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hitherto repelled the weapons of every assailant, and have received recent and strong confirmation, let us beware of dealing foolishly, and vaunting away our mercies. To communities, not less than to individuals, insolence is the forerunner of shame. Pride, saith the wise man, goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Interest combines with duty to enforce compliance with the injunction of inspired prudence, Lift not up your horn on high : speak not with a stiff neck, for promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south : but God is the judge—he putteth down one, and setteth up another. The rebellious, who exalt themselves, he will teach to bend before his authority, by the sad experience of his displeasure. Without his direction, the sagacity of the profoundest politician is but another name for stupid infatuation. He turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge
foolish. Without him, the most intrepid bow down under the prisoners, and fall under the slain. Abandoned by him, the most stable fabrics of earthly contrivance totter on their bases, moulder into dust, and become the sport of every wanton breeze. Let us not flatter ourselves, that however others suffer, we may safely walk after the imagination of our own hearts. We have no charter of immunity in sin. Without discrimination, our haughty shall be humbled, and the froward cut off; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Once more : If we would demonstrate our gratitude to God for averting those evils which we could not have shunned, let us study to be holy in all manner of conversation.
Sincere profession is best evinced by the simplicity of pure obedience. Genuine gratitude will ever be accompanied by an unaffected desire of pleasing, and a fear equally unaffected of offending our benefactor. Be not deceived. If men love God, they will keep his commandments; if they are thankful for his benefits, they will respect his law. Sins of enormous turpitude are still chargeable upon us, and sooner or later the day of visitation will come. More than once or twice we have confessed our guilt, and vowed amendment. On this very subject does the Most High expostulate with us. He calls us by his providence to realize our confessions, to pay what we have vowed. Let us implore the grace, and attempt the duty of penitence, while space is given us to repent. The Holy One of Israel will not be mocked with empty promises. When the hour of judgment arrives, his ear will be deaf to entreaty, and the plead
ings of mercy will end. Those floods of ruin, which are now held back by his forbearance, will pour in their waters with augmented fury. Heaven will call upon earth, and earth reply to heaven, in conspiring the destruction of irreclaimable transgressors. Improve the means of obtaining present peace and of insuring final salvation, while ye have opportunity. Before the season of acceptance expire, flee to that Lord Jesus who is the hiding place from the storm, and the covert from the tempest ; and prove that ye receive the Saviour by walking in him. HE HATH SHOWED THEE, O MAN, WHAT IS GOOD; AND WHAT DOTH THE LORD REQUIRE OF THEE, BUT TO DO JUSTLY, TO LOVE MERCY, AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH THY God ? Amen.