Изображения страниц

er one may be in regard to those trifles, in which property consists, he has as ample a share in the great bounties of Providence, as sure a prospect of God's blessing on his labours, as high encour. agement to industry in his calling, as the wealthiest passessor on the globe.

Harvest calls to frugality, as well as industry.

Blessings bestowed by a divine hand, are to be used according to the divine will. Those precious fruits of the earth, which are dealt out only at cer. tain seasons, and which, by no art or industry of man, can at other seasons be obtained, should be applied to honest and virtuous purposes ; not wastefully consumed in criminal indulgences. What would you think of a beggar, who immediately perverts to intemperance the charitable allowance made him for his necessary sụbsistence ? The same must you think of those, who by a prodigal mispense of the blessings of one harvest, re. duce themselves to want before the return of another.

5. Harvest inculcates benevolence.

Religion consists in an imitation of God's moral character, especially of his diffusive and disinterested goodness. Fruitful seasons are instances of his goodness, and calls to imitate him by doing good to those around us. “Give to him who asketh of thee,” says our Saviour, " and from him who would borrow of thee, turn not thou away, Do good, that ye may be the children of ther, who is in heaven; for he maketh his son to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.

The system of nature gives us daily lectures on benevolence. The world subsists by a reciprocation of benefits, and interchange of kindnesses. The clouds send down, in showers, the water, which by gentle exhalations they receive from the

your Fa.

carth. By the medium of rains, the sea remits, to recruit the streams, that water which they had poured into his bosom. The air, by its constant motion, agitates the herbs and flowers of the field, and thus quickens the circulation of their fluids, and contributes to their growth. The flowers and herbs, thus moved and enlivened, emit their balsamick sweets to perfume and enrich the air. The sun sheds his beams on the earth and other revolting worlds; these reflect his beams, which, after various repercussions from globe to globe, may return back to their source, and yield their assistance to repair his perpetual wastes. Man bestows his labour on the soil ; and, the soil repays his la. bour by the sustenance which it gives him. He employs the beasts in his service, and, in his turn, : he serves the beasts with that food, which they alone could not procure for themselves. This is the constitution of nature; and, What can be its moral design, but to teach men their obligation to promote each other's happiness, the happiness of society, and of the race, by mutual offices of kindness? The bodies of the system tend toward each other, and move in their orbits, by the great law of attraction. The members of society should be di. rected in their courses, and drawn to one common centre, the general happiness, by the grand law of benevolence.

6. Harvest reminds us of the shortness of life, and calls us to the diligent improvement of our time.

How fast one harvest rolls on after another! How swiftly the intervening months have flown away! A few harvests more, and time will have reaped the earth of all its present growth, and a new one will succeed. As one harvest follows another, so passes one generation of mortals, and another comes. Let harvest then awaken our attention to the future world, and excite our speedy prepara,

tion for that happy clime, where seasons no more walk their rounds, and age no more succeeds to age ; where the blest inhabitants abide secure, and whatever numbers enter still there is room; where one perpetual summer smiles, immortality glides in a constant stream, the trees of life are always verdent, and yield their fruits every month; where will be no more toilsome labour, poisonous curse, nor wasting disease ; but life, without decay; fulness, without fear or want; rest, without interruption; and joy, without mixture of grief.

Harvest is an industrious season. When this calls, time is precious. It is always precious. We have a business before us which loudly demands our diligence. Harvest is the time to provide for approaching winter. Life is the time to prepare for the eternal world. Lay up for yourselves a good treasure against the time to come. Provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in heaven, where neither moths corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. How industriously you labour for the meat which perishes! How anxious you appear to sustain a body, which, after all you can do, is mortal still ! Rather labour for the meat, which endures to eternal life, the meat which alone can nourish the immortal soul. Food and raiment are needful for the body; seek them you may ; but rather seek the kingdom of God, and these things will be added.

7. Harvest should be a season of self- examination.

We are God's husbandry. Much has he done for us. What could he have done more ? -Have we answered his cost? When we see our fields fruitful under our culture, it is proper to inquireWhether we are as fruitful under the culture of the divine hand ?-_Whether we have abounded in the fruits of righteousness, in proportion to the bless

ings which we have received from heaven? If we bear no fruit, we shall soon be rejected. God has let us alone this year. But behold, the ax is laid to the root of the trees; every tree that beareth not good fruit, will be hewn down and cast into the fire. The field, which bringeth forth herbs, meet for him by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God. But that which beareth thorns and briars, is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.

Lastly Harvest reminds us of our obligation to faith and patience

We have a kind of natural faith, which, standing on the ground of past experience, looks forward with expectation of a future harvest. Let Christians, enlightened by Revelation, look beyond this world to things unseen ; and, relying on the promise, truth, and grace of God, anticipate the blessings of the heavenly state. In full persuasion of the glory revealed, let them patiently endure the trials, and cheerfully perform the duties, allotted them in the present world. Let them not be weary in welldoing, but abound in the work of the Lord, knowing, that in due time, they shall reap, if they faint not; and if they sow bountiful. ly, they shall reap also bountifully.

They have need of patience, that, after they have done the will of God, they may inherit the promises. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, till he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the lord draweth nigh. God is not un. righteous to forget your work of faith, your labour of love, and your patience of hope : Give diligence, therefore, to the full assurance of hope to the end ; and be not slothful, bat followers of them, who through faith and patience, inherit the promises.


The Fearfulness of our Frame illustrated and im


[ocr errors][merged small]

I am fearfully and wonderfully wade.

HAT we are wonderfully made, we are immediately convinced, whenever we contemplate our frame.

What a variety of parts are formed, and of uses designed within the compass of a human body? How exactly is every part adapted to its purpose, and one part adjusted to another ? All the parts of this complex body are created and nourished from the same earth; and yet how various is their tex. ture and consistence? How firm and solid the bones, how soft and pliant the flesh, how tough and flexible the muscles, how fine and feeling the nerves, how quick and lively the organs of sensation, how promptly the limbs obey the dictates of the will ?

Wonderful is the structure of the vessels, which receive and distribute the nutriment, convey the blood, and carry on the respiration; and no less wonderful is the action of those vessels in performing their respective functions. Mysterious is the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »