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scenes, of its artificial decorations, and in the perusal of the works which treat of them; for through the avenue of taste and sentiment there is much poison poured into the mind. I have no hesitation in saying, that ninety-nine out of every hundred of our scene hunters, and scene describers, who flood the land with their effusions and reminiscences, are mere idolaters of the visible creation: and the tendency of their rhapsodies is to foster and engender the like spirit in every one who reads their writings, or, under the inspiration of their writings, visits the scenes which they describe. Do I therefore say, 'that we ought not to read such works, nor to visit such scenes? I never dream of such a conclusion. The scenes are not their's, but God's creation, and the endowment of every one who feareth God; nor may I preclude myself from beholding them without blame. And if this atheistical scribbler, or that ignorant blasphemer, hath given me a representation of what I cannot visit, I may serve myself of him as of every other wicked thing: but I must be twice guarded, for nothing is so powerful to beget its likeness as the spirit of man; yea, the Spirit of God is more quickening still, into whose hands we should commend ourselves while entering upon this and every other perilous undertaking; and by his help we shall proceed with a royal liberty and enlargement both in the understanding and in the tasting of the works of God.

I do furthermore put you on your guard against the coveting of that which is beautiful, and pleasant, and profitable, in the creature, against the ornaments of the person, and the furniture of the house, and the decorations of your grounds, and the enlargement of your fields, and the storing

up of your monies, and whatever else appertaineth to possession. And I feel that I should be very urgent in this, dear brethren, because of the nature of the place and age we live in. Do not, oh! do not tempt the Lord by coveting for yourselves a large fortune at the end of a certain period, or fighting and toiling to realize so many hundreds in the year, and to lay by so much, and to add so much annually to your stock ; and to secure so much annually upon good securities. This is the reason why the Lord visits us with so many reverses, and cuts down the hopes of thousands. He cannot bear to see this Christian land so selling itself to mammon, and he would fain reclaim it to himself. He is fighting against us in love, and cannot find in his heart to give us up. Be not ye thus; but be ye like Lot in Sodom, and Abraham in the land of Canaan, and Joseph in fleshly Egypt. Will the Lord prosper you the less ? He will prosper you the more, for godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of the life that is to come. But go not to take the advice I give you, in the expectation of growing rich thereby; for that were turning grace into licentiousness, and using the promise unto our own destruction. What then ? Do it because it is of God's honour, and worship, and glory, so to do. Do it that the soil of

your heart may

be prepared for receiving; or, if it have received, may be strengthened to bear and fructify the seed of the word. Do it because it is your salvation and the salvation of your house, and the salvation of this city, and the salvation of this kingdom, to do so. Do it for the love of God, for the love of Christ and his church, for the love

delight in them, and to amass them, or to exchange them to the greatest advantage. Upon the continuance or increase of their value dependeth your own and your family's wealth; and therefore, if you do not continually commit your way to God, and leave all to the disposal of his providence, your heart will be stolen away to the creature, and, as sure as the laws of God, covetousness or intemperance will be the consequence. And in your families, if you be not careful to keep up a continual acknowledgment of God, and reverence of him before your wives and children, and servants, you may rest assured they will fall into some excesses; the women into vanity of dress and appearance, the young men into ambition or covetousness, the children into the indulgence of the appetite, and all into the neglect of God's word, and the incapacity of improving under its ministrations. Oh, what exceeding evils arise unto the soul from the indulgences of the table ! what fatness of the heart, what stupidity of the mind, what bondage of the will! Look how it hampers and hinders even the worship of God, which must conform to or compromise it with the worship of the dinner-table. Now, brethren, I am no cynic nor satyrist, but a lover of hospitality, and one who delights to see men rejoicing together in the abundance of the Lord: I have no taste whatever for interdicting meats and drinks, like the Apostasy; and I can enter into the honest and lordly feeling of our Scottish Reformer, who, upon his death-bed, and the day before his decease, commanded his servant to broach a pipe of wine, in order to welcome some one who had come to take farewell of him from this world, and bid him God-speed into the world to come. I say this was lordly; it was like a man who had achieved through grace the lordship over himself, and over the wine-cup, and could look upon it and durst use it, with innocency, as the good creature of God, which our Lord also did immediately before his crucifixion. Therefore I pray you, not to put it to the score of asceticism, when I earnestly exhort you to be constantly upon your guard against the evil tendency of the creatures to engross and debase the spirit of man.

Again : are you students and inquirers into any region of nature ? then, be assured, that the understanding will blind the reason: the understanding which judgeth by the sense of the nature of things, will blind the reason, which judgeth by the conscience. And of all blinds and eclipses, this is the most helpless which hath darkened all our scientific men to the light of God, and made them most contemptuous of the Gospel of Christ. I might say professional men also, especially the medical profession which is conversant with the material world: I might say political men, especially those that consider themselves as enlightened in the science of political economy. Speak to any of them of justification by faith only in the vicarious sacrifice of Christ; speak to them of the quickening of the Divine Spirit, and the sovereign will of the Father in and over all things; or give them a hint that there is a Trinity of Persons in the Divine substance, and if they do not openly blaspheme, or contemptuonsly mock you, depend upon it they will silently wonder at your gross stupidity and amazing folly. Be upon your guard also in the beholding of nature ; in the viewing of its sublime and beautiful scenes, of its artificial decorations, and in the perusal of the works which treat of them; for through the avenue of taste and sentiment there is much poison poured into the mind. I have no hesitation in saying, that ninety-nine out of every hundred of our scene hunters, and scene describers, who flood the land with their effusions and reminiscences, are mere idolaters of the visible creation: and the tendency of their rhapsodies is to foster and engender the like spirit in every one who reads their writings, or, under the inspiration of their writings, visits the scenes which they describe. Do I therefore say, that we ought not to read such works, nor to visit such scenes? I never dream of such a conclusion. The scenes are not their's, but God's creation, and the endowment of every one who feareth God; nor may I preclude myself from beholding them without blame. And if this atheistical scribbler, or that ignorant blasphemer, hath given me a representation of what I cannot visit, I may serve myself of him as of every other wicked thing: but I must be twice guarded, for nothing is so powerful to beget its likeness as the spirit of man; yea, the Spirit of God is more quickening still, into whose hands we should commend ourselves while entering upon this and every other perilous undertaking; and by his help we shall proceed with a royal liberty and enlargement both in the understanding and in the tasting of the works of God.

I do furthermore put you on your guard against the coveting of that which is beautiful, and pleasant, and profitable, in the creature, against the ornaments of the person, and the furniture of the house, and the decorations of your grounds, and the enlargement of your fields, and the storing

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