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for the guilty to fall into the hands of the SERM. living God; but while there is life there is
XX. generally hope ; and proper behaviour, with sincere resolutions of reforming, if we recover, may induce God to try us a little time longer, or to accept our repentance, if we die; whereas doing nothing at all must in every light be hurtful to us. As it is appointed to all men once to die, those who have reached any advanced period of life cannot, even with the appearance of reason, complain when they are called on to partake of the common lot; but the reluctance of the young to quit the world seems at first sight more allowable, and there are others besides themselves who hastily term their sentence hard. But it should be remembered, that as God gave, so he has a right at any time to take away; that we exist a moment, is owing to his goodness, and therefore there can be no ground for murmurs when he decrees that VOL. I.
SERM. we shall live no longer. Besides, we are
all fully apprized of the uncertainty of our
subject; much more might be said on it; SERM. and when you come to the last scenes of this life, much more may
be necessary for you to know and to practise : you will do well, therefore, to consult on that awful occasion with your prudent and sincere friends, and more particularly with your minister. It is clearly his duty, and I should hope that in most cases it will be his pleasure, to be of all the assistance to you in his power. We would not intrude ourselves upon any one; but when we are actuated by feelings suitable to our sacred office, we cannot but experience the greatest satisfaction in having our assistance called for, and in enjoying the opportunity of smoothing the bed of sickness, and preparing, to the best of our abilities, the dying person to stand before his judge.
I shall conclude with earnestly requesting you frequently to place before your minds the solemn period, concerning which I have been discoursing; a period, to which we are all
SERM. hastily approaching, and at which some of
us, most probably, shall very soon arrive. Such meditations, frequently repeated, will be the most powerful motives with us so to conduct ourselves, as can alone give us fortitude to support the bodily pains to which we may be doomed, and alone enable us to meet our dissolution undisturbed by anguish and terror, and inspire us with a decent confidence to stand before our judge, and afford us a well-grounded expectation of receiving
OF CASTING YOUR CARE UPON GOD.
1 PETER V. 70
Casting all your care upon him, for he careth
for you. To cast their care upon God, is one of the s ERM. duties which the Apostle enjoins his disciples, towards the conclusion of this epistle ; and he persuades them to the observation of the injunction by the strongest of all arguments—" for God careth for you.”
In the following discourse, I shall explain what is meant by casting your care