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Surely, to such conduct the charge of enthusiasm cannot be applied.
In reply to the strange imputation of worldly motives, it is quite evident that he could have had none for taking the part he did in these disputes. His only motive could be, a thorough conviction upon his mind that the Gospel was true; and that he was obeying the dictates of the Divine will by moderating between parties; who, by their unfortunate disunion, at once impeded the success and destroyed the good effects of a doctrine, whose foundation was truth, and
its end peace.
The singular clearness of understanding, which marks the directions of our Apostle upon points of a most perplexing nature, shews that he was a person, not likely to be led away by a flight of imagination. The decided loss of every worldly advantage, which he sustained by espousing the Gospel, places his sincerity in adopting it beyond the reach of doubt. If however he possessed such a clear unclouded apprehension, that he could not have been easily deceived ; if no assignable worldly motive induced him either to acquiesce too readily in the offer of the Gospel, or to impose it upon others; the truth of that Gospel stands upon a basis, from which I really believe that no efforts of human reasoning, founded as they must be upon defective knowledge, or mere sceptical prejudice, can possibly dislodge it.
We proceed to remark, in the last place, that, if our religion be true, as most unquestionably it is, this awful consequence must follow. Whether we will or not, we must every one of us be judged by the Gospel at the last day. “ For," the text distinctly announces, “ we shall all stand at the judgement seat of Christ.” We may no doubt affect to disbelieve this truth, because we will not apply our minds to the proofs, which establish it. We
We may set at naught its terrors, because we wish not to be disturbed in that course of life, which we vainly fancy to be conducive to enjoyment. Nevertheless, our unbelief or our misconduct cannot affect the truth of the Gospel ; nor can it interrupt that course of things, which the Almighty Ruler of the universe hath in His unsearchable wisdom ordained.
Let him then, who hath hitherto neglected to inquire, whether this be the word of God or not; let him too, who determines to live, as if it were not ; let them, I say, look well to it. « God is not mocked." He has placed before His creatures a law *He is not to be disobeyed with impunity. He hath arrayed sufficient proofs to satisfy a mind, that is capable of appreciating the force of argument-He hath not bestowed upon any of us understandings to employ, or not to employ them, according to our own caprice. Finally, He hath fenced His law around with sanctions of everlasting judgement-That judgement will most assuredly be executed. All, who have omitted to ask, whether this really be His law; all, who have ventured to disobey its enactments, must at length incur the dreadful penalty, which is expressed in those terrific images of “ banishment from the presence of God and His angels,” “ of
outer darkness," and of “ weeping and gnashing of teeth;"--while the truly conscientious, the virtuous and pious alone, whatsoever may be their condition or fortune here, will receive that joyful sentence of approbation and reward; “ Well done, thou good and faithful servant! enter thou into the joy of thy Lord !”
These considerations “, solemn as they are in themselves, and involving the eternal destiny of every one of us, yet surely must come home to our minds with additional force, when connected with the melancholy event, which now saddens the hearts of the loyal people of this realm.
As members of a community, we must needs deplore the loss of our earthly $overeign; but, as mortal and responsible beings, we are painfully reminded of the duty we owe to an Heavenly King. We are painfully reminded, that the day is short, in which we have to perform our appointed work; and we are silently exhorted to prepare for the approach of that night, which flings alike upon
the monarch and the peasant its deep and interminable gloom. May we then improve the affecting lesson to our future and final welfare! and may it, in the beautifully solemn language of our Liturgy,“ teach us who survive, in this and other like daily spectacles of mortality, to see how frail and un
a This sermon was preached on the last Sunday in Trinity Term, 1830; which was the day following that, upon which our late gracious Sovereign expired. The conclusion was added in consequence of that event.
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Phoboam succeeded is ather's
kinily listened to the counzei founy 2- men; disregarding the see emunI use more experienced counseilors, in "T:m is her was wont to confide. Ten tribes mj 1 uguence of his arbitrary and capricious
I : and Jeroboam, according to the -*-. E ag of Israel. He however, like
E chose times, and too many unSe private stations in our own,
2 nd zood Author of the manifold er e a Ted. He forgot the debt of
gratitude that he owed for his elevation from an humble condition to the sovereignty over a great people. He thought only in what manner he might best preserve the power, which had thus been bestowed upon him.
him. Heedless of the fact, that He, who had made him king, could best maintain him on his throne, he thought of devising some worldly expedient, some political scheme, for ensuring the fidelity of his newly-acquired subjects. According to the directions of Moses, all the descendants of Israel were bound to go up and offer sacrifice at the one appointed place of national worship. The place, appointed at that time, was Jerusalem, the capital of that smaller portion of the Israelitish people, which adhered to Rehoboam. “ And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan”; these being the extreme points of the kingdom of Israel on the south and on the north.
It is scarcely necessary to remind you, that this species of idolatrous worship was borrowed from that unhappy compliance of Aaron with the rebellious demands of the people, when Moses had been detained