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I.

DISC. endeavours? Is not the husbandman, when

he has reaped one harvest, to sow his feed for another? Moft undoubtedly he is. The Scriptures suppose all men to have some occupation, and to be labouring in it, that the state of the world may be upholden. They tell us, in the Old Testament, that “ the hand of the diligent maketh rich ; and in the New, that “if any man will not “ work, neither should he eat.” In the former, man is sent to learn wisdom of - the “ant, which provideth her meat in the “ summer, and gathereth her food in the o harvest,” with a view to the approaching winter ; in the latter we read, that i the “ parents should lay up for the children.” In a word, no one thing is more severely condemned and exposed, than the folly of the fluggard, who has the presumption to tempt God, by imagining, that all the blessings of heaven will descend on the head of idleness, and that meat will drop into his mouth, if he does but condescend to open it.--How are these very different directions to be reconciled ?

The

I.

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The truth is, that the Greek word, here disc. rendered take no thought, signifies properly, be not anxious, folicitous, miserable, about to morrow ; · literally and strictly, be not of a doubtful, divided mind. For all care fupposes a person to be wavering, drawn hither and thither by different motives, first one way and then another, not knowing how to fix and determine ; fince, when this is once firmly and finally done, the trouble ceafes, and the man is at ease. Before that, the mind is distracted, that is, drawn diverse ways at the same time, like the body of a criminal, in some countries, torn in pieces by horses pulling in opposition to each other. They who have felt the torment of such a ftate of mind know what I mean, and what is so beautifully expressed by the original word in this place of Scripture, which thus kindly commands us not to make ourselves wretched by anxious carings and apprehenfions about the future ; but, in all cases of difficulty, to perform diligently that part which appears wifest and best for us to perform ; then to resign the matter into the

hands

B 2

1.

DISC. hands of God; quietly and patiently wait

ing the event, before it comes, and humbly acquiescing in it, when it does come. In short, so to use our endeavours, as if they were to effect every thing ; so to trust in God, as if they were to effect nothing.

But let us not be too hasty in blaming our - worthy translators. They could not have been ignorant, any more than we are, that it was impossible for Christ to give such a precept as at first fight this appears now to be. But they wrote above 150 years ago; and there is good reason for supposing, that the expression to take thought, did at that time generally denote the very thing, which, as has been shewn you, the Greek word most certainly means, viz. to take anxious thought, or to be anxiously careful, to be uneasy.

In this sense, which is the only true sense, "take no thought for the morrow,” is excellent advice; and advice which is much needed. All things are full of labour.

Walk

1.

Walk the streets of a large city, or travel Disc. the roads that lead to one, and

you

will foon be convinced of it. But the continual hurry and bustle, the inceffant rolling and agitation without us, are nothing, if compared to those within us. Whatever appearances men may put on, or however they may affect to disguise the matter, the world of minds is a very uneasy and restless world; and could it be fully and fairly disclosed to view, we should behold it, like another ocean, in some parts all storm and tempest; in others, ever ebbing and flowing; in no part, perfectly at rest. He who once, by the word of his power, calmed the winds, and laid the waves, when all was uproar and confusion among them, has spoken peace likewise to this troubled sea, in the discourse of which my text is the conclusion. Let us go over it together, and weigh well the reasons given by our Saviour, why man should cease to be anxious, and permit God to govern, in his own way, the world which he himself has made.

As anxiety proceeds from a divided state

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DISC. of mind, our Lord first speaks to that point,

and strikes at the root of the disorder. “ No " man can serve two masters.”The commands which they lay upon him will often be contrary to each other. Both cannot be obeyed; and while the man hesitates which to obey, sometimes inclining to one, fometimes to theother, he must needs beunhappy. Would you then enjoy peace and quietness within? Serve one master, and let that master be God. Do your duty, and trust him for the event. The wife son of Sirach is

very

bold upon this fubject, and appeals to univerfal experience: “ Look at the generations of

old, and fee; did ever any trust in the “ Lord, and was confounded ?” But why then are so

many

confounded? Because fo few, so very few do really trust in God, when the hour of trial comes. They have recourfe to the enemy for expedients; they follow the directions and maxims of the world; they fell themselves to another master, and provoke God to forsake them. The reproof of the prophet Elijah comes home to us all, and admits of no reply

Why

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