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of an inheritance, our title to which that "it is an anchor of the soul both has been written in the blood of the sure and steadfast;" and that I give as Mediator, and our entrance into which the reason, that "it entereth into that that Mediator ever lives to secure. within the veil!" And therefore is it that we affirm of And now we may safely ask, whechristian hope, that it is precisely ther, if you know any thing practically adapted to the preventing the soul of the worth of christian hope, you from being borne away by the gusts can be indifferent to the condition of of temptation, or swallowed up in the thousands around you, who have no deep waters of trial. It is more than such anchor of the soul? If you are hope. It is hope with all its attrac- anchored within the veil, can you look tiveness, and with none of its uncer- on with unconcern, whilst many a notainty. It is hope with all that beauty ble bark, on the right hand and on and brilliancy by which men are fasci- the left, freighted with immortality, is nated, and with none of that delusive- drifting to and fro, the sport of every ness by which they are deceived. It is wind, and in danger, each instant, of hope, with its bland and soothing voice, being wrecked for eternity? We are but that voice whispering nothing but sure that christian privileges are of so truth; hope, with its untired wing, generous and communicative a nature, but that wing lifting only to regions that no man can possess, and not which have actual existence; hope, wish to impart them. And if there be with its fairy pencil, but that pencil a class of individuals who, on all acpainting only what really flashes with counts, have a more than common the gold and vermilion. Oh, if hope claim on the sympathy of christians, be fixed upon Christ, that Rock of because more than commonly exposed Ages,-a rock rent, if we may use the to moral tempests and dangers, may expression, on purpose that there might we not select sailors as that class, be a holding-place for the anchors of a men whose business is in great waperishing world—it may well come to ters, who from boyhood have been at pass that hope gives the soul stead. home on the sea, whether in storm or fastness. I know that within the veil in calm ; but whose opportunities of there ever reigneth one who obtained christian instruction are, for the most right, by his agony and passion, to rear part, wretchedly small; and who learn eternal mansions for those who believe to steer to every harbor except that upon his name. I know that within the which lieth within the veil? The reliveil there are not only pleasures and gious public have much to answer for possessions adequate to the capacities on account of the neglect-of course of my nature, when advanced to full we speak comparatively-which they manhood, but a friend, a surety, an ad- have manifested towards sailors. Very vocate, who cannot be prevailed with, little has even yet been done towards even by unworthiness, to refuse me a ameliorating their moral condition. share in what he died to procure, and So soon as the sailor returns to port, lives to bestow. And therefore, if I fix after having been long tossed on dismy hope within the veil ; within the tant seas, he is surrounded by misveil, where are the alone delights that creants, who seek to entice him to can satisfy'; within the veil, where is scenes of the worst profligacy, that Christ, whose intercession can never they may possess themselves of his be in vain,-hope will be such as is hard-earned gains. And christian phineither to be diverted by passing at- lanthropy has been very slow in steptractions, nor daunted by apprehensions ping in and offering an asylum to the of failure : it will, consequently, keep sailor, where he may be secure against me firm alike amid the storm of evil the villany which would ruin body and passions, and the inrush of Satan's sug- soul. Christian philanthropy has been gestions; it will enable me equally to very slow in taking measures for prowithstand the current which would viding, that, when he returned from hurry me into disobedience, and the his wanderings-probably to find many eddies which would sink me into des in the grave who had sent anxious pondency. And, oh, then, is it not thoughts after him as he ploughed the with justice that I declare of hope, great deep, and who had vainly hoped
