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"the Lord, and by his fierce anger." In these, and many other passages of Scripture, the loftiest views are held out to us of this uncontrollable power; and there are no passages, perhaps, throughout the Sacred Volume, that are so strikingly sublime.
The power of God is, however, in the second place, more affectingly demonstrated to us, when it is contrasted with our own weakness. We know that we are ourselves destined to
years only upon this earth.
live for a few When we ask
for our fathers, and those of the old time before them, we find that they have departed from this busy scene; and that all the activity and energy which they displayed in their day, are now buried with them in the grave. We are, in our turn, carrying on the same, or similar occupations. Every where around us we see the world in wide commotion, the bloody trage
dies of nations played over again before us,-when, let but a few years pass, and all the actors and spectators of these awful scenes will alike be mouldering in the clay. But although man is blotted out from creation, and they whose ambition would almost burst the boundaries of the globe, are at last confined within a little urn,-in this wreck of human glory, the silent majesty of nature goes on without pause or decay ;-the sun will "come forth from his chamber, and re
joice as a strong man to run a race," when the feet of generations yet unborn are walking over the dust of our bones;-and the wind will sweep with equal unconcern over the tombs of conquerors, and the grassy turf of the turf of the poor!
From such reflections we are made to feel the greatness of that power before which every thing human vanishes away, and it is from this contrast that the pro
phet Isaiah derives his most impressive pictures of the omnipotence of God:hath measured the
"Who," says he,
"waters in the hollow of his hand, and "meted out heaven with the span, and
comprehended the dust of the earth in "a measure, and weighed the mountains "in scales, and the hills in a balance? "Who hath directed the spirit of the "Lord, or being his counsellor, hath "taught him? Behold the nations are "as a drop of a bucket, and are count"ed as the small dust of the balance: “behold he taketh up the isles as a very
little thing. All nations before him "are as nothing, and they are counted "to him less than nothing and vanity. "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of "the earth, and the inhabitants thereof
are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth " out the heavens as a curtain, and spread
"eth them out as a tent to dwell in: that
bringeth the princes to nothing: he "maketh the judges of the earth as vani"ty: he shall blow upon them, and they "shall wither, and the whirlwind shall "take them away as stubble. To whom, "then, will ye liken me, or shall I be "equal, saith the Holy One? Lift up
your eyes on high, and behold, who "hath created these things, that bring"eth out their host by number,-that " calleth all by names, by the greatness "of his might not one faileth."
The first reflection, my brethren, to which this contemplation leads us, respects the consolation which good men may derive from it in the worst circumstances of external fortune. The benevolence and loving-kindness of the Divine nature is the tenet which, of all others, the good are most ready to embrace. What consolation, therefore, in the farther reflection that the power of God is
equally extensive with his goodness, and that if, for the moment, he seems to abandon them, it is not that he is unable to effect their deliverance, but only that he is desirous to make a trial of their faith. To this effect the Prophet continues, in the words immediately following those which I have now quoted, and thus deduces from his description of the Divine power the most consolatory assurances to the good and pious mind: Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, my way is "hid from the Lord, and my judgment "is passed over from my God? Hast "thou not known, hast thou not heard, "that the everlasting God, the Lord, the "creator of the ends of the earth, faint"eth not, neither is weary? there is no "searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them "that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint