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man, fallen unhappy man, can før- selves, their appetites, and passions, get alike the obligations of duty and They know the world abounding on of gratitude! Thousands pass on every side with allurements to grafrom youth to age in willing servi- tification, and though age atier tude to every passion of their nature, age has testified to its vanity, and and to every caprice of vanity and parents have still transmitted to their opinion; while they dread and fly children the history of their own from His authority whose service is disappointments, the hopeless race perfect freedom. And what shall is for ever renewed, and men fola we say of the best of us? Submis. low after happiness in every dision, which should be but our first rection, except that by which they duty, is reckoned amongst our high- might attain it. est altainments; and he is thought Yet some there are, (in this hapto be an advanced Christian, who is py land we may reasonably hope only not rebellious.
there are very many,) who by the There was a time when submis- mercy of God have been made sion to God was not counted among sensible of the general error; and our burthens. In Eden, the seat of who feel that true good only can be purity and joy, before sin bad en- found by re-ascending towards that iered, and death by sin, our first holy light which cheered the bless, parents walked gladly in the way ed region whence our first parents their Maker, had appointed them, wandered down into this land of happy in their mutual love, happy shadows, These, surely, are deepin a grateful adoration of Him who ly sensible of their own blindness; gave it, happy in that filial confi. they have lamented their past fol. dence which a sense of His perfec. Ties; they have felt the blessedness tions and of their own innocence in- of drawing near to God as to their spired. To them, duty and enjoy- reconciled Father, and they desire ment were one; the law of obedi. above all things to be for ever subence was the path of peace. But ject to bis guidance and govern, they were tempted, and they fell. ment. Yes, certainly, these are their They fell, because they would be setiled feelings, iheir deliberate wiser than their Creator, and wishes. Were it otherwise, how thought some better salisfaction could they reasonably believe ibemmight be found, by a breach of his selves to be led by the Spirit of holy commandments, than they had truth? And yet, even among the experienced in a cheerful submis, truly pious, there are probably very sion to them. Such, at least, ap. few who always preserve an equal pears to have been the cause of their temper of mind amidst the changes sad transgression, and such certainly and chances of this world. Some is the history of a large part of the are agitated by their own distresses. miserable adventures in which their Some are moved to surprise and bliod and unhappy oilspring have grief at the afflictions which befal ever since been engaged. God is ihose who are most dear to them. their proper happiness.
And there are monients, perhaps deeming mercy has opened to them (they should be only moments), again the gates of everlasting life. when even the most experienced His law, holy and just, is the path Christian, though he may bow with that will conduct then thither: his unresisting submission under the dispensations, secret or manifest, hand of God, can scarcely lift up an gentle or corrective, are ready, like eye of gratitude, or kiss with filial guardian angels, to watch over them, love the rod that chastens him. and lead them safely in the right It is neither to be expected nor way, or call them back when they desired, that we should become in, are wandering from it. But God sensible to our own sufferings, or to they know not. They know them those of others, He who is fainting
in pain or: sickness, would think to which God invites his creahimself but mocked, by being told tures as their privilege, while at the that he must throw aside his weak- same time he requires it from them ness, and rise superior to such infir- as their duty ;-a submission not of mities. Vor is it by any means the the act oniy, but of the heart, nature of true religion io diminish founded upon the deepest convicour lenderness towards others. On tion of his wisdom, an entire trust the contrary, it opens the springs of in his providence, and a fervent love every genıle feeling, and calls forth of his goodness. Such a submis10 new life and vigour every gene- sion, it is plain, is essentially difrous affection. Yei, notwithstanding ferent from a mere acquiescence in this, it cannot be denied that we are events which we have no power to far 100 apt to be dejected under the controul. It is the homage of the misfortunes which befal ourselves; will, the natural and beautiful exand sometimes, perhaps, wbile our pression of the best affections of the own sorrows are sustained with for- soul, of gratitude, of veneration, of titude, we yield to an unbecoming filial love and filial confidence. griet for those whose happiness is I believe it happens to most men very dear to us.
who are truly pious, to become, as Tudeed, an exemplary patience they advance in life, less and less under the distresses of our friends, is disposed to enter upon complicated not the first of virtues. Yet it is schemes for the attainment even of very possible that a feeling mind those objects which appear to be may be betrayed into the indul- the most reasonably desirable. gence of a more vehement sorrow, They have found themselves so or a more careful anxiety, for others, often mistaken in their estimate of than is quite consistent with a spis what is really good ; they have seen rit of filial resignation, from the the erents to which they are chiefly generous nature of a sentiment indebred for their happiness in this wbich can be blameable only when life, brought about in a manner so it is excessive. The same princi- original, by a course so unlike any ples, however, undoubtedly apply they should themselves bave purto the pains which we feel for sued, and often so independently of others, and those which we suffer their own efforts, that they grow for ourselves; and the true Chris- distrustful of themselves, and are cian must endeavour, in both cases, tired of weaving plots which a sin20 recollect by whom they are in- gle cross accident is sufficient to en. flicted, and to cultivate that cheer- iangle; or which, alter having been ful assurance of the paternal care completed with the utmost skill and and kindness of our heavenly Bene- care, unravel of themselves, and factor, which will reconcile us to end in nothing. Now this is a every dispensation,
practical acknowledgment of the Submission to God, in its full ex- reasonableness of that duty which tent, is by no means an act of sim- we are now considering. If our ple obedience: it implies the union experience convinces us that we and exercise of many Christian neither understand well how to graces. To submit, indeed, in the choose events nor how to controul narrow sense of the word, is not a them, is it not manifestly our best matter of choice to any of us. He wisdom to resign them willingly who created beaven and earth by into the hands of Him who is cerhis word, and who wields the ele- tainly capable of directing them ments at his pleasure, will certainly properly, and who has declared not want the power to give effect to that "ibey who trust in the Lord his own purposes.
