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"shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth as if it chad issued out of the womb?-Hast thou commanded "the morning, and caused the day-spring to know his “place?-Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea, wand walked in search of the depth? --Have the gates of “death been opened unto thee, or hast thou seen the doois “ofthe shadow of death?-Hast thou perceived the breadth bof the earth; declare if thou knowest it all?-\Vhere is "the way to the dwelling place of the light; or knowest “thou the paths that lead to the land of darkness!"
In some parts of scripture Jehovah is represented dlescending in clouds and tempests, and fixing for himself in the air a tent or pavilion, where the clementary forces attend, and receive commissions and árins for the service in which each meteor, or element, is to be employed. An example of whatever is elegant and awful in this species of sublime composition, appears in the cigliteenth Psalm. The Lord of ihe clemenis bows the heavens, and, in an earthquake and hurricane, comes down into the air; aniig scating himself in dark waters and thick clouds, slischarges in the face of his enemies thunderbolts, and hailstones, and ccals of fire. In the same majesty and pomp of melaphor, the air is the treasure; or armoury, of Jehova!, where snow and hail are collected and laid up against a day of battle and war. "liast thou entered into the trea. whail, which I have reserve:) against the time of trouble, assures of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasures of the bagainst the day of battle and war?”. Since thou never wert in my treasures, nor ever saw the snow and hail laid up in my armoury, thou art unqualified to give judgment on my administration, and oughtest to rest in this general principle, that whatever is done by my providence, is done wisely and justly, though my reasons and motives be high and incomprehensible.'
Texts which have a special respect to circumstances of an individual in a former age, are of general use for reproof and instruction to the church in every age. Our winter is extending itself into the spring, and its rigour is unusual and threatening. To accommodate the doctrine of the Sanctuary to the appearances of providence, I have made choice of the words you have read, and from these have collected the following theme of discourse: In the armoury of Jehovah treasures of snow and hail are re
Served against the time of trouble, and against the day of battle and war. We shall speak concerning these trea, sures which are in the arinouiy of Jehovah;-concerning the time of trouble and the day of battle and war;-concerning the reservation of the treasures against such a time and such a day; and, finally, concerning ihe inferences and uscs of this text and theme of discourse.
We propose to speak of these treasures which are mentioned in our text. Though we never entered into them nor saw them, the account that Jehovah hath given of them will, through his blessing, minister to our instruclion and comfort. Attend to the following observations:
first, The treasures mentioned in the text are treasures of snow and hail. Snow is a collection of vapour, well known in this country. We often read concerning it in scripture; sometimes hear of it from distant places; and usually behold it every winter covering our hills and filling our vallies. That vapour, ascending from the eartli and floating over our leads in the air, descends in small white flakes, is a sensible truth; but how the particles of vapour condense and adhere, how they assume the shape, and the colour, and the quality of snow, are ques. tions too high for us, and must be resolved into the wil} and power of God, “who saith to the show, Be thou on atlie earth; and who giveth snow like wool." No account is found in scripture of his using snow in administrations of justice; but though facts be not recorded, examples frequently appear in the course of Proricience. In falis of snow drifted by strong winds, way-faring men have been lost, shepherds buried, and flocks of sheep smothered. Small quantities of snow are beneficial in many climates. But it is easy with the Lord, when provoked to anger by the iniquities of men, to draw out of his treasures, and throw down a quantity that would bury a whole kingdom,
keep it lying on the ground a length of time that would 1:inder the operations of husbandry, and bring on universal siistress.-Hail is a body of condensed vapour, which is also well known. Dreadful is the execution which it baih done among the enemies of the Lord, when precipitated and thrown down in a tempest.
By a tenipest of hail the land of insolence and oppression was almost destroyed.--"The hail smoic, throughout all the land of Egyp, all that
was in the fiell, both man and beast; and the hail smote "every herb or the field, and brake every tree of the "field.”* In the war's of Joshua, bailstones killed many of the enemies of Israel. "The Lord' cast down great "stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they "died; they were more which died with hailstones than "they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.”ť Ordinary hailstones are neither large nor heavy; but it is easy with Omnipotence to swell the size, and make every sione equal in weight to a talent. “There fell upon men “a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight obof a talent, and men blasphemed God because of the splagne of the hail, for the plugue thereof was exceeding "great."! A quantity of vapour collected in a cloud, rounded and hardened into hail, and shot from the air, will do inore execution in a province among men, and cattle, and fruits of the ground, than an army with a train of artillery; hence a tempest of hail appears among metaphors of an arined and destroying cnemy. “Behold the Lord shath a mighty and a strong one, which, as a tempest of: "hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters lloverflowing, shall cast down to the earth with ihe hand."'S
Secondly, The air is the store-house where snow and hail are collected and laid up. This magnificent fabric, the dimensions of which are unknown, is a glorious effcct of the wisdom and power of the Great Builder. Story is founded upon story, and sphere raised over sphere. “He "that buildeth his stories in the heaven,-the Lord is his "name.”'ll The vapoor which ascends from the enrls of the earth collccis itself under bis eye, and at his appointment rests in the lower apartments of this vast fabric. Thi. therward the several particles direct their flight, and here they all arrive without losiog, or even mistaking the way. No sooner do they arrive at the place of their destination, than transformations and dispositions are made of which we are able to give no account, and which are known only by their effects. The self same substance, exhaled from the earth, is moulded into different shapes, and treasures up io distinct apartinents. One part is powdered into ho:r. frost, ansi another wrought into flakes of snow, a third is harlened into hail, while a fourth is bcaten into plates of
* Exod. ix. 25. tJosh, 3. 11.
