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i. Cor. ii. 9.
Eye Hath Not Seen, Nor Ear Heard, Neither Have Entered Into The Heart Of Man, The Things Which God Hath PrePared For Them That Love
THE mind of man generally forms itself according to the objects, with which it converses.* It contracts a
narrow grovelling taste amidst sordid engagements; and dilates, as it were, and assumes a certain grandeur of sentiment amidst elevated views and generous pursuits.
This remark is to be applied with most propriety to the business of life and the prospects of futurity. The greatest views, which the mind is ca pable of, are presented by religion. The world offers nothing worthy of its ambition. Where it pleases, it but pleases for a time, and leaves shame and sorrow and dissatisfaction behind. Where it pleases, it generally enslaves and degrades. A man, attached to passion, and immersed in matter, can do nothing great or generous. He is foiled by every temptation, and sinks dispirited under every calamity.
Let the eye see, and the ear hear, and, what is more, let sportive fancy imagine whatever pleasures this earth affords; still the capacities of man
cannot be enlarged, the inlets of enjoyment cannot be increased. The whole amount, at last, will only be—an insipid circulation of the meanest offices. To eat, drink, and play ;—and—when nature sinks under the fatigue — to sleep;—and then, to rise recruited—to no end—but, to begin the same circle again; to eat, drink and play—forgetful of God, and useless to the world—this forms the plan of a sensual life.
The sensualist, however, is happy enough with it; he would be contented, he tells us, to spend an eternity in such enjoyments. But alas! God forbids: disease comes on, infirmity hastens its pace, senses decay, nature sinks, and death closes up the worthless scene.
Is this an object, worthy of man? Were we born for no higher purpose? Yes, we were; for the service of God. And eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of D man,
man, the things which he hath prepared for them that love him. *
We shall enter sufficiently into the views of the text, if we consider,
I. The inconveniences of the present state.
II. The greatness of our future reward, and
III. The certainty of it.
I. If in this life only we have hope, miserable is a great part of our fellowcreatures, wretched their portion and" inheritance! The history of mankind is nothing but a history of human misery. It is but a detail of what man has suffered by plagues, pestilences,
* These words properly relate to the general discoveries of the divine will made to us in the gospel, the apostle having himself so limited them, v. lo; but God hath revealed them to us by his spirit, whereas our future happiness is not yet revealed, i. John, iii. 2. Yet they may be very properly accommodated to the blessings of the other world, as forming a principal part of the christian revelation. .