« 上一頁繼續 »
ed people, because they had sinned and forgotten God. which were before you, and the land is defiled ;) that Then we behold rescue, and freedom, and plenty crown. the land spew not you out also, when ye defile it, as it ing their repentance, and their purpose to return to God spewed out the nations that were before you." and duty. Gideon, and Barak, and Jephtha, and Samp Why did all Israel pine and languish for seventy son, and Abijah, and A sa, and Jehosaphat, and Jotham, long years in a menial foreign servitude, while their and Hezekiah, and Josiah, have gotten to themselves an political and religious system (the best on earth) stood imperishable monument on the inspired page, and in suspended, and while the groves, and gardens, and vinethe hearts of pious people of all generations, by their yards of their delightful land felt only the desolating faithful devotion to the government of God, and their tread of heathen intruders; and while their holy and consequent usefulness 10 their country and the world. their beautiful city, and Solomon's splendid temple lay While such men as Balaam, the Mesopotamian pro- in ruins, its ways deserted, its halls profaned, its ves. phet, and Goliah, the Philistian chieftain, and Jeroboam sels stolen, and its altars trodden in the dust? One of and Ahab, the seductive and impious kings of the Ten themselves shall tell the reason. “We have sinned, Tribes, have perpetuated their names only as memo- and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, rials of the evil they did to their country and their race, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and of the doom they brought upon themselves, by for- and from thy judgments : neither have we hearkened getting or disregarding the universal and omnipotent unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy government of God.
name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and co We are told, and indeed we would seem hardly to all the people of our land."* Another of them sayshave needed to be told, that the “scoffers” of “the “I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto last days” are "willingly ignorant” that “ the old world them, what evil thing is this that ye do, and profane being overflowed with water, perished,” under a vindi- the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers this, and did catory dispensation of the world's Sovereign; but we not God bring all this evil upon us and upon this city?"| have it in the inspired record thus—“God saw that the Why has that holy city and temple again been dewickedness of man was great in the earth, and that stroyed, and that people again been driven from their every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only own loved land into all nations of the earth, a by-word evil continually."* And the Lord said, (having pre- and a reproach every where? In the days of their viously declared "my spirit shall not always strive with youthful prosperity as a people, God's servant, their man,")| “I will destroy man, whom I have created, leader and prophet, foretold them their sins and their from the face of the earth."
sad experience, in these remarkable words: “If thou In relation to the cities of the plain, where is now wilt not observe to do all the words of this law, that the Dead Sea, we have simply this alternative: Either are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this the Bible is a bold and blasphemous, as well as a cause- glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God, then less and useless imposition upon men, or else it is true the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one as there recorded-namely, this: First, “The men of end of the earth unto the other.”I Sodom were wicked, and sinners before God excced Concerning the nations (without distinction) of all ingly."$ And second, “We will destroy this place, history, we have, in the second Psalm, this very rebecause the cry of them is waxen great before the face markable language: “The kings of the earth set themof the Lord, and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.”'ll selves, and the rulers take counsel together against the
The ancient Canaanites were a people, no doubt, of Lord and against his annointed, saying, let us break masculine vigor-cultivating and enjoying (we are told) their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us. bountiful fields and vineyards, living in strong walled He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord towns and cities; expert, withal, in hunting and in shall have them in derision. Then shall be speak unto war. Whatever may have been the visitations of judg. them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeament with which they were occasionally distressed, it is sure." Then the form of address being changed, it is clear that their continuance as a people was a policy of added—“Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, the divine government, as long as it could be witnessed thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. by the voice of unerring truth—"the iniquity of the Be wise now, therefore, ye kings, and be instructed ye Amorite is not yet full.” But finally the decree of their judges of the earth : serve the Lord with fear, and redoom was signed ; and in their pride and prime as a joice with trembling: kiss the son least he be angry, people, great as they were in agriculture, arts, and and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled arms, the righteous anger of heaven sent its commis. but a little." What does the Bible mean, when it says sioned executioners upon them, and they ceased to be of God, as the supreme governor of the world, “he beDo you wish to know the sins by which these people held and drove asunder the nations ?” And again, in plucked doom from heaven upon their own heads ? this passage, “ The wicked shall be turned into hell, You may learn it, to some extent, by a very easy and even all the nations that forget God?" Or in this obvious inference from the eighteenth chapter of Leviti- prayer—“Arise, O Lord ! let not man prevail, let the cus, where the children of Israel are solemnly warned heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, that against certain gross disorders and vices, and where this the nations may know themselves to be but men ?” significant language is used in reference to their prede- Statesmen and orators may give reasons, many, for the cessors in the occupancy of that land. “Ye shall * * decline and disappearance of ancient cities, and states, not commit any of these abominations * * (for all and empires; but the Bible much more correctly tells these abominations have the men of the land done it all when it says, “That nation that will not serve * Genesis vi, 5. 7 Gen. vi, 3. | Gen. vi, 7. 9 Genesis xiii, 13.
