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that they are guided by him in the you undervalue, you misunderstand, same sense as a horse is guided by you reject the Gospel of the Son. his rider. These sentiments, and But steering clear of these follies all similar sentiments are erroneous and enormities, you may still firmly and hurtful—they are specimens of trust in the particular providence of the great mischief which ignorance, the Almighty-and enjoy every be. and presumption can inflict even nefit which this consoling doctrine upon the cause of truth-they are affords. stumbling blocks which should be Whence comes it then that the shunned by every one that would doctrine itself should be so frekeep the faith. God's promises to quently overlooked. The revelation instruct, and preserve the disciples of it in Scripture is indisputable. of his Son, are limited to that which The argument against it, as being is necessary for them, and best for conducive to superstition, is weak them on the whole; to those gifts and sophistical—and how are we to and that assistance, which will con account for the neglect which it exduce to their eternal welfare. God's periences. From the carelessness, commands are declared to us, not the lukewarmness, the ignorance of in the treacherous tablets of our man,
Some of us act as if we were own breasts ; but in the pages of literally incapable of taking thought His own everlasting Gospel. The for the morrow. Not for the passing words that cannot deceive are write and perishing morrow of this world. ten there and there will sober. That has its full share of our anx. minded Christians seek them. The iety and exertion. But the long imagination, as they well know, is morrow of the grave, the day in full of error, always ready to pass which we shall be called to give an off her own miserable conceits for account of our stewardship, the the dictates of the Sovereiga Crea provision that ought to be made for tor. They listen to her therefore everlasting life, these are forgotten with suspicion. They compare her as if they were the dreams of our suggestions with the revelation of childhood-they do not actuate our God-and when the two are found conduct, they do not even occur to at variance, as they too frequently our recollection. This is the last are, the latter only is believed. At- and lowest stage of irreligion--and tend to these plain rules, and you will though it may occasionally happen never be led astray in the crooked that persons who are thus situated, paths of superstition. Do not doubt preserve a decent outward characthat God directs and governs. Do ter, yet are they evidently entire not presume to understand the in- strangers to God and godliness. dividual acts of his administration. They offer him no prayer, they reDo not forget that he has instructed turn him no thanks they pay him us miraculously in the Scriptures; no obedience, they shew him no reand that other Evangelists must be spect. God is not in all their inspired, and other miracles must be thoughts. Their heart is never wrought, before the old revelation touched by contrition, or by gratican be superseded by a new one. tude. Their spirit is never strength. When you take upon yourself to ened by his quickning grace; their declare that any particular event frailty is never subdued by his holy was brought to pass by the Almighty will and word. , What they see, for a particular purpose--you judge they believe, they pursue, and they of that which is beyond your know- enjoy. But the invisible things of ledge. When you regulate your ac the world to come are concealed tions by your own caprice, under from the eyes which delight in vathe idea of submitting yourself nity; and God's Providence is not wholly to the guidance of the Spirit, improved to the salvation of their
=* souls, because they are determined preserves to those fruits the quality
to forget it. They do not disbelieve; of feeding and nourishing us which at they do not doubt, but the plea. they received, and still receive from
sures and cares of this life choke him. The same is obviously true of the seed that bas beer sown: every other convenience and comgood disposition can grow, or even fortand why are such truths over. live-no progress can be made in looked? The majority, it is to be the journey to heaven-they travel feared do overlook them, not reon another road-of which the end flecting upon God's superintendance is misery and ruin.
and care, until ibeir confidence in A second, and it may be hoped a human protection has deceived them. more numerous class, who do not The pangs of a mortal disease, adequately improve their faith in the sight of sudden, or awful Providence, consists of persons who death, the havock of plague, pesare accustomed to turn their thoughts tilence and famine, perhaps even the to God, upon great occasions, but arrival of an 'extraordinary and undo not deem it necessary to ask for looked-for blessing will reach and bis assistance in ordinary events. pierce the heart. But why has it
It would be uncharitable to say that thus waited for the storm and the , these individuals are without reli- blast; why has it resisted kind and
gion--but we are bound to tell them gentle admonitions, forgetting to that their conduct is neither com turn to God until his anger was mendable nor consistent. If they
If they provoked, and turning to him at last feel that God vouchsafes his aid in in terror ? Can you answer these those momentous concerns, which questions? Can you prove the pro. readily induce them to desire it, priety of such a system? Have you huw can they doubt that he inter- any reason to admire its effects ? feres in minor points also, and that One answer, and one only must be bis aid should be supplicated, and given, and it is an answer which his blessings acknowledged ?' The condemns the whole practice that distioetion is evidently untenable. I have described. Let us briefly We should not wait for prodigious reflect upon the very different be. and alarming occurrences, before haviour of those who really and we acknowledge or adore the God practically believe in a particular that reigneth in heaven - but we Providence. should discern and contemplate In the first place such persons do his gracious providence in the not permit themselves to consider ordinary course of events. While any portion of their behaviour as we are well and' at our ease, trifling or unimportant. The very we should thank and honour our hairs of their head are all numbered. Protector-not waiting till we are They know, and feel, and remember roused by calamity and suffering; that in the infinite and complicabut ready' and willing to serve from ted variety of causes and effects, love rather than from fear. The very important results proceed from God of the Christians is like the small beginnings. Consequently all God of Elijah. Not in the wind, the little proprieties and decencies not in the earthquake, not in the fire of behaviour are regarded as indis--but in the still small voice. The pensable. The petty offences which events of each succeeding day speak, are too often treated as mere subif you will listen to them, distinctly jects of mirth, are numbered, that of our Maker. The body that He they may be shunned. Habits are has given us must be supported; scrutinised
