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wrongs, then might this book well exclaim-
sessed you of the peace which I had with God, “ when I was with him and was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded; but ye have set at
; nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity and mock when your fear cometh: when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they cry unto me but I will not answer, they shall seek me early but they shall not find me.'
From this cheap estimation and wanton neglect of God's counsel, and from the terror of this curse consequent thereon, we have resolved, in the strength of God, to do our endeavour to deliver this congregation of his intelligent and worshiping people—an endeavour which we make with a full perception of the difficulties to be overcome on every side, within no less than without the sacred pale; and upon which we enter with the utmost diffidence of our powers, yet with the full purpose of straining them to the utmost according to the measure with which it hath pleased God to endow
And do thou, O Lord, from whom cometh the perception of truth, vouchsafe to thy servant an unction from thine own Spirit who searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God
and vouchsafe to thy people “ the hearing ear and the understanding heart, that they may hear and understand and their souls may live!"
Before the Almighty made his appearance upon Sinai, there were awful precursors sent to prepare his way:
while he abode in sight there were solemn ceremonies and a strict ritual of attendance; when he departed the whole camp set itself to conform unto his revealed will. Likewise, before the Saviour appeared, with his better law, there was a noble procession of seers and prophets who descried and warned the world of his coming : when he came there were solemn announcements in the heavens and on the earth : he did not depart without due honours; and there followed on his departure a succession of changes and alterations, which are still in progress, and will continue in progress till the world end. This may serve to teach us that a revelation of the Almighty's will makes demand for these three things on the part of those to whom it is revealed. A DUE PREPARA
A DILIGENT ATTEN
A STRICT OBSERVANCE OF IT WHEN IT IS DELIVERED.
In the whole book of the Lord's revelations you will search in vain for one which is devoid of these necessary parts. Witness the awe-struck Isaiah, while the Lord displayed before him the sublime pomp of his presence, and, not content with overpowering the frail sense of the prophet, despatched a seraph to do the ceremonial of touching his lips with hallowed fire, all before he uttered one word into his astonished ear. Witness the majestic apparition to St. John, in the Apocalypse, of all the emblematical glory of the Son of
TION FOR RECEIVING IT.
TION TO IT WHILE IT IS DISCLOSING.
man, allowed to take silent effect
apostle's spirit, and prepare it for the revelation of things to come. These heard with all their absorbed faculties, and with all their powers addressed them to the bidding of the Lord. But if this was in aught Alinched from, witness in the persecution of the prophet Jonah the fearful issues which ensued. From the presence of the Lord he could not flee. Fain would he have escaped to the uttermost parts of the earth ; but in the mighty waters the terrors of the Lord fell on him ; and when ingulfed in the deep, and entombed in the monster of the deep, still the Lord's word was upon the obdurate prophet, who had no rest, not the rest of the grave, till he had fulfilled it to the very uttermost.
Now-judging that, every time we open the pages of this holy book, we are to be favoured with no less than a communication from on high, in substance the same with those whereof we have detailed the three distinct and several parts we conceive it due to the majesty of Him who speaks, that we, in like manner, discipline our spirits with a due preparation, and have them in a proper frame, before we listen to the voice. That, while it is disclosing to us the important message, we be wrapt in full attention. And, that when it. hath disburdened itself into our opened and enlarged spirits, we proceed forthwith to the business of its fulfilment, whithersoever and to whatsoever it summon us forth. Upon each of which three duties, incumbent upon one who
would not forego the benefit of a heavenly message, we shall discourse apart, addressing ourselves in this discourse to the first mentioned of the three. THE PREPARATION FOR
ANNOUNCEMENT.—When God uttereth his voice, says the Psalmist, coals of fire are kindled; the hills melt down like wax, the earth quakes, and deep proclaims it unto hollow deep. This same voice, which the stubborn elements cannot withstand, the children of Israel having heard but once, prayed that it might not be spoken to them any more. These sensible images of the Creator have now vanished, and we are left alone, in the deep recesses of the meditative mind, to discern his comings forth. No trump of heaven now speaketh in the world's ear. No angelic conveyancer of Heaven's will taketh shape from the vacant air, and, having done his errand, retireth into his airy habitation. No human messenger putteth forth his miraculous hand to heal Nature's immedicable wounds, winning for his words a silent and astonished audience. Majesty and might no longer precede the oracles of Heaven. They lie silent and unobtrusive, wrapped up in their little compass—one volume, amongst many, innocently handed to and fro, having no distinction but that in which our mustered thoughts are enabled to invest them. The want of solemn preparation and circumstantial pomp the imagination of the mind hath now to supply. The presence of the · Deity, and the authority of his voice, our thought