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ceitfulness of fin.
S E R MON 1.
PROV. xviii. 10.
The NAME of the Lord is a strong tower; the righe
tecus runneth into it, and is safe.
THIS book of Proverbs consists almost entire:
1 ly of observations upon human life. The cbaracters and pursuits of men are described in it with a strength and propriety, which was never exceeded by those who devoted their whole attention to the study of what is called the knowledge of the world and of mankind. But in one particular it differs from, and excels all human learning, that it never separates the knowledge of the world from the knowledge of him who made and who governs it. There we are taught to improve the lessons we receive in the course of providence, for leading us to obedience and submillion to him, 'who doth according to his will * in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants
of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or fay unto him, what dost thou?' There, while a view is
given us of the innumerable paths which men have ftruck out for themselves in travelling through life, our eyes are continually directed to the paths of righteousness, the sure and only way to rest and peace.
Experience alone, and unaslisted, will make us wiser in one sense, will show us many of the upa. voidable calamities of life; but the greatest exertion of human reason could never yet lead to an effectual cure. I believe it will be found, that persons of the greatest vigour and resolution of mind, when they trusted to their own internal strength, and sought a resource in themselves for the evils with which they were assaulted, have often run headlong into the most furious and desperate courses, as some of the strongest animals, when taken in a snare, do, by their violent struggles, intangle themselves the more, draw. ing the cords which bind them ftill more strait, and increase theirj confinement by their endeavours to escape.
The wise man, in our text, points out what is the refuge and security of every child of God. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the rightecus runneth into it, and is safe. And he certainly intends to set this in opposition to every thing else in which worldly men might place their dependence; for he adds, as an example, in the verse following the text, The • rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high ' wall in his own conceit.' The truth conveyed to us in this passage has an intimate connexion with practical and experimental religion; and on a firm belief and habitual application of it, in a great meafure, depends the comfort and peace of the servants