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without the love of God! Let none of not! How often would he, as a hen them be lost-no, no: one in this as- gathereth her chickens under her wing, sembly! Let not one sinner in this have given you an opportunity-you, assembly be cast into hell. Oh, holy who are constantly turning away from Father, grant that not one man or wo- your Father, and ruining yourselvesman in this place may be cast away for of enjoying the life-giving power of ever, through the want of the love of his own protecting arm, and ye would God! Oh, who is there of this as not ! O that the Sun of Righteousness, sembly that shall be cast away? If in sovereign mercy, may smile upon the
were instructed now that some opportunity thus afforded us of proone in this congregation was to be claiming his love—and that many, cast away, O God, what searching of many may have reason to bless his souls would there be ! One would say, name for ever for the message received “ Lord, is it I?”—and another would this night in his love! May that love say, “ Lord, is it I?” Father of mer- produce its genuine fruits in all your cies show us that if we be cast away souls, so that the first and great com. it is through our hatred of thee, and mandment of the Lord may be thus not through thy unwillingness to re written upon your hearts in the re. ceive us—that it is because we will ception of the free mercy of the Gospel! not, not because thou wilt not! How God, in infinite mercy, grant this, for often wouldest thou, but we would / Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. T. WHITE,
AT WELBECK CHAPEL, MARYLEBONE, JUNE 12, 1831.
Exodus, xxxii. 26.—“Who is on the Lord's side."
The occasion on which these words | unanimously answered: “All the words were originally spoken, affords a melan- which the Lord hath said will we do.” choly example of fallen man's prone- Yet, now, before forty days have elapsed, ness to apostatize from God. It shows, they compel Aaron to make a golden also, how little permanent effect the calf, and assemble before it, saying: most miraculous displays of his power “These be thy gods, O Israel, which will produce on those hearts which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt." not been softened by the Holy Spirit. Well might Moses be filled with
The children of Israel were yet en- astonishment and indignation, when, camped at the foot of Sinai, on which descending from the Mount, he beholds still rested the cloud that betokened their madness. He casts from his the Divine Presence. They had scarcely hands the tables of stone on which ceased to tremble at the sound of the God himself had engraved the comtrumpet, and the awful thunders which mandments forming the basis of his shook the mountain, when from its covenant with Israel. The tables are blazing summit the law of Jehovah broken to signify the dissolution of was proclaimed. His own voice had that covenant; and those who had recommanded them not to make to them- mained faithful are commanded to slay selves any graven image, and they had the chief of these rebels against the
God of heaven, who had condescended which it produced during the earlier to declare himself the king of Israel. part of the first French Revolution, Moses, standing in the gate of the are but too well known; and though camp, exclaims :
“ Who is on the the moral volcano appeared to have Lord's side? Let him come unto me. exhausted itself during those treAnd all the sons of Levi gathered mendous convulsions, it may be feared themselves together unto him. And that we have only been enjoying a he said unto them: “Thus saith the temporary calm, and that the great Lord God of Israel, put every man his earthquake foretold in the Apocalypse sword by his side and go in and out is about to take place. from gate to gate throughout the camp, In our country, through the goodand slay every man his brother, and ness of Providence, a salutary warning every man his companion, and every was afforded by the calamities which man his neighbour. And the children afflicted other nations. The church, of Levi did according to the word of which had been lulled into a state of Moses, and there fell of the people comparitive slumber, was roused to that day about three thousand men.” active exertion; the pure doctrines of These, doubtless, were some of the the Gospel were more generally heard most guilty and impenitent of the of- from her pulpits; and many of her fenders. Their punishment was com- lay members, who had been lukewarm manded by God himself, and those and indifferent, became zealous servants who inflicted it received the testimony of their Redeemer. During the last of his approbation.
thirty years unparalleled efforts have Having thus briefly adverted to the been made for the diffusion of Chriscircumstances which gave occasion to tianity in our own and other lands ; the appeal in the text, I shall not at and many have been led to indulge the present make any further application pleasing hope that we should speedily of them, except by remarking that the witness its triumphs over heathen Lord requires from his servants a de- darkness, Mahometan imposture, and cided dedication of themselves to Him, papal superstition. But the prince of and a determination to let no private this world does not so easily surrender affections or interests restrain them his dominion. Whilst apparently quifrom fulfilling his commandments. escent, he has been carrying on a most My object in selecting this passage powerful and unsuspected agency. is to urge you, brethren, to decision of Transforming himself into an angel of character—that it may clearly appear light, he has made the principles of whose followers you are in these days toleration and brotherly kindness a of lukewarmness, and, I fear, com- pretext for the encouragement of hemencing apostacy. With this view I resy; he has taught Christians, in their shall endeavour to show, FIRST, HOW aims at more extended usefulness, to
form an unhallowed alliance with the ENQUIRE “Who is on the Lord's deniers of their Saviour's Godhead; side?" and, SECONDLY, IN WHAT MAN- and obtained for infidels a considerable NER THAT ENQUIRY SHOULD BE AN- influence in guiding the studies of the
rising generation. The salutary dread It has been abundantly proved that of Popery, which our forefathers ena conspiracy existed on the continent tertained, is now treated as a puerile during the last century, for the extirpa- apprehension; and, whilst the apostion of Christianity and the subversion tate church is multiplying her chapels of social order. The baneful effects and seminaries throughout the king
MUCH NEED THERE IS AT THIS TIME TO
dom, we are congratulating ourselves | every class, and is fed by periodical on its supposed decline. Effects simi- publications, especially by Sunday lar to these, which were so successful newspapers, as grossly wicked as those on the Continent, are now making, not which deluged France in the days of merely for the submission of our ve- jacobinism. Having lived in the neighnerable church, but for the total de bourhood of manufacturing establishstruction of religious principle. Those ments, I have had but too much occawho seek to destroy the bonds which sion to lament the manner in which hold society together, in the hope of the operatives, as they are called, em. profiting by the general ruin, are aware ploy their hours of relaxation, espethat they cannot succeed whilst Chris- cially the evenings of the Sabbath. tianity retains its influence.