Rev. zui: 21.
ice. How various and amazing, and worthy of observation, are the operations of the Creator! At bis command cyery exhalation appears, and without resisting his will, assumes the shape, and fills the place, which he hath appointed. “He sendeth fortlı his commandment upon cearili, his word runneih very swisily. Fie giveth snow "ike wool, he scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes. He bicasteth forth his ice like morsels; who can stand before This cold? lle sendeth out his word, and melteth them; "he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow."* “Praise the Lord from the carit-Fire and hail, snow and “vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling his word.”+
Thirdly, The treasures of snow and hail are under the care and direction of the Lord of heaven and earth. Oier these his power is unlimited, and in and by these he dotha whatsoever pleaseth himn. The keys which open and lock the siore-rooms of vapour are in his hand, as well as the keys of hell and of death. In the air Jehovah is sove. rcign, and the disposition of the vapour stored in it is a jewel of his crown, an cssential prerogative, of which he cannot divest hinıself. Prince of the power of the air is one of the titles of the god of this world; but his juris. diction in this, and cvery other region, is limited and dependent. He cannot enter into the stores of rapour, nor draw out of these a single meteor without permission and powers from above.
When Jeare was given lie brought fire from heaven that consumed the sheep and the servants of Job, and a whirlwind from the wilderness which buried his sons and his daughters in their eldest brother's house; but he could neither bring down a flash of lightning, nor raise a blast of wind, till the Lord said, “Behold, all that he hath is in thy power.” Were his powers absolute and unlimited, could he enter into the treasures of the air, and draw out snow and hail at his pleasure, what devastation would be made on earti! or were these stores even in the power of man, we could expect nothing but vexation and misery. The supremacy of Jehovah over the clouds is our faith and our comfort. In chastising and reducing rebels and enemies he sometimes uses vapour and meteors, but he uses these in measure, and does not make a fuil end.
*Psal. cxlvii. 15.18. *Psal. cxlviii. 7, 8.
Fourthly, These treasures are inaccessible to man. The questions concerning them which were put to Job are strong assertions of this observation. “Hast thou entered cinto the treasures of the snow, or last thou seen the trca"sures of ihe hail?" Thou never hast. In a moment of vanily Hezekiah admitted the ambassadors of Babylon inlo his treasury, and shewed them all the stores of his kingdom. But Jehovah hath a treasury into which he doth not admit the heirs of his kingdom, or rather into which the heirs are incapable of entering. Like himself, his treasures in the air are not visible to the naked eye, nor coinprehensible by the created mind. Men of genius and learping have speculated concerning these, and written many things which may be naturally true, but, after all the discoyerics made by investigation and instruments, bis aerial treasures are unsearchable and inaccessible. Are there secrets in the air which we cannot discover, and operations in that stole-house of vapour which we are not able to explain— Why do men of penetration stumble at mysteries in religion, or reject truths which God hath revealed, because these are not comprehensible by reason? Canst thou, presumptuous mar, "canst thou by searching find sout God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfeccsoljon?". His works are longer than the earth, and broader than the sea; higher than heaven, and deeper than hell. In the heavens above, in the earth beneath, and in the wa. teis under the earth, "lie doth great things and unsearch"able, yea, and wonders without number.”
According to our method of discoursing, we proceed to speak concerning the time of trouble, and the day of batlie and war mentioned in the text. The time of trouble is not a period different from the day of batile and war.There may indecd be trouble when there is not war, but a day of war is always a time of trouble. Both terms there. fore denote one period at which the Lord opens his treasury in the air, and draws out of it snow and hail to afflict anan and beast, and to reduce and punish enemies and rebels against his law and government. In speaking of himself, and of the operations of his power and wrath, Jehovah accommodates expression to the capacities of men unto whom his language is directed. Trouble, balile, and war, are terms with which we are acquainted, and they