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church! And have we made pro-places-in the most spiritual persons gress? Are we further in the heavenly in high places? Will the Son of man course than the Reformers were- find faith there? than the Martyrs were ? Are we so And then, one more question. If forward as the Apostles were? Oh, the Son of man were to come, would my brethren, it ought not so to be; he find faith in his coming—in regard we have all the privileges they had, of his coming? He is coming; he all the advantages they had; all ob- hath appeared once, and he is on the, structions have been removed; we wing to come again. “ This same have all liberty and full permission Jesus,” said the angels who stood by to wait upon our God,—to read his the disciples, “ which is taken up Scriptures, to preach the truth; we from you into heaven, shall so come remain unmolested. Oh, there would in like manner, as ye have seen him not be so much difficulty in drawing go into heaven.” Though men should the line between those who believe trouble about the time, and the manGod, and those who believe him not. ner, and the circumstance; yet they It is because they are amalgamated may be mistaken when they are wise together, and mixed up together, as above that which is written. At the the colours of the rainbow are mixed same time, let not these things put up with one another.
us off our guard ; his chariot wheels “ When the Son of man cometh, are to be heard ; he rideth upon the shall he find faith upon the carth?" clouds, and the wings of the wind There is a vast indifference at the bear him down to the earth. We present moment towards religion. must expect this event, and when he When men get rid of true religion, comes shall he find the world infidels they will have a false one; and when or believers ? Shall he find the peothat spirit which comes from the ut- ple saying, “Where is the promise most hell, is suffered again to take of his coming ? for since the fathers possession of men's minds in this fell asleep, all things continue as they country, we know well that the sword were from the beginning of the creaof persecution may be drawn and the tion,”
Let us rather say, brethren. racks and the tortures, and all those “ Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” inventions which have been brought " When the Son of man cometh forward for the aid of error and sin: shall he find faith on the earth ?" who can tell but what God might Well, let us take heed that we be give them a commission to try men, found watching. to sift the church. Oh, it is perse- And now what shall I say to my cution that tries men ; it is in the time congregation, in winding up this adof persecution that the church is dress? These are serious and solemn sifted; when the good men are se- things, and are addressed to every parated from the evil. Do we find one of us. Those who are careless in our congregations this faith? Who and sinful, let them tremble: they is there here prepared to resist unto have another warning of God's grace death, striving against sin; to re- and mercy towards his election who sist unto death, striving against error? cry day and night before him. ReWho are prepared to give up their member these things. Well God lives for Christ-to make an open might be grievously offended at those profession of Christ, and him cru- who have rejected Christ: and they cified, When the Son of man cometh, shall be hereafter lost for ever. When will he find faith there in the high God hath revealed himself to poor sinners, he is ready to advocate their , outward forms, but the language of cause ; and he hath sent his word and the heart praying in spirit and in promise to them, that he waits to be truth, praying with the spirit, and gracious to them. What wonder if with the understanding also. to that soul which rejects Christ, his And let those Christians wbo know words should be—“ Depart from me, Christ, and believe on him, who are I know ye not !” Oh let every un- exercising faith in him, in his probelieving soul beware; he is in an mises, in his grace, and in his work, evil state, let him look well to it. and in his coming to take upon him
There are some, perhaps, whose self the power and the glory of the faith is weak and they lament it. Let kingdom-let such be found daily that faith be strengthened. And how, watching and prayerful, and walking and from whence? From whence holy and unblamable before God, thou didst receive it even from every day and every hour. Then God and the Father of our Lord Jesus when the sound of the trumpet, and Christ, of whom the whole family the voice of the archangel are heard, in heaven and earth is named.” God you shall find that it shall usher you will give his Holy Spirit to them that into the presence of the Lord God ask it. Let us spend much of our Almighty, who shall wipe away all time at the throne of the heavenly tears from your eyes, and all his grace: let us be suppliants there : church and elect people shall be glad God looks upon the heart. Let us in him throughout eternity. take heed that our prayers be not
DELIVERED BY THE REV. H. BLUNT,
AT TRINITY CHURCH, CHELSEA, SUNDAY MORNING, APRIL 14TH, 1833.
2 Chronicles, xxii, 25.—" But Hezekiah rendered not again, according to the benefit done
unto him : for his heart was lifted up; therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah, and upon Jerusulem."
