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above, that the young blade may spring up-that the showers from heaven and the sunbeams after the clouds may so fertilize the earth as to give him promise of an abundant crop: hope animates him as he sees the usual indications of coming spring; and, unless those hopes be nipped in the bud by some unforeseen calamity, he feels confident that the orderly course of nature will not give him disappointment, but that God will give the increase.

His hope, then, is in God, and sweet is his hope who knows that God-that He is so bountiful as to make his sun rise upon the good and upon the bad, and sendeth rain upon the just and upon the unjust; but, if he thinks a little while, he must perceive that there must come a time when those very lands must look dark in his eyes, and all his labours and hopes of profit must be for others to reap, when the clouds of heaviness shut out the lights of earthly hope, and with Job he is made to exclaim-"Where is now my hope ?"

Happy man! who can lie down to rest having no desire in his soul, saving that the same God who will gather him to his fathers will continue His mercies to those who are to come after him, and bless even his vanishing labours for their benefit! Thus does a good man leave his inheritance for his children's children, and a blessing for ages yet to come. So with the labourer: he has hope-he knows that God gives him health and strength, and that though none are without difficulties, that industry and application will assuredly meet with reward: his hope is not that blind and foolish fancy which thinks that any good is to arise from laziness-that if he neither labours nor plants, nor digs his soils, nor clears his

land, nor works at all, spontaneous produce will spring up whether he is industrious or not. "The slothful man (says Solomon) roasteth not that which he took in hunting, but the fruit of the diligent is precious." The sluggard says, "There is a lion without. I shall be slain in the streets;" so he will not rise to labour, but folds his arms a little longer in his bed and gets into lazy, self-indulgent habits, until his difficulties increase; so that, like a host of armed men, they are not to be subdued, and he finds first one master, then another, give him up, until degarded and miserable he is himself without support, and the happiness of his life is gone; he is led to exclaim at last" Where is now my hope?" Hope never forsakes the faithful. Aye, remember this, young man -hope never forsakes the faithful! Even in the darkest days of affliction_even when the clouds of adversity rise like monsters to hide the sun-the faithful will still hope against hope for that good which he sees not, but assuredly looks for, it and it will come.

Let but a man use the humble means which are at his disposal-let him but cast his bread upon the waters and be faithful-he shall find it return to him in God's own time beyond all doubt. As we grow older in life, and things wear a different aspect than they did in our youth when our ideas were green and our inexperience alone flourishing, we begin to see things assuming that position of truth which, in our younger days, we thought far distant. As it was in the days of Noah, so is it in our day: the sun shines, the same earth produces the same fruit, men labour and toil thereupon, seed-time and harvest continue, day and night, winter and summer. But as we grow in years we see our hopes change, and

things we cherished fondly in prospect, when either possessed or vanished, leave us to learn that disappointment is attached to all such fleeting things, and we cannot find any of them permanent. Scarcely will a man believe how short and unsatisfactory is any thing upon which he places his hopes. In the possession of the object, be it what it may, he finds many evils coming with it, unforeseen circumstances crowd in upon the very object of his delight, and after all, whatever it was, it brings him very little satisfaction; and when he has it his hopes are fled, and he likewise exclaims with the patriarch

"Where is now my hope?" Oh, look you where you will in life, high up amidst the most ambitious sons of glory who march through fire and sword, or plow the ocean in ships as the great traffickers of the earth, no man attained the victory over his enemies and possessed himself of cities, thrones, empires, and countries of the earth, or the riches of the world, but found little real joy in the possession, but many a sorrow, many a disappointment. But turn to the lower grades of life-look at the lowest-it is the same. The man who possesses nothing save what his hands must toil for, even when he gets that which he most desires, finds labour and vexation come along with it, and a very short enjoyment of that which he seemed so greatly to desire. What then, you will say, is the use of hope if man is always to meet with disappointment? Ah! is there a man among you, even though he should meet with the bitterest disappointment, who would even then be without hope? You would sacrifice the very zest of life if you would sink into despair. If there is a wretched being any where, it is the man without hope, who has no kind of wish

that he may have anything, do thing, or know anything good.

anything, see any

Hope is the friend

of man in every stage of life, though life be full of disappointment: but there are two kinds of hope— namely, hope for the present life, and hope for the future.

Now, though I am fully persuaded that no living man can find any earthly enjoyment permanent-that neither riches, honours, nor emoluments-neither fame, reputation, nor possessions can possibly satisfy his soul-yet God has implanted in his very nature, and confirmed it by His holy word, that he that plougheth should plough in hope, and he that soweth should do the same: but wide is the distinction between the hopes of one man and those of another, even in the affairs of this life. There are men, and by far the greater majority too, who say-" To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and buy, and sell, and get gain: whereas, they know not what shall be on the morrow: for what is their life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away" (James iv. 13, 14). I say there are such men who make all their hopes dependent upon their own wisdom, and whose calculations are fixed only upon their own opinions of things fit and proper for success: these men meet with dreadful disappointments, and scarcely know how to bear their lives when they fail in their speculations, but murmur and complain as if their wisdom had a right to success: "Whereas (says the Apostle James), these men ought to say, "If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that." This is the real foundation of true hope in the present or future lifethe will of God-the submission of the will of man

to that of his Maker: in short, that godliness which is profitable for the life that now is and for that which is to come. "Where is now my hope?" exclaims the disappointed man whose prospects were confined to the attainment of some earthly thing, when he finds that it is fled-that with all his calculation, all his ambitious hopes, his dreams of fortune, place, power, and station, he has got nothing. He is no more than he was and not a bit better off for all his exertions. "Where is now my hope?" As for my hope, who shall see it? It is wind, and why? Because it was not what it submission to the will of God. Had it been so, real humility would have been exalted; and, if disappointment had come, the hopeful man would have seen why it was, that he might learn wisdom.

ought to have been

O, let us learn from this language of the pious Job where to place our hopes with the least possible chance of being disappointed. We have seen this good man afflicted beyond what any of us could endure-at least, beyond what it may in the inscrutable wisdom of the Almighty seem fit that we should any of us endure. Houses, home, riches, children, flocks and herds, all swept away in a few short days; but more than this, Satan's hand is upon him, and his body is afflicted with such a hideous disease as to make him a sight abhorred in the eyes of his fellow-creatures, until he exclaims"Mine eye is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow. My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. They change the night into day; the light is short by reason of darkness; if I wait, the grave is mine house; I have made my bed in the darkness;.

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