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Now, I ask, was this St. Paul's way of con- Spirit.” There is now no condemnation : but of sidering the subject? Was this the turn which whom, and to whom, is this spoken? It is to he gave to it? Altogether the contrary. It was them who first are in Christ Jesus; who, secondimpossible for any Christian of any age, to be ly, walk not after the flesh; who, thirdly, walk more deeply impressed with a sense of the weak- after the Spirit. ness of human nature than he was; or to express And whence arises this alteration and improve it more strongly than he has done in the chapter ment in our condition and our hopes ; this exempbefore us. But, observe ; feeling most sensibly, tion, or rather deliverance, from the ordinary state and painting most forcibly, the sad condition of of man? St. Paul refers us to the cause. “The his nature, he never alleges it as an excuse for law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made sin: he does not console himself with any such me free from the law of sin and death.” Which excuse. He does not make it a reason for setting words can hardly bear any other signification than himself at rest upon the subject. He finds no this, viz. "That the aid and operation of God's relief to his fears in any such consideration. It is Spirit, given through Jesus Christ, hath subdued not with him a ground for expecting salvation: the power which sin had obtained, and once on the contrary, he sees it to be a state not lead-exercised over me." With this interpretation ing to salvation ; otherwise, why did he seek so the whole sequel of St. Paul's reasoning agrees. earnestly to be delivered from it }
Every sentence almost that follows illustrates the And how to be delivered ? that becomes the interpretation, and proves it to be the true one. next question. In order to arrive at St. Paul's With what, but with the operation and the comeaning in this matter, we must attend with some operation of the Spirit of God, as of a real, effidegree of care, not only to the text, but to the cient, powerful, active Being, can such expressions words which follow it. The 24th verse contains as the following be made to suit ?—“If so be that the question, “Who shall deliver me from the the Spirit of God dwell in you.”—“If any man body of this death ?" and then the 25th verse goes have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." on, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”—“If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from Now there is good reason to believe, that this the dead dwell in you."—“By his Spirit that 25th verse does not appear in our copies as it dwelleth in you."-"Ye have received the Spirit ought to be read. It is most probable that the of adoption.' "The Spirit itself beareth witness passage stood thus: the 24th verse asks, “Who with our spirit.” All which expressions are found shall deliver me from the body of this death ?" in the eighth chapter, namely, the chapter followThen the 25th verse answers, “The grace of ing the text, and all, indeed, within the compass God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Instead of a few verses. These passages either assert of the words " I thank God," put the words “The or assume the fact, namely, the existence and grace of God," and you will find the sense cleared agency of such a Spirit; its agency, I mean, in up by the change very much. I say, it is highly and upon the human soul. It is by the aid, thereprobable that this change exhibits what St. Paul fore, of this Spirit, that the deliverance so earnestly really wrote. In English there is no resemblance sought for is effected; a deliverance represented either in sound or writing between the two sen as absolutely necessary to be effected in some way tences, "I thank God," and "The grace of God;" or other. And it is also represented as one of but in the language in which the epistle was writ- the grand benefits of the Christian dispensation. ten there is a very great resemblance. And, as 1 "What the law could not do in that it was weak have said, there is reason to believe that in the through the flesh, God sending his own Son in transcribing one has been confounded with the the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, con other. Perhaps the substantial meaning may be demned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the same whichever way you read the passage : the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not but what is implied only in one way, is clearly after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Which pasexpressed in the other way.
sage I expound thus: A mere law, that is, a rule The question, then, which St. Paul so earnest- merely telling us what we ought to do, without ly and devoutly asks is, Who shall deliver me enabling us, or affording us any help or aid in from this body of death ?" from the state of soul doing it, is not calculated for such a nature as which I feel, and which can only lead to final per- ours; "it is weak through the flesh;" it is inefdition? And the answer to the question is, “ The fectual by reason of our natural infirmities. Then grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” what the law, or a mere rule of rectitude, (for Can a more weighty question be asked? Can that is what any law, as such is,) could not an answer be given which better deserves to be do, was done under the Christian dispensation ; thoroughly considered ?
