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fubje&t would, if raised to power, be a cruel, infolent, unjuft oppreffor; that a petulant, peevish, obftinate servant would make a capricious, fevere, unreafonable mafter.

If we were to carve out our own lot, and to have all our own defires gratified, there is great reafon to prefume, we would throw ourselves into the most difagreeable circumftances with regard to our fouls, and probably confult but ill for our peace and comfort in this world.

Let me put a few questions to every one that fecretly murmurs at his flate. Are you fure, that if you were advanced to a place of power and truft, you would be able to carry with prudence, refolution and integrity? Are you fure, that if you were fupplied with riches in great abundance, you would not allow yourselves to wallow in pleafure, or to fwell in pride? Are you fure, that if you were raifed to high rank, furrounded by flatterers, and worshipped by fervants, you would, in that ftanding, behave with humility and condefcenfion; or that preffed on all hands by bufinefs, company, or amufements, you would ftill religiously fave your time for converfe with God?

A life of piety in an exalted station is a continual conflict with the ftrongest oppofition. What fays experience upon this fubje&t? Solomon did not wholly, and to the end, refift the temptation of riches and dominion. In the whole compafs of hiftory, facred and profane, I do not remember any example of a man's behaving better in point of morals, in a profperous, than an afflicted ftate, excepting one that hath this appearance, viz. Cicero, the Roman orator. His conduct in profperity was full of dignity, and feemed wholly directed to the public good; whereas in adverfity, it was to the last degree mean and abject -But probably the reafon of this was, that pride, or rather vanity, was his ruling paffion, and the great motive to his illuftrious actions; and when he fell into adversity, this difpofition had no fcope for its exercise.

Chriftians, the Lord knoweth our frame, and is well acquainted with what we are able to bear, and confequently what state of life will be upon the whole moft convenient for us. It is, therefore, our intereft, as well as duty, to refer ourselves entirely to him, and leave him to choose VOL. II. Ff

for us. This is not only the doctrine of fcripture, but fo agreeable to reafon and good fenfe, that it has been acknowledged by feveral of the Heathen Philofophers, who have expreffed themselves in terms perfectly fimilar to thofe of the inspired writings. The prayer which Socrates taught his pupil Alcibiades, is very remarkable; that he fhould befeech the Supreme God to give him what was good for him, though he should not ask it; and to withhold from him whatever would be hurtful, though he fhould be fo foolish as to pray for it.

2. As God is certainly the beft judge of what is good for us, fo refignation to him is a moft acceptable expreffion both of our worship and obedience. Single duties are particular acts; refignation is the very habit of obedience. The wifdom and goodnefs of God are acknowledged in the most authentic manner, when his holy and fovereign Providence is humbly fubmitted to, and cordially approved. Every impatient complaint is an impeachment of Providence; every irregular defire is an act of rebellion against God. Therefore a fubmiffive temper must be highly pleasing to God, and is the way to glorify him in the molt unexceptionable manner. The rather indeed, as it is impoflible to attain this temper, but by fincerely laying hold of the covenant of peace, which is ordered in all things and fure. This teaches us the grounds of fubmillion. This procures for us the grace of fubmiffion. This ftains the pride of all human glory. This changes the nature of our poffeffions to us, and us to them. This fpiritualizes a worldly mind, and makes us know, in our own experience, that all the paths of the Lord to his own people, are mercy and peace.

3. Such a temper of mind will greatly contribute to our own inward peace. It will be an effectual prefervative from all unrighteous courfes, and unlawful, or even difhonorable means of increafing our worldly fubftance, and confequently fave us from the troubles or dangers to which men expofe themfelves by fuch practices. It will preferve us from perplexing anxiety, and many uneafy fears for futurity. It will bring us the near and fure way to the greateft of all earthly bleflings-a contented mind.

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Such will be the sweet and delightful effects of depending upon God, and leaving it to him to furnifh our fupplies as he fees moft convenient for us. Whoever can pray with the prophet-" give me neither poverty nor "riches, feed me with food convenient for me❞—may be fully affured, that his defire fhall be gratified, as it is perfectly agreeable to the will of God.

I conclude with reading to you our Saviour's exhortation on this subject—" Therefore, I fay unto you, take no "thought for your life, what ye fhall eat, or what ye shall "drink; nor yet for your body, what ye fhall put on. Is "not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? "Behold the fowls of the air; for they fow not, neither "do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly "Father feedeth them. Are not ye much better than "they? But feek ye first the kingdom of God, and his "righteousness; and all these things fhall be added unto "you."




Lest I be full and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord? Or, lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

PROCEED now to confider the arguments by which the prophet enforces his wife and well conceived prayer. Thele, in connexion with the two branches of the prayer, ftand thus: "Give me not riches, left I be full “and deny thee, and fay, who is the Lord? And give "me not poverty, left I be poor, and fleal, and take the "name of my God in vain." If Agur's prayer is conceived in the moft modeft and humble terms, the reafons, with which he fupports it, are every way becoming a truly wife and good man. You fee in them a prevailing concern for the honor and glory of God, and his own prefer, vation in the paths of piety and virtue. You fee in them a humble fenfe of his own weaknefs, and the danger of temptation; he, therefore, defires to be placed in fuch a fate of life, as will expofe him to the feweft trials. An excellent difpofition this, and highly worthy of our imitation. How happy would it be for us all, if a defire to pleafe God and preferve our integrity, lay always nearest

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