« السابقةمتابعة »
that remain, that nothing be lost. Fill up the intervals of general duty by family instruction, edifying conversation, private prayer, meditation, self-examination, and holy resolves for God and goodness, made under a sense of his love, and in dependence upon the Almighty sufficiency of his grace. You are employed on the sabbath, as you hope to be employed for ever. Give it, then, more of your heart and affection. Go on “from strength to strength, until every one of you in Zion appeareth before God.” Often hath he “ brought you into his holy mountain, and made you joyful in his house of prayer.” 0, let the bread of life, and the water of salvation, and the memorials of a crucified Redeemer, which you have there received, invigorate you for your journey toward the mountain of God above. Soon shall
your feet stand upon the everlasting hills. Soon shall you behold the dawning of the eternal sabbath. Soon shall you realize your portion in its enduring and transcendent felicities. And soon shall you commence that united rest and service, which while it satisfies every desire, even of an archangel's mind, will be freely and for ever given to the lowliest believer, who shall have washed his robes, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb.
THE GUILT AND PUNISHMENT OF KORAH, DATHAN,
NUMBERS XVI. 31-35.
It came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all
these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them : And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
“My well beloved,” saith Jehovah, rebuking his ancient people in the language of parable,
my well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choic
est vine; and he built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein : and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more for my vineyard that I have not done in it: Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes ?” This affecting appeal, and the deep condemnation of the concluding question, applied to the Jews in every period of their history; and certainly, with the utmost propriety, to the years of their sojourn in the wilderness. All their experience was goodness, and all their return ingratitude—an ingratitude, which, by a dreadful perversity, the very profusion of their mercies seemed to excite. The conspiracy of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, adds another instance to those already considered. If the iniquity of these offenders, and their guilty associates had been buried in the earth that opened to receive them, or had been consumed in the fire that devoured them, the history wouldindeed have recorded a heinous crime, and an awful judgment; yet both inapplicable to ourselves. But if the same spirit now work in the children of disobedience, if unsanctified and unrestrained men still despise dominion, speak evil of dignities, whether human or divine, and revolt against authorities, civil and religious, which God himself hath ordained, it is our part to warn you of the fate of these transgressors. It is our duty to cry, Behold, the goodness and severity of God! towards them which fell severity, but towards you goodness, if ye continue in his goodness;
also shall be cut off. It is your part to fear God, and receive instruction.
The history describes a double rebellion, and a double punishment.
I. OF KORAH, DATHAN, AND ABIRAM.
I. The wages of sin is death. Were every transgression visited with the strictness of the divine law which it violates, it would incur this fearful penalty. But there are degrees in the malignity of an offence, arising out of the circumstances under which it is committed ; and these the Judge of all the earth regards. Whether we view the nature of the crime, or the situation of the offenders, the conspiracy now under our consideration assumes a character of no ordinary malignity.
(1.) The authors of this daring revolt were men of weight and influence in the camp of Israel. Korah, with whom it commenced, was
the near relative of Moses and Aaron. He un. sealed this fountain of bitter waters, of which so many thousands drank and died. He seems to have seduced Dathan and Abiram ; and from them the rebellion spread through two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. Well might the injured ruler of Israel have exclaimed, as he beheld the perfidy of one, who should have stood on his part, and on the part of God through evil report, and good report. “It was not an enemy that reproached me, for then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me ; for then I would have hid myself from him. But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and my acquaint
We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” It is thus, that religion is often wounded in the house of her friends,—thus, that they whom God has raised above their fellows, to be the marks of observance and imitation, in eminent stations of the Church, often employ their very distinctions to become stones of stumbling, and rocks of offence to those over whom their influence extends. 0, with what a trembling hand should every man whom God has placed among
'Exodus vi. 18, 20, 21,