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man, fallen unhappy man, can for get alike the obligations of duty and of gratitude! Thousands pass on from youth to age in willing servitude to every passion of their nature, and to every caprice of vanity and opinion; while they dread and fly from His authority whose service is perfect freedom. And what shall we say of the best of us? Submis. sion, which should be but our first duty, is reckoned amongst our highest attainments; and he is thought to be an advanced Christian, who is only not rebellious.

There was a time when submission to God was not counted among our burthens. In Eden, the seat of purity and joy, before sin had entered, and death by sin, our first parents walked gladly in the way their Maker had appointed them, happy in their mutual love, happy in a grateful adoration of Him who gave it, happy in that filial confidence which a sense of His perfections and of their own innocence inspired. To them, duty and enjoy ment were one; the law of obedience was the path of peace. But they were tempted, and they fell. They fell, because they would be wiser than their Creator, and thought some better satisfaction might be found, by a breach of his holy commandments, than they had experienced in a cheerful submis sion to them. Such, at least, ap. pears to have been the cause of their sad transgression, and such certainly is the history of a large part of the miserable adventures in which their blind and unhappy o spring have ever since been engaged. God is their proper happiness. His deeming mercy has opened to them again the gates of everlasting life, His law, holy and just, is the path that will conduct them thither: his dispensations, secret or manifest, gentle or corrective, are ready, like guardian angels, to watch over them, and lead them safely in the right way, or call them back when they are wandering from it. But God they know not. They know them


selves, their appetites, and passions. They know the world abounding on every side with allurements to gratification; and though age after age has testified to its vanity, and parents have still transmitted to their children the history of their own disappointments, the hopeless race is for ever renewed, and men follow after happiness in every direction, except that by which they might attain it.

Yet some there are, (in this hap py land we may reasonably hope there are very many,) who by the mercy of God have been made sensible of the general error; and who feel that true good only can be found by re-ascending towards that holy light which cheered the bless, ed region whence our first parents wandered down into this land of shadows. These, surely, are deeply sensible of their own blindness; they have lamented their past follies; they have felt the blessedness of drawing near to God as to their reconciled Father, and they desire above all things to be for ever subject to his guidance and govern. ment. Yes, certainly, these are their settled feelings, their deliberate wishes. Were it otherwise, how could they reasonably believe them selves to be led by the Spirit of truth? And yet, even among the truly pious, there are probably very few who always preserve an equal temper of mind amidst the changes and chances of this world. Some are agitated by their own distresses. Some are moved to surprise and grief at the afflictions which befal those who are most dear to them. And there are moments, perhaps (they should be only moments), when even the most experienced Christian, though he may bow with unresisting submission under the hand of God, can scarcely lift up an eye of gratitude, or kiss with filial love the rod that chastens him.

It is neither to be expected nor desired, that we should become insensible to our own sufferings, or to those of others, He who is fainting

in pain or sickness, would think himself but mocked, by being told that he must throw aside his weakness, and rise superior to such infirmities. Nor is it by any means the nature of true religion to diminish our tenderness towards others. On the contrary, it opens the springs of every gentle feeling, and calls forth to new life and vigour every generous affection. Yet, notwithstanding this, it cannot be denied that we are far too apt to be dejected under the misfortunes which befal ourselves; and sometimes, perhaps, while our own sorrows are sustained with fortitude, we yield to an unbecoming griet for those whose happiness is very dear to us.

Indeed, an exemplary patience under the distresses of our friends, is not the first of virtues. Yet it is very possible that a feeling mind may be betrayed into the indulgence of a more vehement sorrow, or a more careful anxiety, for others, than is quite consistent with a spirit of filial resignation, from the generous nature of a sentiment which can be blameable only when it is excessive. The same principles, however, undoubtedly apply to the pains which we feel for others, and those which we suffer for ourselves; and the true Christian must endeavour, in both cases, to recollect by whom they are inflicted, and to cultivate that cheerful assurance of the paternal care and kindness of our heavenly Benefactor, which will reconcile us to every dispensation,

Submission to God, in its full extent, is by no means an act of simple obedience: it implies the union and exercise of many Christian graces. To submit, indeed, in the narrow sense of the word, is not a matter of choice to any of us. He who created heaven and earth by his word, and who wields the elements at his pleasure, will certainly not want the power to give effect to his own purposes. "As I live," saith the Lord, every knee shall bow." Yet there is a submission,

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to which God invites his creatures as their privilege, while at the same time he requires it from them as their duty;-a submission not of the act only, but of the heart, founded upon the deepest conviction of his wisdom, an entire trust in his providence, and a fervent love of his goodness. Such a submission, it is plain, is essentially different from a mere acquiescence in events which we have no power to controul. It is the homage of the will, the natural and beautiful expression of the best affections of the soul, of gratitude, of veneration, of filial love and fitial confidence.

