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has silently but terrificly suggested itself to the hearts of numbers, who, during that period, have closed their accounts with GOD; and to others, who, by his merciful kindness, have had the hand of the destroying angel stayed from smiting, and are yet allowed time for repentance and reformation; for reconciliation and salvation. Every day, nay almost every hour, has given us a melancholy proof of the uncertainty of life; how easily the knot of existence is slipped, even when formed of the stoutest materials; how quickly the healthiest may be struck down and paralized upon the bed of sickness or of death; and that neither individual caution nor professional skill, are able to ward off or neutralize the effects of poison, with which the atmosphere is now contaminated, if it pleases the Almighty to suffer it to concentrate itself in the human system. Seeing, then, that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, we naturally turn unto GoD-and happy will it be for us, my brethren, who are permitted to survive the malignancy; 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,
The sacred Scriptures, as many here, I trust, can testify, are a well of life to them who read them with a pious and reverent disposition, with a mind ardent in search of the things that belong to its eternal peace, and a spirit properly animated with the saving truths therein revealed. Every page teems with instruction, with reproof, with correction in the way of godliness, that the true believer may be furnished with that holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Whatever may be our rank or situation here, we shall find in the word of GOD, our line of duty correctly marked out; our mode of action distinctly stated. It is this universality of adaptation of the Gospel system to all sorts and conditions of men, that proves the high original from whence it comes. No man can plead ignorance of what the Almighty requires of him. The precepts of religion necessary to be practised, are so plain and intelligible, that he who runneth may read; and the mercy of GoD is so strongly brought forward to induce men to break off their wickedness, and turn to
relief to the distressed, and hope to all things, let him do what seemeth the desponding.
In these seasons of unusual mortality, the Christian, accustomed to the practice of piety, experiences the value of the rule of life he had fortunately resolved to adopt. Serene, amid the pestilential blight, at the approach of which others tremble and are dismayed, he looks into his breast with satisfaction, and trusts in his Redeemer for protection, whatever might be the issue of the visitation. "It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth to him good." And, my brethren, it is only by placing implicit faith in the doctrines of the Gospel that human nature can bear up successfully against the pressure of sorrow, disease and affliction, which mortality is doomed to encounter; and which was borne before us, by the Captain of our Salvation. To the true believer, the world and the things of the world, are only secondary objects of his solicitude; they are the ladders, indeed, by which he ascends to the heavenly mansions of his Father's house; but they are considered by him only as the means by which heaven is gained and hell avoided; as materials on which his faith is tried, and his religious principles perfected. He feels in the beautiful language of the Poet, that
How many of our neighbours were blessed with this resigned and pious disposition, whom the virulence of the pestilence has carried off suddenly from the society of the living, we are unable to conjecture; nor would it, indeed, be becoming on such a subject, in us, to hazard an opinion. Some we trust, died the death of the righteous, at peace with GoD and in love and charity with man; and having departed hence in the Lord, are now in the presence of their heavenly Master. The holiest movements of our breasts, and the most sublime formulary of our church warrants us in thus believing; and at the judgment seat, shall be greeted with this joyful message.-" Come ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world." Among the number of these, was one, who had endeared herself to the circle among whom she was known; and whose trying and arduous office, as matron to the instituation over which she presided, required no common portion of fortitude properly to fulfil, to whose character we may be allowed to pay a passing tribute of respect. She was the voluntary inmate of the house of misery. The mild minister of comfort to be the most distressing of all
"To be good, is to be happy. Angels
Are happier than mankind, because they're objects; the blighted form of woman.
Guilt is the source of sorrow, 'tis the fiend,
The hourly witness and companion of
But rest in everlasting peace of mind,
And find the height of all their heaven is good- which blessed and animated the heart.