* Daniel ix, 5, 6. Nehemiah xiii, 17, 18. || Language of the embassy of Angels, Genesis xix, 13.
Deut. xxviii, 55 and 64.
thee shall perish.” And on the other hand," blessed | people, as a mass, are most singularly unaccustomed to, is that nation whose God is the Lord.”
and unaffected by, the pomp and circumstance of war. From Scriptural facts so numerous, and Scriptural Our dwellings are strangers to all alarms of this sort. premises so broad, the conclusion implied in the text I may ask, was ever a people so blessed? The time would be forced upon us, even if it had not been made was, when “the battle of the warrior, with confused matter of direct and definite Bible statement. But both noise and garments rolled in blood," was not an unfa. taken together, we have this doctrine arched as it were miliar scene in this land. But it has all been hushed upon two immovable pillars-namely: Those events long since. In the freshness of our own recollection it in this world by which national prosperity is interrupt- is, that distant districts of our vast country have for a ed—by which communities are inconvenienced and dis- short time felt the scourge of war-enough to know tressed-are visitations from the sovereign of the uni- what an evil it is; and then the nation has recently verse, and the occasion of them is trespass or outrage seemed, for months together, to stand on the eve of an upon the principles of his righteous government. It is indefinite engagement in hostilities with a great chrisin the sins of the nation or nations, as such, or else in tian nation; but God graciously averted the danger, the sins of the people composing them, that we are and we are still in peace. I am not sure that as a nataught by the analogy of history to recognize the cause tion, or to any considerable extent as a people, we have of each adverse visitation.
ever thanked him for this. But it is important here, God, who appears as we have represented, in the that we should look full in the face the serious fact chastisement and doom of the nations, is at the same which we have witnessed the meanwhile-namely, this: time (and we must not forget it) a long-suffering God. War, even in this day of strange privileges, is a possiPatience or forbearance is natural to him. It is one bility. If it be true, that it is on the withdrawal of of his attributes. Judgment is his strange work. "He his restraining Providence, or in obedience to his retridoth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of butory decree, that nation rises against nation, then men.” This is remarkably apparent in all his vindica- truly may we stand in awe of some hostile power, as tory administration.
"the rod of his anger.” Nay, we have learned, in the Often we are more struck with the forbearance than events of late years, that even civil war is at our beck, with the severity of his proceeding. Sometimes mercy if God in judgment leave us to such an infatuation. even seems to “rejoice against judgment.” And always But thus far we are spared, and may God grant us it is most satisfactorily apparent that holy and divine grace to see that we owe the blessing of being so spared Omnipotence reluctantly breaks forth in vengeance to an injured God's forbearance. upon worms of the dust and creatures of yesterday. There is no pestilence at this time distressing our priviThis, I say, is to be remembered in all such inquiries leged country. Here are fifteen millions of people, occuas ours is at present; for it is not until after long and pying a territory of a million square miles extent, aggravated provocation that Jehovah makes bare his enjoying as much health as probably fifteen millions of arm in judgment. Still, no doubt whatever is left upon people ever did enjoy. Blessed be God for this. It is the mind, that he is a God “who will by no means clear no doubt more than could be said in relation to any the guilty." There is no indulgence of sin in his domi-population on earth of similar extent as to numbers and nions, however much forbearance there may be towards country, and similar situation as to soil and latitude. the sinner. But the conclusion to which these reflec We can appreciate this blessing the more, inasmuch tions bring us, is this: There must be, and there must as we know a little of what a pestilence is from expehave been, great sin in that land, where the forbearing rience. We have stood aghast at the rumor of its apsovereign of the universe has commenced his work of proach: we have felt its breath: we have buried its national retribution or chastisement.
dead : and some of us have scarcely laid aside the We are now to consider the application of all this to weeds of mourning. But then there is no pestilence the actual state of our country.
upon us now.
