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would we exchange our situation for a less serious, affliction?
Were we to view properly the miseries to which we are subject, we would always find abundant reasons to be grateful to God.
But if we lose sight of those rules that should direct our judgments, we will imagine even in the happiest state, cause to murmur and be dissatisfied.
Did we adore, as we ought, the wisdom of God, we would easily leave to him the government of the world.
Could we understand the hidden motives of his decrees, we would discover in them the most perfect union of justice and mercy.
Teach us, O thou light of our minds! teach us to interpret with submission thy sacred ordinances.
Suffer us not to follow our private spirit, lest we create for ourselves fictitious and voluntary evils.
May we always look upon the afflictions thou sendest us, as means to correct, and not to destroy us; to prevent some sin or afford the opportunity of practising some virtue.
· May we always believe that the trials thou dispensest, will be taken away, as soon as they cease to be requisite for our real welfare.
Meanwhile, O gracious Lord! we will be resigned to thy holy will, and not impatiently dictate to thy providence.
We will rejoice that our lot is in thy hands; and that thy mercy will dispose all things for our greater good.
Direct, as thou pleasest, our condition here; only our portion hereafter; let it be with thy elect!
Glory be to the Father, &c.
Ant. Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all things else shall be added unto you.
Our Father, &c.
LESSON 1.—Prov. 3 and 16. FORGET not the law of God, and let thy heart keep his commandments. For they shall add to thee length of days, and years of life and peace. Have confidence in the Lord
with all thy heart, and rely not on thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps. Be not wise in thy own conceit: fear God, and decline from evil. Let not those things depart from thy eyes; keep the law and counsel; and there shall be life to thy soul and grace to thy mouth. Then shalt thou walk confidently in the way, and thy foot shall not stumble. If thou sleep, thou shalt not fear; thou shalt rest and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear or of the power of the wicked falling upon thee; for the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken. When the ways of a man shall please the Lord, he will convert even his enemies to peace. The heart of man disposeth his way; but the Lord must direct his steps. .
R. Though there is no wisdom nor counsel against thee, O Lord! for all things are directed by thee to the accomplishment of thy ends, thou guidest in thy merey all who submit to thee. *Grant that always mistrusting ourselves, we may rely with confidence on thy goodness.
. V. In vain should we labour without thy blessing, for against thy decrees no policy can stand. Grant that always, &c.
LESSON 2.—Eccli. 2, 3, and Eccl. 8. .. When thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. Take all that shall be brought upon thee, and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience: for gold and silver are tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. Seek not the things that are too high for, thee, and search not into things above thy ability; but the things that God hath commanded thee, think on them always: and in many of his works be not curious. Because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the wicked, the children of men'commit evil without fear. But though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and by patience be borne withal, I know that it shall be well with them that fear God. There are just men to whom evils happen as
though they had done the works of the wicked, and there are wicked men who are as secure, as if they had the deeds of the just. All things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good and the evil.
R. O Lord! we adore the dispensations of thy providence, that maketh thy sun to shine upon the good and the bad. Thou dispensest the blessings of this life with a seeming negligence, to teach us, * That heaven is our destination, that nothing but eternity merits our serious attention.
V. Guide us, we beseech thee, in our journey through the world, and permit us not to be discouraged by the trials we meet with; but rather to learn from them that important instruction - That heaven, &c.
LESSON 3.—Matth. 6. Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall èat, nor for your body what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold