« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE INVASION. house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtarotha from among you ; and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines." This was useful, faithful counsel, and it was happily well received; for it is added, " Then the children of Israel did put away Baaliin and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only.". This shall be the glory, this shall be the strength of Britain, under God: - If every man, listening to the rebukes, to the chastenings of Providence, shall rise up and cast aivay bis idols, separate bimself from his sin, and cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart, -- then, who shall harm us? We have, in truth, more to fear from our sins than from the French. Israel had never been smitten before the men of Ai, had there not been an accursed thing in the camp. If there be any dismay, any weakness, any danger attached to our present situation, is is froin hence; - we are a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity. Such a country was that of Sodom; but it would have been spared, if it had contained ten righteous persons. – O Lord, spare our guilty land ! for the sake of the thousands of thy children who daily supplicate for its peace and prosperity! i 'The Amalekites inade an invasion on the south of Ziklas, the territory in which David resided; and they carried away his wives, his children, and his inen. Trouble and distress ensued; yea, in the agitation and anguish of their spirits, they talked of stoning David. But we are informed, that“ David encouraged himself in the Lord bis God.” Here again, is one of the best patterns for our imitation. Lot us not indulge the vain confidence and the foolish presumption of the men of the world. They calculate on the ratio of wisdom, of numbers, and of bravery, which they have on their side; they forget that all these, and ten thousand inore advantages, are nothing, unless the Lord be on our side. Let us therefore look to him ;
let us put our trust in his wisdom, goodness, and power. David went out against Goliath, " in the name of the Lord of Hosts." The church of old said, “ Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” : Yes; if we are saved, our God inust fight for us. Let us then not talls proudly; but let every one of us encourage himself in the Lord. humble ourselves under his mighty hand, - let every one of us tarn froin the evil of his way: anil then, those who invade us, shall rue it as bitterly as did the Amalekites the invasion of Ziklay *
I will mention another instance, which is so singular, that it must not be omitted : -- It was the invasion of Judah, boties children of Moab, Ainmon, and others, in the days of jeho saput. What was done? “ Then Jehosaph:t :eared, itsed
set hiinself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah; and Judah gathered together, to ask help of the Lord, even out of all the cities of Judah, they came to seek the Lord : and Jehosaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalemn, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, “ ( Lord God of our fathers, art thou not God in Heaven? and rulest thou not over all the kingdoms of the Heathen? and in thine band is there not power and might, so that there is none able to withstand thee?". “ O our God, wilt thou not judge them! for we have no might against this great company that cometh up against us, neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee *.” This is the spirit, this is the language which is suitable to a frail and siorul people. From the king on the throne to the lowest subject, let us speak and act in this humble and devout inanner. Then may we reasonably expect, that if our peaceful happy shores are invaded, our enemies shall be thundered upon from Heaven, and sink as lead in the great deep; or, if they reach our shores, it shall be said of them, “ The siout-hearted are spoiled; they have slept their sleep, and none of the nien of might have found their hands t:."
But it may be proper to take another view of the subject, and notice two other instances of invasion ;- I mean those of Je. rusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar and Titus Vespasian. I would fain separate these, but there is not room. We have sufficient evidence that these invasions were immediately connected with the moral and religious state of the Jews. In the former period, they are described as fallen from their pre-eminence over all other people; having once walked in the light, the fellowship, and the practice of the truth, and were now sunk into the depths of ignorance, idolatry, and vice. This is Je. hovah's coinplaint against them, about the time we refer to: “ The ox kioweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but my people doth not know, Israel doth not consider. Ah, sintul nation! a' people laden witb iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters. They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the hois Olie of Israel to anger, they have gone away backward $," &c. Faithful prophets warned then of their sin and danger; assured them of the destruction which never fails, sooner or later, to overwhelm the nation that forsakes God. But they treated these honest reprovers as tools and madmen, yea, as traitors and enemies to their country ; while they couried and honoured the idle and the unfaithful prophets who tluttered them, and spake Peace. What was the event? The Chaldean army approached; the Jewy were infatuated, and forsaken of God; all was horror and desolation; and the whole Jewish people, who had been
• 2 Cl.rar. XX. 4, 5, 13.
+ Ps, lxxvi. s.
Isa j. 3, &c.
389 the praise and the terror of other nations, were either slain, dispersed, or consigned to the most degrading and cruel captivity. Such is the sad catastrophe of a people who cast off the rear of God, and trust in an arm of Aesh. Let Britain, then, hear and be admonished; — let her king, let her princes, let her nobles, judges, and senators; – let her merchants, traders, and mechanics ; — let all the people remember and turn to the Lord. We are highly exalted in privileges; these have been slighted and abused. 'We have been wooed by mercies, and chastened by judgments; let us then“ be zealous and repent,” lest we fall after the same example of unbelief. The ruin of other nations is recorded for our admonition. — May
May we profit by such awful instances !
