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evils of life, let us look up to that happy multitude who have come out of great tribulation, and now stand before the throne. Until the day arrive which shall join us to that blessed assembly, let us shew ourselves worthy of the hope that is before us, by supporting, with a constant mind, the trials of our fidelity. Be patient ; stablish your hearts.
The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
From the prospects which the text has afferded, we may likewise learn what the spirit is which should regulate our life, Sanctity of conduct, dignity of character, elevation of affections, become those who expect to mingle with angels, and spirits of just men made perfect. I mean not that such prospects should carry away our whole attention from the present world, where undoubtedly lies the chief scene of human actions, of human duty. But while we act as inhabitants of the earth, we ought at the same time so to remember our connection with a better world, as not to debase ourselves with what is mean, not to de, file ourselves with what is impure, not to entangle ourselves among what is ensnaring, in the present state. Let neither its advantages elate, nor its disappointments deject us; but with an equal spirit, with a mind full of im
mortality, let us pass through all the changes of this mortal life.
Finally, Let the discoveries of future happiness inspire us with suitable gratitude to God and Christ; to the eternal Father, who originally decreed such rewards to the righteous ; and to the Son, who acts in the high character of the dispenser of the divine mercies, and the great restorer of the fallen race of men.
Particularly when approaching to God in solemn acts of devotion, such as we are at this day to perform, let gratitude be alive and ardent in our heart. The commemoration of our Saviour's death is in a high degree suited to awaken every emotion of ten, derness and love. It brings before us, under one view, all the obligations which we lie under to this great benefactor of mankind. When just ready to suffer for our sake, he instituted this holy sacrament, and said, Do this in remembrance of me.—Whom, O blessed Jesus ! shall we ever remember, if we are capable of forgetting Thee? Thee, to whom we owe the forgiveness of sin, and the restoration of divine favour; our victory over death, and our hope of life eternal ! Thou hast enlarged our views beyond these territories of disorders and darkness. Thou hast discoverod to us the city of the living God. Thou setopen the gates of that new Jerusalem; and leadest us into the path of life. Thou, from age to age, gatherest out of every nation, and kindred and people, that multitude which stand before the throne. Thou bringest them out of great tribulation. Thine are the white robes with which they are invested; thine, the palms which they bear; and by thee they are placed under the light of the divine countenance for
1 CORINTH. xiii. 5.
Charity-thinketh no evil.
Religion and Government are the two great foundations of order and comfort among mankind. Government restrains the outrages and crimes which would be subversive of society, secures the property, and defends the lives, of its subjects. But the defect of government is, that human laws can extend no farther than to the actions of men, Though they protect us from external violence, they leave us open on different sides to be wounded. By the vices which prevail in society, our tranquillity may be disturbed, and our lives in various ways embittered, while government can give us no redress. Religion supplies the insufficiency of law, by striking at the root of those disorders which occasion so much misery in the world. Its professed scope is to regulate, not actions alone, but the temper and inclinations. By this means it ascends to the sources of conduct; and
ineffectual would the wisest system of legislation prove for the happiness of mankind, if it did not derive aid from religion, in softening the dispositions of men, and checking many of those evil
passions to which the influence of law cannot possibly reach.
We are led to this reflection by the description given in the context of charity, that great principle in the Christian system. The Apostle places it in a variety of lights, and under each of them explains its operation by its internal effects; not by the actions to which it gives rise, but by the dispositions which it produces in the heart. He justly supposes, that, if the temper be duly regulated, propriety of action will follow, and good order take place in external behaviour. Of those characters of charity, I have chosen one for the subject of this Discourse, which leads to the consideration of a virtue highly important to us, both as Christians and as members