Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

& on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the o other side, round about the camp, and as it were two “ cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the « people stood up all that day, and all that night, « and all the next day, and they gathered the quails : « he that gathered leaft gathered ten homers ; and “ they spread them all abroad for themselves round * about the camp. And while the flesh was yet be*tween their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of 6 the Lord was kindled against the people ; and the « Lord smote the people with a very great plague. " And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hat

taavah : because there they buried the people that " lufted.” But, alas! though the fathers were buri. ed, their children survived ; and there are many among Christians now, as well as among the Jews of old, upon whose tombs KiBROTH-HATTAAVAN may be inscribed, with a translation under,' THE GRAVES OF Lusts. Let us approach these sepulcres and receive instruction.

REMARK THE

I. LET US

POWER AND DOMINION OF GOD. Every element, every creature is subject to his authority, and yields to his contruol. He holds “ the wind in his fift;" he determines the quarter from which it blows ; the time of its rising and of its falling ; the degree of its influence ; the quality of its effects. “Every living thing" stands before him, and ministers unto him ; he says to one,

“Go, and he go“eth; to another, come, and he cometh.” He speaks, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field repair to Adam for names, to Noah for shelter. Has

He enemies ? Where can they hide? How can they escape ? Every place is a magazine of arms ; every being becomes an executioner, from an angel to a fly. Has He friends ? He can never want instruments to deliver or relieve them. A fish supplies Peter with the sacred tribute. Lions refuse to touch Daniel. Ravens feed Elijah. He nods, and the sea divides, the rock pours out water, manna drops from the clouds. 66* And there went forth a wind from the “ Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them " fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this

side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, * round about the camp; and as it were about two cu“ bits high upon the face of the earth.” The Israelites were unbelieving ; they questioned his ability to supply them; they said, “ Can God furnish a table in " the wilderness? Behold He smote the rock, and the “ waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can “ He give bread also, can he provide flesh for his peo“ ple ? Even Moses staggered through unbelief.“ The people among whom I am, are six hundred “thousand footmen ; and thou hast said, I will give “ them flesh that they may eat a whole month. Shalt « the flocks and herds be slain for them to suffice “ them? or shall all the fish in the sea be gathered “ together for them to suffice them? And the Lord " said unto Moses, is the Lord's hand waxed fhort? “ Thou shalt see now whether my word fhall come to pass unto thee or not."

Christian, why dost thou limit “the Holy One of Israel ?" Why does thy con fidence tremble when difficulties multiply, and ordi: nary means of relief fail thee! “ Haft thou not

“known ? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting « God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, “ fainteth not, neither is weary ?" Behold in Him whose you are and whom you serve, boundless resources at the command of friendly sympathy and fatherly care. “To Him belong the issues from death.” “ The silver and the gold are his.” “ His are the “ cattle upon a thousand hills.”. “ The earth is the “ Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world and they “ that dwell therein.” “O fear the Lord, ye his “ saints, for there is no want to them that fear him: “ the young lions may lack and suffer hunger, bui “ they that seek the Lord shall not want any good

« thing.”

II. See HOW MUCH MORE DILIGENT MEN ARE IN COLLECTING THE MEAT THAT PERISHETH,

THAN IN LABOURING FOR THAT MEAT WHICH ENDURETH UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE. “ And the people stood

up all that day, and all that night, and all the nexe “ day and gathered the quails : he that gathered least

gathered ten homers: and they spread them all “ abroad for themselves round about the camp: What eagerness, what assiduity, what perseverance, what sacrifices of ease, and even of sleep do we here discover! .“ This is our opportunity; this may not “ continue; this may never return.” « The children “ of this world are wiser in their generation than the “ children of light.” The wants of nature are pressing, and knock till they are relieved; but spiritual necessities are either unknown, or disregarded. When the body is in danger, we are alarmed, and instantly

L ' :

inquire for means of safety ; but inattentive to the exposure

of the soul, who asks for the “ Balm of Gile“ad? for the Physician there?" We are quick-sighted in the affairs of time; but, О what stupidity blinds us as to the concerns of eternity; if there be a prospect of improving our secular advantage, we need no arguments; a hint excites us; we are awake; we rise early, sit up late, eat the bread of carefulness; we form our plans; we lay hold of every accidental assistance; we compass sea and land. But when we are to obtain “the honour that cometh from God," to gain a seat “ in heavenly places,” to secure “the true “ riches,” we are all torpor and forgetfullness; we need line upon line, precept upon precept; sabbaths must be instituted to impress us; ministers must be appointed to stir up our minds by way of remem-. brance ; conscience must be deputed to live within us as a constant monitor; and after all, where is our assiduity and application? Who sees us “working out “our salvation with fear and trembling?" "striving

to'enter in at the strait gate?” “pressing into the “ kingdom of God ?” “ giving all diligence to make « our calling and election sure ?"

MAY

GATHER

AND

WILL

III. PERSONS

HOARD UP WHAT THEY

NEVER LIVE
TO ENJOY.

See these men ; they are anxious to lay in a stock for days and weeks to come; they accordingly provide it, and prepare it ; but would they have been so active, so eager, so grasping, had they foreseen that they were immediately to leave their abundance, and that as soon as they tasted they were to die! But so it was;

- And

6 while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it

was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled “ against the people, and the Lord smote the people “ with a very great plague." By many considerations, my Brethren, do we labour to quench your undue ardours in the chace of earthly things. We have often laid before you the Divine prohibitions. We have shewn you how impossible it is “to serve God “and Mammon.” We have proved that “a man's “ life consisteth not in the abundance of the things " that he possesses ;” that nature is satisfied with little, and grace

with less. And after all this are you torn with anxieties, and wearying yourselves in worldly pursuits ? Take another view; contemplate the vanity, the brevity, the uncertainty of life, upon the continuance of which all depends. “Go to now, ye that

say, to-day or to-morrow we will go into such a

city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell “ and get gain : whereas ye know not what shall be the morrow.

For what is your life? it is even “ a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then “ vanisheth away."

“ And he thought within himself saying, what shall I do, because I have no room “ where to bestow my fruits ? and he said, this will “I do, I will pull down my barns and build greater : « and there will I bestow all my goods. And I will

say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up “ for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be

merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this

night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose « shall those things be which thou hast provided ?” “ There is one alone, and there is not a second : yea,

[ocr errors]

on

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »