Page images

'water, and made the children of Israel drink "of it."* This total destruction of their idol was emblematical of the ruin of all impenitent offenders. They who reject the Saviour, shall not only be punished and perish, but severer and heavier misery shall be theirs, than of those who sinned under the law. This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men love darkness rather than light. The gospel rejected, is the great aggravation of impenitence.

"The man that durst despise
"The law, that Moses brought,
< Behold! how terribly he dies
"For his presumptuous fault.

"But sorer vengeance falls

"On that rebellious race,

"Who hate to hear when Jesus calls,
"Aad dare resist his grace."

Lastly. The ruin of such will be irremediable. There is hope of a tree, that if it be cut down it may sprout again; should a solitary grain be lost by the way-side, the return of spring may even there occasion it, though it die, to quicken and shoot forth ;-nay, such is the mighty power of God, that even the dead shall hear the voice of the

* Exodus, xxxii. 19, 20.

Son of Man and live; but for all those over whom the second death has power, there is no alleviating hope, their ruin is remediless, When grain is reduced to flour, the germinating principle is gone, the seminal faculty cannot be restored; of the finally condemned, is it recorded, "The smoke of their " torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and that "from that place of misery none can pass."

Now then my hearers, let me enquire what is your real character and condition? Are you one who has accepted or refused the Savior?

Seek retirement, and closely pursue these investigations. Are you a persecutor? A Pharisee? Do you presume on uncovenanted and unpromised mercy? Are you doubting the willingness or ability of Jesus to save, even to the very uttermost? If the last, you inflict the deepest wound on the Savior, and the most dangerous on yourself. Consider, my desponding friend, the matchless mercy of God, who delighteth not in the death of any sinner. Meditate on his stupendous love, who came cheerfully to accomplish the salvation of poor perishing sinners, and effected their ransom by his own most cursed death. Reflect on the grace of that good and blessed spirit, who sweetly calls you to repentance, and offers you eternal life. Recollect the tender invitations, and the exceedingly

great and precious promises contained in the Scriptures of truth. Nay, so extensive are they in their comprehension, and so certain of accomplishment, that were bell already moving to meet you at your coming-were your sins tenfold more numerous and aggravated than they are-were your end so near as to leave time merely to prefer a believing prayer-your ready pardon would prove that, "Whosoever cometh He will in no wise cast "out."

[ocr errors]



MATTHEW, xiii. 33.

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

THE allegorical language of Him, who spake not as the Scribes and Pharisees, but with an authority irresistible, and a wisdom that amazed, not only conveys religious instruction, but throws considerable light on the manners and habits of that remote age of the world in which he lived. Indeed, the whole volume of Scripture is valuable in this respect. Among other laudable practices which have the sanction of the earliest antiquity, is the personal interference of females in their domestic concerns. Sarah, on the unexpected arrival of

some guests, readily took three measures of meal and kneaded it, making cakes on the hearth. And after this manner in old time, the holy women who trusted in God, acted even as Sarah, whose daughters such are, who thus do well.*

Our Lord's parable supposes not merely the fact of personal interference, but a discreet and judicious interference: the quantity of meal taken is specified, three measures; avoiding alike a wasteful profusion, and a wretched parsimony. It is a strong proof of degeneracy in maxims and manners, when mothers are found who discourage, or who do not even cherish in their daughters, this proper attention to domestic affairs. They may thus secure the transient and insignificant commendation of a vain and passing fashion, but will be justly contemptible in the estimation of all persons of true dignity, and forfeit the best approbation of conscience and of God.

And who would themselves sacrifice, or instruct others in such absurd surrenders of character and comfort to foolish customs, the praise which cometh from above? What mother is not desirous to attain herself, and secure for her daughters, this highest memorial? Strength and honor are her


* Genesis, xviii. 6.

« PreviousContinue »