to welcome him back-he should have the productions of the earth, men who the Gospel preached to him, and the carry out to every land the Bibles ministers of christianity to counsel, we translate, and the missionaries we and admonish, and encourage him. It equip: the church is for sailors; and is vain to say, that our churches have yet though the annual expenditure is been open, and that the sailor, as well only between three and four hundred as the landsman, might enter, and hear pounds, the stated annual income-I the glad tidings of redemption. You am almost ashamed to say it—is only are to remember, that for months, and a hundred and fifty. I am persuaded, perhaps even years, the sailor has been that to mention this will suffice to prodebarred from the means of grace; he cure a very liberal collection. I cannot has been in strange climes, where he bring myself to attempt the working has seen nothing but idolatry; even the on your feelings. When I plead the forms of religion have been altogether cause of sailors, it seems to me kept from him; and now he requires though the hurricane and the battle, to be sought out, and entreated; and the ocean with its crested billows, and unless in some peculiar mode you bring war with its magnificently stern rethe Gospel to him, the likelihood is tinue, met and mingled to give force the very smallest of his seeking it to the appeal. It seems as though for himself. But we thank God that of stranded navies, the thousands who late years attempts have been made, so have gone down with the waves for far as the port of this great city is their winding-sheet, and who await in concerned, to provide christian instruc- unfathomable caverns the shrill trumtion for sailors. There is now a Float- pet-peal of the archangel, rose to ading Church in our river: a vessel, monish us of the vast debt we owe which had been built for the battle, those brave fellows who are continuand which walked the waters to pour ally jeoparding their lives in our serits thunders on the enemies
our vice. And then there comes also beland, has, through the kindness of go- fore me the imagery of a mother, who vernment, been converted into a place has parted, with many tears and maof worship; and a flag waves from it, ny forebodings, from her sailor-boy; telling the mariner that, on the element whose thoughts have accompanied him which he has made his own, he may as none but those of a mother can, in learn how to cast anchor for eternity; his long wanderings over the deep, and and the minister of this church moves who would rejoice, with all a mother's about among the swarming ships, as gladness, to know that where his morhe would move through his parish, en- al danger was greatest, there was a deavoring by the use of all the engines church to receive him, and a minister by which God has intrusted his ambas- to counsel him. But we shall not ensadors, to arrest vice, and gain a hold large on such topics. We only throw for religion amongst the wild and wea- out hints, believing that this is enough ther-beaten crews. And it is in support to waken thoughts in your minds, of this church that we now ask your which will not allow of your contentcontributions. His Majesty the King, ing yourselves with such contributions by the liberal annual subscription of as are the ordinary produce of charity£50, shows how warm an interest he sermons. The great glory of England, takes in the cause, and recommends it and her great defence, have long lain, to the succor of his subjects. The ex- under the blessing of God, in what we emplary bishop, moreover, of this dio- emphatically call her wooden walls. cese—whom may a gracious God soon And if we could make vital christianity restore to full health-is deeply inter- general amongst our sailors, we should ested on behalf of this church. But have done more than can be calculated you cannot need to be told of the great towards giving permanence to our naand the noble who support this cause; tional greatness, and bringing onward it asks not the recommendation of ti- the destruction of heathenism. We say tled patronage ; you are Englishmen, advisedly, the destruction of heathenand the church is for sailors. Yes, the ism. The influence is not to be comchurch is for sailors; men who have puted which English sailors now exert bled for us, men who fetch for us all for evil all over the globe. They are
scattered all over the globe; but too taken christian hope as the anchor of often, though far from always, unhap- the soul; and these walls shall be as pily, their dissoluteness brings discre- ramparts which no enemies can overdit on the christian religion, and pa- throw, and as batteries for the demoligans learn to ridicule the faith which tion of the strongholds of Satan. Then, seems prolific of nothing but vice. Our —and may. God hasten the time, and grand labor therefore should be to may you now prove your desire for its teach our sailors to cast anchor within coming—then will the navy of England the veil; and then in all their voya- be every where irresistible, because ges would they serve as missionaries, every where voyaging in the strength and not a ship would leave our coasts and service of the Lord; and the noble which was not freighted with preach- words of poetry shall be true in a higher ers of redemption; and wheresoever sense than could ever yet be affirmed: the British flag flies, and that is where
• Britannia needs no bulwark, soever the sea beats, would the stand
“No towers along the steep; ard of the cross be displayed. Ay, man “ Her march is on the mountain-wave, our wooden walls with men who have
“ Her home is on the deep !"
THE DIVINE PATIENCE EXHAUSTED THROUGH THE MAKING
VOID THE LAW.
