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efficacy and influence, by the spirit of the world.

2. Mark, and keep distinct, the line which Christian prudence draws. The waterman knows how far the sea ebbs and flows, and will not leave his boat to be washed away by the tide ; nor will the mariner, with a good chart, run his vessel on the rocks or shoals. It is the part of Christian prudence to ascertain the limits of duty and of danger, and to observe the land-marks which experience has raised. The same Apostle, who exlorted his brethren to watch and be sober, and provide things honest in the sight of all men, could also say, “ But I would have you without carefulness;" and he assigps a sufficient reason : And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” (1 Cor. vii. 32.) The last words of this passage deserve, and might well repay, a lengthened and lucid comment. One Christian may be capable of conducting, without injury, more business than another; but the grand aim of all should be, to attend upon the Lord without distraction. Whatever agitates the mind when it should be tranquil, divides it when its powers should be united, and damps it when its affections should be alive and ardent, ought to be cautiously “ Now," says


avoided. The bumble vale of life is more quiet and comfortable than the lofty mountain, which lies within the term of perpetual congelation, and is swept hy eternal storms. Gregory the First, of Rome, after leaving a private and retired lot, for a public station of ecclesiastical power, owned, with tears, his sad declension in the spiritual life.

my mind, by reason of pastoral cares, is oppressed with the business of secular persons, and after so fair an appearance of rest, is defiled with the dust of earthly action. And suffering itself to be distracted by outward things, in condescension to many, even while it desires inward things, it returns to them, without doubt more faintly. I weigh therefore what I endure-I weigh what I have lost: and while I look at that which I have lost, my present burdens are more heavy.”

3. Eye the God of Providence. The corroding power of care is most felt, when the hand of God is not seen. Faith in the divine promise of guidance and protection gives sweet repose. The merchant, whose ships are all insured, can rest in peace. Even Marcus Antoninus, the Pagan emperor, exclaimed, “What would it concern me to live in a world void of God, and without a Providence !” But on this interesting topic, with the volume of Scripture in our hands, we have better instructions than

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the wisest philosophers of the heathen world. Elijah prayed, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. In the uttermost part of the camp the people cried unto Moses ; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. “ Now on both these occasions, the interposition of Providence was vouchsafed in answer to prayer. We have here nothing to do with the reason of the connexion subsisting between prayer and providential supply of blessings, or removal of calamity; bat with the fact that such connexion does subsist, and with the promise that such connexion always shall subsist: for this fact, and this promise being incontrovertible, it is equally incontrovertible that the providence of God reaches to all persons and things; their comparative insignificance or grandeur in our estimation, forming no scale for him; but all and each being dealt with according to the rules of matchless wisdom, righteousness, and mercy.”*

4. Learn the art of contentmept. This art you can learn nowhere but in the school of Christ, under the word and spirit of Christ. If it be difficult of acquirement, it is yet within your reach, and certainly attainable.

• I have learned," said Paul, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” This lesson, well

* See Gregory's Letters on the Christian Religion.

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