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on this account, are signally obliged to Divine Providence. God hath put them into such a way, as neither they nor their parents ever projected. For, look, as the needle in the compass turns now this way, then that way, and never ceases moving till it settle to the north point, just so it is in our settlements in this world. A child is now designed for this, then for that, but at last settles in that way of employment which Providence designed him to. How strangely are things wheeled about by Providence! Not what we, or our parents, but what God designed shall take place. Amos was very meanly employed at first, but God designed him for a more honourable and comfortable calling, Amos vii. 14, 15. David followed the and likely never raised his thoughts to higher things in the days of his youth; but God made him the royal shepherd of a better flock. Psalm lxxviii. 70, 71. Peter and Andrew were employed as fishermen, but Christ called them from that to a higher calling, to be fishers of men. Matt. iv. 18, 19. James Andreas was, by reason of his father's inability to keep him at school, designed for a carpenter ; but was afterwards, by the persuasion of his friends, and the assistance of the church stock, sent to Stutgard, and thence to the university, and so arrived at a very eminent station of service in the church,
A master builder, Ecolampadius, was, by his father, designed for a merchant; but his mother, by earnest entreaties, prevailed to keep him at school; and this man was a blessed instrument in the reformation of religion."
And is your present place, my reader, what you expected ten years ago ? Have you not often set out to a predetermined point, and arrived at the very opposite ? You have toiled and prayed for some object on which you had fixed your heart, and afterwards learned that your success would have been your ruin, and that disappointment was your greatest mercy. Have you not
gone to laugh, and remained to weep? Has not the turning of a corner determined the complexion of your future life? Let any one remember all the way he has been led in the wilderness, and see if it be not so. “Who knoweth what is good for man in this life, which he spendeth as a shadow ?” “A man's heart deviseth his ways: but the Lord directeth his steps." "Man's goings are of the Lord.” “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.”
The Death of all mankind, and their removal from the present stage of existence, is a striking proof of the uncontrollableness of providence.
The sentence is gone forth, and it extends to every human being “Dust thou art, and unto
dust thou shalt return."! Human life is like the day, it has its morning, its noon, its evening, its night. Like the year, it has its spring of youth, its summer of maturity, its autumn of decline, its winter of death. “We all do fade as the leaf.” There is no exemption. Not dignity
wealth-nor science—nor renown-nor health-nor youth--no, nor even piety can avail
“Behold God taketh away, and who can hinder him ?"
The uncontrollableness of providence in the article of death, is described in a very impressive manner, by Jay, of Bath. He asks, Who can hinder him ?
Cau the man of Prayer ?—Prayer has power with God. Prayer has sometimes met Him as Abigail met David, and induced him to put up his sword into his sheath. “Therefore he said, that he would destroy them, had not Moses, his chosen, stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them." But
prayer, even prayer cannot avail, when the time to execute his judgment, yea the set time is come.
Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them forth.” He answers prayer; but not so as to derange the system of nature, and the economy of Providence.
He answers prayer ;
yet when he has been taking away, who has not tried its efficacy, and found its success limited to our support under the suffering, but not to our exemption from it ? Who can hinder Him?
Cannot the wife—the children ? Cannot they hinder the removal of the hushand, the father--cannot they hinder it, when the loss will reduce her from ease to anxiety, and toil, and dependence; and scatter them abroad uneducated, unprovided for, exposed to injustice and treated with insult? No! “Leave thy fatherless children: I will preserve them alive, and let thy widows trust in me.”—Who can hinder Him ?
Cannot the lover ?- There is something very delightful and interesting in virtuous affection. “Marriage is honourable in all ;” and God himself has pronounced that "it is not good for man to be alone.”—He who has sanctioned the end, arranges the means. We see each other; we intermingle-some personal charm--some intellectual or moral attraction--some indefinable quality, perhaps imperceptible to another, seizes and fixes the admirer's mind-we give up ourselves to the impression--and the time of union is reckoned upon, as the consummation of happiness.
-What is the world to them ?
-But, alas ! instead of marriage rites, behold funeral solemnities ! - Who can hinder Him?
Can the husband ?-The husband ought to feel much more attached than the lover. To him the companion of his days has actually surrendered herself—for him she has passed through pains and perils—she lives but for him and those dear pledges of affection which bear his name and his image. Her worth he has tried, and proved, and acknowledged.
O happy they! the happiest of their kind,