Imatges de pÓgina

life dear, that you may finish your courfe with joy; let this be always your rejoicing, amidst all the ftorms that may blow from heaven, earth, or hell, even " the teftimony of your confcience, that in fimplicity and godly fincerity, not with fleshly wifdom, but by the grace of God, you have had your converfation in the world."

9. Let your obedience to him be voluntary and fure: he does not love to fee his followers drooping and hanging their heads; no, he delighted to do his Father's will, and to fulfil the hard task of service to his Father for our redemption, and he expects that we should be joyful and voluntary in our fervice to him. This is the way to get frequent meetings of love with him, "He meeteth him that rejoiceth to work righteousness, who remembereth him in his ways." Hence are thefe repeated calls to his followers to yield cheerful obedience, "Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous: and fhout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. Rejoice evermore: and again I fay, Rejoice."

10. Lastly, Let your obedience to the Angel of God be conftant; for he that endureth to the end, fhall be faved. The righteous holdeth on his way. Be ye conftant, and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour fhall not be in vain in the Lord."


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Amos ix. 11. But I'read from ver. 8.-Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon the finful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the houfe of Jacob, faith the Lord.

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9. For lo, I will command, and I will fift the house of Ifrael among all nations, like as corn is fifted in a five, yet shall not the leaft grain fall upon the earth.

10. All the finners of my people sbali die by the fword, which fays The evil fhall not overtake nor prevent us.

11. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof, and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.


IN these verses which I have read, we have a mixture of judgement and of mercy, judgement and wrath ushering in and paving the way to mercy; he that "planteth the heavens, and lays the foundations of the earth, and whe buildeth his ftories in the heavens" (as in the preceding part of the chapter), he pulls down the Jewish church, that he may raife up one more glorious and beautiful in its room. This prophet Amos was but of a mean extract and original, among the herdmen of Tekoa, as you will find in the beginning of his prophecy: however, that God who took David from following the ewes with young, and fet him on the throne to fway the sceptre of Ísrael; he takes a poor herdman from following his flock, and commands him to go and deliver his mind and meffage unto the king, unto the court, unto the nobles, unto the priests, and to the people of Ifrael. If a man carry God's commission, whatever be his birth or pedigree, or whatever has been his employment, he is worthy of reception and entertainment.


All the fons of men are before God as a company of clay vessels, and he makes one to honour, and another to dishonour, and does whatever he pleases in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. What though he take the poor from the dunghill, and set him among princes, if it be his pleafure? He appeared upon the ftage in a very degenerate day: however, like a faithful watchman, he fets the trumpet to his mouth, and declares unto the house of Judah and Ifrael their abominations and although he was prohibited and discharged to come near the king's court and chapel, yet, in obedience to him that sent him, he lifts up his voice like a trumpet.

In the verses which I have read, we may take notice of these few particulars following.

1. We have the defignation that the prophet Amos, by God's commiffion, gives unto the kingdom of Ifrael; you fee it in the beginning of ver. 8. he calls them a finful kingdom. They were "a people laden with iniquity, a feed of evit doers, children that had corrupted themfelves; they had de parted from God," departed from the purity of that worship which God had appointed them to oblerve at the temple of Jerufalem, and, in room thereof, they had erected their idola trous calves at Dan and Bethel; yea, many of them, the ge nerality and body of the nation, except it was fome seven thousand or fo, they had all bowed the knee to Baal, and run after the example of their corrupt kings and priests; they were indeed a finful kingdom. And, alas ! may not the fame motto be writ upon us in the land wherein we live? I could make this evident in many particulars. We are laden with fin, we have corrupted our ways like them; they brake God's cove nant, and fo have we; they countenanced idolatry and super. ftition, and went after many vile abominations, they joined themselves in a covenant with hell, and facrificed unto devils; and I am hearing that witchcrafts and devilish arts are also performed in this city. Oh what a load of fin is lying on the land! What dreadful perjury and apoftafy! what dreadful profanation of the Lord's day and name is to be found among us! The cry of our fins hath gone up to heaven, and they are blind that do not fee a frowning God upon the account of these things. But then, ? 2. Another thing we may notice here, is, an advertisement that the prophet Amos gives unto this finful kingdom; why, fays he, the eyes of the Lord are upon it. It is very like there was a generation of men among them, as there is among ourselves at this day, who, if they do not fay it with their mouths, yet fay it in their hearts, and fay it in their practice; the language


