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that adorable Being who "gives us more gradually accomplished; but rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, still in all its substantial parts the filling our hearts with food and glad- occurrence is manifestly similar. O
The most ignorant and then let us think about it more frethoughtless individuals in this assem- quently, and whenever we look
upon bly mnst be aware that it is not the a crop of corn as it is growing in the farmers themselves who augment the field, or whenever we are engaged in quantity in the way described; they cutting and gathering it into the could not do any thing of the kind, garner, let us seriously meditate upon, any of them; nor could all of them and let us freely converse about the together manufacture a single grain almighty power of God. of wheat, by all the skill and energy II. Let us contemplate the goodthey unitedly possess.
How is it ness of Jehovah as it is signally augmented, then ? By what kind of displayed in “ the appointed weeks agency are the grains of corn so sur- of harvest.” The goodness of God prisingly multiplied? You know the is clearly manifested continually in proper answers to these questions, greater or lesser degrees. It shines and I sincerely wish that the con- forth in the sun by day, and in the templation of this subject may pro- moon and stars by night. It is disduce its appropriate effects on the tilled (so to speak) in the gentle dews minds of us all.
and the fertilizing showers ; it is disIn reading the New Testament played in every season of the year, scriptures, probably all of us have the dreary and desolate winter not been struck with the various miracles excepted—indeed, “the earth is full performed by the Son of God “in the of his goodness and all his paths drop days of his flesh.” Among the rest, fatness.” But when is the benefiwe have noticed with great amaze- cence of the Deity most signally ment the miracle of the loaves and manifested in the kingdom of nature? fishes, an account of which is found When does it stand embodied before in John vi. 5—14. Who can wonder us in its fairest and its finest forms? at the effect produced upon the minds When does it make its most direct of those who saw this miracle per- and powerful appeal to our bodily formed ?
Suppose we had been organs of sight? When does it seem present ourselves; or suppose a simi- to put all controversy and all quesIar transaction to take place before tion away from among us? Is it not our own eyes this day; should we not when - the fields are
white unto be completely filled with amazement? harvest?" or when we are gatherShould we not be convinced at once ing and storing up for future service that none but a divinely commissioned the most important productions of personage could ever perform such a our lands ? Oh! where is the farmer marvellous miracle as that? Should who can gaze upon his crops in we not be telling all our neighbours harvest, without being powerfully and friends what we had witnessed ? impressed with the kindness and love And would it not afford a topic for of God.” Where is the reaper that interesting conversation for months can cut down the corn in harvest and years to come? Well, is not a without greatly admiring the kindsimilar transaction performed before ness and love of God ? Where is the our eyes every year that we live ? gleaner even, who can travese the True, in one case it was bread that fields in harvest, and gather up the was so prodigiously increased, while very staff of life, without loudly exin the other case it is corn.
tolling the kindness and love of case the augmentation was instanta- God ? Surely every class of the neously effected, in the other it is human family ought most devoutly
to consider at such an interesting declare as follows, “I will not again season, not only the amazing power curse the ground any more for man's of Jehovah's arm, but also in con- sake; neither will I again smite any nection with that, the benevolence more every living thing as I have and compassion of his heart.
done. While the earth remaineth, Here I would take the liberty of seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, saying a few words respecting the summer and winter, day and night custom of gleaning—its scriptural shall not cease.” This was the origin, and its beneficial effects. solemn proclamation of the Great
1. The custom of gleaning is Supreme, and we have now a fair scriptural in its origin. Turn to the opportunity of testing his veracity book of Leviticus xix. 9–10; also every day and every night, every the xxiii. 22; and you will perceive summer and every winter, every that the practice of gleaning origi- seed-time and every harvest. If the nated in the compassion of the Al- sun were not to rise some morning mighty towards the poor and desti- and communicate his genial influtute. He was graciously pleased to ences to our hemisphere; or if he ordain, that those who had not the were not to set some evening, but means of occupying and cultivating continue above the horizon during all land themselves, should nevertheless the hours of the night, then our conhave the opportunity of sharing in fidence in the veracity of our Maker the
generous bestowments of his would be materially shaken, and we fatherly love and care.
