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inexcusable, and indifference self-con- sign the correction, and not the dedemned—that the blessings of chris- struction, of its subjects. But this catianity are deposited with a nation to lamity has none of the character of a be valued and improved, and that to fatherly chastisement. It shows that despise or misuse them is to provoke God has done with a people ; that he their withdrawment ? If we could trace will no longer strive with them; but the histories of the several churches to that henceforwards he gives them up which we have referred, we should find to their own wretched devices. that they all "left their first love,” And, therefore, with the removal of grew lukewarm in religion, or were the Gospel must be the departure of daunted by danger into apostacy. There whatever is most precious in the poswas no lack of warning, none of exhor- sessions of a people. It is not merely tation ; for it is never suddenly, never that christianity is taken away—though without a protracted struggle, that God who shall measure, who imagine, the proceeds to extremes, whether with a loss, if this were indeed all ?—but it is church or an individual. But warning that God must frown on a land from and exhortation were in vain. False which he hath been provoked to with. teachers grew into favor; false doc. draw his Gospel ; and that, if the frown trines superseded the true; with erro- of the Almighty rest on a country, the neous tenets came their general ac- sun of that country's greatness goes companiment, dissolute practice; till rapidly down, and the dreariness of a at length, if the candlestick remained, moral midnight fast gathers above it, the light was extinct; and then God and around it. Has it not been thus gave the sentence, that the candlestick with countries, and with cities, to which should be removed out of his place. we have already referred, and from
And never let it be thought that such which, on account of their iniquities sentence is of no very terrible and de- and impieties, the candlestick has been solating character. Come foreign in- removed? The seven Churches of Asia, vasion, come domestic insubordination, where are the cities whence they drew come famine, come pestilence. Come their names; cities that teemed with any evil rather than the unchurching inhabitants, that were renowned for which is threatened in our text. It is arts, and which served as centres of the sorest thing which God can do civilization to far.spreading districts ? against a land. He himself represents Did the unchurching these cities leave it as such, when sending messages of them their majesty and prosperity ; did wo by the mouth of his servant Amos. the removal of the candlestick leave
Behold the days come, saith the Lord undimmed their political lustre ? Ask God, that I will send a famine in the the traveller who gropes painfully his land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst way over prostrate columns, and befor water, but of hearing the words of neath crumbling arches, having no inthe Lord.” The blasting the fruits of dex but ruins to tell him that a kingthe earth, so that the valleys should dom's dust is under his feet; and ennot yield their accustomed abundance deavoring to assure himself, from the
- this would be a fearful thing, but magnitude of the desolation, that he there was to be something more fear- has found the site of a once splendid ful than this. The drying up the foun- metropolis ? The cities, with scarce an tains, and the cutting off the streams, exception, wasted from the day when this would be a grievous dispensation, the candlestick was removed, and grew but there was to be something more into monuments-monuments whose grievous than this. The suspension of marble is decay, and whose inscription all messages from heaven, the cessa- devastation-telling out to all succeedtion of that intercourse which had sub- ing ages, that the readiest mode in sisted between the people and God, the which a nation can destroy itself, is to removal of the light of revelation-this despise the Gospel with which it has was the threatened evil, which would been intrusted, and that the most fearmake comparatively inconsiderable the ful vial which God can empty on a dearth of the bread, and the want of land, is that which extinguishes the the water. Every other calamity may blessed shinings of christianity. be sent in mercy, and have for its de- Oh, it may be the thought of those
who care little for the Gospel, and who whose national decline has kept pace have never opened their hearts to its with their religious, and to point 10 gracious communications, that it would our fate as exhibiting the awful combe no overwhelming calamity, if God prehensiveness of the threat, "I will fulfilled his threat, and removed the come unto thee quickly, and will recandlestick out of his place. They may move thy candlestick out of his place, think that the springs of national pros- except thou repent." perity, and national happiness, would ut we rejoice in pronouncing this be left untouched; and that the un- a doom, respecting which we do not churched people might still have their augur a likelihood that it will fall on fleets on every sea, still gather into this kingdom. There may have been their lap the riches of the earth, and sit periods in the history of this land, undisturbed a sovereign among the na- when the upholders of true religion tions. I know not how far such might had cause for gloomy forebodings, and be actually the case. I know not how for fears that God would unchurch our far the conquests or the commerce of nation. And some indeed may be disa country might remain unaffected by posed to regard the present as a period the loss of its christianity. But this I when such forebodings and fears might know, that God's blessing could no be justly entertained. They may think longer rest on its victories, or accom- that so great is the array of hostility pany its trade; and that, therefore, if against the national church, that the its armies triumphed, the triumph would most sanguine can scarce venture to be virtually defeat; and if its ships hope that the candlestick will not be were richly freighted, it would be with cast down. We cannot subscribe to this fruits, which, like the fabled ones from opinion. We are not indeed blind to the the Dead Sea's shore, turn to ashes in amount of opposition to the national the