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cluded, and purity of motive unquestionably demonstrated. Here is the display of a temper truly congenial with the spirit of the gospel.
The Evangelists who were the biographers of Jesus, never attempted to recommend his character by any note or comment of their own; they leave his actions, his doctrines, and precepts, to recommend themselves by their own superlative merit, to captivate by their unaffected beauty, and to shine by their own native lustre.
In the former edition of this work, we derived some consolation from the reflection, that whilst the Despoiler of Europe was subverting thrones and kingdoms, the people of Britain were prosecuting a cause more glorious than the acquisition of all temporal possessions. They were consulting the improvement of the condition of the world, by the most extensive circulation of the doctrines and precepts of Jesus. But in the short space of a few months, the changes we behold in the aspect of Europe, are such as the most sanguine calculator would have deemed not within the verge of human probability. If any inference can be drawn from the experience of former ages, it is most assuredly this, that pride and presumption are the worst enemies of man. The oppressors and destroyers of mankind are
spoken of in scripture language, as the sword of the Lord, and the rod of his anger. They become instruments of righteous vengeance, when the sovereign of the universe suffers them for a season to chastise nations. But when "the strange work" of Jehovah is acomplished, these sharp threshing instruments are broken to pieces, or wholly laid aside as useless. The proud oppressors become in their turn, monuments of retributive justice; and the violence to which they were urged by their own malignant passions, descends upon their own heads.
How many shafts are there in the quiver of the Almighty! How many instruments can He employ by which to punish the wickedness, or abase the pride of man! How easy is it for the Lord on high, by events the most unexpected and judgments the most irresistable, to bring down, even to the dust, the soaring ambition and the presumptuous confidence of human beings!
The discomfiture of the Assyrian monarch at the siege of Jerusalem, and the flight of Bonaparte from Moscow, are attended with circumstances so similar, that to detail one, is to illustrate the other. Sennacherib had caused himself to be called the great King; he considered himself as Lord of the Earth, and the subduer of men; yet this Prince, so proud and haughty, the God of
Israel treated as a wild beast: "He put a hook in his nose, and a bridle in his mouth," and turned him back with disgrace and infamy by the way which he came,
As before observed, God had used Sennacherib as an instrument to correct his people, and to purify Jerusalem. After He had reduced the city to a small number of righteous persons, who were deeply humbled under his afflicting hand, he then punished the blasphemies of that prince, whose vain glory had led him to impiety.
When the Lord had performed his whole work upon mount Zion and Jerusalem, then said he : "I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.” How instantaneously can the Lord of hosts scatter the mighty, abase the pride of a haughty prince, destroy his officers, and exterminate his army! It was to Him but a blast. I will send, saith He, a blast upon him, and he shall return to his own land. The hyperborean blast in Muscovy, the veteran legions of France were unable to withstand. May we not exclaim in the language of holy writ: "How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken !” Or may we not apply the language of Jehovah: "I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken; and thou wast not aware,"
Whether we consider the unexampled rapidi ty, or the vast extent of the changes which have just taken place; whether we regard the causes in which these changes have originated, the extraordinary effects they have already produced, or the still higher prospects they open to our view; in all these we must acknowledge the mighty agency of Him who is the Arbiter of kingdoms, and the Governor of the universe.
The rod of Divine wrath being at length withdrawn from the nations of Europe, may the intermission of it become an occasion to those who have felt it most severely, of evincing, by their penitence and reformation, the salutary influence of the infliction. To those who have been restored to regal power, the school of affliction will furnish lessons from which the improvement of governments may be reasonably expected.
Those who have tasted both of prosperity and adversity, who have known what it is to be cast down and over-ruled, as well as to rule, and sit upon thrones, must of all others be convinced how galling and hateful oppression is, and how great is the obligation to exercise power with moderation, clemency, and justice.
In receiving the overflowing cup of mercy, all ranks are called upon to consider in what manner we shall most unequivocally give proof of
our gratitude for such marvellous interposition in the behalf of suffering humanity. Can we testify it more acceptably to the Author of all blessings, than by cultivating the dispositions and pursuing the conduct, which he will approve? The "Christian Guardian" exclaims on the occasion in language like the following: Let us not forget the hand that has bestowed these benefits upon us, nor the claims which others have to a portion of similar indulgence. Whilst so much magnanimity is displayed, in redressing the wrongs of Europe, let us not forget what we owe to our East and West Indian fellow subjeets. Let us not forget what we owe to Africa.
Now that the reviving commerce of Europe is sure to give new activity to West Indian speculation, and to create new demands for African labour, let us consider whether the interference of the Imperial Parliament, may not be seasonably and beneficially employed to mitigate the severity of West Indian bondage; and whether the commanding station which Great Britain holds among the maritime states, may not fully entitle her to say, the slave trade shall exist no longer.
We cannot believe that the intoxication of suceess, will so far deaden the moral feelings of the