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SERM. have had sufficient fortitude to preserve XVII.
their faith inviolate.
In resisting all the temptations which surround us, in combating our vicious inclinations and subduing our evil passions, there is, even in these days, sufficient employment for the firmest faith; and he who passes through the world blameless now, has no reason to doubt his resolution if he had fallen on more turbulent times. If, however, he thinks that nothing but extraordinary assistance could possibly carry him through such extraordinary trials, he has every reason to suppose that such, if necessary, would be granted; “for God is faithful, “ who will not suffer us to be tempted above " that we are able to bear, but will with the
temptation also make a way to escape, " that we may be able to bear it.”
Let us however all be grateful, that we have not been, and are not likely to be, called to such severe and hazardous proofs of our
faith; let us not think it much to practise SERM.
XVII. self-denial in small matters, when we are excused from it in matters of so much importance; let us not repine at suffering any losses or afflictions to which our integrity may expose us, when we remember what the noble army of martyrs have endured in the same cause ; let us carry them and their pious fortitude in our eye, and though the necessity, through God's favour, of following them in the heroism of their deaths be now no more, we have it yet in our power to imitate them in the purity of their lives; and, if we exert this power according to the best of our abilities, we shall, together with them and the other blessed saints, be removed to that state, where self denial shall be no more, where, having suffered with Christ on earth, we shall reign with him in heaven, where our happiness, as is frequently the case here, VOL. I.
SER M. shall not arise from the suppression, but XVII.
from the full and complete enjoyment, of all that we wish and desire.
THE ONE THING NEEDFUL.
Sr.LUKE X. XLII.
One thing is needful.
The great use of true wisdom, is to teach SERM. us to set that value upon the different things before us which their real importance de mands. The truly wise man considers what will most conduce to his happiness; and, when he discovers what it is, steadily pursues it: nor does he suffer any thing to divert him materially from the pursuit.
We are told, in the text, that one thing is needful ;-the assertion is conceived in short terms, which, when more fully explained, signify—that there is one thing of such infinitely great consequence that all others are, comparatively, of none at all. In this discourse, I shall first endeavour to shew what this one thing is; and, secondly, what are the inducements to attend to it. What this one thing is, may be discovered by considering by whom, and on what occasion, these words were spoken. The speaker was our Saviour — the occasion, , this:--In his progress about the country, instructing the minds and healing the bodies of men, our Lord arrives at a certain village, and enters the house of two pious sisters, Martha and Mary; the one of these, Martha, entirely employed herself in making preparations for the entertainment of their illustrious guest; while the other, Mary, sat at Jesus' feet, and listened at