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moment, though they be Christians, answer in the same words from their own hearts. Judge, brethren, of the deep affliction of such a man as could utter these sentences of integrity, and then think of his wife's exhortation to him, " Curse God and die.” Ought she not to have bowed with him and have comforted him instead of provoking him to displeasure?

After professing his own constancy of attachment to his wife and the regard he had for his neighbours' domestic happiness, he proceeds to speak of his integrity in the day of his prosperity with others:— "If (says he) I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maid-servant when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God riseth up, and when He visiteth what shall I answer Him? Did not He that made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb? If I have withholden the poor from their desire or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or have

eaten my morsel alone and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if I have seen any perish for want of clothing or any poor without covering, if his loins have not blessed me and if he were not warm with the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless when I saw my help in the gate-then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade and mine arm be broken from the bone: for destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of His highness I could not endure; if I have made gold my hope or have said to fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined,

or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the Judge, for I should have denied the God that is above; if I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me or lifted up myself when evil found him. Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul; the stranger did not lodge in the street, but I opened my door to the traveller; if I covered my transgressions, like Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom...... if my land cry against me or that the furrows thereof complain; if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life-let thistles grow instead of wheat and cockle instead of barley." And yet, my brethren, this is the man, on account of whose loss of all the blessings of this life for a time, his wife would have him give up the integrity of his heart, and "Curse God and die."

Was it possible that so great and good a man could be guilty of such transgression? No: it was impossible, for a fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter waters at the same source. The heart cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. A man cannot be a man of integrity and dishonesty at the same tine. He cannot be merciful and cruel, righteous and unrighteous, faithful and unfaithful-it is impossible. As the heart is, so is the man, let him be whosoever he will. It is not his condition in life that can make him a different man rich or poor, his heart, if fixed upon God, will make his hand do good; if not, his whole soul will be set upon evil. As a man acts towards others, so

will God do to him: therefore is our Saviour's advice" All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets" (Matt. vii. 12). If urged by misfortune, by the prospect of evil, by the loss of temporal things-if reduced from riches to poverty and in ever so much misery-take the example of Job and reflect upon it in the same way that I now do, whilst I advise you to put your trust in the Lord and fear not what man can do unto you. You will find that Job did not fail to pour forth lamentations—yes, deep heartfelt lamentations -upon his mortal condition; but his wife could never persuade him to forsake his God.

Poverty, misfortune, and distress are, in the eyes of some, great crimes. Every species of accusation is made against a man who becomes poor; but of the rising, rich, and fortunate, how lavish are the praises of men! And these days are not different in that respect than those of old. A rich man's wife is just as apt to depise him, should he fall into poverty in these days, as Job's wife was in her day. What matters his religion when he can no longer do by her as he used to do? She will, if not herself a good woman, a true Christian, and a faithful wife, be very apt to say-"Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die." But what was the reply the faithful Job made to her?

"Thou speakest

What! shall

as one of the foolish women speaketh. we receive good at the hands of God and shall we not receive evil?" "In all this did not Job sin foolishly?" And I would from this example warn all men that they do the like. True wisdom is to be prepared against those unforeseen changes which in

this life are the common lot of all men.

We see

them incessantly in the world, until it becomes proverbial among us-"There's a change in that family!" I dare say we can all remember, even in the space of our own observation, great men reduced and little men exalted-s -some made rich, others made poor; and Scripture tells us such is the Lord's doing that "He maketh rich and maketh poor: He lifteth up and bringeth low"-even the beggar from the dunghill or the shepherd from the sheepfold, to set him among princes and to make him inherit the throne of glory; and also pulls down the proud Nebuchadnezzar from his kingdom to herd with the cattle of the field and to eat grass like the ox; and can we any of us tell what may be our own future lot? In the day of your prosperity, my friends, be not proud nor forget the poor: forget not that they are your own flesh and blood, and despise not their petitions, so in the day of your adversity you shall rejoice: yes, you shall have a sweet consolation and be comforted and exalted, as Job was, in your latter end. It is a blessed thing to be poor-yes, poor in spirit as well as in poverty. I say it is a blessed thing, provided you remember Him who for our sakes left the riches in heaven to become poor on earth.

I say not that it is a blessed thing to be idle, lazy, discontented, grumbling against our betters, envious of their riches, and stirred up with hatred against them, for this is anything but a blessed state; but to be poor and industrious, to be conscious that what God bestows is best for us-this, I say, is a blessed state." Shall we receive good at the hands of God and shall we not receive evil?" Evil comes not

from God, though He may permit the enemy of mankind to afflict us on purpose to try our faith. God is the author of good only and does not willingly afflict any of us; but, should the evil days come and the years draw on in which the disappointments of life are apt to make you fretful, oh, do not despair!-do not in your heart curse the Author of all good as if He were the cause of your calamity, but preserve the integrity of your faith in Christ Jesus your Lord.

In the days of youth, buoyant with the expectations of life, we are but too apt to forget that those advanced in years beyond our own have tasted of the bitter cup of misery, and found by experience the vanity of all things under the sun. We are but too apt to think their advice censorious, and to treat their admonitions with cool disregard; but the days will come when you will all be made to experience the same in your own lives, be you in what condition you may. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." O, let us all strive to do what good we can whilst we live on the face of the earth; for soon will the archangel's trumpet sound, and we none of us then can any longer work our work of probationary righteousness. Whilst it is called today, let us bless the Lord our God, and serve Him with all our hearts, our souls, and minds, doing the will of God from the heart, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Prosperity we cannot long enjoy death will come and level all distinctions. It will then be the use or the abuse we have made of our temporal things which shall turn to our account. Riches shall profit nothing in the days of wrath; but righteousness alone delivereth from

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