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cease from our own works and humble ourselves before God. Oh, my poorer brethren, let not piety fail
among you, or you will perish out of the land ! Whatever
may be the sins of a nation which, after thirty years of unexampled peace, has not profited. by its blessing, God is the best Judge; but heavy, indeed, they have been so to provoke His displeasure and to call down His visitation. On that day, let me implore you to keep from the public-house, and to spend it in your families as one of domestic humiliation before God. Long as may be the catalogue of your sins, add not this one to it-that whilst the whole country is prostrate before God, and assembled in public worship before Him, you should be irreverently spending that time given you for improvement in drunkenness and folly. That there will be some infidels in every parish--men who ridicule everything serious and treat this solemn fastday as a farce—is only a greater argument for our observance of it. Men there are who regard neither punishment nor rewards, whom nothing but judgments can terrify. They will remain as tares among the wheat until the harvest; but, instead of being gathered into the heavenly garner, they will be gathered and bound together to be burnt. They had no fear of punishment: they laughed, as did the men of the old world, and ate and drank, and swore and blasphemed, and despised the call to repentance, whilst God was building the ark by His servant. They will say the same by us as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah said of Lot- This fellow came in to sojourn with us, and he must needs be a judge: now will we deal with thee worse than with them." They will not mind our preaching.
Who ever saw
it rain fire and brimstone? Oh! let the ashes of Sodom tell ; but so will it be in the very last day of the world. We may preach, we shall preach, the word of exhortation—“ Flee from your iniquities, for the day of the Lord is come! Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Even as it was in Sodom and Gomorrah, even so upon man shall hail fall out of heaven; every stone about the weight of a talent, and men will blaspheme God because of the plague of the hail : for the plague thereof shall be exceeding great, and yet men will not repent. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at that time. Men will not know the Lord until they see Him coming in flaming vengeance to execute wrath upon them. Oh! let it not be so amongst us; but let us improve the time given us, so that that day may not take us unawares, as a thief in the night. “ Let us be afraid of the sword, for wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment." Believe me, your faithful friend,
O LORD God our Redeemer, who now livest and siandest at the right hand of God the Father, grant, ve pray thee, that we may so know thee in thy Gospel, and love thee through our lives, that looking unto thee as our help and hope in the hour of sickness and in death, we may find thee our life and resurrection, and use thy holy prayer in righteousness of faith, saying-Our Father, &c.
I know that my Redeenier liveth, and that He shall stand in 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.-Job xix. 25, 26, 27.
MY DEAR FRIENDS - The seasons of affliction are those in which men learn wisdom: it is then they behold the world as it really isma place of trial and temptation and probation : it is then, when reduced to weigh their own utter feebleness, worthlessness, and sinfulness, in the balance of strict justice, that they discover the instability of present joys and pleasures, toils and profits, and are forcibly compelled to own that there is but "one thing needful"-namely, to know that their Redeemer liveth. It may not be - See (say;
pleasant on a bed of sickness, to the ears of some, to be told that they shall not recover—that they must give up all hope—that they must leave all things behind them and take their departure: men would give half they possessed to be assured then that they might live a few years longer to see their friends, the cheerful scene, the fields, the corn, the reapers, shepherds, and their flocks. I have known sone men under the certainty of death, who, knowing they could not expect any more to see the horses go out to plough, or their flocks to their pasturage, lamentaye, in terms of strange attachment—that they should no longer see these things, actually bewailing that they could not take them with them. one man), what a goodly house I have built-wha: rooms of cedar and painted with vermillion : must: leave such a home as that and go to the house appointed for the dead ?” “See (says another), what a beautiful state of cultivation my farm is in: my
cattle are strong to labour: my flocks, and herds, and crops, all look so promising and so pleasant: who will ever take the delight I have done in these things-must I leave them all behind me?” Another says, “I have got me wealth in abundance and my delight has been great therein for a very short time: alas ! must I leave them ?—and who shall gather them when I am gone?” So reasons many a man, whose state of temporal prosperity has never received a check from the hand of divine wisdom, that he may
hold all these things in abeyance to the word of God; but the time must come for every one to receive notice of departure, let the treasure of his heart be in whatsoever it will. My object in this address is to show you that they only can enjoy true tranquillity and
peace of mind who then know that their Redeemer liveth, and that they have hope to see Him at the resurrection of the just. Job was the author of this declaration more than three thousand years ago. At the time he gave utterance to this text he had not the slightest prospect of ever reviving from his bed of sickness and death, for he declares himself thus“God has stripped me of my glory and taken the crown from my head. He hath destroyed me on every side and I am gone, and my hope hath He removed like a tree. My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye, my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me! Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh!” Can any words more positively declare his utter hopelessness of either justice, or judgment, or mercy in this life from any earthly being? Read the whole chapter: see how the poor man laments the utter desertion of every friend he had in this life. He says—“My kinsfolk have failed and my familiar friends have forgotten me: they that dwell in my house and my maids count me a stranger. I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant and he gave me no answer: I entreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I entreated for my children's sake, of mine own body: yea, young children despised me. I I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me, and they whom I loved are turned against me.” Yet it was at this very moment, when every earthly joy had failed him, that he gave utterance to those words which have formed the comfort of almost
every Christian on