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ment to come. His soul was amazed; his exceeding my limits, the plan I have conceived; heart trembled; his knees smote one against and proceed to consider Felix as an avaricious another.
man; to find in this disposition a farther cause of Amazing effects, my brethren, of conscience! his fear. Felix was avaricious, and St. Paul evident argument of the vanity of those gods, instantly transported him into a world, in which idolatry adores, after it has given them which avarice shall receive its appropriate and form! Jupiter and Mercury, it is true, had their most severe punishment. For you know that altars in the temples the heathens; but the the grand test by which we shall be judged is God of heaven and earth has his tribunal in the charity. “I was hungry, and ye gave me heart: and, while idolatry presents its incense meat;” and of all the obstructions of charity, to sacrilegious and incestuous deities, the God covetousness is the most obstinate and insurof heaven and earth, reveals his terrors to the mountable. conscience, and there loudly condemns both This unhappy propensity renders us insensiincest and sacrilege.
ble of our neighbour's necessities. It magniSecondly, consider Felix, as a prince; and fies the estimate of our wants: it diminishes you will find in this second office, a second tho wants of others. It persuades us that we cause of his fear. When we perceive the great have need of all, that others have need of nomen of the earth devoid of every principle of thing. Felix began to perceive the iniquity religion, and even ridiculing those very truths of this passion, and to feel that he was guilty which are the objects of our faith; we feel that of double idolatry. Idolatry in morality, idol. faith to waver. They excite a certain suspi- atry in religion. Idolatry in having offered cion in the mind, that our sentiments are only incense to gods, who were not the makers of prejudices; which have become rooted in man, heaven and earth; idolatry in having offered brought up in the obscurity of humble life. incense to mammon. For, the Scriptures teach, Here is the apology of religion. The Caligu- and experience confirms, “that covetousness las, the Neros, those potentates of the universe, is idolatry.” The covetous man is not a worhave trembled in their turn as well as the shipper of the true God. Gold and silver aro meanest of their subjects. This independence the divinities he adores. His heart is with his of mind, so conspicuous among libertines, is treasure. Here then is the portrait of Felix;consequently an art,—not of disengaging them- a portrait drawn by St. Paul in the presence of selves from prejudices,but of shutting their Felix; and which reminded this prince of ineyes against the light, and of extinguishing the numerable prohibitions, innumerable frauds, purest sentiments of the heart. Felix, educated innumerable extortions; of the widow and the in a court, fraught with the maxims of the orphan he had oppressed. Here is the cause great, instantly ridicules the apostle's preach- of Felix's fears. According to an expression ing.
St. Paul, undismayed, attacks him, and of St. James, the “rust of his gold and silver finds a conscience concealed in his bosom: the began to witness against him, and to eat his very dignity of Felix is constrained to aid our flesh as with fire,” James v. 3. apostle, by adding weight to his ministry. He Fourthly, consider Felix as a voluptuous demolishes the edifice of Felix's pride. He man. Here is the final cause of his fear. shows, that if a great nation was dependent on Without repeating all we have said on the dehis pleasure, he himself was dependent on a pravity of this passion, let one remark suffice; sovereign, in whose presence the kings of the that, if the torments of hell are terrific to all, earth are as nothing. He proves that dignities they must especially be so to the voluptuous. are so very far from exempting men from the The voluptuous man never restricts his sensual judgment of God; that, for this very reason, gratification; his soul dies on the slightest aptheir account becomes the more weighty, riches proach of pain. What a terrific impression being a trust which Heaven has committed to must not the thought of judgment make on the great: and "where much is given, much such a character! Shall I, accustomed to inis required.” He makes him feel this awful dulgence and pleasure, become a prey to the truth, that princes are responsible, not only for worm that dieth not, and fuel to the fire which their own souls, but also for those of their sub- is not quenched! Shall I, who avoid pain with jects; their good or bad example influencing, so much caution, be condemned to eternal torfor the most part, the people committed to ments! Shall I have neither delicious meats, their care.
