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the wilderness. He possessed all the treasures of wisdom, and all the strength of a superior nature: yet, as a man, he was destined to act among men ; and before he entered upon his eventful course, he retired to consider with himself the temptations which lay before him, and the enterprise which was given him to perform. It was not to seclude himself from the world that he retired, but to prepare himself for its conflicts and its duties; it was not to indulge in the visions of enthusiasm, but to return from the contemplation of God, and the intercourse of the Spirit, confirmed in his resolution of accomplishing the salvation of man. He thus exhibits to us both the necessity of private meditation, and its connection with the duties of life; and in the strength which he seemed to derive from it, in defeating those temptations with which he was soon so violently assailed; and, in

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the unbroken dignity of his future course, we are encouraged to hope that the noblest fruits may spring from the wise cultivation of seasons of retirement..hi


May that Spirit, by which he was ded

into the wilderness, watch over us in these hours of thought, and lead our meoditations into wisdom and peace may it inspire us with the firm resolution to overcome the temptations which lie in the way of our duty, and animate us with that fervour of piety, which will say to -every one of them, "Get thee hence

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Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him “only shalt thou serve!" May we be enabled to obtain the victory; and, at our last hour, when the world and all its seductions are about to leave us, may "Angels come and minister to us," and bring us the blessed assurances of the favour of Godless vision o

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"Shall mortal man be more just than God? "Shall a man be more pure than his "Maker ?".

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HERE is nothing, my brethren, so conducive to the acquisition of an even and tranquil spirit, as the intimate persua sion and assurance of the Divine perfections. This habit of thought we can acti quire only from frequent and serious Me ditation. In the world we are apt to for

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get God. Our minds are occupied with the passing current of events, and in the slight view which we commonly take of them, they seem too disorderly and irregular to suggest to us any fixed notions of a Divine superintendence. In the world, too, we forget all the higher views of excellence. We try our own conduct, and that of others, by a very imperfect standard; and when, in the course of our lives, we come to suffer from that "time and "chance which happeneth unto all,” or from the effects of our own misconduct, we are then apt to quarrel with the arrangements of Providence, and to sink into discontent and repining. The great cure for this infirmity of mind is pious contemplation; and although, perhaps, in the outset of our reflections, we may find ourselves lost in the immensity and obscurity of the ways of God, yet there are certain land-marks which soon ap

pear to guide our course, amidst the darkness of Providence, and the consciousness of our own disorders.

It is this effect of Meditation in gradually bringing light from terror and obscurity, which is probably meant to be represented in the well-known and very striking passage which introduces the words of the text. "Now a thing was


secretly brought to me," says Eliphaz, " and mine ear received a little 'thereof. "In thoughts from the visions of the

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night, when deep sleep falleth on men, "fear came upon me and trembling, "which made all my bones to shake. "Then a spirit passed before my face; "the hair of my flesh stood up; it stood "still; but I could not discern the form "thereof: an image was before mine eyes; "there was silence; and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just


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