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made by the rock when she struck; which had prevented any water from entering the vessel during the remainder of the voyage. memorial of this singular event, the figure of a dolphin is carved on the staves which are carried in procession on public occasions, by the children who are educated at the charity schools founded by Mr. Colstone.
And most people have heard of that great and good man, John Frederick Oberlin, pastor of Waldbach. During the revolution in France, the Ban-de-la-Roche (a mountainous canton in the north-east of that kingdom) alone seemed to be an asylum of peace in the midst of war, and carnage. Though every kind of worship was forbidden throughout France, John Frederick Oberlin, was allowed to continue his work of benevolent instruction unmolested. His house became the retreat of
individuals, of different religious persuasions, and of distinguished rank, who fled thither, under the influence of terror, and who always received the most open-hearted and cordial reception, though he endangered his own situation. says a gentleman, who was then residing at Waldbach, “saw a chief actor of the revolution in Oberlin's house, and in that atmosphere he seemed to have lost his sanguinary disposition, and to have exchanged the fierceness of the tiger for the gentleness of the lamb."
These are striking instances of the interposition of Providence, and show how true it is that “He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." "Because thou hast made the Lord, even the Most High thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
And in reference to the wicked, God in his providence often convinces the world that he has not relinquished the government of it. His vengeance sometimes falls heavily upon distinguished rebels. Bloody persecutors have sometimes been signally cut off. Murderers have often been remarkably detected. It seems to be impossible to eradicate the traces of sin. “Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel, and mole. You cannot wipe out the foottrack-you cannot draw
the ladder, so as to leave no clue.” So true it is, that whereas "the stones of the field” are in league with the righteous—they refuse to keep the covenant of the wicked.
“The very stones do prate their whereabouts." Let us appeal to Scripture. Behold the flood
sweeping away the world of the ungodly. See the smoke ascending from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember Lot's wife—she looked back contrary to the divine command, and she became a pillar of salt. Gehazi, the servant of the prophet Elisha enters his master's presence—tells a lie—and goes out a leper as white as snow.
Annanias and Sapphira utter a known falsehood before the Apostle, and are both instantly numbered with the dead.
Let us appeal to History. Charles IX. of France, most inbumanly made the very streets of Paris to run with the blood of Protestants, and soon after, he died miserably, his blood streaming from all parts of his body.
Stephen Gardiner, who burnt many of God's dear servants to ashes, was himself so scorched up by a terrible inflammation, that his very tongue was black, and hung out of his mouth; and in dreadful agonies ended his wretched days.
Maximus, that cruel emperor, who set forth his proclamation, for the utter abolishing of the Christian religion, was speedily smitten, like Herod, with a dreadful disease, so nauseous and repulsive, that even his physicians could not endure to come nigh him, and for refusing were slain.
But apart from any immediate interposition of the kind to which we have referred, the retribution of providence in the present life, is in many cases quite NATURAL.
For example, how frequently do men's sufferings arise from the very sins which they commit. Extravagance brings on ruin. Indolence produces poverty. Intemperance breeds disease. Men walk contrary to God's commands, and God walks contrary to them.
Thus we see the luxurious glutton, who fares sumptuously every day, denied that precious. gift of health, which is more generally granted to men of temperance and sobriety. How frequently do persons, by intemperance, hasten on their dissolution, and become self-murderers ? Many might have lived longer had they lived better; and have enjoyed a good old age, had it not been for a profligate youth: but now,
if they drag on a miserable existence at all, they are filled with the sins of their youth, which lie down with them in the grave. An old divine says, the board has killed more than the sword. And a physician of great repute, has given it as his opinion, that scarcely one in a thousand dies a natural death.
The covetous man, governed by avarice, is often unhappy in the midst of great abundance, and endures, in idea, all the ills of abject poverty.
The ambitious man, when by toilsome steps he has gained the dignity to which he so eagerly aspired, finds in the very completion of his wishes, no rest for his mind.
The man of impure desires, instead of the rose of pleasure which he seeks, often plucks the prickly thorn. He finds that sin is deceitful: it.attracts by flattery; it destroys by delusion. It looks on with blandishing smiles, but conceals the cloven foot; it presents the bait, but hides the hook; it talks of liberty and indulgence, but this is only to favor its inroads; once admitted, slavery and desolation spread all around. It promises much, but how does it perform ? Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue ; though he spare it, and forsake it not ; but keep it still within his mouth ; yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
The retribution of providence in the present life, is not only natural, but in many cases UNAVOIDABLE. This is the case with nations, cities, and families.
If nations, cities, or families are to be punished at all, they must be punished in the present world—for they have no existence in the future world: there, men exist only as individuals. Remember the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. “Their sin was very grievous,--their cry was great;" and their crimes so general,