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haps we feel more painfully than the ungrateful reception of the favors we bestow: and a very few instances of unthankfulness are sufficient to induce us to discontinue our benefits. What then does God think of us? Not only are the expressions of his goodness infinitely more numerous than any favors we can shew our fellow creatures, but they are all undeserved. Our fellow creatures, have claims upon us; and we are bound as we have opportunity to do good unto all men. But God is under no obligation to us. All his bounty is grace. And therefore if he is continually doing us good, and filling our hearts with joy and gladness, surely he expects that the language of our lips, and of our lives should be," what shall I render unto the Lord, for all his be"nefits towards me.-He requireth that which is past.” And he demands,

III. A review of your past sorrows and distresses. With all your supplies and indulgences, you have had your hours of trouble; and have found this world to be a vale of tears. Can you forget those seasons in which your worldly comforts fled, your refreshing gourds withered, your beloved friends and relations were removed by death-O never-the wormwood and the gall of such-and such an "affliction-my soul hath it "still in remembrance, and is humbled within me.' And be not afraid to think of it. "By the sadness of the countenance, the heart is made better”—more serious, and more soft; and this is the soil for wisdom, and truth, and devotion to flourish in. Do not derive your morals from the school of the world. Their maxims are in perfect opposition to the spirit which is of God. They endeavor to banish from their minds every thing that has a tendency to do them good. Hence, when troubles befal them, the design of which is to bring them to reflection, they do every thing in their power to escape a sense of them, and to prevent the remembrance of them. And thus the kind and salutary purposes of heaven in afflicting them are disregarded,

and they go on thoughtlessly, till the evil day comes upon them, with all its horrors and surprise.

As our troubles are designed to do us good, not only in experience, but also in review, we should labor after a practical remembrance of them. They have been lost upon us, unless they have made us wiser; more sober minded, and less disposed to expect a rest below the skies. We should judge of the future by the past, and conclude that life will be, what it has been, a chequered scene; and that no condition, no connection, will afford us unmixed happiness. Surely after the experience of years of vanity we begin to gird up the loins of our minds, and to declare plainly, that we seek a better country. Surely these disappointments and regrets urge us to say with David, and "now Lord what wait "I for? my hope is in thee;" or with Micah, "there"fore will I look unto the Lord, and will wait for the "God of my salvation, my God will hear me !" We cannot now plead ignorance: our dreams have been disturbed: we are awake-and it is high time to arise. It is high time that the trifler should become a man and the man a christian.

It is an awful thing to come out of trouble: for it always leaves us better or worse than it finds us. We should therefore ask with peculiar concern-“ What "benefit have I derived from such a visitation of di"vine providence? The rod spoke-did I hear its "message? The physician has been employed-is my "distemper even beyond the reach of medicine? I "have lost the life of my friend-and have I lost his "death too? My relation has entered the joy of his "Lord-I have one reason for loving earth less, and "do I love it more? one reason for loving heaven 66 more, and do I love it less ?"

Past afflictions should also teach us not to be too much dejected or dismayed in prospect of future ones. For how has it been with us? We feared as we entered the cloud, but the cloud was big with mercy, and poured down blessings. What terrified us in imagina

tion, we bore with cheerfulness. When the day of trial came, we had grace to help, in time of need; and it was found sufficient for us. And our God is the same, and has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us.

And, O happy is he, who in reviewing his griefs, can say, "well, so many of my troubles are gone for So many steps of my wearisome journey I "have taken-and the hour is not far off that shall end "the toilsome pilgrimage❞—


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But, IV. God requires us to review our past sins. Many of these have grown out of our privileges, our mercies, and our trials. They have been attended with singular aggravations. They are more in number than the hairs of our head. In many things we offend all.


It is well, if upon a review of the year, we can exculpate ourselves from sins committed against man.... but what are these, compared with the offences which we have committed against God? Indeed all sin is really committed against God. There is not a duty which we owe our fellow creatures, but he has enjoined the observance of; he has commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and therefore every deviation from this rule is a transgression of his law, and a provocation of his anger. But when we judge ourselves more immediately in relation to him, when we consider what he has righteously required of us, and re

flect upon our omissions of duty, and our actual departures from him, in thought, word, and deed, we are compelled to exclaim....who can understand his errors? The review is painful....but it is useful, it is necessary. It will lead us to admire the long-suffering of God, in bearing with us, year after year. Though we have proved such cumberers of the ground, he has still spared us. Though we have so often provoked him, he has not destroyed us. We may look upon each other this evening with astonishment, and say, "it is of the Lord's " mercies that we are not consumed, because his com"passions fail not."

It will be a call to repentance; this always commences in a conviction of sin, and is daily brought into exercise, by fresh discoveries of its remaining existence. "They shall come with weeping, and with sup"plications will I lead them.”

It will humble us, and we need every check to pride, for we are prone to think more highly of ourselves, than we ought to think. But what are we? Have we lived a day without being fools, loiterers, undutiful servants, unfaithful stewards? And what reason can we have to be proud?

It will promote charity. We shall be tender towards others, in proportion as we deal honestly, and severely with ourselves. The most effectual way to take us off from beholding the mote in our brother's eye, is to employ ourselves in extracting the beam from our own. We have all our infirmities, though they may not be precisely of the same kind with those which lead us so rigorously to condemn others. We are all "in the "body, and should consider ourselves, lest we also be "tempted."

It will be a spur to diligence. Do you ask, what are we to use diligence for? This depends in some respects, upon the condition you are in. Perhaps to this hour some of you have been anxious about every thing, except the pardon of your sins. While these remain unforgiven, the wrath of God abideth on you, and you are every moment in danger of sinking into the lowest

hell. It is obviously therefore your duty, immediately and earnestly to seek after an interest in Christ, by whom alone you can be justified freely from all things.

But diligence equally becomes those of you who hope that you are already partakers of this blessing. You can never do enough for him who has saved you by his grace. You have much lost time to redeem and much lost ground to recover. When you ought to have been running, you have been standing still....perhaps drawing back. Some who began the divine life long after you, are now far before you on the heavenly road. You are surrounded with dangers, which require incessant vigilance and prayer. You have a thousand mistakes to rectify, and excellencies to acquire.--What is the life of a good man? What is it that distinguishes him from others ?....But a faithful investigation of his faults; an attention to moral improvement; an endeavor to make each day, a practical criticism on the past. He observes, how he was hindered: and remarks where he fell, or was likely to fall. And thus he levies a contribution of profit even upon his losses; and derives wisdom from his ignorance, strength from his weakness, and zeal from his indifference.

To urge you to this four-fold review, remember the intimation we gave you at the beginning of this address, and which is so fully expressed in the words of the apostle...."so then every one of us shall give account "of himself to God." Therefore, judge yourselves, that you may not be condemned with the wicked. This account will be personal, public, and impartial. "He will bring every work into judgment, with every "secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." And from whence will he bring them? From the book of his remembrance: there he has recorded all your means, and mercies, troubles and sins. From the book of your own memory: there also they are secured. For there is a difference between remembrance and memory: the former often fails, but what is inscribed upon the latter, abides indelibly, and only requires something to shine upon the letters, to render it legible.

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