Their neglect of divine worship, their At first, they contented themselves contempt of every civil as well as rewith declaring war against bigotry and ligious institution, their powerful comintolerance, complaining of the unequal binations for the intimidation of their distribution of ecclesiastical revenues. employers, and the destruction of the But they now scruple not openly to public peace, but too plainly manifest avow their designs, and assault the the effect which has been produced citadel of our faith with the most atro- amongst them. As yet, however, I cious blasphemies. Whilst persons, in fear that we witness but “the beginthe lower orders of society, have their ning of sorrows:" what results a short minds poisoned by publications adapted time may produce, if no effectual reto their capacity and flattering to their sistance can be made to thisoverspreadworst passions ; compositions suited ing torrent of impiety, it is more easy to the more refined taste of the higher to apprehend than to calculate. orders are provided for the diffusion of It is certain, that the enemies of the venom in a less gross but not less Christ and his Gospel are full of conpernicious form. In England, as for- fidence, and scruple not to express merly in France, the fascinations of their triumphant expectations of the poetry, the charms of eloquence, the downfall of what they call superstition. discoveries of science, are perverted In the mean time, what is the conduct for the recommendation of atheistic of his professed disciples ? What are doctrines, and the reflecting Christian they doing to arrest the progress of shudders when he hears virtuous fc- wickedness ? Where are we to look males discussing the merits of produc- for the zeal, the love, the unity of tions with which they should blush to spirit, the purity of manners, the deacknowledge an acquaintance. The votedness of heart to the cause of truth impression produced by these machi- and righteousness, which the first nations of our great enemy are already Christians exhibited, and which ought but too apparent. The speeches which even to distinguish those who lay have been recently delivered on various claim to that hallowed character ? public occasions, sometimes even by
Surely, brethren, the present is a ministers of religion, show that true time to call upon all sincere friends of Christianity has of late lost much of religion to stand forward as its strenuits influence, especially in that middle ous defenders. It is a time to urge rank of society where it used to have the enquiry, “Who is on the Lord's its most strenuous supporters. The side?” Be assured, there can be no spirit, which has long prevailed in our safety now for those who slumber at great manufacturing establishments, is their post. The careless soldier is but diffusing itself amongst workmen of too likely to be surprised by his watch
“ Do you
ful enemy-and the sudden coming of to lay down our lives, if necessary, the great Captain of our Salvation, rather than deny our faith, or diswho, from his heavenly throne, ob- honour our profession? In these days serves the condition of every individual of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasamongst us will fill those with con- phemy, do we stand up as strenuous sternation who neglect their duty. defenders of the ark of God, account“Behold,” he says, “I come as a thief: ing His enemies our enemies, and preblessed is he that watcheth and keepeth pared to resist them to the utmost? his garments, lest he walk naked and Perhaps such questions may appear to they see his shame.” If the passage some to be dictated by that intolerance in which these words occur has been which is so abhorrent to the liberal rightly interpreted, the warning is spe- maxims of this candid age. “What!” cially applicable to the present period. they may be ready to say,
Let us then consider, SECONDLY, wish for the extermination of all who WHAT ANSWER CAN BE MADE TO THE have not embraced what you call true ENQUIRY OF THE TEXT, “Who is ON Christianity? Must we, like the Lethe LORD's side?" Perhaps many vites, gird on our swords and go may be ready to say, "Are not we who through the camp to execute the weekly assemble here to worship before Divine vengeance on our brethren?”– the Lord? Are not we, who have been most certainly not-far different is the baptized into his church, and have spirit of our religion. The kingdom of never deserted her communion?" Re- Christ is not of this world ; nor must member, brethren, that the wor- the policy of this world, nor the instrushippers of the golden calf, who pe- ments of this world, be employed for rished by the sword of the Levites, its defence. “ The weapons of our had been initiated by circumcision warfare are not carnal, yet are they into the covenant of Jehovah, and were mighty through God," for pulling members of the church which he had down the strong-holds of Satan, and established. We are often warned by repelling the assaults of his adherents. the example of those, who, having No: it is after the example of our great been delivered from Egyptian bondage Captain that we would maintain the through unbelief, perished in the wil. combat; he did not strive nor cry, derness. As the Apostle of old said, neither did any man hear his voice “All are not Israel who are of Israel.” lifted up contentiously in the streets ; So is it now-all who bear the name the bruised reed he broke not, the of Christ are not Christians in heart, smoking flax he quenched not, yet did all who are members of the visible he not send forth judgment unto vicchurch are not followers of the Lamb, tory. When his disciples wished to nor distinguished by the marks of his call down fire from heaven for the elect and peculiar people. For what destruction of the Samaritans who end were we signed with the sign of refused to receive him, he rebuked the cross at our baptism? Was it not them, saying, “ Ye know not what that we might be separated from the manner of spirit ye are of: for the world which lieth in wickedness? Was Son of man is not come to destroy it not in "token that we should not men's lives, but to save them.” Even be ashamed to confess the faith of for his murderers he implored forChrist crucified-should manfully fight giveness; and, after his ascension to under his banner against sin, the glory, converted one of the bitterest world, and the devil, and continue enemies of his Church into its brightest Christ's faithful soldiers and servants ornament. In like manner did his first unto our life's end ?"
