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tures are set at rest : both the air and water are un- !
GOD BOTH JUST AND MERCIFUL usually clear; the theory of King Erythrus is ex
THROUGH CHRIST: ploded ; and the name is now admitted to be merely a Greek translation of the “ sea of Edom,” (a IIebrew
Sermon, word denoting Red,) so frequently mentioned by the
By The Rev. W. WELDON CHAMPNEYS, M.A. sacred writers. Its surface is diversified with a num
Fellow of Brasenose College ; and Curate of St. Ebbe's, ber of islands; some of which, such as Kotemble, and
Orford. Gebel Tor, near Loheia, exhibit volcanic appearances.
Isalan, xlv. 21. The western coast is bold, and has more depth of
“ And there is no God else beside me; a just God and water than the eastern, where the coral rocks are
a Saviour; there is none beside me." gradually encroaching on their native element. These reefs are found dispersed over the whole gulf, rising these two things should meet together; that
To human reason it seems impossible that in some places, ten fathoms above the water. The
the God who declares that “ there is none bottom is covered with an abundant harvest of this substance, as well as of certain plants; and, if exa
beside him," should be both " a just God and mined in calm weather, it has the appearance of ver
a Saviour." We are, indeed, through the dant meadows and submarine forests,-phenomena deadening effect of sin, so apt to hear Scripwhich procured this gulf the appellation of Yam Zuph ture read without thinking or caring what its from the Jews, and Bahr Souf from the Arabs, signi- words mean, that, perhaps, the difficulty there fying (in both languages) the “sea of green weeds." | is, that God should be both a just God and a These beautiful productions attracted the admiration Saviour, may not, at first, be plainly seen. of antiquity. Strabo seems to allude to them when he But we shall see it by looking at a case which speaks of trees, resembling the laurel and the olive, is plain to all. We will suppose a court of growing at the bottom and along the eastern coast of justice to be met, and the judge on his bench the Red Sea, which at ebb-tide were left uncovered, -a man has just been tried — he is brought though at other times they were wholly under water ; in guilty--the judge must, by his very chaa circumstance deemed the more surprising when racter and office, condemn the man, or he contrasted with the nakedness of the adjacent shores. would not be a just judge ; and take away Burckhardt remarks, that the coral in the inlet of justice from a judge, you
very Akaba is red, and that in the gulf of Suez the white thing which he is appointed to administer. is chiefly to be seen,-facts which may reconcile the
But if the judge be of a merciful temper, he discordant statements of Bruce, Valentia, Henniker, would wish to spare the man; it is plain, and other modern travellers.
however, that he cannot, for the laws having All who have frequented the Red Sea liave observed
been broken, the man must die : for if he, the luminous appearance, or phosphorescence of its being appointed to punish the guilty, should waters. “ It was beautiful," says a graphic writer,
not punish them, but let them go free, where who sailed from Mocha to Cosseir, " to look down
would laws be ? trampled on and despised into this brightly transparent sea, and mark the coral, here in large masses of honeycomb - rock, there in
yea, and whose life or property would be light branches of a pale red hue, and the bed of green
safe? Thus, then, we see how impossible it sea-weed, and the golden sand, and the shells, and the
is for a judge to be just and punish, to be fish sporting round the vessel, and making colours of merciful and not punish: yet God is “ a just a beauty to the eye which is not their own. Twice God and a Saviour,". “the Judge of all the or thrice we ran on, after dark, for an hour or two; earth, who will do right,"
“ who shall by and though we were all familiar with the sparkling of no means clear the guilty;"--and yet the the sea round the boat at night, never have I seen it Saviour who passes by iniquity, transin other waters so superlatively splendid. A rope gression, and sin; and who desireth not the dipped in it and drawn forth, came up as a string of death of a sinner, but had rather that he gems, but with a life, and light, and motion, the should be converted and live."
