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this I say,
part of it. Do not therefore call that time lost which is not spent in labouring for the body; God can easily restore tenfold your loss in the present life, and can give you life eternal. There are many who labour and toil incessantly without effect, because the blessing of God does not give success to their labours. I do not say, that piety will always better your worldly circumstances; but
say, that no man will really be a loser by serving God. Piety will at least prevent the excesses arising from debauchery, extravagance, and folly. The wages of a single day are a cheap price for habits which secure a blessing to every day of our lives.
Such then, my brethren, are some of the most common objections to fasting, and such some of the advantages which may be expected to result from it. --As to the first, I think you will see, that little importance is to be assigned to them. The benefits of public fasts, on the contrary, are established by a succession of facts in the history of the world, as recorded in the Scriptures. God had declared that he would destroy Ninevah; but Ninevah repented, and turned to the Lord with fasting, and the Lord pardoned it. Abab, who was said to have sold himself to work wickedness, at length humbled himself and fasted, and put on sackcloth;," and God said to his Prophet, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself: I will not bring the evil in his days.” Jehoshaphat, in the chapter of our text, is described as suddenly attacked by a large army. He set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast. And, on the very day of the fast, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, proclaiming that the Lord himself would fight for Judah, and destroy the enemy. And, accordingly, the army of Jehoshaphat stood still, and saw the invaders perish by their own hands. These, my brethren, are so many monuments erected for the consolation and instruction of after-ages. They console us
They-console us by the assurance, that the true penitent is the peculiar charge of Heaven. They teach us a lesson never to be forgotten by kings, nor by their people, that
righteousness exalteth a nation, and that happy is the people who have the Lord for their God."