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Judah for her fins was finally to be cut off from being a nation, forewarnings of vengeance were given without ceafing, by the Son of GOD himself and his apoftles and fervants, for the space of forty years. They were exhorted, were intreated with tears of love, to flee for protection to GoD their Redeemer.
By day and by night, in the temple and the fynagogues and from house to house, the prophecies which demonftrated Jefus to be the Meffiah were expounded to them; miracles were publicly wrought in his name; their fin in crucifying him was brought home to their confciences; for which, and for their other iniquities, the extreme and inevitable ruin, which should come upon that very age of unbelievers, was forefhewn and defcribed.
These predictions, moreover, were committed to writing, that they might be weighed and confidered in the calmness of retirement, by those who were afraid or afhamed of lif tening to the public difcourfes of the leaders of a hated and perfecuted fect. And lastly while the total overthrow of the state, together with the defolation of the city and temple, was foretold and lamented, the faithful were comforted with a promise of deliverance M 2 from
from the midft of thefe troubles, and the manner of their escape was minutely prescribed and earnestly recommended.
In these extraordinary interpofitions of heaven, as well as in the more ufual course of providence, He who made man and knoweth what is in him, dealeth with him as a frail, yet ftill as a rational and free creature. He fetteth before him life and death; but as he doth not willingly inflict the one, fo reither doth he forcibly obtrude the other.
When the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire, he had mercy upon Lot; and the angels, while he lingered, laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters. They brought them forth without the city, and put fafety in their power; and said to him, " Escape for thy life, look not behind thee." Yet one of the party, fmall as it was, became a monument of difobedience to all future generations".
In the fiege of the Chaldeans, and in the war of the Romans, deliverance was promifed to thofe that were obedient; but no
- See Gen. xix. 15. &c.
rescue was miraculously effected for thofe who did not believe the declarations of heaven, or did not feife the opportunity of escape which providence afforded.
When Paul was imprisoned, the Lord faid unto him, "Be of good cheer; for as thou haft teftified of me in Jerufalem, fo must thou bear witness alfo at Rome"." When afterwards in the voyage they were toffed with a tempeft many days, and all hope of fafety was gone; he was again certified by an angel of GOD, that neither himself, nor any one of those with him in the ship, should perish. Yet even this repeated affurance of heaven was not defigned to fet afide the use of ordinary means and human prudence: "As the shipmen were about to flee out of the fhip," leaving none on board who could navigate the veffel," Paul faid to the centurion and the foldiers, Except these abide in the ship, Ye cannot be faved".'
Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not throw thyself headlong upon danger, when he hath not promised to keep thee from falling. Thou shalt not tarry in
n Acts xxiii. II.
Ibid. 30, 31.
• See Ibid. xxvii. 22.
the tents of the ungodly, when he hath com→ manded thee to flee away, left the earth open her mouth and fwallow thee up. Such calamities as it seemeth good to the just and merciful Difpofer of all things to bring upon the world, he will, if we truft in him, direct us to escape, or enable us to bear. "In famine he fhall redeem thee from death; and in war from the power of the fword." Under his wings thou shalt fear no evil, his faithfulness and truth fhall be thy fhield and buckler. For who is GOD, fave the LORD and who is a rock, fave our GOD? The LORD liveth, and bleffed be our rock; and exalted
be the GOD of the rock of our falvation
• Job v. 20.
2 Sam. xxii. 32. 47.
LUKE XIX. 41, 42, 43, 44.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, faying, If thou hadft known, even thou, at leaft in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days fhall come upon thee, that thine enemies Shall caft a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every fide, and fhall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one ftone upon another; because thou kneweft not the time of thy vifitation.
T has often been observed, by those who have viewed with attention the affairs of the world, and the various revolutions in civil