nor voluptuous delights! This body, my idol, See then Felix in one moment deprived of which I habituate to so much delicacy, shall his tribunal. The judge became a party. He it be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, saw himself rich and in need of nothing; and whose smoke ascendeth up for ever and ever!" yet he was “blind, and naked, and poor." He And this effeminate habit I have of refining heard a voice from the God of the whole earth, on pleasure, will it render me only the more saying unto him, “Thou profane and wicked sensible of my destruction and anguish! prince, remove the diadein, and take off the Such are the traits of Felix's character; crown. I will overturri, overturn, overturn it, such are the causes of Felix's fear. Happy, and it shall be no more,” Ezek. xxi. 25, 26. if his fear had produced that " godly sorrow, “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and and that repentance unto salvation not to be though thou set thy nest among the stars, repented of.” Happy, if the fear of hell had thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord,” induced him to avoid its torments. But, ah Obad. 4. Neither the dignity of governor, no! he feared, and yet persisted, in the causes nor the favour of Cesar, nor all the glory of em- of his fear. He trembled, yet said to St. Paul, pire shall deliver thee out of my hand. “Go thy way for this time.” This is our last
Thirdly, I restrict myself, my brethren, as reflection. much as possible, in order to execute without III. How preposterous, my brethren, is the
“ Go thy way
sinner! What absurdities does he cherish in I will reform in future! But who has told his heart! For, in short, had the doctrines me, that I shall even desire to be converted St. Paul preached to Felix been the produc- Do not habits become confirmed in proportion tions of his brain;-had the idea, which he as they are indulged? And is not an inveterate gave him of rectitude and injustice, been a evil very difficult to cure? If I cannot bear prejudice;—had the thought of a future judg- the excision of a slight gangrene, how shall I ment been. a chimera, whence proceeded the sustain the operation when the wound is deep? fears of Felix? Why was he so weak as to ad- will reform in future! But who has told mit this panic of terror? If, on the contrary, me, that I shall live to a future period? Does Paul had truth and argument on his side, why not death advance every moment with gigandid Felix send him away? Such are the con- tic strides? Does he not assail the prince in tradictions of the sinner. He wishes; he re- his palace, and the peasant in his cottage volts; he denies; he grants; he trembles, and Does he not send before him monitors and says,
“ Go thy way for this time.” Speak to messengers;—aeute pains, which wholly abhim concerning the truths of religion; open sorb the soul;—deliriums, that render reason of hell to his view, and you will see him affected, no avail;—deadly stupors, which benumb the devout, and appalled; follow him in life, and brightest and most piercing geniuses? And you will find that these truths have no influ- what is still more awful, does he not daily come ence whatever on his conduct.
without either warning or mess
essenger? Does But are we not mistaken concerning Felix? he not snatch away this man without allowing Did not the speech of St. Paul make a deeper him time to be acquainted with the essentials impression upon him than we seem to allow? of religion; and that man, without the restituHe sent the apostle away, it is true, but it was tion of riches ill-acquired; and the other, be“ for this time only." And who can censure fore he is reconciled to his enemy? this delay? We cannot be always recollected Instead of saying, “Go thy way for this and retired. The infirmities of human nature time," we should say, stay for this time. Stay, require relaxation and repose. Felix could af- while the Holy Spirit is knocking at the door terward recall him. “Go thy way for this of my heart; stay, while my conscience is time; when I have a convenient season, I will alarmed; stay, while I yet live; " while it is send for thee."
called to-day.” The arguments confound my It pains me, I confess, my brethren, in en conscience: no matter. Thy hand is heavy tering on this head of my discourse, that I upon me:" no matter still. Cut, strike, conshould exhibit to you in the person of Felix, sume; provided it procure my salvation. the portrait of whom? Of wicked men? Alas! But, however criminal this delay may be, of nearly the whole of this assembly; most of we seem desirous to excuse it. whom seem to us living in negligence and vice, for this time; when I have a convenient searunning with the children of this world“ to the son, I will call for thee." It was Felix's bresisame excess of riot."
