Page images
[ocr errors]


this side, and as it were a day's journey on the “ 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 least 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 " the Lord was kindled against the people, and the “Lord (mote 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 “ luited.” But, alas ! though the fathers were buried, their children survived; and there are many among Christians now, as well as among the Jews of old, upon whose tombs KIBROTH-HATTAAVAH may be infcribed, with a translation under, THE GRAVES OF Lusts. Let us approach these fepulchres and receive instruction,

I. LET US REMARK THE POWER AND DOMINION of God. Every element, every creature is subject to his authority, and yields to his controul. 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"Seth ; 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 filh 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. “ 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 “ fide, 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 Ifraelites 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 Mofes staggered through unbelief. “The people among whom I am, are fix hundred “ thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give “them flesh that they may eat a whole month. Shall " the flocks and herds be flain for them to suffice “ them ? or shall all the fish in the sea be gathered

together for them to fuffice them? And the Lord “faid unto Mofes, is the Lord's hand waxed short? “ Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to “pass unto thee or not." Christian, why dost thou limit “the Holy One of Israel ?” Why does thy confidence tremble when difficulties multiply, and ordinary means of relief fail thee! 66 Hast 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 refources at the command of friendly sympathy and fatherly

“ 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 C that dwell therein." “O fear the Lord, ye his “faints, for there is no want to them that fear him: young lions may

lack and suffer hunger, but « they that seek the Lord shall not want any good " thing.”

66 the


up all that day, and all that night, and all the next “ 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 facrifices 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 preffing, and knock till they are relieved ; but fpiritual necessities are either unknown, or disregarded. When the body is in danger, we are alarmed, and instantly 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-lighted in the affairs of time; but, what stupidity blinds us as to the concerns of eternity; if there be a profpect of improving our secular advantage, we need no arguments; a hint excites us; we are awake ; we rise early, fit up late, eat the bread of carefulness; we form our plans; we lay hold of every accidental affiftance; we compass sea and land. But when we are to obtain “ the honour that cometh from God,” to gain a feat “ in heavenly places,” to secure “the true “ riches,” we are all torpor and forgetfulness; 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 remembrance ; conscience must be deputed to live within us as a constant monitor ; and after all, where is our affiduity and application? Who sees us “ working out - our falvation with fear and trembling ?” “ striving s to enter in at the strait gate ?” “ pressing into the · kingdom of God?” “ giving all diligence to make our calling and election sure ?

[ocr errors]


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, fo 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

[ocr errors]

“ 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 fhewn you how impossible it is “ to serve God cand 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

on the morrow. For what is your life? it is even "a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then “ vanilheth 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 whofe « shall those things be which thou hast provided ?" $6 There is one alone, and there is not a second : yea,

« PreviousContinue »