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marked this spring, when he came to purchase his usual supply of spring goods," I shall ask you, sir, to credit me for only half of what I buy, and that half for only six months—and the next time, I shall pay you for all my goods, in ready cash. “Oh," said this delightful trader, “ we are all becoming thrifty, prosperous men at - we are growing rich. We expend less than one-eighteenth as much for ardent spirits as we did two years ago. And the const. quence is, our farms and fences, and buildings are all rapidly inproving, and we shall soon be a wealthy town, a peaceful and happy town.” **N. B. The town referred to, expended a few years since, for ardent spirits, annually, Nine Thousand Dollars; more than $ 8500 of which is now saved. When to this we add the superior health, vigour and prudence of temperate men, it is not surprising that the people are growing rich and prosperous.—There is no village in the land where the people would not grow rich, if they would totally abstain from the use of ardent spirits.

N. Y. Obs.



A sound of mirth was heard by night,

Its merry peals rang high-
And song and dance and sinful rite

Bade the wing'd moments fly.-
Glad Sodom, in her pomp and pride

Gave up her soul to glee,
And proud Gomorrah by her side

Rang with the revelry.
Thy streets. Zeboim, too were glad,

Glad with unholy mirth-
And Admah's drunken sons were mad,

And ruled upon the earth.
The night passed on—The torch's light,

Flash'd far from tower and wall
And gay forms, gliding to the sight,

Glanced bright from bower to ball!
The morning came—and all was still,

Save they, the warn'd from high,
Who fast toward the distant hill,

With hurried steps fled by.
The sun arose, anu tiercely swept

Along bis redd'ning path,
While Riot's drunken sons still slept,

Nor dreamed of coming wrath.
There is a dark cloud rolling on,

Swift as a rushing flood;
Its heaving bosom dim and dun,

Seems filled with flame and blood &
It closes o'er them- fierce and fast

Red streams of sulphur pour !
Lightning and smoke and fiery blast,

Mix with the thunder's roar.
And hark! a wild yell rends the sky,

Ten thousands shriek aloud,
The cry of mortal agony !

Man struggling with his God!
"Tis done! The cloud is rolled away-

But where, O where are ye?
Yon dim, black lake alone can say,

Xe cities of the Sea!




NO. 21

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SERMON. Job x!. 2...... Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty, instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Job enjoyed, for many years, great and uninterrupted prosperity. The candle of the Lord shone on his tabernacle, and the blessing of the Lord made him rich. He lived in favour with both God and man, and all things conspired to fill his heart with gratitude and his moth with praise. Had these blessings been continued and increased, he might have run his race and finished his course without a murmur or complaint. But God saw fit, in the midst of his days and in the midst of his prosperity, to strip him of every thing which he held most dear and valuable in life, and to reduce him to the lowest state of adversity. Though at first he bowed in silent submission to the will of God; yet after brooding over his heavy calamities for several days, his heart rose in opposition to his Maker, and filled his mouth with bitter complaints. This gave rise to a long and sharp controversy between him and his friends, concerning the ways of Providence. And though he took the right side of this question, yet he did not manage it with that deference and submission, which became a creature in scanning the character and conduct of his Creator. God waited till Job and his friends had finished their dispute, and then úndertook to reply to Job in particular. And as he knew, that Job had kept his eye on his own case, and had called in question the wisdom as well as equity of his sufferings; so he replied to his feel gs, rather than to what he had said in the course of the controversy with his friends. He first propounds a long series of questions to him, which were directly calculated to convince him of his utter incapacity to comprehend the works of creation and providence. And having fastened this conviction upon his mind, he directly charges him with the palpable absurdity of presuming to contend with his Creator, and to impeach his wisdom and rectitude, while under his chastising hand. “Moreover, the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.” Now, if Job contended with God under afflictions, then we may well conclude, that all men are apt to do the same, under the same circumstances; anu if it was absurd in him

to contend with God, while feeling the weight of his hand, tben it must be equally absurd in others to feel and express the same spirit, under any afflictions and bereavements. This, therefore, is the plain and practical truth, which falls under our present consideration:

Though men are naturally disposed to contend with God under afflictions, yet it is extremely absurd. I shall,