Let us see diamond does not know.” Those sea-lights have been how this is. We must go to the Bible; for explained by a diversity of causes ; but the singular the Bible is a history of God's dealings with brilliancy of the Red Sea seems owing to fish-spawn a discovery of his nature and chaand animalculæ,-a conjecture which receives some racter. corroboration from the circumstance, that travellers Let us look first at God's justice. Justice who mention it visited the gulf during the spawning means punishing the guilty. The Almighty period ; that is, between the latter end of December passed his word, that if man sinned, he should and the end of February. The coral banks are less die ;— and does he not die? What day goes numerous in the southern parts. It deserves notice, by, that you see not “the mourners passing that Dr. Shaw and Mr. Bruce have stated (what could through the streets, and man going to his be true only so far as their own experience went), that they observed no species of weed or flag; and the
long home ?" What day goes by, without latter proposes to translate Yam Zuph, “ the Sea of and the worldly that they must soon have
some church-bell ringing to tell the careless Coral," a name as appropriate as that of Edom.
done with the world they love, and be overtaken by the death they fear? And among
those countless souls that are thronging one Alash of fire from his awful presence through the dark gate into the world of strikes both of them in an instant dead. They spirits, how many an infant spirit passes out, both sinned, and God's justice slew them both. on whose little body death laid his claim, Cain, the first child of the first sinner, was because sin, his mark, was set upon its frame? | the first murderer--himself the sinners' firstIs not this justice--stern, unbending justice-fruits-his sin the first-fruits unto death : that surely punishes the guilty ?
did justice let him pass? No; God branded But look at the history of God's dealings him, set a mark upon him, and made him with man, and the same lesson will be learnt. cursed from the earth. Miriam, the sister The world fell into deep transgression; "all of Moses, rebelled against her brother, she flesh had corrupted its way before God;" resisted him whom God had exalted : did Noah alone was found righteous; he warned she pass unnoticed ? No; she was smitten the world for one hundred and twenty years ; on the spot with leprosy. they despised his warning; the flood came God's own Israel sinned against him at and destroyed them all; they fled to the various times : did his love to them make trees, but the waters covered them; they him forget his justice ? Let the Bible tell; mounted the hills, but the swelling waters see twenty-five thousand slain by a plague in mounted after them; they climbed to the one day ; see three thousand killed by the tops of the “ rocks, and the highest points of hands of their own brethren, the Levites, for the ragged rocks," but the avenging waters idolatry, on another ; see Moses and Aaron rose high above the highest : and what were not allowed to go into the land of promise, they but a creature made the minister of because they took upon themselves to bring God's awful justice upon a guilty world? water out of the rock; sce Achan and his
Look at Canaan,--a race cursed from its whole family stoned and burnt, because he very parent, the mocker of his father Noah's had taken of the goods out of Jericho, which weakness; what followed such “a seed of God had forbidden ; see David's house plagued evil-doers ?” surely they were “children that with the sword, because he had slain Uriah were corrupters ;" sin spread among them with the sword: follow through the whole like a leprosy coming down in their blood; history of God's dealings with man, as we they forsook the worship of the living God, have them recorded in the Bible, and there is and worshipped devils; “yea, they shed written, in letters so large and plain that “ he innocent blood, even the blood of their sons who runs may read," " the Lord is a righteous and their daughters, whom they offered unto Judge; he will by no means clear the the idols of Canaan, and the land was defiled guilty.” And yet the world is as careless with blood." The very earth was polluted and unconcerned about their having disobeyed under the wicked inhabitants of it ; the very this just and holy Lord God, as if either he cattle and houses were defiled by their was not the same now as he is set before us owners' sins; and when “ Israel came out of in the Bible, or as if the Bible had set forth Egypt,” God led his own people against the a lie. Canaanites, and they were all but utterly But these who were thus punished were destroyed. And what was Israel then but transgressors, a seed of evil-doers,” one nation made the executioner of Almighty dren whom he had nourished up, but who had justice upon another nation, which had filled rebelled against him.” Come with me, and up the measure of its iniquities,” whom the see another scene—it is night-we will enter great Judge had tried and found guilty ? this garden ; it is not far from Jerusalem