“As I live," shall want no manner of ibing that saith the Lord, “ every knee shall is good? bow." Yet there is a submission, It seems, indeed, as if a wisdom far short of that which Christianity success was equal to both. In teaches, would suffice to instruct us the very prime of youth, he overin the vanity of earthly schemes, threw the most potent kingdom of and to lay the foundation of a reli- Asia; he selected the position and gious submission to God in the dis- laid the foundations of a city, which trust of our own policy. Consider for a thousand years drew into its the most remarkable examples which bosom the wealth of three conti. history has recorded, of rare talents, nents; he carried his victorious arms and rare fortune, united for the ac- into the heart of India; and, having complishmentof some illustrious end. fixed and fortified his eastern fron. What are they, if read aright, but tier, returned to Babylon to prepare 80 many lessons of humility? Phi- for extending his conquests in the lip, the father of Alexander, was by west. There, as he was retiring far the most accomplished hero of early to rest, he passed by a chamhis age. His birth was noble, his ber where some of his young offiperson graceful and dignified; his cers and friends were banqueting, understanding of that rare class in and in a thoughtless moment, for he which depth and facility are equal. was by habit very temperate, he ly united, at once elegant and accepted an invitation to join their comprehensive, and embellished with carousals. The rest, who does not all the learning that Greece in her know? In a few days he was laid in best æra could supply; his achieve- his grave; and in a few years, the ments in arms were great and bril. great empire, of which he thought liant, and his success was almost to have laid the foundations so deep unvaried. It was Philip's chief am- that it should have stood for ages, bition to live to future ages; and, was broken in pieces, and the fragthat the triumph of his glory might ments dispersed to the four winds of be permanent, he was anxious to heaven. embody it in the literature and elo- I will mention but one example quence of Athens. For this end, more, and that, like the two former, he was content to pardon alike her of the most vulgar notoriety. Cæsar insults and her injuries, and courted desired to be master of the world. with unwearied assiduity the most by the devotion of thirty years of considerable members of her com- his life to a single object, by the monwealth. But the eloquence of exercise of the most unrivalled 'taa single man defeated all his hopes. lents, and the perpetration of unDemosthenes was his enemy; and exampled crimes, he seemed to have that profligate demagogue has been effected his purpose. He was deable, by bis matchless genius, to clared Dictator. And how long did brand with unmerited infamy, do. he enjoy his elevation? The ability ring more than two thousand years, which had raised him so high, failed the illustrious prince who vanquish- him, when only a small portion of it ed and spared him.
was necessary to sustain him in his If the ancient world produced guilty eminence. He had fought any person more deserving of ad. his way to empire, at the head of miration than Philip, perhaps it legions who were devoted to him; was his son. It was his ambition and he had not the prudence to reto found a mighty empire, which lain a mere body guard, to preserve should embrace both the eastern what he had won. He had sustained and western hemisphere, and foster, a character for moderation, during a under one parent and protecting long series of years, with consum shade, the commerce, learning, arts, mate skill and hypocrisy; and when and legislation of the world. The nothing but the language of moderagreatness of his design could be tion was possible or needful, he formeasured only by the extensive ge- got to use it; and provoked a people nius which conceived it; and his who were jealous of the name of liberty, though they had surrendered feeling amazed at their folly in forthe substance, by an avarice of silly feiting so great happiness for the titles. He had delivered himself re. pleasure of a single transgression. peatedly from the most complicated But what was their presumption and overwhelming distresses, by his compared with our own. Their unmatchless sagacity and courage; and derstandings were not obscured by he was ruined at last by foolisbly passions, warped by prejudices, or overlooking an irregular, ill-con- contracted by ignorance and neglect. certed conspiracy, which a child We have derived from them a cormight have discovered. He had rupt nature, and our faculties are so lived in the midst of a thousand weak that it is with difficulty we daogers in the field, and he fell by discover a few things immediately lhe hands of assassins.