and how done ? T'he righteousness of the law, The question is, “Who shall deliver us?" that is, the righteousness which the law dictated, The answer: "The grace of God, through Jesus and which it aimed, as far as it could, to procure Christ our Lord." The « grace of God" means and produce, is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the favour of God: at present, therefore, the an- the flesh, but after the Spirit ; is actually produced swer stands in general terms. We are only and procured in us, who live under the influence informed, that we are rescued from this state of and direction of the Holy Spirit. By this Holy moral difficulty, of deep religious distress, by the Spirit we have that assistance which the law favour of God, through Jesus Christ. It remains could not impart, and without which, as a mere to be gathered from what follows, in what parti- rule, though ever so good and right a rule, it was cularly this grace or favour consists. St. Paul weak and insufficient, forasmuch as it had not having asked the question, and given the answer force or strength sufficient to produce obedience in general terms, proceeds to enlarge upon the in those who acknowledged its authority. answer in these words :-" There is therefore To communicate this so much wanted assistnow no condemnation to them who are in Christ ance, was one end and effect of Christ's coming. Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the So it is intimated by St. Paul, “What the law
THE AID OF THE SPIRIT TO BE SOUGHT AND
PRESERVED BY PRAYER,
could not do, in that it was weak through the It does not mean any particular form of words flesh, God did ; that is, God “sending his own whatever; it does not mean any service of the Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,” lips, any utterance or pronunciation of prayer, namely, sending him by reason or on account of merely as such, but supplication actually and sin, “condemned sin in the flesh;' vouchsafed, that truly proceeding from the heart. Prayer may be is, spiritual aid and ability, by which aid and solemn without being sincere. Every decency, ability sin and the power of sin might be effec- every propriety, every visible mark and token of tually opposed, encountered, and repelled. prayer may be present, yet the heart not engaged.
This is the requisite which must make prayer availing; this is the requisite indeed which must
make it that which the Scripture means whenever SERMON XXVIII.
it speaks of prayer. Every outward act of worship, without this participation of the heart, fails, not because men do not pray sincerely, but le cause, in Scripture sense, ihey do not pray at all.
If these qualities of internal seriousness and im(PART III.)
pression belong to prayer, whenever prayer is
mentioned in Scripture, they seem more peculiarly, 0, wretched man that I am! who shall delirer me essential in a case, and for a blessing, purely and from the body of this death ?—Rom. vii. 24. strictly spiritual. We must pray with the spirit,
at least when we pray for spiritual succour. If it be doctrinally true, that man in his ordi Furthermore; there is good authority in Scripnary state, in that state at least in which great ture, which it would carry us too widely from our numbers find themselves, is in a deplorable condi- subject to state at present, for persevering in tion, a condition which ought to be a subject to prayer, even when long unsuccessful. Persererhim of great and bitter lamentation, riz. that his ance in unsuccessful prayer is one of the doctrines moral powers are ineffectual for his duty; able, and of the lessons of the New Testament. perhaps, on most occasions, to perceive and ap But again: We must pray for the Spirit earprove of the rule of right; able, perhaps, to will nestly, I mean with a degree of earnestness proit; able, perhaps, to set on foot unsuccessful, frus- portioned to the magnitude of the request. The trated, and defeated endeavours after that will, earnest ness with which we pray will always be in but by no means able to pursue or execute it: proportion to our sense, knowledge, and consciousif it be also true, that strength and assistance ness of the importance of the thing which we may and can be communicated to this feeble na- | ask. This consciousness is the source and printure, and that it is by the action of the Holy ciple of earnestness in prayer; and in this, 1 fear, Spirit upon the soul, that it is so communicated; we are greatly deficient. We do not possess or that with this aid and assistance sin may be suc. feel it in the manner in which we ought; and we cessfully encountered, and such a course of duty are deficient upon the subject of spiritual assistmaintained as may render us accepted in Christ; ance most particularly. I fear that many underand further, that to impart the above described stand and reflect little upon the importance of assistance is one of the ends of Christ's coming, what they are about, upon the exceedingly great and one of the operations of his love towards man- consequence of what they are asking, when they kind:-if, I say, these propositions be doctrinally pray to God, as we do in our liturgy, "to cleanse true, then follow from them these three practical the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of rules: first, That we are to pray sincerely, earn- his Holy Spirit;", " to make clean our hearts withestly, and incessantly for this assistance ; secondly, in us;"*" not to take his Holy Spirit from us ;" to That by so doing we are to obtain it; thirdly, give us increase of grace;" "to grant that his Holy That being obtained, we are to yield ourselves to Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts." its agency, to be obedient to its dictates.
