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“ every false way?” Are your infirmities your afflictions; and do you derive from them motives to vigilance and prayer ; or are you satisfied and careless: under them ? Do you “ love your brother also ?" Do you regard all your fellow-creatures and fellow christians? And as you have opportunity, do you do good into all men ; especially unto "those who are of the
household of faith ?” Does this principle actuate you to afford them relief, to bear their burdens, to seek their welfare, and serve them at the expense of self-denial ?
If this be not your condition, it is well to know it ; and it will be your mercy to lay it to heart. For your case, though bad, is not desperate. If you are now fenfible of your fin, and really desirous of conversion, he calls, he encourages you. « Wash ye, « make ye clean, put away the evil of your doings « from before mine eyes ; ceale to do evil : learn to “ do well : feek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge 6 the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, « and let us reason together, faith the Lord : though “ your sins be as scarlet, they fhall be white as fnow; 66 though they be red like crimson, they shall be as 66 wool. Let the wicked forfake his way, and the un66 righteous man his thoughts : and let him return un« to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him ;
and to our God for he wilt abundantly pardon." And what he requires, he also bestows. Read his promises in connection with his commands. While the one determines your work, the other insures your ability for the performance of it." Befeech Him to create in you a clean heart, and to renew a right fpir
it within you. Depend upon his grace, which will be “ fufficient for you ;” and “ being made free from
fin, and become servants to God, you will have your “ fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For 6 the wages of fin is death ; but the gift of God is 66 eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.
PSALM cxviii. 15.
The voice of rejoicing is in the tabernacles of the righteous.
NOTHING can more usefully engage our attention than Human Nature and Human Life. The proper study of mankind is Man. His origin and his end; the structure of his body and the powers of his mind ; his situation and his connections; are all capable of yielding us boundless and edifying instruction.
In observing mankind, the private and familiar views of their character are by far the most curious, interesting, and profitable. The greater part of our history is composed of minute and common incidents; and little and ordinary things serve more to discover a man, and conduce more to render him useful than splendid and rare occurrences. Abroad a man appears cautious; at home he is unreserved. Abroad he is artificial ; at home he is real. Abroad he is useful; at home he is necessary; and of this we may be fully assured, that a man is in truth what he is in
his own family, whether vicious or virtuous, tyrannical or mild, miserable or happy.
My Brethren, we are going to enter one of those houses, of which David speaks ; a tabernacle « filled “.with the voice of rejoicing.” Domestic Felicity is our present subject. Let us consider two things ; the IMPORTANCE, and the SOURCE of this happiness. 1. WHAT MAY BE SAID IN COMMENDATION OF IT. II. WHAT WILL BE NECESSARY TO THE POSSESSION OF IT. O Thou, who hast said, “ It is not good 6 for man to be alone,” God of the families of all " the earth,” may thy secret be upon our tabernacles; under the influence of thy Providence and Grace may we derive from our unions all the blessedness they are capable of affording ; and to this end guide and fanctify our meditations.
Part I. One of the most agreeable scenes we can ever survey upon earth, is a peaceful and happy family; where friendship comes in to draw more closely the bonds of nature; where the individuals resemble the human body, and if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, and if one member be honoured, all the members rejoice ; where every care is divided, every sorrow diminished, every joy redoub. led, by discovery, by sympathy, by communion ; where mutual confidence prevails, and advice, conso. lation, and succour are reciprocally given and receive ed. To such a fight God himself calls our attention ; “ Behold how good and pleasant a thing it is for “ bre:hren to dwell together in unity !” Some things are good but not pleasant, and some things are pleas
ant but not good. Here both are combined, and the effect is fragrant as the sacred perfume, and reviving as the influences of Heaven, “ It is like the precious “ ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the 6 beard, even Aaron's beard ; that went down to the “ skirts of his garments ; as the dew of Hermon, and “ as the dew that descended upon the mountains of < Zion : for there the Lord commanded his blessing, & even life for evermore." Let us establish the IMPORTANCE of Domestic Happiness, by taking fome particular views of its connections and influence.
And, First, We may consider it in reference to our AVOCATIONS and CARES. These are numerous and diversified, and demand relaxation and relief. Who could endure perpetual drudgery and fatigue ? and, Oh, what so refreshing, so soothing, fo satisfying as the placid joys of home!
See the traveller. Does duty call him for a sea. son to leave his beloved circle ? The image of his earthly happiness continues vividly in his remem, brance ; it quickens him to diligence; it cheers him under difficulties ; it makes him hail the hour which lees his purpole accomplished, and his face turned towards home; it communes with him as he journeys; and he hears the promise which causes him to hope, « Thou shalt know also that thy tabernacle shall be in “ peace ; and thou shalt visit thy habitation and not “ fin." Oh, the joyful re-union of a divided family ; the pleasures of renewed interview and conversation after days of absence!
Behold the man of fcience. He drops the labour and painfulness of research, closes his volume, smooths