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so often in thy mouth? Dost thou think God does not hear the prayer? And how often hast thou prayed him to damn thy soul? Is his ear waxed heavy that it cannot hear? I fear thou wilt find it otherwise. Was not he à soldier too (and a terrible one) to whom God said of old, “ Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming ?” And what marvel ? For sin is the high road to hell. And have soldiers nothing to do with sin? Alas! How many of you wallow therein; yea, and glory in your shame! How do you labour to work out your own damnation ! O poor work, for poor wages! The wages of sin is death; the wages of cursing, of taking the Name of God in vain, of sabbathbreaking, drunkenness, revenge, of fornication, adultery, and all uncleanness. Now art thou clear of these? Does not thine own heart smite thee? Art thou not condemned already ? What voice is that which sounds in thine ears? Is it not the voice of God? 66 Shall I not visit for these things saith the Lord? Shall not my soul be avenged on such a sinner as this?" It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! Be very sure that thou art stronger than He, before thou fliest in his face. Do not defy God, unless thou canst overcome Him. But canst thou indeed? O no.
Do not try: do not dare him to do his worst. Why should he destroy both thy body and soul in hell? Why shouldst thou be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory
of his power.
But if there were no other hell, thou hast hell within thee. An awakened conscience is hell. Pride, envy, wrath, hatred, malice, revenge, what are these? Hell upon earth. And how often art thou tormented in these flames ? Flames of lust, envy, or proud wrath! Are not these to thy soul, when blown up to the height, as it were a lake of fire, burning with brimstone ? Flee away before the great gulf is fixed : Escape, escape for thy life! If thou hast not strength, cry to God, and thou shalt receive power from on high: and He, whose name is rightly called Jesus, shall save thee from thy sins.
. And why should he not? Has a soldier nothing to do with heaven?: God forbid that you should think so! Heaven was designed for you also." God so loved your soul, that He gave his only begotten Son, that you, believing in Him, might not perish, but have everlasting life. Receive then the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world! This, this is the time to make it sure; this short, uncertain day of life! Have you then an hour to spare? No, not a moment: Arise, and call upon thy God. : Call upon the Lamb, who taketh away the sins of the world, to take away thy sins. Surely he hath borne thy griefs, and carried thy sorrows! He was wounded for thy transgressions, and bruised for thy iniquities. He hath paid the ransom for thy soul. Believe in Him, and thou shalt be saved. Art thou a sinner? He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Art thou a lost, undone sinner? He came to seek and to save that which was lost. May he that gave himself for thee, give thee ears to hear, and a heart to understand his love! So shalt thou also say, “ The life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God." So shall the love of God be shed abroad in thy heart, and thou shalt rejoice with joy unspeakable. Thou, shalt have the mind that was in Christ, and thou shalt so walk as He also walked : till having fought the good fight, and finished thy course, thou receive the crown that fadeth not away!
OCCASIONED BY THE LATE
EARTHQUAKE AT LISBON.
Tua res agitur, paries quum proximus ardet.
THINKING men generally allow that the greater part of modern Christians are not more virtuous than the ancient Heathens : perhaps less so; since public spirit, love of our country, generous honesty, and simple truth, are,
where to be found. On the contrary, covetousness, ambition, various injustice, luxury, and falsehood in every kind, have infected every rank and denomination of people, the clergy themselves not excepted. Now they who believe there is a God are apt to believe, he is not well pleased with this. Nay, they think, he has intimated it very plainly, in many parts of the Christian world. How many hundreds of thousands of men have been swept away by war, in Europe only, within half a century! How many thousands, within little more than this, hath the earth. opened her mouth and swallowed up! Numbers sunk at Port-Royal, and rose no more. Many thousands went quick into the pit at Lima. The whole city of Catanea, in Sicily, and every inhabitant of it perished together. Nothing but heaps of ashes and cinders shew where it stood. Not so much as one Lot escaped out of Sodom !
And what shall we say of the late accounts from Portugal: That some thousands of houses, and many thousands of persons are no more! That a fair city is now in ruinous heaps. Is there indeed a God that judges the world? And is he now making inquisition for blood ? If so, it is not surprising, he should begin there, where so much blood has
been poured on the ground like water? Where so many brave men have been murdered, in the most base and cowardly, as well as barbarous manner, almost every day, as well as every night, while none regarded or laid it to heart. “ Let them hunt and destroy the precious life, so we may secure our stores * of gold and precious stones. How long has their blood been crying from the earth? Yea, how long has that bloody house of mercy t, the scandal not only of all religion, but even of human nature, stood to insult both heaven and earth? 66 And shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord ? Shall not my soul be avenged of such a city as this?”
It has been the opinion of many, that even this nation has not been without some marks of God's displeasure. Has not war been let loose even within our own land, so that London itself felt the alarm ? Has not a pestilential sickness broken in upon our cattle, and in many parts, left not one of them alive? And although the earth does not yet open in England or Ireland, has it not shook, and reeled to and fro like a drunken man? And that not in one or two places only, but almost from one end of the kingdom to the other?
Perhaps one might ask, Was there nothing uncommon, nothing more than is usual at this season of the year, in the rains, the hail, the winds, the thunder and lightning, which we have lately heard and seen? Particularly, in the storm which was the same day and hour, that they were playing off Macbeth's thunder and lightning at the theatre. One would almost think they designed this (inasmuch as the entertainment continued, notwithstanding all the artillery of heaven) as a formal answer to that question, “ Canst thou thunder with an arm like him?"
* Merchants who have lived in Portugal inform us, that the king had a large building filled with diamonds: and more gold stored up, coined and uncoined, than all the other princes of Europe together.
+ The title which the Inquisition of Portugal (if not in other countrise also) takes to itself.
What shall we say to the affair of Whiston Cliffs? Of which, were it not for the unparalleled stupidity of the English, all England would have rang long ago, from one sea to another. And yet seven miles from the place, they knew little more of it in May last, than if it had happened in China or Japan.
The fact (of the truth of which any who will be at the pains of inquiring, may soon be satisfied) is this. On Tuesday, March 25th last, being the week before Easter, many persons heard a great noise near a ridge of mountains called Black Hamilton, in Yorkshire. It was observed chiefly on the south west side of the mountain, about a mile from the course where the Hamilton races are run, near a ledge of rocks, commonly called Whiston Cliffs, two miles from Sutton, and about five from Thirsk.
The same noise was heard on Wednesday by all who went that way. On Thursday, about seven in the morning, Edward Abbot, weaver, and Adam Bosomworth, bleacher, both of Sutton, riding under Whiston Cliffs, heard a roaring (so they termed it) like many cannons, or loud and rolling thunder. It seemed to come from the cliffs: looking up to which, they saw a large body of stone, four or five yards broad, split and fly off from the very top of the rock. Theythought it strange, but rode on. Between ten and eleven, a larger piece of the rock, about fifteen yards thick, thirty high, and between sixty and seventy broad, was torn off and thrown into the valley.
About seven in the evening, one who was riding by, observed the ground to shake exceedingly, and soon after, several large stones or rocks of some tons weight each, rose out of the ground. Others were thrown on one side, others turned upside down, and many rolled over and over. Being a little surprised, and not very curious, he hasted on
On Friday and Saturday the ground continued to shake, and the rocks to roll over one another. The earth also clave asunder in very many places, and continued so to do till Sunday morning.