These are momentous petitions, little as we First: We are to pray sincerely, earnestly, may perceive, or think, or account of them at the and incessantly, for this assistance. A funda- time. It has been truly said, that we are hardly mental, and, as it seems to me, an insurmounta- ever certain of praying aright, except when we ble text, upon this head, is our Saviour's declara- pray for the Spirit of God. When we pray for tion, Luke xi. 13,—" If ye, being evil, know how temporal blessings, we do not know, though God to give good gifts unto your children, how much does, whether we ask what is really for our good: more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy when we ask for the assistance and sanctification Spirit to them that ask him ?" This declaration, of God's Spirit in the work and warfare of religion, besides expressing (which was its primary object) we ask for that which by its very nature is good, God's benignant, prompt, and merciful disposition and which without our great fault, will be good towards us; which here, as in other places, our to us. Saviour compares with the disposition of a parent But, secondly; We must obtain it. God is towards his children; beside this, the text un-propitious. You hear that he has promised it to doubtedly assumes the fact of there being a Holy prayer, to prayer really and truly such; to prayer, Spirit, of its being the gift of God, of its being riz. issuing from the heart and soul ; for no other given to them that ask him; that these things are is ever meant. We are suppliants to our Maker all realities; a real spiritual assistance, really for various and continual blessings; for health, for given, and given to prayer. But let it be well ease, it may be for prosperity and success. There observed, that whensoever the Scripture speaks is, as hath already been observed, some degree of of prayer, whensoever it uses that term, or other uncertainty in all these cases, whether we ask terms, equivalent to it, it means prayer, sincere what is fit and proper to be granted, or even what and earnest; in the full and proper sense of these if granted, would do us good. There is this likewords, prayer proceeding from the heart and soul. I wise farther to be observed, that they are what, if
such be the pleasure of God, we can do without., we will use them or not, still depending upon ourBut how incapable we are of doing without God's selves. Agreeably hereunto St. Paul, you have Spirit, of proceeding in our spiritual course upon heard, asserts, that there is no condemnation to our own strength and our own resources, of final them who walk not after the flesh but after the ly accomplishing the work of salvation without it, Spirit. The promise is not to them who have the strong description which is given by St. Paul the Spirit
, but to them who walk after the Spirit. may convince us, if our own experience had not To walk after the flesh, is to follow wherever the convinced us before. Many of us, a large majori- | impulses of sensuality and seltishness lead us; ty of us, either require, or have required, a great which is a voluntary act. To walk after the Spichange, a moral regeneration. This is to be ef- rit, is steadily and resolutely to obey good motions fectuated by the aid of God's Spirit. Vitiated within us, whatever they cost us; which also is a hearts will not change themselves; not easily, not voluntary act. All the language of this remark. frequently, not naturally, perhaps, not possibly: able chapter (Rom. vii.) proceeds in the same Yet, “without holiness no man shall see God” strain; namely, that after the Spirit of God is How then are the unholy to become holy? Holi- given, it remains and rests with ourselves whether ness is a thing of the heart and soul. It is not a we avail ourselves of it or not. “If ye through few forced, constrained actions, though good as the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall actions, which constitute holiness. It must reside live." It is through the Spirit that we are enawithin us; it is a disposition of soul. To acquire, bled to mortify the deeds of the flesh. But still, therefore, that which is not yet acquired, to change whether we mortify them or not, is our act, bethat which is not yet changed, to go to the root cause it is made a subject of precept and exhortaof the malady, to cleanse and purify the inside of tion so to do. Health is God's gilt
, but what use the cup, the foulness of our mind, is a work of we will make of it is our choice. Bodily strength the Spirit of God within us. Nay, more: many, is God's gift, but of what advantage it shall be to as the Scripture most significantly expresses it, us depends upon ourselves. Even so the higher are dead in sing and trespasses; not only commit- gift of the Spirit remains a gift, the value of which ting sins and trespasses, but dead in them: that is, will be exceedingly great, will be little, will be as insensible of their condition under them, as a none, will be even an increase of guilt and condead man is insensible of his condition. Where demnation, according as it is applied and obeyed, this is the case, the sinner must, in the first in- or neglected and withstood. The fourth chapter stance, be roused and quickened to a sense of his of Ephesians, verse 30, is a warning voice upon condition, of his danger, his fate; in a word, he this subject : “Grieve not the Spirit of God;" must by some means or other be brought to feel a therefore he may be grieved: being given, he may strong compunction. This is also an office for be rejected; rejected, he may be withdrawn. the Spirit of God. “You hath he quickened, who St. Paul, Rom. viii., represents the gist and poswere dead in trespasses and sins,” Eph.'ii
