« AnteriorContinuar »
a house of images, when the bell is shaken, still He, and He alone, is the object of adoration. To vilify the religion or customs of other men, is to set at nought the pleasure of the Almighty. When we deface a picture, we naturally incur the resentment of the artist, and the poet has justly said, presume not to arraign the various works of divine power."
What shall we think of a man who could deliver such noble sentiments as these, nearly two hundred years ago, in a land prostrated under the slavish influence of the most besotted superstition-a man too educated in the mysteries of an idolatrous creed and taught to venerate the numerous and revolting rites of a barbarous paganism? Shall we imagine that such a Pagan would dishonour our best affections? Shall we imagine that such a Pagan was born to be cast with his idols into outer darkness, possessing a soul kindling with all the noblest emotions of man's better nature; reflecting the bright beams of his Maker's image through the darkness by which he was surrounded, and absolutely digging up the sterling ore of truth from the deep and pervading crust of error? Let us not think that the Pagan is to be despised only because he is a Pagan. Because he is the creature of circumstance he is not to be contemned, whilst he is the creature of
principle; and we may assure ourselves that there is not a corner of the world where our love may not penetrate, nor a race of our fellow beings on whom it may not be profitably bestowed. And if we admit that Christ is our example, we must love all men, or we shall fail to follow his steps.
ON THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES.
HABAKKUK, CHAP. III. VERSE 6.
He stood and measured the earth: he beheld and drove asunder the nations, and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting..
In this chapter the prophet refers in strains of stupendous sublimity to the amazing displays of divine power, manifested towards the seed of Abraham, in rescuing them from the tyranny of Pharaoh, and bringing them, through innumerable difficulties and dangers, into the possession of that promised land where, in future times, the great work of human redemption was to be consummated. He refers to this signal evidence at once to God's omnipotence, and of his mercy towards their erring forefathers, as a ground for reliance, He that is both able and willing to realize his promises to them and their posterity until
time shall cease to run. "For did ever any one trust in the Lord and was confounded? or did any abide in his fear and was forsaken ? or whom did he ever despise that called upon him?”
The words of the text convey impressions, in the highest degree solemn and imposing, of that Almighty authority, exhibited by the great Author of Nature upon occasions when he judges it necessary. All his dispensations prove to a demonstration, that "He is God, even he alone of all the kingdoms of the earth." What says the Prophet?" He stood and measured the earth." Like a conqueror he stood in the van of the Israelites in the form of a column of fire, scattering the nations before their armies, and bringing them at length into the promised land which he measured" or portioned out among the twelve tribes. He had before "spoken in his holiness, I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem and mete out the valley of Succoth," which was finally accomplished in the partition of the earthly Canaan. He guided his people from the captivity of Egypt; he led them through the red sea; "at the blast of his nostrils the waters were gathered together; the floods stood upright as a heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea." "He led them through the wilderness like a flock," and dispersed their enemies as "stubble before the wind."
"The everlasting mountains were scattered,