should be constrained to apprehend 2. This custom is very beneficial that he had suffered his faithfulness in its effects; what would become of to fail.” So it would be if no opmultitudes of poor people in our own portunity were afforded for getting neighbourhood for instance, during the seed into the ground, or for the inclemency and severity of winter, gathering the produce of the fields if deprived of this privilege? Would when it had arrived at maturity. they not be in very destitute and But if on the other hand, the sun deplorable circumstances ? Would does appear in due time every mornthey not be obliged to solicit the ing, and does disappear in due time charitable aid of neighbours and every night; if opportunities are friends, to a much greater extent periodically afforded for getting in than they do ; or to avail themselves the seed and gathering up the proof the legalized provisions of the duce ; then we have standing proofs, parish? In the arrangement now incontrovertible evidences that Jeho. under consideration then, we see the vah is “a God of truth and without language of the psalmist very inter- iniquity, just and right is he." In estingly exemplified, “Thou O God, harvest then, especially, since it is hast prepared of thy goodness for the so interesting and important a period,
we should seriously meditate on the III. In the season of harvest the unimpeachable veracity of our covefaithfulness of Jehovah is delightfully nant-keeping Lord; every field of displayed. After the waters of that corn we cut should remind us of that, fearful deluge had subsided, which every stack of corn we set up should swept away nearly all the human remind us of that, and
every portion race because of their infidelity and of precious grain we convert into food iniquity; and when Noah with his for the sustenance of our bodies, family were come out of the ark, and should impress our minds with that; had offered burnt offerings on and induce us to unite with the poet altar erected for that purpose; the in singing, blessed God was mercifully pleased to
“ in spirit
“ His covenant with the earth he keeps; vociferation. Speaking and singing My tongue his praise shall sing;
are appropriate acts of praise ; but Summer and winter know their time;
however loudly we may speak, and His harvest crowns the spring.” But the above observations will apply however melodiously we may sing, if to harvests in general; permit me to
there is nothing of gratitude and love offer a very few remarks concerning
in our souls, it is mere lip service, the one with which we have been so
and cannot be acceptable to that recently favored in particular. I holy Being, who seeketh such to shall allude not so much to the quan- worship him, as will do so tity or the quality of the grain, (leaving and in truth,”
“Rehearse his praise with awe profound, such particulars to individuals whose
Let knowledge lead the song; means of ascertaining and whose
Nor mock him with a solemn sound, skill in judging, are superior to my Upon a thoughtless tongue.” own,) as to the very favourable and
In concluding this address, suffer delightful weather which the God of
me to remind you of two or three providence has vouchsafed unto us. metaphorical applications of the term Did any of us ever know a more au
harvest in “ the oracles of God." spicious season on the whole, than
1. It is employed to represent a this has been? Would it not be diffi- nation or people, whose sins are so cult to conceive of a more auspicious
numerous and atrocious, that they are season? True, our apprehensions fully ripe for the chastizing and dewere a little excited, and our fears stroying judgments of Almighty God. were promptly enough expressed ; Thus we read in the prophecies of but that only showed the shortness Joel, “ Put ye in the sickle, for the of our sight, and the weakness of our
harvest is ripe; come, get you down, faith. The sun has shone upon us
for the press is full, the fats overflow : day after day in all his matchless for their wickedness is great.” See effulgence; and though we
may also Revelations xiv. 15—19. have felt his fervid beams inconve
2. The term harvest is employed nient and oppresive in some respects,
to represent a people who are ready yet we have at the same time rejoiced and waiting to receive religious inin them, because of their delightful struction ; Say not ye there are yet and admirable effects.
four months and then cometh harvest ? Fine weather in harvest, I presume Behold I say unto you, lift up your we shall all allow, is a great national
eyes and look on the fields; for they blessing; since it authorizes us to
are white already to harvest. And hope for sound and palatable and he that reapeth receiveth
and nourishing food during the approach, gathereth fruit unto life eternal,” &c. ing winter ; it should therefore call
3. The term harvest is forth the gratitude and praise of the ployed to represent the end of the high and the low, the rich and the
world. 6. The harvest is the end of poor together.
the world ; and the reapers are the Let us now for a moment or two angels.” &c. Matthew xiii
. 39–43. contemplate the duty which devolves
O my friends, let all of us prepare upon us, in relation to this subject; for this solemn crisis, by“ repentance as that duty is pointed out in the pas- toward God and faith in our Lord sage before us, Praise the Lord, Jesus Christ ;"
Jesus Christ;" by “breaking up &c.” Praise is the act of glorifying
our fallow ground, and sowing to ourGod with the voice. To be accep
selves in righteousness.” &c. table to the Most High, it must pro
“ Then in the last great harvest, we ceed from cordial feelings of love and
Shall reap a glorious crop ; thankfulness. It does not consist,
The harvest shall by far exceed, you must be aware, in mere noise or What we have sown in hope.”
T. Y., F.
HELL, THE PRISON OF THE UNGODLY.
“My thoughts on awful subjects roll, fearful nature of future woe, as porDamnation and the dead."—Watts.