of their way and walk is, "God does not fee, neither does the God of Jacob regard us: The Lord has forfaken the earth, and the Lord feeth not ;" he neither takes notice of our good or evil, neither will he require it. But do not miftake it. fays the prophet, you will find it otherwife; The eyes of the Lord are upon the finful kingdom, the finful rulers, prophets, priests, and inhabitants of the land; " His eyes do fee, and his eye lids try the children of men." The adulterer, and other finners of that kind, that perpetrate fin in fecret, they feek the twilight; and when they do fo, they fay, "No eye fhall fee us :" but, Sirs, remember it, that " darkness and light are alike to God, the night fhines as the day before him; Can any hide himself in fecret places, that I fhall not fee him? faith the Lord. He difcovers deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the fhadows of death." And therefore, wherever you are, whatever you are about, remember Hagar's confeffion of faith, "Thou, God, feeft me." Study to remember, that the eye of an all-feeing God follows you wherever you go, yea, fhines into the very bottom of your foul. Though perhaps you may fancy with yourselves, that your fecret wickednefles are overlooked, and that your old fins are out of mind; they are not out of mind with God, he knows them, and will bring them to light. All the wicked works of darkness that are perpetrate in this city, he will difcover and bring them to light one day before men and angels; "he will bring every work into judgement, with every fecret thing, whether it be good or evil." Some mens behaviour, nowa-days, fays, that there is not a God to bring them to an account. For the Lord's fake, ftudy to have the impreffion of an allfeeing God upon you wherever you go; for the eyes of the Lord God are upon the finful kingdom: Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth.

3. We may notice here God's purpose and refolution with reference to the finful kingdom, what he has a-mind to do with it; fays the Lord, I will deftruy it from off the face of the earth. Sinners, when there are multitudes of them joined together, fancy themfelves fecure, efpecially when they have men of power and authority on their fide; but it is as eafy for God to destroy whole kingdoms, as to deftroy one parti cular perfon. There is no fafety in the way of multitudes; for what are all multitudes before the great God, but "as the drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the fmall duft of the balance?" I will deftroy them, faith the Lord, from off the face of the earth. They have made the earth to groan, the creation to groan, under the weight of their fins: Well, I will rid the very earth of fuch a burden, fays God: "The Lord is a man


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of war, the Lord is his name; and when he whets his glittering fword, when his hand takes hold on judgement," what will he do with his enemies?" He will render tribulation and anguifh unto every foul of man that doth evil?" yea, he will make clean work of great and populous nations and families; high and low muft bow when he arifes unto judgement. When he whets his fword, the wicked fhall perish, "his enemies fhall be as the fat of lambs, into smoke fhall they confume away." Sirs, God is a ftrong party; and you that are running upon the thick boffes of his buckler, you had need to confider what you are doing. "Who will fet the briers and thorns in battle against me? I will go through them, I will confume them together. Who can dwell with devouring fire? who can abide with everlasting burnings?" I will deftroy them from off the face of the earth. A heavy fentence from a God of mercy! How averfe is he to bring matters to that extremity of deftroying a people from off the face of the earth! It is juft like the renting of his bowels to proceed to such severity: Hof. xi. 8. "How (hall I give thee up, O Ephraim? how fhall I deliver thee, Ifrael? how fhall I make thee as Admah? how fhall I fet thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together." He tries all ways and means imaginable to reclaim a finful people, before he comes this length; but when they will not be reclaimed, and when they will not regard the offers of his mercy, will not be led to repentance, what can remain but fiery wrath which fhall devour his enemies? Sirs, do not think that the mercy of God will fave you, when ye spurn at the bowels of divine mercy, while you tread and trample upon it by unbelief. God's mercy runs in a certain channel, and out of that it is not to be found. If you ask me, what is that channel? I answer, It is the blood and fatisfaction of Jefus: and therefore, if ever ye would fhare of mercy, and avoid the judgements here threatened, you must come to the blood of sprinkling. But then,

4. We may notice the limitation of this awful fentence:


will deftroy them," &c. " faving that I will utterly deftroy the houfe of Jacob, faith the Lord God." The promifed feed of the woman, which was to bruise the head of the ferpent, the promised feed of Abraham, in whom all the nations of the earth were to be bleffed, was not yet come; and therefore a part of the natural feed of Abraham must be preferved in order to the production of that promifed feed, through whom the bleflings of heaven were to be conveyed to the fons of men. Or by the house of Jacob we are to undertand the godly remnant, that adhered unto the Lord, and


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