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ground, and her children within her ; not leaving one stone upon another--Zion was ploughed like a field”-vast numbers perished in the fiege-many were crucified after the city was taken the relidue scattered among all nations, and the sword drawn out after them! The compassionate Redeemer called those finners to repentance--warned them of the evils which they would bring on themselves, by refusing the grace which he offered them, and wept over them when filling up the measure of their guilt! But when they had been tried the appointed time, and continued obstinate, till the divine patience was exhausted, he entered into judgment with them and gave them according to their works.

SIMILAR will be the event of persevering obstinacy in others. Man is placed here for trialendowed with powers sufficient to render him a probationer; which implies capacity to use, or abuse his powers. The abuse is fin. The way of duty is made known, needed assistance conferred, the reasonableness of obedience shewn, and the injunction, “occupy till I come,” subjoined, but no compulfion is used. Thus circumstanced, it is referred to man to choose for himself.

God operates indeed on man ; but only as on a free moral agent. Divine influences coincide with human liberty. Those who are willing and obedient find mercy. Over such the Savior rejoices, and their faith and love are rewarded with the rewards of grace. But those who neglect so great Salvation, are left to perish in their fins.

That God can confiftently do other than leave them to perish, is to us unknown. It may be im. pofsible to renew them by repentance—beyond the power of Omnipotence to save them!

The conditions of salvation are fixed : No change can be made in them. “The impenitent heart treasureth up wrath. He that believeth not thall be damned. If we do not believe, yet God abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” The terms of acceptance with God are laid before us; the event depends on the choice we make.

Such we conceive to be man's situation here : Such the ground of the applications made to him in the gospel, and the promises and threatenings annexed to the proposals therein contained. On no other, supposition do they appear rational. On no other can we account for our Savior's declara. tion that Sodom, had she enjoyed Capernaum's advantages, would have remained till his day. *

Divine benevolence is great; but it will not secure salvation to gospel despisers : They "will wonder and perish.”

As the first covenant had conditions annexed to it, fo hath the new covenant. To pretend that there are none-that man hath no concern to se. cure the divine favor, is to charge folly on God, in all the overtures which are made to man in the gospel.

Life and death are now set before us. be saved, or we may perish. Which will be our portion depends on the effect which the proposals

* Matthew xi. 23.

We may


grace have upon us. “ To day if ye will hear God's voice harden not your hearts. Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation. Boast not thyself of to morrow ; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Beware left you * deftroy a soul for which Christ died ; and left you have occasion at last to take up that lamentation—" The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved."

* Ronans xiv, 15.

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Balak's inquiries relative to the service of God,

and Balaam's answer, briefly considered.

Micah vi. 6, 7, 8.

Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself

before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old ? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my first born for my transgression; the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good : And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? As mankind are endowed with reason, and profess to be governed by it, their revolts from God are practical criminations of him: Therefore his expoftulations with his people of old, when they forsook him and followed other gods--"What in. iquity have your fathers found in me? O my people what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me."*

* Jeremiah ü. 5. Micah vi. 3.

Israel as a people were going away from God, and he condescended to reason with them, and show them their ingratitude and baseness. To this end, he reminded them of his past care of them and kindness to them, as a nation, from the time of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt "I brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and rem deemed thee from the house of servants" -After just glancing at that deliverance, he passes over the wonders wrought for them at the red fea, and in the wilderness, and their numerous rebellions, while he was leading them as a flock, and supplying their wants by a series of miraclee, and en larges on an event which took place on the borders of Canaan, the attempts made by Balak, the king of Moab, to prevail with him to leave his people and go over to him, and help him against them, and his faithfulness to Israel on that occafion--- O my people, remember now what Balak, king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam, the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the Lord."*

Balak's consultations, or inquiries, are contained in the two last verses of our text : Balaam's answer in the third. In Balak's inquiries we fee the ideas which he entertained of God, and of the service which he supposed would be acceptable to him, and engage him to forsake his people, and de. liver him from his fears on their account. Balaam's answer corrects Balak's mistakes, and difcovers surprizingly just apprehensions of the true

* Numbers xxii. &c. GG

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