God has kindly called it away. Our It is always an interesting inquiry to make -What sins as a people had provoked it
, and provoked it long evil is actually upon us as a people? And while there before it came. This was the impression, with great are sad tidings in the answer, it is nevertheless due that unanimity, of the thinking portion of our nation at the we should take notice, on such an occasion as this, of time. Many states, as such, avowed this sentimentsome of the great calamities of this world, from which, “proclaiming a fast, and calling the solemn assembly." in the mercy of God, we are still exempt.
God, I say, had mercy on us—"and said to the angel There is no sound of war in this land. We are at peace that destroyed the people, it is enough-stay now thy with all people—a single diminutive, injured, worn out, hand." I very much fear that for this grace, our Aldistressed, and pitiable domestic enemy only excepted. mighty Sovereign has never received from us, as a peoBlessed be God, the contributions of our mines are ple, the tribute of due and dutiful gratitude. Perhaps wrought into ploughshares and pruning-hooks, rather we owe our relief and respite, and our present state of rethan into swords and spears. Our floating flag is so markable health, to his forbearance merely, rather than to his much respected as to be an adequate protection in every forgiveness. sea and ocean on the globe. Our almost endless sea. Famine is one of the scourges of this wicked world, coast is quiet and unthreatened at every point. We which we as a people have never known but in the hisare a nation who have yet to learn the policy of foreign tory of other countries. Blessed be God for this also. war. Our standir.g army, I believe, is smaller, in pro. It is, however, not thought out of place to remark, that portion to our territory and population, than that of late years have begun to develope some unusual shades any nation that lives, or that ever did live, unless it be in the prospect on this subject. The wheat crop, one that single nation, the favorite of Bible history. Our of the staples of this state, has materially failed for four
years in succession, and there is every reason to antici These certainly are painfully interesting times upon pate that the current year must soon be added to the which we have fallen. No friend of God or man can number. Many inland flour mills have become almost look on with indifference. What means the disregard of useless and worthless, or converted to other purposes as law of which we hear so much? The great political parthe consequence. The production of the staff of life ties of our day blame each other of an utter wrecklessby the cultivation of the soil, has come to be considered ness of constitutional law. It is sometimes said that and spoken of as the most uncertain, if not unprofita- constitutions now-a-days are mere paper. The milible, business known among our people, though an agri- tary is occasionally under arms in our great cities to cultural people in habit and enthusiasm as much as any prevent popular violence upon public institutions and on earth. They had begun to flow, as in a steady cur- public property, and this too when no mob is up, but rent, to the great Western Valley, deserting, as they merely consequent upon the popular disregard of law seemed to be supposing, the chastisement of God-(for known to exist, and along with this the believed ineffithis is the old land of plenty, and our soil has not emi- ciency of the law itself in the emergency. God's law grated.) In short, we have been made to know that has been disregarded all along. Popular violence upon our annual supply as a people is in the hands and sub- the first table of the decalogue, in the shape of profanity ject to the righteous apportionment of our divine and and Sabbath breaking, as well as covetousness, which sovereign moral Governor. But although our sins have is idolatry, has long been too common to excite alarm. proved his natural forbearance, until his hand has actu- Here was the beginning of the evil-and it has been ally begun to be made bare in judgments, still, through gaining strength for years on years. Then followed his continued long suffering, we have never seen a famine. various forms of covert and casuistical trespasses upon
We have, however, as a people, forsaken no sin that the second table of the law, in the shape of tolerated I know of; and there certainly is great reason to fear licentiousness, duelling, lotteries, gambling, shaving, that we have never rendered grateful thanks in any ap- production and distribution of intoxicating drinks, and propriate way to the Sovereign of worlds for his bounty so on; all of them sins of man against his fellow man. and patience, so conspicuously exercised towards us. There were other tributary currents flowing into this
These are great features of national blessing still river of corruption, such as the effusions of a licentious spared to us. Peace, health and plenty are still actually rostrum and a licentious press_emigration hither of ours. And there would be no reason to fear their remo- the mal-contents of foreign lands, &c. At length, the val, were it not that there is truly alarming evidence, at character of our populace is such, that demagogue inthe same time that God is weary of bearing with our Auence, mob rule, and even capital execution without sins.
