« הקודםהמשך »
si Let it not however be imagined, that I ám here holding the language of despondency and despair; no, nothing can be farther from my thoughts. But in the present calamitous situation of this country, this glorious and still unrivalled country, to which all our hearts are bound by a thousand indissoluble ties, it would have been unpardonable in me to have passed over with unfeeling apathy and cold indifference those awakening and unexampled events, which are forcing themselves every moment on our observation, and which call aloud on all the sons of men to reflect and to repent? I felt it to be my indispensable duty, in this my last solemn address to you, to press upoli you every motive to a holy life that could influence the heart of man, and with this view to draw
your attention to all those astonishing scenes that are daily passing before your eyes, and which add irresistible force to every thing that has been advanced in the course of these Lectures. You now see displayed, in visible characters, in the actual vicissitudes of almost every hour, those great truths which I have been for four years past inculcating in words: 1
the uncertainty of every earthly blessing, the vanity of all human pursuits, the instability of all worldly happiness, and the absolute necessity of looking out for some more solid ground to stand upon, some more durable treasures on which to fix our affections and our hearts, For inany years past God has been speaking to us by the various dispensations of his providence, by acts of mercy and of justice, by his interpositions to save us, by his judgments to correct us. He has been speaking a language which cannot be misunderstood, a language which is heard in every quarter of the globe, which makes all nature tremble, and shakeş the very foundations of the earth.
Yet still, though there is just cause for apprehension, there is no occasion for despair. If from these judgments of the Lord, we learn that lesson they were meant to teach us ;- if we turn, without delay, from the evil of our ways; if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and acknowledge our transgressions with the truest penitence and contrition of soul; if we set ourselves in earnest to relinquish every vicious habit, every secret fault, as well as every presumptuous
از زز و
sin; if we deny ourselves, and take up our cross to follow Christ; if we lay our follies, our ranities, our gaieties, our criminal indul gencies, at the feet of our Redeemer, and
purify ourselves even as he is pure ; if in these times of unexampled scarcity of all the necessaries of life, we open our hearts and our hands wide to the necessities of our suffering brethren ; if, in short, by the purity of our) hearts, the sanctity of our lives, the fervour of our devotions, the sincerity of our faith and confidence in Christ, we recommend ourselves to the favour of heaven, I scruple not to say, that we have nothing to fear. By the mighty band of God we shall be protected here ; by the merits of him who died for us we shall be saved and rewarded hereafter. And we may, I trust, in this case, humbly apply to outselves that consolatory declaration of the Almighty to another people, with which I shall finally close these Lectures ; and which may God of his infinite mercy confirm to us all in this world, and in the next!
“ How can I give thee up, Ephraim ? My soul is turned within me. I will not execute the fierceness of my anger, for I am God, and
not man. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment: but with everlasting kindness * will I have mercy upon thee-t."
* This kindness has in fact (as far as the public welfare is concerned) been in several important instances most graciously, and conspicuously extended to this highly favoured land since these Lectures were finished; and it evidently calls for every return on our part of affection and obedience to our heavenly Benefactor that the deepest sense of gratitude can possibly dictate to devout and feeling hearts. March, 1802.
t Hosea, xi. 8, 9. Isaiah, liv. 8. metus
1. Sermons on Several Subjects. In Two Volumés, 8vò. Eighth Edition.
II. A Summary of the Principal Evidences for the Truth and Divine Origin of the Christian Revelation.. Seventh Edition.
III. A Review of the Life and Character of Dr. ThoMAS SECKER, late Archbishop of Canterbury. The Fifth Edition.
Sold by CADELL, jun. and Davies, STRAND: