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has silently but terrificly suggested The sacred Scriptures, as many itself to the hearts of numbers, who, here, I trust, can testify, are a well during that period, have closed their of life to them who read them with a accounts with God; and to others, pious and reverent disposition, with a who, by his merciful kindness, have mind ardent in search of the things had the hand of the destroying angel that belong to its eternal peace, and a stayed from smiting, and are yet spirit properly animated with the allowed time for repentance and refor- saving truths therein revealed. Every mation ; for reconciliation and salva- page teems with instruction, with retion. Every day, nay almost every proof, with correction in the way of hour, has given us a melancholy proof godliness, that the true believer may of the uncertainty of life ; how easily be furnished with that holiness, withthe knot of existence is slipped, even out which no man shall see the Lord. when formed of the stoutest mate- Whatever may be our rank or situa
how quickly the healthiest may tion here, we shall find in the word of be struck down and paralized upon God, our line of duty correctly marked the bed of sickness or of death; and out; our mode of action distinctly that neither individual caution nor stated. It is this universality of adapprofessional skill, are able to ward off | tation of the Gospel system to all sorts or neutralize the effects of poison, and conditions of men, that proves with which the atmosphere is now the high original from whence it contaminated, if it pleases the Al- comes. No man can plead ignorance mighty to suffer it to concentrate of what the Almighty requires of him. itself in the human system. Seeing, The precepts of religion necessary to then, that we have no power of our be practised, are so plain and intelliselves to help ourselves, we naturally gible, that he who runneth may read ; turn unto God—and happy will it be and the mercy of God is so strongly for us, my brethren, who are per- brought forward to induce men to mitted to survive the malignancy; break off their wickedness, and turn to and escape the attacks of the pesti- him for grace and pardon, that none lence now revelling in devastating can dread to ask forgiveness, none carnage around us, if the sense of our need fear his anger, if truly penitent. danger shall awaken within us the He sent his Son into the world, not to seeds of religion, which the Spirit of call the righteous, but sinners to reGod scattered in the garden of our pentance; and who though dead, yet souls, when the baptismal sign was speaketh, by his ministers, and in the marked upon our foreheads, and we writings of the evangelists and aposwere made heirs of the kingdom of tles. It is, therefore, the anointed of Heaven; but which have hitherto, God, who thus draws you to himself. perhaps, laid dormant and unfruitful; It is the holy Jesus who offers you and thus rendered us tenfold more the waters of life. He, who once the children of Satan than before we trod the chequered journey which you were regenerated by water and the are now travelling, and endured priHoly Spirit, and made God's children vations, insults, torture and death, in by adoption and grace. Happy will it order to win our souls from perdition, be for us, if we resolve to live, hence- and to turn men from the power of forward, so as to adorn the doctrine of Satan unto God, he calls you to reGod our Saviour in all things, by pentance; and that your weakness may purifying our hearts, and reforming receive the strength it may require, our conduct, as it becomes the pro- he hath promised the aid of his Holy fessors of an holy faith, the believers Spirit—who will render consolation in a righteous and impartial God. to the afflicted, help to the drooping,
relief to the distressed, and hope to all things, let him do what geemeth the desponding.
