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than to that God who takes the title of King guthered themselves unto him, he said unto of kings. What I say of confidence in a them, put every man his sword by his side, king, I affirm of confidence in all other crea- and go in and out from gate to gate, throughtures, whoever or whatever they be. On out the camp, and slay every man his brother, this principle the psalmist grounded this and every man his companion, and every man exhortation, put not your trust in princes, his neighbour,' ver. 26, 27. See Phinehas. nor in the son of man, in whom there is no He perceives Moses and Aaron • weeping at help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth the door of the tabernacle,' because the peoto his earth, in that very day his thoughts per- ple had forsaken the worship of God, and ish.' On this principle is this other de- gone over to that of Baal-peor ; touched with claration of a prophet founded, .cursed be the their grief he rises up,' quits the congregaman that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh tion, takes a javelin in his hand' and stabs an his arm.' And it is on this principle that sa- Israelite (with the immodest Midianite), who cred history imputes so great a crime to Asa, had enticed the people, into this abominable because when he fell sick, and saw himself idolatry. Behold Elijab. 'I am very jealous,' reduced to extremity, he sought to the says he, for the Lord God of hosts, for the physicians, and not to the Lord.'
children of Israel have forsaken his covenant, What is a man who gives up his heart to thrown down his altars, and slain his prophets idolize any particular object? What is a with the sword,' 1 Kings xix. 10. Remark man who follows certain sympathies, a cer- St. Paul. His spirit was stirred in him, to tain secret influence, certain charms omnipo- see a nation, in other respects the most learntent to him, hecause he chooses to yield to Red and polite, rendering to an unknown God' their omnipotence? He is a profane wretch, such homage as was due to none but the Most who declares war against God, and who at- High, whose glory the heavens declare, and tacks his attributes of communication ; he is a whose handy work the firmament showeth.' man, who attests by his conduct that there is Behold the royal propbet, •Do not I hate more pleasure in his union to his idol than them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am I not there can be in communion with God; he is a grieved with those that rise up against thee? man, who maintains by his actions that this I hate them with perfect hatred, I count them creature to whom he gives himself up with mine enemies,' Ps. cxxxix. 21, 22. My zeal out reserve, merits more love, and knows hath consumed me, because mine enemies how to return love with more delicacy and have forgotten thy words. Rivers of waters constancy than that God, who is the only mo- run down mine eyes, because they keep not del of perfect love; he is a man who resists thy law. • Rivers of tears,' tears of which this invitation of eternal wisdom, my son my zeal for thy glory is the first cause. give me thine heart,' and who disputes a 11. Although the sinner be hateful as a sintruth, that ought to be considered as a first ner, yet as an unhappy person he is an object principle in a system of love, in thy presence of pity, and it is possible he may preclude fuis fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are ture ills by repentance. As to love God with pleasures for evermore,' Ps. xvi. 11.
all the heart is the first and great commandLet us abridge this part of our discourse, ment, so the second is like unto it, thou shalt and let us return to the chief end proposed. love thy neighbour' as thyself.' Sin is a A sinner, who sins openly, freely, of set pur- source of misery to a sinner, and it is impossipose, attacks the attributes of God, either his ble for a yood mav to see, without shedding attributes of greatness, or bisattributes of com- tears of love and pity, the depths of wo into munication, or his attributes of holiness, some which people united to him by bonds of af times all the three together. A good man, section plunge themselves by their obstinacy who sincerely loves God, can he look with in- in sin, difference on such insults offered to the object Every thing favours this subject. In reof his love? And in which of the saints whom gard to the present life, a man living accordthe inspired writers have proposed as exam- ing to laws of virtue is incomparably more ples to you, have you discovered this guilty happy than he who gives himself up to vice. indifference?
So the Holy Spirit has declared, godliness Behold Moses ! He comes down from the hath promise of ihe life that now is,' I Tim. iv. holy mountain, he bears the acclamations of 8. Though this general rule has some exthose madmen who were celebrating a foolish ceptions, yet they cannot regard the serenity feast in honour of their idol, and he replies to of mind, the peace of conscience, the calm of Joshua, who thought it was a war shout, the passions, the confidence of good men, their • Ah! no, it is not the voice of them that steadiness in the calamities of life, and their inshout for mastery, neither is it the voice of trepidity at the approach of death. All these them that cry for being overcome, but the advantages and many others, without which noise of them that sing do I hear,' Exod. the most brilliant condition, and the most de xxxii. 18. Convinced by his own eyes, he licious life, are only a splendid slavery, and a trembles at the sight, breaks the tables of the source of grief, all these advantages, I say, are law, on which God had engraven with bis inseparable from piety. A charitable man own adorable hand the clauses of the cove- cannot see, without deep affliction, objects of nant which this people were now violating, his tenderest love renounce such inestimable he runs to the gate of the camp, and cries, advantages, poison the pleasure of their own • who is on the Lord's side? Let him come lise, open an inexhaustible source of remorse, anto me!' And when all the sons of Levi and prepare for themselves racks and tortures
But, my brethren, these are only the least timents is to oppose the intention of God; to subjects of our present contemplation. We tear those from our hearts is to disrobe our. have other bitter reflections to make, and oth- selves of that charity, without which there is er tears to shed, and there is an exposition of no religion. charity more just, and at the same time more Accordingly, the more a mind becomes perlamentable, of the words of my text, “Rivers fect in the exercise of this virtue, the more it of waters run down mine eyes : because they has of this kind of sensibility. Hence it was keep not thy law.'
that St. Paul so sharply reproved the CorinI am thinking of the eternal misery in which thians, because they had not mourned on acsinners involve themselves. We are united count of that incestuous person, who had disto sinners by ties of nature, by bonds of soci- graced their church. Hence it was that Moety, and by obligations of religion, and who ses, when he discovered that gross idolatry of can help trembling to think that persons which we just now spoke, gave himself up to round whom so many tendrils of affectionate the deepest sorrow, and said to the Lord, Oh, ligaments twine, should be threatened with this people have sinned a great sin! Yet now, everlasting torments! Some people are so forgive their sin, and if not, blot me, I pray much struck with this thought, that they thee, out of thy book.' Hence it was that Je. think, when we shall be in heaven all ideas of remiah said to the Jews of his time, who were people related to us on earth will be effaced going captives into a foreign land, where they from our memory, that we shall entirely lose would be destitute of the comfort of religion, the power of remembering, that we shall not give glory to God before he cause darkness, even know such as share celestial happiness and before your feet stumble upon the dark with us, lest the idea of such as are deprived mountains. But if ye wil: not hear it, my of it should diminish our pleasure, and imbit- soul shall weep in secret places for your pride, ter our happiness. It would be easy, in my and mine eyes shall weep sore, and run down opinion to remove this difficulty, if it were ne- with tears, because the Lord's flock is carried cessary now. In heaven order, and order away captive.' Hence this declaration of alone will be the foundation of our hap- Paul to the Philippians, Many walk, of piness; and if order condemns the persons whom I have told you often, and now tell you we shall have most esteemed, our happi. even weeping, that they are the enemies of the ness will not be affected by their misery. cross of Christ.' Hence it was that Jesus We shall love only in God; we shall feel no Christ, the chief model of charity, when he attachment to any, who do not love God as we overlooked the unhappy Jerusalem, and saw do: their cries will not move us, nor will the heavy judgments coming upon it, wept their torments excite our compassion. over it,' saying, O that thou hadst known,
But while we are in this world, God would even thou, at least in this thy day, the things have us affected with the misery that threat- which belong unto thy peace! but now they ens a sinner, that our own feelings may excite are hid from thine eyes.' us to prevent it. You have sometimes admi- Here I venture to defy those of you, who red one of the most marvellous phenomena of glory in insensibility, to be insensible and void natare; nature has united us together by in- of feeling. No, nothing but the most confirmvisible bonds, it has formed our fibres in per- ed inattention to futurity, nothing but the lect unison with the fibres of our neighbour; wretched habit we have formed of thinking of we cannot see him exposed to violent pain nothing but the present world can hinder our without receiving a counter blow, an unva- being affected with subjects which made the ried tone that sounds relief to him, and forces deepest impressions on the soul of the psalmist. us to assist him. This is the work of that Consider them as he did, and you will be afCreator, whose infinite goodness is seen in all fected as he was. You hardest hearts, try his productions. He intends that these sen- your insensibility, and see whether you can retiments of commiseration in us should be so sist such reflections as these ! This friend, who many magazines to supply what the temporal is my counsel in difficulty, my support in troumiseries of our neighbours require.
