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AMOs vi, 1.
“ Woe to them that are at case in Zion, and trust
in the mountain of Samaria.”
A SEVERE judgment is denounced, in the words of my text, against Judah, and against Israel.—“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria !” Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom of Judah, was built on Mount Zion; and Samaria, the capital of the kingdom of Israel, was situated on the mountain of Samaria. These words, therefore, relate to the nations of Judah and of Israel.
Instead of connecting my text with the following verses, I purpose to consider it, as in continuation of the concluding verses of the preceding chapter; where the prophet, after commencing with a lamentation for Israel, exhorts them to repentance, and declares that God rejects their hypocritical services. We read from the 12th verse of the 5th chapter of Amos: “I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of Hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of Hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Therefore the LORD, the God of Hosts, the LORD, saith thus ; Wailing shall be in all streets ; and they shall say in all the high-ways, Alas! alas ! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing. And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will
pass through thee, saith the Lord. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it. I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings, and your meat offerings, I will not accept them : neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness, (that is, ju: tice,) as a mighty stream. Have ye offered unto ine sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel ? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun, your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is the God of Hosts. Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named the chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came !"
Taking the words of my text, then, with this connexion, I shall consider them as relating more to the respective places of worship of Judah and Israel, than to the strength of their capitals ; since the prophet, in the conclusion of of the preceding chapter, declares that their external services in religion, their appearance of devotion and piety, their possession of Church privileges, and their lifeless course of duties, would not avail to turn away the judgments of an offended God.
But, brethren, following the example of St. Paul, in his quotations from Scripture, in the Epistle to the Romans; I shall consider the words of my text,