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house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you; and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines." This was useful, faithful counsel, and it was happily well received; for it is added, "Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only." This shall be the glory, this shall be the strength of Britain, under' God: - If every man, listening to the rebukes, to the chastenings of Providence, shall rise up and cast away his idols, separate himself from his sin, and cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart, then, who shall harm us? We have, in truth, more to fear from our sins than from the French. Israel had never been smitten before the men of Ai, had there not been an accursed thing in the camp. If there be any dismay, any weakness, any danger attached to our present situation, it is from hence; - we are a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity. Such a country was that of Sodom; but it would have been spared, if it had contained ten righteous persons. O Lord, spare our guilty land! for the sake of the thousands of thy children who daily supplicate for its peace and prosperity!
The Amalekites made an invasion on the south of Ziklag, -the territory in which David resided; and they carried away his wives, his children, and his men. Trouble and distress ensued; yea, in the agitation and anguish of their spirits, they talked of stoning David. But we are informed, that" David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." Here again, is one of the best patterns for our imitation. Let us not indulge the
vain confidence and the foolish presumption of the men of the world. They calculate on the ratio of wisdom, of numbers, and of bravery, which they have on their side; they forget that all these, and ten thousand more advantages, are nothing, unless the Lord be on our side. Let us therefore look to him;
let us put our trust in his wisdom, goodness, and power. David went out against Goliath," in the name of the Lord of Hosts." The church of old said, " Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made Heaven and earth." Yes; if we are saved, our God must fight for us. Let us then not talk proudly; but let every one of us encourage himself in the Lord. Let us humble ourselves under his mighty hand, let every one of us turn from the evil of his way; and then, those who invade us, shall rue it as bitterly as did the Amalekites the invasion of Ziklag*.
I will mention another instance, which is so singular, that it must not be omitted: It was the invasion of Judah, by the children of Moab, Ammon, and others, in the days of Jehosaphat. What was done? "Then Jehosaph it leared, and
set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah; and Judah gathered together, to ask help of the Lord, even out of all the cities of Judah, they came to seek the Lord and Jehosaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, "O Lord God of our fathers, art thou not God in Heaven? and rulest thou not over all the kingdoms of the Heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that there is none able to withstand thee?" "O our God, wilt thou not judge them! for we have no might against this great company that cometh up against us, neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee*." This is the spirit, this is the language which is suitable to a frail and sinful people. From the king on the throne to the lowest subject, let us speak and act in this humble and devout manner. Then may we reasonably expect, that if our peaceful happy shores are invaded, our enemies shall be thundered upon from Heaven, and sink as lead in the great deep; or, if they reach our shores, it shall be said of them, "The stout-hearted are spoiled; they have slept their sleep, and none of the men of might have found their hands."
But it may be proper to take another view of the subject, and notice two other instances of invasion; - I mean those of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar and Titus Vespasian. I would fain separate these, but there is not room. We have sufficient evidence that these invasions were immediately connected with the moral and religious state of the Jews. In the former period, they are described as fallen from their pre-eminence over all other people; having once walked in the light, the fellowship, and the practice of the truth, and were now sunk into the depths of ignorance, idolatry, and vice. This is Jehovah's complaint against them, about the time we refer to: "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but my people doth not know, Israel doth not consider. Ah, sinful nation! a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters. They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the holy One of Israel to anger, they have gone away backward §," &c. Faithful prophets warned them of their sin and danger; assured them of the destruction which never fails, sooner or later, to overwhelm the nation that forsakes God. But they treated these honest reprovers as fools and madmen, yea, as traitors and enemies to their country; while they courted and honoured the idle and the unfaithful prophets who flattered them, and spake Peace. What was the event? The Chaldean army approached; the Jews were infatuated, and forsaken of God; all was horror and desolation; and the whole Jewish people, who had been Isa i. 3, &c.
• 2 Chiran xx. 4, 5, 13. + Ps. lxxvi. 5.
the praise and the terror of other nations, were either slain, dispersed, or consigned to the most degrading and cruel captivity. Such is the sad catastrophe of a people who cast off the fear of Let Britain, then, hear and God, and trust in an arm of flesh. be admonished; - let her king, let her princes, let her nobles, judges, and senators; let her merchants, traders, and inechanics; let all the people remember and turn to the Lord.. We are highly exalted in privileges; these have been slighted and abused. We have been wooed by mercies, and chastened by judgments; let us then "be zealous and repent," lest we fall after the same example of unbelief. The ruin of other May we profit by nations is recorded for our admonition.
such awful instances!
This infatuated people were at length brought back from Babylon; their temple rebuilt. By the patriotism of Nehemiah, Zerrubabel, and others, they were restored to peace and prosperity but not having learned obedience by the things which they suffered, they forsook their God again; and were again invaded, by the Roman armies. At last, their city was utterly destroyed; and those who survived the unparalleled carnage, were dispersed among all civilized nations, to proclaim, by their forlorn and miserable condition, the truth and justice of a holy God. Their fathers had sinned, and done foolishly; but they filled up the measure of their iniquity, by despising the gospel of salvation: they crucified the Lord of Glory, and did despite to the Spirit of Grace. Then did the wrath of God There is no people in whose
overtake them to the uttermost. steps we are in so much danger of treading as the Jews; for we hear the same lively oracles of truth, the same gospel of grace, the same Jesus preached to us; and, I tremble to say, there are soine symptoms of the same unbelief, of the same Yes; even among us is the name of perverseness, among us. Jesus blasphemed; his blood and righteousness are discarded, and despite done to the Spirit of grace. The letter of religion is substituted for its spirit, and the form of godliness for its power. These are awful traits in the character of a people, on whom indulgent Heaven reflects its clearest rays; and on whom is bestowed the richest of all favours, Jesus, the unspeakable gift of God, and the blessings of eternal life through him.
Surely then, it becomes us to prostrate ourselves at the footstool of mercy, and confess, with blushing and grief, our numerous, our aggravated transgressions. Were God to deal with us according to our sins, he might permit our invading enemies to accomplish their cruel purposes: he might make them his instruments of righteous vengeance upon us; the Jews were upon the Canaanites, and as the Babylonians and Romans were upon the Jews. But who can tell? The Lord may hear the voice of our supplications, and interpose,
as in former periods, to deliver our highly-favoured island from destruction. When the Spanish Armada threatened our coasts, the Lord appeared for Britain, by the total discomfiture of the "Invincible Fleet." When Popery and arbitrary power were coming in like a flood, the Lord sent a deliverer, in the person of William the Third. When, at two subsequent periods, the Popish pretenders to the throne, excited rebellion, and advanced in formidable array towards the capital, God again interposed, and dispersed their forces. God has lately defeated, we trust, the scheme of the Irish rebels, by permitting the explosion to take place before the time intended; and so frustrated the concerted plan. May we not then indulge the hope, that God will listen to the fervent prayers of his British Israel; and let the vaunting invader know, that "the Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."
To the Editor.
I AM credibly informed, that the vestries attached to some meeting-houses in this kingdom, exhibit a scene of merchandize; where sermons, pamphlets, and volumes are sold on the Lord's Day as regularly as they are in a bookseller's shop on any other day.
These articles may be unexceptionable, and even important; in this manner too, whole editions may be rapidly disposed of: -but it is not only written," Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy;" but also, "Let not your good be evil-spoken of:" and again," Abstain from all appearance of evil." While ministers acknowledge the sanctity of the Christian-Sabbath, and profess to be deeply concerned for that profanation of it which the military ardour of this awful period is likely to involve, it appears to me there is much inconsistency in this conduct, whatever may be alleged in favour of a few extraordinary cases, such as those purely of a charitable nature. Ministers, I trust, will, on a little reflection, perceive that the practice, as generally maintained in some vestries, is wholly indefensible; and ought, therefore, to be immediately abandoned. I am, Rev. Sir,
Is any serious person (a minister in particular) justifiable in associating with those whose conduct he knows is, on many accounts, extremely reprehensible ?
SPARE TO SPEND.
MANY years ago, the writer of this heard Mr. Whitfield relate, in a sermon at the Tabernacle, the following anecdote, which has so good a tendency, that the insertion of it in this work may contribute to the promotion both of frugality and generosity, qualities which may reciprocally assist each
Two persons, who were employed in collecting money for some public charity, knocked at the door of a certain gentleman, intending to solicit his donation. While waiting there, they overheard the master of the house severely reproving his servants for the waste of a small piece of candle. Judging from this appearance of extreme parsimony that he was a covetous man, one of them proposed, that they should lose no more time in waiting there, but go on to another house. The other person, however, thought it best to stay. At length they were introduced, when the gentleman, having read their case, immediately presented them with five guineas. The collectors, so agreeably disappointed, could not conceal their surprize; which being observed by the donor, he desired to know why they expressed so much wonder at the gift. "The reason, Sir," said one of them, " is this: We happened to hear you severely blaming your servants for losing an inch of candle; and expected nothing from a person who, we feared, was so parsimonious.Gentlemen,' replied he, it is true, I am very exact in the economy of my affairs: I cannot endure the waste of any thing, however small its value; and I do this, that I may save, out of a moderate income, something to give to God and religion!
The moral is obvious. Masters and Mistresses of families, suffer no extravagance! Spare unnecessary expence! Spare, that you may have to spend for God;-and you, servants, avoid profusion and waste! Think not your masters covetous, because careful: it becomes both them and you to be careful, that there may be somewhat "to give to him that needeth."
A copy of this anecdote, pasted on the wall of a kitchen, may probably have a good effect.
SIR CHOMLEY DEERING, Member of Parliament for the county of Kent, was killed by his intimate friend Mr. Thornhill, in a duel, the 9th of May, 1711. These gentlemen having sat too long over a glass of wine, it seems, began to make personal reflections on each other, which produced a challenge; and both of them were grieved they had quarrelled