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Wisdom will comfort us in the day of sorrow, and support us in the hour of death.
Like the holy ark accompanying the camp of Israel, she will go with us over Jordan, and conduct us to our inheritance in the land of promise. “ Exalt her,” says the wise man, in the words immediately following my text-"Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; “ she shall bring thee to honour when thou dost em“ brace her; she shall give to thine head an orna“ment of grace, a crown of glory shall she deliver "to thee.”
To a community the advantages of wisdom are many and great. A nation glories not less in the learning, than in the valour, of her sons. Long and illustrious is the train of literary heroes which Britain beholds with an honest and conscious pride, who from age to age have filled the most exalted stations in church and state, or presided in the different departments of science, or, from the shades of an honourable and lettered retirement, sent forth their writings for the entertainment and instruction of mankind.
My younger brethren, the hope of the rising generation, our future joy and crown, all these were men like yourselves, trained in the same course of education. Think of their examples, and emulate their fame. The trophies of Miltiades, you know, would not suffer Themistocles to sleep. Hear the author of the book of Ecclesiasticus upon this subject, in a chapter read constantly at our universities on the days appointed for a solemn commemoration of founders and benefactors : " Let us now
praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. “ The Lord hath wrought great glory by "them “ through his great power from the beginning. Such as “ did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for " their power, giving counsel for their understand
ing, and declaring prophecies : leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learn.
ing meet for the people; wise and eloquent in " their instructions. All these were honoured in “their generations, and were the glory of their 66 times. Their bodies are buried in peace, but 66 their
names live for evermore.” While the world shall last, and any regard be paid to that which deserves regard," the people will tell of their “ wisdom, and the congregation will show forth their
If, therefore, there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things, meditate on them, give yourselves wholly to them. Time is on the wing. It flies, to return no more. Seize the moments as they pass, and employ them to the best advantage. Lose not the golden opportunity, the sweet hour of prime, the morning of youth, health, and strength. Conquer the difficulties at first setting out, and all will be pleasure ever after. Labour now, and comfortable will be your rest when the season of labour shall be over.
“ For glorious " is the fruit of labour, and the root of wisdom “ shall never fall awaym.” Let the sanctity of your manners keep pace with the improvement of your minds. To your governors be respectful and obedient; to your companions, gentle and loving ; to all, courteous and obliging. And that the divine blessing may be upon you in what you do, remem. ber to begin and end your studies with prayer. “ If
1 Ecclus, xliv.
m Wisdom, iii. 15.
any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Let him ask That, as the Son of David did, and all things else, judged proper for him, shall be added to it' Pray, therefore, that God would “ give you wisdom that sitteth by his throne, and
reject you not from among his children: that he “ would send her out of his holy heavens, and from " the throne of his glory, that being present, she “ may labour with
you may know what is pleasing unto him. For she knoweth and under“ standeth all things, and she shall lead you soberly s in your doings, and preserve you by her power. “ So shall your works be acceptableP” in the sight of heaven and earth, bringing glory to God, credit to your instructors, comfort to your friends, honour to yourselves, and benefit to your country.
n James, i. 5.
• 1 Kings, iii. 11.
Wisdom, ix. 4. 10, &c.
THE PRAISE OF GOD PERFECTED OUT OF THE
MOUTHS OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS.
PsALM, Xxxiv. 11. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach
fear of the Lord.
It is one mark of that wisdom by which the world is governed, that the assistance afforded is proportioned to the necessities of the times wherein such assistance is called for. When the darkness which covers a land becomes so thick as to make men despair of its removal, light shall suddenly arise from an unexpected quarter; small indeed, and scarce discernible, at first; but gently and gradually increasing, till the darkness vanishes, and the perfect day is formed. When corruption of one kind or other has in such a manner overspread the face of religion, that its features are scarcely any longer to be distinguished, a reforming hand shall appear, to do away the soil contracted in a course of ages, and restore the picture to its original beauty. If a preacher mentions the iniquity of the age,
it is regarded by many as a sort of cant; as a neces
sary ingredient in the composition of a sermon; and we are asked, if we think nations have not been as bad formerly? Undoubtedly many have; for which reason, God destroyed them, and raised up others to supply their places. In the days of Noah, and in those of Lot, men were as wicked as they are now: they were more so; for a flood came upon them in one case, a storm of fire and brimstone in the other. And whenever we shall be altogether like them (which God forbid we ever should be), judgement, in some shape, will seize upon us.
“The kingdom of God shall be taken from us, and given
to a nation that will bring forth the fruits thereof." Such is the rule of Heaven's proceedings, and it altereth not. We are not yet overthrown, because our measure is not yet filled up; but if we continue daily employed in filling it, that measure must in time be full.
The matter is however, of late, “come home to " our business and our bosoms.” A lawless tribe of profligate, desperate, unfeeling villains have broken loose upon the public, to rob, to maim, and to murder; so that we can no longer travel with comfort upon the road, or sleep with security in our beds. Numbers of these wretches are from time to time apprehended, and crowded together in prisons; from whence some come forth again to make fresh ravages in society, tenfold more the children of hell (if possible) than they went in; while others furnish out mournful and horrible executions of twenty or thirty at a time, to the astonishment of the kingdoms around us, and our own shame and confusion of face. How