around us; yet we are fearless and These instances, and numberless confident as they, and ready conothers, which are less striking only tinually to hazard the same fatal exbecause they are less notorious, have periment which they too boldly been cited by the moralists of every hazarded, and brought death into age, and, after a few serious com- the world, and all our wee.” ments, dismissed, with a sigh over Submission is a considerable the vanity of earthly glory. They branch of true faith. It is the prove, indeed, its vanity beyond Apostle's charge against the uncontroversy; but they prove, also, believing Jews, that, “ going about much more. They express, in large to establish their own righteousness, and striking characters, that hope. they had not submitted themselves less uncertainty which attends upon to the righteousness of God.” They every scheme of earthly policy. thought they were perfectly instruct. What is true of great things, is true ed in the way of salvation. They of small. Private life has its Philips, confided in their own wisdom, and and Alexanders, and Cæsars, with the wisdom of their scribes and docout number, who are striving, with tors; and they refused to come, as unwearied diligence, for the attain- little children, to learn wisdom from ment of a commanding reputation, those who were appointed of God to or brilliant establishments, or as- declare it. Thus it is with us, in recendancy of station. The mere spect of the varying events of this moralist can do little more than con- life. They whò by the grace of demn their folly, and weep over it. God have been instructed, from his But the Christian may surely be word and their own experience, in taught, by such examples, a lesson the ceaseless providence of his goof far higher wisdom; and, touched verament; who fully believe that with a sense of his own weakness, his eyes are over all
, “ running to may learn to resign himself, without and fro throughout the earth ;" are regret and without fear, into the daily more and more disposed to hands of bis beneficent Creator. resign into his hands all their ways,
The necessity of submission is, in their dearest hopes and fondest the nature of things, proportional to wishes; fully persuaded that his the infirmities of those who are callo wisdom and loving kindness will ed on to submit. All agree, even never fail them; and that he will abey who are the least disposed to find a way, even for the fulfilment of exalt the parental authority, that in their earthly desires, if it be meet early childhood implicit obedience that they should be accomplished. must be exacted. Let the propriety Nor is it presumption to say, that of submission to God be measured, an entire submission to the will of then, by the ignorance and corrup- God, and a cheerful committal of all tion of man. Yet, how inconsistent our concerns to the disposition of are we! Few, perhaps, read the, his good providence, is the course history of our first parents, without which true wiadom prescribes for the attainment of the best temporal rightly apprehend, or even duly conblessings. “Humble yourselves on. sider, what it is to be a partakers of der the mighty hand of God, that the holiness" of God, methinks he may exalt you in due time:" it would be impossible for us to be “ casting all your care on bim, for sad, even in the midst of the bittere he careth for you." “ Be careful est afflictions. The privileges of a for nothing; but in every thing, by true Christian are, indeed, many. supplication and prayer, let your re- To know God, to trust in him, lo love quests be made known unio God.” him; to have communion with the * The eyes of the Lord are over the Father of spirits ; to come to him as righteous, and his ears are open to pardoned and beloved children in their prayers.” Those, on the other Christ Jesus: these, indeed, are high hand, wbo, though they may have a and heavenly blessings, in comparigeneral belief in the promises of son of which, all that the world calls God, have not attained to that prac- glory, vanishes away and is lost. tical confidence which would enable Yet there is still a higher privilege, them, with singleness of heart, to a better blessing, the froit and the resign all things to his disposal, are reward of sutfering; "to be made apt to“ go about to establish their” partaker of his holiness.” This is good, much as the Jews did to esta- ihe utmost point of exaltation: ima.' blish their righteousness. They have gination can ascend oo higher. If: too great confidence in their own we may be partakers of the holiness wisdom; and so do not, as heartily of God, we shall undoubtedly be and entirely as they ought, "submit partakers also of his happiness; for themselves” to the wisdom of God. holiness and happiness are one. Sin And what must be the issue? Their has separated the sister seraphs in: schemes, when most successful, want this world ; and while they rain their best blessing; and, if they around our vale of darkness, though, fail, are without consolation. The by a secret sympathy, continually error is, indeed, far less fatal than tending to eacb 'other, some cloud that of the unbelieving Jews, but it still interposes to prevent their peris scarcely less instructive.
fect union. But in heaven they This paper has insensibly grown shall be for ever united, one in nato a considerable length; and the pa- ture and one in beauty. tience of my readers may perhaps Let us, then, act as beings worthy be exhausted, though the subject is of our high destiny. Having these' not. It would, however, be unpar. promises, « let us cast aside erery donable to conclude without saying weight, and the sin that doth so something of the spiritual blessings easily beset us, and let us run with which God has ordained to accom- patience the race that is set before pany true submission, and of the us, looking onto Jesus, the author heavenly delight wbich attends it. and finisher of our faith, who, for
Trials and afflictions inight well. the joy ibat was set before him, en-' have been appointed, by our great' dured the cross, despising the shame, Creator, merely as a test of our al.' and is set down on the right hand of legiance; more especially to fallen the throne of God.” “ For we have man, the fit subject of chastisement.' need of patience, that after we hare But God, who is rich in mercy, whose done the will of God, we may repeculiar attribute it is to educe good' ceive the pronsise.". Now, “ tribo.' out of evil, bas not so ordained il. Jation worketh patience, and pa." Our earthly parents may chasten us tience experience, and experiafter their pleasure; but He" for our ence hope;' and hope maketh not profit, that we may be partakers of his ashamed, because the love of God is' holiness."
shed abroad in our hearts." "Where. How imperfectly do we estimate fore, lift up the bands that barro the true value of things! Did-we' down, and the feeble kuces." "For