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they endure to the end, smell like Lebanon, and are born of incorruptible seed, Matt. x. 22. Hos. xiv. 6. and i Pet. i. 23. May I thus flourish like the palm-tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
There lies a lofty pine, which the winds have overturned by the roots; the cause of which is, the ground is rather loose, and inclined to moss where it grew ; whereas, had it been rooted in firm ground, it might still have been growing in full verdure.
Thus many who profess Christianity, and a strong attachment to the principles of our holy Protestant religion; make a great shew of godliness, and apparently bid fair for the kingdom of heaven; but, owing to the winds of adversity blowing full in their face, or the strong gales of prosperity on their back, are overturned and fall away, Luke viii. 13. and this is owing to their not having been rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus, Eph. iii. 17. Col. ii. 7.
Hear the awful consequence of such an apostasy : “ For it is impossible for those “ who were once enlightened, and have “ tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made “ partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tast“ed the good word of God, and the powers “ of the world to come, if they shall fall a“ way, to renew them again unto repentance; “ seeing they crucify to themselves the Son “ of God afresh, and put him to an open « shame," Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6.
But blessed be God, this is not meant of all falls, for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again, Prov. xxiv. 16."
Though he “ fall he shall not utterly be cast down ; for " the Lord upholdeth him with his hand,” Psalm xxxvii. 24. but of the falling away of those who had arrived at such lengths, and partaken of such blessings as the apostle there describeth; yet how very carefully ought we to comply with the apostle's admonition, “ Let him that thinketh he standeth, take 5 heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. x. 12.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye
with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness, 2 Peter iii. 17.
What a ravishing concert is this, all on a sudden struck up over my head! How the little choiristers warble their notes and sing the beauties of spring
From the midst of yonder flowery hawthorn, the blackbird, cheering his mate, which he tenderly eyes in the task of incubation by the side of the rill, sweetly pipes the symphony; while the wood-lark and thrush, as masters of the song, perch high on the bough, and
forth their peerless melody through the gi
How delightful is this place ! Amid the harmony of sprays, the sweet smelling crowfoots, and the smiling green which every where flushes the lovely cheek of surrounding nature, where is the man who can indulge himself in carelessness of thought ?. Write that man thoughtless indeed, unwor. thy of the blessings of spring.
But as for thee, O my soul, as the sap of vegetation arises from the root to the top, improving the whole, climb the ladder of nature, contemplate thy God, see his glory
in all, and his goodness profusely scattered * around.
Is there a single plant silent in his praise ; Yes, silent they are, but expressing infinitely more than language can unfold. Bear me witness of this, ye lofty pines, which lift your ever verdant heads to the sky in honour of him.
I am here reminded of the earthly paradise when our first father was placed in the delightful garden, midst trees in full verdure, the fruits of all which, one only excepted, he might freely eat; while the birds
melodiously around, and all creation was joy : And mindeth me still more of the paradise above, where
songs of everlasting praises to God and the Lamb still resound.
May I join the happy concert of the redeemed before the throne, in singing that eternally sweet anthem of gratitude, “ to him that loved us, and washed us from
our sins in his own blood, and hath made
us kings and priests unto God and his Fa" ther; to him be glory, and dominion, for “ever and ever! Amen." Rev. i. 5. where a, pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceedeth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb: and in the midst of the street of the city,and on either side of the river, is there the tree of life, which beareth twelve manner of fruits, and yieldeth her fruit every month ; the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations, Rev. xxii. 1, 2.
Here grow a number of hazels : though they be but little esteemed in comparison of most other trees in the wood, yet are there none more fruitful, if indeed much : though they be humble plants, yet are they as useful in their kind as some other trees which are more highly valued.
Not to speak of various other uses they are for, that of hoops for supporting staves of far more valued wood, is none of the least : and as they hold up the staves, and the staves them, thus the one supporting the other forms a complete vessel : so though the poor are numerous in the world, and but little esteemed in comparison of the rich and great ; yet are they, generally speaking, most fruitful in holiness and good works.