trayed in the inspired pages, is more EVERY subject relating to futurity, likely to "flee from the wrath to and clearly revealed in the divine come,” than he who with timid tenword, deserves our serious considera- derness, or Sadducean scepticism, retion. Some are more attractive than fuses to know “what shall the end others, and are adapted to comfort the be of them that obey not the gospel afflicted christian, and animate the of God.” languid with inspiring hope. But Every representation of future woe those of the most awful kind have given in the oracles of God, deserves their uses, and tend, if rightly re- attention. Many are doubtless figugarded, to promote our best interests. rative,-some are more or less literal ; They are solemn warnings against but all, whatever they may be, are evil. They are powerful stimulants appalling and terrible. If we think to vigilance and devotion. They
of “the lake of fire,”—“ the worm awaken our gratitude for redeeming that dieth not,”—"outer darkness,” mercy and sanctifying grace. They .“everlasting destruction,” - the lead us to self-inspection, that our “ loss of the soul,”—whatever be the “loins may be girded about, and our peculiar allusions involved in some of lights burning,” and that we may be them, or the proper explication of in the possession of those evidences their import, we see images of terror, of grace which assure us we are and the sword of omnipotent justice, " passed from death unto life.” They warning us above all things to avoid fill the mind with reverence for God sinking into that “place of torment.” as "the judge of all :" "My flesh Let us, then, take one of those trembleth for fear of Thee, I am afraid descriptions of this place given to us of Thy judgments," was the lan- by divine inspiration, which perhaps, guage of the devout psalmist; while on the whole, is least repulsive, and his compassions for thoughtless sinful most easily understood :-hell is the
were excited, and he said, prison of the ungodly. They who “ Rivers of waters run down mine are lost, who have withstood "
“the eyes because they keep not thy law." longsuffering of God,” are now “in They impel the devoted christian with prison.” (1 Peter iii. 19.) What more intense and earnest affection, are the ideas we attach to a prison ? “knowing the terrors of the Lord, to These, to a certain extent, may serve persuade men.”
to assist our meditations. That the God of love has revealed A prison is a place prepared for the solemnities of judgment, and the the lawless and the wicked. There terrors of perdition, in his blessed may have been virtuous and worthy word, and that the Lord Jesus, in his persons incarcerated in a dungeon, benevolent and holy ministry, so through the ignorance of judges, frequently alluded to these themes, the tyranny of princes, or the malice constitute sufficient reasons why all of false accusers, but the general idea who wish to know the truth, and feel is, that the prison is prepared only its power, and secure all its benefits, for evil doers. If there were no such should not be unwilling to meditate persons, if there were none injurious, upon them ; but sitting at his feet, either to the person, or property, or we should learn the “ dreadful ” as well-being of those around them ; if well as “the peaceful ” lines. He all were righteous, orderly, and harmwho has correct apprehensions of the less, there would be no need of such
places; but so long as the depravity It is not merely as a receptacle for of men leads to the commission of the wicked, or to prevent their furcrime, the protection of the peaceful, ther malpractices, that a prison is inand the good of the community re- tended ; it is a place of punishment. quire them to be maintained. What Privation, labor, stripes, are awarded is the place of woe but a prison, a to the wicked for their crimes. So divinely-appointed receptacle for the of the deeper and darker cell, it is a wicked and rebellious ? It is not for place of punishment. The penalties the penitent, the holy, the obedient. of a broken law are inflicted there. If there had been no evil among the The curses of an injured and offended subjects of divine government, no Creator are discharged there. The treason against his rightful throne, fruits of folly are reaped there, and no rebellion against his just laws, the consequences of abused mercy nothing injurious, the terrors of the and neglected grace are endured. divine judgments would have been But one difference obtains between unknown. The wickedness of his the punishment of earth and hell. free, intelligent creatures, led the The former is disciplinary, the latter, Creator to provide a prison for them. retributive. The former is frequently His own honor and the well-being of intended to correct and reclaim the his obedient subjects required that wanderer; the latter regards him as this should be done.
pre- “past hope," and consigns him only to pared for the devil and his angels,” receive the due reward of his countless and will be filled with all those who crimes. There are disciplinary punishfollow in his path, who rebel against ments inflicted by heaven, but these are God and resist and refuse his grace. inflicted only in the present life; but
There is an ignominy attaching to when the transgressor is committed the idea of being cast into prison, by sovereign justice to the prison of which makes all anxious to avoid it. the ungodly, he is regarded as inThe felon-mark on the person incar- corrigible and undone. The idea of cerated for his misdeeds, is never disciplinary punishment in perdition obliterated. The most hardened is entirely without sanction in the transgressors recoil and relent when word of God. It is a fiction of idolathe huge gates of a dungeon are try, a favorite dogma of anti-christ, opened for their reception. Though used only for “the merchandise of they delight in crime, they tremble souls.” at its approaching results. All felons Is not misery, the absence of true dread a prison. Is not this true of enjoyment, the destitution of all real the more fearful prison the gover- solace and satisfaction, among our nor of the universe has prepared for thoughts of a place of severe punishthe unholy? The ignominy, the ment? A man's own reflections, espeterror of perdition, awaken the fears cially if he has been guilty of great of the most deliberate and determined crimes, are but ill adapted to minister to transgressor. He has made a mock his consolation. He knows his guilt ; of sin, and despised the counsel of he is self-condemned. He is conGod while death was out of sight; scious of his desert. He hates to be but when the summons comes, and alone, for his thoughts prey upon the hand of the messenger of justice him. Self-respect has fled, he is is laid upon him; when “hell from degraded in the esteem of others, and beneath is moved to meet him at his vile in his own. If the earthly coming," he shrinks, he trembles, he prisoner is wretched on account of tries to escape, but in vain. “Through his own self-condemnation, what is every lane of life” his guilty soul is his state who is sunk down into “ the followed, until at length “he sinks !” bottomless pit ?” Are his reflections