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by faith, and not by fight; soon you will walk by fight, and not by faith. What you know not now, you will know hereafter. You will then find yourselves infinitely more happy by the divine disposition of all your concerns, than you could have been, had you always enjoyed your own wishes. When from the top of the holy hill of Zion, you shall look down upon the winding path of Providence, by which you ascended, you will praise Him for the means as well as for the end, admire his wisdom as well as his kindness, and fays “ He hath done all things well."
Some of your friends and relations are gone before you. In his light they see light; to them the whole mystery is now explained. Blessed fpirits, how we envy you! We fee Him through a glass darkly; and half our time cannot spy Him at all ; you fee Him face to face; you know even as you are known. Well, christians, they are waiting “ to receive us into ever“ lasting habitations ;” we shall foon join them; we shall foon' unite in their acknowledgments and adorations, and this will be our eternal theme : “ Marvel" lous are thy works, Lord God almighty! just and “ right are all thy ways, O thou King of Saints.”
THE SECURE ALARMED.
Amos vi. 1.
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.
M y Brethren, there is something very agreeable and desirable in EASE. Even external ease is valuable; and we are ready to pronounce the man happy, whose connections and affairs are all profperous and peaceful. But what is external ease without bodily ? Pain will produce anguish, which neither riches, nor palaces can relieve. An aching head, a jarring tooth, will destroy all the sensations of pleasure arising from worldly things. Enter the house of affliction ; observe thy neighbour ; “he is chastened " with pain also upon his bed, and the multitude of his “bones with strong pain; so that his life abhorreth “ bread, and his soul dainty meat: his flesh is consu“ med away that it cannot be seen, and his bones that “ were not seen stick out; yea, his soul draweth near “ unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.” Perhaps some of you have been in a similar condition ; your “ soul hath it still in remembrance ;" you laid, “I am made to possess months of vanity, and wearilome " nights are appointed to me: when I lie down I say, “ when shall I arise, and the night be gone? I am ful} “ of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day, “my bed does not comfort me, nor my couch ease my “ complaint.” O how delicious is health after fickness, and ease' after pain! But what is bodily ease without mental ? " The spirit of a man may sustain his infirmi. " ty, but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Can a man be happy while corroded with care, fretted with envy, burning with malice, perplexed with doubts, tormented with fears? Think of a man who carries lodged within him a troubled conscience; "he eats ashes like bread, “ and mingles his drink with weeping;"“his life hangs " in suspense before him, and he has none assurance “ of his life ;" " he trembles at the shaking of a leaf;" “ terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest steal" eth him away in the night;" "he is scared with 66 dreams, and terrified with visions.” O what can be fo precious as peace of mind; a calm within ! And yet strange as the declaration may appear, this tranquillity is too common; and to disturb it, is the design of this discourse ; a design, not only justified by inspired example, and demanded by ministerial fidelity, but required even by love to your souls. For though it may wear the appearance of harshness, it is in reality the kindest expression of friendship; it is the severity of one who rushes forth, and breaks in upon your pleasing reverie, when you approach the brink of a dreadful precipice; it is the severity of one, who should knock loudly, and interrupt your repose, when he perceived your house becoming the prey of devouring flames, and saw you had scarcely time to escape, for your peace is a false peace; it is the friendship of Joab concealing his murderous dagger; it is the slumber of Samson in the lap of Delilah, softly depriving him of his locks; it is a sleep obtained by opium ; it is the loss of feeling, the presage of death ; it is the calm of the dead sea, the consequence and the evidence of a curse. Thus we have observed, that before a fall of exceeding heavy rain, the wind has been unusually still. Thus historians inform us, that before an earthquake, the air is uncommonly serene. Whether therefore you will hear, or whether you will forbear, I found the alarm, and give you warning from God“ Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.”
. But it will be proper to ascertain precisely the characters whose delusion we wish to destroy. Who deserves this charge? Who is obnoxious to this curse? Some are “at ease in Zion” from SELFISH INSENSIBILITY; fome from INFIDEL PRESUMPTION; fome from VAIN - CONFIDENCE ; some from PRACTICAL INDIFFERENCE.
I. Some « are at ease in Zion" from SELFISH IN. SENSIBILITY. Such there were in the days of Amos. “ They lie,” says the prophet, “ on beds of ivory, and “ stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the “ lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst 6 of the stall; they chant to the found of the viol, and “ invent to themselves instruments of musick like Da6 vid; they drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves “ with the chief ointments; BUT ARE NOT GRIEVED “ FOR THE AFFLICTION OF JOSEPH.” In similar lan, guage Isaiah upbraids the Jews. “ In that day did the 56 Lord God of Hosts call to weeping, and to mourn“ing, and to baldness, and to girding with fackcloth; “ and behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and kill. “ ing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine : let us eat "and drink, for to-morrow we shall die.” How criminal this appeared in the eyes of Jehovah, may be inferred from the threatening; “ And it was revealed “in mine ears by the Lord of Hofts, surely this in“iquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, faith “ the Lord God of Hosts.” In this representation we discover something peculiarly applicable to many in our day. The judgments of God have been abroad in the earth, nor has our own nation escaped their influence. We have passed through a period singularly awful and trying. In no common degree have we been called upon to become serious, humble, and sufceptible of instruction and impression. What instruction have we received? What impression has been made upon our minds ? What amusements have we relinquished? What correspondence of feeling with the dealings of God have we discovered? What sympathy in the necessities and woes of half-fed perishing multitudes have we expressed? What tears have we shed over the funeral of three millions of our fellowcreatures, and a hundred thousand of our fellow-countrymen, all torn from their beloved connections, all hurried into an eternal state! Whatever occurs, these human brutes graze on.. “ They regard not the work < of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his “ hands.” The cares of the world engross them; the pleasures of the world amuse them ; the miseries of mankind are nothing to them. Like members fever.