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God heard and answered prayer,—those intercessions our fathers offered in days of danger are still preserved ; the supplications which ascended from our old churches remain, and the songs of praise they hymned to God in acknowledgment of the defence he afforded, form parts of the rolling Psalmody of the English Church. Yes, the enlightened and the devoted in our own country, turned to the house of their God, and made supplication, and He that dwelleth in the heavens heard and maintained their
And we can distinctly trace clear and definite interpositions of God in the support of the principles of the English constitution, when the Spanish Armada threatened our existence and our Protestantism,--an enterprize which originated in the spleen of Popery, blessed and directed by the Pope,—what power annihilated the desires of our enemies? Was it not the breath of God, as amongst the Egyptians, “He blew with his wind," scattered, and wrecked their fleets, and signally freed England from foreign domination ?
And if Popery was defeated in her designs, and debarred from landing her armies, and planting her standard over the wreck of Protestantism, equally clear is the evidence of God's power in the maintenance of our constitution, when Romanism had nurtured a Popish king, and polluted the British Court; if the winds of heaven shattered and scattered the Armada that was to establish Popery triumphant, the clouds of the sky concealed the enterprize of a Protestant monarch, who came to the rescue of a down-trodden people. In the invasion of William of Orange, God had respect to the English nation. He again confounded the designs of Rome, and established a vigorous Protestant power.
The memory of past events is still fresh : “our fathers
tell us of the mighty works" which God accomplished in the overthrow of the great Emperor Napoleon. All honor to the arm and heart of the English troops, but who does not see that it was God that confounded and overcame Napoleon ? Lest man should take the glory of having vanquished the aggressor, He scattered his forces by his frost, He vanquished his armies by his snows, that God who had used him as a scourge, said to him, as He says to the rage of
" Thus far shalt thou go, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed ;” and at the sound of that voice the tumult which had wrought wreck and ruin, was hushed to rest, the energies of the great Napoleon withered, decayed, died upon a rock, as the force of waves is broken and subdued against the same power; and the hand that broke and cut short the attempts of Napoleon, was called into exercise by the prayers of the English people; the Abrahams of every community entreated the King of kings to spare the inhabitants for the sake of the righteous few; many a Moses struggled with God for the success of our English forces; the ministers and people entered their sanctuaries, and prayed “ that when the people of God go out to battle, that He would hear and maintain their cause. And what we would be most solicitous to impress upon ourselves is a prayerful recognition of the same principle, an appeal to God that He would uphold and defend the right. We confess to a fear lest our people have been too confident in this arduous struggle in the bravery of our soldiers, the magnitude of our armaments, and the leadership of our generals; the prowess of our men can be paralyzed by pestilence; to shatter our fleets, the winds of heaven need only blow; and how often has the deadly aim of our foes laid low the gallant leaders of our forces! To secure success, as a Christian people it behoves us, and our history admonishes us to enter into our sanctuaries, and beseech God to maintain our cause.
We cannot conclude our remarks on the present subject without adverting for a moment, to a wide spread, and we believe increasing feeling after peace-honorable and lasting. We have entered upon this struggle to obtain for Europe and for the world, principles and conditions of peace; but let us remember the great well-spring of this desolating stream of war, is the native corruption human heart. Nations may hush up quarrels by negociations but they have not destroyed the germ of the bitter tree whose fruits are desolation and death; they have but suppressed the flame which may burst forth in stronger power in the next eruption. The peace societies may advocate their principles of expediency, paint the horrors of
war, and shock human nature by the recital of its own deeds, but all in vain. We have no confidence but in the Gospel, this power alone reaches the mainspring of action : the principles of Christianity diffused throughout the world can alone secure peace, like the tree cast into the bitter waters, and convert the distasteful elements into sweet
Don't talk of universal peace so long as war is in your own breast between passion and principle, nature and grace ; don't dream of general peace long as there is disunion amongst families, neighbours and churches. Come to Christ and he will convert all the elements of discord in your own souls into quietness and assurance. seek the establishment of peace abroad, send out those agencies which alone can ensure and secure the blessing; the Bible and the missionary. If you long to call every man brother, pray that God would change the hearts of tyrants and aggressors, and that Christ would set
his own kingdom which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
If you SERMON XII.
REDEEMING THE TIME.
BY THE REV. W. B. POPE, OF LONDON.
“ SEE THEN THAT YE WALK CIRCUMSPECTLY, NOT AS FOOLS, BUT AS
WISE, REDEEMING THE TIME, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL.
This exhortation pre-supposes the possession of one kind of wisdom, and enforces the necessity of another. It appeals to the Ephesians as having received light in their understandings, and urges them to use that light in the discreet direction of their life. Their eyes having been opened to see what is the hope of their calling, they are bidden to use their recovered sight in tracing circumspectly the intricate path of their probation. Being, through the impartation of divine knowledge, no longer fools but wise, their obligation is impressed upon them to use all their sagacity in preserving the integrity of their christian character amid the unfruitful works of darkness, in extracting their own advantage from the evil days, and in discerning the will of God through all the manifold contingencies and perplexities of a disordered age. The wisdom which they had received from heaven must dwell with prudence on earth.
The former part of the epistle has amply shown us what were the new relations to time and eternity in which this imparted wisdom had placed them. They had been taught the mystery which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God; they had received, through the hearing of faith, that highest and all-embracing knowledge, the knowledge of Christ; the spirit of wisdom and revelation had begun to open the eyes of their understanding, and had disclosed to them the sublime hope of the Christian calling ; they had been quickened into new life, redeemed by the power of grace from the course of this present evil world, enrolled in the commonwealth of Israel, and blessed with the earnest of an eternal inheritance, for the consum mate enjoyment of which they were taught to regard this life as a preparation. The contrast between the light which Christ had given them, and the darkness in which He had found them, is recalled to their remembrance again and again. The strongest terms are used to describe the utter vanity of their former Gentile condition, wherein they had fed their minds with the delusions of darkened understandings; living in a world unenlightened by the countenance of God : the present all sensuality, the past a chaotic mystery; and the future, unrelieved darkness. But the entrance of the word which announced eternal life in Christ, had released them from the blind bondage of heathenism : it had shed its sufficient light upon this world, and opened up to their hope another. They had awakened from their long and troubled sleep; they had arisen from among the dead of a thousand generations; and Christ had given them light. The Apostle impresses all this upon their minds throughout the former part of the Epistle ; and thus labours to elevate to the highest point their conception of the unlimited change which had passed upon them, and their grateful adoration