And did the justice that thus swept away who are these asleep on the ground? they whole nations,—that thus " whet its glittering are only poor Jews by their dress -- there is sword," and made it red with the blood of a a look of sorrow upon their faces, as if some disobedient and guilty people ; did that jus- care and trouble had weighed them down to tice ever pass by unrepented guilt? Turn sleep. We will go further, about a stone's your eyes to the tabernacle of the Jews; it throw; see, what is this? a man in prayer ; has just been set up ; Aaron and his sons how earnestly he prays! his heart seems sent have just been consecrated the priests
of God; | forth with every word ; — what deep horror the people are rejoicing before the Lord ;- and pain of soul seems written on his gentle who are those two young men who have put countenance ! what agony of mind seems to incense into their golden censers, have lighted draw every feature ! And now he throws them with fire from the common flame, not himself upon the earth – the big drops of from that altar on which the fire of heaven sweat fall upon the cold ground! What can streamed down? They are two of Aaron's cause this fearful distress ?—and see, such is sons, two of the new-made priests ; pride, or the horror of his soul, that it forces out the it may be wine, or both, have made them rush very blood itself through the skin, so that uncalled into the presence of the Lord—and I sweat and blood pour
from his tortured body. Turn to another opened in anger, except at sin, but only to
too a sinner : now it is a part of sin's dread- | punishing the world in Him who was worth sul effect upon the soul, that it makes him à million worlds, will he spare the sinner who is in sin not to know nor to feel it; it wlio still breaks his laws? And if the wrath hardens the heart, and blinds the understand- of God for sin bore down the eternal Son of ing. The Almighty first “convinces a man God to the ground, and forced his heart's of sin,” shews him his guilt, shews him that blood from him, what will it do to the wretched he is under the wrath of God for sin, and sinner on whom it falls? It will crush him subject to his fearful justice: that makes a to destruction. Be wise, then, ye people, soul tremble. He then shews him how Christ be warned every one of you ; if God's juspaid for his sins, that to those that truly tice spared not his own Son, surely he will believe upon him, their sins shall not be laid not spare you, if you hate to be reformed, and to their charge, and that they shall know the cast his words behind you. O do not lie blessedness of those whose transgression is down in your beds to-night, till you have forgiven. Having thus worked in them con- anxiously prayed for pardon for your sin, viction of sin, and shewn them the way of and begun to flee in earnest from the just pardon, he gives them "godly sorrow" for wrath of this holy Lord God. He is just to their sin. He melts their heart with a sense forgive you through Christ, for Christ died of their ingratitude and guilt, in having so for sinners ; but O, he will be just to punish long and so obstinately offended or despised you, if you neglect and refuse so great sala God of such surpassing power to punish, vation. Be warned then, sinners, all of you, and yet of such long-suffering compassion to who have not truly turned to seek pardon spare. He thus brings true “repentance for your sin, and seek it now; for God's very towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus justice now binds him to forgive you, if you Christ,” in whom the penitent “finds redemp- come to him through Christ. tion through his blood, even the forgiveness But there is encouragement in the text, if of sins ;” and that faith, by which the sinner you have begun to seek him, or if you
have is justified and counted righteous the mo- found him. He is the Saviour of all them ment he believes, is not an idle grace, but that put their trust in him. God is honoured does from that moment begin to work, and when you trust his mercy through Christ's purifies the heart-shews a man the spots merits. When you honour the Son, you hoand blemishes on it-sets him upon cleansing nour the Father; and how can you honour them — teaches him to mortify continually the Son more than by trusting him to save "all his evil and corrupt affections”--teaches your soul and sanctify your heart? him to watch every sin, as it bubbles up to He, who spared not his own Son, but gave the surface of his heart, and enables him to him