followers combat, and finally vanquish Now, my brethren, let us seriously their heathen persecutors. ask ourselves, are we really separate overcame by the blood of the Lamb, from an ungodly world? Are we in no and by the word of their testimony, degree enslaved by its fashions, go- and they loved not their lives unto the verned by its maxims, afraid of its re- death." Let us imitate both his and proach ?' Have we refused to partake their example :-being reviled, let us of sinful pleasures ? Are we watchful not revile again ; being persecuted, let against every thing which might lead us not threaten; but“ in meekness inus into temptation? Are we prepared struct them that oppose themselves, if
God, peradventure, will give them re- | the saints in the Redeemer's coming pentance to the acknowledgment of the kingdom. truth." Still, whilst we disclaim all It is very needful to controvert the harshness and intemperance, we must opinion, that the moral amelioration of assume a decided character-we must mankind may be effected by human not allow it to be doubtful whether we wisdom or exertions. Such was the are on the Lord's side, or on that of doctrine of the French sophists, who his enemies, but contend earnestly for taught their disciples to anticipate a the faith once delivered to the saints.
philosophical millenium, in which naLet those, then, who possess learn- ture was to be subdued by art, and ing and ability, employ themselves in vice to be expelled by argument, whilst exposing their sophistries who either universal happiness would be the reopenly or covertly assault the truth as sult of intellectual cultivation. I fear it is in Jesus. With respect to the that similar views have been entertaingross blasphemer, who daringly insults ed by some benevolent men amongst the majesty of heaven, argument will ourselves, and that the zeal which has indeed be unavailing. It has been of late years been manifested for the questioned whether the civil magistrate diffusion of knowledge amongst the should interfere in such cases, because lower orders, has been injurious rather prosecution may render the profane than beneficial, from the neglect of libeller more notorious, and conse- those means which alone can insure quently more influential. But, on the the Divine blessing. Whilst we have other hand, it may be urged, that if taught children to read the Bible, have the rulers of a nation allow the au- we taught them to love it, to embrace thority of God to be publicly denied, its doctrines, to obey its precepts ? and his name reviled, they are in some Have they not sometimes become dissense partakers of the crime, and that gusted with that, holy book by our it consequently is their duty to restrain making its perusal a task rather than by judicial proceedings all open and a privilege? With respect to the knowavowed impiety. But my present ad- ledge so zealously diffused, has not its monition more particularly respects tendency been to dazzle rather than such assaults upon our faith as may be enlighten, to inflate with pride rather opposed by argument, for though the than to edify by Christian charity? objections brought against it have been Had our growing population been repeatedly and most ably answered, trained up in the knowledge of themit may still be a laudable exercise of selves and of their God and Saviour, literary talent to renew the refutation. learning their true condition as fallen New books are read when old ones are creatures, and their intinite obligations forgotten. That which Butler and to him who died to redeem them from Paley did in their day may perhaps be ruin; had the amazing love of God in done again, in some form more adapted Christ Jesus been continually presented to the taste and temper of the times. as a motive to love him supremely, In any case it may be shown, that all and to love one another for his sake; the ability and learning of the age are had they been taught not only to renot on the side of evil. But besides peat forms of prayer, but to speak for resisting the assaults made upon the the spirit of prayer and for Divine iloutworks of our faith, we must counter-| lumination; had the nature and ob. act those who seek to undermine the ligations of the baptismal covenant citadel. We must especially resist the been fully explained, and their whole progress of German neology, which training such as became to be making its way even
*The sacramental host of God's elect,' amongst some who profess to be defenders and expositors of Scripture. we should not witness the insubordinaWe must beware lest the foundations tion, the profligacy, the daring impiety, of truth be subverted, especially those which now alarm us. Let us humble which respect the divine and human ourselves before God for these our nature of our blessed Lord, the per- errors, guarding against the repetition sonality, agency, and gifts of the Holy of them, imploring his protection Spirit; the authority and privileges of against the threatened dangers, and the Church, the glorious inheritance of beseeching him to pour forth on our