ble, my comfort in adversity; this friend, who So in regard to eternity, there is a harmo- constitutes the pleasure of my life, will be ny, and, if you will allow the expression, there perhaps for ever excluded from that happiness is a unison of spirits. While we are in this in heaven, to which all my hopes and wishes world, an idea of the eternal destruction of a tend: when I shall be in the society of angels, person we esteem suspends the pleasure, he will be in the company of devils: when he which a hope of salvation promised to our shall knock at the door of the bridegroom who selves would otherwise cause. It is the work opened to me, he will receive this answer, of the Creator, whose goodness shines bright- • Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.' This er in religion than in the works of nature. catechumen, in whose mind I endeavoured to That horror, which is caused by a bare np- inculcate the truths of religion ; a part of the pearance, that the man we so tenderly love men, whom I thought I had subdued to Jesus should be reserved for eternal torments, I say, Christ; a great number of these hearers, whom the bare suspicion of such a calamitous event 1 often told, that they would be my joy and compels us to flee to the aid of the unhappy crown in the day of the Lord (certainly you object of our esteem, to pluck him from the are our joy and crown,') will perhaps be one jaws of destruction by reclaiming him from day disowned by Jesus Christ in the face of his errors with the force of exhortation and heaven and earth. This pastor, whom I conthe
power of example. To combat these sen- 'sidered as my guide in the way to heaven, this
pastor will himself experience all the horrors , contrast, which renders the latter abominable of that state, of which he gave me such dread in the eyes of all equitable people. ful ideas. This husband to whom Providence A good man, on the contrary, is happy in the united me, this husband whom I esteemed as company of another good man. What counpart of myself, I shall perhaps one day consi- trymen feel, when they meet in a foreign land der as my most mortal foe, I shall acquiesce in where interests and customs, maxims and his damnation, I shall praise God and say, views, all different from those of the land of 'Hallelujah, power belongeth unto the Lord their nativity, resembles the pleasures believour God! True and righteous are his judg- ers experience when they associate in a world ments! Hallelujah, the smoke of the torment where they are only strangers and pilgrims. of him whose company once constituted my Accordingly, one of the most ardent wishes of happiness, shall rise up for ever and ever!' our prophet was, to be always in company This child, in behalf of whom I feel I exhaust with people of this kind, 'I am a companion of all that the power of love has of tenderness, all them that fear thee, and of them that keep this child whose least cry pierces my soul, and thy precepts,' said he to God. In another who feels no pain without my feeling a thou- place, 'I will early destroy all the wicked of sand times more for him, this child will be the land, that I may cut off all wicked doers seized with horror, when he shall see coming from the city of the Lord.' And again, All in the clouds of heaven surrounded with holy my delight is in the excellent saints that are in angels that Jesus whose coming will over the earth.' whelm me with joy : this child will then seek But how few of these saints did he find! refuge in dens, and caverns, and chasms, he Most of his misfortunes were brought on him will cry in agony of despair, "Mountains and by the very sinners whose depravity he derocks, fall on me and hide me from the wrath plores. They were the poison of his life, and of the Lamb!' He will be loaded with chains them he always saw standing ready to perseof darkness, he will be a prey to the worm cute him, and to discharge against his person that never dies, and fuel for the fire that will the impotent malice they had against that never be quenched, and when Jesus Christ God whose servant be considered it as his gloshall say to me in that great day, “Come, thou ry to be. blessed of my Father,' I shall hear this dread- Does our age differ in this respect from that ful sentence denounced against this child, .de- of David ? Are saints more numerous now part, thou cursed, into everlasting fire prepar- than they were then? May a good man proed for the devil and his angels.' Too just a mise himself among you more approbation, subject of grief! • Rivers of waters,' tears of more countenance and support, than the psalmlove and pity, run down mine eyes : because ist found ? they keep not thy law.'
This is an odious question, and our doubts III. So earnestly do I desire to have your at- may seem to you illiberal. Well, we will not tention fixed on the objects just now mention press it. But if the bulk of you be saints, this ed, that I shall hardly venture to finish the country must be the most delicious part of the plan proposed, and to proceed to a third part whole universe. A good man must be as hapof this discourse. I wish you were so alarmed py as it is possible to be in this world. In with the eternal misery that threatens to over- these provinces, free by constitution, opulent whelm your fellow-citizens and friends, your by trade, invincible by alliances, and perfectly husbands and children, and so employed to safe by the nature of their government from prevent it, that you were become as it were tyrants and tyranny, if the number of saints be insensible to the temporal ills to which the en-greater in these provinces than that of the emies of God expose you. However, we do wieked, it must be the most delicious of all renot pretend that love to our neighbours should sidences in this world for a good man: if he make us forget what we owe ourselves. As stumbles, you will charitably save him from the excesses of the wicked made our prophet falling, if he errs, you will patiently bear with shed tears of charity, so they caused him to him, and gently reclaim him; if he be opshed tears of self-interest.
