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not easily, not frequently, not naturally, perhaps, not possibly. Yet “ without holiness no man shall see God." How then are the unholy to become boly? Holiness is a thing of the heart and soul. It is not a few forced, constrained actions, though good as actions which constitute holiness. It must reside within us; it is a disposition of soul. To acquire, therefore, that which is not yet acquired; to change that which is not yet changed; to go to the root of the malady; to cleanse and purify the inside of the cup, the foulness of our rind, is a work for the Spirit of God within us. Nay, more; many, as the scripture most significantly expresses it, are dead in sins and trespasses, not only committing sins and trespasses, but dead in them: that is, as insensible of their condition under them, as a dead man is insensible of his condition. Where this is the case, the sinner must, in the first instance, be roused and quickened to a sense of his condition ; of his danger, his fate ; in a word, he must, by some means or other, be brought to feel a strong compunction. This is also an office for the Spirit of God. “You hath he quickened, who were dead in traspasses and sins."*“ Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”+ Whether, there. fore, we be amongst the dead in sin ; or whether we be of the number of those, with whom, accord. ing to St Paul's description, to will is present, but to perform that which is good they find not; who, though they approve the law of God, nay delight in it, after the inward man, that is, in the answers of their conscience, are nevertheless brought into captivity to the law of sin, which is in their members ; carnal, sold under sin; doing what they allow not, what they hate; doing not the good which they would, but the evil which they would not: which ever of these be our wretched estate, for such the Apostle pronounces it to be, the grace and influence of God's Spirit must be * Eph. ii, 1.
| ID. v. 143
218 THE DESTRUCTION
To conclude the subject. The difference between those who succeed, and those who fail ini their Christian course, between those who obtain, and those who do not obtain salvation, is this: They may both feel equally the weakness of their nature, the existence and the power of evil propen. sities within them; but the former by praying with their whole heart and soul, and that perse: veringly, for spiritual assistance, obtain it; and, by the aid so obtained, are enabled to withstand, and do, in fact, withstand, their evil propensities; the latter sink under them. I will not say that all are comprised under this description : for neither are all included in St. Paul's account of the matter, from which our discourse set out; but I think, that it represents the general condition of Chris tians, as to their spiritual state, and that the greatest part of those, wbo read this discourse, will find, that they belong to one side or other of the alternative here stated.
OF THE CANAANITES. 219 and districts laid waste, of the inhabitants being totally destroyed, and this, as it is alleged in the history, by the authority and command of Almighty God. Some have been induced to think such accounts incredible, inasmuch as such conduct could never, they say, be authorized by the good and merciful Governor of the universe
I intend in the following discourse to consider this matter, so far as to shew, that these transactions were calculated for a beneficeial purpose, and for the general advantage of mankind; and, being so calculated, •were not inconsistent either with the justice of God, or with the usual proceedings of divine providence.
Now the first and chief thing to be observed is, that the nations of Canaan were destroyed for their wickedness. In proof of this point, I produce the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus, the twenty-fourth and the following verses. Moses, in this chapter, after laying down prohibitions against brutal and abominable vices, proceeds in the twenty-fourth verse thus-"Defile not youselves in any of these things, for in all these the nations are defiled, which I cast out before you, and the land is defiled; therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abomi. nations, neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: for all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled,
Verse thuslices, proceeds in against brutal and
and the land in visit the inionithe land is defiled:
SERMON XXIX. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CANAANITES. So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springe: and all their kings; he left none remaining, bu, utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.- Joshua x. 40.
I HAVE known serious and well-disposed Chris. tians much affected with the accounts, which are delivered in the Old Testament, of the Jewish war's and dealings with the inhabitants of Canaal. From the Israelites first setting foot in that coun: try, to their complete establishment in it, which takes up the whole book of Joshua and part of thic book of Judges, we read, it must be confessed ; of massacres and desolations unlike what are practi. scd now a days between nations at wal', of cities
whiminations tourneth amonn nation, non
that the land vomit not you out also, when ye de-
which not any of cep my ordinantur people.
because it is made a subject of precept and exhortation so to do. Health is God's gift : but what use we will make of it, is our choice. Bodily strength is God's gift : but of what advantage it shall be to us, depends upon ourselves. Even so, the higher gift of the Spirit remains a gift, the value of which will be exceedingly great; will be little; will be none : will be even an increase of guilt and condemnation, according as it is applied and obeyed, or neglected and withstood. The fourth chapter of Ephesians (verse 30.) is a warning voice upon this subject. “Grieve not the Spirit of God:” therefore he may be grieved: being given, he may be rejected; rejected, he may be withdrawn.