him good.” In these seasons of unusual morta- How many of our neighbours were lity, the Christian, accustomed to the blessed with this resigned and pious practice of piety, experiences the value disposition, whom the virulence of the of the rule of life he had fortunately pestilence has carried off suddenly resolved to adopt. Serene, amid the from the society of the living, we are pestilential blight, at the approach of unable to conjecture ; nor would it, which others tremble and are dis- indeed, be becoming on such a subject, mayed, he looks into his breast with in us, to hazard an opinion. Some satisfaction, and trusts in his Re- we trust, died the death of the rightedeemer for protection, whatever might ous, at peace with God and in love be the issue of the visitation. “It is the and charity with man; and having Lord, let him do what seemeth to him departed hence in the Lord, are now good.” And, my brethren, it is only in the presence of their heavenly Masby placing implicit faith in the doc- ter. The holiest movements of our trines of the Gospel that human na- breasts, and the most sublime formu. ture can bear up successfully against lary of our church warrants us in thus the pressure of sorrow, disease and believing; and at the judgment seat, affliction, which mortality is doomed shall be greeted with this joyful mesto encounter; and which was borne sage.—“ Come ye blessed children of before us, by the Captain of our Sal- my Father, receive the kingdom prevation. To the true believer, the pared for you from the beginning of world and the things of the world, are the world.” Among the number of only secondary objects of his solici- these, was one, * who had endeared tude ; they are the ladders, indeed, by herself to the circle among whom she which he ascends to the heavenly was known; and whose trying and mansions of his Father's house ; but arduous office, as matron to the inthey are considered by him only as stituation over which she presided, the means by which heaven is gained required no common portion of fortiand hell avoided; as materials on tude properly to fulfil, to whose chawhich his faith is tried, and his reli- racter we may be allowed to pay a gious principles perfected. He feels passing tribute of respect. She was in the beautiful language of the Poet, the voluntary inmate of the house of that
misery. The mild minister of com“ To be good, is to be happy. Angels
fort to be the most distressing of all Are happier than mankind, because they're objects; the blighted form of woman. better,
The hourly witness and companion of Guilt is the source of sorrow, 'tis the fiend, The avenging fiend, that follows us behind
the loveliest work of the Creator's With whips and stings. The blest know none hands, deprived of the spark which
of this; Bat rest in everlasting peace of mind,
gave lustre to the eye, of the intellect And find the height of all their heaven is good which blessed and animated the heart. ness."
Placed in such an arduous and deliThe soldier of Christ is always upon cate scene of trial, she performed her his guard, and ready to meet danger, duty with the fondness of a mother, being armed with the breast-plate of the attention of a sister, and the benerighteousness, the helmet of salvation, ficence of a Christian ; and if there be and the sword of the Spirit. He no impiety of applying to undistintrusts in Providence for succour in guished individuals the sacred lanthe encounter, he may be called upon suage of Holy Writ, it may be said of to engage in, and whether he live
* Mrs. Griffin, Matron of the Lunatic Asylum, or die, “it is the Lord who ordereth 'Droitwich.
per ; “ when the ear heard her it grave. As death leaves us, so will blessed her, and when the eye saw judgment find us; and as our hearts her it gave witness to her, because are disciplined, so will be our lot in she delivered the poor that cried, the futurity. fatherless, and him that had none to Let us all, then, call our ways to help him.” With her, the duties of remembrance and resolve to walk as life, and the duties of her religion becometh Christians. Let us testify were the same; and when the malady, the soundness of our faith by the holinow revelling among our habitations, ness of our lives, and the confidence we made its attack upon the inmates of repose in the Providence of God. “It the asylum, she redoubled her assi- is the Lord, let him do what seemeth duity; and at length fell a victim to him good,” should be the feeling of her charity, in her attendance upon our hearts in all our afflictions, and the sick. As a wife, a mother, and a all our sorrows. On him we should Christian, she probably has many rely for help; to him we should look equals, but few superiors. Other for deliverance. Penitence and prayer females may have displayed more must be the means by which we apvaried virtues or exalted talents; proach Him--and him who thus apothers may have spread their exer- proaches He will nowise reject. tions, in the bettering the condition If any here have, therefore, lived in or in alleviating the misery—of their habitual opposition to the word of species over a wider field, but none God, hath broken his commandments, could exceed her, in the desire to despised his Sabbaths, and neglected be useful; none excel her in her do- his worship, and walked in the way mestic and moral virtues ; we may, of profaneness, sin, and vice, let him therefore, hope she died the death of beware how he stand. Perhaps he the righteous, and is now happy in is now listening, for the last time, to the kingdom of God.
the overtures of grace, of pardon, and The sudden manner, in which the reconciliation, made by the mouth of pestilence has rushed into the habita- his minister. The sinner on his deathtions of our neighbours, and carried bed, in seasons of pestilence, like the off their inmates, should induce us to present, can look for little leisure to look carefully to ourselves, and see, make his peace with his Maker; if at whether we are in the way of godli- any time the sincerity of a death-bed ness, and prepared to receive the sum- repentance can be relied on, as effecmons already sent to numbers of our tual in saving the soul. Let him, therebrethren, Arise then and come to fore, reform in time, and live hencejudgment." Surely we need no forward under the influence of the stronger warning of the instability of Holy Spirit, and his salvation will be human life, than the numerous life- secure; so that whether he shall be less bodies, which within the last fort called to deliver up an account of night have peopled our churchyards, his stewardship, at cockcrowing, or and left their families in mourning, in the morning, or
at noon, and in some cases their children des- hath many years yet allowed him, titute. We know from melancholy he may be ready to answer the experience, that there is no security inquiries of his master, and obagainst the contagion, and no reliance tain his approval. “Well done thou in the power of medicine, to resist its good and faithful servant. Enter thou virulence when once imbibed into the into the joy of thy Lord.” Which human system ;-why then do we God grant may be the happy lot of delay providing the one thing need all here present, through Jesus Christ ful: There is no repentance in the our Mediator and Redeemer.-Amen.
ALTERNATE EVENING PREACHER AT THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL.
Acts siv. 17.-“ Nerertheless he left not himself without a witness, in that he did good,
and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
"God," says the Apostle,
to himself; but now the case is altered, hath in these last days spoken unto
to us by his Son, spake in times past unto to repent,” so that we are of all men the fathers by the Prophets." The without excuse, if we do not “ turn individuals, however, to whom he from our idols to serve the living thus addressed himself were both re-God.” Such is the substance of the stricted to number and to place; a apostolic argument, as addressed in few only from among the great mass the chapter before us to the inhabitof mankind were particularly favoured ants of Lystra. We draw from hence with these Divine communications ; | this legitimate conclusion ; that God to a vast portion of creation no special in the appointment of fruitful luxurevelation of himself had been made riant seasons intends, not only to by Jehovah. Did he not then at all confer a rich bounty upon man, but speak unto them in intelligible accents? also to testify himself, to declare his Did he altogether veil himself from own name, that he alone may be their observation in impenetrable dark- exalted and glorified upon earth. ness? Far from it! For as the My thoughts have obviously been Psalmist says, “the heavens declare diverted into this channel of reflexion, the glory of God; and the firmament by the contemplation of that rich showeth his handy work, day unto profusion of golden treasures, which day uttereth speech, and night unto has been so liberally diffused over the night showeth knowledge.” This face of the land, from the inexhaustisentiment is re-echoed by the Apostle ble stores of our bountiful benefactor. in the text, when he says that “God | A more prolific season than that which left not himself without witness in has just now passed over our heads, that he did good, and gave us rain we have not been often called upon to from heaven, and fruitful seasons, commemorate ; when the earth, as if filling our hearts with food and glad- willing to atone for any former definess." This, then, was the universal ciencies, hath remunerated the labours language in which God at first ad- of the husbandman by returning into dressed himself to the nations of the his lap an increase of fifty, sixty, and earth ; a small voice indeed compared in some instances of an hundred fold. with that which has since been thun- The Israelites under the law by Divine dered in our ears by prophets, apostles, appointment, had their feast of inand the Son himself ; but still loud gathering at the end of the year, when enough to testify of himself that he they had collected together all the was the Lord their God. If then the treasures of the field. It was a scene sun of revelation had not at that pe- of hallowed mirth, not of tumultuous riod illumined the heathen atmosphere, revelling, as is too often the case in still they had the sun in the firma- our day at the feasts of harvest, when ment, and the light of nature so the blessings of God are converted called, to direct them to their God. into instruments of licentiousness and If but little was given, but little was intoxication. In ancient days, there required of them. “ The times of was the grateful dedication to God of this heathenish ignorance God was the first fruits of his bounty, offered pleased, so to speak, to wink at; he up in all fidelity and singleness of suffered the nations to walk in their heart. Shall then the disciples of own ways," for reasons known only | Jesus Christ, under the Gospel dis
pensation, be made to blush by the could desire; not only has the harvest superior piety of the disciple of not failed, but its luxuriance and Moses under the legal dispensation abundance have far surpassed the Even so! In this, as in many other expectations of the most sanguine respects, the poor despised Jew will husbandman. What more could God rise up against the Christians of this do to attest his fidelity? In the apgeneration and condemn them. We pointed weeks of harvest he causes the have national mercies, but no national vineyard and oliveyard to overflow thanksgivings; God has filled our with the streams of his bounty, giving hearts with food; but where are the an abundance of “wine that maketh overflowings of gladness and of praise? glad the heart of man, and oil to make If then we are not convened, as a him a cheerful countenance, and bread nation, to celebrate our Creator's to strengthen man's heart.” Hath bounty; congregationally and indivi. godliness the promise of this life, dually no restraint is imposed upon as well as that which is to come;" our lips ; our tongues may here “de- hath it been left upon record, “that clare the wonders that God hath done they who seek the Lord shall want no for the children of men,” and for this manner of thing that is good.” Behold land in particular.
God ratifies the declaration ; he proWith a view, then, of kindling in vides for his people a table in the each bosom now before me, the slum- wilderness, and strews it with every bering embers of gratitude into a thing that can gratify the eye and lively flame of devotional ardour, let delight the palate : “Man waits upon me entreat you to come before God him, and he gives him his food in with the sentiment of adoration, as due season.” In plucking then the the Being “who fills all things living ear of corn, contemplate it as a witness with plenteousness, who has crowned of God, as a sure pledge of his unthe year with his goodness, and com- altered and unalterable nature, that manded his clouds to drop fatness upon his covenant will endure from generaus.” On beholding, as we have lately tion to generation. See in these grains done, “the little hills rejoicing on so multiplied till they surpass the every side, and the vallies standing powers of arithmetic, the simple, yet so thick with corn as to laugh and ample provision which God has made sing,” let us consider it as an act of for the wants of his whole family; it the great Creator, by which he bears will confirm and strengthen your a splendid and powerful witness of faith ; it will add energy to your dehimself.
votion, and enable you to utter with a First of all, then, casting our eyes fervor hitherto unknown, and with upon the richly mantled enclosure, greater dependence on its fulfilment, let us say to ourselves, here is my that petition which you learnt to lisp God testifying of his unchangeableness, from your cradle, “give us this day proving the immutability of his promise. our daily bread.” If, as we have before remarked, the Secondly, on beholding the rich heavens declare the glory of God; so garniture of the earth as it has lately does the earth also by the richness and been presented to our view ; let us profusion of its productions. We have consider it as God testifying in the it as an express declaration from God, most unbounded manner, of his love " that while the earth remains, seed- and goodness towards the children of time and harvest, summer and winter, men. Taking our station on an emiday and night shall not cease.” We nence, and viewing from thence the challenge the scorner and infidel to surrounding country, what a prospect prove that this covenant hath, in any is unfolded to our astonished vision. one instance been violated, during How magnificent the sight. How vast the many centuries since it was first and how various ! How full and how promulgated, up to the present hour; plenteous with all manner of store ! nay, in the present instance before us, | How striking the illustration of the as is so often the case, God has done Psalmist's declaration, “ God opens for us exceeding abundantly above all his hand and fills all things living that he has promised, or that man with plenteousness." What ample