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is from conflicts about those objects of which the real worth is so trivial to a being of such excellence, and which has but a short time to continue among them, that all the evil passions are kindled; that we hate, instead of loving each other, that we injure, instead of promoting each other's good, and that we degrade and deprave our own souls, instead of purifying, adorning, and fitting them for eternity. “ * From whence
come wars and fightings among you ? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members ?"
Lastly, amidst the insecurity that attends all human possessions and concerns there is, perhaps, nothing more frail or insecure than human virtue. He, therefore, that standeth has at all times occasion to “take
heed lest he fall. But, when the end shall be come, we are secure ; we are under no further liability to err; our conflict closes. Well, therefore, may the good man say, “For me, to die is gain.” He no longer prays that he enter not into tempta
tion, but receives the cheering congratulation and reward of his victory: “Well done, “ thou good and faithful servant, enter " thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
t St. Matt. xxv. 21.
ON THE CREATION*. [Preached at the beginning of a New Year: appropriate
also to Septuagesima Sunday.]
GEN. i. 1.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The words which have been just read are in the original the most ancient remaining in existence upon the face of the earth : all that was ever written before them has perished; and the event which they record is likewise the earliest, being no other than the creation of the world itself by God: so that we have in my text, and the narrative which follows, the most ancient record of the most ancient facts.
* Some of the observations on the creation have been borrowed from the Discours sur L'Histoire Universelle,
Having first adduced some short proof, among many others, of the authenticity of the books ascribed to Moses, with which the sacred volume opens, I shall proceed to an explanation of the first chapter of the whole, a chapter of which the subject is so marvellous, and against which there have been so many cavils and objections.
I. The supremacy and administration of Moses was immediately succeeded by that of Joshua, a person of another family: and during his government we find the five books of Moses appealed to, and cited on all public occasions, as records well known, not by individuals, or the priesthood only, but by the whole of the Jewish race, the descendants in the first generation of those whom Moses had led out of Egypt.' The following passage may be adduced as a proof of this : And afterward he,” that is, Joshua,“ read all the words of the Law, “ the blessings and cursings, according to
all that is written in the book of the Law: “ there was not a word of all that Moses “ commanded which Joshua read not be
fore all the congregation of Israel, with
“ the women, and the little ones, and the
strangers that were conversant among 66 them."
Indeed it is obvious that the Jews must always have been in full possession and perfect knowledge of the writings of Moses, from the death of Moses; for, on the contrary supposition, and without these writings, how could the Jewish race have explained the great diversity of their institutions from those of the nations with whom they were in contact, and by whom they were immediately surrounded ? What account, for example, could they give to themselves or others of the religious observance of one day in seven, a practice always in existence among them ? What sense or meaning could they ascribe to the constantly recurring expressions in all their religious ceremonies—“ The God
of Abraham, the God of Isaac and of Ja
cob,” words only to be first learned from the five books of Moses, their great legislator, and but for his books, words totally inexplicable to those who used them ?
a Joshua viii. 34, 35.