trial, make a healthy and courageous land look pale When God was angry with the nation and people of with apprehension. Contemporaneous with all this, Israel of old, and was about to visit upon them a seventy and as by a general sympathetic action, there has been years desolation, he, by the mouth of his prophet, enu- developed a general extravagance of sentiment, out of merated their provocations severally as follows: 1st. which has been formed those wide extremes of intolleCovetousness—“Woe unto them that join house to rant opinion, which, like the two electricities, occasionhouse, that lay field to field, * * that they may be ally have threatened to rush upon each other, forming placed alone in the midst of the earth. * * Of a the probability of a civil war. Thus far God has kept truth, many houses shall be desolate, even great and us as he keeps the whirlwind, till the time of its being fair, without inhabitants,” &c. 2d. Intemperance- let forth. I am afraid he finds his mercy in so doing, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning that answered only by forgetfulness and ingratitude. The they may follow strong drink; that continue until Lord spare an ungrateful country. night until wine inflame them! The harp and the viol, What means this unexampled pressure as it is called, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts, but resulting so extensively, in the experience of individuthey regard not the work of the Lord, nor consider the als, in heavy pecuniary loss and actual bankruptcy? Is operation of his hands: therefore my people are gone it not God's judgment upon a community, setting a into captivity; therefore the grave hath enlarged her wrong and injurious estimate on wealth? Queryself, and opened her mouth without measure,” &c. 3d. Whether the estimate in which wealth is held in this Presumption—“Woe unto them that draw iniquity with country, is not calculated to ruin the religious character cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart-rope. of any people? A very able jurist and civilian of our And say, let him make speed and hasten his work, that day,* gives the following enumeration of the vices of we may see it; and let the counsel of the holy one of the times, or, I might say, diseases of the public mind: Israel draw nigh, that we may know it.” 4th. Impiety-1st. A rapidly increasing appetite for wealth. 2d. The “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; inordinate taste for luxury which it engenders. 3d. A that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” vehement spirit of speculation. 4th. The selfish emu5th. Irreligious vanity—“Woe unto them that are wise lation which it creates. 5th. A growing contempt for in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight;" and slow and moderate [and, I will add, honest] gains; 6th. Wrecklessness of right—"Woe unto them which and 6th. An ardent thirst for pleasure and amusement. justify the wicked for a reward, and take away the This enumeration is appalling, though only partial and righteousness of the righteous from him.” “Therefore imperfect. Almost any reflecting mind will see in it the is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and basis of an expectation of popular disaster beyond any he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath thing which has befallen us as yet. smitten them.”* How much bearing all this has upon I suppose it will hardly be thought a wild notion the characters and events of our time, everyone can judge. when I say, that more people have become wealthy in * Isaiah, ch. 5.
* Chancellor Kent of New York.
this country in the last ten years, than ever did in this There certainly is much in the fortune-making spirit or any other country in the same length of time before; of this day, which is opposed to the wisdom and counand of course that, proportionately, a still larger num- sel of God direct. ber had set their hearts on being rich, but failed through The counsels of the word of God are founded on a miscalculation, mismanagement, or mistake. Then I correct knowledge of the divine government and adsuppose another much more alarming observation is as ministration, and are given in sincere and intelligent just as either of these--namely, this: There has existed divine love to men. They tell us, “Labor not to be in the popular sentiment of this country in the last ten rich.” The spirit of these times interpret this counsel years, and been steadily increasing during that time, an by setting it aside entirely. extravagant estimate of wealth, to a greater extent than Again, they tell us, “He that maketh haste to be rich ever there had been in this (or, it may be, in any other) shall not be innocent." Men conclude that the meancountry before. Now this is covetousness, according to ing of this proverb is so obscure, that it is not worth the Bible,--and, according to the same authority, inquiring after, and then they act as if it did not mean “Covetousness is idolatry." I do not mean that any any thing. and every estimate of wealth is covetousness, but that Again, says the counsel of God, “They that will be this extravagant estimate of it which every body sees rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many almost every where in this country at this time, is cer- foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destructainly coretousness, which is idolatry.
