« PreviousContinue »
The soldiers of England can never be too solemnly reminded how essential it is, individually and collectively, for their comfort and for their character, to be moral as well as brave men, to "fear God," as well as to "honour the king."
"Righteousness exalteth" them, but sin, if it abound among them, will sooner or later bring them into disgrace, and pain, and trouble. "Their sin will one
day find them out."
ful of your God.
Be ye then, my brethren, not unmindGod. Your courage in the field is not doubted; your loyalty to your sovereign, your determination to abide by and defend your colours, and to maintain the honour of your country, is not to be questioned. But "be ye" further, thus did the gallant Joshua exhort the armies of Israel, " very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Law,” and in the Gospel of Christ. This shall be your praise; and this shall be to
4 Numb. xxxii. 23.
5 Josh. xxiii. 6.
your everlasting honour.
So shall ye
best combine the respectable and glorious titles of Christians and Britons.
We may in truth behold in the colours of England the emblem and badge of Christianity, the vivid cross of the Saviour of the world. Looking up then with national and loyal feelings to the banners of our country, we may be happily reminded of our duty, of our faith and hope as Christians; and thus, whilst we vow all earthly, lawful, and stedfast obedience to the call and bidding of our king and country, we are, at the same time, to feel the necessity and propriety of fearing and loving and obeying HIM, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose service we, outwardly at least, profess to have enlisted ourselves. Let this then be our care; and be ye sure that it shall be to our everlasting praise.
Let piety as well as valour, let sobriety as well as manly endurance of toil, let righteousness as well as loyalty, mark the conduct, and be in the heart, of every
British soldier; and the blessing of Heaven shall be upon him.
He shall prove to his present comfort, and to his eternal gain the truth of the apostle's words, that "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."6
O Lord God Almighty, humbly confiding in thy gracious and superintending favour, we (again) dedicate these standards to the service of our king and country. May their defenders be distinguished not only for steadiness and valour, for humanity and fortitude in the hour of peril, and in the day of battle; but also for sobriety and discipline, for obedience. and courteousness in the quiet and more peaceable days of their military service. And bless, O Lord, we beseech thee so bless "their going out and their coming in," that glory and victory, happiness and 6 1 Tim. iv. 8.
prosperity, may accompany their march for ever. Accept this our prayer, and graciously receive this our supplication for the sake and in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
THE ALL-SEEING EYE OF GOD.
PROVERBS Xv. 3.
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."
THERE are few doctrines of a more awful and stupendous character,-there are none which can strike our imagination with a deeper sense of the infinite extent of God's knowledge, and of the spirituality of his unsearchable nature, than the sublime doctrine which the wise preacher of Israel here puts forth in the words of our text: "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." This