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hurrying the frantic wretch unbiddenand oh! how unprepared-into the presence of his Judge ?—Or is virtue held more sacred ?-Does the hand of the spoiler no longer intrude within the circle of domestic peace, and tear asunder those whom God's own ordinance had made one-finding the land as the garden of Eden before him—but leaving it a desolate wilderness behind ? ?"
But it is needless to proceed with these questions.-Look where you will, and the scenes of dissipation and excess—the profanation of God's name and sabbath -the contempt of his word and all things dedicated to his service-the uncharitable fury of sects and parties, and the blasphemous mockings of impiety and unbelief-these abominations, and many others as bad as these, prove sufficiently that it is indeed high time to "blow the trumpet in our Zion, to sanctify a fast, and call a solemn assembly," lest the Lord arise in his fury, and say, “ Shall I not visit for these things, and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this ????—Indeed, if any alteration is to be made in the picture drawn by the hand of our predecessor, it must be done by rendering the shadows more broad and deep-not by the introduction of tints more cheerful and enlivening. If we would judge fairly and honestly of our condition in morals and religion, we should have to plead guilty perhaps to all the offences charged in the above catalogue, and add to them moreover some which are peculiarly characteristic of our own time.-Such are “ pride, hardness of heart, unthankfulness for God's mercies, and an obstinate following of our own imaginations instead of his holy laws ?”
1 Joel ii. 3.
It is possible, however, that you may be ready to grant the existence of this state of things, and yet deny the inference we draw from it.—You may allow that iniquity does abound on every side, and
1 Jer. v. 9.
? Form of Prayer for the Day.
yet question whether God will regard it -or at least will regard it so far, as to arise and visit it with “a mighty hand and a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.”—God, we know, is the “ God to whom vengeance belongeth,”—but will he “ show himself ?"
Hath he shown himself in former ages ? we had better ask, and from that we may be able to form some conjecture what he is likely to do now. Open the Bible, then, my brethren, in the book of the prophet Isaiah, and run your eye over a few chapters, beginning at the thirteenth. -What do you read ?-First of allThe burden of Babylon.—“ The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle, to punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity.”—Next, The burden of Moab-" For the Lord hath heard of the pride of Moab, even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath—and the Lord hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned with all that great multitude, and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.”—The burden of Damascus-“ Behold Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap, because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength.”—The burden of Egypt—“Behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt-and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his
presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it."-And last, The burden of Tyre—“Howl ye ships of Tarshish, for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in.”—“ Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth ?—The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. He stretched forth his hand over the sea—he shook the kingdoms—the Lord hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof.”
After such remarkable instances of God's especial vengeance inflicted upon so many and so great cities, well may the prophet exclaim in the beginning of that most beautiful chapter which follows-viz. the twenty fourth—“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof."
I will not detain you, however, by adducing examples to prove that God exercises a superintending care over the affairs of kingdoms--since the same arguments which would disprove the existence of a national providence, would disprove (as it seems to me) the existence of any providence whatever.But if God clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, if he feed the fowls of the air, and so careth for them that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without