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whirlwind from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, upon all the inhabitants of the earth'; when, at his second advent, the Lord himself, terrible in judgment, as He is rich in inercy, shall descend, in flaming fire, the earth shall be dissolved from its foundations, the rocks melt, and the mountains flow down in liquid fire at his presence. The earth, which was of old, says St. Peter, being overflowed toith water, perished; but the heavens and earth, which are now, are kept in store, réserved ůnto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. Surely, such a warning from GOD, of things the more terrible for that we see them not; of things that will assuredly come to pass, though all mankind should resolve not to think of them, should move us, like the holy Patriarch, with fear. Nor unless daily observation evinced the truth of it, could the thoughtlessness and indifference with which some can listen to such warning, be deemed credible. :
We cannot better illustrate our meaning than by a familiar though painful comparison. Some of us may have felt, but all of us can imagine, the horror and distraction of a man's mind, when his house is on fire, without any place of shelter provided for himself and destitute family; and yet that same man shall sit and hear of the heavens melting all around him, a fiery gulph rolling beneath, the earth hestands upon sinking into it, and no care taken to assure an everlasting habitation to receive him, with a careless unconcern, an idle curiosity, or a sort of mental inattention, thinking only what is to become of the rest of the day, when the customary tribute of public worship is over. These things are, and will be for a lamentation; all that we can do is to give you the warning we have received from God, to pray that it may be recorded in the book of everlasting remembrance, that after the warning given, should the sinner die in his iniquity, his blood may not be required at the watchman's hand; to tell you, that though the elements be dissolved with fervent heat, and a fiery deluge shall swallow up the world of the ungodly, in the ark of Christ's church the family of the faithful shall remain unhurt; but if we are not found among that blessed number, when terror and desolation drive us to seek for refuge, the door will be shut, The signs of the times are such, as to portend, in the opinion of many serious and reflecting minds, the day of grace expiring, and the speedy completion of the interval left for repentance; but whether they do or not, whether the Archangel's trumpet shall awaken us from our graves, or appal us in our dwellings, there is no alteration in the divine decrees. The sinner will be overwhelmed in sudden destruction, the penitent will be taught a way to escape it. Every page of the holy scriptures enforces this doctrine, and example presses upon example with the most convincing evidence, to shew the valuable consequences of abiding fast for protection by the word and sanctuary of our God, He who remembered Noah, and brought him out in safety, has signed and sealed with his blood the everlasting covenant, that when every work of man shall perish, and the globe itself be effaced from the universe, He will lead forth his redeemed to new abodes of life, and to mansions of eternal glory. 'n
Instead, however, of guarding our hearts with this great and glorious truth, as a shield of defence, we sometimes doubt its power, and sometimes know not its use. Taught to look to an heavenly inheritance, our eyes are too shortsighted for the prospect, they take in no happiness but that within our immediate réach; and ås if the only blessing of man were his share of personal gratification, as if the warning of God of things not seen as yet had no positive relation with the affairs of this life, or that its consummation was at too great a distance to excite présent apprehension, how many delude themselves with the same fallacy of reasoning, with the same vanity of imagination, as they who perished in the days of the Patriarch. As it was, says our Saviour, in the days of Noah, (for we will repeat his own comment upon the history) so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man ; they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage; they were so entirely occupied with earthly concerns, as to shut out all thoughts of heavenly ones, and to be regardless of the things that belonged to their peace, till the flood came, and bore them all away to the bar of divine judgment, to give an account of their misspent time and talents. Is our condu& different? And though death may realize to us in
a moment all the desolation of a flood, and all the horrors of a conflagration, we sit down to eat and to drink, and rise up to play, as if no such event were to happen; as if destruction did not await, and judgment would not overtake us. When the Redeemer of the world brought to us the covenant of mercy and love, He is sáid to be the light that shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not; to have come unto his own, and his own received him not. He has been the despised preacher of righteousness, and will continue to be so, till judgment arrive, and when at his second advent, as he states with melancholy foreboding, He shall hardly find faith upon the earth.
Of those who profess to hear the word of God, how few treasure it up in their hearts, as the greatest blessing and the only consolation of human life. Some question its awful truths, some doubt its awful sanctions; almost all have knowledge enough within themselves, and need not that any man should teach them. Some are occupied with worldly cares, or absorbed in worldly pleasures, they sit their hour out, and think no more of it; others come to a sermon,