Imatges de pÓgina
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the detail, will oblige us to say, 'God is the Lord, who hath showed us light.' Our national deliverance is great and marvellous: but I must remind you, my dear hearers, that, if we do not speak the words of the text with a still higher reference, our view will be defective. The word of God is vast and comprehensive in its views: where it sets out with national deliverances, it ends in a reference to eternal concerns.

The victory we speak of is doubtless a great and singular one: but, let me remind you that all you can say of it is, that it is a victory: you cannot say that it is the victory. What if, at a stroke, the whole power of France had been annihilated: what if the policy and falsehood and tyranny of that nation had been swept away at a blow: What then? you reply, 66 This would have been indeed a victory!" yet not the victory. For, let me ask again, What if, after all the conquests that could be possibly obtained on earth, our grand enemies, Sin, Satan, and the World remain unsubdued in our hearts—what if, after all our conquests, we ourselves are found captives, enemies to God, and fighting against one who must prevail: what if the victors had been sent after the vanquished, and lodged in chains of darkness for ever and ever—then must we lament, that though the battle was fought and gained, yet the victory was lost for ever!

But the Scriptures speak to our case. They declare to us that God is the Lord, which showeth us bight in this desperate condition of human nature. They teach us how to say, “Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” They teach us to understand the text in a more enlarged sense: God is the Lord, which hath showed us light; in sending Christ to be the light of the world; and in promising, that he, that followeth him, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

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The word of God teaches us, that, now life and immortality are brought to light by the Gospel;' and that the light shall be made to shine into our hearts,' manifesting the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

If you wish to inquire whether this is the accomodated, or the actual sense of the passage; whether God here intended temporal victory, or that victory which shall be obtained through his Son; you have only to turn to the xxist chapter of St. Matthew, and the ivth chapter of the Acts, where you will find this very Psalm applied to Christ, the light of the world. We may say, therefore, with Zacharias, · Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hạth visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David." We are now authorised to say, whatever may be the condition of human nature, Arise, shine: for thy light is come'-or, as it may be rendered, “Be thou enlightened--the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee-God is the Lord, which hath showed us light.'

It is melancholy to behold, what must be daily seen by every discerning eye-multitudes carried away with any recent event of a temporal nature, yet wholly insensible to that subject, which is of infinitely greater importance to them :-“An amazing victory has been achieved! Are not you astonished at what has been done? What a glory it casts on this nation! What a hero was Lord Nelson! There ought to be statues erected in every place to his memory! What a grand event! What a glorious period will this form in English history!" All this is

true: but there is a matter of infinitely greater importance that is quite forgotten: nay—it is even offensive to mention it at such a time! What a picture of deep depravity! \Vhat a mean, sordid, stupid heart is here! What comparison can be drawn between temporal events and eternal conceres?

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What is life itself? I cannot see a more striking answer to that question than in the man who went out to fight your battles—There the man stands : and the eyes of the nation are upon him! the bulwark of the land! the hope of Britain! the terror of our enemies ! his very name a host! A single bullet lays him dead! and the next we see of hin, is his corpse carried in procession through the streets to his long home! What is life?

What is your great man! your mighty man! If, indeed, he be a wicked man, you have only to read one part of the book of Revelations to see-And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains ; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ?' Here were men who were able to stand the conflicts of hosts, and to stand like a rock amid storms; but they had not prepared for eternity!

Brethren! let us return to the text: God is the Lord, which hath showed us light in all these cases and events; and it is this light, that brings forward eternal things in comparison with temporal things, and teaches us how to meet the Lamb upon the throne, when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, when these great men and mighty men are calling to the rocks and mountains to hide them from his presence!

II. We shall proceed to consider, that Special Deliverances demand SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.

Let us consider this part of the subject—the demand of special acknowledgments:-Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.'

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VOL. II.

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Bind them with cords, and lay them upon it, for a thank-offering to God: for he has done this.

Thanksgiving is the duty of every individual of this nation : ‘for the crane and the swallow know the time of their coming: and in how wretched a state is that man, who knows not his obligations to Him who has done great things for him! A mere outward expression, in attending the services appointed for the day, is not, however, sufficient: and much less does it become the man, who consecrates the day, which he calls a Day of Thanksgiving, to festivity and boasting in an arm of flesh; who forgets God, in rioting and drunkenness; who loses sight of eternal things and eternal obligations, in some temporal event, however glorious and however important, “The ox knoweth his

owner, and the ass his master's crib:' but such a man considereth not, nor speaketh aright: bis taste and sentiment are wrong: his heart is earthly and sensual.

To you, my dear hearers, I would address the Apostle's advice: 'I beseech you, Brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. If there be a reasonable service on earth, it is the service of this day-rightly performed. In the text a sacrifice is enjoined: it was a typical one to the Jews, laid upon a brazen altar: it is a spiritual service, a more excellent sacrifice, that is recommended to the Christian-offered through Jesus Christ, who is both the altar and priest. As members of the Church of England, you express this as part of your service: you say, Here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee:” and if a man presents himself, we may be assured th every thing which that man has is presented also: if you take hold of the heart of a man, you take the whole of the man, and all that he has. Such a man

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is prepared for the Apostle's Exhortation, Heb. xii, 15, 16: “By him let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Let us consider the duties arising out of this subject, as it respects God, our neighbour, and ourselves.

1. With respect to OURSELVES.

We should recollect the necessity of proving even to ourselves, that we are sincere when we come before the Lord : for, 'If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace: be ye warmed and filled : notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body : what doth it profit?? Our actions must satisfy our own consciences.

Hear what the prophet Isaiah says, even of a Day of Humiliation :

-Is not this the fast that I have chosen—to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou

poor that are cast out to thy house ? .when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward:' then is it evident, that there is reality and sincerity in thy services.

But much more does it become us, in a day of Public Acknowledgment, to say, "God is the Lord, which hath showed us light:' therefore bind the saerifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.' The wounded, the widow, and the fatherless plead with you. And I should inform you, that the sums contributed on this Day of Thanksgiving will be appropriated to the seamen and marines, and to the wives and children of the killed and wounded; and that a separate account is to be kept for the purpose,

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