Page images
PDF
EPUB

the inhabitants of Great Britain. I had compassion on your forefathers, and sent the light of my glorious gospel to shine upon their land to rescue it from the darkness of heathen idolatry. Not because they were better than other nations, for they were as ignorant and cruel and superstitious as any people on the earth. Not because they were more numerous, for they were a very small people compared with many of the eastern nations to whom I have not yet sent the gospel of my grace: but simply because I had a favour unto them saith the Lord, and because I saw in their loins many of my chosen children through successive generations. And I raised up of your own sons to be teachers among you, and established a regular ministry in your land, and I converted many of you, setting you apart for my holy service ; and what could have been done more for my vineyard than I have not done in it? Is it not even so, O! ye inhabitants of Britain saith the Lord ?

But ye have ill requited these my benefits; ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; ye seduced

my

children from the strictness of their spiritual service, into evil conformity with your fashionable but sinful indulgences; and

ye turned a deaf ear to the remonstrances of my ministers, refusing to hear sound doctrine, and saying unto them, speak unto us smooth things,

[ocr errors]

.

comfortable flattering things, but speak not unto us the faithful things of the oracles of God. “Behold I am weary of your iniquities, I am pressed under you as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.” Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself; yea, swift destruction shall come upon you, O men of Britain, and

ye

shall in no wise escape, for the wrath of God is re-. vealed from heaven against such enormities as ye are guilty of.-Jer. v. 7, 8, 9.

There shall indeed, as in ancient Israel, a remnant be saved like as a firebrand plucked out of the burning, or as two legs, or a piece of an ear of a sheep snatched out of the lion's mouth. Surely, however, I will inflict no evil, I will bring no calamity upon you without giving you timely warning. I have plainly declared my wrathful indignation against such enormities, I have remonstrated with you by my holy Scriptures from your youth up even to this day; that whosoever among you believing what is written, shall take warning and turn from his evil ways, may not perish but'have everlasting life. Hear this word, therefore, O! ye kine of Bashan, ye proud and wanton ones.

• I have sent my ministers among you taking up the words of my servant John the Baptist, and saying, Repent. ye and bring

forth fruits meet for repentance : and taking up the language of my dear Son, and saying, Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; and taking up the language of my holy Apostle, and

, saying, Cleanse your hands ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded : All this have I done, and my long-suffering mercy waiteth to he gracious to you, yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. And I have sent affliction upon your families, and adversity upon your circumstances, and sickness upon your bodies, and death among your friends, yet have ye not returned unto me saith the Lord. And I have cut off many of your ungodly associates, hurrying them into eternity in the midst of their sins before your eyes; and ye yourselves have narrowly escaped ; yet have ye not returned unto me saith the Lord. Therefore, thus will I do unto thee, O England, and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O England.

Further; the inspired ministry of Amos was too pointed to meet with a favourable reception in Israel: and the bold uncompromising language of a faithful servant of Jehovah, would now be too pointed, too plain and personal to be well received in England. Amaziah the Priest of Bethel, sent to Jeroboam King of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel : the

.

66

“ land is not able to bear all his words.” Nothing (so far as we can learn) could have been farther from the Prophet's mind, than even the most remote intention of any political interference. He was one of those whose kingdom is not of this world, and the weapons of whose warfare are not carral. But prejudice and malice are fertile sources of false accusation. The idolatrous Priest was alarmed, lest the high and holy tone of the Prophet should rouse the infatuated worshippers of the golden calf at Bethel, and proselyte them perhaps to the true religion of the God of Israel. " Also Amaziah said unto Amos, Othou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread and prophesy there : but prophesy not again any more at Bethel ; for it is the King's chapel, and it is the King's court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now, therefore, hear thou the word of the Lord : thou sayest prophesy not against Israel.” But I cannot stay at thy bidding, “as the Lord liveth, what the Lord hath spoken unto me, that will I speak. Behold the days come saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the

a

land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord, and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Shall this part of the prophesy also have its application to England ? Shall the principles and reproofs of true spiritual religion be concealed or modified to avoid giving offence ? Shall a fashionable indifference falsely called liberality silence the ambassadors for Christ in our land, or neutralize their exertions? And shall the candlestick indeed be removed out of its place? And shall England ever suffer a famine of the word of the Lord ? We pretend not to prophesy: but this we say brethren by the Scriptures, that come what will of England as a nation, except ye individually repent, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance, ye shall all inevitably perish.

These words have not been addressed to us in the book of God without a cause : a lion roar in the forest when he hath no prey ?” Neither are these random words without any design or place: “ Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth where there is no gin for him ?" And they are words not to be disregarded : “ Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid ?” God, therefore, hath with good cause, and in his deliberate

- Will

« PreviousContinue »