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secret manner. Still however, God has given us such abundant proofs of his government of the World in general, and of his care of the Church in particular; and has revealed to us such repeated discoveries, that “ of him, and through him, and to him are all things, and that the counsel of the Lord shall stand, and the thoughts of his heart from generation to generation;" that it were highly unreasonable to suppose, that, in these latter days, God has left the world to shift for itself. After having shown us how he has supported it for ages, can it be imagined that God is not the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; or that men are not as helpless now, and as much needing the Divine Providence as formerly? That we may not fall into this error of the wicked, we must take heed to the WORD, the invaluable legacy of God to mankind. This is the glass by which God is steadily to be seen, and by this key we are to open the dark things of Providence, and to learn constant lessons of practical utility.

But miserable, dark, helpless sinners, as we all naturally are, we have need to look on God in Christ, that we may behold him with comfort; for out of Christ he is a consuming fire. well be supposed, that the steps of Providence would be remarkable concerning the Lord Jesus, in all things which concerned him. The long train of events and circumstances concerning the Messiah, predicted in the Old Testament, and fulfilled in the New, point out to us a constant interference of Providence. Though he was crucified by wicked hands, and slain, yet “it was by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of God.” In another place it

And it may is said, they “fulfilled all that was written of him.” The affairs of the Church of Christ are also the constant objects of Providence; and this, the last Book of Scripture,--the Revelation of St. John,distinctly teaches us. What has been done for the Church, from the age in which St. John lived to the present time, and also what will be done, are there recorded. It is not so dark and unintelligible a book as many are pleased to represent it. There are various parts of Scripture considerably more difficult. It would be one of the best employments of studious and reading persons to attend to it from beginning to end. With the assistance of the labours of learned men, and the lights of history, the greatest part may be made intelligible to judicious, well-disposed, dispassionate, persons. This book demonstrates that God's Providence does, and ever will, take care of his Church. In the darkest

passages it is also interspersed with the plainest and most precious rules of faith and patience; and it particularly inculcates the all-important doctrine of justification by faith in Christ alone, and the momentous, inestimable consequences of his atoning blood:

, and lays open the joys and triumphs of the Saints in heaven.

But as there is no where more precious comfort to true humbled believers than in this book, so in no part of Scripture are there more terrible denunciations of Divine Wrath against unbelievers, idolaters, and “ whosoever loveth and maketh a lie *.;" and all who despise or neglect the salvation of Jesus Christ. Here hell is opened in its horrors, and heaven displayed in its charms; the depth of misery and the

* Rev. xxii. 15,

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height of joy. God's Providence, in its history, from the beginning of the world to the end, is closed in this book, and it is then added, " he that is holy, let him be holy still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still."

I would now speak a few words by way of application. And O! that it may be to the deep and profitable conviction of every individual who says to the Almighty, “depart from us *;" and who impiously asks,“ how † doth God know?” After all the evidence that God is constantly giving of his government, and all the illustration, which he affords of it from Scripture, is it for you to say, " things come by chance?" See you no hand of God in any thing that befals yourself, or your family, or nation, but ascribe your good success to your own merit, and your bad success to fortune? How stupid and senseless is it for men, maintained and protected by the King of kings all their days, to notice nothing of his dealings ? Shall we admire the works of art in our feliow-creatures, and the skill of wise and able persons in arduous affairs; and shall we neglect to observe the works of the great Artist; of infinite Wisdom ?

But it is not my business only to show how foolish, but also how wicked and ruinous this neglect of Divine Providence is to men! Since it has grown among us to a height beyond the example of former ages,

I may appeal to yourselves, Hath not vice also, within your own memories, increased more and more? When God makes an example of a wicked man, by punishing him in the natural consequences of his vices, is it not usually reckoned uncharitable *Job xxi. 14.

À Psalm 1xxiii. 11.

among us, to make a single reflection on the hand of Providence! What does all this pretended charity amount to, but to the exclusion of God from his own world; and does it not lead men to mag

; nify themselves in their own eyes, and to diminish in their thoughts the evil of sin, and almost to forget that a God exists ! But how miserable are your prospects ! At present, whatever comforts you may have, they do not arise from pious thoughts of your Maker. You have no lively faith in Him. You may perhaps be cheered for a short time in a false way, by prosperity ; by the gratification of your lusts and passions ; by want of thought; by dissipated company; by good health, and a plentiful flow of animal spirits : But how long will all this continue? And if you should die in the midst of your vanities, what a sad scene will be unfolded ? In hell to lift up your eyes, being in torments, and then to know and feel the wrath of that God whom

you have despised through life, and whose laws you have constantly broken, --what a prospect is this ?

Suppose you should live tö'an advanced age; in that case, your comforts will die before you. The days will come, when you shall say, pleasure in them.” Health will decay, spirits will flag, cross events in life will make you feel your wickedness. In this trying state the real Christian has a God to go to; you have none.

Conscience tells you that God is your enemy; and you have not a right to expect any thing from him but wrath. That grand scene of Providence, which orders the affairs of the whole world, and of every single person in it, is all against you'; and death, and judgment, and eternal misery are your prospects.

ci I have no

Are these things trivial in their nature; or will any wise man, in the contemplation of them, find matter for jest and merriment? Will they lose their terror at their approach by your slighting them at a distance? Will they not then more fiercely torment you? Say not that godliness leads to melancholy. No; the reverse is the truth: godly men have that which cheers them in their saddest hours; and

you have that which at times strikes your heart like a dagger in your gayest moments. Hence among such as you, self-murder is no very uncommon crime. In proportion as men forget the doctrine of Providence, their temptation to this basest of sins grows stronger and stronger; and therefore it is observable, that in the land of our enemies, of late years, as they have shaken off the thought of God's Providence, self-murder has been so common that they were obliged to check it by new and extraordinary regulations.

Will you proceed thus to the end unmoved? Oh! take that proud heart to task, and bid it soften. Desire to burst that bubble of pride and false honour, that enchantment of false pleasure, which leads you captive at present. At length, retire from company, and spend some leisure time alone in secret meditation; and call each day upon your conscience to do its office. Examine your accounts, and see how they stand between God and

you. Then bend those stubborn knees, so unused to prayer, and endeavour to bring that worldly mind of yours to a work, of which it knows so little,--to humiliation and confession of sin. If you scarce know at first what to pray for and how to pray, because you are so perfectly unused to supplication, help yourselves by

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