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Finally: Consider SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY ON THIS
Does not the Bible, every where represent our lives as entirely in the hands of God ?
66 in him we live, and move, and have our being. Unto God the Lord, belong the issues from death ;-in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways." forbear to light more tapers, to prove that the sun shines.
And now, reader, let us be GRATEFUL. Distinguish. ing goodness has spared us.-Let us be HUMBLE We know not what shall be on the morrow. Our life is but a vapour.-Let us be ACTIVE. Whatever our hands find to do, of duty, let us NOW DO IT, WITH OUR
ANALOGIES BETWEEN THE KINGDOMS OF NATURE
AND OF GRACE.
it Who hath despised the day of small things.”—Zechariali.
HE, who spake, as never man spake, from whose lips wisdom was poured without measure,—was accus. tomed to call in the aid of surrounding scenery, to explain, to illustrate, and to enforce religous truths. His example, in this respect, is worthy of imitation. And when we follow where revelation leads, in our conclusions as well as our premises, we may, without being faneiful; and without danger, exhibit truth in the most pleasing and vivid colours.
With these introductory remarks, it will not be un. suitable to remind the young, that there is a day of small things observable in the kingdoms of Nature and of Grace.
Inanimate matter exhibits its day of small things. The hand-breadth cloud, is not unfrequently, the precur. sor of a darkened horizon and an abundant rain. The bubbling spring, and the rippling rivalet, are both small things compared with the full creek; changed to the
miglity river, majestically, rolling its tributary waters to she ocean.
Vegetable life has its day of small thiugs. It rises first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.'The diminutive mustard seed, becomes a tall and wide spread plant. Observe the tender sprout from the acorn. The unseasonable frost, or the unwary foot, may termi. nate its existence. But with care and the smiles of heaven,-presently it becomes a majestic tree.
The feathered tribes nest and sing among the branches. The weary herds repose beneath its shadle.
It resists the frosts of winter, and withstands the fury of tempests. It exists undecayed for generations; a monument fitted for the inscription, that the day of small things should not be despised.
In the animal kingdom, there is a day of small things, with the progeny of the whale and the lion. But pres. ently, the one swims and spouts, the sovereign of the finny tribes; the other roams and roars, the monarch of the woods.
In the physical and intellectual circumstances of man, there is a day of small things, not to be despised.-- First he is the helpless infant, weeping in the arms of the nurse - Then the inexperienced child with an increasing stature and an expanding intellect. With attention, and the blessing of God, presently, he becomes a man. As the accomplished statesman or the mighty hero, perhaps, nations are guided by his counsels. or tremble at his frowns.
In the political circumstances of states and empires, there is a day of small things, not to be despised. As. syria, Persia, Greece and Rome, all had their infancy as well as manhood. It was a day of small things with onr ancestors, when they first settled on this western continent. Now their favored posterity are become an independent great nation.
But in the. ECONOMY OF GRACE, there is most occasion for the caution, not to despise the day of small things A THREEFOLD application of it, may not be uninteresting to the young, nor anseasonable for any.
First; Despise not the day of small things, in the circumstances of Christ's Church generally, nor in the circumstances of particular branches of it.
The day of great things, in the general circumstances * of Christ's Church on earth, will in due time arrive. “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion. Glorious things are spoke en of thee, O city of God. It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be ex. alted above the hills; and all natiòns shall flow unto it. For, from the rising of sun, even unto the going down of the same; my name shall be great among the Gen-tiles; and in every place incense shall be offered and a pure offering, for my name shall be great among the heathen saith the Lord of hosts."