mouth. No, we again say, come church; neither have we the least doubt any thing rather than this. Come bar- that the destruction of this church renness into our soil; come discord would give a fatal blow to the national into our councils; come treason into christianity. We dare not indeed say our camps; come wreck into our na- that God might not preserve amongst vies—but let us not be unchurched as us a pure christianity, if the national a nation. We may be beloved of God, church were overthrown. But we are and He may have purposes of mercy bold to affirm, that hitherto has the towards us, whilst he takes from us our church been the grand engine in effecttemporal advantages, but still leaves us ing such preservation; and that we our spiritual. He may be only disciplin- should have no right to expect, if we ing us as a parent; and the discipline dislocated this engine, that results proves, not merely that there is need, would not follow disastrous to relibut that there is room for repentance. gion. I could not contend for the EsBut if we were once deprived of the tablished Church, merely because venGospel; if the Bible ceased to circulate erable by its antiquity, because halamongst our people; if there were no lowed by the solemn processions of longer the preaching of Christ in our noble thought which have issued from churches; if we were left to set up its recesses, or because the prayers reason instead of revelation, to bow and praises which many generations the knee to the God of our own ima- have breathed through its services, ginations, and to burn unhallowed in- seem mysteriously to haunt its temcense before the idols which the mad-. ples, that they may be echoed by the ness of speculation would erect—then tongues of the living. But as the great farewell, a long farewell, to all that has safeguard and propagator of upadultergiven dignity to our state, and happi- ated christianity; the defender, by her ness to our homes; the true founda- articles, of what is sound in doctrine, tions of true greatness would be all un- and, by her constitution, of what is aposdermined, the bulwarks of real liberty tolic in government; the represser, by shaken, the springs of peace poisoned, the simple majesty of her ritual, of all the sources of prosperity dried up; extravagance; the encourager, by its and'a coming generation would have fervor, of an ardent piety-I can conto add our name to those of countries tend for the continuance amongst us
of the Establishment, as I would for it cannot from the station of the party the continuance of the Gospel; I can who gives it, there will be borne strong deprecate its removal as the removal witness by him who addresses you, of our candlestick. It is not then be that not only is the fire of genius here cause we are blind to the opposition to cherished, and the lamp of philosophy the national church, or fail to identify trimmed; but that here the candle, this church with the national christi. which God hath lighted for a world anity, that we share not the fears of sitting in darkness, burns brightly, and those who would now prophesy evil. that, therefore, though enemies may But we feel that danger is only bring- be fierce, the candlestick is firm. ing out the strength of the church, and But suffer me, my younger brethren, that her efficiency has increased as to entreat you that you would think her existence has been menaced. The more and more of your solemn responthreatening of our text belongs to the sibility. I cannot compute the amount lukewarm and the indolent; its very of influence you may wield over the language proves that it ceases to be destinies of the church and the counapplicable, if it have fanned the em- try. In a few years you will be scatbers, and strung the energies. We tered over the land, occupying differbelieve of an apostolic church, that it ent stations, and filling different parts can die only by suicide; and where in society. And it is because we hope are our fears of suicide, when enmity you will go hence with religion in the has but produced greater zeal in win- heart, that we venture to predict good, ning souls to Christ, and hatred been and not evil. We entreat you to take met by increased efforts to disseminate heed that you disappoint not the hope, the religion of love ?
and thus defeat the prediction. We We might not have ventured to in- could almost dare to say that you have troduce these observations, in conclud- the majesty, and the christianity, of the ing our discourses before this assem- empire in your keeping; and we bebly, had we not felt that the church seech you, therefore, to "flee youthful stands or falls with the universities of lusts," as you would the plots of treathe land, and that the present condition son, and to follow the high biddings of of this university more than warrants godliness, as you would the trumpetour belief that the candlestick is not call of patriotism. Your vices, they about to be removed. It is a gratifica- must shake the candlestick, which God tion, not to be expressed, to find, after in his mercy bath planted in this land, a few years' absence, what a growing and with whose stability he has assoattention there has been to those no- ciated the greatness of the state, and
purposes for which colleges were the happiness of its families. But your founded ; and how the younger part, quiet and earnest piety; your submismore especially, of our body, whence sion to the precepts of the Gospel; are to be drafted the ministers of our your faithful discharge of appointed parishes, and the most influential of duties; these will help to give fixedour laity, have advanced in respect for ness to the candlestick-and there may religion, and attention to its duties. come the earthquake of political conOne who has been engaged in other vulsion, or the onset of infidel assault, scenes may perhaps better judge the but christianity shall not be overthrown; advance than those under whose eye it and we shall therefore still know that has proceeded; and if testimony may "the Lord of Hosts is with us, that the derive worth from its sincerity, when God of Jacob is our refuge.”
This Sermon was preached according to annual custom, in commemoration of five several Hos. pitals in London. Their several Annual Reports were read in the course of the Sermon, as indicated by a line drawn across the page towards the end.
“For ye have the poor always with you, but me ye have not always.”—Matthew, 26 : 11.