. 1. session of the Spirit in these words : " Ye are not "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,” Eph. v. 14. Spirit of God dwell in you;" and its efficacy, Whether, therefore, we be amongst the dead in where it is efficacious, in the following magnificent sin, or whether we be of the number of those with terms: "If the Spirit of him that raised Christ whom, according to St. Paul's description, to will from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up is present, but how to perform that which is good Christ from the dead shall also quicken your morthey find not; who, though they approve the law tal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” of God, nay delight in it, after the inward man, What, nevertheless, is the practical inference that is, in the answers of their conscience, are therefrom stated in the very next words ? " Therenevertheless brought into captivity to the law of fore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to sin which is in their members ; carnal, sold under live after the flesh; for if ye live after the flesh, ye sin ; doing what they allow not, what they hate; shall die;" consequently it is still possible, and doing not the good which they would, but the plainly conceived, and supposed, and stated to be evil which they would not; whichever of these be so, even after this communication of the Spirit, to our wretched estate, for such the apostle pro- live, notwithstanding, according to the flesh; and nounces it to be, the grace and influence of God's still true, that, "if ye live after the flesh, ye shall Spirit must be obtained in order to rescue and de- die." “We are debtors;" our obligation, our duty liver us from it; and the sense of this want and imposed upon us by this gift of the Spirit, is no of this necessity lies at the root of our devotions, longer to live after the flesh; but, on the contrary, when directed to this object.
through the Spirit so given, to do that which, To those who are in a better state than what without it, we could not have done, to “ mortify has been here described, little need be said, be- the deeds of the body.” Thus following the sugcause the very supposition of their being in a bet-gestions of the Spirit, ye shall live; for “ as many ter state includes that earnest and devout applica- as are led by the Spirit of God,” as many as yield tion by prayer, for the continual aid, presence, and themselves to its guidance and direction, “they indwelling of God's Holy Spirit, which we state are the sons of God.” to be a duty of the Christian religion.
To conclude the subject : The difference beBut, thirdly, The assistance of God's Spirit tween those who succeed, and those who fail in being obtained, we are to yield ourselves to its di- their Christian course, between those who obtain, rection ; to consult, attend, and listen to its dictates, and those who do not obtain salvation, is this: suggested to us through the admonitions of our They may both feel equally the weakness of their conscience. The terms of Scripture represent the nature, the existence and the power of evil proSpirit of God as an assisting, not a forcing power; pensities within them; but the former, by praying as not suspending our own powers, but enabling with their whole heart and soul, and that persethem; as imparting strength and faculty for our veringly, for spiritual assistance, obtain it; and, religious work, if we will use them; but whether by the aid so obtained, are enabled to withstand
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CANAANITES.
and do, in fact, withstand, their evil propensities; | mitted before you; and that you defile not yourselves the latter sink under them. I will not say that all therein.” Now the facts disclosed in this passage, are comprised under this description : for neither are, for our present purpose, extremely material are all included in St. Paul's account of the matter, and extremely satisfactory. First
, The passage from which our discourse set out; but I think, that testifies the principal point, namely, that the Cait represents the general condition of Christians naanites were the wicked people we represent as to their spiritual state, and that the greatest them to be; and that this point does not rest upon part of those who read this discourse, will find, supposition, but upon proof: in particular, the that they belong to one side or other of the alter- following words contain an express assertion of native here stated.
the guilt of that people. “In all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you; for all these abominations have the men of the land
done." Secondly, The form and turn of expresSERMON XXIX.