One would suppose,
ness then which induced him to put off the that they had already made their choice, hav- apostle. Unhappy business! Awful occupaing embraced one or the other of these notions, tion! It seems an enviable situation, my breeither that religion is a phantom, or that, all thren, to be placed at the head of a province; things considered, it is better to endure the tor- to speak in the language of majesty; to decide ments of hell, than to be restricted to the on the fortunes of a numerous people; and in practice of virtue. Ono; that is not their no- all cases to be the ultimate judge. But those tion. Ask the worst among them. Ask whe- situations, so happy and so dazzling in appearther they have renounced their salvation? You ance, are in the main dangerous to the conwill not find an individual who will say, that science! Those innumerable concerns, this he has renounced it. Ask them again, whe- noise and bustle, entirely dissipate the soul. ther they think it attainable by following this While so much engaged on earth, we cannot way of life? They will answer, No. Ask be mindful of heaven. When we have no leithem afterward, how they reconcile things so sure, we say to St. Paul, “Go thy way for this opposite, as their life, and their hope? They lime; when I have a convenient season, I will will answer, that they are resolved to reform, call for thee.” and by and by they will enter on the work. Happy he, who, amid the tumult of the They will say, as Felix said to St. Paul, “ Go most active life, has hours consecrated to rethy way for this time; when I have a conve- flection, to the examination of his conscience, nient season, I will call for thee.” Nothing and to ensure the one thing needful!” Or is less wise than this delay. At a future pe- rather, happy he, who, in the repose of the riod I will reform. But who has assured me, middle classes of society, -placed between inthat at a future period I shall have opportuni- digence and affluence,---far from the courts of ties of conversion? Who has assured me that the great,-having neither poverty nor richGod will continue to call me, and that another es according to Agur's wish, can in retirement Paul shall thunder in my ears?
and quietness see life sweetly glide away, and I will reforin at a future period! But who make salvation, if not the sole, yet his princihas told me, that God at a future period will pal concern! accompany his word with the powerful aids of Felix not only preferred his business to his grace" While Paul may plant and Apollos salvation, but he mentions it with evasive dismay water, is it not God who gives the in- dain. “When I have a convenient season, I crease? How then can I flatter myself, that will call for thee."-"When I have a convethe Holy Spirit will continue to knock at the nient season!” Might we not thence infer, door of my heart, after I shall have so fre- that the truths discussed by St. Paul were not quently obstructed his admission?
of serious importance? Might we not infer,
that the soul of Felix was created for the go- the sermon you have heard, that St. Paul had vernment of Judea; and that the grand doc- addressed this assembly. Suppose, instead of trines of righteousness, temperance, and a what we have now advanced, this apostle had judgment to come, ought to serve at most but preached, and filled the place in which we now to pass away the time, or merely to engross stand. Suppose that St. Paul, that sincere one's leisure “When I have a convenient preacher, that man, who, before Felix and season."
Drusilla, “reasoned of righteousness, tem.perAh! unhappy Felix, what hast thou to do of ance, and judgment to come.” Suppose he had such vast importance? Is it to execute the preached to-day before the multitude now preimperial commission: But art thou not a sub- sent: let us speak ingenuously. What sort of ject of the King of kings, in whose presence application would he have made? What subCesar himself is but a worm of earth?” Has ject would he have discussed? What vices not God given thee a soul to improve, virtues would he have reproved? What estimate would to acquire, and an eternal kingdom to conquer? he have formed of most of your lives. What Was it to immerse thyself in sensual pleasures? judgment would he have entertained concernBut how canst thou taste those pleasures, after ing this worldly spirit, which captivates so the terrific portrait of a future judgment, great a multitude? What would he have said which has been exhibited to thy view? Does of that insatiable avarice in the acquisition of not the voice of St. Paul perpetually resound wealth, which actuates the general mass; in thy ears; and, like a fury obstinately attend- which makes us like the grave, incessantly crying thy steps, does it not disturb thy indolence ing, Give, give, and never says, Il is enough? and voluptuous delight.
