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downward course, till life itself has ebbed away, and noth.
ing remains of the busy throng but the space they moved
in this is more unreasonable, this project, that would
check the current of frail humanity rolling onward to the
ocean of eternity, than the poor mortal who ornaments
his frail bark with the splendid deceptions that beguile
the tedious hour, and cheat him of his present disquie-
tude, by expectations of the same frail tenure of the bark
he sails in.

But the poet's argument, after all is said, has a bitter conclusion. His eternal hope-Paul says, "hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth why doth he yet hope for?" (Rom. viii. 24.) Only Paul has a qualifying phrase that puts the teasing argument of the impatient moralist in the back ground: "It is true, and pity 'tis its true," that man cannot get a sight of his hope, as he chases the phantom his hope is bottomed on. And here lies the secret of the whole difficulty; but it is down quite at the bottom of the well, where Paul drew the truth of his remark from. And this fact never occurred to the mind, either of the poet or the moralist.

"Hope that is seen, is not hope." Seeing, says the proverb, is believing; at least, it is a great deal better than to hope for that which no one can see, or even get a glimpse of. And why should we hope, when we can reach out our hands and grasp the object that is secure within the sphere of our vision? But Paul's qualification-"We," says Paul, "are saved by hope." Now a hope that will save a man from the vexation of his earthly pilgrimage, is worth more than all the wisdom that ever dropped from the mouth of a prosing moralist, a mere ethical philosopher. And it is a hope that no mere mor alist can reach, when he points his censure against the folly of unreasonable expectations. For hope that will save a man, partakes of a greater portion of truth, reason, and common sense, too, than ever fell to the lot of a moralist. And the cheating of a hope that is never seenthe hope that lures the weary traveler in his perilous journeying here below, to chase a phantom that recedes with longer strides than the pursuer can measure, in his efforts to catch the pleasing nothing, may spring eternally to very little purpose-while its leaps are all away from the grasp of the heartsick expectant. It is evident, therefore, that there is something wrong in the founda tion, when every superstructure sinks into the gloomy

abyss of oblivion; and nothing is left to repay the builder for all his labour and materials, save an insatiable curiosity that drives him headlong down the current of misad


Reader, the sand of mortality is a poor soil to build on. The foundation gives way to the first torrent of adver sity that sweeps against it. There must be something better found, or man's castles will disappear like the dews of the morning. But even this is not the worst of it: Man slips through the gap himself, and finds no place for the sole of his foot to rest upon.

Methinks there is something worth a trial in the hint thrown out in my text: What is there to be seen, of all that man has achieved, on the foundation of the poet's hope? Alas! "man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets" as if nothing had hap pened to disturb the equilibrium of their conjectures. And every generation that the ocean of time has thrown upon the bleak shores of mortality, tread in the old path of their predecessor's musings. The same "eternal hope" that burdened the poet's song, is the syren that beguiles the passing hour, and cheats man of all the treasures of reality. And man, too, with all his imperfections, will eulogize himself by vain comparisons. Behold the inferior feathered tribe, how stupid is their instinct, that has not advanced an inch in the noble science of architecture's fair proportions! True, and man, the boaster, builds as his fathers' built before him, where there is nothing solid to sustain, for a single day, his su perstructure. This is not all that is seen in the dispariging contrast: For "the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed time, and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming;" and even "the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib;" but boasting man has not yet learned how to consider.

The hope that will save a man, is Paul's hope. The hope that will cheat a man all his lifetime, and leave him without a word of apology, or the least mark or token of a respectful ceremony, when he most needs it, is a villainous hope. To nurse expectation, and feed it with the choicest bits from the sacrifice of one's daily quiet, all one's lifetime, and to be jilted at last, is enough to provoke poor suffering humanity to be vexed beyond the limit of any reasonable endurance. To take our stand on the frail eminence of mortality, and view the phantom, Vol. II.-38

hope has raised, and see the imagined glorious issue of a life of care and trouble, sink in a moment before one's eyes; and descend, as did Korah's troop, below the horizon of our short vision, "makes the head sick, and the heart faint." And the bereaved man, when all is gone, slips into the gap where his expectation has disappeared for ever.

But we, says Paul, "are saved by hope." And Paul gives us a clew to the correlatives that support the mind, and stay it on a sure foundation, when the treasure of a hope is possessed, whose boon is a present salvation: For, says Paul, "I reckon"-I have made the computation, "that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Rom. viii. 18.) Here is a glorious hope! A hope that feeds on glory-a hope that shall end in glory-a hope that sweetens the passing hour, with anticipations of glory-a hope that is the offspring of truth, and reveals, day by day, pointing beyond the vista of time, a future heaven. And here, in this hope, when a man is cradled in this expectation, the delusion of this world's begetting leaves him; and he is no longer the dupe of a Protean deception. And the reason for this difference, between the hope of Paul, and the delusive expectation of this world's begetting, is, that Paul's hope has a sure foundation.

