Page images

Korah know of his distinction and privilege, little of the happier and holier spirit of that man after God's own heart, who cried, I had rather be a door keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. To be a hewer of wood and a drawer of water there is an unmerited distinction. What then will be their condemnation who disturb the general repose, and destroy their own usefulness by aiming at secular authority, increase of power, or wealth from the Church, looking upon their sacred function, as a stepping stone to personal distinction, instead of an opportunity to serve God, and bring sinners within the fold of Jesus Christ, for eternal life! We are all too little desirous of glorifying our heavenly Father in that state of life to which he hath been pleased to

We aim at something beyond it. Such ambition displays little of the mind that was in Christ Jesus ; and little thankfulness for the mercies we possess. We are here this day before God, fallen, yet with his hand of Almighty love and power to raise us even to heaven-enslaved to sin, yet ransomed by the blood of his own Son,-rebels, yet listening to a proclamation of peace and mercy,—poor and helpless, yet obtaining free access to the unsearchable riches of Christ,-deserving nothing, and yet invited to possess blessings the fulness and

call us.

grandeur of which saints in light can alone conceive. Yet, with what a grovelling and mistaken choice do we turn from them, harass our own minds, and too often mislead and agitate our brethren in a sinful strife for the preeminence of wealth or station. And how vain is the search in general ! We ask, we seek, we strive, we have not, because like the sinners in the camp of Israel, we ask, seek, strive amiss, “that we may consume it upon our lusts.” If we could discover the miseries which our indulged wishes would produce, how thankfully should we welcome the merciful appointments of that Providence who thus works to “take from us all hurtful things, and gives us only such things as be profitable for us!” How surely should we cry, as it were to such interpositions of heaven, when they interfere to cross our de sires, as David to Abigail when she crossed him in the way, and prevented him from charging his soul with the murder of Nabal, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel that sent thee this day to meet nie.

(3.) The sin of Korah and his company included a guilty contempt of the appointed salvation. Moses and Aaron were respectively, not only temporal rulers and priests, but types of Jesus Christ; the one in his regal, the other in his priestly office. These offices the rebellious

men endeavoured to usurp,—to offer theirownincensein their own censers; and thus to alter the course of that figurative service and ceremonial, which shadowed forth the mediation and death of the great offering for sin, and the souls of sinners. This was no common offence. They rejected their own mercies. They used their mistaken diligence and dangerous influence, to pervert the hosts of Israel from following the appointments of a merciful God for their pardon. Deluded, guilty men! Are they however alone guilty--they alone deluded ? Beware, my brethren, lest ye deny the priesthood, and throw off the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Beware, lest ye endeavour to introduce among


professing Israel of God, any other means of spiritual acceptance, than the appointed death and intercession of his Son. If ye reject his mediationif ye deny the eternal divinity of his nature-its gracious, though mysterious union with human flesh--the fulfilment of the law by his obedience -the infinite propitiation for sin, effected by his crucifixion —his almighty pleading at the right hand of the everlasting Father and the sole access which sinners possess to God through him, ye are opposing the immutable laws of the appointed salvation, and ye cannot escape. If ye believe not that I am he, said the Saviour to

[ocr errors]

the infidels of his incarnate dayIf ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your

sins. So glaring, and so dangerous was the offence of Korah and his company, that, when their hearts remained unchanged, and their rebellion obdurate, after Moses had prayed in their behalf, he was obliged to vindicate his own righteous administration, and call for punishment upon them. “Respect not thou their offering. I have not taken one ass from them; neither have I hurt one of them.” As if however, in defiance of that judgment which their iniquity had awakened, when Israel was warned to flee and touch nothing of their's, lest they should be consumed, did these presumptuous men, Dathan and Abiram come out, and stand in the door of their tents, and their wives and their sons, and their little children.

Korah was probably with the two hundred and fifty men, who had wickedly offered forbidden incense before the sanctuary of the Lord. But the hour of visitation came. They had been often reproved; they had hardened their neck; and they were now suddenly to be cut off, and that without remedy. The Lord confirmed the authority of Moses. "The earth opened, and swallowed up Dathan, Abiram, and their families. They went down living into the pit; the earth closed

upon them and they perished from among the congregation.” The two hundred and fifty princes, with Korah, as it would appear, at their head, had offered forbidden fire; and like Nadab and Abihu, died by fire sent in righteous judgment from heaven. If any of you, my brethren, are rebelling against the appointments of a gracious God, in the gospel of his salvation, consider the peril in which your souls, with their everlasting all are placed. If he who has been interceding for you, and through whose intercession, awfully as ye have neglected it, ye have been spared from the infliction of the second death, should represent this obdurate rebellion to his Father, and say, “Respect not thou their offering,"-if all his goodness should be abused-his offered mercy despised, how can ye escape i He is now prolonging the accepted time, and calling on you

may be once more, to repent, believe, and live. Will ye, as it were, stand in the door of your tents, to glory in your opposition, and dare the worst? If a man will not repent, God hath whet his sword, he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. Hitherto the sword hath not fallen; the arrow hath not been sped. Operish not in the gainsaying of Korah. Seek yethe Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him turn


[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »