صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ly pernicious, evil, than any of those which I have mentioned. Think of the character, to which customhouse oaths are reduced. Think of the tenor of oaths of office : and then examine the tenour of the conduct, which, in some instances, actually follows them.

At the same time, how widely have our elections, in a multitude of cases, veered from the tenour of our national and state Constitutions ; from our original professions; from all that is free, and unbiassed ; and from the tremendous obligation, assumed in the oath of those who elect!

How often is the eye pained, and the soul wounded to the quick, by the dismal recitals of fashionable murder ; perpetrated in defiance of all laws of God and man; and yet left unpunished by the very government, which is thus insulted to its face? Remember, that God hath said, The land cannot be cleansed of the blood, which is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

To close this painful catalogue, already long, and unhappily capable of being made much longer, I observes that more than 2,000,000, I am afraid I might say, more than 3,000,000 of our countrymen, there is too much reason to believe, have, and long have had, no regular; stated worship of God, and are without any settled ministers of the Gospel, any Churches, and of course without any religion. Shall I not avenge for these things,saith JEHOVAH; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation, as this?“Oh, that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments : then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness, as the waves of the sea !"

The third of these reasons is found in our peculiar circumstances,

[ocr errors]

1. A great part of our countrymen believe the war in which we are engaged, to be unnecessary and unjust. This is true of many members of the national Legislature; of a great multitude of members, belonging to the state Legislatures; and of a vast multitude of the inhabitants, embodied in both of the great political parties. It is not my province to determine whether this opinion is just, or unjust. That a war should exist, and yet such an opinion prevail so extensively, cannot but be unhappy. On the part of all, by whom it is received, it cannot but embarras their consciences, their conduct, and even their prayers. That the nation, with whom we are at war, has done us repeated injuries, is admitted on all hands. Still the questions recur, and are to be answered ; whether our own hands are clean; whether we have used all the measures to preserve peace, which are demanded of a Christian nation ; and whether the war promises to us any real good, sufficiently important to compensate for the loss of life, property, and comfort, which it must necessariİy involve ; for the innumerable sins, which it will occasion; and for the varied and manifold evils, which it will produce. When we think how great must be that loss, and how many those sins and miseries ; the subject becomes solemn, painful, and melancholy, to a sober man, in a degree which it will be difficult to assign.

2dly. We have begun this war, almost without any preparation.

In ancient times it was determined by very high authority to be wise for him, who was about to build a - tower, or going to make war, to sit down first and count the cost, whether he had sufficient to finish the under taking

3. Our enemy is so situated, as to be able seriously to distress us, with little expense, inconvenience, or exposure.

Our extensive coast is lined, in a great measure, with cities and villages; including a great part of our wealth, and not a small one of our population. Most of these may be invaded, and destroyed, with little difficulty. A vast mass of our property is either floating on the ocean, or lying in the harbours of other nations. The exposure of this property, and of the unfortunate men, destined to convey it homeward, need not be specified

Our northern frontier extends not far from 2000 miles. A considerable part of it is settled, and every where exposed to the inroads of the enemy. A great part of the western frontier is left naked to the incursions of the savages, with whom, unhappily, we are on the worst of terms.

The British are said to have 10,000 black troops, and the Spaniards, with whom also we are contending, 5,000 more, in the West-Indian islands. These men have long been formed into military regiments, and inured to a strict military discipline Should they be landed in East-Florida; it would be impossible to predict the consequences. He who remembers the state, extent, and feelings, of our black population, and calls to mind, that God is just, will look at this object with a pained eye, and an aching heart.

4. There is not a little reason to fear, that we may by this war be brought into an Alliance with France.

The Jews often betook themselves in their troubles to the surrounding nations for help; to Syria, to Egypt, and to Assyria. The language of God on this subject is regularly, “ Wo to them that go down to Egypt

“ for help, to strengthen themselves in the strength “ of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt.« When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he “ that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall 4. fall down, and they shall all fail together."

Egypt and Assyria were the chief enemies of GOD, and his Church, in ancient times. In modern times, the chief enemy of both, has been the Romish empire. Almost all the reasons, which forbade the Jews to unite with Egypt and Assyria, forbid us to unite with this empire. Some exist, and operate, in a still higher degree: and some can be alleged in our case, which could not be urged in theirs. Speaking of the people of Canaan, God says to the Israelites, Thou 6 shalt make no covenant with them;". And again, “ Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant “ with the people of the land, whither thou goest,

lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee." Of the kingdom of Israel, Hosea said, “ Ephraim feedeth

on wind, and followeth after the east wind. He “ daily increaseth lies, and desolation; and they do “ make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is “ carried into Egypt:" i. e. precious ointments, uestined as a present to purchase the friendship of Pharaoh. The alliances, here spoken of, were to the Israelites means of their ruin. In the like manner, speaking of the present times, and of the spiritual Babylon or Romish empire, St. John says, “ And I “ heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come “ out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of “ her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues : “ for her sins have reached unto heaven; and GOD " hath remembered her iniquițies.” This solemn in

junction every Christian will regard with the deepesty concern, and obey with the most scrupulous exactness,

The state of facts is, however, such, that the command, important as it is, would hardly seem necessary, France is the chief division of this empire; and their king has long since been named the eldest son of the Church. At the present time, France is, in a sense, almost the whole of this empire. Every protestant nation, which has disobeyed this command, and allied itself to this antichristian power, has received of her plagues ; and extensively partaken, also, of her sins, This, peculiarly, has been the crime, and the ruin, of Geneva, Switzerland, Holland, Prussia, and the Protestant States in Germany. Reason, therefore, and experience, as well as revelation, write our duty with sun-beams.

On this subject my feelings are inexpressible. To ally America to France, is to chain living health and beauty, to a corpse dissolving with the plague. The evils, which we have already suffered from this impure and monstrous connexion, are terrible omens of the destruction, which we are to expect from a cons nexion still more intimate. The horrors of war, compared with it, are mere amusement. The touch of France is pollution. Her embrace is death.

The end of all these observations is to warn, to rebuke, and to reclaim; to persuade to repentance, and to effectuate reformation. At what instant," saith GOD, I shall speak concerning a nation, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil, which I thought to do unto them.” The way of safety is, there. fore, a high-way; and wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein. Repentance and reformation

« السابقةمتابعة »