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ing a few sickly plants sprinkled here and there on the surface of the ground, sacrifice all his toils and hopes, and prepare it for another crop. Thus has the Great Husbandman dealt with the nations at large their privileges have been taken from them, and given to such as bring forth the fruits thereof: and thus will he act towards individuals who trifle with the means of cultivation they enjoy. God will not always strive-the days of his waiting are numbered, and perhaps soon will be finished—he will forbid others to labor for your advantage-will say in his holy displeasure, Let them alone; my heart shall not "be towards them any more;" the curse originally pronounced on the ground, shall be irrevocably repeated with tenfold vengeance on your spirits, and it will be impossible to renew such again to repentance, "Seeing they crucify to "themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him "to an open shame. For the earth which drink"eth in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and


bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it " is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but "that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, "and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be "burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded bet"ter things of you, and things that accompany "salvation though, we thus speak."*

Hebrews vi, 6-9





Thou blessest the springing thereof.

"Now shall we be comforted concerning the "work of our hands. Praise waiteth for thee, O "God, for thou hast visited the earth, thou hast "made it soft with showers, thou blessest the


springing of the corn. This is our God, we "have waited for him, and our expectation shall "not always perish." Such may be considered as the pious reflections of the devotional and dependant husbandman, as like the patriach Isaac, he walks abroad in his fields to behold and meditate on the wonderful works of God.

His fears are all silenced, the thrifty plant, while it cheers his hopes of future good, addresses


him as one of little faith, and he hears it saying, "Wherefore didst thou doubt? He then remembers the words of encouragement spoken to him during the continuance of unpropitious and wintry weather. "Fear not, O land; be glad and re"joice for the Lord will do great things. Be "glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in "the Lord your God; for he hath given you the "former rain moderately, and he will cause to

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come down for you the rain, the former rain, " and the latter rain in the first month. And the "floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall "overflow with wine and oil.

And ye shall eat

"in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name "of the Lord your God, that hath dealt won"drously with you; and my people shall never be "ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the "midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your "God, and none else; and my people shall never "be ashamed."*

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. After the dreary desolations of winter, are beheld the fair and flourishing prospects of spring. Nature, rising from the couch whereon she had long reposed, appears clad in the lovliest attire, and says to each spectator, in cheerful invi

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*Joel, ii. 21, 23, 24, 26, 27

tation, "Rise up, and come away; for, lo, the "winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the "flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the "turtle is heard in our land."*


It is a proof of the truest wisdom to trace and acknowledge the hand of God in every change of the seasons, and in all the success which follows our toils. How pleasing would it be to observe our husbandmen adopting the words of our text, and ascribing the prosperous appearances of their fields to the kindly interposition of God-instead of commending their own industry, or skill, their wisdom in the choice of seed, or the mode of cultivation.

Their dependance on God, is not diminished by their unwillingness to acknowledge his power, but their pleasures are materially lessened. With what increasing satisfaction will that farmer walk abroad in his fields, who will see in every rising blade of corn, an evidence that He who promises freely, performs faithfully; that the Lord has opened unto him his good treasure, the heaven-to give rain unto his land in his season, and to bless all the work of his hand.

*Sol. Song, ii. 11, 12.


And certainly they are by their neglect, provoking the Almighty to discontinue his bounty, and teach them by deprivation, their entire dependance him. Thus he dealt with some of old time, "For she did not know that I gave her corn, and "wine and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, " which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will "I return, and take away my corn in the time "thereof, and my wine in the season thereof."* And whenever the disposition to "burn incense to "our own drag," or to "sacrifice to our own net" is evinced, some bitter and painful disappointment is at hand.† Gratefully admit and acknowledge the superintending care of God, and say "Thou "blessest the springing thereof;" and thus from earthly things the mind will be led to spiritual and eternal realities, and from nature's works we shall proceed to nature's God.

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It is correctly true, that every season of the year utters a voice, and every succeeding day proclaims knowledge; yet if any one of the revolutions of time speaks more clearly and distinctly than another, it is that which rapidly clothes and covers barren land with verdure and abundance. Then every thing is vocal." The little hills rejoice on every side, the pastures are clothed with flocks, the

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*Hosea, ii. 8, 9. ↑ Hab. i. 16.

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