I believe it happens to most men who are truly pious, to become, as they advance in life, less and less disposed to enter upon complicated schemes for the attainment even of those objects which appear to be the most reasonably desirable. They have found themselves so often mistaken in their estimate of what is really good; they have seen the erents to which they are chiefly indebted for their happiness in this life, brought about in a manner so original, by a course so unlike any they should themselves have pursued, and often so independently of their own efforts, that they grow distrustful of themselves, and are tired of weaving plots which a single cross accident is sufficient to entangle; or which, after having been completed with the utmost skill and care, unravel of themselves, and end in nothing. Now this is a practical acknowledgment of the reasonableness of that duty which we are now considering. If our experience convinces us that we neither understand well how to choose events nor how to controul them, is it not manifestly our best wisdom to resign them willingly into the hands of Him who is certainly capable of directing them properly, and who has declared that "they who trust in the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good?"

It seems, indeed, as if a wisdom

far short of that which Christianity teaches, would suffice to instruct us in the vanity of earthly schemes, and to lay the foundation of a religious submission to God in the distrust of our own policy. Consider the most remarkable examples which history has recorded, of rare talents, and rare fortune, united for the accomplishment of some illustrious end. What are they, if read aright, but so many lessons of humility? Philip, the father of Alexander, was by far the most accomplished hero of his age. His birth was noble, his person graceful and dignified; his understanding of that rare class in which depth and facility are equally united, at once elegant and comprehensive, and embellished with all the learning that Greece in her best æra could supply; his achieve ments in arms were great and bril. liant, and his success was almost unvaried. It was Philip's chief ambition to live to future ages; and, that the triumph of his glory might be permanent, he was anxious to embody it in the literature and eloquence of Athens. For this end, he was content to pardon alike her insults and her injuries, and courted with unwearied assiduity the most considerable members of her commonwealth. But the eloquence of a single man defeated all his hopes. Demosthenes was his enemy; and that profligate demagogue has been able, by his matchless genius, to brand with unmerited infamy, during more than two thousand years, the illustrious prince who vanquish ed and spared him.

If the ancient world produced any person more deserving of admiration than Philip, perhaps it was his son. It was his ambition to found a mighty empire, which should embrace both the eastern and western hemisphere, and foster, under one parent and protecting shade, the commerce, learning, arts, and legislation of the world. The greatness of his design could be measured only by the extensive genius which conceived it; and his

success was equal to both. In the very prime of youth, he overthrew the most potent kingdom of Asia; he selected the position and laid the foundations of a city, which for a thousand years drew into its bosom the wealth of three continents; he carried his victorious arms into the heart of India; and, having fixed and fortified his eastern fron tier, returned to Babylon to prepare for extending his conquests in the west. There, as he was retiring early to rest, he passed by a chamber where some of his young officers and friends were banqueting, and in a thoughtless moment, for he was by habit very temperate, he accepted an invitation to join their carousals. The rest, who does not know? In a few days he was laid in his grave; and in a few years, the great empire, of which he thought to have laid the foundations so deep that it should have stood for ages, was broken in pieces, and the frag ments dispersed to the four winds of heaven.

I will mention but one example more, and that, like the two former, of the most vulgar notoriety. Cæsar desired to be master of the world. By the devotion of thirty years of his life to a single object, by the exercise of the most unrivalled talents, and the perpetration of unexampled crimes, he seemed to have effected his purpose. He was declared Dictator. And how long did he enjoy his elevation? The ability which had raised him so high, failed him, when only a small portion of it was necessary to sustain him in his guilty eminence. He had fought his way to empire, at the head of legions who were devoted to him; and he had not the prudence to retain a mere body guard, to preserve what he had won. He had sustained a character for moderation, during a long series of years, with consummate skill and hypocrisy; and when nothing but the language of moderation was possible or needful, he forgot to use it; and provoked a people who were jealous of the name of

liberty, though they had surrendered the substance, by an avarice of silly titles. He had delivered himself repeatedly from the most complicated and overwhelming distresses, by his matchless sagacity and courage; and he was ruined at last by foolishly overlooking an irregular, ill-concerted conspiracy, which a child might have discovered. He had lived in the midst of a thousand dangers in the field, and he fell by

the hands of assassins.

These instances, and numberless others, which are less striking only because they are less notorious, have been cited by the moralists of every age, and, after a few serious comments, dismissed, with a sigh over the vanity of earthly glory. They prove, indeed, its vanity beyond controversy; but they prove, also, much more. They express, in large and striking characters, that hopeless uncertainty which attends upon every scheme of earthly policy. What is true of great things, is true of small. Private life has its Philips, and Alexanders, and Cæsars, with out number, who are striving, with unwearied diligence, for the attainment of a commanding reputation, or brilliant establishments, or assendancy of station. The mere moralist can do little more than condemn their folly, and weep over it. But the Christian may surely be taught, by such examples, a lesson of far higher wisdom; and, touched with a sense of his own weakness, may learn to resign himself, without regret and without fear, into the hands of his beneficent Creator.

