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with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me." The root of this wisdom being found in him, he did not deserve persecution: for this was such knowledge, was such a revelation, such wisdom, that to despise it was enough to provoke the displeasure of Almighty God-aye; and if men did do so, they might expect wrath: and hence Job says to his friends, and to all men in all ages who may be indifferent to the truth as it is in Jesus-namely, that "He is the resurrection and the life."
"Be ye afraid of the sword, for wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment."
Oh, that we may so truly fear the Lord, and walk in His ways, that the wrath which we have justly deserved may be averted; for who here present has lived as if he knew that his Redeemer was and is his life? Who has lived as if he was well assured that the Lord should stand upon the earth at the latter day, and that he should, notwithstanding the corruption of his body, see in his flesh the Lord his God? Who has lived as he ought to have done in such knowledge, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord? Have we not all gone astray and turned every one to his own way, and forgotten Him upon whom the Lord hath laid the iniquity of us all? Alas! I fear that our sins have only
been the greater on account of God's mercy, in having kept us and our country without the visitation of the sword. If the Lord should arise in His anger, and speak as He did by His prophet Ezekiel, we should be all dead men before him— "If I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land, so that I cut off man and beast from it: though these three men were in it, Noah, Daniel, and Job, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves...... The word of the Lord came again unto me saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it and will cut off man and beast from it: though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord."
Now, there is but little doubt-nay, there is none -that the crying sins of our land have provoked the displeasure of the Lord, and that wrath is gone out from before Him on account of our numberless iniquities. Our sins are many and grievous, and I dread likewise to think that they are not confined to our own country; but that the indications of God's wrath are visible in other countries, which have likewise deserved punishment. The famine has already begun, and indications of God's anger begin to show themselves in such a way as forcibly to make the hearts of the stoutest to tremble for just judgments that await a guilty world. Oh! "Be ye afraid of the sword, for wrath bringeth the punish
ment of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment."
Our rulers seem to be aware of the threatening, as if the word had been spoken and judgment about to follow in proof of which our Sovereign has issued a form of prayer to be used by all her subjects to humble themselves with her before Almighty God, that His anger may be averted. That such a step is best in accordance with what we know to be the only acceptable sacrifice we can make, Scripture well assures us. Shall we Christians be less pious than the heathens of old? The King of Nineveh is an example to all the princes of the earth, that when God's judgments are threatened the people should humble themselves before Him and forsake their sins. We read that the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying-" Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee!" So Jonah arose and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.
Now, Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey; and Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried and said"Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" So the people of Nineveh believed in God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them even to the least of them; for word came unto the King of Nineveh and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him and covered him with sackcloth and sat in ashes; and he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying
"Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste
anything: let them not feed nor drink water; but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger that we perish not? And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way, and God repented of the evil that He had said that he would do unto them, and He did it not."
What an example is this to all the nations of the earth that they may do likewise ! God actually turned from His wrath, because the people humbled themselves as one man before Him! I shall here read the Queen's Proclamation for a general fast. (Vide, proclamation, at the time of the famine). To this order, given in such urgent times, I am sure that I need add no words of exhortation. It speaks of but too solemn and awful a visitation, which, though we see it not in its full extent, yet we are well assured it is felt as already bowing down the hearts of those rulers who behold its devastating effects. "Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings (says the Psalmist): be instructed ye judges of the earth! Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling! Kiss the Son lest He be angry, and ye perish from the right way when His wrath is kindled yea, but a little. Blessed are all they who put their trust
Though the dreadful famine may not have reached our own doors, it may not be far off; and we shall none of us be so hardy as to say we do not deserve it. We have all felt its effects upon the lands where it has prevailed, and the consequent scarcity has
made provisions very dear in our own land of plenty. We must not murmur at this, but be very thankful for what we have; for, indeed, it has been little compared with the privations some have had to endure; but what if it should come? Oh! let us learn wisdom betimes; and, well knowing who governs in heaven and earth, let us bow before Him, that His indignation may be averted. Who can tell if he will repent and turn unto the Lord with his whole heart? I say, who can tell but that the favour of God may again return to us, and grant us a blessing instead of a curse? Our Queen says:— "That, trusting in the mercy of Almighty God, notwithstanding the sore punishment which He hath laid upon us and our people, He will, if we turn to Him with due contrition and penitence of heart, withdraw His afflicting hand." Oh, that we may all repent! Oh, that we may each feel as if our own individual sins had brought this punishment upon our land, and pray God to help us to repent and forsake them. It shall be my duty to show you on that day appointed what repentance is required of us. In the meantime, I must admonish you in the words of the pious Job-" Be ye afraid of the sword, for wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment."
I do trust that the solemn fast day will be a day of piety among you, and that you will observe it as especially set apart, that you may call your sins to remembrance and justly bewail them. I am glad to find that labour is to cease on that day, and that the poor are not to be punished thereby by a privation of food. It will be no loss to any of us-believe me, brethren-it will be no loss to any of us to