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the world, not only throughout the present, but throughout all succeeding generations. The cordial determination of a Christian to believe and obey will, according to the Scriptures, make an incomprehensible change in him and his destination throughout eternity. The change, wrought by a single act, may at first be small; yet it may gradually become greater and greater, until it shall become immeasurable. But we know not God; we know not ourselves; we know not another state of existence, in any

such manner, as to establish one rational expectation of future good. We have no premises on which we can rest, and can come to no safe conclusions. The soul is here ventured in the dark, and is not able even to grope its way. It knows not whither it is going. If it did, it could not possibly find the path which leads to the place of its destination. What rational man can possibly be willing to live and die, in such uncertainty, in a case incomprehensibly momentous ? Who can be willing to hazard eternity upon the toss of a die ? Who, much more deliriously, can venture this immense object upon the casual conclusions of infidel philosophy ?

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SERMON V.

SERMONS ON REVELATION.

SERMON III.

. MAN CANNOT FIND OUT A RELIGION WHICH WILL

RENDER HIM ACCEPTABLE TO GOD.

MICAH VI. 5—7. O my people, remember, now, what Balak, King of Moab,

consulted, and what Balaam, the son of Beor, answered him, from Shittim unto Gilgal ; that ye may know the righteous

ness of the Lord. Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the most high God ? Shall I come before him with burnt

offerings, with calves of a year old ? 66 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten

thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression; the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ?

In this singular passage of Scripture, God calls upon the Israelites to remember a solemn and most interesting consultation of Balak, king of Moab, directed to Balaam, the son of Beor, concerning the means of worshipping God in an acceptable manner, and of making an expiation for his sins. The consultation itself is recited in the text, and respects a subject of the highest possible importance to man. It is also given in terms unusually affecting. 66 Wherewith shall I come before " the Lord, and bow myself before the most high God ?" With the world, not only throughout the present, but throughout all succeeding generations. The cordial determination of a Christian to believe and obey will, according to the Scriptures, make an incomprehensible change in him and his destination throughout eternity. The change, wrought by a single act, may at first be small ; yet it may gradually become greater and greater, until it shall become immeasurable. But we know not God; we know not ourselves; we know not another state of existence, in any such manner, as to establish one rational expectation of future good. We have no premises on which we can rest, and can come to no safe conclusions. The soul is here ventured in the dark, and is not able even to grope its way. It knows not whither it is going. If it did, it could not possibly find the path which leads to the place of its destination. What rational man can possibly be willing to live and die, in such uncertainty, in a case incomprehensibly momentous ? Who can be willing to hazard eternity upon the toss of a die ? Who, much more deliriously, can venture this immense object upon the casual conclusions of infidel philosophy ?

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SERMON V.

SERMONS ON REVELATION.

SERMON III.

. MAN CANNOT FIND OUT A RELIGION WHICH WILL

RENDER HIM ACCEPTABLE TO GOD.

MICAH VI. 5—7. O my people, remember, now, what Balak, King of Moab,

consulted, and what Balaam, the son of Beor, answered him, from Shittim unto Gilgal ; that ye may know the righteous

ness of the Lord. Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the most high God ? Shall I come before him with burnt

offerings, with calves of a year old ? 6. Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten

thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression ; the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ?

In this singular passage of Scripture, God calls upon the Isa raelites to remember a solemn and most interesting consultation of Balak, king of Moab, directed to Balaam, the son of Beor, concerning the means of worshipping God in an acceptable manner, and of making an expiation for his sins. The consultation itself is recited in the text, and respects a subject of the highest possible importance to man.

It is also given in terms unusually affecting. 6 Wherewith shall I come before “the Lord, and bow myself before the most high God ?” With what worship shall I appear? What testimonies of reverence, submission, and adoration, shall I exhibit, that I may be accepted ? “ Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with “ calves of a year old ? Will the Lord be pleased with thou“ sands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall “ I give my first-born for my transgressions; the fruit of my “ body for the sin of my soul ?”

In these most pathetic inquiries, we cannot but discern an anxiety intense, a distress extreme, about a subject of infinite moment. At the same time, we are presented with a total ignorance on the part of the inquirer concerning the proper answer to be given,-a state of absolute perplexity,—of terrible suspense !

The answer of Balaam is not less remarkable. Instead of referring Balak, as a modern infidel would have done, to the light of nature, and the decisions of philosophy, he directs him immediately to revelation.

66 He hath showed thee, O man, “ what is good ; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but “ to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with “ thy God ?"

This conversation between Balak and Balaam seems evidently to have taken place after his attempts to curse Israel were finished, and, of course, after he had received the several revelations recorded in the book of Numbers. When Balaam had come to Balak, and attempted to curse the tribes of Israel, they were encamped on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, near Jericho ;* but the prophet Micah declares, that this consultation was holden from Shittim, the place of their last encampment, before they crossed the Jordan, and began to take possession of Canaan, unto Gilgal, the first encampment on the other side of that river.t In other words, it was on the way from Shittim to Gilgal that the conversation in the text was holden. It was, therefore, subsequent to these revelations. As the revelations were known to Balak as well as to Balaam, the prophet knew that the language which he here uses would

* See Numbers xxii. 1. and 33–48. + Ibid. xxxiii. xlix. and Joshua v. 9.

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