Notwithstanding many are now running to and fro, to carry the Gospel to the destitute, the present is a day of small things, como pared with that day when all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest. Thougli efforts, hitherto unexampled, are now making to translate and dissemipate the Holy Scriptures, in many languages and many countries, yet, it is a day of small things, compareil with that period, when the symbolical herald 'shall have published the Gospel in every language, and among every nation, aud kindred, and tongue, under the whole heaven. Though incense daily rises from many closets, family altars, and sanctuaries, and a cloud of it ascends from the monthly concert, this is still but a day of small things, compared with that period, when the pure incense of penitence and praise, shall be offered in EVERY PLACE now heather, or nominally Christianized. Notwithstanding showers of divine grace, have recently refreshed many parts of the moral vineyard, this is but a day of small things, compared with that period, when a copions rain. of righteousness, shall water the whole habitable earth. But let none despise this day of small things. Let the young feel that their circumstances are peculiarly responsible in this respect. By them; it is to be decided, whether the good, which their pious parents deviseil and commenced, shall be prosecuted with vigour, or not. We entreat them to give the energies of the head, the heart, and the hands, to the good work of extending the king dom of Christ, and bringing forward the millennial days glory. Though obstacles, to the universal diffusion, and reception of the Gospel, may at times appear pumerous and appalling, let us not be discouraged or inactive; 3d Edit:
Christianity when planted was the mustard seed; but it has become a tree. The King of Zion has perpetuated, invigorated, and extended, the influence of his own blessed cause. And the prophetic promise, that Christ shall yet have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possessiun, rests ou as firm a basis, as any other truth of the Bible. In view of the wonders which, within these twenty years, have been accomplished by Bible and Missionary Societies, let those friendly to the advancement of Christ's kingdom, rejoice. Let its enemies trenible. God is beginning to appear in his glo. ry to build up Zion. As this great work of evangelizing the worlil advances, a work on which the heart of Jehovah is fixed; every opposer to it will either be bowed to the sceptre of grace, or be paralyzed and crashed) by the rod of justiee. It is therefore infinitely hazardous, for any lo despise the day of small things in the increasing prosperity of Christ's Church generally.
Nor may we despise the day of small things, in the circumstances of particular branches of the Church. In these years of the right hand of the Most High, we know ihat it is a day of great things in many Churches and congregations. Christians, in them, are animated with a holy zeal aad activity in religion; many have a new song put into their mouths even praise to our God, and multitudes are anxiously enquiring what they shall do to be saved. There the Lord appears in his glory, and such branches of his Church put on their beautiful garments and triumph. Now there are other branches of the Church, with their respective congregations, in which though their circumstances are different from the last named, still there are some interesting and hopeful things with them. Contemplate a Church, which discovers mueh reason to lament lukewarmness and supineness within itself, and much stupidity in souls generally around it. Suppose, that from time to time, a few have been added tu iis numbers who appear to live like Chris. tians. And suppose there was reason to hope, that the Holy Spirit was beginning to revive the languishing graces of professors,-that he was inclining some to give theinselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant; and a few were recently rejoicing with trembling, while a large number seemed thoughtful, or perhaps anxious, and meetings were more numerously and solemnly attended ; such a day of small things in that branch of the Church, ought not to be despised. It appears like Elijah's liulé cloud. It indicates a movement among the tops of the mulbery trees. It should be felt, that it but one soul has been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the light and liberty of the children of God, all beaven rejoices and earth should rejoice. Then, there is partique lar occasion, for Christans, to be deeply humbled belove God on account of their unworthiness of small tokens of bis gracious presence. Then they should unitedly, indi- . vidually, and sincerely, beseech God to prepare them as a Church, for the richest blessings, this side of heaven, a copious effusion of his Holy Spirit. With derout grat.
, itude for small accessions to the Church, they should in.portune him, who has the learts of all in his hands. to ineline multitudes with prepared hearts to Acck to the ordinances of the Gospel as doves to fly to their windows. With holy joy for drops of mercy falling on thirsty souls, they should beseeeh him with whom is the residue of the Spirit, to grant a gentle, but copious rain of righteous.
In their closets, as well as in public, Christians should pray fervently ; pray that the awakened may nei. ther relapse in stupidity vor fix their hopes for eternity on a foundation of sand ;-that none may mistake a flow of passions for gracious affections ; but that only good hopes through grace may be cherished. Let them pray and strive that ihe Holy Seriptures, accompanied by die illuminating and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spir. it, may be the guide of all ages in doctrine, in ex. perience and in practice. By such a course, they would as a Church, manifest that they did not despise the day of small things, and would have reason to hope that richer blessings were in store for them.
SECONDLY. We may not despise the day of small things, in the sanetifying influences of the divine Spirit on the individual heart. There are diversities in the operations of the same Spirit. Where the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit are felt, though they produce the same religous affections, they do not produce them by the same means, nor always in the same order. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.