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your poorer brethren. I would remind the afflicted, how much the subject we have been considering is calculated to administer consolation to their troubled minds. How do all the sorrows of earth dwindle to a point, when contrasted with the glories of heaven! I would say a word to characters. If there was a sceptic within these walls, I would make him wish religion to be true; if I could suppose a profligate was here, I would compel him to abandon his course, and to forsake his vices, ere they plunge him in eternal ruin.
To the humble and consistent christian, (of whom I hope, I am addressing many,) I would offer the language of congratulation, and of encouragement; I would earnestly and affectionately intreat them to persevere in the good way they have chosen, seeing how rich a harvest awaits them.
I would even say a few words to professions. I would exhort ministers, those who labour in the christian vineyard, to do it with simplicity, with an eye to the glory of God, the interest of the Redeemer, the everlasting welfare of their fellow mortals; I would caution them never to bring into the pulpit, the dregs of indolence, the cobwebs of metaphysics, or the mazes of controversy, but to endeavour to instruct, to console, to animate their hearers, by the pure, simple, unadulterated
word of God. And I would urge on hearers to bring with them a humble and teachable spirit, when they enter the sanctuary, not to encourage a disposition to cavil, but to aim at improvement, both in knowledge and in
Finally, I would say unto all, be diligent, and endeavour to abound in every christian virtue, that ye may "shine as lights in the world, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation;" then shall ye have reason to hope, that" an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly, into the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Saviour," where "the righteous shall shine as the sun," and shall be fixed as 66 pillars in the temple of God, to go out no more." "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
CHARACTER OF DAVID.
Howbeit, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes.
1 KINGS Xi. 34.
THE words which I have selected as a motto for this discourse, were occasioned by a circumstance which is related in the 29th and two following verses of this chapter; the Prophet Abijah rending his new garment into twelve pieces, and giving ten of them to Jeroboam ; to signify, under this symbolic representation, the division of the tribes of Israel, ten of which should be given to Jeroboam; but
this division was not to take place during the life of Solomon; and, Why? For an affecting reason; because children often reap a benefit in this world from the piety of their parents; they will reap none in another, unless they tread in their footsteps.
A character, the history of which occupies not only many chapters, but many books in the Old Testament, can be but very slightly glanced at in one discourse. The remarks I shall offer will be comprised under four distinct heads.
I. We behold, in the life of David, a remarkable instance of diversity in outward condition.
II. We view the general good conduct he displayed in each of these situations.
III. We are led to reflect on the frailty of man when beset by passions, and overcome by strong temptation.
IV. We see the depth and efficacy of sincere repentance, the reviving power of religion, and the mercy as well as the judgments of God.
I. In the first place, we behold exemplified, in the life of David, a remarkable diversity of outward condition. Every man, in a degree, at one period of his life, treads the
valley, and at another ascends the mountain ; now basks in the sun-shine, and now encounters the storm; but few have experienced the vicissitudes which David underwent. His early years were marked with obscurity; he was a shepherd, keeping his father's flock; but he was destined to rise from that lowly office into the highest station; for he was selected by the Almighty to fill the throne of Israel. When the sons of Jesse were commanded to present themselves before Samuel, in order that the prophet might anoint one from among them; struck with the appearance of the elder brother, with his majestic figure, and his stately deportment, it was natural for him to exclaim, Surely this must be the Lord's anointed!" And had he not received a timely check, he would undoubtedly have poured the sacred oil upon his head. The figure of David was insignificant, and his youth appeared a sufficient reason for rejecting him; yet this boy, for he was little more, was enrolled in the annals of Heaven as the future monarch of Israel. 66 He was taken from the sheep-fold, and was taught to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance." We have had instances of persons in private life rising to the possession of a kingdom; but how have they done it? I believe the remark is as applicable to the last ten years,