up for us all, will he not with him freely break and crush it. The same Spirit who give us all things ?" Will He, who so loved thus gave penitence and faith, teaches the us, when we were enemies to him by wicked believer “what to ask for as he ought,” works, when we were without any love to him shew's him his wants, tells him how to beg whatever, will he not welcome us to his best for a supply of them-puts the prayer into favour when we are desirous of being his the lips, which mounts to the throne where friends, and wish to leave off every thing the Saviour stands to purify and cleanse it, that is displeasing to him? Will he chide and then present it to his Father. And thus and reproach us with our sins past, when we the Spirit of God carries on his work even to have learnt to mourn for them? or keep the end ; lifting up the believer when he is us back now we are seeking him, when he down--strengthening him when he is weak- sought us while we did not seek but fled warning him when he is becoming careless-- from him ? Will he begin a work in our teaching him when he knows not how to hearts to leave it off again? No. Whatever, act; brings him through trials which refine then, be your state in religion, if you have and purify him — through conflicts which begun to live to God in truth, look up to him "prove and humble him"-through tempta- as your Saviour. When you need his help, tions which “ shew what is in his heart;" or want his teaching, or desire his pardon, carries him through death without fear, and look up to him through Christ as your friend. will hereafter present him, through Christ, Cleave to him ---seek bim more and more, holy and unblamable before God. Here, and you shall find on that day, when the then, we have God the Saviour.
just Judge shall punish the wicked and the Is there not in these words of the text unrelenting - when “God shall come with warning and encouragement ?
vengeance, even God with a recompense,"There is warning: if God in his justice you shall find him just through Christ to spared not his own Son, will he spare an
save you. unrepenting sinner? If God would not allow the world to break his holy law, without
enable me to make my own conclusions as to the canse A PASSAGE IN THE LIFE OF A COUNTRY
of all I have noticed ; and probably, not many hours CURATE.
before my visit, this house had been the scene of that I HAD been burying a corpse in a neighbouring village domestic turmoil which, more than any thing, shocks (at that time in commendam under my cure), and had
the general sense. With this, however, I felt that I subsequently made one or two visits upon such poor had nothing to do; or, rather, that I should not be persons — the subjects of sickness or old age- - as my
justified in making any remark; and therefore let us predecessor had officially transferred to me, when I approach the bed-side of frail, perishing mortality. entered the poor-house, more commonly called " the The house was, generally, close and dirty; and there parish workhouse." We seem to have an innate was in the upper part a very offensive proof of neglect acquaintance with the details of such intérieurs; and and bad management, in the pent-up and pestilential a few very aged men sitting by the fire with their hats atmosphere of the apartment. Every piece of furnion, and sticks in hand--though they perhaps never ture, of which there was a great abundance crowded go out of doors ;-the moping idiot, or the half-witted together, was covered with a settled and rooted dust ; victiin of an affliction more terrible ;—some two or the light, which might have come through the window, three women helpless, but still engaged in houschold was obstructed by bundles, rags, and rubbish, accumuoccupations :—these, with the addition of an occasional lated in the little square recess which was intended to fracture of a limb to some poor wayfaring man or
admit it; the bed, and every part of it, was filthy in labourer from another parish, and casualties of a appearance, and scarcely according to those rules of similar stamp, seem naturally to compose the inmates arrangement which every one knows. Well, upon this of this asylun when the scene of it is in a village or
bed, such as it was, lay a wild-looking young woman. small town. The picture suits our own poor-house.
Grief and melancholy madness seemed contending for But this description will not meet the present occa
the dominion of her countenance- her eyes were upsion, and therefore my reader will allow me to detail
turned and fixed-her dark hair, not merely dishevelanother picture of the same sort of subjects.
