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should be shown toward it. But the cases are innumerable, in which evils of this kind are not to be traced to such sources; and in all cases, it is the safest, the most Christian course, if we must err, to err on the side of forbearance and charityas being ourselves also in the body.

The object intended, by our present reference to a state of Adversity, will perhaps be best accomplished by considering it in three respects—its Evils, its Dangers, and its Remedies.

I. In adverting to the Evils which the children of adversity endure, we purpose to do little more than name some of the more observable :-the briefest review of these, may assist in placing the subject more completely before us.

Many devout persons are called to pass extended intervals, sometimes a series of years, in a state of SICKNESS. The body, subject to frequent returns of suffering, confined to its chamber, or stretched on its bed, becomes the monitor of the soul, suggesting much as to the iniquity of our trespasses. To such, the night is often a season of painful watchings, unrelieved by forgetfulness or repose, yielding nothing of renovated strength; and what to them are the glorious sun, the green earth, the refreshing breeze, or the animation and hope supplied by nature's beauties and abundance? What to them are the many pleasures of social intercourse, or of active life? To such persons, these often are as though they were not.

POVERTY is another form of adversity. This is an evil generally allied to care, disappointment, and suffering. Some are inured to it from their childhood, others are plunged into it from a state of comfort or affluence. In the former case, it sometimes gives much of the pervading force of habit to anxiety, mortification, and sorrow. In the latter, it frequently calls forth those violent agitations and griefs which the suddenness, or the marked character of the change, must have a tendency to excite. Much also of the bitterness of poverty springs from our sympathy with others. The parent could bear it all; but there are his children, and to see their wants unprovided for, their sanguine hopes blighted, this proves a burden not easy to be borne. What is thus true, with regard to children, is also true in reference to all the objects of affection. It is their suffering, more than our own, which makes the pressure of necessity so formidable an evil.

Then there are sufferings from REPROACH, to which both the rich and the poor are liable. Most men know what it is to have their faults blazoned abroad with malevolent industry, and to find them subject to the worst possible colouring? There are seasons in which the most praiseworthy of their actions are set forth as proceeding from the basest motives, and when not a few things are laid to their charge which they know not. It is seen, at such times, that envy and ill-will can devise the most ingenious modes of

detraction, and that men can become so depraved as willingly to seek their own pleasure in another's pain, their own elevation in another's overthrow. Christians are especially exposed to this kind of suffering. The earthly-minded are, necessarily, the enemies of Jesus Christ; they must, in consequence, be opposed to his religion wherever they see it as it is; and the language of reproach will always abound where malevolence abounds. Hence, in the language of scripture, to follow the Redeemer is to bear his cross. Where Christians are the objects of aversion, or contempt, there the elements of persecution are at work; and these, as we have shown in a preceding chapter, betray themselves in innumerable shapes. The manner in which intolerance may develope itself will be determined by the circumstances of time and place, but its existence will generally follow from the causes we have noticed. It may not be allowed to avail itself of the prison, or the stake; but it may inflict a more lingering, and, in consequence, a more suffering martyrdom.

THE BEREAVEMENTS OCCASIONED BY DEATH CONstitute another prevalent form of adversity. Losses of this nature are such as we fail to understand until called to experience them. There is a solemnity, an unearthliness, in such events, which we deeply feel, but cannot describe. There is something in the grief awakened by them, which the sight of the departed, and the thought of what must follow, could alone produce. The endeared

object dead! No one chord of sympathy left to vibrate, as we stand near, and sigh, and weep, and repeat the much-loved name! We feel at such moments as though belonging ourselves to the dead rather than the living;-our most ardent curiosity, and most earnest longing, being fixed on the invisible and the future. Not till then do we understand the rendings of his noble heart, who exclaimed, 0 Absalom, my son! my son! Absalom, my son! would God I had died for thee!

We shall only remark farther, that, in most minds, there are SECRET GRIEFS, the full nature of which is only known to the sufferer, and to the Searcher of hearts. There is a bitterness sometimes experienced, from which not only the stranger, but the nearest connexions are excluded. Burdens of this description will be more or less weighty, according to mental disposition, or the influences which may have moulded the character. The causes producing them are often complex, undefined, or such as the individual cannot bring himself to converse upon. As a Christian, he can speak of them to God; and it is chiefly in doing so that he finds his measure of relief.

To adversity, in all these shapes, the Christian is liable, in common with other men; and whereever such dispensations occur they bring the character to a kind of trial. They serve to call out the good or evil that may be within; and lamentable are the disclosures which are often made. During a considerable period in the history of the

church, it has pleased the Almighty that persecution should form the chief means of trial with his professed worshippers. But it must be evident, that he can render other means no less decisive in distinguishing between those who really serve him, and those who serve him not-between the form of godliness and the power of it. The trial of our faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, shall not fail of taking place, because the wrath of pagan or popish persecution has been rendered comparatively harmless. It should be our daily prayer, that, as the effect of what God is doing in relation to us, we may be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Among the things of most importance to this end, is a careful attention to the Dangers which always belong, more or less, to a state of suffering.

II. One of the most obvious of these, results from our disposition, at such times, TO ENVY THE LOT OF THE PROSPEROUS. It has appeared that even Job was not without astonishment at the state of the ungodly, as compared with his own. He describes himself as trembling, while he inquiresWherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? The afflictions of the man who urged this question included all the kinds of suffering we have enumerated. Disease and poverty, reproach, bereavement, and nameless sorrows,— all were appointed to him. But the wicked he

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