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If we acknowlege a God who governs the disc. world, let us not distrust him, or find fault with his government, but repent, tremble, and adore.
To do otherwise, is, in effect, to renounce our religion, and return to heathenism. It is our Lord's own observation. “ Therefore “ be not anxiously thoughtful, saying, What “ Thall we eat, or what shall we drink, or " wherewithal shall we be clothed? for after “ all these things do the Gentiles seek.” They employ their whole care in seeking them. And why? Because they either believe there is no God, or, if there be, that he does not concern himself with the affairs of the world. In either case, men are left to themselves, and have no one else on whom to depend. With believers the case is different. “ Your heavenly Father (says Christ to his " disciples) knoweth that ye have need of " all these things.” There cannot be a more expressive and affecting image. A child, who has a father in being, can only wish that his necessities should be made known
DISC. to that father; because, when once known,
he is certain they will be supplied. But from our Father no secrets are hidden. His wisdom is equal to his goodness, and his power equal to both. When therefore we have used our own endeavours, as he has directed us to do, we may, with the confidence of children, « cast all our care upon “ him; fince,” without doubt, “ he careth “ for us.” The misfortune is, that, amongst all
our cares, we care little for him, and think little of him, unless when the attention is roused by a clap of thunder, or some extraordinary event, which affects us, for the time, as that does. We have only a distant, uncertain notion of him floating in our minds. We do not consider him as present round about us, and, what is more, present within us, and perfectly acquainted with all that is passing in the inmost chamber of the heart. We neglect him, and therefore he seems to neglect us“I say, he seems to neglect uș; for that very seeming neglect is graciously intended to humble, and reform, and bring us to a better mind, that we may
become objects of his favour, and partake disc. of his blessings.
This is our Lord's next argument. “ Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and “ his righteousness, and all these things “ shall be added unto you.” Christ does not mean to say, that if a man will become religious, he will immediately give him wealth. Certainly not: fince if the party in question were ever so good a man, that might be the most effectual way in the world to make him a bad man.
He might have something lurking in his constitution either of body or mind, which would render him incapable of resisting the temptations of a large fortune ; and He, who knows all things, knows this would be the case. Numberless are the persons, to whose happiness such an estate would not add a single grain, but quite the reverse; and the greatest kindness that can be shewed them is to keep it out of their way, though you will never persuade them to think so. But thus much the promise implies, that to him who first
Disc. in my heart by faith ? and do my appetites
and passions move in obedience to that heavenly principle? Do I love God, and delight in prayer and praise ? Do I love my
. neighbour, and rejoice to assist and benefit him, to cover his faults, and overlook his infirmities ? Are those tempers alive and reigning in me, which Christ has pronounced blessed ? and, in the general and common course of my thoughts, words, and actions, do I consider myself as in his presence, to whom I must give account? The answers returned by conscience to such questions as these, would perhaps thew the best man living, that if he have not all he wanted, there is no just reason for complaint. Three is another consideration which may completely settle
your minds, on the subject of the distresses to which the righteous are sometimes subject in this present life. A very good man may be rendered much better by trials and afflictions. Proportionable to his sufferings will be his reward; and if you could propose the question to those saints in heaven, who once wandered, destitute,
afficted, tormented, in sheep-skins and goat- DISC. skins, upon earth, they would tell
you, they do not now wish to have done other,wise.
Our Lord closes his interesting and divine discourse on this subject of worldly care and anxiety, in the words of my text, with an argument drawn from the evident absurdity of anticipating forrow, and rendering ourselves unhappy beforehand. “ Be not there« fore careful for the morrow; for the “ morrow will be careful for the things of “ itself; sufficient unto the day is the evil “ thereof." The meaning is, that, having such a promise from our heavenly Father, of being provided for as his children, if we are but dutiful children, we should not render ourselves miserable by forestalling mischief, and adding the future to the present; but that, having, through his grace, transacted the business, and overcome the difficulties of the day, we should at night disburthen our minds of solicitude, and rest our weary heads upon our pillows in peace; since the