Imágenes de páginas

bkackness, and the thunder of indignation begins to roll, they imagine that the storm will spend itself, and that the gloom will pass away. But the day will arrive when the Saviour shall appear “to be admired in them that believe,” and to return on the head of his adversaries the evil which they have devised against his dignity; atd that thay shall “burn as an oven”.” In vain shall the unrighteous then cry for help, and seek a refuge from the wrath of the judge. In vain shall they turn to the east, the west, the north, or the south; every where the sword of justice meets their eye—every where the tribunal of God rises before their sight—every where the clangour of the last trumpet assails their eats— and the grave itself forms no shelter from the gaze of Omnipotence In vain shall they call upon the rocks to fall upon them, and the mountains to cover them: the earth and the heavens shall flee from the face of “Him that sitteth “ upon the throne.” “Now is the accepted * time: behold, now is the day of salvation " 2. SECURITY, IN EveRy situ ATION, BELoNGs To the of God.' You have seen Noah floating securely on the bosom of a destroying

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* See note 4; at the end of this Lecture;

flood, while the whole world perished. You have beheld Lot safely conducted out of Sodom, when the inhabitants of the plain, and the perverse scoffers of his own family, were consumed. What is the language of this dreadful, event to the respective classes of mankind? To the “un“godly” it is saying—“ Behold, ye despisers, “ and wonder, and perish s” To you, who cast your eyes over these desolated plains, it cries— “Escape for your life”—flee to a refuge more secure than the mountain—and hide under the shadow of the cross! But what is it's testimony respecting the people of God? “They shall not “be afraid for the terror by night: nor for the “arrow that flieth by day: nor for the pesti“ lence that walketh in darkness: nor for the “ destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thou‘ sand shall fall at their side, and ten thousand “at their right hand: but it shall not come “ nigh them Only with their eyes shall they “ behold, and see the reward of the wicked.” The last storm which shall arise to blot out the sun, to extinguish the stars, to rend the sepulchre, and to raise the dead, shall waft them to an everlasting kingdom. They shall meet the Lord in the air: they shall be changed into his image: they shall appear with him in glory. O Christian, death is advancing to conduct

[ocr errors]

thee home, to terminate thine afflictions, and to hide thee for ever from the storms of lifel Even now the moment arrives! Hark—the trampling of the horses at the door—and the “chariot of “ fire” waits to bear thee to heaven!


NoTE 1.—Testimony to the fact that the Chaldeans worshipped fire, extracted from the works of the pious and eloquent Saurin.— " Voici un passage remarquable de Rufin * touchant l'idolatrie des * Chaldéens : le témoignage de cet auteur est confirmé par celui de * Suidasf. " On dit que les Chaldéens portèrent autrefois le feu, qui étoit leur Dieu, par toutes les provinces, pour combattre avec toutes les autres divinitez, afin que celle qui triompheroit dans ce combat fut censée la véritable. Les Dieux d'air, d'or, d'argent, de bois, et de pierre, étoient facilement consumez par le feu, qui avoit la supériorité par tout. Un sacrificateur de Canope s'avisa de cette ruse. Les Eyptiens ont certains vases de terre qui ont de petites ouvertures de tous côtez, et qui sont destinez à filtrer l'eau du Nil. Il remplit d'eau un de ces vases : il en ferma toutes les ouvertures avec de la cire : il y attacha une tête qu'on disoit être celle de Ménelas, et il l'erigea en Divinité. Les Chaldéens allumèrent du feu autour de ce vase, afin que ces deux Divinitez combattissent ensemble, Mais le feu ayant aussi-tôt fondu la cire qui bouchoit l'ouverture de la cruche, il fut incontinent éteint par l'eau qui en sortit, et le sacrificateur de Canope remporta la victoire.' " Ce sont les paroles de Rufin."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Saur. Disc. sur la Bible, Tome I. disc. xi. p. 78.

* Rufin Hist. Eccl. Lib. 1I. cap. xxvi. p. 2o2.
t Suidas sur le mot Canopus. Tom. I. p. 239.

There is a remarkable passage in Rufin respecting the idolatry of the Chaldeans : the testimony of this author is confirmed by that of Suidas: * They say that the Chaldeans formerly carried fire, which was their God, through all the provinces, to contend with all the other divinities, that whoever conquered in this combat might be deemed the true one. The deities of air, of gold, of silver, of wood, and of stone, were easily consumed by the fire, which had the superiority over all. A priest of Canopus bethought himself of this stratagem. The Egyptians had certain vases of earth, which had little apertures on all sides, and which were designed to filtrate the water of the Nile. He filled one of these vases with water: he closed all the holes of it with war : he placed a head upon it, which was said to be that of Menelaus, and he eralted it to a divinity. The Chaldeans kindled the fire round his vase, that these two deities might contend together. But the fire having quickly melted the war which covered the aperture of the pitcher, it was presently ertinguished by the water which issued from it, and the priest of Canopus obtained the victory.’ These are the words of Rufin.” This quotation refers to page 191, of the preceding Lecture,

Note 2.-There is a singular coincidence between the language used by the Deity, in his conference with Abraham, and the words which Ovid puts into the mouth of his Jupiter. In the one case, it is to be considered altogether as a figure of speech, for the Deity could obtain no additional information, by descending in a human form: in the latter instance, the poet speaks in exact conformity to the ideas which the heathens entertained of the limited knowledge of their divinities. We will lay the passages together.


“And the LoRD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is “great, and because their sin is very grievous: I will go down now, “ and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of

“ it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” Gen. xviii. 20, 21.

« AnteriorContinuar »