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conquered ; and if we go forth in the same armour, and fight in the same manner, we also shall triumph.' Then, let Satan and his legions devise mischief against the church, Christ and his mighty host will oppose and prevail againt him. Let Michael and his angels fight against the Dragon and his angels, and neither the church, nor the trembling, penitent soul, need to fear. While thé Adversary is lying in ambush, and hurling his fiery darts at the virtuous soul, some good Spirit will hover over, and cover it with his protecting wings.

Finally. If in this life of probation, we imitate the Angels, who made war even in heaven, we must expect to go hereafter to live with them, in a world, which is all War, and Want, and Wo. But if in this life we imitate the Angels, who have ever held fast their integrity, we may cherish the sublime hope of being admitted, at death, through the merits of the mighty Angel of the Covenant, to the participation of the profound knowledge of the Cherub, the glowing zeal of the Seraph, and the pre-eminent dignity of the Archangel, in a world, which is all Life, and Liberty, and Love.

STORY OF JON A H.

SERMONS

XLI

AND XLII.

Jonah i, 1-2. – NOW THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO

JONAH, THE SON OF AMITTAI, SAYING, ARISE, GO TO NINEVAH, THAT GREAT CITY, AND CRY AGAINST IT; FOR THEIR

WICKEDNESS IS COME UP BEFORE ME,

IN THE midst of the obscure Prophecies, we find this remarkable and marvellous, but plain and instructive Story of Jonah. Though placed after Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, and even four of the minor prophets, Jonah is the most ancient of the whole of them. He lived in the reign, and predicted the successes of Jeroboam, above eight hundred years before Christ. The book is rather a Narrative, than a Prophecy; for it contains but one prophecy, and that of but one line. Jonah was a native of Gath-hepher, in Galilee; a town in the tribe of Zebulon, in a remote corner of the Holy Land. Jonah and Jonas are the same name. Jonah signifies a Dove ; but Jonah had not a very dove-like disposition. Nineveh, that great city, was built by Nimrod, soon after the Flood. It was on, or near the Tigris, and was the proud and idolatrous metropolis of the Assyrian empire. The events of the story are so extraordinary, that some explain it as an allegory ; and others have profanely ridiculed it. But our Lord himself hath repeatedly attested its truth, and referred to its most incredible event, as a type of his own burial and resurrection. Jonah's impartiality in recording his own sins is peculiar to the sacred writers. Jonah himself probably wrote this Narrative. It is as follows.

FIRST MISSION.

feet high.

was

Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; foretell the judgments coming upon it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Nineveh, this very great, and very ancient city, was now in its glory. It was a three days' journey through, or around the city. Nineveh was much larger than Babylon. It was about nineteen miles long, and eleven broad. Its walls were a hundred feet high, and so thick that three chariots might go abreast upon them. On the walls, at intervals, were fifteen hundred towers, each two hundred

It was formerly necessary to include within the walls gardens and fields, for cultivation, and pasturage, which rendered the cities so large. But this great city was a greatly wicked city. The Ninevites were notorious for their luxury and effeminacy.

Jonahr sent as a herald at arms, in the name of the God of heaven, to proclaim war with Nineveh.' Arise, go to Nineveh, and preach unto it. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish. Joppa, now Jaffa, was a seaport town, said to be about forty miles from Gath-hepher, which Jonah left ; and in the opposite direction from Nineveh. Tarshish, though the word may signify any maritime place of trade, is generally supposed here to mean Tartessus in Spain. The mission was disagreeable, the journey was long and hazardous. Perhaps he thought that they might repent and be forgiven, and that then he might be branded as a false prophet; or that the king of Assyria might destroy him ; in all this he showed great want of faith and resignation to God.' Whatever he thought, he sought to flee from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. " Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his own god, or tutelar deity ;

12

VOL. II.

and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them; but Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship ; and he lay, and was fast asleep. Though the most guilty person, he was the least affected, as is too commonly the case. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. The shipmaster or pilot, though a heathen, speaks of one God as supreme, considering the others as mediators only. Thus he, who ought now to have been reproving the Ninevites, was himself justly reproved by an idolatrous shipmaster. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. This was the usual method of referring cases to the determination of Providence. They believed that some one of their gods had raised the storm, to punish the sins of some one in the ship ; and that Providence would direct the lot to fall upon the guilty one. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposal thereof is of the Lord. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us ? What is thine occupation ? And whence comest thou ? What is thy country ? And of what people art thou And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this ? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. The men were affrighted, and in confusion, seeing Jonah a decent, sober looking man. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? For the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea ; so shall the sea be calm unto you;

for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. A most generous confession and proposal of Jonah. Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring the vessel to the land, but they could not ; for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord; not as before every

one to his idol god; but unto Jonah's God, who they now knew had brought the tempest ; and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee; we are acting by thy command. So they took up Jonal, and reluctantly cast him forth into the sea ; and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered, or made vows to offer, a sacrifice unto the Lord. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the swallow of the fish three days and three nights. Some have thought that the word fish must have meant a boat. But the fish is in another part of Scripture called a whale. Some have conjectured, that the fish was a shark; and say that the throat of a whale is not large enough to swallow a man; and that the whale is seldom, if ever, found in the Mediterranean Sea. The learned Abbe Grosier, as cited by Jebb, thinks however that it was a whale, as we have it translated. He says it could not have been a shark. That fish is furnished with five or six ranges of teeth, placed in each jaw, after the manner of a palisade, which must have prevented the safe ingress and egress of the prophet.' But in the whale, the throat is large, and provided with a bag ... so considerable in size, that whales frequently take into it two of their young when weak, especially during a tempest. In this vessel there are two vents, which serve for inspiration and respiration; and here, in all probability, Jonah was preserved; not indeed without miracle, but with that economy of miracle, so frequently exemplified in Scripture.' But it is of little use to endeavour to render less miraculous, what was undoubtedly intended to be received as a great miracle.

Now Jonah, finding himself thus preserved from sutfocation by a miracle, took encouragement to pray; place is unsuitable for prayer; and he afterwards thus recorded the workings of his heart while in his swimming sepulchre, in a beautiful ode. I cried, he says, by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell, that is, the grave, where he was, as it were, buried alive; out of the belly of the grave,

for no

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