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perpetually reiterated in his ears, and its valuable consolations to be ever before his eyes. He needs the frequent repetition of the same cheering truths, to preserve him from sinking into despondency; and a constant review of the same alleviating circumstances, the same motives to resignation, the same enlivening promises, the same animating prospects.

It is to remove this deficiency in the hour of solitude, that the present address is undertaken. Sympathy alone has induced the author to personate the character he has drawn. He has been the possessor of peace and joy for a short time, even in this world of wo. He has had every wish of his heart gratified. He has proudly contented himself with his domestic happiness, equally careless of the little troubles and vexations of the day, as of that beneficent hand which made his cup to run over with blessings. But he has been taught the vanity of reposing his hopes in the creature. A husband and a father, death has deprived him of every earthly comfort. One short month has witnessed the dissipation of his prospects, which he had lengthened out to an almost indefinite period. He has been called to mourn his folly and his loss, and has been left alone on this wilderness world, in order that he may learn, by dearly bought experience, the insufficiency of earthly

pleasures, the instability of present scenes of comfort, and the perfect sufficiency of the Bible to afford peace and consolation to the agitated mourner. He has found that the greatest afflictions convey the most instructive lessons of happiness, by demonstrating the real nature of the objects on which man places his dependence; and he hopes that the following observations may prove as cheering to others, as they were productive of serenity to himself.

Yes, my dear friend, I venture to break in upon your solitude with “A Tribute of Sympathy.” Nor would I interrupt your grief: I would weep with those that weep; I would mingle my tears' with yours, and during the first transports of sorrow, I would only seek to participate the agonizing feelings which overwhelm you. Perhaps you are mourning over the decease of an aged parent, the guardian and the guide of your youth, and the fond counsellor of your maturity. Or, death may have made its first inroad on the family circle, by snatching away a brother or a sister; and you may have been called to resign this endeared relative, at an age when fraternal affection had been confirmed by the award of judgment, when the varied excellencies of the character were fully expanded, and had proved it worthy of your highest esteem.

Your heart may have

been called to bleed over the removal of a beloved child, the development of whose dawning faculties you had carefully watched, and whom you were anxiously training up in the admonition of the Lord, and thus preparing for activity in his service. Or, to complete the climax of human wo, you may be inconsolable for the loss of a fond husband, or an affectionate wife, one with whom you had enjoyed many hours of happiness; the partner of your cares and joys, your dearest constant companion, and your best friend. You are mourning a loss which is severe indeed, a loss which is irreparable, and for which, too, you were probably unprepared. The stroke may have been sudden; a few days, or perhaps even a few hours, may have dispelled the enchanting prospect which was before you, and of which you. had just hoped to realize the pleasing illusions.

You are unexpectedly removed from the summit of human happiness, to the abyss of human wo. And shall the silent eloquence of grief be denied you? Shall a measured and philosophical sorrow be alone permitted? Shall these affecting appeals be made to the tenderest sensibilities of your nature; and shall the expression of suffering be contracted within limits, to be defined by the eye of the moralist, during a moment of calm self-complacency?-No; the

heart knoweth its own bitterness : nor can the individual who is only theoretically acquainted with sorrow, legislate the thoughts, the feelings, and the actions of him who is indeed afflicted.

Christianity does not require this unnatural restraint; but distinctly teaches, that affliction for the present “is not joyous, but grievous.” The silent apathy of the stoic is perfectly inconsistent with the exercise of Christian fortitude. The heartless obedience of the unfeeling differs most essentially from the resignation of the feeble but sincere Christian. It is no argument in favour of the possession and influence of Christian principle, to bear with submission losses and suffering which we do not feel. This indeed evinces only culpable indifference to the events of God's providence, and to the particular design with which He has seen fit to correct us: it is the offspring of carelessness and contempt, rather than the expression of resignation. It is provoking the anger of a righteous God, by refusing to listen to His voice, who speaks more powerfully and energetically to the heart through the medium of affliction, than man can do, by all the powers of abstract reasoning. It is incurring the judgment denounced against those “ who have not grieved," when He had afflicted them who have refused to receive correction," when He had consumed them" who have made their

faces harder than a rock, and have refused to return.'

Since, then, insensibility to the chastening hand of God is so clearly pointed out as displeasing to Him, it surely follows, that to feel most sensibly the wound He has inflicted, and to express that feeling, is not improper in itself, though it may become so when excessive in degree. Weep on then, my dear friend; indulge your sorrow; layopen the recesses of your aching heart to the bosom of friendship, and more especially make them known to that Friend who has chastened you for your profit. Recollect, that you are never loss alone than when alone. God is every where present, and ready to afford consolation and support to those who call upon him. His providence watches over all: he makes his sun to rise upon the evil and the good; he is acquainted with the secrets of your heart; he sees your distress; he waits to be gracious; he is infinitely wise to guide and direct, and kind and beneficent, as well as unlimited in ability, to give you peace and joy. It is his delight to dwell with the humble and contrite heart, to revive the spirit of the humble, to be present with his people in their affliction, to put underneath them his everlasting arms, and sustain them under the pressure of the greatest misfortunes.

* Jer. v. 3.

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