What would he have said concerning the inWe suspend here the course of our medita- difference about religion said to be found tion, to close with a few reflections on the among many of us, as though the sacrifices, truths we have delivered. We have affirmed formerly made for our reformation, had been in the body of this discourse, and with the the last efforts of expiring religion, which no greatest propriety, that we should commence longer leaves the slightest trace upon the mind? the application with regard to ourselves. St. What would he have said of those infamous Paul here communicates an important lesson debaucheries apparently sanctified by a frantic to all ministers of the gospel. His sincerity, custom, and which ought not to be named his courage, his constancy, are perfect models; among Christians* Extend the supposition. on which every faithful pastor should form It is St. Paul who delivers those admonitions. himself. Let us follow, my most honoured It is Paul himself who expands to your view brethren, this illustrious model. “Let us be the hell he opened before Felix and Drusilla: followers of him, even as he was of Christ.” who conjures you by the awful glory of the Like him, let us never temporize with the sin- God, who will judge the living and the dead,
Like him, let us speak of righteousness to reform your lives, and assume a conduct to the covetous; of temperance to the volup- correspondent to the Christian name you have tuous; of a future judgment to the great of the honour to bear. this world, and to all those whom objects less To the ministry of the apostle, we will join terrific are incapable to alarm. Let us never exhortations, entreaties, and fervent prayers. say, “ peace, peace, when there is no peace.” We conjure you by the mercies of that God Let us thunder, let us expostulate, let us shoot who took his Son from his own bosom and against them the arrows of the Almighty's gave him for you, and by the value of your wrath; not fearing the Felixes and Drusillas salvation, to yield a ministry so pathetic. of our age. Here is our vocation. Here is Be mindful of “righteousness, temperance, the charge which God now delivers to every and judgment to come.” Observe this equity one who has the honour of succeeding Paul in in your dealings; never indulge the propensity the order of the ministry.
to unlawful gain. “Render to Cesar the things But how shall we discharge the duty? What that are Cesar's,” Mark xii. 17. Respect the murmuring would not a similar liberty excite rights of the sovereign. Pay “tribute to whom among our hearers? If we should address you tribute is due,” Rom. xiii. 7. Let the indias St. Paul addressed Felix; if we should de- gence and obscurity of your labourers and clare war against you individually; if we should lowest artists be respectable in your sight; reúnmask the many mysteries of iniquity in collecting that the little that a righteous man which you are involved; if we should rend the hath, is better than the riches of many wicked,” veil which covers so many dishonourable prac- Ps. xxxvii. 16. Do not narrow the rules of recti. tices; you would interrupt us; you would re- tude; keep in view, that God did not send you taliate on our weakness and infirmities; you into the world to live for yourselves. To live would say, “Go thy way for this time;" carry solely for ourselves is a maxim altogether unbeelsewhere a ministry so disgustful and revolting. coming a Christian; and to intrench ourselves
Well! we will accomodate ourselves to your in hoards of gold and silver, placed above the taste. We will pay all deference to your ar- vicissitudes of human life, is a conduct the guments, and respect even a false delicacy: most incompatible with that religion whose But if we exercise this indulgence towards sole characteristic is compassion and benevoyou, permit us to expect the same in return, lence. and to make for the moment this chimerical Observe also this temperance. Exclude luxury supposition. You know the character of St. from every avenue of your heart. Renounce Paul; at least you ought to know it. If you are unacquainted with it, the discourse he de- In Pratt's Gleanings, we hare an account of dancing
rooms in Holland, where ruined girls dance under the livered in the presence of Felix is sufficient to lash of a superior. To these, and other shameful estabdelineate its excellence. Suppose, instead of lishments, Saurin seems to refer in several of his sermons.
all unlawful pleasures, and every criminal in- | Jews converted, the elements dissolved, the trigue. Caution your conduct, especially in heavens folded up as a garment, the foundathis licentious place, in which the facility of tions of the earth shaken, and its fashion passvice is a continual temptation to its charms. ed away. Let your chastity be apparent in your dress, in Enter seriously into these reflections. And, your furniture, in your conversation. “Let since each of the duties we have just prescribyour speech be always with grace, seasoned ed requires time and labour, avoid dissipation with salt,” Col. iv. 6. According to St. Peter's and excess of business. My brethren, it is advice, “Let not the adorning of women be here that we would redouble our zeal, and that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, would yet find the way to your hearts. We and of wearing gold, or of putting on of ap- will not enter the detail of your engagements; parel; but let it be the hidden man of the we will not turn over the pages of your acheart, even the ornament of a meek and quiet count. We will not visit your counting-houses. spirit, which is in the sight of God of great We will not even put the question, whether price,” i Pet. iii. 3, 4. Recollect, that the your business is always lawful; whether the law of God is spiritual; that there is an im- rights of the sovereign and the individual are purity of the mind, an adultery of the heart; punctually discharged. We will suppose that that certain desires to please, certain disguised all is fair on these points. But consider only emotions, certain lascivious airs, and certain that the most innocent engagements become attempts to wound the virtue of others (though criminal, when pursued with excessive appliwe may apparently observe the most rigid cation, and preferred to the work of salvation. rules of decorum,) may be as heinous before This maxim belongs to you, merchants, God as the most glaring faults into which a dealers, tradesmen. You see, at this period, man may have been reluctantly precipitated by the poverty and wretchedness which assail an his passions, and in which the will may have infinite number of families. The soldier lanhad the less concern.
