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year-what seeds of disorder may spring up in your frame; what accidents may befal your persons.

You know not how it will go with your circunistances this year-what losses or successes you may experience; what new scenes of enjoyment may be opened, or what old ones may be dried up.

You know not how it will go with your relations this year whether you will be indulged with their continuance, or stripped of their company. Perhaps the eye of Providence now sees the hearse standing before your door; and you trying to go in to take a last view of your happiness, before it be committed to the house appointed for all living. The Lord preserve this family -but in what different circumstances may the members of it assemble together on the return of this day! The wife may be seen in widowed weeds! The children may appear fatherless orphans! The sister may say, alas! my brother!

Let us, II. Shew what use we should make of this ignorance.

Let us learn from it our littleness; let us confess that we are nothing, and that God is all in all. Vain man would be wise, and there is nothing of which he is so proud as his knowledge-but there is nothing that should make him more humble. For what can he know? "Who knoweth what is good for man in this "life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as "a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be af"ter him under the sun ?" Can he distinguish between appearances, and reality? Can he see the combination, the dependencies, and the effects of things? Does he boast himself of to-morrow? when he "knoweth not "what a day may bring forth. The way of man is not "in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his "steps." Are we then qualified to be our own guides, or to manage our own affairs? "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and "he shall direct thy paths. He shall choose our inherit

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"ance for us. Lord my heart is not haughty, nor mine "eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great mat"ters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have be"haved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of "his mother, my soul is even as a weaned child.”

Since we cannot see how things will go with us, we should beware of presumption. "Go to now, ye that "say, to-day, or to-morrow, we will go into such a city, "and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get "gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the mor"row." The apostle here gives us the scheme of an unsanctified tradesman. He resolves to go, without delay, to some place where he can carry on business to advantage. His aim is not fraud, but fair gain in the lawful way of buying and selling. And where is the harm of all this? Is not diligence laudable? And are we not commanded to provide for our own house? Wherein then does this man appear blameable? Perhaps he was actuated by avarice, and was seeking, not a subsistence, but a splended independence. Perhaps he was influenced by imprudence, and was not aware of the bad effects of roving abroad, or of changing our scene of action" for as a bird that wandereth from her nest, "so is a man that wandereth from his place" and "a "rolling stone gathers no moss." This may be true, and often is true-but what this man is here condemned for, is this-God is not in all his thoughts. These words, I will, are too big for him; regardless of God, he engages to live a year, and all the year to be successful. He seems to exclude the possibility of sickness or accidents of unfaithful servants, or insolvent debtors of dear purchases, and cheap sales: as if he foresaw and secured all the events of the year himself. -While he was not sure that he should be able even to begin his journey; and knew not what should be even on the morrow. Well does the apostle call this rejoicing boasting, and say, that all such rejoicing is evil.


Things may be within the reach of our knowledge, and not of our power-but how can that be within the

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reach of our power, that does not fall under our knowledge? How can we ward off dangers of which we are not apprized? How can we arrange and regulate occurrences of which we can have no foresight? Now this is our case. We know only the present and what superstructure can we build, on such a narrow foundation? How often, even while forming a plan, has the lapse of a few days so varied circumstances, that we have been compelled to new model it, or to abandon it altogether? "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you "seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a "fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this "world is foolishness with God. For it is written he "taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, "the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they "are in vain. He leadeth away counsellors spoiled and "maketh their judges fools."

We dare not infer the future from the present. David erred here. After he had been delivered from Saul, and other enemies, he tells us that he had too much confidence. And in "my prosperity I said, I "shall never be removed. Lord by thy favor thou hast "made my mountain to stand strong"-but hear what be adds thou didst hide thy face, and I was trou"bled." The rich have been often stripped of their wealth; and the caressed of their honor. Many a fair morning has turned out a very stormy day.

Thirdly, the same considerations which should check presumption, should also prevent despair. Seeing we know not how it will go with us, why should we look only for evil? It may be far better than the foreboding of our fears. Our deliverance may be much nearer than we imagine,

"The Lord can clear the darkest skies,
"Can give us day for night;

"Make drops of sacred sorrow rise
"To rivers of delight."

Indeed our extremity is often his opportunity. It is

And when

often darkest just before break of day. the ebbing of the tide is lowest, the flowing is nearest. Fourthly, since we see not how it will go with us, let us draw off our attention from future events to present duties. We are to cast, not our work, but our care upon the Lord. Duty is ours, and means are ours― but events are entirely his. And he says to us as the king did to his prime minister, " attend you to my af"fairs, and I will attend to yours." "Take therefore "no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall "take thought for the things of itself; sufficient unto "the day is the evil thereof. Be careful for nothing: "but in every thing by prayer and supplication with "thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto "God. And the peace of God which passeth all un"derstanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through "Christ Jesus." Such is the temper and the business of a christian. The child at school is not to lean his elbow on the table, and vex himself by thinking how he shall find raiment, how he shall get home, how the expence of his education is to be defrayed. He is a learn. er; he is to mind his book-the father requires no more of him we will provide. The farmer is not to muse from day to day about the weather, "perhaps it may "not be a fine season-it was not, such a year: there "may be a blight-and all my labor may be lost." No: but he acts; he goes forth bearing precious seed, commits it to the ground, and then pursues his other business-and what can his anxiety do afterwards? "So "is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed " into the ground, and should sleep, and rise, night and "day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he "knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit "of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the "full corn in the ear." The soldier is to learn his exercise, to obey the word of command, to keep his arms bright, to be always at the post assigned him-but if he were to neglect all this, by busying himself in drawing

plans of the campaign, and describing the duties of the general-he would be shot.

Finally. Our ignorance of what may befal us, should lead us to seek after a preparation for all events. Do you ask, where shall we find it? I answer, in the blessed influence of divine grace. This drew prayer from Jacob, when he went forth with a staff; and praise, when he returned with a fortune. This preserved Daniel in the court of Darius, and in the lion's den. This enabled Paul to say, "I know both how to be abased, and "I know how to abound: every where and in all things "I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both "to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things "through Christ which strengtheneth me." And seeing we have not the ordering of the weather, nor the choice of our food-happy is the man whose constitution enables him to bear any weather; and whose appetite enables him to relish any food.

This leads us, III. To inquire what there is to encourage us under all this darkness and uncertainty. You say, I see not how it will go with me.

-And it is well you do not. You know as much as is good for you. For it is with the mind, as it is with the senses. A greater degree of hearing would incommode us and a nicer degree of seeing would terrify us. If our eyes could see things microscopically, we should be afraid to move. Thus our knowledge is suited to our situation and circumstances. Were we informed before-hand of the good things prepared for us by providence-from that moment we should cease to enjoy the blessings we possess, become indifferent to present duties, and be filled with restless impatience. Or suppose the things fore-known, were gloomy and adverse-what dismay, and despondency would be the consequence of the discovery; and how many times should we suffer in imagination what we now only endure once in reality? Who would wish to draw back a veil that saves them from so many disquietudes ? If some of you had formerly known the troubles through which you have since waded, you would have fainted

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