1. Show that men are naturally disposed to contend with God under amictions. And,

II. Show the absurdity of it.

1. Let us consider the natural propensity of mankind to contend · with God, under the afflictive dispensations of his providence.While God smiles upon the children of men, they feel no disposition to contend with him. They naturally love those, who love them; and so long as God employs his power and goodness in supplying their wants, and satisfying the desire of their hearts, they are well pleased with his conduct. But the same selfishness wbich prompts them to love God for his favours, equally disposes them to complain of his frowns. If God takes away what he has giren them, or denies them what they desire, or inflicts upon them the evils they dread, their hearts will rise in enmity and opposition to bim. Afflictions of all kinds, have a natural tendency to draw forth the corruptions of the human heart, and lead men to contend with the Almighty. Satan, who had long been acquainted with mankind, and knew the natural depravity of their hearts, insinuated, that afflictions would make all men, at all times, murmur and complain of the divine conduct. This was the plausible objection, which he urged against the goodness of Job, and implicitly against the goodness of all other men. “And the Lord said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not made an hedge about him, and about bis house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he bath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” God allowed Satan to niake the trial, and upon trial, Job retained his integrity, and blessed God under his bereaving hand. This Satan could not deny, but still urged, that if God would repeat his strokes of adversity, Job would rise and contend with him. The second trial was made, and Job was overcome. His sufferings were greater than he could bear, and led him to pour forth the corruptions of his heart, in the most opprobrious language. From this, we may fairly conclude, that so long as the least degree of moral depravity remains in the hearts of men, they will be prone to contend with God under his chastising hand.

11. But we shall find much stronger evidence of the natural propen-sity of mankind to murmur and complain of God, if we consider

what he has told us of their conduct in days of adversity. Though 1. Jacob had patiently endured great and sore trials, yet when he had,

in his own apprehension, lost Joseph and Benjamin, and was about to lose more of his children, his afflictions prodaced this bitter complaint: “ All these things are against me, and will bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.” The seed of Jacob, who

came out of Egypt, were extremely prone to murmur and rebel hs against God, whenever he visited them with afflictions. Though

they commonly pretended to complain only of Moses, yet Moses

said they complained of God, and God confirmed his testimony ** from time to time. In the sixteenth of Exodus we read, “ Mo

ses spake unto Aaron, say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come before the Lord: for he hath heard your murmurings.” It follows in the next verse but one, “And the · Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of

the children of Israel.” In the fourteenth of Numbers we are told, o "The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, how long shall I i bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have

heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.” In the first of Deuteronomy, Moses tells them how they felt and what they said against God. “And ye murmured in your tents, and said, because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us.” The posterity of this same people, manifested the same murmuring spirit, when they were under asice tion in Babylon. They murmured against God and said, “ The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.” And though God by his prophet, showed them the absurdity of this complaint; yet they continued to say, “ The way of the Lord is not equal.” The whole history of the children of Israel, from the time they passed through the Red Sea, to the time of their final dispersion, shows that they were always disposed to complain of God and contend with him, when he withheld his favours, or ipflicted any calamity upon them. And the Apostle tells the Christians in his day, that the conduct of that people was recorded for the purpose of teaching future generations of mankind, the depravity of their hearts, and warning them against complaining of God, and contending with him, under his chastising hand. “ Nei. ther murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Human nature is still the same, and pains and murmurs most commonly go together. While God is carrying into execution the universal sentence of mortality,

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and bereaving mankind of their friends and relatives, there are almost as many murmurers as there are mourners. The world is in rebellion against God, and every individual is more or less concerned in it. Who can say, that he nerer entertained any hard thoughts of God, and never felt his heart rise against his holy and sovereign providence? There is, therefore, the most sensible and incontestible evidence, that all men are naturally disposed to find fault with God, and contend with him, under aMictions.

I now proceed to show,

II. The absurdity of men's contending with God, while he is contending with them. This will appear from various consideraticps.

1. That God exercises infinite wisdoin in afilicting them. His understanding is infinite. He has a constant and comprehensive view of the whole universe. He sees all his creatures in all their relations and connexions, both in time and eternity. He knows perfectly well, when it will promote his glory, when it will promote the good of the universe, and when it will promote the good of individuals, to visit them with afflictions. And he knows what kinds and degrees of affliction will answer the best parposes. His af Aictive hand, therefore, is always guided by unerring wisdom. He never afflicts, without a wise and holy reason for atflicting. He knows and weighs all the reasons, which the afflicted imagine they sce, why they should not be afflicted, and at the same time sees more weighty and important reasons, why they should be afflicted. Job undoubtedly thought, that it would have been muck better, if God had spared his substance, and preserred his children, and continued to bim the power and opportunity of supplying the wants of the poor, redressing the injuries of the oppressed, enlighteping the minds of the ignorant, and promoting the spiritual and temporal good of all around him. But God saw, that more valuable and important purposes might be answered, by reducing him to a state of poverty, pain, and reproach. It was, therefore, absurd in him to set up his understanding against the understanding of the Almighty. “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty, instruct him?Shall the afflicted presume to teach God knowledge? Shall those, who are of yesterday, and know nothing, pretend to be wiser than God? How absurd was it in Jacob to call the wisdom of God in question, when he deprived him of Joseph and Benjamin, for the sake of preserving his life, promoting his prosperity, and prevent ing the destruction of whole nations. The afflicted never know what is best for themselves, and much less what is best for the universe. Tbey cannot look through time, and much less through eternity. But God always looks through time and eternity, and all the interests of the universe, in order to send the least evil upon the least of his creatures. So that it may be properly said, that he

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