If you would, my young friends, avoid punishment, avoid sin. If you would be happy, and enjoy a long and tranquil life, follow carefully the directions of our text; for rest assured that a contrary course of conduct will not only involve you in misery and wretchedness, but bring you to a premature grave. Let us then take warning, and not become our own executioners. Let us make the most of life we may, and not turn our present existence, which is one of heaven’s choicest blessings, into a curse. Let us do good in our day and generation, and render ourselves blessings to mankind, by living soberly, righteously and peaceably in the world? Let us do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God—visit the widow and the fatherless in their affliction, and keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
“And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of, men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Daniel iv:32.
That reason, as well as revelation, teaches an overruling providence, very few deny. There must exist in nature an omnipotent and benevolent Being to keep all her works in harmony—to touch the most secret and subtle springs of the vast machinery of the universe—to regulate seed time and harvest, summer and winter, day and night; and to throw the enrapturing charms of countless variety not only over the landscape, but over all that we behold in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath. Globes roll in the paths assigned them, and by some unseen hand are wisely kept from interfering in their orbits, and disturbing each other’s motions. These facts demonstrate the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, and Benevolent Being; and every event, transpiring in the government of the world, proclaims an omnipresent Jehovah.
He not only works in the majesty of the lightning, and in the grandeur of the storm regulating and directing the whole in its sublime career, but he notices the fall of a sparrow, and numbers the very hairs of our head. Events, the most trivial in their nature, are the objects of his notice, as well as those of the most momentous character. Were not this the case, universal disorder and ruin would soon find their way into his works, break the chain of events, and reduce all, that we now admire, from its present harmony and glory, down to its general confusion and chaos. This conclusion is unavoidable, because some of the greatest events that have transpired in the world, owe their existence to something of a very trivial nature.
If God did not, in the general government of the world, direct also small events, then he could not be the author of those great events which flow from them. On this principle there might transpire countless events of the greatest magnitude without the direction and superintendance of Deity. The admission of this is but practical Atheism. It is acknowledging a God in words, but in works denying him. It alike makes chance the governor of the world to those who acknowledge such a God, as to those who wholly deny his existence.