"It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy command
ments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”—Psalm 119: 126, 127.
There is no property of the divine , vine forbearance. Those of us who are nature which demands more, whether now walking the path of life, where of our admiration or of our gratitude, would they have been, had not God than long-suffering. That the Lord is borne long with them, refusing, as it " slow to anger”—there is more in this were, to be wearied out by their perto excite both wonder and praise, than versity? Those who are yet " stranin those other truths with which it is gers from the covenant of promise,” to associated by the prophet Nahum. what but the patience of their Maker is " The Lord is slow to anger, and great it owing, that they have not been cut in power, and will not at all'acquit the down as cumberers of the ground, but wicked : the Lord hath his way in the still stand within the possibilities of whirlwind and in the storm, and the forgiveness and acceptance? But it is clouds are the dust of his feet." We a melancholy thing that we are comhave often told you that the long-suf- pelled to add, that there is a great tenfering of God is wonderful, because it dency in all of us to the abusing God's indicates the putting constraint on his long-suffering, and to the so presuming own attributes; it is omnipotence ex- on his forbearance as to continue in erted over the Omnipotent himself. sin. We may be sure that a vast out
So far as our own interests are con- ward reformation would be wrought cerned, you will readily admit that we on the world, if there were a sudden are extraordinarily indebted to the Di- change in God's dealings, so that pun
ishment followed instantaneously on to say, men have now exceeded the crime. If the Almighty were to mark bounds prescribed to long-suffering ; out certain offences, the perpetration they have outrun the limits of grace; of which he would immediately visit and now, therefore, God must interwith death, there can be no doubt that fere, vindicate his own honor, and rethese offences would be shunned with press the swellings of unrighteousness. the greatest carefulness, and that too This, then, is the first truth presentby the very men whom no exhortations, ed by our text,—that it is possible to and no warnings, can now deter from go so far in disobedience that it will their commission. Yet it is not that be necessary for God to interpose in punishment is one jot less certain now vengeance, and visibly withstand men's ihan it would be on the supposed change impiety. But what effect will be proof arrangement. The only difference is, duced on a truly righteous man by this that, in one case, God displays long- extraordinary prevalence of iniquity? suffering, and that in the other he would Will he be carried away by the eurnot display long-suffering—the certain- rent of evil? Will he be tempted, by ty that punishment will follow crime is the universal scorn which he quite the same in both. And thus, un- thrown on God's law, to think slighthappily, sin is less avoided than it would ingly of it himself, and give it less of be if we lived under an economy of his reverence and attachment ? On the immediate retribution; and "because contrary, this law becomes more presentence against an evil work is not cious in David's sight, in proportion as executed speedily, therefore the heart he felt that it was so despised and set of the sons of men is fully set in them aside, that the time for God to work to do evil.” In place of being softened had arrived. You observe that the by the patience of which we have so are connected by the word long been the objects, we are apt to be "therefore." " They have made void encouraged by it to further resistance; thy law.” What then? is that law less calculating that he who has so often esteemed and less prized by myself? forborne to strike, will spare a little Quite the reverse; they have made longer, and that we may with safety void thy law; therefore I love thy comyet defer to repent.