The necessity of submission is, in the nature of things, proportional to the infirmities of those who are call ed on to submit. All agree, even they who are the least disposed to exalt the parental authority, that in early childhood implicit obedience must be exacted. Let the propriety of submission to God be measured, then, by the ignorance and corruption of man. Yet, how inconsistent are we! Few, perhaps, read the history of our first parents, without

feeling amazed at their folly in forfeiting so great happiness for the pleasure of a single transgression. But what was their presumption compared with our own? Their understandings were not obscured by passions, warped by prejudices, or contracted by ignorance and neglect. We have derived from them a corrupt nature, and our faculties are so weak that it is with difficulty we discover a few things immediately around us: yet we are fearless and confident as they, and ready continually to hazard the same fatal experiment which they too boldly hazarded, and "brought death into the world, and all our woe.” Submission is a considerable branch of true faith. It is the Apostle's charge against the unbelieving Jews, that, "going about to establish their own righteousness, they had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God." They thought they were perfectly instructed in the way of salvation. They confided in their own wisdom, and the wisdom of their scribes and doctors; and they refused to come, as little children, to learn wisdom from those who were appointed of God to declare it. Thus it is with us, in respect of the varying events of this life. They who by the grace of God have been instructed, from his word and their own experience, in the ceaseless providence of his government; who fully believe that his eyes are over all, "running to and fro throughout the earth;" are daily more and more disposed to resign into his hands all their ways, their dearest hopes and fondest wishes; fully persuaded that his wisdom and loving kindness will never fail them; and that he will find a way, even for the fulfilment of their earthly desires, if it be meet that they should be accomplished. Nor is it presumption to say, that an entire submission to the will of God, and a cheerful committal of all our concerns to the disposition of his good providence, is the course which true wisdom prescribes for the

attainment of the best temporal blessings. Humble yourselves un der the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" "casting all your care on him, for he careth for you." "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing, by supplication and prayer, let your requests be made known unto God." "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers." Those, on the other hand, who, though they may have a general belief in the promises of God, have not attained to that practical confidence which would enable them, with singleness of heart, to resign all things to his disposal, are apt to "go about to establish their" good, much as the Jews did to establish their righteousness. They have too great confidence in their own wisdom; and so do not, as heartily and entirely as they ought, "submit themselves" to the wisdom of God. And what must be the issue? Their schemes, when most successful, want their best blessing; and, if they fail, are without consolation. The error is, indeed, far less fatal than that of the unbelieving Jews, but it is scarcely less instructive.

This paper has insensibly grown to a considerable length; and the patience of my readers may perhaps be exhausted, though the subject is not. It would, however, be unpardonable to conclude without saying something of the spiritual blessings which God has ordained to accompany true submission, and of the heavenly delight which attends it.

Trials and afflictions night well have been appointed, by our great Creator, merely as a test of our allegiance; more especially to fallen man, the fit subject of chastisement. But God, who is rich in mercy, whose peculiar attribute it is to educe good out of evil, has not so ordained it. Our earthly parents may chasten us after their pleasure; but He " for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness."

How imperfectly do we estimate the true value of things! Did-we

rightly apprehend, or even duly consider, what it is to be "partakers of the holiness" of God, methinks it would be impossible for us to be sad, even in the midst of the bitterest afflictions. The privileges of a true Christian are, indeed, many. To know God, to trust in him, to love him; to have communion with the Father of spirits; to come to him as pardoned and beloved children in Christ Jesus: these, indeed, are high and heavenly blessings, in comparison of which, all that the world calls glory, vanishes away and is lost. Yet there is still a higher privilege, a better blessing, the fruit and the reward of suffering; "to be made partaker of his holiness." This is the utmost point of exaltation: ima. gination can ascend no higher. If we may be partakers of the holiness of God, we shall undoubtedly be partakers also of his happiness; for holiness and happiness are one. Sin has separated the sister seraphs in ' this world; and while they roam around our vale of darkness, though, by a secret sympathy, continually tending to each other, some cloud still interposes to prevent their perfect union. But in heaven they shall be for ever united, one in nature and one in beauty.

Let us, then, act as beings worthy of our high destiny. Having these promises, "let us cast aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with' patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God." "For we have need of patience, that after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise." Now, “tribu-' lation worketh patience, and pa tience experience, and experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is' shed abroad in our hearts." "Wherefore, lift up the bands that hang down, and the feeble knees.” (For

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