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speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Nor is it distance that here lends enchantment to the view. On the contrary, the more closely the works of God are examined, the higher our admiration rises, and the less we fear that true science will ever appear as the antagonist, and not the ally of the faith. Whether we turn the telescope on heavens, studded so full of stars as to present the appearance of gold-dust scattered with lavish hand on a dark purple ground, or turn the microscope on such comparatively humble objects as a plant of moss, a drop of ditch water, the scaly armor of a beetle, a spider's eye, the down of a feather, or the dust on a butterfly's wing, such divine beauty, wisdom and glory burst into view, that childhood's roving mind is instantly arrested ; the dullest are moved to wonder, the most grovelling souls take wing and rise up to God. He rushes, indeed, into our souls by the open portal of every sense. We see a divine glory in worms, and unapproachable excellence in the Almighty's lowest works. And in the grand roar of the storm, the everlasting boom of ocean breakers, the sudden crash and far-rolling peals of thunder, the soft murmuring of gentle brooks, the gleesome melody of budding woods, the thrilling music of the lark, as, like a parting spirit, she spurns the earth, and wings her flight to heaven, nature echoes the close of the angel's hymn, The whole earth is full of his glory. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy over our new-born world, that, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole. earth is full of his glory, formed, perhaps, the burden
of their song. And when Adam sat by his beautiful bride, and the shaggy lion crouched like a dog at their feet, and the beams of the setting sun threw a golden splendor over their bower of eglantine and roses, and the feathered tribes from all the groves of paradise poured forth rich gushes of sweetest melody, perhaps, ere they lay down to rest with their arms and hearts entwined, they took it for their vesper hymn, singing, while God and delighted angels listened, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. The harp of Eden, alas! is broken. Unstrung and mute, an exiled race have hung it on the willows, and Ichabod stands written now in the furrows of man's guilty forehead, and on the wreck of his ruined estate. Some things remain unaffected by the blight of sin, as God made them for himself; the flowers have lost neither their bloom nor fragrance, the rose smells as sweet as it did when bathed in the dews of paradise; and seas and seasons, obedient to their original impulse, roll on as of old to their Maker's glory. But from man, alas ! how has the glory departed Look at his body when the light of the eye is quenched, and the countenance is changed, and the noble form lies festering in corruption—mouldering into the dust of death. Or, change, still more hideous, look at his soul! The spirit of piety dead, the mind under a dark eclipse, hatred to God rankling in that once loving heart, it retains but some vestiges of its original grandeur, just enough, like the beautiful tracery and noble arches of a ruined pile, to make us feel that glory once was there, and now is gone. What glory does God get from many of us? Like a son who is bringing his father's gray hairs to the grave, a daughter who, sunk
into the lowest degradation, is the shame of her family, we are a dishonor and a disgrace. In applying such terms to sinners, I am not employing language too strong. God uses still stronger terms. As if his were the feelings of a father who wishes that he had been childless, of a mother who esteems the barren happy, it is written, “It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” What a horrible thing is sin! Yet God's object in creating man was not defeated ; and in illustration of that, I remark—
III. That God will make even the wicked and their sins redound to his glory.
A strange machine is this of providence How slowly some wheels move, while others whirl round so rapidly that the eye cannot catch the flying spokes: some are turning in one direction, and others in the very opposite. Here, sight to wonder at, Virtue is struggling with the temptations of poverty, and Piety sits a mendicant, clothed in rags, and covered with a mass of sores. There, again, we see the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree; and not seldom like the deadly upas, which is said to poison the air around it, and kill all that comes within its noxious shade. In the arrangements of this world it often seems as if confusion reigned, and sometimes confusion worse confounded. Sin triumphs, and in the success of the ungodly, who have no changes, and no bands in their death, men and devils seem to defeat the purposes of God.
Defeat the purposes of God 1 Impossible. As you stood some stormy day upon a sea-cliff, and marked the giant billow rise from the deep to rush on with foaming crest, and throw itself thundering on the trembling shore, did you ever fancy that you could stay its course, and hurl it back into the depths of ocean? Did you ever stand beneath the leaden, lowering cloud, and mark the lightning's leap, as it shot and flashed, dazzling, athwart the gloom, and think that you could grasp the bolt and change its path 2 Still more foolish and vain his thought, who fancies that he can arrest or turn aside the purposes of God, saying, What is the Almighty that we should serve him? Let us break his bands in Sunder, and cast away his cords from us. Break his bands asunder How he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh! Poor, beguiled, benighted sinner, do you suppose, that in the full swing and unbridled license of your passions you are serving yourself, are your own free master? Be assured that it is not otherwise with you than it was with Pilate, and the chief priests, and the Jews, and Judas also. Unconscious of the high hand that controlled their movements, these enemies of God were gathered together to do that which, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, was appointed to be done.
Do you, for instance, injure a godly man 2 God is using you to train up his child in the grace of patience. Do you defraud him 2 God is using you to detach his heart from the world, and to loosen the roots that bind his affections to the earth. Do you deceive him 2 God is using you to teach him not to put his trust in princes, nor in the Son of man, in whom there is no help. Do you wound his feelings? You are a knife in God’s hand to let the sap flow more freely in a bark-bound tree, or to prune its branches that it may bring forth more fruit. Messenger of Satan! dost thou buffet an apostle? God uses thee to keep him humble, and to
teach him to wear his honors meekly. Oppressor of the church I dost thou cast an apostle into prison? God uses thee, thy dungeon, and thy chains, to show how he will answer prayer, and bring his people eventually out of their sorest troubles, saving, as he saved Peter, at the very uttermost. King of Egypt, with thy guards around thee, flattered by thy supple courtiers, backed by thy boastful magicians, with thy haughty looks art thou thwarting God, and, in hardening thy heart and refusing to let Israel go, promot. ing and securing thine own ambitious, selfish, grasping ends? Fool! what a mistake In very deed, said the Lord by Moses, for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. Pharaoh's obstinacy affords the occasion, of which God makes use, to turn a great kingdom into a stage whereon to display the majesty of his power. What must have been the surprise, what the rage, what the mortification of that imperious tyrant, to find himself, after all that he and his bleeding country had suffered, but a mere tool in the hands of the Hebrew’s God | God took a revenue of glory out of him, as he will sooner or later do out of all his enemies. No man liveth for himself. There is a sense in which that is universally true. And the most bold and God-hating sinners may rest assured that when the complicated machine of providence has done its work, and the secret purposes of God are fully completed, and things old and worn out are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, then it shall be seen how the Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Oh that men would turn now and seek his mercy—his gracious, much