with still greater jealousy and where can nourishment be pro- and minuteness, that such as are cured unless God giveth the fruits found wanting, may be cast off. This of the caribe in their season--and is the very foundation of wisdom and
goodness-it fosters caution, self- sion, or the actions wbich we are to examination, and humility. It checks perform before tbe most august and vice, the moment that the shoot is attentive assembly. For all is known; seen above the ground. It cherishes is seen; and nothing can be for. prudence, and piety, and every ra. gotten-To deny or to doubt this, tional pursuit. And perhaps it tends is to question God's Providence more to preserve our tender years in to remember it is to cherish the best innocence, and thus enable us to principles of self-government and give the Power of our life to God, self-controul to enter upon the than any other moral practice what. straight but narrow path-to presoever. The penitent does well, pare for taking an active and sucwhen he perceives and laments his cessful part in the glorious fight of faults; and with a wasted frame and faith. exhausted spirits, with a palled ap Again, be that really believes in petite, and a wounded conscience God's especial Providence, must be returns at last to God. But they do devout, and bumble, and spiritually much better who serve God from the minded. Feel that all depends upon beginning: who give bim their hearts the Lord--that with him are the isin the days of their youth ; and by sues of life, the life both of the body remembering that no action is unim- and the soul--and you cannot portant in His sight, that every thing long pray to Him with irregularity we do, or say, or think, will make us or lukewarmness. You must be either better or worse, become sober bound to acknowledge, what your and considerate even in the dawn reason has bound you to believe; of their days; and have no weary and believing in the want, and in the steps to retrace, no long list of fol. acquisition of God's care and grace, lies and crimes to remember and re- your sense of both will soon be con. gret. The dissipated and idle in fessed upon your knees. Allow youth bid fair to become the aban- yourself to reflect for a few moments doned and profligate in old age; at the commencement of every day, and it is by shunning their path, upon the gifts which God has given, by refusing to believe that small and which at his pleasure he can refaults are unimportant, or unseduc- call, ask yourself where you should tive, by stifling evil propensities in the be, if his protection were withdrawn; birth, that the virtuous portion of persevere in this system but for a few mankind gather strength for their short weeks, and you will learn to career.
pray to the great Maker of all things, They are further assisted by the not merely with the dead, and worthsecond maxim which ought always less homage of the lip, but with a · to be found in the mouth of one who heart that knows its wants, Is it a believes in God. Nothing is or can matter of indifference to you whebe bid from his sight. The most ther God, continues or withdraws trifling object is important, the most your earthly comforts? Are you secret is seen. Set your hearts on prepared to part with every thing that mau's approbation; and the con- you love, esteem, and admire? with cealment of your crimes may enable your homes and your fortunes, with you to obtain without deserving it. But your friends and your family, with “ the eyes of the Lord are in every your health, your strength, your place-beholding the evil and the life? If not, on whom must you de good.” It is necessary therefore to pend for their preservation?. OB be as strict when alone as when in God and on God alone. And is it company--it is necessary to weigh unreasonable that you should pray our thoughts in as exact a balance, to him, that you should love him, as the words which we are to pro and that you should fear him! Mix Bounce upon some, solemn occa.' up the tbought of bis all sustaining
Providence with every want, and Providence which we have described. every wish, and every care that you They are grateful for the redemption feel. If the thing that you desire is of which has been procured by the such a nature, that you dare not fall merits of their Saviour--they are down and pray to God for it, be as- grateful for the continued interces. sured that the desire is impure and sion which he makes at his Father's sinful ; and that the accomplishment Throne-they are grateful for that of it would injure and debase you. renovation which is conferred by the You have no right to expect an ex- Spirit, upon every sincere, and humemption from trouble and pain-ble, and contrite disciple of Jesus. they are the appointed lot of man. They are grateful for these blessings You have no right to covet honour, -because they appreciate and prize and riches, and aggrandizement them; and as they understand their God has not promised them to those genuine worth, they are zealous in whom he loves and will protect. endeavouring to secure them. They You have still less right to demand humble themselves before Him who any licentious indulgence; any gra- filleth the hungry with good things tification of the senses, of the ima- - they supplicate the
merciful One gination, or of the taste which is in. who heareth prayer. They trust not compatible with innocence and pu- in the broken reed of human merit; rity. The wish for such will be but in the blood of a Redeemer who suppressed in the bosom that is duly died to save. In short the result of penetrated with a sense of God's that behaviour which we have en. Providence. And in exchange it will deavoured to recommend, is this receive a convictiou that they injure It renders men holy in all manner of much more than they delight-and conversation, careful, houest, sober, that He at whose bidding they are lowly, pious. surrendered can furnish us with more Each of these qualities springs pavaluable and more enduring gifts. turally from the root and stock of That is to say, we shall turn to the faith, and you who believe in One Lord, as to the giver, not merely of God the Father of all, and in Jesus temporal but of eternal health and Christ his Son, may acquire these wealth : we shall acknowledge our qualities and shew them forth to his entire dependence upou bis mercy glory, if you will act up to those and grace, we shall supplicate that principles which you adopt and proassistance which is never refused to fess, if you will practically and in the sincere. Not a sparrow can fall your hearts believe in his Providence to the ground, without the permis- and care. The God that supports sion and acquiescence of God. the sparrow in its flight, and numMuch more, not a Christian can bers all the hairs of your head, will wander from his course and perish, condescend to watch over and prewhile the Lord of all things holds serve every creature he has forared him up. This truth is admitted and -and those that seek him diligently acted upon by the believers in that he will not fail to reward.
