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which were for the healing of the nations," the doctrines of Christianity, we may see the application of the figure to the present state of the world; but the propriety of its application is not so apparent, if understood to relate to a period after the renovation of the earth. The apostle goes on to describe, in glowing colours, the perfect and complete happiness of the heavenly Jerusalem; but I think the 14th and 15th verses put it beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ, or the angel in his name, is speaking of a period anterior to the new creation.
Thus, Sir, I have endeavoured, as brief as I can, and with the utmost diffidence, to state my sentiments on this interesting portion of the Scriptures. I trust I have not been led to it by a love of novelty, but from a desire of contributing my mite towards the better understanding of what, as far as my reading has gone, seems to have been very unsatisfactorily explained. If I have fallen into any material errors, I shall thank you or any of your friendly correspondents to set me right, and remain,
Your humble servant,
JONAH AND THE WHALE.
IMAGI MAGINE not, from my title, that I am about to tread the path of those expositors (and many such there be) who, like the ancient priests of Ceres, Cybele, or Bacchus, think no religion worth keeping that is not chiefly composed of MYSTERY, while every man who knows his own spiritual wants, ardently searches after the truths of REVELATION; I have only to relate an idea conveyed by the Jewish Rabbies concerning Jonah and the fish, and leave it for your readers to smile at.
"The whale (say they) having swallowed Jonah, took him into the Red Sea, and, the fish's eyes serving as windows for the prophet, it shewed him the very spot where the Jews crossed over dry-shod!!!!"
This conceit is next to be justified. It may be remarked, that Jonah says, that the wEEDS were about his head; now the Red Sea, in the Hebrew language, being called THE WEEDY SEA, they say it should be understood that this SEA was about his head!
Astonishing! that those men "to whom were delivered the oracles of God," should thus trifle with the precious deposit!
IMMORAL MEN AND PRACTICAL UNBELIEVERS.
one whose heart's desire and prayer to God for you is, that you may be saved, to address you concerning the things which relate to God and your souls, to remonstrate with you on your unrighteous courses, and to place before you the dreadful consequences of continuing in sin.
God hath made you more excellent than the beasts of the fieldendowed you with rationality and moral consciousness-formed you capable of knowing his name, of enjoying his love, and of doing his will-of attaining elevated sentiments, exalted virtues, and substantial happiness-of ascending high in the scale of being, and of rendering yourselves a blessing to your kind. But how have you debased yourselves by your follies and crimes! Whilst you wallow in sensuality and vice, do not you sink yourselves to a level with the beasts that perish, by seeking happiness in mere animal gratifications, and neglecting every means of rational enjoyment? Which of the beasts ever blasphemed its maker, acted contrary to the instinct it is endowed with, or debased itself by acting contrary to the laws of nature? But have not your tongues, which were formed to be the glory of your frame, to praise your Creator, been frequently employed in giving vent to blasphemous, impious, and lewd conversation? Have not you acted contrary to reason by indulging in intemperance, drunkenness, debauchery, and every species of immorality? Are not you continually violating the laws of nature by departing from the rule of rectitude and eternal order? Have not you, then, degraded yourselves below the beasts of the field? O consider the dignity of your nature, and act worthy the character of MEN, of rational beings. It will be in vain for you to boast of your diguity as men, to exult in your consequence as lords of the creation, to pride yourselves in exterior circumstances, if you be all the time the slaves of vice, the servants of sin; rather lament your fall, bemoan your degradation, and repent of your crimes.
You profess to believe in God; but what rational man can think your profession sincere, while you LIVE as if there was no God? If you believe there is a God, why do you not fear him, trust in him, love him, and obey him? If there be God, he must delight in virtue, and nothing but what he delights in can be happy; he must be just, the punisher of sin, and the rewarder of good works. How can you question this? How can you believe in God, and at the same time blaspheme his name, despise his authority, trample upon his laws, prove yourselves his enemies by wicked works? No, it is evident by your conduct, whatever VOL. IV. M
you may say, that you do not seriously believe in God; for if you did you would obey him, you would not dare to set him at defiance, and expose yourselves to his terrible displeasure. You talk of atheists— You are the worst of atheists, while you so greatly dishonour the name of that God in whom you profess to believe. I solemnly appeal to your consciences, in your moments of serious reflection, if this be not the case.
And you call yourselves Christians too! What! dishonestblaspheming---lewd---sensual—-covetous-cruel--bloody-minded Christians! No, this cannot be! it is a contradiction in terms.Christians have the spirit of Jesus Christ; they are called to walk as he walked, to be in the world as he was in the world, who spent his life in obedience to the will of God, in going about doing good. Wherein do you resemble Jesus Christ? What is there in your spirit and condućt which resembles his spirit and conduct? Is there any thing you are more UNLIKE than Jesus Christ? How, then, can you be Christians? When did Christ discover that he was influenced by pride, or envy, or hatred, or rancour, or malevolence, or covetousnesness, or cruelty, or want of love to God and man, or any other evil principle? But are not these the principles which influence and govern your minds?Wherein did Christ ever manifest that worldly spirit and disregard to the happiness of others, which you manifest? When was he the subject of those vices in which you live? Ask your consciences, wherein you bear the likeness of Jesus Christ? Your consciences must tell you, if you attend to the inward monitor, that, while you are professed Christians and practical infidels, while you say you believe the gospel, and violate all its precepts--while you call Christ Lord, and do not those things which he hath commanded-you have neither part nor lot in the matter. Can you suppose, Christ will own you for his servants in the great day of his coming? You who have proclaimed by your conduct that you will not have him to reign over you? You who have scandalized his name, brought Christianity into disrepute in the world, and promoted open infidelity, by your unchristian spirit, licentious lives, and immoral conduct? No, expect to hear him say, "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity....These mine enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them . before me." Christ came not to be the minister of sin, but put it away by the sacrifice of himself: and if you be determined to retain it, you must be destroyed from his presence. It is in vain for you to talk about Christ and salvation so long as you are practically rejecting the saviour, and neglecting the great salvation. Oh! consider the value of the blessings which you are despising, the privileges which you are neglecting, and the dreadful penalties you must incur, if you continue in a state of impenitency and rebellion against the Most High.