pressed, you will assist him with firmness and The wicked are the scourges of society. vigour ; if he form schemes of piety, charity, One seditious person is often sufficient to dis- and reformation, you will second him with ea. turb the state ; one factious spirit is often gerness and zeal; if he sacrifice his health, and enough to set a whole church in a flame; one ease, and fortune, for our good, you will reprofligate child is often enough to poison the ward him with gratitude, yea with profusion. pleasure of the most happy and harmonious May a good man promise himself all this family. Good people are generally the butts among you? Alas! to be only willing to deof the wicked. A wicked man hates a good vote himself to truth and virtue, is often sufman, He hates him, when he has not the ficient to cause him to be beset round with a power to hurt him, because he has not had the company of contradictors and opposers. pleasure of hurting him; he hates him, after But we will not engage too deeply in such he has injured him, because he considers him gloomy reflections, we will finish the discourse, as a man always ready to revenge the affront and can we finish it in a manner more suitable offered him; and if he thinks him superior to to the emotions of piety that assembled you in revenge, he hates hin because he is incapable this solemn assembly, than by repeating the of vengeance, and because the patience of the prayer with which we began Almighty God! offended and the rage of the offender form a whose adorable judgments condemns us to
wander in a valley of trouble, and to live, And you too, distressed Rachels! whose voices sometimes to be united by indissoluble ties, are heard lamenting, weeping, and mourning, among men who insolently brave thy com- refusing to be comforted, because your chilmands, Almighty God! grant we may be ga- dren are not; see, behold there in heaven your thered to that holy society of blessed spirits, children, the dear objects of your grief and who place their happiness in a perfect con- your love! formity to thine august laws.
Oh! Blessed are the dead that die in the The occupation of the blessed in heaven, Lord! I shall go to him, but he shall not re(and this is one of the most beautiful images turn to me. Let us apply this thought of the under which a man who loves his God, can prophet to ourselves, and may the application represeut the happiness of heaven), the em- we make, serve for a balm to heal the wounds, ployment of the blessed in heaven is to serve which the loss of our friends has occasioned ! God; their delight is to serve God; the de- *They shall not return to us,' they shall never sign of all the plans, and all the actions, and return to this society. What a society! A the motions of the blessed in heaven, is to serve society in which our life is nothing but a miseGod. And as the most laudable grief of a be- rable round of errors and sins ; a society where liever in this unhappy world, which sin makes the greatest saints are great sinners; a society a theatre of bloody catastrophes, and a habi- in which we are often obliged to communicate tation of maledictions, is to see the unworthy with the enemies of God, with blasphemers of inhabitants violate the laws of their Creator, his holy name, violaters of his august laws! so the purest joys of the blessed, is to see No, they shall not •return to us, and this is themselves in a society where all the mem- one consolation. But (and this is the other), bers are always animated with a desire to but we shall go to them. They have done please God, always ready to fly where his nothing but set one step before us into eternivoice calls them, always collected in studying ty; the pleasures they enjoy are increased by his holy laws.
the hope of our shortly enjoying the same with This is the society to which you, my dear them. They, with the highest transports, bebrethren, are apppinted; you who, after the hold the mansions which Jesus Christ has preexample of Lot, vex your righteous souls from pared for us in the house of his Father. I day to day at seeing the depravity of the world; ascend unto my Father and your Father, and you, I mean, 'who shine as lights in the midst to my God and your God,' said our divine Reof a crooked and perverse nation.' Into that deemer, to raise the drooping spirits of his society those happy persons are gone, whom j apostles, stunned with the apprehension of his death has taken from us, and a separation from approaching death. This is the language we whom has caused us so many sighs and tears. have heard spoken, this is the declaration we Behold, faithful friend! behold the company have heard made by each of those whom we where now resides that friend to whom your have had the consolation of seeing die full of soul was knit, as the soul of Jonathan was knit the peace of God, I ascend unto my Father with the soul of David! See, thou weeping and your Father and to my God and your Joseph! See that society where thy good fa- God. O may we be shortly united in the bother now is, that good Jacob whom thou didst som of this adorable Being with our departed convey to the grave with tears so bitter, that friends, whose conversation was lately so dethe inhabitants of Canaan called the place lightful to us, and whose memory will always where thou didst deposit the body, • Abel- continue respected and dear! May we be Mizraim, a grievous mourning to the Egyp- united with the redeemed of all nations, and tians. Look, frail father! look at that socie- kindreds, and people, and tongues, in the prety, there is thy son, at whose death thou didst sence of the blessed God! God grant us this exclaim, .0 Absalom, my son, would God I grace! To him be honour and glory, for ever. had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!' Amen.