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unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain.. Be ye also patient'; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh*.”
It is not indeed always an easy task to exercise this patience, when we see conspicuous instances either of individuals or of nations, notorious for their profligacy, triumphant and prosperous in all their ways. We can scarce repress our discontent, or forbear joining with the prophet in bis expostulation with the Almighty, “ Righteous art thou, O Lord ! yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments : Why do the ways of the wicked prosper? Why are all they happy that deal very treacherously *?". Io this we can now answer in the words of Job: “ Knowest thou not this, since man was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? Though his excellency mount unto the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; yet he shall perish for ever, and they that have seen him shall say, Where is he 1.?" * James v. 7,8. Jerem. xii. k. Job xx.5,6,7.
In fact it has been proved, in the course of this inquiry, that in such an immense and complicated system as that of the universe, there are many reasons which we can discern, and a thousand others perhaps totally unknown to us, which render it necessary that the virtuous should suffer a temporary depression, and the wicked enjoy a temporary triumph. But let not these' apparent irregulari, ties dispirit or discourage us : for whenever the purposes of Providence in these mysterious dispensations shall have been accomplished, every disorder shall be rectified, and every appearance of injustice done away. The time and the season for doing this, God has reserved in his own power; and we must not presume to prescribe rules to the wisdom of the Almighty. To men excruciated with pain, every moment seems an age; and to men groaning under oppression, their deliverance, if it come not instantly, may seem extremely distant. But let them not despair: in due season they shall reap, if they faint not. At the period marked out by infinite wisdom, and which it is their duty to await with patience, God shall cause his judgment to be heard from heaven,
and the earth shall tremble and be still. He shall then demonstrate to the whole world " that his hand is not shortened that it cannot redeem, and that he still retains the power to save *.” He shall prove, in a manner the most awful and most satisfactory, “that verily there is a reward for the righteous, and a punishment for the wicked; that doubtless there is a God that judgeth the earth -t."
• Isaiah, chaps. 1. & 2.
of Psalm lviii. 11.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
Luke Hansard, Printer,