mandments above gold, yea, above fine It is, therefore, of great importance gold.” There is much that deserves that men be taught that there are lim- our closest attention in this connection its even to the forbearance of God, and between the verses. It is a high point that it is possible so to presume on it of holiness which that man has reachas to exhaust. And this is evidently ed, whose love of God's commandments what the Psalmist inculcates in the grows with the contempt which all first of those verses on which we would around him put on these commanddiscourse. He seems to mark the times ments. This, then, is the second truth in which he lived as times of extraor- presented by our text,--that there is dinary depravity, when men had thrown greater reason than ever for our prizing off the restraints of religion. "They God's law, if the times should be those have made void thy law.” They have in which that law is made void. So reduced the divine precepts to a dead that there are two great principles letter, and refuse to receive them as a which must successively engage our rule of life. The expression manifesto attention in meditating on the words ly denotes that a more than common which form our subject of address. contempt was put on the command. The first is, that there is a point in huments of God, and that men had reach- man iniquity at which it is necessary ed a rare point of insolence and diso. that God should intersere; the second, bedience. And it is further manifest, that, when this point is reached, the that, when wickedness was thus at its righteous are more than ever bound to height, David expected that there would prize and love the law of the Lord. It be an end of the forbearance of God, will be our endeavor to set these prinand that he would at length give scope ciples clearly before you, and to exam, to his righteous indignation. "It is ine them in their several bearings and time for thee, Lord, to work: for they results. have made void thy law.” As much as Now, in one of those visions which
God vouchsafed to the patriarch Abra- because found on the lips of him, who, ham, the land of Canaan was promised " when he was reviled, reviled not ato his posterity, but a distant time fix- gain,” declaring that the blood of all ed for their taking possession. The the prophets which had been shed from reason given why centuries must elapse the foundation of the world, should be ere they could enter on the inheritance, required of the nation he addressed. is every way remarkable. "In the The representation is here the same as fourth generation they shall come hith in the instance of the Amorites. The er again ; for the iniquity of the Amo. Jews had been long borne with; and rites is not full.” We may understand God, though often provoked by their the Amorites to be put here generally impieties to inflict lesser punishments, for the inhabitants of Canaan, whose had not yet gone the length of casting iniquities were gradually bringing on them off as a nation. But their wickedtheir expulsion and extermination. And ness was not forgotten nor overlooked, though even these inhabitants might because yet unvisited with the extreme have been conspicuous in idolatry and of indignation. Each century of proimpiety, they had not, it appears, yet figacy had only treasured up wrath; reached that measure of guiltiness and Christ bids the abandoned of his which was to mark them out for ven- own day fill up the measure of their fageance. " The iniquity of the Amo- thers, that it might at last be time for rites,” saith God, "is not yet full; and, God to work. And when the time therefore, I cannot yet give command came, and the iniquity was full, then for their destruction,-nay, it will not it appeared that it is a tremendous be until the fourth generation that I thing to have worn out divine patience; can dispossess them to make room for for wrath fell so signally and so fiercely my people.” It is evident, from this on the Jews, that their miseries exinstance, that in the exercise of his ceeded those which their ancestors had long-suffering, God allows nations a dealt to the Amorites. certain period of probation, but that These instances
and it were easy to there is a point up to which, if they adduce more-sufficiently prove that accumulate iniquity, they can expect God keeps what we may call a reckonnothing but an outbreak of indignation ing with nations, and that there is a and punishment. It was not yet time sum total of guilt—though it be out of for God to work, inasmuch as the our power to define the amount—which Amorites, though disobedient to his he allows not to be passed; but which, law, had not yet gone the length of when reached, draws down upon the making it void. But that time would land the long-deferred vengeance. We arrive. The Amorites would advance say that it is out of our power to defrom one degree of sinfulness to ano- fine the amount, for we know not prether, and the children would but add cisely that point in iniquity at which it to the burden of misdoing entailed on may be said that God's law is made them by profligate fathers. Then would void. But it is comparatively unimbe the time for God to work; and then portant that we ascertain the exact would the Almighty arise in his fury, amount of guilt which becomes such a and prove, by the vehemence of bis mill-stone round the neck of a people, dealings, that though slow to anger, he that they are dragged into the depths will not finally acquit the wicked. We of disaster and wretchedness. It is need not remind you how fearfully this sufficient to know that God takes actruth was exemplified in the instance of count of what is done on the earth, and the Amorites. The terrible judgments that he charges on one generation the at length inflicted through the instru- crimes of a preceding. It is enough mentality of the Israelites are known for all practical purposes, that we can to all, and show clearly that punish- prove there are limits to the forbearment is not the less sure because long ance of the Almighty; and that consedelayed.
quently it is either ignorance or inYou have the same truth depicted sanity which would count on impunity, in the case of the Jews. You find because there is delay. We say that Christ, in one of these tremendous de- this is enough; for this should make nunciations, which are the more awful,' every true lover of his country eager