Gen. vii. 11.
“ In the six bundredth year of Noah's
life, in the second month, the seventeenth " And Noah went in, and his sons, and day of the month, the same day were all his wife, and his sons' wives with him, ioto the fountains of the great deep broken up. the ark, because of the waters of the In thic seltsame day entered Noah into the flood.”
The sacred Ogdoas in Egypt, which ark. Other writers express it, Thawas held in great veneration, con- manim, which is a plural from Tha. sisted of eight personages described man. Terra Thamanim signifies the in a boat, who were esteemed the region of the eight persons whose most ancient gods of the country: history needs no explanation. It is This number was held sacred, and so rendered by Elmacini, wbo speaks esteemed mysterious by other na- of the town, and styles the place tions. It is observable that the Chi- which Noah built after that he came nese have somewhat more than two out of the ark. William de Rubru. hundred principal elementary cha- quis, who travelled into Tartary in racters, and out of these all other the year 1253, and returned by Arrepresentations are formed, by which, menia, bas a remarkable passage to in writing, they express their ideas. this purpose. “ Near the city NaxBy these combinations the charac. uan, there are mountains called Materistie is, in some degree, made a sis, upon which they say that the definition of the thing represented, ark of Moses rested.
There are and it has often a relation to the two of these mountains, the one original history. Some of these greater than the other, and the have a reference to this mystical Araxes runneth at the foot of them. number eight, of which I shall give There is also a little town Cemaitwo instances of a very curious na. num, which is by interpretation ture. They are taken from the let- eight: for they say it was so called ter of that learned Jesuit at Pekin, from the eight persons who came who wrote in answer to some queries out of the ark, and built it. This sent by the Royal Society at Lon- is plain from the name; for Cemaidon. Le caractere de barque, vais- num signifies eight. They call the seau, est composé de la figure de mountain the mother of the world." vaisseau, de celle de bouche, et du From hence we may perceive that chiffre huit : ce qui peut faire allu- what this writer renders Cemainum, sion au nombres des personnes qui should rather bave been expressed etoient dans l'arche. On trouve en- Shemainum, or Shemanum ; for it 'core les deux caracteres huit, et is undoubtedly the same as the Tliebouche avec celui d'eau pour expri- manim and Thamanim of Elmacini mer navigation heureuse. Si c'est and others, and analagous to the un hazard, il s'accorde bien avec le Shaman of the Hebrews. The town fait. The same reference to the of the Thamanim, or Shamanim, number eight is to be observed in was so called from those eight prithe history of Mount Masis, or Ara- mæval persons, who were said to rat. It was called the mountain have founded it. There is reason Thamaniin, or Tshamanim; and to think, that it was the same as there was a town towards the foot Naxuan, a very ancient city, which of the mountain of the same name, is mentioned by Ptolemy, and placed which was supposed to have been upon the Araxes. The editor of built by Noah. Now Thaman is Moses Chorenensis has some curious said, in the ancient language of the observations upon the history of this country, to have signified eight, and place. “ This town, which seems was analagous to the Shaman of the to be the Naxuana of Ptolemy, is Hebrews, which denotes the same close upon the plain of Araratia ; nuniber. Ebn Patircius mentions and held in great regard by the Arthe ark resting upon Ararat, and menians, who give out that it is the calls the district below, the region of most ancient place in the world, and The Themaniin. He also mentions built immediately after the deluge the city of the same name: and he by Noah. Galanus, a Roman Pressays that it was so called from the byter, who wrote an account of the right persons who came out of the Armenian Church, being recopeiled