Infatuated men! you profess to know that there is a God, and that you are his creatures, that he governs the world, and that you are accountable to him. How dare you then despise the authority of the Supreme Being, whose power ye cannot resist, whose terrors are sufficient to
make the stoutest heart tremble? Are you not afraid to hold up arms of rebellion against the Almighty, by your ungodly deeds to expose yourselves to his fearful indignation? Know that, sooner or later, your stout hearts must relent, your stubborn knees bow, your obdurate minds be filled with shame and remorse, your souls be humbled in the dust at his footstool. You cannot stand against his omnipotent arm when streiched out to execute his tremendous judgments upon you. If you' will not bow to the sceptre of mercy extended towards you in the gospel of his son, he will hereafter subdue you by the displays of his wrath, and his fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. As you must hereafter bow before him, and submit to his authority, and as you never can be happy while you continue in opposition to him, why not submit Now, and take his easy yoke upon you? Can you be happy too soon? The contest you are engaged in with your Maker is altogether hopeless. Who shall set the thorns and briars against him in battle? he would pass through them, he would burn them together.^
Can you be so weak and ignorant as to suppose, that the God of truth and holiness will always suffer you to go on in rebellion, departing from rectitude and order, debasing those powers which he hath endowed you with for his own glory, disturbing the peace of others by your crimes, and rendering yourselves a foul blot on the fair face of his creation, without punishing you? As sin is that abominable thing which his soul hateth, he will pursue it with all the terrors of his wrath, until it be exterminated from among his works. If you will continue to cherish it in your bosoms, and entwine it about your souls, his wrath will drink up your spirits, his terrors overwhelm you, his indignation transfix : your souls with tribulation and anguish in the lake of fire. Would any good government, after remonstrances, threatenings, and overtures · of mercy had been used towards incendiaries without any good effect, suffer them still to go on infesting the country, interrupting the happiness of the friends of peace and good order, spreading the seeds of misery by their conduct and example? Surely not. It would punish · such incorrigible rebels, that peace and order might be restored, and rebellion no more lift up its head. And shall not the wise, righteous, Almighty Governor of the universe punish you who are acting the part of incendiaries in his dominions, by your disaffection to his government, violation of his laws, and pernicious example? Yes, surely he will reward you according to your works, that order and harmony may be restored in the rational creation, that his authority may be universally respected, and that all his works may praise him. Would any judicious and affectionate parent suffer his offspring to waste his property in scenes of riot, to disgrace his family by their crimes, to debase and ruin themselves by their licentious conduct, with impunity? Surely, he would not: on the contrary, however painful to his feelings, he would, so far as his power and authority extended, certainly punish them-not from a malevolent or revengeful disposition, but that he might thereby promote the welfare of his family, by bringing the rebellious to a sense of their folly, and effecting their reformation. And can you think that
God, whose offspring you are, will suffer you to consume the blessings which he hath endowed you with, upon your lusts, to disgrace human nature by your crimes, and ruin yourselves by your evil courses, without calling you to a strict account, and inflicting such a punishment upon you as shall bring you to a sense of your madness and folly? He will certainly make you feel what an evil and bitter thing it is to sin against him.
Deceive not yourselves by saying, that, because God is infinitely good and merciful, therefore he will not punish you for your sins: for his goodness and mercy, as well as his justice, require that those who will not be reclaimed by the lenient means which he now adopts for their recovery, should be subjected to the tremendous discipline of the lake of fire. If the subjects of a good government were so ignorant and infatuated as to resolve on proceeding in such a line of conduct as could produce nothing but misery to themselves and others, would it not be an act of goodness and compassion for the government to take notice of their conduct, and bring them under such discipline, however painful it might be, as would remove their ignorance, and cure them of their infatuation? And shall not the righteous Governor of the world act in a similar manner?
You vainly imagine that the crooked paths of iniquity will lead you to pleasure and happiness, though your own experience and observation ought to teach you the contrary. Walking in this vain imagination, you roll sin as a sweet morsel under your tongues, and thereby debase the noble faculties you possess, drive peace far from you, and disqualify yourselves for spiritual improvement and substantial enjoyment.
God formed you for his own pleasure, that you might be made completely happy in the enjoyment of him, and that you might glorify his name; but how can he take pleasure in you while you are despising his authority, disregarding his name and his commands, and making yourselves loathsome by your immoral and impious practices? How can you be happy while at enmity with God, the only source of felicity? You cannot glorify him so long as you remain his enemies by wicked works. If, therefore, gentle methods can effect no change in you, the love of God will require that he should inflict such punishment upon you, however long and painful it may be, as will cure your ignorance and infatuation, which would for ever prevent your answering the end for which you were created. A tender parent does not omit punishing his rebellious offspring because he loves them; on the contrary, he punishes them, not from cruelty, but from kindness: it would shew a want of love, if he did not punish them, when gentle methods are found ineffectual to their reformation: so the Father of spirits will punish his offending creatures, not because his goodness to them hath ceased, but because it would be inconsistent with his goodness toremit their punishment.
Say not," There is no proportion between the sins of this short life and the punishment of a future state; and therefore there is nothing to fear, as God is too righteous to inflict unjust punishment." God is certainly too righteous to inflict unjust punishment; but he is, at the