Before entering upon the immedi- , simple and imperfect as they must ate subject of the words of the text, needs be, of these important subjects and upon the more immediate duty as they regard us as members of a to which we are this day called, there professing Christian nation. In geneare two or three points necessary to ral we are content, and it is sufficient be well established in our minds. In and more than sufficient to occupy general our ministrations are, and all our powers and opportunities, to ought to be, confined to the sins, and bring before you God's dealings with trials, and duties of individuals; but, individuals; to day we are bound to on a day like the present, we are speak of them on a more enlarged bound to take wider scope, and to scale as they affect the nation to bring before you a few glimpses, which we belong, which cannot be
DEALINGS WITH NATIONS.
punished without our being partakers Whether men will hear or forbear, of its sufferings, or blessed without this truth of God remains the sameour participating in its mercies. that national sins must and shall proFirst, then, as refers to God's duce national suffering. Behold it
National | again exemplified in the great pesticalamities are invariably represented lence, which in three days carried off in the book of truth, as the punish- seventy thousand in Jerusalem ; as ment of national sins. The sins of recorded in the twenty-fourth chapter individuals will be requited in eter- of the second book of Samuel. The nity; the sins of nations can only be immediate cause of that dreadful visited in time. The afflictions of visitation, mentioned by the inspired individuals are frequently sent accord writer, is, that David numbered the ing to the abundant exercise of grace people of Israel; but this was not the with which God has endowed them; primary cause ; for, referring to the and thus, at the same time, to advance first verse of the chapter, we find, their own holiness, and promote the “ The anger of the Lord was kindled glory and honour of God. But this against Israel, and he moved David is not the case with nations; their against them, to say, Go number afflictions are essentially intended as Israel and Judah.” Tbe people, their punishment, to humble them, to then, had in some manner deeply prove them, and to lay them low in and grievously sinned; the anger of the dust before the Lord ; and scarcely the Lord was kindled by their sin; ever do we read of war, or famine in consequence of which he withand pestilence, in the word of God, draws from their ruler the guiding without being led by the intimation and influencing aid of the Spirit of of that unerring word, to trace them God, permits him also to sin, and to the sins of the sufferers. This is a then visits the joint transgression on doctrine which men in all ages have the whole nation. In other words, been peculiarly averse to receive. the sins of the people withdrew from Thus, we find, even in the case of David the restraining grace of David, that most eminent servant of God, and the sins of David brought the Most High, that, for three whole down in return the punishment of years, he permitted his country to God on the people. groan beneath the judgment of the What I would deduce from this, Lord, and the visitation of a grievous my brethren, is the following :--that famine, because during the whole of the sins of the rulers, and of the people this time he appears to have looked ruled, are 80 intimately connected, only to secondary causes; until at that one invariably involves the length, at the end of the third year, other; and this has been distinctly we are told, “ David enquired of the stated by God himself, by the mouth Lord, and the Lord answered, It is of the prophet Zechariah, in that refor Saul and for his bloody house, markable passage, in which he says, because he slew the Gibeonites.” “My anger was kindled against the Atonement was then made for this shepherd, but I punished the goats.” national sin, the national affliction This judgment of the Most High may was instantly removed, as, in all appear harsh and unmerciful to many, probability, would have been the but its truth cannot be doubted, and its case had that which was postponed motive can be unintelligible to none. till the third year, been, as it ought The truth I have already demonto have been, remembered in the first. strated ; the motive is this God
gives us, in the present order of things, the same time ;-he was dangerously continually, a large share in one ano- ill of a mortal malady, and he was ther's punishments, that he may make threatened with immediate destrucus take a deeper interest in one ano- tion, by the army of Sennacherib, ther's duties. No man, from the king of Assyria. Knowing one rehighest to the lowest, who under- fuge, even the mercy and the love stands the word of God and the deal- of his God, he fled to that refuge; ings of God, can ever ask, “ Am I my and, like the true church of God in brother's keeper?" All are deeply in every age, found protection and terested in all. The government of peace within the everlasting arms. every Christian country, whether it You may read the account of it in the knows it or knows it not, (and it is twentieth chapter of the second book one of the worst signs of the times of Kings. Hezekiah prayed to the that this is so little known), is inti- Lord and “Wept sore. And it came to mately connected with the transgres- pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into sions of the people; and the governed the middle court, that the word of are closely involved in the sins of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn the government ; so that each has an again, and tell Hezekiah the captain important duty to perform to the other. of my people, Thus saith the Lord, The government, apart from all politi- the God of David thy father, I have cal considerations, to curb and repress heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears; the immoralities and the wickedness behold, I will heal thee: on the third of the people ; and the people, firmly, day thou shall go up unto the house though mildly, to warn, and caution, of the Lord. And I will add unto and speak plainly to the government; thy days fifteen years; and I will lest by partaking silently and volun- deliver thee and this city, out of the tarily of other men's sins, they be- hand of the king of Assyria.” come, according to God's most true I need scarcely add, that both these threatening, partakers in other men's deliverances immediately came pains. While, on the other hand, if pass; in three days Hezekiah was we act in the manner clearly open to perfectly restored to health, and one all, we clear our own conscience of hundred and four score and five thouthe guilt of others, who recklessly sin sand of his enemies were destroyed on, neglecting the warning and des by the angel of the Lord before the pising the judgment.
