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TRUTH AND EXCELLENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being
judges.—DEUT. xxxii. 31.
THESE words form a part of what is usually denominated, “the Song of Moses.” It is a poem of singular beauty; and, by the best judges, is supposed to contain a specimen of almost every species of excellence in composition. It opens with a sublime invocation of the heavens and the earth; evidently designed, to convey a strong idea of the peculiar importance of the subject matter of the poem. The sacred writer speaks sublimely of Israel's God: “ Ascribe ye greatness unto our God,” says he. “He is the Rock; his work is perfect, for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.” The author of the poem then
adverts to some instances of God's providential care exercised over the tribes of Israel, particularly in conducting them, as on the wings of an eagle, towards the promised land. “ As an eagle,” says he, “ stirreth up her nest; fluttereth over her young; spreadeth abroad her wings; taketh them; beareth them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.” This idea of the tribes of Israel being conducted out of Egypt, towards the promised land, as upon the wings of an eagle, is one of great sublimity, particularly, taken in connexion with these words—“I kill, and I make alive; I wound and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand; for I lift my
hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.” parison with such a God, the idol gods of the heathen were emphatically, “vanity and a lie.” No wonder, then, that Moses here indulges in the feelings of joy and triumph; no wonder that he uses the exulting language of our text; “Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” Mark the expression! even our enemies themselves being judges. Moses adverts, it seems, to some well known instances, in which the superiority of Israel's God was acknowledged, even by those who served other gods, which indeed were no gods. This acknowledgment, it will be recollected, was made by the magicians of
Egypt, when, utterly unable to resist the miracles wrought by Moses, the servant of the true God, they exclaimed, “This is the finger of God!"—that is, this miracle comes from the true God! This acknowledgment was also made by the horsemen of Pharaoh, when, terror-stricken in the Red Sea, they cried out one to another, saying, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for their God fighteth for them, against the Egyptians.” It was, it seems, in reference to these, and similar cases, that Moses uses the exulting language of our text: " Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”
And now, my brethren, permit me to apply the passage before us to a class of persons not entirely dissimilar. I mean to those ranged under the banner of infidelity. Rejecting the sacred volume, they have a system of their own, (if system it may be called.). Now, in reference to them, and their system, I feel very
free to apply the language of our text: “ Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”? It may be thought by some present, that the speaker is not happy in the selection of his subject this day, as there is, perhaps, not an avowed infidel in this assembly. But, suppose there be no avowed infidel present, there may be many spiced with infidelity; and amongst them, perhaps, some interesting young men, who, in their
reading, and travels, have had infidel cavils and objections brought before their minds, which they know not how to meet, the result is, they have become sceptical. This they are not exactly willing to confess, lest, perchance, it might reach a mother's ear, and pain a mother's heart!—but, the seeds of infidelity are there; and, so long as they exist in the bosom, they operate as serious barriers in the
of the soul's salvation. This being the case, it is proper that, occasionally, at least, the evidences of our holy religion should be laid before every congregation. Those ranged under the banners of infidelity may plume themselves upon their wisdom, and the great superiority of their discoveries, but, thank God! we, who are Christians, occupy better ground than they do; and may well say, with Moses, in the joy and triumph of our hearts—" their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”
The supreme excellence, and great superiority of the Christian religion, will appear,
I think, very clearly, in the three following particulars :
I. In the matter of evidence.
I. In the matter of evidence. Yes, my brethren, whatever witlings and infidels may say