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· Instead of leading you through every part of this parable, it is my intention to dwell, almost exclusively, upon that introductory sentence, with which my text presents us.
The figure here exhibited, is not only of an intelligible kind, but such a one as must needs be universally interesting to a race of creatures, who depend upon the labours of the agriculturist for our daily sustenance : and perhaps it may be more interesting still, as the well known symbol of a christian pastor. The present opportunity shall be employed, in marking a few points of similitude between the figure here presented, and the character signified by it.
When the husbandman means to sow a piece of land, his first care is to provide good seed for that purpose. And in this particular he is curious and considerate. He will not be satisfied with that which soonest comes to hand; but will nicely examine and cautiously select the fullest, the clearest, and the most promising sample his granary can afford. And if his own stores present him with none sufficiently perfect, he will put himself to the labour of enquiring and searching among his neighbours or strangers,
den—I will confine myself to the particular case before us, when an angel joined himself unseen to the dispirited prophet, on his retreat from Jezreel.
Hopeless and heartless, this faint and weary fugitive threw himself carelessly down beneath a juniper tree. And while he slept, the angel who had been commissioned from above to watch and wait
upon him, drew near to gaze upon his helpless charge. Unconscious as the prophet was, he slept secure beneath an angel's wing : no wonder then if his repose was sweet and undisturbed. One greater far in power and might than those who sought Elijah's life, now occupied a station fast beside his person ; where, all the while, he exercised a sacred influence on the prophet's mind, and gently raised his soul to God. And as he pitying stood, the heavenly messenger put forth his hand and softly roused him from his peaceful slumber, saying, Arise, and eat. On this the prophet rose, and behold there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. So he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. A second time he rose at the angelic touch, and ad a new repast prepared, and with it a h appetite excited. So he did eat and k a second time, and blessed the boun! dispenser of all good. How soon may vor sufferer forget his pains in circumces such as these! Sleeping enclosed 1 seraphic band, waked by an angel's h, and gratified with angels' food. The erness was now transformed into a ming paradise ; when, at his Lord's mand, the prophet rose renewed, and neyed through it, forty days and forty ts, to Horeb the mount of God. nd he came thither unto a cave, and lodged
where the God of angels was pleased ford him still further manifestations of ower and glory. Elijah had fled from vel under the debasing influence of lly fear, as though the oppressor had
ready to destroy. But, in order to Jll those fears to an everlasting flight, ord Jehovah condescended here to fahim with such displays of his omnice, as we read of on no other occasion. he Lord said, Go forth and stand upon punt.
And behold the Lord passed by; lo! a great and strong wind rent the
mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord ; but the Lord was not in the wind : and after the wind an earthquake ; but the Lord was not in the earthquake : and after the earthquake a fire ; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. These grand displays of power were made to teach the prophet, how easy a thing it was for an almighty hand to crush his congregated foes at once, and make an utter end of all their projects. And while he gazed upon these awful exhibitions, he did exceedingly fear and tremble, as Moses formerly had done on the same sacred ground, and on a like occasion.
But to these terrific displays there succeeded, we are told, a still small voice. And it was so, that, when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. his Father's voice. It was the voice of peace and acceptance, carrying with it encouragement and consolation to the reviving soul of the prophet. It reasoned with him concerning the cause of his alarm—What doest thou here Elijah ? and how is it, that thou hast so suddenly quitted thy post, and de
It was my cause?
him directions 1 regard to the course he was required ursue—Go, return on thy way to the willess of Damascus : and when thou comest, nt Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu 'on of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat
thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. ɔmforted him with the assurance, that Lord had his secret thousands among ribes of Israel, whose knees had never d to Baal, and whose mouths had never d his consecrated image. ich were the consolations which fol1 the alarm of the terrified prophet. under the influence of these consola
we find him fearlessly returning to leserted station, firmly resuming his cted charge, and faithfully filling up measure of services and sufferings to | God had appointed him. im what has now been offered, two tant lessons may be learned-first, to ain humbling views of ourselves; and, lly, to exercise an unshaken confiin God.