« AnteriorContinuar »
ing tranquillity and peace, and joy. So far from being depressed, the lively Christian rejoices, in the days of alarm and suffering, and in the prospect of death: with serenity and exultation, and triumph, moves forward to glory, honour and immortality. "None of "these things trouble me," says he, with the Apostle Paul, "neither count I my life "dear to me, while I finish my course with « joy.
I* mentioning the glorious prospects of faith and hope, with which being troubled in heart is incompatible, I am naturally brought forward to the inquiry, What are the sources of tranquillity and consolation, when there are wars and rumours of wars?
.11. Many are the considerations proposed and urged in the holy Scriptures for preserving and cherishing tranquillity and hope, and enjoyment. The general and all comprehensive direction is given by our blessed Lord, " Let not your heart be troubled, bc"lieve in God, believe also in me." Faith ki God, faith in Christ, soothes, restores and invigorates the foul: believers are filled with peace and joy.
If we steadily regard the discoveries presented to us, of the divine nature . and government; and of the grace and the glorious yet endearing characters of the Lord Jesus; if we embrace his promises; if we remember the protection, success and joy secured to his followers, and experienced by them, according to his word; we will be saved from trouble of heart. Peruse with attention and application the consolatory discourse, which begins with the words now quoted; and its object, repeatedly mentioned, will be secured; your hearts will not be troubled, neither will you be afraid. Under every trial, in every the most overwhelming dispensation, tranquillity is ensured to the people of God; and has been enjoyed by them, as well as when there are wars and ru»mours of wars.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very "present help in the time of trouble, thereli fore will not we fear, though the earth be O o 2 "removed * removed, and though the mountains be "carried into the midst of the sea; though "the waters thereof roar and be troubled; "though the mountains shake with the swel
"ling thereof. Although the fig-tree shall
"not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the "vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and "the fields shall yield no meat; the flock "shall be cut off from the fold, and there "shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will re"joice in the Lord, I will joy in the Gop of "my salvation. The Lord is my strength.^ Respecting war more particularly, says the Psalmist, "Though an host should encamp "against me, my heart shall not fear; though u war should rise against me; in this will I m be confident. I cried unto the Lord with "my voice, and he heard me out of his holy M hill; I awaked for the Lord sustained me. "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of * people that have set themselves against "me round about.
At present, wars and rumours of wars, and the relieving and comforting views of faith, in their dangers and sufferings, and
alarms alarms, claim our attention, in a more particular manner.
Amidst the dangers, sufferings and alarms of war, this will preserve us from trouble of heart, and inspire tranquillity, that we remember, in general, that all things are under the control of heaven; that by such visitations God fulfils his purposes and manifests his glory; that he hath often distinguished and saved his people in wars and alarms; that there are many soothing and reviving promises to the faithful, respecting war. I add, that the sympathy and the prayers of the faint6 are sources of peace and consolation, amidst the apprehension and horrors of war.
I. I Beseech you, that your hearts be not troubled, to remember that all things, all these things, are under the control and direction of heaven.
By faith we know that the worlds were framed by the word of God: by faith we understand all things are upheld by the word of bis power who is the brightness of the glory of God. Reason and revelation equal\y ascribe the preservation and government, with the formation of all things, to God. A sparrow falleth not to the ground without your Father: the very hairs of your head are all numbered: God clothes the grass of the field, and feeds the ravens: How much more, ye instantly say, is man the care of providence! how much more, bodies of men, societies, nations, with all their privileges and enjoyments, sacred and civil I
His church, the society of the faithful, is dear unto the Lord: " I am with you :—I "am in the midst of you," saith the Lord, and, " Lo I am with you to the end of the *' world." If God is with them, preserving them and blefljng them; his providence regulates, directs and restrains what so materially affects their preservation, privileges and enjoyments, as the issues of war. To this conclusion, obvious and irresistible as it is, we are not left. What we necessarily conclude is explicitly declared. The Lord of Armies is one of the characters of the Almighty. While Israel was obedient,
Jehovah led forth their armies. The great