE DOCTRINE OF PROVIDENCE, TO ENFORCE THE EXHORTATION HE ANNEXES TO IT,—AND TO CLOSE OUR REFLECTIONS BY A FEW REMARKS SUGGESTED BY THE WHOLE. "HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR LET HIM HEAR."
I. THE CONCLUSION TO WHICH THE SAVIOUR
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" And again, in the last verse, as if it were a matter of more than ordinary moment, He repeats it with additional reasons: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Here let us notice the carefulness fordidden, and the grounds on which the prohibition is founded.
First. The carefulness forbidden. Permit me at once to observe, that it extends only to that which is excessive, not to such as is prudential, nor merely to the next day of