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thy of such regard, but there are better things above, that will not deceive; and that if you seek them earnestly, you will find them satisfying and sure; for the moth cannot corrupt them, nor can thieves break through, and steal them.
Secondly, seek divine grace, to enable you to set bounds to your desires. We are generally faulty in giving our minds too great liberty. We suffer them to grasp at one thing after another, till at length they are perfectly insatiable. But wisdom, as well as duty, would teach us to set limits to our wishes; and not to allow ourselves to indulge these useless desires of we know not what, but to be content with such things as we already possess. If it be but little, this will make it enough ; if it be only food and raiment, god. liness, with contentment, is great gain. What a happy attainment was that of the apostle, when he could say, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content! I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where, and in all things, I am instructed, both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound and to suffer need.” If we aspire to a temper like this, we shall be but little endangered by the sin of covetousness.
Thirdly, learn to order your affairs with discretion. It is for want of regularity and method, 'that many have their minds so distracted with worldly affairs. They let their desires run into disorder and confusion, and then, many things calling upon them at once, they waste more time in finding their work than would be necessary for doing it; and after all, nothing is done as it should be ; and they grow poor,
notwithstanding all their activity. David says, that " à good man showeth favour, and lendeth; he will guide his affairs with discretion.” Where you see that discretion is joined with liberality and kindness, Christian prudence will enable us to attend to our worldly engagements, and, at the same time, to be mindful of the duties which we owe to God and our neighbour; and it will sometimes lead to such an orderly disposal of affairs, that the most extensive business
be conducted with ease, and with comaratively very little bustle.
Finally, cast all your cares upon God. Till you can do this, it cannot be expected, but that worldly thoughts will continually harass you. While you undertake to manage for yourselves, and consider your health and fortune, and life, and, every thing as depending upon your own industry and skill, it is natural for you to feel many excessive anxieties. It is a wonder that you are not sometimes overcome with disappointment and vexation. But " commit thy ways to the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Trust him with the issue of all your concerns, and leave it to him to prosper the work of your hands or not; in full confidence, that all things shall work together for your good.
This would quiet your hearts. This would effectually dispel covetous, distrustful and distracting thoughts, and give a composure and serenity to your minds, which nothing else can impart. Therefore “ be careful for nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; casting all your care upon him, for
he careth for you. Your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things. The young lions lack and suffer hunger ; but they who seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." Read the scriptures again and again, and if you really believe them, and your hearts be rightly affected, you will ardently join in that prayer of the Psalmist, “ Incline my heart to thy testimonies, and not to cove. tousness."
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore
will I hope in him.
Say this, my fellow-worshippers, and abide by it, and what have you more to desire ? I shall be happy in the success of my labours, and you will be happy in the enjoyment of God. The painful task of warning and reproving every man will be over; and I shall have nothing to do, but to exhort you to make the best improvement you can of so excellent a trea
I shall then have need to caution you against labouring for the meat which perisheth, or minding earthly things only, or principally; for, possessed of such a portion, the kingdoms of this world, and all the glory of them, will seem trifles not worthy your notice. While the rich man glories in his riches, and says to gold, “ Thou art my hope, and to fine gold, Thou art my confidence,” conscious of your superior wealth, you will look down with contempt on his heaps of shining dust, and with secret exul.
5. Thou art my portion, O Lord.” I shall have no need to caution you against being too much dejected at the prospect, or under the pressure of outward calamities, whether personal or public. If God's judgments be in the earth, and the thunder come
nearer and nearer ; or if the fig-tree do not blossom, and the labour of the olive should fail; if death deprive you of those who were your delight and dependance, or poverty rush upon you like an armed man; in such circumstances you will not sink in despair. When others are cast down, you will possess your souls in patience; knowing that you have in heaven a more enduring substance; for the Lord is my portion, says your soul, therefore will I hope in him. I shall have no need to caution you against sin and sinners; for, possessed of such a treasure, you will be jealous of every thing that would expose it to danger. You will abstain from all appearance of evil; and when sinners entice, you will not consent. Should they endeavour to persuade you to cast in your lot among them, as if they were the only happy men in the world, you would be deaf to all their soli, eitations, and say, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth; but remember that the pleasures of sin are but for a season.
But the Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” 0 what a change would there be in our looks; language and pursuits, if these words were the real expression of our hearts! What before we esteemed gain, we should henceforth count as loss : and what. before we despised, would immediately become the object of our most serious concern. Instead of labouring for the meat which perisheth, as if we had nothing else to attend to, we should labour for that meat which endureth to everlasting life: as if nothing else were deserving our notice: and, instead of discontent and despondency, nothing would be heard,