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Behold her appearance and her attire. Her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her forehead. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eye-brows sit cheerfulness and joy. Her mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and colour that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, despising and laughing him to scorn. .
She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a CROSS. She rides not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion, but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace.
If, therefore, to be made like unto God; if to be conformed to the image of Christ; if to follow the precepts of the Gospel; if to write after the copies of saints; if to render our present state comfortable, and ensure our final redemption from sin and sorrow; if to avoid the manifold inconveniences of impatience, and enjoy the incomparable excellences and advantages of patience ; if these are things desirable, let us from henceforth give ourselves to the pursuit of this divine virtue; let us “follow after patience. And for this purpose, let us adore and imitate the long-suffering of God; let us contemplate and transcribe into our practice the patience of Jesus Christ;
The portrait here presented to the reader is copied from TERTULLIAN's noble treatise on the subject, to which we owe that of CYPRIAN. This discourse is an abstract of both.
let us study and fulfil the precepts of the Gospel; let us look at and emulate the examples of the saints ; let us consider and alleviate the sorrows of our pilgrimage; let us perceive and avoid the horrible consequences of impatience; let us court till we obtain the heavenly grace of patience, with her dowry of benefits and blessings conferred on her by Jesus Christ, into whose patience the Lord direct your hearts, until she have her perfect work in the salvation of your souls, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed, as is most due, in all churches of the saints, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, now and evermore. Amen.
THE GREAT ASSIZE.
Acts, xvii. 31.
He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the
world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained.
The distinction between good and evil hath been from the beginning the great end of the law of Heaven, at sundry times and in divers manners promulgated to the sons of men. From this celestial fountain particular systems of human laws have been drawn forth, and adapted to the exigences of different ages
and countries, by wise and good men; they have been enacted by the authority of kings with the advice of senates, and carried into execution by faithful and diligent magistrates, “to the punishment of " wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of “true religion and virtue.” The advantages of these institutions, and the praise and honour which are due from all mankind to those who employ the treasure of learning, and exert the powers of eloquence, for the public good, must be evident to every one who thinks but a moment upon the subject. The excel
lent Hooker closes a survey of law, in all its different departments, with the following encomium, conceived and expressed in a manner peculiar to himself: “Of “ law there can be no less acknowledged, than that “ her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world.
All things in heaven and “ earth do her homage; the very least as feeling her
care, and the greatest as not exempt from her
power. Both angels, and men, and creatures of “ what condition soever, though each in different sort " and manner, yet all with uniform consent, ad“miring her as the mother of their peace and 'joy."
But true and just altogether as this character of law in general most certainly is, yet it must be confessed, that the penal sanctions of human laws will not always come up to the necessity of the case, nor will the medicine reach the disorder, in a multitude of instances. It is in the power of the civil magistrate to chastise many public enormities, to regulate in some measure the external deportment of men, and to preserve the frame of society from suffering those convulsions which must otherwise bring on a speedy dissolution. But when prudence hath enacted all her statutes, and intrusted vigilance with the execution of them, men will still continue to "put evil for good, “ and good for evil.” Monsters of iniquity will creep from their dens to infest and annoy the public, although they cannot be dragged from thence to suffer as they deserve. Much wickedness must remain unpunished, and great misery must go unrelieved. Avarice and ambition will conceive and bring forth
crimes, of which no earthly tribunal can take cognizance. Some sins will be too common, and some sinners too powerful, to be animadverted upon in this world. The prosperous villain will often die unmolested in his bed, and bequeath the fruits of his oppression to his heir ; while injured innocence shall descend before him with sorrow to the grave, and quickly pass away out of remembrance. The cries of orphans will still ascend to heaven; the tears will still run down the widow's cheek; and the poor man will frequently find no helper upon earth. This the royal preacher and judge of Israel saw, who was so renowned through all the world for his wisdom and justice; he saw and mourned the impossibility of preventing it. “I considered," says he, "all the op
pressions that are done under the sun; and beheld “the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had " no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors " there was power, but they had no comfortera." The conclusion which king Solomon drew from what he saw of this kind under the sun, must be adopted by us likewise : “I said in mine heart, God shall “ judge the righteous and the wicked.” The interests of virtue and justice require that many causes should be heard, which cannot be brought to a trial here below; and therefore the day will surely come, when God shall erect a tribunal universal and scrutinizing as the light of heaven; where all those offences, which the best of magistrates taken from among men are necessitated to suffer and overlook,
a Eccles. iv. 1.
b Eccles. iij. 17.