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SERMON I.

THE MYSTERIES OF PROVIDENCE.

ISAIAH XLV. 15. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of

Israel, the Saviour. WHENEVER the Bible gives a description of the Deity, or an account of any of his appearances, it almost invariably exhibits a combination of fire and cloud, of light and darkness. Does Jehovah manifest himself on Sinai? we behold, there, these two symbols of his manifestation : lightnings flash in the eyes of an affrighted people, and a cloud envelops the mountain. Does God deign to indicate his presence in the tabernacle? a cloud overspreads that payilion by day, and a fire covers it by night. If David intend a magnificent celebration of some work of the Lord, he tells us, that "fire went out “ of his mouth, and brightness was before him;" while, at the same time, “ darkness was under his

feet, and he made darkness his secret place: and in another psalm, that “ clouds and darkness

are found about him,” and “ a fire goeti before

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I confess, it might be supposed, that the darkness and light, the cloud and fire, were united in these descriptions, merely to give us a grand and awful

• Psal. xviii, 8, 9. 11, 12. * Psal. xcvij. 2, 3.

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