sion seems to show that these detestable practices were general among them, and habitual: they are said to be abominable customs wbich were com
mitted. Now the word custom is not applicable So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and to a few single, or extraordinary instances, but to
of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, usage and to national character; which argues, and all their kings: he left none remaining, that not only the practice, but the sense and nobut utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the tion of morality was corrupted among them, or Lord God of Israel commanded.-Joshua x. 40. lost; and it is observable, that these practices, so
far from being checked by their religion, formed a I have known serious and well-disposed Chris- part of it. They are described not only under tians much affected with the accounts which are the name of abominations, but of abominations delivered in the Old Testament, of the Jewish which they have done unto their gods. What a wars and dealings with the inhabitants of Canaan. state of national morals must that have been! From the Israelites' first setting foot in that coun- Thirdly, The passage before us positively and ditry, to their complete establishment in it, which rectly asserts, that it was for these sins that the takes up the whole book of Joshua and part of the nations of Canaan were destroyed. This, in my book of Judges, we read, it must be confessed, of judgment, is the important part of the inquiry. massacres and desolations unlike what are prac- And what do the words under consideration detised now-a-days between nations at war, of cities clare? “In all these, namely, the odious and bruand districts laid waste, of the inhabitants being tal vices which had been spoken of, the nations totally destroyed, and this, as it is alleged in the are defiled which I cast out before you; and the history, by the authority and command of Al- land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity mighty God. Some have been induced to think thereof upon it." This is the reason and cause such accounts incredible, inasmuch as such con- of the calamities which I bring on it. The land duct could never, they say, be authorised by the itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. The very good and merciful Governor of the universe. land is sick of its inhabitants; of their odious and
I intend in the following discourse to consider brutal practices; of their corruption and wickedthis matter so far as to show that these transac- ness. This, and no other, was the reason for detions were calculated for a beneficial purpose, and stroying them: this, and no other, is the reason for the general advantage of mankind, and being here alleged. It was not, as hath been imagined, so calculated, were not inconsistent either with to make way for the Israelites; nor was it simply the justice of God, or with the usual proceedings for their idolatry. of divine providence.
It appears to me extremely probable, that idolaNow the first and chief thing to be observed is, try in those times led, in all countries, to the vices that the nations of Canaan were destroyed for here described; and also that the detestation, their wickedness. In proof of this point, I pro- threats, and severities, expressed against idolatry duce the 18th chapter of Leviticus, the 24th and in the Old Testament, were not against idolatry the following verses. Moses in this chapter, after simply, or considered as an erroneous religion, laying down prohibitions against brutal and abo- but against the abominable crimes which usually minable vices, proceeds in the 24th verse thus: accompanied it. I think it quite certain that the “Defile not yourselves in any of these things, for case was so in the nations of Canaan. Fourthly, in all these the nations are defiled which I cast It appears from the passage before us, and what out before you, and the land is defiled; therefore I is surely of great consequence to the question, that do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land God's abhorrence and God's treatment of these itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall crimes were impartial, without distinction, and therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, without respect of nations or persons. The words and shall not commit any of these abominations, which point out the divine impartiality are those neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger in which Moses warns the Israelites against fallthat sojourneth among you: for all these abomi-ing into any of the like wicked courses ; " that the nations have the men of the land done which were land,” says he, “cast not you out also, when you before you, and the land is defiled; that the land defile it, as it cast out the nations that were before vomit not you out also, when ye defile it, as it you; for whoever shall commit any of these abo vomited out the nations that were before you. minations, even the souls that commit them, shal! For whosoever shall commit any of these abomi- be cut off from among their people." The Jews nations, even the souls that commit them shall be are sometimes called the chosen and favoured peocut off from amongst their people. Therefore ple of God; and, in a certain sense, and for some shall ye keep my ordinances that ye commit not purposes they were so: yet is this very people, any of these abominable customs which were com- I both in this place, and in other places, over and
over again reminded, that if they followed the the burning of cities, the laying waste of counsame practices, they must expect the same fate; tries, are things dreadful to reflect upon. Who “Ye shall not walk in the way of the nations doubts it? so are all the judgments of Almighty which I cast out before you; for they committed God. The effect, in whatever way it shows itall those things, and therefore I abhorred them: self, must necessarily be tremendous, when the as the nations which the Lord destroyed before Lord, as the Psalmist expresses it, “moveth out your face, so shall ye perish: because ye were not of his place to punish the wicked." But it ought obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God." to satisfy us, at least this is the point upon which
