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worthy of death,” he “ not only does the “ same, but has pleasure in those that do “ them .” Nothing indeed, in this instance, could equal the atrocity of the crime itself, but the subsequent conduct of the criminal ; whom we find acknowledging the offence to be a direct violation of God's law, yet glorying in the deed; hardening himself against all attempts to awaken him to penitence or remorse; visited by no compunctions of conscience; and challenging the justice of the Almighty, even of Him who hath emphatically declared, “ Vengeance is mine, I will

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In contemplating this hideous picture, it is impossible not to feel humiliated by the reflection that it pourtrays one who was a fellow-countryman, and who even professed to be a fellow-Christian ! The contemplation, however, would be somewhat less painful, if, amidst the general sensation of horror, indignation, and regret, which has been manifested on this occasion, from one end of the kingdom to the other, there had not been some few voices heard among us, expressive, not only of cold blooded indifference, but even of savage complacency, towards the criminal and the crime! It would indicate a fearful change o Rom. i. 29.

p Rom. xi. 19.

indeed in our national character, could we believe that these were the sentiments of

any but the most deluded or depraved of an unthinking multitude, or of those who would goad them on to acts of desperation and madness, for the general subversion of society. “ He who hateth his brother,” says the Apostle,“ is a murderer in his heart 9.” How emphatically then might this be said of

any who could rejoice in a deed like this ! But the unequivocal declarations of the public sentiment, almost universally called forth, will more than suffice to wipe away this stain from the character of a civilized and religious people.

Notwithstanding, therefore, any discouraging symptoms of this kind, were they tenfold more numerous than they have been, let it not be said of us, “ that because iniquity “ abounds, the love of many waxeth cold." Rather let us consider that necessity is laid upon us for redoubled exertions. 66 If the “ foundations be destroyed, what can the rightthe Prophet Micah's description of a totally corrupted people :—“ The good man is pe“ rished out of the earth: and there is none

eous do S?" If the very first principles of religion and morals were to be subverted, and men's lives sacrificed for their adherence to them, vain would be any efforts for our national preservation. Then would be realized

91 John ii. 15. Matth. xxiv. 12. s Psalm xi. 3.

upright among men: they all lie in wait “ for blood : they hunt every man his brother 6 with a nett."

Would to God that the bare possibility of our country ever being reduced to a state like this were generally laid to heart, as a motive for union and cooperation on the basis of religious, as well as political wisdom! The

passions of evil-minded men would not then be so often kindled and stirred up to deeds of infamy, by the intemperate or inconsiderate effusions of party-spirit, administering perpetual food for discontent and turbulence. The responsibility incurred in this respect, by men of weight and influence in public life, does not appear to be always sufficiently considered, even among persons of honour, and probity, and zeal for the public good. In the heat of political animosity, it is, for the most part, little regarded, till some great convulsion in the state, or some such terrific event as that we have just experienced, discovers the error; and efforts are made (perhaps, too late !) to extinguish the flame that had been kindled, by many an one who scat

1 Micah vii. 2.


tered firebrands around him, and said, Am I not in sport?

It is, then, our wisdom and our duty to ponder deeply this visitation of Providence. Severe as our loss has been, and most appalling in its circumstances, it may thus be turned to our profit. It has already given occasion to one instructive lesson, in the developement of a character eminently good and great, and so exercised in every good word and work as to incite every well-disposed mind to emulate its lustre. It has also developed a character of an opposite kind, uncontrolled by religious principle or moral feeling, and following only the bent of a most corrupt heart. It has awakened a salutary alarm of danger, and a jealous solicitude for the national character, deeply injured by so atrocious an offence. And though it may have disclosed, in some few of the refuse of our land, dispositions at which every Christian shudders; yet has it called forth a general burst of virtuous grief and abhorrence among all ranks and degrees of men, most creditable to our national feelings.

Let us hope, too, that it has excited, in many, a desire for a return to better principles and better conduct; a desire to diffuse that “wis“ dom and knowledge,” which alone, under

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Providence, can be “the stability of our “ times ";" the wisdom of obedience to God and man, and the knowledge of those principles, political and religious, by which our forefathers raised this country to its proud preeminence, and bequeathed to their posterity the best inheritance they can enjoy on this side the grave.

. Such endeavours, we may be assured, God will yet bless and

66 The Lord's hand “ is not shortened, that it cannot save; nei“ther his ear heavy, that it cannot hear*." He teaches us the vanity of trusting in man, by shewing how suddenly “his breath goeth “ forth, and all his thoughts perishy.” He gives us an awful warning of our own perishable state, and an admonition to trust in HIM only, who is our “everlasting strength.” HE it is, who can yet raise up for us the wise and the virtuous, men capable, under His guidance, of conducting the vessel of state through storms and tempests, and of preserving it amidst the general wreck of surrounding kingdoms and empires.


To obtain His favour, then, is our first and chief concern. To “trust in the Lord, “ and be doing good”;" to place a religious

u Isa. xxxiii. 6.
y Ps. cxlvi. 4.

x Isa. lix. 1.
z Ps. xxxvii. 3.

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