This world, this wonderful place we live in, has no one thing to characterize it so faithfully, as the delusive cheating of its expectations. It is, emphatically, a state of vanity-all is empty, false, treacherous, vain, and futile. And it is of these miserable materials, that man builds his foundation, and raises the superstructure of his peace; and when the whole disappears, like "the baseless fabric of a vision," the shipwrecked man builds again; and again witnesses the ruin of his hope, the utter destruction of his expectation.

Now my text advises, by the inference deducible from it, a different course of conduct. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." There is, then, according to Paul's teaching, a foundation already laid for man to build on, even the only be gotten Son of the only living and true God, the Creator and Preserver of all things. But man, such is the vanity that continually besets him, rejects, as insufficient, this sure foundation laid in Zion, by JEHOVAH; and builds an

other foundation; taking for his materials the elements of the vanity of the state he lives in. No wonder, then, that the building is as fitful and transitory, and delusive, as the materials from which the susperstructure is framed.

Truth has an argument; look at it: A foundation is the thing necessary. Men need salvation from their sin. ful state or condition; and salvation must either be God's salvation, or man's salvation. For the Creator of man is the author of salvation, or man is the author of salvation; and supplies, of himself, the requisite means to attain the end indispensable to his well-being. Now our text denies the latter, and affirms the first proposition. The salvation of the world is represented in the Scriptures as a building. No building can stand secure, and continue permanent, unless it has a foundation. A foundation necessarily implies a building; the relation of things leads us to a correct appreciation of our subject. A man may excavate the ground, lay walls of stone, and call his work a foundation; but something more is necessary-unless a building is erected upon, and above the work called a foundation, the work called a foundation is not a founda tion; for the conclusive reason that nothing is founded on it. Romulus is famed as the founder of ancient Rome; for the sole reason that he commenced the city that afterward was perfected, etc. If a man shall dig a hole in the ground, pile stones in the hole, and call it a foundation, and no building shall ever be erected thereon, the fact of the deficiency is positive proof of the falsehood of the man's pretensions. In this case, so far from the man's work being a foundation, a stubborn fact proves that it is nothing more than a hole in the ground, in which certain stones have been placed for no purpose under heaven. We, therefore, see, let the thing be what it may for our consideration, that cannot be a foundation, that founds nothing. A building must be erected-a work must be completed, or the pretensions of the builder are false and futile.

Now examine our text: There is a foundation already laid in Zion, by JEHOVAH. This is not all-no other foundation can be laid, on which the superstructure of the world's salvation can be raised. You may talk of human foundations, of Calvin and Hopkins's decrees-the Arminians' work-yea, of any or all of the various speculations of creed-makers, but you can never speak of them as part and parcel of a foundation, for the salvation of so many

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as one soul of the whole race of Adam. And the reason is given by Paul-"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." I am aware that the great majority both in Christendom and in Pagan lands, think differently; and are at work, not as busy as bees, but as blind as bats, to lay a foundation for their salvation; and to erect thereon a superstructure that shall prove a shelter, when their tabernacle of clay shall be dissolved.

Paul, after affirming of God's foundation, the Lord Jesus Christ, that none other foundation can be laid, save Christ, shapes his phraseology and squares his argument, and suits his affirmations to the fact in question. God hath laid a foundation-no other foundation can be laid— therefore it follows, that if man co-operates at all, or does any thing in the premises, he must work, if he moves at all in the business in question, not in laying a foundation for the salvation of souls, (for God hath done this already for man,) but in building on the foundation that is laid already. Reader, this is the pith and marrow of Paul's application of the whole subject. Let us look, and carefully examine this matter, and see what Paul has done in the premises before us.

My neighbour steps in, and I must hearken to his exhortation-Sir, says my kind, anxious friend, I pray you, be alarmed; and seek an interest in Christ; for you are in imminent peril and danger. I reply

My friend, I have found in the Scriptures of truth, positive testimony, that God hath laid a foundation in Zion, for the salvation of the world. I, therefore, learn, that I, being of the world, have an interest in Christ; and that He is the foundation that God hath laid for my salvation; as John has expressed it, "He is the propitiation [i. e. the remedy,] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." So, my friend, you may now learn that your anxiety for my supposed condition of being without any interest in Christ, is altogether superfluous; for the reason, that Christ is not only the foundation for my salvation; but also for the salvation of the whole world.

Reader, what should you think of my pretensions to sanity, were I to exhort you to try and obtain an interest in the rain and sun of Heaven? Now we have the same authority that God hath laid a sure foundation in Zion, viz: His Son Jesus Christ; that we have that God is the

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