led, but in a state of the wildest disorder-and, lying Upon entering the outer door, I found myself in a upon her back, her naked arms were placed under her large irregular kind of passage, which, having the head. She had lost nearly all the use of her lower door at the opposite side of the house shut, would extremities, I was told, and was given up, as in a state have been dark but for the light which my entrance of hopeless affliction, by the medical attendant. Her was the means of throwing into it. Approaching age I should have supposed to be nineteen. another door, I was met by the very dubious appear- For some moments I beheld this wretched creature ance of a woman, past the noon of life, with (what is in a silent agony of doubt; and, when she seemed called in the science of schoolboy pugilism) a pair sensible (which was not at first the case) of the preof black eyes," and a patch of even deeper dye, in sence of a stranger, I endeavoured - it was a hard size equal and similar to a halfcrown, upon one of her
task-to convey, in a few words, the necessity of temples, and presenting altogether fair grounds for the resignation. Desiring her to follow me, I read in the imputation of disorderly doings. Another figure, that
Psalms such verses as were thought most appropriate ; of a pale, thin, tall, care-worn woman, in the evil
and the sixth was entirely applicable. The poor woman days " of old age, was, by the time I had made these appeared to follow me with her lips, but the voice I conclusions, added ; and, as my first words were
heard was more like the muttered ravings of a mind spoken, two or three other faces, peeping round a
distracted by the conflicting energies of remorse and screen, completed the group.
madness. O, what I felt ! how my heart sank when “ Pray, which is the mistress of the house?” the frightful disparity in the varied lot of this life bade Confusion of face, and a rapid interchange of looks
me ask, “ Am I less unworthy ?" one at another among them, was the only answer to
I had read a short portion of the simplest Scripture this inquiry: Advancing further, I discovered a man
I could find, and offered from the very core of my soul in the act of rising from his seat in " a cobbler's stall;" an extemporaneous prayer, accompanied in both by and when his countenance was added to the others',
the same incoherent mutterings on the part of the all of whom were women, the expression of misgiving poor creature. I was giving a few impressive exhorwas universal ; and I was in danger of being taken
tations, preparatory to leaving, when I saw move the for some winged minister of the law (as I conjectured)
head and outstretched arm of an infant by her side. when I asked again, “ Are you the master of the
Is that her child ?" said I to the elder mother. She house ?” “Yes," was the reply; " and what did you
sighed an affirmative — a tear sprang in the eye of the
maniac - I knew the rest. please-" This untoward query I cut short, by ob
Sin! sin! sin! what a serving blandly, and with a smile, “I am sorry to
load of woc came with thee to this world! She had perceive that I am not known to you” (for I had been
ever been of weak intellect; and now the poor shat. doing the public duties of the parish for some weeks,
tered vessel, weakened by nature, sin, cruelty, and and had before frequently officiated at the church).
crime, seemed ready to burst with a silent and mys. This remark brought about either an intuitive appre
terious grief. hension, or a recollection of the person before them,
We now returned to the lower apartment, where and my name was diffidently whispered by one, and composure had been greatly restored; and the scene then taken up generally by the rest.
was augmented by the addition of two or three great Having inquired after the health of all within the boys, who sat upon a bench near the cobbler, giving house, I was informed that a young woman was above
directions about the nails to be put in their shoes. stairs and a-bed, who was “a very poor creature."
They stared at me with that empty but earnest gaze After obtaining permission to see her, I went up, ac
which bespeaks man in a state unencumbered with any companied by the pale old woman (her mother) and the
notions higher than animal civilisation, kept their mistress. But I must delay the account of the scene
hats or caps on, and appeared perfectly insensible of which succeeded, until the reader be made acquainted any sort of suffering, or of any business which I could that this last-mentioned authority was the woman with possibly have in such an abode. The remaining memthe black eyes, and that from those indications of tem
bers of the family were two young women —one disperament which were discoverable in hers, as well as abled from service by an affliction which rendered her in the physiognomy of her husband, I derived suffi
what is called an object, her face being covered with cient, in addition to the evidence already afforded, to
the scales or incrustations of elephantiasis — the other
having suffered in infancy from a disease which had a Country Curate's Autobiography, London,
left her arms and hands incapable of growth or usefulSmith, Elder, and Co.
ness ; and these two, also, were weak in intellect.