The soldier of Christ is always upon his guard, and ready to meet danger, being armed with the breast-plate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. He trusts in Providence for succour in the encounter, he may be called upon to engage in, and whether he live or die, "it is the Lord who ordereth
Placed in such an arduous and delicate scene of trial, she performed her duty with the fondness of a mother, the attention of a sister, and the beneficence of a Christian; and if there be no impiety of applying to undistinguished individuals the sacred lansuage of Holy Writ, it may be said of
Mrs. Griffin, Matron of the Lunatic Asylum,
her; "when the ear heard her it blessed her, and when the eye saw her it gave witness to her, because she delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to help him." With her, the duties of life, and the duties of her religion were the same; and when the malady, now revelling among our habitations, made its attack upon the inmates of the asylum, she redoubled her assiduity; and at length fell a victim to her charity, in her attendance upon the sick. As a wife, a mother, and a Christian, she probably has many equals, but few superiors. Other females may have displayed more varied virtues or exalted talents; others may have spread their exertions, in the bettering the condition or in alleviating the misery-of their species over a wider field, but none could exceed her, in the desire to be useful; none excel her in her domestic and moral virtues; we may, therefore, hope she died the death of the righteous, and is now happy in the kingdom of GOD.
The sudden manner, in which the pestilence has rushed into the habitations of our neighbours, and carried off their inmates, should induce us to look carefully to ourselves, and see, whether we are in the way of godliness, and prepared to receive the summons already sent to numbers of our brethren, "Arise then and come to judgment." Surely we need no stronger warning of the instability of human life, than the numerous lifeless bodies, which within the last fortnight have peopled our churchyards, and left their families in mourning, and in some cases their children destitute. We know from melancholy experience, that there is no security against the contagion, and no reliance in the power of medicine, to resist its virulence when once imbibed into the human system;-why then do we delay providing the one thing needful? There is no repentance in the
grave. As death leaves us, so will judgment find us; and as our hearts are disciplined, so will be our lot in futurity.
Let us all, then, call our ways to remembrance and resolve to walk as becometh Christians. Let us testify the soundness of our faith by the holiness of our lives, and the confidence we repose in the Providence of GOD. “It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good," should be the feeling of our hearts in all our afflictions, and all our sorrows. On him we should rely for help; to him we should look for deliverance. Penitence and prayer must be the means by which we approach Him-and him who thus approaches He will nowise reject.
If any here have, therefore, lived in habitual opposition to the word of GOD, hath broken his commandments, despised his Sabbaths, and neglected his worship, and walked in the way of profaneness, sin, and vice, let him beware how he stand. Perhaps he is now listening, for the last time, to the overtures of grace, of pardon, and reconciliation, made by the mouth of his minister. The sinner on his deathbed, in seasons of pestilence, like the present, can look for little leisure to make his peace with his Maker; if at any time the sincerity of a death-bed repentance can be relied on, as effectual in saving the soul. Let him, therefore, reform in time, and live henceforward under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and his salvation will be secure; so that whether he shall be called to deliver up an account of his stewardship, at cockcrowing, or in the morning, or at noon, or hath many years yet allowed him, he may be ready to answer the inquiries of his master, and obtain his approval. "Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Which GOD grant may be the happy lot of all here present, through Jesus Christ our Mediator and Redeemer.-Amen.
delivered BY THE REV. H. S. PLUMPTRE,
ALTERNATE EVENING PREACHER AT THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL.
Acts xiv. 17.-" Nevertheless 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, "who hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, spake in times past unto the fathers by the Prophets." The individuals, however, to whom he thus addressed himself were both restricted to number and to place; a few only from among the great mass of mankind were particularly favoured with these Divine communications; to a vast portion of creation no special revelation of himself had been made by Jehovah. Did he not then at all speak unto them in intelligible accents? Did he altogether veil himself from their observation in impenetrable darkness? Far from it! For as the Psalmist says, "the heavens declare the glory of GoD; and the firmament showeth his handy work, day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.' This sentiment is re-echoed by the Apostle in the text, when he says that "GOD left not himself without witness in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." This, then, was the universal language in which GoD at first addressed himself to the nations of the earth; a small voice indeed compared with that which has since been thundered in our ears by prophets, apostles, and the Son himself; but still loud enough to testify of himself that he was the Lord their GoD. If then the sun of revelation had not at that period illumined the heathen atmosphere, still they had the sun in the firmament, and the light of nature so called, to direct them to their GOD. If but little was given, but little was required of them. "The times of this heathenish ignorance GOD was pleased, so to speak, to wink at; he suffered the nations to walk in their own ways," for reasons known only
to himself; but now the case is altered, 'he commands all men every where to repent,' so that we are of all men without excuse, if we do not “turn from our idols to serve the living GOD." Such is the substance of the apostolic argument, as addressed in the chapter before us to the inhabitants of Lystra. We draw from hence this legitimate conclusion; that GoD in the appointment of fruitful luxuriant seasons intends, not only to confer a rich bounty upon man, but also to testify himself, to declare his own name, that he alone may be exalted and glorified upon earth.
