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the king of Babylon driven out to dwell and eat grass with oxen? Why were the Jews extirpated by the Romans from their 'native land ? Proceed a step farther. Compare thy theory with the attributes of the Godhead? Is not thy God a God of truth and holiness? Yet thou chargest Him with premeditated falsehood. Dost thou expect His promises to be punctually fulfilled? Why? Because He is faithful and righteous. And do not faithfulness and righteoufness equally require the punctual fulfilment of His threatenings? Do not promises and threatenings stand equally on the word of God? Is not the truth of God equally pledged in both? Is it not equally falsehood to depart from either? Be not deceived. If we believe not, yet God abideth faithful : He cannot deny himself. The wicked Nall be turned into bell ; and all the people that forget God. The Son of Man shall send forth his angels ; and they mall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and Mall cast them into a furnace of fire : there shall be wailing and gnashing of teetb. These sayings are faithful and true. These are the true sayings of God (f). Consider these things; left judgement and justice take hold on you, and there be none to deliver. Close not your eyes against the warnings of the gospel. Be convinced that God will bring upon the wicked all the punishment which He has denounced against them as surely as He will bestow upon the righteous the glories, which Christ has purchased for them with His blood. Remember the fonsin-law of Lot. Fly from the contagion of guilt : Ay from fin, the certain forerunner of destruction. Life is set before you. Why will
(S) 2 Tim. ii. 13. Pf. ix. 17. Matth. xii. 41, 42. Rev. xix. 9. xxii. 6.
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
THE steps by which error gains poslef
sion of the human mind are various. Sometimes it pushes its operations in secrecy and Glence. Sometimes it advances with a bolder aspect; and scarcely disguises its affaults on the bulwarks of truth. At one period it resorts to measures promising immediate success. At another, it depends on the flow result of persevering artifice. Now it aspires not beyond a temporary triumph. Now it extends its aim to permanent delusion. Now it misleads in a special instance by suggesting unsound conclusions from just and recognised principles of conduct. Now it attains its purpose by exalting a false principle into the place and sovereignty of the true. Of all the machinations of error the last, though among the most difficult to carry into effect, portends, when its victory is
sured, the most durable and the most extensive 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 stream to be tainted ? Poison the fountain.
Such is the nature of the offence, against which in the passage of Scripture before us a woe is denounced by the prophet. In other parts of the chapter, speaking, as here also, by the command and in the person of the Almighty, he proclaims vengeance from God against various descriptions of sinners: against the covetouš, who join house to house and lay field to field: against fensualifts, wbo follow Arong drink, and cheer their feasts with the barp and the viel, but regard not the work of
the Lord: against the self-righteous, who are wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own fight : against scoffers, who deride the longsuffering of God, and call upon him to make Speed and baften bis counsels : against iniquitous judges, who for a bribe justify the wicked, and take away the righteousness of the righteous : against those who, professing to be His people, through their own wilfulness bave no knowledge of the real nature of religion, and are groaning under the appointed retribution of calamity: and, by parity of reasoning, againft all, who, like the sinners selected as examples to illustrate the general denunciation, have cast away the law of the Lord of hofts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. In this cata, logue of crimes and consequent 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 pat bitter for fweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them, who in any one of the ramifications of the two component branches of religion, piety and morality; in any subdivision of human duties, whether it has God or man for its immediate object; establish a wicked principle in the place of the righteous oppos Lite : 'either openly uphold the false rule of conduct, and openly vilify the true; or con