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the king of Babylon driven out to dwell and eat grafs with oxen? Why were the Jews extirpated by the Romans from their native land? Proceed a ftep farther. Compare thy theory with the attributes of the Godhead?" Is not thy God a God of truth and holiness? Yet thou chargeft Him with premeditated falfehood. Doft thou expect His promifes to be punctually fulfilled? Why? Becaufe He is faithful and righteous. And do not faithfulness and righteoufnefs equally require the punctual fulfilment of His threatenings? Do not promises and threatenings ftand equally on the word of God? Is not the truth of God equally pledged in both? Is it not equally falfehood to depart from either? Be not deceived. If we believe not, yet God abideth faithful: He cannot deny himself. The wicked fall be turned into hell; and all the people that forget God. The Son of Man fhall fend forth bis angels; and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall caft them into a furnace of fire: there fhall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Thefe fayings are faithful and true. Thefe are the true fayings of God (f). Confider these things; left judgement and juftice
(ƒ) 2 Tim. ii. 13. Pf. ix. 17. Matth. xiii. 41, 42. Rev.. xix. 9. xxii. 6.
take hold on you, and there be none to deliver. Close not your eyes against the warnings of the gofpel. Be convinced that God will bring upon the wicked all the punishment which He has denounced against them as furely as He will beftow upon the righteous the glories, which Chrift has purchased for them with His blood. Remember the fonsin-law of Lot. Fly from the contagion of guilt: fly from fin, the certain forerunner of deftruction. Life is fet before you. Why will ye die?
On the Guilt of establishing unscriptural Principles of Conduct.
ISAIAH, V. 20.
Woe unto them that call Evil Good, and Good Evil; that put Darkness for Light, and Light for Darkness; that put Bitter for Sweet, and Sweet for Bitter!
THE fteps by which
fion of the human mind are various. Sometimes it pushes its operations in fecrecy and filence. Sometimes it advances with a bolder afpect; and scarcely disguises its affaults on the bulwarks of truth. At one period it resorts to meafures promising immediate fuccefs. At another, it depends on the flow result of perfevering artifice. Now it afpires not beyond a temporary triumph.
Now it extends its aim to permanent delufion. Now it misleads in a special instance by fuggefting unfound conclufions from juft and recognised principles of conduct. Now it attains its purpose by exalting a falfe principle into the place and fovereignty of the true. Of all the machinations of error the laft, though among the most difficult to carry into effect, portends, when its victory is affured, the most durable and the moft extenfive mischief. The disease of a single branch infects but the fruit of that branch. The rill drawn aside from the main current is alone polluted by the impurities of the channel into which it is diverted. Is the whole produce to be corrupted? Canker the root. Is the whole ftream to be tainted? Poison the fountain.
Such is the nature of the offence, against which in the paffage of Scripture before us a woe is denounced by the prophet. In other parts of the chapter, fpeaking, as here also, by the command and in the person of the Almighty, he proclaims vengeance from God against various descriptions of finners: against the covetous, who join house to house and lay field to field: against sensualists, who follow Arong drink, and cheer their feafts with the harp and the viol, but regard not the work of
the Lord: against the self-righteous, who are wife in their own eyes and prudent in their own fight againft fcoffers, who deride the longfuffering of God, and call upon him to make Speed and haften his counsels: against iniquitous judges, who for a bribe justify the wicked, and take away the righteousness of the righte ous: against those who, profeffing to be His people, through their own wilfulness have no knowledge of the real nature of religion, and are groaning under the appointed retribution of calamity: and, by parity of reasoning, against all, who, like the finners felected as examples to illuftrate the general denunciation, have caft away the law of the Lord of hofts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Ifrael. In this catalogue of crimes and confequent woes the text has its station. Woe unto them that call evil
good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for fweet, and fweet for bitter! Woe unto them, who in any one of the ramifications of the two component branches of religion, piety and morality; in any fubdivision of human duties, whether it has God or man for its immediate object; eftablish a wicked principle in the place of the righteous oppo fite: either openly uphold the false rule of conduct, and openly vilify the true; or con