guishes in the midst of war without employKeep constantly in view, “the judgment to ment, and he is in some sort obliged to beg come.” Think, O think, that an invisible eye his bread. The nobleman, far from his means watches over all your actions. Think that -a thousand times more unhappy than the they are all registered in a faithful journal peasant-has no industry to procure his bread. which shall be produced before the universe, The learned man is even a burden; and the in the great day, when Jesus Christ shall de productions of the greatest geniuses, so far. scend in glory from heaven.
from receiving remuneration, are not even noMy dear brethren, be not ingenious to en- ticed. feeble conviction by accounting the object re- Amidst such a series of calamities, you alone mote. The trumpet is ready to sound, the have means for the acquisition of riches. A books are about to be opened, and the throne government mild and lenient, a commerce is already prepared. The views of the soul vast and productive, opens, if I may so speak, are circumscribed, like the sight of the body. all the avenues of fortune. The eastern and The narrow circle of surrounding objects en- western world seem to concur in the augmengrosses nearly the whole of our attention; and tation of your wealth. You live not only retards the extension of thought to superior with ease, but elegance. Your houses are concerns. The reality of a judgment com- sumptuously furnished, your tables deliciously prises so many amazing revolutions in the uni- served: and after the enjoyment of these adverse, that we cannot regard the design as vantages, you transmit them to posterity; even ready for execution. We cannot conceive the after death you still taste and enjoy them in face of nature to change with such rapidity; the persons of your children. But it would and that those awful revolutions which must have been a thousand times better that you precede the advent of the Son of God, may should have lived to augment the number of occur in a few ages. But let us not be deceiv- the wretched; if you permit these favours of ed. I grant you are right in the principle, but Heaven to frustrate your salvation; and put you err in the consequence. There is nothing off the apostle, saying, as to unhappy Felix, in the most distant occurrence of this period “When I have seen a convenient season, which can flatter security. If the judgment will recall thee. Go thy way for this time.” be remote with regard to the world, it is near I have payments to meet, I have orders to with respect to you. It is not necessary, with write. regard to you, for the face of nature to be Let us seclude ourselves from bustle and changed, the Jews to be called into the cove- tumult. Let us seek retirement, recollection nant, the sound of the gospel to go to the end and silence. And may the death which is at of the earth, the moon to be turned to dark- hand, expressing myself with a prophet, inness, the stars to fall from heaven, the ele- duce us to “ make haste and not delay rements to melt with fervent heat, the heavens turning to the testimonies of the Lord,” Ps. to pass away with a great noise, and the earth cxix. 59, 60. to be dissolved. There is only wanting a defi- My brethren, you are not sufficiently imciency of humours in your body; only a little pressed with this thought. But we —we, to blood out of its place; only some fibre disor- whom God has committed the superintendance ganized; only an inflammation in the head, a of a great people;-we, if I may so speak, little diminution or augmentation of heat or who are called to exercise our ministry in a cold in the brain;—and behold your sentence world of dead and dying men, who see lopped is pronounced. Behold, with regard to you, off in succession every member of a numerous the world overturned, the sun darkened, the flock; we are alarmed, when we consider the moon become bloody, the gospel preached, the i delays which predominate in the conduct of most Christians. We never ascend the pulpit, thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to but it seems that we address you for the last Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Neither with time. It seems that we should exhaust the
you only do I make this covenant and this oath; whole of religion, to pluck our heroes from but with him that standeth here with us this day the world, and never let them go till we have before the Lord your God, and also with him intrusted them in the arms of Jesus Christ. It that is not here this day (for ye know that we seems that we should bid you an eternal fare- have dwelt in the land of Egypt, and how we well; that we are stretched on our bed of came through the nations which ye passed by. death, and that you are in a similar situation. And
