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that world which they renounced at their LECT. baptism, and bring it with them into the Christian profession, as the Hebrews brought Egypt with them into the wilder, ness. Whatever you think of the manna from heaven, and a springing well from a stone of flint, you have a greater miracle before your eyes daily. You have Christ come down to be the life of the world, and offering himself as the true manna in the blessed facrament. You have his spirit and his word, as a water of life attending you in your way through this wilderness : but these spiritual blessings have their value with those only who are spiritually minded. Count the congregation of Christians in any parish, and see how few of that number attend the holy Communion: then you will discover, that Christians are fick of this Jewith distemper. As the wonders of the wilderness made no impression on those who were still affected to Egypt; fo Christianity can offer nothing desireable to those whose hearts are full of the world. Where there is an attachment to fulness of feasting, excess of drinking, and to the M4
LECT. other prospects, pleasures and profits of
the world, there can be no spiritual appetite. To thirst after earthly and heavenly things at the same time, is as impoflible as to serve God and Mammon. Can the man, who makes it his wish and his pleasure to be drunk, join with the prophet and say— Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks, so longeth my foul after thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God, even the living God: when Wall I come and appear before the presence of God? Doth he not rather say, “ let me never come near him, for I have no relish for his ways or his worship. I wish there were no church, no facraments, no preaching, no praying. I was baptized to be a member of Christ, but I never desire to be in his company, Let me continue to be one of the swine of Egypt, as I have hitherto been, and let my latter end be like theirs.” Such is the language which passes in many hearts when it is put into plain English. Men are called by different names at distant periods of time ; but the workings of their minds are the same in all ages. The devout Christian
follows the calling of God at this day, LECT. on the same motives of faith as the Patri. archs did of old, and considers this life as a pilgrimage; while others are drawn away by the world and the flesh just as they were whose carcases fell in the wilderness. They were made examples to us, with this intention as the apostle instructs us, that we should not lust after evil things as they also lufted*. If we look to their history in the book of Numbers, we find how discontented and miserable they were under the way of life to which God had brought them: The children of Israel wept again and said, who shall give us flesh to eat? It was well with us in Egypt, but now our foul is dried away; there is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes. Then we read that God complied with their murmurings, and sent them meat to the full; but fent a plague after it, whereby many were destroyed; and the place received its name from the graves of those who were buried for their lufts.
* i Cori x, 6.
LECT. Here the child of this world may see his
own picture. It is his object to gratify
they suffer miserably in another respect : LECT. as it is said in the Pfalm, he gave them their depre, and sent leanness withal into their soul* : so that while their bodies were thriving their souls were starving. If it were possible to see the souls of some such people, they would look worse than skin and bone ; wasting and perishing for lack of that grace by which the inner man is renewed. He then who wishes to find death, misery, and the displeasure of God, which is worst of all, let him turn back from his Christian profession, and demand satisfaction for all his lusts. But let him who wishes to find Cannaan at last, be content to find a wilderness in the way to it, and there take with thankfulness what God has appointed for him.
* Palm avi, I.