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principle. It is this alone that saves; and the more strongly we are fortified with it, as a habit of the mind, the more bravely can we bear up against adversity.
We need it, also, not only to give courage and strength to our endeavors, but to preserve the moral tone of our minds. There are sometimes occasions when we hesitate in the choice of motives, - instances, in which the wrong presents such attractions, and the right looks so repulsive, that we halt in temporary doubt. In such moments of indecision, we need the influence of this sentiment, to assure us that no wrong can permanently prosper; that the true and just, however unpromising in appearance, will inevitably have the victory
We need it, also, in our homes, to keep the affections bright and glowing; to restrain unkindness of thought, and harshness of expression; to take away all moroseness, and selfishness, and to dispose us to benignity of spirit, and gentleness of manners. Nothing can surround the home circle with such an atmosphere of sweetness and peace, as the habitual consciousness, that even the slightest act of propriety is not without a beneficent influence.
We need it, moreover, when we go out into the world, whether in the pursuits of business, or of pleasure, our social relations, or civil responsibilities. We need it, then, that the authority of our example, the influence of our speech, the character of our minds, as reflected in our deportment, may be all on the side of truth and virtue,
knowing that no single trait of a noble and generous nature which we may exhibit, can fail of its appropriate results.
But we need this sentiment of trust, not only as a persuasive to personal holiness, but also in our associated capacity, as members of a religious sect. We need it to keep us from despondency, when we compare ourselves with the rich and influential sects around us; need it to give resoluteness and vigor to our efforts, which are too often put forth with feebleness and reluctance ; need it to bring us into God's sanctuary on each returning Sabbath, with hearts warm with love and zeal, to gather new warmth, by unfeigned and grateful homage to the Father, and affectionate communion with His children.
With this sentiment, that God does infallibly protect and prosper the right, wrought into the texture of our souls, and existing and acting with
that intensity and force, which its importance demands, our denomination, small as it is in comparison with others, would be as a city set on a hill, whose magnificence could be seen from afar, and whose foundations would endure throughout the ages, - a city of wisdom and light, sending out, through all time, divine and noble influences, for the regeneration of the world. Let us yield to the sentiment of the text, and confide in God, that He will infallibly protect and prosper the right. AMEN.
" And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, my father, shall I smite them ? - shall I smite them ?”—2 KINGS vi. 21.
These words are connected with a portion of ancient history, that presents features of extraordinary interest, and affords a lesson replete with delightful instruction. It will, therefore, be useful to trace its noble incidents, and observe carefully its important results.
It appears that war was raging between Israel and Syria. In the prosecution of this war, the Syrian king devised various schemes to destroy his foes by surprise. But no sooner were his plans formed, than they were communicated to Jehoram, the King of Israel, who thereby escaped destruction. The King of Syria became angry, because his intentions were thus frustrated. Suspecting treachery, he inquired of his servants, who among them had aided the cause of his enemy. One of them answered, “None, my Lord, O King! but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the King of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bed-chamber. (verse 12.)
His next place was to remove Elisha out of his way. Having ascertained that the prophet was in Dotham, the King of Syria sent there a strong force, which availed itself of the darkness of the night, to surround the city. In the morning, when the servant of the prophet went forth, and beheld the array of the enemy, he was filled with fear, and said, “ Alas, my master, how shall we do ?” (verse 15.) The answer was, “ Fear not; for they that be with us, are more than they that be with them.” (verse 16.) The servant soon became satisfied of this fact, because, in accordance with the prayer of the prophet, his spiritual eyes were opened, and he saw, as it were, a mountain full of horses, and chariots of fire, representing the invisible forces of God, which held Elisha in their protection.