What farther proves not only the justice but we ought to rest and fix our attention—that it was the clemency of God, his long-suffering, and that for excessive, wilful, and forewarned wickedness, it was the incorrigible wickedness of those nations, that all this befel them, and that it is expressly so which at last drew down upon them their destruc- declared in the history which recites it. tion, is, that he suspended, as we may so say, the But further: If punishing them by the hands stroke, till their wickedness was come to such a of the Israelites, rather than by a pestilence, an pitch, that they were no longer to be endured. earthquake, a fire, or any such calamity, be still In the 15th chapter of Genesis, God tells Abra- an objection, we may perceive, I think, some reaham, that his descendants of the fourth genera- sons for this method of punishment in preference tion, should return into that country, and not be to any other whatever; always, however, bearing fore; " for the iniquity," saith he, "of the Amorites in our mind, that the question is not concerning is not yet full.” It should seem from hence, that the justice of the punishment, but the mode of it. so long as their crimes were confined within any It is well known that the people of those ages bounds, they were permitted to remain in their were affected by no proof of the power of the country. We conclude, therefore, and we are gods which they worshipped so deeply, as by well warranted in concluding, that the Canaanites their giving them victory in war. It was by this were destroyed on account of their wickedness. species of evidence that the superiority of their And that wickedness was perhaps aggravated by own gods above the gods of the nations which they their having had among them Abraham, Isaac, conquered was in their opinion evinced. This and Jacob_examples of a purer religion and a being the actual persuasion which then prevailed better conduct; still more by the judgments of in the world, no matter whether well or ill founded, God so remarkably set before them in the history how were the neighbouring nations, for whose adof Abraham's family; particularly by the destruc- monition this dreadful example was intended, how tion of Sodom and Gomorrah: At least these were they to be convinced of the supreme power things prove that they were not without warning, of the God of Israel above the pretended gods of and that God did not leave himself without wit- other nations, and of the righteous character of ness among them.
Jehovah, that is of his abhorrence of the vices Now, when God, for the wickedness of a peo which prevailed in the land of Canaan? how, 1 ple, sends an earthquake, or a fire, or a plague say, were they to be convinced so well, or at all among them, there is no complaint of injustice, indeed, as by enabling the Israelites, whose God especially when the calamity is known, or ex- he was known and acknowledged to be, to conquer pressly declared beforehand, to be inflicted for the under his banner, and drive out before them those wickedness of such people. It is rather regarded who resisted the execution of that commission as an act of exemplary penal justice, and, as such, with which the Israelites declared themselves to consistent with the character of the moral Gover- be invested—the expulsion and extermination of nor of the universe. The objection, therefore, is the Canaanitish nations ? This convinced surnot to the Canaanitish nations being destroyed; rounding countries, and all who were observers or (for when their national wickedness is considered, spectators of what passed; first, That the God of and when that is expressly stated as the cause of Israel was a real God; secondly, That the gods their destruction, the dispensation, however se- which other nations worshipped were either no vere, will not be questioned;) but the objection is gods, or had no power against the God of Israel; solely to the manner of destroying them. I mean and, thirdly, That it was he, and he alone, who there is nothing but the manner left to be objected possessed both the power and the will to punish, to: their wickedness accounts for the thing itself. to destroy, and to exterminate from before his To which objection it may be replied, that if the face, both nations and individuals who gave themthing itself be just, the manner is of little signifi- selves up to the crimes and wickedness for which cation; of little signification even to the sufferers the Canaanites were notorious. Nothing of this themselves: For where is the great difference, sort would have appeared, or with the same evieven to them, whether they were destroyed by an dence however, from an earthquake, or a plague, earthquake, a pestilence, a famine, or by the hands or any natural calamity. These might not have of an enemy?' Where is the difference, even to been attributed to divine agency at all, or not to our imperfect apprehensions of divine justice, pro- the interposition of the God of Israel. vided it be, and is known to be, for their wicked Another reason which made this destruction ness that they are destroyed? But this destruc- both more necessary and more general than it tion, you say, confounded the innocent with the would have otherwise been, was the consideration, guilty. The sword of Joshua and of the Jews spared that if any of the old inhabitants were left, they neither women nor children. Is it not the same would prove a snare to those who succeeded them with all other national visitations? Would not an in the country; would draw and seduce them by earthquake, or a fire, or a plague, or a famine degrees into the vices and corruptions which preamongst them have done the same ? Even in an vailed amongst themselves. Vices of all kinds, but ordinary and natural death the same thing hap-vices most particularly of the licentious kind, are pens. God takes away the life he lends, without astonishingly infectious. A little leaven leavenregard, that we can perceive, to age, or sex, or eth the whole lump. A small number of persons character. But, after all, promiscuous massacres, I addicted to them, and allowed to practise them