This infatuated people were at length brought back from Babylon; their temple rebuilt. By the patriotism of Nehemiah, Zerrubabel, and others, they were restored to peace and prosperity : but not having learned obedience by the things which they suffered, they forsook their God again; and were again invaded, by the Roman armies. At last, their city was utterly destroyed ; and those who survived the unparalleled carnage, were dispersed among all civilized nations, to proclaim, by their forlorn and miserable condition, the truth and justice of a holy God. Their fathers had sinned, and done foolishly; but they filled up the ineasure of their iniquity, by despising the gospel of salvation : they crucified the Lord of Glory, and did despite to the Spirit of Grace. They did the wrath of God overtake them to the utterinost. There is no people in whose steps we are in so much danger of treading as the Jews; for we hear the same lively oracles of truth, the same gospel of grace, the saine Jesus preached to us; and, I tremble to say, there are soine symptoms of the same unbelief, of the same perverseness, among us. Yes; even among us is the name of Jesus blasphemed; his blood and righteousness are discarded, and despite done to the Spirit of grace. The letter of religion is substituted for its spirit, - and the form of godliness for its power. These are awful traits in the character of a people, on whom indulgent Heaven reflects its clearest rays; and on whom is bestowed the richest of all favours, - Jesus, the unspeakable gift of God, and the blessings of eternal life through him.
Surely then, it becomes us to prostrate ourselves at the footstool of mercy, and confess, with blushing and grief, our numerous, our aggravated transgressions. Were God to deal with us according to our sins, he inighi permit our invading enemies to accoinplish their cruel purposes : he might make them his instruments of righteous vengeance upon us; as the Jews were upon the Canaanites, and as the Babylonians and Romans were upon the Jews. But who can tell? The Lord may hear the voice of our supplications, and interpose,
as in former periods, to deliver our highly-favoured island from
To the Editor. Rev. Sir,
I Am credibiy informed, that the vestries attached to some meeting-houses in this kingdom, exhibit a scene of merchandize; where sermons, pamphlets, and volumes are sold on the Lord's Day as regularly as they are in a bookseller's shop on any other day.
These articles inay be unexceptionable, and even important; in this manner too, whole editions may be rapidly disposed of: - but it is not only written, “ Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy;" but also,“ Let not your good be evil-spoken of:" and again, “ Abstain from all appearance of evil.” While ministers acknowledge the sanctity of the Christian-Sabbath, and profess to be deeply concerned for that profanation of it which the military ardour of this awful period is likely to involve, it appears to me there is much inconsistency in this conduct, whatever may be alleged in favour of a few extraordinary cases, – such as those purely of a charitable nature. Ministers, I trust, will, on a little retfection, perceive that the practice, as generally maintained in some vestries, is wholly indefensible; and ought, therefore, to be immediately abandoned.
I am, Rev. Sir,
Is any serious person (a minister in particular) justifiable in Associating with those whose conduct he knows is, on many Accounts, extremely reprehensible?
J. B. Leather-lane.
:( 391 )
SPARE TO SPEND. MANY years ago, the writer of this heard Mr. Whitfeld relate, in a sermon at the Tabernacle, the following anecdote, which has so good a tendency, that the insertion of it in this work may contribute to the promotion both of frugality and generosity, — qualities which may reciprocally assist each other :
Two persons, who were employed in collecting money for some public charity, knocked at the door of a certain gentleman, intending to solicit his donation. While waiting there, they overheard the master of the house severely reproving his servants for the waste of a small piece of candle. Judging from
of extreme parsimony that he was a covetous man, one of them proposed, that they should lose no more time in waiting there, but go on to another house. The other person, however, thought it best to stay. At length they were introduced, when the gentleman, having read their case, immediately presented them with five guineas. The collectors, so agreeably disappointed, could not conceal their surprize; which being observed by the donor, he desired to know why they expressed so much wonder at the gitt. “The reason, Sir,” said one of them,“ is this: We happened to hear you severely blaming your servants for losing an inch of candle; and expected nothing from a person who, we feared, was so parsimonious. 'Gentlemen, replied he, it is true, I am very exact in the economy of any affairs : I cannot endure the waste of any thing, however small its value; and I do this, that I may save, out of a moderate income, something to give to God and religion !"
The moral is obvious. Masters and Mistresses of families, suffer no extravagance! Spare unvecessary expence! Spare, that you may have to spend for God ;--and you, servants, avoid profusion and waste !' Think not your masters coretous, because careful: it becomes both them and you to be careful, that there may be somewhat “ to give to him that needeth.”
G. B. H A copy of this anecdote, pasted on the wall of a kitchen, may probably have a good effect.
ON DUELLING. Sir ChoyLEY DEERING, Member of Parliament for the county of Kent, was killed by his intimate friend Mr. Thornhill, in a duel, the 9th of May, 1711. These gentlemen having sat too long over a glass of wine, it seems, began to make personal reflections on cach other, which produced a challenge; and both of them were grieved they had quarrelied