« AnteriorContinuar »
emulous to build churches, to consecrate them, there to render God the early homage due to his Majesty, and to participate in the first favours he there accords ? Oh ! ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence ; give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah lxii. 5, 6. Give ear, 0 Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock, thou that dwellest between the cherubim shine forth. Before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Psa. lúxx. 1, 2. O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people ? ver. 4. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy on Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come. For thy servants take pleasure in stones, and favour the dust thereof. Then the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion; when he shall regard the prayer of the destitute, this shall be written for the generation to come ; and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord ; for he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary. Psa. cii. 13, &c. May this be the first subject of the prayers we shall this day offer to God in this holy place.
But asking of him favours so precious, let us ask with sentiments which ensure success. May the purity of the worship we render to God in the churches he has preserved, and in those he has also allowed to build, obtain the re-edification of those that have been demolished. May our charity to brethren, the companions of our exile, obtain a reunion with the breth
ren, from whom we have been separated by the calamities of the times. And while God shall still retard this happy period, may our respect for our rulers, may our zeal for the public good, may our punctuality in paying the taxes, may our gratitude for the many favours we have received in these provinces, which equalize us with its natural subjects; and compressing in my exhortations and prayers, not only my countrymen, but all who compose this assembly, may the manner in which we shall serve God amid the infirmities and miseries inseparable from this valley of tears, ensure to us, my brethren, that after having joined our voices to those choirs which compose the militant church, we shall be joined to those that form the church triumphant, and sing eternally with the angels, and with the multitude of the redeemed of all nations, and languages, the praises of the Creator. God grant us the grace. To whom be honour and glory henceforth and for ever. Amen.
On Festivals, and on the Sabbath-Day.
ISAIAH lviii. 13, 14.
If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from
doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight ; the holy of the Lord, honourable ; and shalt honour him, not doing thy own ways, nor finding thy own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words ; then thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father ; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat ? This was the language that the prophet Amos put into the mouth of profane men in his own time. It is less expressive of their presumptive speeches, than of the latent wickedness of their hearts. Religion and politics were closely connected in the Hebrew nation. The laws ipflicted the severest penalties on those that violated the exterior of religion. The execrable men, of whom the prophet speaks, could not profane the solemn festivals with impunity ; but they
worshipped with constraint; they regretted the loss of their time; they reproached God with every moment wasted in his house ; they ardently wished the feasts to be gone, that they might return, not only to their avocations, but also to their crimes : they said in their hearts, When will the new moon be gone,
that we may sell corn ? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat ? Amos viii. 5.
Against this disposition of mind, God has denounced by the ministry of this same prophet, those most awful judgments, which he has painted in the deepest shades. The Lord hath sworn :-I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.—Behold the day cometh, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land ; not a famine of bread, not a thirst of water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east ; they shall run to and fro to hear the word of the Lord, and shall not
My brethren, are you not persuaded, that the impious men, of whom the prophet speaks, have had imitators in succeeding times ? Whence is it then that some among us have been struck precisely with the same strokes, if they have not been partakers of the same crimes? Whence comes this famine of God's word, my dear countrymen, with which we have been afflicted? Whence comes the necessity imposed upon us to wander from sea to sea, to recover this divine pasture, if we have not slighted it in places where it existed in so much abundance and unction ? Whence comes the awful catastrophe that have changed our