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thus introduced. • If' (said Moses to the assembled people,) 'the lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all, that appertain unto * them, and they go down alive into the pit, then


shall understand, that these men have • provoked the lord'- : and it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder, that was under them, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men, that appertained unto Korah. The same observation may be repeated concerning the descending fire, which consumed the sacrifice of Elijah ; and, to pass to the new testament, when Elymas was struck with sudden blindness, the cause of that signal judgment is expressly declared to be, because he would not cease to pervert the right ways of the lord. Again, with respect to the prophecies of scripture, prophecies, which extend over the world's history, and require the whole compass of time for their accomplishment, they are yet made in their very language contingent on the observance or neglect of the divine commands.



Take, for example, the whole twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, where a long catalogue of blessings upon the people of Israel, to be fulfilled in all succeeding ages, is introduced with these words—All these blessings

shall come on thee and overtake thee, if thou • shalt hearken unto the voice of the lord, thy * God, and afterwards a long and tremendous list of curses upon the same people is introduced with these words - It shall come to pass,

if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the lord, thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, which I 'command thee this day, that all these curses

shall come upon thee, and overtake thee'-, so, that through the whole of the subsequent history of Israel the fulfilment of the prophecy was to wait upon the fulfilment of the command, and to shape its course according to that model, assuming one form, if the command was obeyed, and another, if it was neglected ! And, my christian friends, I cannot refrain from here observing to you, that it has done so. The prophecy has been fulfilled in both its branches ; and in both it has corresponded to the obedience or disobedience, on which it was suspended. Nor is this the case only with a single prediction or set of predictions. The morality of scriptural prophecy is its uniform and characteristic feature. “If ye be willing ' and obedient, (says every where the indignant prophet) 'ye shall eat the good of the

land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the lord hath spoken it. If ye diligently 'hearken unto me,' (saith the lord,) 'to hallow 'the sabbath-day, to do no work therein, then • shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes, sitting upon the throne

of David ; and this city shall remain for ever. • But if ye will not hear these words, I swear ' by myself,' (saith the Lord,)“ that this house

shall become a desolation.' And again, when the course of history had determined the fulfilment of prophecy to the latter alternative, our lord, Jesus, thus confirms its voice, and bewails the obstinate disobedience, which had rendered the last infliction of its fatal sentence unavoidable. If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things,

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· which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay * thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knew' est not the time of thy visitation.'

The state of the argument is therefore now in some measure altered. Before it was admitted, that the miracles and prophecies of scripture are divine ; and it was thence inferred, that the precepts must be so likewise. But now the precepts of scripture themselves appear to bear the strongest impress of divinity upon them. They stand forward with the greatest prominence to our view; and all its miracles and prophecies appear to be dependent upon them.

Observe then, brethren, what reason you have even in this short view of the case for believing, that all the commands of scripture are the commands of God! The bible consists of two parts, called the two testaments, one

being the recognised code of the Jews, the other the recognised code of the christians. Both are full of precepts, purporting to be the precepts of the lord. .

In both those precepts are confirmed by miracles. In both they are guarded by prophecies, according to which. the judgments of God attend a disregard of the precepts, and his blessing is promised to the observance of them. Moreover History attests, that these prophecies are no idle breath. Take the first judgment upon the first transgression ! In sorrow thou shalt bring forth 6 children.' Has not this sentence been executed? Or its counterpart !

—In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.' At what period of human existence has not the food of the species been moistened by the sweat of those, who have raised it? Look to the narrative of the flood ! How fully was the divine word, which denounced it, as the threatened penalty of transgression, accomplished !

Where now are Nineveh and Babylon, those mighty cities, which gave laws to the world: Their contempt of the divine law brought them within the censure of pro

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