« PreviousContinue »
Yet thou shalt be brought “ down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon
thee, and consider thee, saying, 66 Is this the man that made the earth to “ tremble ; that did shake kingdoms; " that made the world as a wilderness, “ and destroyed the cities thereof; that
opened not the house of his prisoners ? “ All the kings of the nations, even all of “ them, lie in glory, every one in his own “ house. -Thou shalt not be joined with “ them in burial, because thou hast de
stroyed thy land, and slain thy people : 66 The seed of evil doers shall never be 6 renowned !"
“ Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his
nostrils, for wherein is he to be ac“ counted of ?"
Such is the concluding reflection with which the Prophet contemplates one of those scenes of public misery upon which his thoughts are sometimes forced to dwell, and which throw an occasional
• Preached on the Fast Day, February 26, 1807.
cloud over the beautiful anticipations of Evangelical light and glory, that seem more congenial to the glowing character of his soul. “ Enter into the rock," says he, “ and hide thee in the dust, for fear “ of the Lord, and for the glory of his
Majesty. The lofty looks of man shall “ be humbled, and the haughtiness of “ men shall be bowed down, and the “ Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. “ For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall “ be upon every one that is proud and
lofty, and upon every one that is lifted
into the holes of the rocks, « and into the caves of the earth, for fear “ of the Lord, and for the glory of his *s Majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease
ye * whose breath is in his nostrils, for 66 wherein is he to be accounted of?”
The occasion of our meeting this day,
my brethren, naturally leads me to apply to the present aspect of the world these memorable expressions of Isaiah, with this remarkable peculiarity, indeed, in the application, that what he only predicted, we have seen,—what he saw,
through a glass darkly,” we have beheld “ face to face.” Another disastrous year has passed over our heads, during which the cloud of war has collected a deeper gloom, and burst with still heavier fury upon the devoted nations. We have seen well-appointed armies advancing with confidence into the field, whence they “ have been chased as the chaff of “ the mountains before the wind, and “ like a rolling thing before the whirl66 wind !" We have beheld “ cities made
an heap, and defenced cities a ruin;" kings hurled from their thrones, and driven into disgraceful exile; the licentious sword of conquest sweeping before it whatever antiquity had rendered venerable, or modern genius and prosperity had lifted high ; and from the
grave of Empires we hear the voice which cries to us, with the Prophet, saying, “ Cease “ ye from man!"
One individual alone seems to bid defiance to the common doom ;-one dark minister of vengeance rides securely “ in “ the whirlwind, and directs the storm ;" -one towering genius seems to concentrate in himself all the prowess and all the fortune of his species, and even to arrogate the possession of endowments which belong only to superior natures. Yet, proud spirit! there is an Eye which marks “ thy goings out and thy comings “ in ;" there is a Hand which holds " the “ bridle within thy lips, and can turn thee “ back to the place from whence thou 6 camest. Thy breath, also, is in thy “ nostrils.” Mighty in power to-day;-to