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II.

most indifferent nature, claim this, and DISC, they never fail of obtaining it, at the hour of parting. The idea of the last is always a melancholy idea ; and it is so, perhaps, for this

among other reasons, because, whatever be the immediate subject, an application is presently made to ourselves. Thus, in the case before us, it is recollected-and let it be recollected—it is good for us to recollect itthat what has happened to the year, must happen to us. On each of us a day must dawn, which is to be our last. When we Thall have buried a few more years, we must ourselves be buried; our friends shall weep at our funeral; and what we have been, and what we have done, will live only in their remembrance. The reflection is forrowful; but it is just, and falutary; equally vain and imprudent would be the thought of putting it away from us. Meanwhile, let us cast our eyes back on that portion of time which is come to it's conclusion, and fee whether the good thoughts that have occurred to our minds, the good words that have been uttered, and the good deeds that

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Disc. have been performed by us, will not furnish

materials, with which we may erect a lasting monument to the memory of the departed year.

2. When a friend is dead and buried, we take a pensive kind of pleasure in going over again and again the hours we formerly passed with him, either in prosperity, or adversity. Let us pursue the same course ; it may be done to great advantage, in this instance. The grand secret of a religious life is, to “ fet God always before us ;' to live under a constant sense of his Providence; to observe and study his dispensations towards us, that they may produce their proper effects, and draw forth suitable returns froin us. Too often we suffer them to glide unheeded by us, and never afterwards think of recalling them to confideration! It were well if we kept a diary of our lives, for this purpose, if we “ so numbered our days, " that we might apply our hearts unto wis“ dom.” But certainly, no year should be permitted to expire, without giving occasion

to II,

to a retrospect. The principal events that DISC, have befallen us in it should be recollected, and the requisite improvements be raised from them severally, by meditation. What preservations from dangers fpiritual or temporal have been vouchfafed; what new blessings granted, or old ones continued, to me and mine; to my friends, my neighbours, my church, my country; and how have I expressed, in word and in deed, my gratitude and thankfulness for them? With what losses, or crosses, what calamities, or sicknesses, have we been visited ; and have such vifitations rendered us more penitent, more diligent, devout, and holy, more humble, and more charitable ? If the light of heaven hath shined on our tabernacle, and we have enjoyed the hours in health and happiness, let us enjoy them over again in the remembrance: if we have lived under a dark and stormy sky, and affliction has been our lot, let us consider that so much of that affliction is gone, and the less there is of it to come. But whatever

may

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gone, or to come, all is from God, who fends it

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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 allīst 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, deftitute,

, afflicted, afflicted, tormented, in sheep-skins and goat- Disc. skins, upon earth, they would tell you, they do not now wish to have done other

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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
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