Št Paul* represents the gift and possession of the Spirit in these words. “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you!" and its efficacy, where it is efficacious, in the following magnificent terms: “ If the Spirit of him that raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” What, nevertheless is the practical inference therefrom stated in the very next words? “ Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the Aesh, for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die :"> consequently it is still possible, and plainly conceived, and supposed, and stated to be so, even after this communication of the Spirit, to live notwithstanding, according to the flesh : and still true. that, if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die. - We are debtors;” our obligation, our duty imposed upon us by this gift of the Spirit, is no longer to live after the flesh; but, on the contrary, through the Spirit so given, to do that, which, without it, we could not have done, to “mortify the deeds of the body.” Thus following the suggestions of the Spirit, ye shall live : for « As many as are led
• Rom. viii.
OF THE CANAANITES.
God » Oveulent unto the voice of the
220 THE DESTRUCTION pose extremely material and extremely satisfac. tory. First, the passage testifies the principal point, namely, that the Canaanites were the wick. ed people we represent them to be; and that this point does not rest upon supposition, but upon proof: in particular, the following words contain an express assertion of 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 expression seems to shew, that these detestable practices were general amongst them, and habitual: they are said to be abominable cus: toms which were committed. Now the word cusu tom is not applicable to a few single, or extraordi. nary instances, but to usage and to national charac. ter, which argues, that not only the practice, but the sense and notion, of morality was corrupted amongst them, or lost; and it is observable, tha! these practices, so far from being checked by their religion, formed a part of it. They are described not only under the name of abominations, ou abominations which they have lone unto their gous. What a state of national morals must that have been !--Thirdly, The passage before us positive: ly and directly asserts, that it was for these sus that the nations of Canaan were destroyed. This, m my judgment, is the important part of the inquiry: And what do the words under consideration de clare ? “ In all these, namely, the odious and bry. tal vices, which had been spoken of, the nations are defiled, which I cast out before you: andt
: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it.” This is the reason and cause of the calamities which I bring on it. The land itsen. vomiteth out her inhabitants. The very land 1 sick of its inhabitants; of their odious and bruta
of their corruption and wickedness. Luis, and no other, was the reason for destroying them : this, and no other, is the reason here al. leged. It was not, as hath been imagined, to make way for the Jisraelites : nor was it simply før Lucu
ons but ot
Cause ye were not o
the clemency of God, his long-suffering, and that
idolatry. It appears to me extremely probable, that idolatry in those times led, in all countries, to the vices here described : and also that the de testation, threats, and severities, expressed against idolatry in the Old Testament, were not against idolatry simply, or considered as an erroneous religion, but against the abominable crimes, which usually accompanied it. I think it quite certain that the case was so in the nations of Canaan.Fourthly, it appears from the passage before us, and what is surely of great consequence to the question, that God's abhorrence and God's treat. ment of these crimes were impartial, without distinction, and without respect of nations or persons, The words, which point out the divine imparti. ality, are those, in which Moses warns the Israel. ites against falling into any of the like wicked courses; “that the land,” says he, “ cast not you out also, when you defile it, as it cast out the nations that were before you; for whoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls, that commit them, shall be cut off from among their people.” The Jews are sometimes called the chosen and favoured people of God, and, in a certain sense, and for some purposes, they were SO; yet is this very people, both in this place, and in other places, over and over again reminded, that if they followed the same practices, they must expect the same fate. “Ye shall not walk in the way of the nations which I cast out before you ; for they committed all those things, and therefore I abhorred them : as the nations which the Lord destroyed before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye were not obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.”
What farther proves, not only the justice, but the clemency of God, his long-suffering, and that it was the incorrigible wickedness of those nations, which at last drew down upon them their destruction, is that he suspended, as we may so say, the stroke, till their wickedness, was come te such a pitch, that they were no longer to be eno