gates of the city. Hezekiah was not Having established these points, I ungrateful; he penned that beautiful proceed to speak very briefly on the song of thanksgiving, which you will incident to which the words of the text find recorded in the thirty eighth refer, and which appear to involve, chapter of the book of the Prophet in a peculiar manner, all those truths Isaiah ; and had it performed in the to which I have adverted. Hezekiah Temple on the anniversary of his was, at the time alluded to, king of double deliverance. Judah, and on the whole a very Now occurs that declaration of faithful and obedient servant of the the Most High to which I would parKing of kings. He had by many of ticularly desire to call your attention ; his public acts honored God, and God, “ But Hezekiah,” says the words of according to his never-broken pro- my text, “ rendered not again acmise, had in return honored him. cording to the benefit done unto him." At length, Hezekiah was threatened This is a very remarkable assertion, with two most grievous calamities at and one which, were it not made in
OURSELVES THE CONSIDERATIONS
God's unerring word, we should | God, the governed shall not escape ; never have anticipated; for it yet and that if the governed transgress, seems that Hezekiah was not devoid the governors are included in the acof gratitude, that he most freely and companying judgment. affectingly acknowledged the hand We proceed then, plainly, and of God in his deliverance, that be boldly, and faithfully, TO publicly went up as the monarch of to a great empire to the house of his God, and attributed his whole de- WHICH I HAVE ENDEAVOURED TO LAY liverance to the God of his salvation ; DOWN. It is now, my brethren, little he declared publicly in the Temple more than a year and a half since many before the assembled nations, “ I said members of this. congregation, and in the cutting off of my days, I shall many of the servants of God throughgo to the gates of the grave: I a out the country, strongly persuaded in deprived of the residue of my years.” | their own minds, and deeply feeling in "Mine eyes fail with looking up their own hearts, that the judgments ward : O Lord, I am oppressed; of a justly offended God were lowerundertake for me." Then he piously ing over this guilty nation, and they, and humbly added—“ What shall I in common with all its inhabitants, say? He hath spoken unto me, and had well deserved those punishments, himself hath done it: I shall go softly petitioned, as a Christian people were all my years in the bitterness of my hound to petition — believing those soul.” “ The living, the living, he things which I have already laid shall praise thee, as I do this day.” down,-petitioned, that a day of pubWe have seen this pleasing, and, as lic humiliation might be appointed. we have been inclined to think, most It is little more than a twelvemonth amiable recognition of God's hand since that day was granted—a day and God's deliverance made by the much to be remembered in Israel. king of Judah; and yet that same Need I recal to you the feelings of God, who is a jealous God, is by no that day? Need I remind you of its means satisfied. He does not say observance? It had been said by the that Hezekiah had not rendered at all enemy and the blasphemer, that the for the benefits done unto him, but appointment of such a day was the that he had not rendered again ac- idlest and most puritanical instance cording to the benefits done unto him. of legislation since the days of CromAnd what was the consequence? well; that public dinners would be Mark well the conelusion. “There- given in contempt of it, that public fore, then, was wrath upon him”— feelings would revolt against it, that this is much, but even this is not all. our churches would be empty and the “ Therefore there was wrath upon shops open, and the places of public him, and upon Judah, and upon Jeru- resort crowded ; that, in fact, it was salem.” How awfully corroborative one of the most dangerous experiof those truths, which we have al- ments ever made upon the feelings ready established from other por- of the nation. Amidst the dark foretions of the unerring word that the bodings of the sagacious, the ill sins and punishments of the govern- suppressed sneers of the ungodly, ment and the governed are never, and the fruitless alarms of God's in the providential arrangements of people, that day arrived, and most God, permitted to be separated ; that nobly did it vindicate the character if the governors deserve the wrath of lof our country; no sabbath day was