With a heart full of the remembrance some spiritual admonition, he takes of the
mercy which had been shown to occasion, froin the pouring out of the her family, did Mary, the sister of La- ointment, to deliver a truth which hath zarus, approach and pour ointment over about it all the unction of divinity. We the head of the Redeemer. Not yet allow that, on its original delivery, our sufficiently taught that Christ was to text had a decided reference to existbe honored by the consecration of the ent circumstances; but we still conbest of our substance, the disciples tend that, in the fulness of its meanmurmured at what they thought waste, ing, it is as forcible to ourselves as it and called forth from the Savior a vin- was to Mary and the apostles. There dication of the act. He pronounced was, indeed, a contrast implied in the it possessed of a kind of prophetical first instance, which, we thank God, power;
and glancing onwards to that can no longer be urged, a contrast beignominious death, whereby the world's tween the presence of Christ as vouchredemption was about to be achieved, safed to his church, and that same predeclared that it had been done for his sence for a while withdrawn. The heaburial, and thus represented it as the vens have received the Savior until the produce of that affection which pays times of the restitution of all things; eagerly the last honors to one most but though with our bodily eyes we cherished and revered.
behold him not, we know that he is Whether or no there had been given never absent from the assemblies of his intimation to Mary of the near ap- people, but that " where two or three proach of the final scenes of Christ's are met together in his name, there is ministration, does not appear from the he in the midst of them.” scriptural record. It is evident, how- Until the Redeemer had won to him. ever, that Christ grounds bis defence self, by his agony and his passion, the of her conduct mainly on the fact, that mighty title of "Head over all things his crucifixion was at hand, making the to the Church,"-a title which belongs proximity of that stupendous event a to him not so much by the rights of his sufficient reason for the course which essential deity, as through virtue of his she had followed. Thus, in conformity having entered into humanity, and prewith the manner of teaching which he sented it, in obedience and suffering, to always pursued, that of extracting from the Creator-he could not put forth passing occurrences the material of those gracious communications which supply the place of a visible presence. I them as exquisitely calculated to thrill Hence it must have come necessarily through the hearts of the hearers, fixto pass, that any allusion to his remo- ing, as they must have done, their val from earth would bring a cloud over thoughts on a separation which seemthe minds of his disciples, since it was ed to involve the abandonment of their only from the headship to which I have dearest expectations, and to throw to adverted that they could derive those the ground those hopes of magnificent influences which teach the spiritual na- empire which the miracles of Christ ture of Christ's kingdom. To the dis- Jesus had aroused within them. ciples, therefore, we again say, there But the words are not thus to be conwas a contrast in the text which can fined in their application, and if we scarcely be said to exist to ourselves. sweep out of view the incidents which We are indeed looking forwards, un- give rise to their delivery, we may exless we live most basely below our tract from them lessons well suited to privileges, to a season when, after a sundry occasions, and to none more manner infinitely more glorious than emphatically than to the present. any which past ages have seen, the
We are assembled to commemorate presence of the Redeemer shall be the foundation of certain noble institugranted to his people. We know that tions, which stand amongst the chief the Bible hath painted, with all the of those which shed honor on the land power of splendid diction, a period at of our birth. And I see not how such which the bridegroom shall return, and commemoration can be better effected, gathering triumphantly his elect from or how that benevolence, upon which the four corners of the earth, unite these illustrious institutions depend, them to himself in a visible and inde- can be more encouraged to go on with structible union. But whilst we attempt its labors, than by our searching into no denial that, ever since the ascension the bearings of the fact that "the poor of Christ, the church hath been placed we have always with us,” remembering in what may fitly be called a widowed at the same time, that in ministering estate, we may still justly maintain, to them for the love of Christ, we as that the argument, from contrast which literally minister to the Redeemer himour text exbibits, was of local and tem- self, as if he also were always visibly porary power. We have Christ with with us. us in such real and glorious manifesta- The subject matter of discourse is tions, as no apostle could have con- thus opened before us. I take the asceived of previously to the effusions of sertion "ye have the poor always with the Spirit. And in place of that carnal you,” as one which, whilst it propheticalculation which would detach the cally asserts the unvarying continuance head from the members, and decide of poverty amongst men, leads us at. that no ministrations can be rendered tentively to ponder on the ends which to Christ, unless he move amongst us that continuance subserves; and then in the garniture of flesh, we have learn. I turn to the fact that the head is aled from the fuller disclosures of the ways present amongst us in the memGospel, that the Savior is succored in bers, and use it as a motive to the supthe persons of his followers, so that port of establishments which seek to having the poor always with us, we al- alleviate distress. ways have Christ on whom to shed the Such are our two topics of discourse; anointings of our love. If there were the ends which the continuance of povnot, then, some general lessons coucherty has subserved,—the motives to beed under the limited assertion of the nevolence which the presence of Christ text, there would be but little in these supplies. words of Christ to interest the man of Now it is much to receive an assulater generations. We could merely rance from the Redeemer himself that survey them as possessed originally of the poor we are always to have with a plaintive and touching beauty, so that us; for we may hence justly conclude they must have fallen on the disciples' that poverty is not, what it hath been ears with all that melancholy softness termed, an unnatural estate, but rather which arrays the dying words of those one appointed to exist by the will of the we best love. We could only regard Almighty. It hath ever been a favorite