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prince, living in plenty, and attended by an obsequiOus court. Yet he tells us himself, that he had made an agreement with his eyes, and imposed the strict law upon them, never to cast a look upon a maid. {n} I have made a covenant with mine eyes, why theu should I think upon a maid?

What I have observed of the rules and models to be found in scripture, that are suited to the several estates of life, will likewise hold good of different virtues, and every subject of morality.

Virtue constantly erercised, tried, and confirmed by afflictions. Abel. Abraham. Joseph. Moses. David. Job. Daniel, &c.

l'ice unfortunate. Cain. Abimelech and the Sichemites. Absalom. Achitopel. Jeroboam. Baasha. Ahab.

The pardon of injuries. Abraham, with respect to Lot. Joseph in regard to his brethren, David, with respect to Saul.

The oppression of the poor. The weak, widows, orphans and strangers, cry to heaven for vengeance and obtain it. Abel against Cain. Jacob against Laban and Esau. Israel against the Egyptians. The blood of Gideon's children against Abimelech. Uriah against David. Naboth against Ahab and Jezebel.

Repentance covers the greatest sins, and prevents the execution of the most terrible threatnings. The Ninevites. The children of Israel very often. Ahab. Manasseh,

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V. The KNOWLEDGE of God and his attributes should be one of the greatest advantages to be drawn from the study of Sacred History.

The UNITY of God. This truth is visible throughout the scripture, where God seems every where to cry aloud, that there is no other God, or Lord, than himself. [0] I am the Lord, and there is none else.--I am God, and there is none else.


(n) Job xxxi. 1.

10] Isa. xlv. 18, 22.


The OMNIPOTENCE of God manifested by the creation, preservation and government of the world; by the facility with which he raises whomsoever he pleases to the throne, and casts them down again; establishes kingdoms, and destroys them; makes nations flourishing and miserable: by the sovereign power he exercises, not only over what is outward and visible, but over the heart and mind, in turning them as he pleases, from one resolution to another, according to his designs. EXAMPLEs. Laban and Esau marching against Jacob... The counsel of Achitophel defeated by Hushai. The whole army of Judah transported with rage and a thirst for vengeance, marching under Rehoboam against Jeroboam, stopped and dispersed in an instant, upon the single admonition of the prophet. The army of Israel returning to Samaria, laden with spoils, and sending back two hundred thousand captives upon the bare remonstrance of certain great men of Samaria, &c.

The GOODNESS of God and its motives. It diffuses itself with profusion and inexhaustibly, by bestowing whatever is necessary, advantageous or delightful, upoń men who know him not, who do not return thanks to him for it, and who even offend or blaspheme him.

The PATIENCE of God. Bearing with the crimes and impenitence of mankind for many ages, from the preaching of Enoch to the deluge. The measure of the Amorites was not full, till after four hundred years were expired. The Jewish nation supply us with many instances of it, particularly in the ruin of Samaria and Jerusalem, and the captivity of Israel and Judah, which were denounced for several years before they were executed.

The JUSTICE of God, when it shews itself at last, is terrible, destructive, inexorable; nothing can withstand or avert it. The deluge. Sodom.

Sodom. Nineveh. Babylon, &c.


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The character of the punishment is usually proportioned to the nature of the criine. The whole earth corrupted by mankind is drowned with the waters of the deluge. The wretched cities burning with impure lusts are consumed by fire The adultery and homicide of David are revenged by the incests and murders of his children.

The PROVIDENCE of God is universal, presides over all, to the minutest particular, governs and directs all. God calls the famine, the sword, and the pestilence to punish the ungrateful, and humble the proud. He raises on a sudden the spirit of a people

, who have no thoughts of war, and brings them from far to ravage a guilty nation. He inspires the troops with ardour, courage, obedience, and a contempt of fatigues and dangers. He gives the commanders vigilance, activity, and boldness for undertaking the most difficult things; the foreseeing and distinguishing the most useful expedients; the authority and art of making themselves beloved and feared at the same time. He removes obstacles, facilitates enterprises, and grants success. On the other hand, from those he means to destroy, he takes away counsel, presence of mind, strength, and courage. He throws disorder and consternation into armies, and turns the swords of the soldiers against their companions. He brings about his designs by the most unlikely means, as in the history of Joseph; and often by such methods as seem the effects of pure chance, though all designed and prepared by infinite wisdom, as is clearly seen in the history of David, from his condition of a shepberd to the death of Saul.

Masters, in explaining Sacred History to youth, cannot too much insist upon providence, as it is an attribute of God, which we are most nearly concerned to know, of the greatest importance, and most necossary; as it influences all events both public and private, and every man ought to have it in his view in cvery circumstance of life, in every action of the day; as it is the firmest basis of religion, and forms the most

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natural and strictest ties between the creature and the Creator; as it makes us more thoroughly sensible of our entire dependance upon him, of our weakness and wants, and presents us with opportunities of exerting the greatest virtues, such as confidence in God, a grateful acknowledgment of his mercies, disinterestedness, humility, resignation, and patience; and as it furnishes piety and religious worship with the most usual subject of their exercises, by prayers, vow's, thanksgivings, and sacrifices.

The KNOWLEDGE OF FUTURITY. One of the most incommunicable characters of the divinity is the knowledge of futurity. God often challenges the false deities to foretel what is to come. [p] Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods. In teaching Sacred History youth must be made carefully to observe the most famous predictions, whether they regard temporal events or respect religion; and at the same time the character of the prophets, their mission, the end and dangers of their office. They are holy and unblamable in their manners, lead a poor and obscure life, without ambition, without interest, or deriving any advantage from their predictions. They are sent to the unbelieving who oppose and persecute them, and do not submit till the fulfilling of the prediction has made it evident. Their predictions regard public events, and declare the fate of kingdoms. They are circumstantial, published long before their accomplishment, known to all, and within the capacity of the most simple. All these particulars joined together are powerful motives for belief.

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VI. Lastly, as Jesus Christ is the end of the law, whenever an occasion naturally offers, he should be pointed out to youth in the histories explained to them; in the sacrifices, the ceremonies, the actions of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets; in a word, in all those by whom God has thought fit in some respect figuratively to represent either Christ or the church, which is his spouse and his work.

6] Isa. xli. 23. X 3


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VII. To all these observations I cannot avoid adding one more upon the advantages of PIETY, to which youth ought carefully to attend. And indeed it hath pleased God to shew, through the whole series of the history of the Old Testament, that all promises and rewards, with respect even to this life, are annexed to PIETY ; that all temporal advantages spring from God as their sole original, and that we ought to expect them from him alone, though he has reserved for his servants in eternity such as are far more worthy his magnificence, and bear a greater proportion to virtue. It was this piety, which principally consisted in a firm confidence of God, that alone directed the fate of his people, and absolutely decided the public happiness, and condition of the state. Every thing was measured by it, favourable seasons, plenty, fruitfulness, victory over our enemies, deliverance from the greatest dangers, freedom from a foreign yoke, the enjoyment of all the advantages that could be tasted in the bosom of a profound peace. It obtained all, and surmounted every difficulty. It was by piety that Jonathan with his armour-bearer alone put a whole garrison to flight; that David unarmed overthrew the giant, and secured himself from the artifices and violence of Saul; that Jehoshaphat, without drawing a sword, triumphed over three nations in league against him; that Hezekiah saved Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah, by seeing the destruction of an hundred and fourscore and five thousand Assyrians. On the other hand, impiety drew down all the scourges of God's anger, famine, plague, war, defcats, bondage, and the entire ruin of the most mighty families; guilt always led to an unhappy end.

Such observations may very much contribute to inculcate sentiments of piety insensibly, agreeably

, without trouble or affectation, without seeming to preach, or to read long lectures of morality. It is the


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