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trary to many direct Divine injunctions—whose
* For letting Rapine loose, and Murther,
To burn a scantling, but no higher !'” In similar keeping with this conduct is the following assertion, made by a distinguished minister, at the meeting of the 6. Ecclesiastical Knowledge Society,” on the 7th of May lastan assertion, it will be perceived, having a more fatal tendency, as it is not only opposed to experience but to Scripture. The speaker said: “He knew they were classed with infidels for wishing a separation between Church and State; but infidels would rue the day; for whenever that occurred, FAREWELL TO INFIDELITY !”
This assuredly is not a time for the servants of Christ thus to set themselves in array against each other; and thus to “ prophesy out of their own hearts ; seducing the Lord's people, and saying Peace, and there is no peace; and one building up a wall, and, lo, others daubing it with untempered morter.” (See the whole of Ezekiel xiii.) As the country is continuing to make such decided and alarming progress in the path of Revolution, it seems as unnecessary as it is unseemly, for any part of the professing church of God thus to add wings to the swift. If so severe a persecution is hastening upon the Lord's believing people, as that to which the consideration of Divine prophecy now directs our attention--and the distant thunder of which is already heard from Ireland;—if the line of demarcation between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan be again tracing, and the time approaching when it shall be again marked in blood ; the success of the Dissenters in the overthrow of the Established Church will be attended with a very different “ redress of grievances ” than that which they are anticipating. In such a case, they may with much more probability expect the kind of redress that would be granted by a Dioclesian, a Bonner, or a Robespierre, than the bright and halcyon days to which their imagination aspires; and in vain sigh for a return of the really happy times and circumstances which they have so long enjoyed, and under which they have so long prospered.
5th and lastly. Another argument, and not the least powerful, against the probable preservation of England in the fearful times that are approaching, is the consideration of our awful
Here it is not necessary to particularize the awful profanation of the Sabbath by all ranks of persons; the open contempt of God's most holy word, so repeatedly manifested; the daring rejection of Chrisť as ruling over the affairs of nations; and the impiety which in all its forms so awfully abounds. These crimes are evident to all, and attest that we are a guilty people, and exposed to Divine wrath. It was these things that were the cause of the Lord's people of old being visited with such tremendous judgments; and if they were not spared, what right have we to expect an exemption? Though vengeance in our case has been long and mercifully delayed, yet we may be sure that our “sin will find us
Divine justice,” says an ancient writer, “ has leaden feet, but iron hands; its march
to vengeance is slow, but its executions are terrible.”
The crisis of a nation generally comes unexpectedly. The period when, in the providence of God, Babylon of old was to be destroyed, came suddenly—in one night. With the rapidity of an eagle's flight Alexander overthrew the Persian empire. The decisive moment in due time arrived, when kingdom after kingdom of the ancient world fell under the ruthless arm of Rome; and when, after the lapse of a few more centuries, the respective capitals of that once mighty empire became themselves a prey to lawless and savage invaders. And in our own times, however inadequately the nearness of the events may affect us—in our times, when the peace of Europe seemed secured by wellbalanced treaties-an unexpected and awful crisis arrived: the Providence of God confounded the politics of the wisest and most experienced statesmen ; and the foundations of all its kingdoms were suddenly loosened, by revolution or
And what security have we against a still more fatal crisis? It is not, that all yet continues calm ; not, that we have national resources ; nor even that we have religious privileges : it is to none of these things that we can trust. A storm, for any thing we can do to prevent it, may suddenly and unexpectedly gather around us, which shall again confound human politics. The cup of England's and of Europe's guilt may have come to the full; and, as we have in so many instances seen in the foregoing investigations, the ulterior purposes of God with regard to his church and his ancient people may be ripe for execution, and England be no longer, for the reasons we have just given, an exception in the general over.. throw !—Nevertheless, we may be assured nothing permanently, nothing essentially wrong, is going to happen. The Lord's people may confidently and unsuspectingly leave themselves in His hands, with the full assurance that He will do all things well.
And even as a nation, whilst such a promise and gracious declaration as the following is left on record, if we have the heart given us to follow the example of the king and people of Nineveh, as is recorded in Jonah iii. 5-9, we still need not despair : “ At what instant I shall speak, concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it: if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, TURN FROM THEIR EVIL, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them” (Jer. xviii. 7, 8).
I will close, in perfect unison with such a sentiment, with the following beautiful apos