tion and perdition.” This caution, too, is prompted by Idolatry is a violation of the first command of the a perfect knowledge of the divine government; but the moral law, and a violation of the spirit of the first table current sentiment of men of business and enterprise in of the law. This, then, is the moral character of covetous. our day has disregarded it, and they seem to act on a ness, or of such an estimate of temporal possessions as contrary supposition. forgets the true interests of the deathless soul, the retri We are told, that “The cares of this world and the butions of the world beyond the grave, the proper wor- deceitfulness of riches choke the word, so that it becomship and service of the great Supreme--the great end eth unfruitful.” Men rush on to be rich in perilous disand purpose of existence. There is great reason to be regard of this also. lieve that much of this spirit pervades the enterprise of The counsel of divine wisdom tells us, that “rich men this country. See the profane use it makes of the can hardly enter into the kingdom of God.” This is a Sabbath, and how it disregards the great law of God truly alarming declaration; but men have not seemed on this subject. It looks very much like setting gold to be alarmed by it. They persist in determining to be above God, when God's law is trampled upon by Sab- rich at any rate, cost it what it may. bath breakers in their eagerness to get rich. How Now, will you not agree with me that, in all this, many counting-rooms have been accustomed to be occu- there must have been a great deal of sin ?-and sin, pied on the Sabbath during the recent season of reo which God, in the unyielding administration of his gomarkable prosperity with which we thought we were vernment, could not allow to go unrebuked before men. blessed ? How much of the wares and merchandise of It must not appear as if the counsels of the Bible this busy land have flowed through the channels of were mere idle words. trade and transportation, till they found the home of the Again, the conduct of men in this matter had made private consumer untouched by the sacreligious hand an issue of this kind. It had been said, on the authority of the Sabbath breaker? I know not if there is more of God, and it is written in his word, not only that than one rail-road or steam-boat company in the land, riches are unsafe, but also that they are uncertain. which does not employ the holy Sabbath precisely as “Riches make to themselves wings, and fly away as any other day, appropriating holy time to the purposes an eagle toward heaven.”* Upon this fact is founded a of gain, in common and open disregard of an express divine counsel, “Trust not in uncertain riches.” Now, prohibition. Do not men consider the value of stocks here was a community of various enterprise, bringing enhanced by their employment seven days in the week riches, and the operation of acquiring them, into public instead of six ? Do they regard the prohibition of God view, and thus making a whole population witness Almighty any valid objection to this policy of worldly whether they were of this uncertain character or not. wisdom? Are not travelling accommodations of all Moreover, the glitter and excitement of their acquisikinds as much called for, if not more, on the Sabbath, tion was well calculated to render a people, looking on than on any other day? What does this say for the or participating, forgetful of this fact. And not only travelling portion, at least, of our population? Are not so, but an attempt seemed to have been made to forestage companies and mail contractors, every where, stal Providence on this point, rendering the loss of Sabbath breakers by the law of the land ? Now, is all wealth impossible, or only a seeming loss, through the this nothing? I speak as to wise men.
consummate policy of insurance. Let this question be seriously considered : Is it pre Now, how shall God make good, in the midst of all sumable that a sovereign and righteous God will allow this scene, his declaration, that riches are of this uncerhis government to be set aside in this manner? Is it tain character ? Lo! and behold! while we are conaccording to the analogy of his administration that he sidering, the riches of the rich disappear as in a moment. should ? Is it not plain enough, that we must turn in fi- And mark it—they are not passing out of one man's dels outright, or else believe that judgments are in re- hand into another man's hand, but they do seem liteserve for a Sabbath breaking country? Yes, Sabbath rally to have “made to themselves wings,” and all at breaking is a feature, and no obscure feature, in this once “they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” great system of bustle, and business, and enterprise, It is not unlikely, that of the evil which has brought sometimes boasted of as the glory of this people.
* Prov. xxiii, 5. 1 Timothy vi, 17.
this chastisement upon the land, a large share lies at the ing to the unfaithfulness of the church which heaven door of the church.
