Page images


before it all the bulwarks of empire, still rolls around our shores, innocent as the waves of our ocean; and, while we have wept over it with tears of blood, and mourned many a gallant son plunged for ever in its gloomy abyss, the ark of Britain still rides secure and honoured, amidst the deluge which has drowned a world! What has been to others a punishment, has been to us only a warning; but a warning awful as can be uttered by the voice of God!

We have seen the fall of other nations; we have seen the origin of their fall in the decay of religious principle ; in the failure of public virtue ; in the vices and follies of the great; and in the corruption and disaffection of the low. Are these things beginning even here? “ Then take heed to yourselves, and

souls diligently, lest ye get the things which your eyes have

66 keep your


“ seen, and lest they depart from your “ hearts all the days of your lives; but 6 teach them your sons,


sons' “ sons : Take heed unto yourselves, lest

ye forget the covenant of the Lord your “ God, for the Lord your God is a con

suming fire, even a jealous God!"




Psalms, lxv. 1, 2.

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion, « and unto thee shall the vow be

performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

In the Psalm, my brethren, which opens with these words of exalted piety, the King of Israel describes, in the finest strain of poetry, the trust which he reposes in the power and the goodness of

• Preached 18th November 1810, the day appointed by his Majesty as a general thanksgiving for the abundana harvest of that year.

God. “ Thou wilt answer us," he says, “ O God of our salvation; who art the * confidence of all the ends of the earth, « and of them that are afar off upon the

sea : who by thy strength settest fast “ the mountains, being girded with power ;

who stillest the noise of the seas, 66 the noise of their waves, and the tu“ mult of the people.” After this striking representation of the Divine omnipotence, which shews us the whole world of nature and of man prostrate at the footstool of its Maker, the Psalmist rises into the most glowing description of that supreme bounty which supplies the wants of the creatures. 66 Thou makest the

outgoings of the morning and even

ing to rejoice: Thou visitest the earth, 6 and waterest it: Thou makest it soft 66 with showers: Thou blessest the spring

ing thereof: Thou crownest the year 5 with thy goodness, and Thy paths drop


“ fatness: they drop upon the pastures of

the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side: the pastures are “ clothed with flocks, the valleys, also, 66 are covered over with corn; they shout “ for joy, they also sing.”

The instances of power and goodness which David exemplifies in these passages, are of a nature which every pious mind must contemplate with the deepest emotion. They are chosen, however, at the same time, with a very happy reference to the peculiarity of his own situation. He was a king, and in reAlecting on the past history of his adventurous reign, nothing could occur to his mind as a more remarkable proof of the Divine power than that wonderful mechanism of human society by which all the jarring interests and passions of men are kept within the bounds of civil order; and he naturally was led to perceive the

« PreviousContinue »