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sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”
• Though the sorrowful circumstances through which we have to pass, appear to be a great drawback from our pleasures ; yet when they are rightly considered, they have a tendency to do us good in our latter end. They lead us to ponder intensely upon the cause of all our sufferings --- They induce us to seek that only remedy which God has provided, to reconcile us to all his will: and they prepare us for that uninterrupted, and everlasting state of happi. ness, in his presence, where there is fulness of joy; and at his right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore.
Sin is doubtless the fruitful source of: all our sorrows. For God said to the woman ; 66 I will greatly multiply thy sorrow in thy conception : and in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children." Let us' not suppose that these sorrows arise merely from natural causes ; but let us carefully trace them to their original cause ; so will our minds be instructed to bow with submission to the Almighty, to confess our guilty condition, and to accept with resignation, those tokens of his displeasure against sin, which were
intended to humble us before him; and to teach us to seek consolation in that wonderful and most gracious remedy, which he has in his great love provided. For the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. - The Lord Jesus Christ was born of a woman, to accomplish the redemption and salvation of man. It is truly good to be afflicted, when our afflictions lead us to seek the forgiveness of our sins, by faith in that work which was completed the Redeemer for the pardon of the guilty.
O may our sorrows sweetly lead
On Christ, the living bread;
In him our living head.' As those sorrows naturally arise out of the connexion subsisting between married people, they ought to be considered here. They are indeed sometimes very grievous; but when they are not overwhelming in their nature, (and that, thanks be to God for his mercy, is but seldom the case,) they may be considerably softened and alleviated, by the tender solicitude,
and affectionate concern, and attention of the husband.
It is difficult to conceive of a more interesting object, than a woman in the season of pregnancy, drawing near to her sorrowful hour. What can more effectually operate on the feelings of humanity, than such a woman, expressing her sorrows only by her tears !
Will not such a scene • To pensive drops the ardent eye beguile, Since beauty's tears are lovelier than her smile; On nature's throbbing anguish pour relief, And teach impassion'd souls the joy of grief? To soothe, to encourage, and to comfort her, must be the husband's care : and many an earnest prayer is sent to heaven on these occasions.
God has mercifully appointed, that the sorrows of the mother should soon be lost in the pleasure which she enjoys in her infant. When the painful season is over,
She remembers no more her anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world."
Thus it has pleased God, that our comforts, and our sorrows, should be intermixed. The sorrows of the marriage state, without the pleasures, could not be endured. And could we have the pleasures, without the sorrows, we should be in danger of forgeting that we are by na. ture rebels against our Maker; and are under the sentence of death as sinners ;that we hold our lives upon sufferance, and know not when we shall be called to appear before our Judge. And even now, although we have so many remembrancers of our mortality, alas! how unmindful are we of the necessity of preparing for eternity!'
Children, my dear Sir, bring their pleasures, and they also bring their sorrow's. It has become a common saying respecting children, that they are careful comforts. They are exposed to numerous diseases, which are exceedingly trying to their parents, and very dangerous to themselves. That heart must be hard indeed, that does not sympathize with the affectionate and deeply afflicted mother, when she watches with anxious care, night after night, her tender infant, struggling with the agonies of disease, which threatens its dissolution. But the feelings oi the father, who sees his dear partner weeping tears of affection over their beloved child, who can possibly describe?
The burning fever! Oh, name it not! The convulsed frame!-The distorted
features !-Oh my too busy meddling memory, how quickly dost thou retrace in dreadful succession, such scenes of anguish, which recollected even now, afflict my pained heart! Ah me! it was my sad lot to witness those convulsive struggles, as the infant lay in the agonies of death upon his mother's knees; and to hide the tou sad sight from the mother's eyes, by placing myself between her and the infant. Then did I share with her the load of grief and sorrow, which almost overwhelmed us both. O resignation! what an inestimable treasure art thou !-but what heart-rending scenes we poor mortals must pass through, before thou canst gain complete possession of our bosoms!
The circumstance of my having buried four children in their infancy, brings to my recollection an excellent epitapb, published many years ago in a periodical work; and said to bave been copied from a tomb-stone in a church-yard in Cam. bridge.
.. Bold infidelity, turn pale and die !
1 Say-are they lost or sav'd ?
Ah reason, how deprav'd! Revere the Bible's sacred page, the knot's untied; They died, for Adam sinn'd. They live, for Jesus died,'