has appointed to salt and light it? The doctrine of the Bible is, that the church is "the But the church has sinned and gone
astray. It is salt of the earth.”* The church, in one sense of the immersed in politics and worldly cares, and embroiled term, includes all and only those who are really and in contentions and divisions within itself. In many truly religious according to the Bible. In another sense, cases professing men of God, to all appearance, worship it includes all who are religious by a public profession mammon with as much devotion as others-engage in of religion, in the fact of membership in some christian party politics with as much carthly and unhallowed church, whether that profession be intelligent or unin- zeal as their ungodly associates-indulge in mutual telligent, sincere or insincere. Now, the church, in the heart-burnings about all subjects of controversy, as if last sense, is certainly under a moral obligation, volun- the spirit of religion were nothing different from the tarily assumed, to be “the salt of the earth.” But it is spirit of this world. They build as costly houses, and only the church in the first sense which is really and shine in as gaudy attire; and in too, too many cases, truly “the salt of the earth.” Of the distinction thus are nearly, if not quite, as unsanctified and as trifling made, it is due to the cause of God never to lose sight. in general as others. These things ought not so to be. While in speaking of the church in connection with the If the professed friends of God on earth were to obsubject in hand, it is necessary to speak of it in its pub- serve the Sabbath conscientiously and consistently as lic and visible aspect—the community of those who pro- commanded in the Scriptures, and should faithfully bear fess to be the people of God. They are called to stand testimony on the subject before trangressors, we have a up for God, as his friends and as instruments to sustain right to believe that Sabbath breaking would, in this his government and honor in this world. This they are way, be to some extent prevented. If so, then so far authorized and directed to do by their example and by the government of God would be sustained, and his their prayers, and by all the other efforts which God in judgments averted. But if his people fail to do this, the Bible commands them to make, while they remain and men grow bold in violating the Sabbath day, then on earth. If they are faithful, a great deal of sin is God will visit them with his judgments, or he has deprevented, and of course does not require to be punished; serted his own government and forfeited his word. He and thus they are “the salt of the earth.”
must also visit his own people with chastisement for Again, the Bible says, the church is, or the friends of their connivance at the sin—for their unfaithfulness to God are, “the light of the world.”! This is the same the souls of men, in not attempting, or in not attempting truth (or nearly the same) presented by the use of a more vigorously, to prevent them from rushing on their different figure. If christians do their duty, men will own doom—and for their unfaithfulness to him in not be made to know the principles and laws of God's go-sustaining his government. vernment, and the importance of observing and honor. Again, it is the duty of the church to stand up for ing them.
God, by bearing a proper testimony against covetousIt is, however, a plain intimation of the Bible, that ness. This, too, as we have seen, is in spirit and in fact the salt of the earth may, to some extent, lose its savor,
a violation of God's government, and a profane disreor that the light of the world may lose its brightness. gard of his word. He will visit a country with judgIn this case men, who otherwise would have been influ- ments if it give itself up to this sin. But in this matenced well, will naturally rush with greater impetuosity ter, also, he has appointed his people to be his witnesses into forgetfulness of God and violence upon the princi- and advocates with men-authorizing them by their ples of his government; and will thus, according to the example, and by every other scriptural kind of influanalogy of human history, require to be punished ac- ence, to prevent violence upon his government in this cording to a righteous apportionment of severity. The respect. If they are faithful, and, by the divine blesschurch itself, also in this case an unfaithful stewarding, successful, why, of course, the spirit of covetousness of the manifold grace of God, will also require to be is held in check, and so far the judgments of God upon judged and chastened in its measure.
covetousness are averted from the world. But if they Now, it is by no means certain, that the church in the are unfaithful, then covetousness is not prevented, and United States is doing as much for God as truth and must be punished, and God's government must be susduty demands—either in bearing a proper gospel testi. tained by visitation of judgment; but still more, if the mony before men at home, or in having that gospel sent
professed friends of God join with the world in this into all the world, and preached to every creature. matter, and thus strengthen the hands of the wicked There probably never was a church so favored in (as it is feared they have done), giving an apparent means and mercics. It is written, “to whom much is sanctity to the sin in question—why then there regiven, of them shall much be required;" and again it is mains no alternative but the government of God must written, “freely ye have received, freely give.” Now,
be sustained in all the sentiments it holds about covetit is very manifest, that the church of God in this land ousness, by his heavy judgments upon the offence, mais not as holy as it ought to be, nor as harmless as it king his own people sharers in the calamity for their
dishonorable treason. ought to be, nor as undefiled and separate from sinners as it ought to be, nor as active, nor as self-denying as it
But there is still another view of this subject of great ought to be.
importance. While the people of God are forbidden If there were no church in this world, this world to be covetous, or to indulge a covetous spirit, they are would be destroyed. Then why may we not suppose
not encouraged at all to be slothful or in provident, or that this world is allowed to suffer in measure, accord- to repress lawful industry and enterprise. On the con
trary, they are required to be "diligent in business." * Matthew v, 13. Matthew v, 14.
With the bounties of their liberality they are to give