My thoughts have obviously been diverted into this channel of reflexion, by the contemplation of that rich profusion of golden treasures, which has been so liberally diffused over the face of the land, from the inexhaustible stores of our bountiful benefactor. A more prolific season than that which has just now passed over our heads, we have not been often called upon to commemorate; when the earth, as if willing to atone for any former deficiencies, hath remunerated the labours of the husbandman by returning into his lap an increase of fifty, sixty, and in some instances of an hundred fold. The Israelites under the law by Divine appointment, had their feast of ingathering at the end of the year, when they had collected together all the treasures of the field. It was a scene of hallowed mirth, not of tumultuous revelling, as is too often the case in our day at the feasts of harvest, when the blessings of GOD are converted into instruments of licentiousness and intoxication. In ancient days, there was the grateful dedication to GOD of the first fruits of his bounty, offered up in all fidelity and singleness of heart. Shall then the disciples of Jesus Christ, under the Gospel dis
superior piety of the disciple of
pensation, be made to blush by the | could desire; not only has the harvest not failed, but its luxuriance and abundance have far surpassed the expectations of the most sanguine husbandman. What more could GoD do to attest his fidelity? In the appointed weeks of harvest he causes the vineyard and oliveyard to overflow with the streams of his bounty, giving an abundance of "wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen man's heart." Hath 'godliness the promise of this life, as well as that which is to come;" hath it been left upon record, “that they who seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good." Behold GOD ratifies the declaration; he provides for his people a table in the wilderness, and strews it with every thing that can gratify the eye and delight the palate : Man waits upon him, and he gives him his food in due season." In plucking then the ear of corn, contemplate it as a witness of GOD, as a sure pledge of his unaltered and unalterable nature, that his covenant will endure from generation to generation. See in these grains so multiplied till they surpass the powers of arithmetic, the simple, yet ample provision which God has made for the wants of his whole family; it will confirm and strengthen your faith; it will add energy to your devotion, and enable you to utter with a fervor hitherto unknown, and with greater dependence on its fulfilment, that petition which you learnt to lisp from your cradle, "give us this day our daily bread.”
With a view, then, of kindling in each bosom now before me, the slumbering embers of gratitude into a lively flame of devotional ardour, let me entreat you to come before GOD with the sentiment of adoration, as the Being "who fills all things living with plenteousness, who has crowned the year with his goodness, and commanded his clouds to drop fatness upon us. On beholding, as we have lately done, "the little hills rejoicing on every side, and the vallies standing so thick with corn as to laugh and sing," let us consider it as an act of the great Creator, by which he bears a splendid and powerful witness of himself.
Secondly, on beholding the rich garniture of the earth as it has lately been presented to our view; let us consider it as GOD testifying in the most unbounded manner, of his love and goodness towards the children of men. Taking our station on an eminence, and viewing from thence the surrounding country, what a prospect is unfolded to our astonished vision. How magnificent the sight. How vast and how various! How full and how plenteous with all manner of store! How striking the illustration of the Psalmist's declaration, "GOD opens his hand and fills all things living with plenteousness." What ample
First of all, then, casting our eyes upon the richly mantled enclosure, let us say to ourselves, here is my GOD testifying of his unchangeableness, proving the immutability of his promise. If, as we have before remarked, the heavens declare the glory of GoD; so does the earth also by the richness and profusion of its productions. We have it as an express declaration from GOD, "that while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease." We challenge the scorner and infidel to prove that this covenant hath, in any one instance been violated, during the many centuries since it was first promulgated, up to the present hour; nay, in the present instance before us, as is so often the case, GoD has done for us exceeding abundantly above all that he has promised, or that man