ye have seen their abominations, and their Yes, Christians, this is the only moment on idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which which we can reckon. It is, perhaps, the only were among them:) lest there should be among acceptable time. It is, perhaps, the last day of you man or woman, or family, or tribe, whose our risitation. Let us improve a period so heart turneth away this day from the Lord your precious. Let us no longer say,—by and by God, to go and serre the gods of these nations; —at another time; but let us-to-day—this lest there should be among you a root that bearmoment-even now. Let the pastor say, I eth gall and wormwood, and it come to pass, have been insipid in my sermons, and remiss when he heareth the words of this curse, that he in my conduct; having been more solicitous, bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have during the exercise of my ministry, to advance peace though I walk in the imagination of mine my family, than to build up the Lord's house. I heart. will preach hereafter with fervour and with zeal. My brethren, this sabbath is a covenant-day I will be vigilant, sober, rigorous, and disin- between God and us. This is the design of terested. Let the miser say, I have riches ill our sacraments; and the particular design of the acquired. I will purge my house with illicit holy supper we have celebrated in the morning wealth. I will overturn the altar of Mammon, service. So our catechists teach; so our chiland erect another to the Supreme Jehovah. dren understand; and among the less instructed Let the prodigal say, I will extinguish the un- of this assembly there is scarcely one, if we happy fires by which I am consumed, and should ask him what is a sacrament, but would kindle in my bosom the flame of divine love. answer, “it is a symbol of the covenant beAh, unhappy passions, which war against my tween God and Christians." Boul; sordid attachments; irregular propensi- This being understood, we cannot observe ties; emotions of concupiscence; law in the without astonishment the slight attention, most members; I will know you no more. I will men pay to an institution, of which they seem make with you an eternal divorce, I will from to entertain such exalted notions. The tenthis moment open my heart to the Eternal | dency would not be happy in conciliating your Wisdom, who condescends to ask it.
attention to the discourse, were I to commence If we are in this happy disposition, if we by a humiliating portrait of the manners of the thus become regenerate, we shall enjoy from age; in which some of you would have occathis moment foretastes of the glory, which sion to recognise your own character. But the God has prepared. From this moment, the fact is certain, and I appeal to your consciences. truths of religion, so far from casting discour- Do we take the same precaution in contracting agement and terror on the soul, shall heighten a covenant with God in the eucharist, which is its consolation and joy; from this moment, exercised in a treaty on which the prosperity heaven shall open on this audience, paradise of the state, or domestic happiness depends? shall descend into your heart, and the Holy When the latter is in question, we confer with Spirit shall come and dwell there. He will experienced men, we weigh the terms, and inbring that peace, and those joys, which pass vestigate with all possible sagacity, what is all understanding. And, commencing our fe- stipulated to us, and what we stipulate in relicity on earth, he will give us the earnest of turn. But when we come to renew the high his consummation. God grant us the grace! covenant, in which the immortal God condeTo him, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be scends to be our God, in which we devote our-honour and glory, now and ever. Amen. selves to him, we deem the slightest examina
tion every way sufficient. We frequently even SERMON LXXXV.
repel with indignation a judicious man, who would venture, by way of caution, to ask,
“What are you going to do? What engageON THE COVENANT OF GOD WITH ments are you about to form? What calamities THE ISRAELITES.
are you about to bring on yourselves?"
One grand cause of this defect, proceeds, it
is presumed, from our having for the most part, Deut. xxix. 10.-19.
inadequate notions of what is called contractYe stand this day all of you before the Lord your ing, or renewing, our covenant with God.
God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, We commonly confound the terms, by vague and your officers, with all the men of Israel, or confused notions: hence one of the best reyour little ones, your wives, and thy stranger medies we can apply to an evil so general, is ihat is in thy camp, from thy hewer of wood, to explain their import with precision. Having unto the drawer of thy water: that thou should- searched from Genesis to Revelation, for the est enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, happiest text affording a system complete and and into his oath which the Lord thy God clear on the subject, I have fixed on the words maketh with thee this day: that he may establish you have heard. They are part of the disthee to-day, for a people unto himself: and that course Moses addressed to the Israelites, when he may be unto thee a God, as he hath been unto I he arrived on the frontiers of the promised