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Journey to Canaan, And Journey to Heaven.

Journey to Canaan, And Journey to Heaven.

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLARD PRESTON, D,D.


"They wandered in the wilderness in a solitai-y way: they found no city
to dwell in ; hungry and thirsty their soul fainted in them. Then they
cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their dis-
tresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a
city of habitation." — Psalm 107 : 4-7.
BY WILLARD PRESTON, D,D.


"They wandered in the wilderness in a solitai-y way: they found no city
to dwell in ; hungry and thirsty their soul fainted in them. Then they
cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their dis-
tresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a
city of habitation." — Psalm 107 : 4-7.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 12, 2013
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12/17/2014

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JOUREY TO CAAA, AD JOUREY TO HEAVE.BY WILLARD PRESTO, D,D."They wandered in the wilderness in a solitai-y way: they found no cityto dwell in ; hungry and thirsty their soul fainted in them. Then theycried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of theirdis-tresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to acity of habitation." — Psalm 107 : 4-7.In this passage the Psahnist alludes to the journey-ings of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan. The dis-tance between the place of their departure and that of their destination was very short. But they wereforty years in accomplishing their journey. Theywandered in the wilderness. Their course was ex-ceedingly erratic, solitary, difficult, and arduous. Theyoften murmured, and were thrown into perplexitiesand distresses. They often sought to return to thecountry which they had left, resuming the practicesand customs which they had professed most solemnlyto renounce and abandon. But their way was hedgedup, and they were plunged into new difficulties andtrials. Sometimes they appeared desirous of settlingdown short of the country of their destined rest. But250 SERMO xy.they found no city to dwell in. They were left to thepains of hunger and thirst, and their soul fainted inthem. But their distresses, though the consequenceof their iniquities, were not visited upon them, merelyas a punishment, but as disciplhiari/ and as correc-tives. God had only their best good in view. Hethereby showed them the sin and folly of self-depend-ence and distrust of his wisdom and goodness, and
 
how soon and certainly they would be destroyed if left to their own control and guidance. Hence, intheir troubles, they cried unto the Lord ; and he mer-cifully heard them, and delivered them out of their dis-tresses, and led them forth by the right way, that theymight go to a city of habitation ; a place of permanentabode and rest and blessings, which God had preparedfor them.These remarks are a mere commentary on the text,which furnishes a history of the main points of theforty years' experience of the Israelites in the wilder-ness, from Egypt to Canaan. And what Christian canfail to see how close and striking the points of coinci-dence between their experience and that of the peopleof God now, and in every generation, in his dealings to-wards them, and their course from this world to the king-dom of heaven, the place which God has prepared fortheir eternal abode ! Inspired writers themselves haveoften referred to the one, to illustrate the other. Aprincipal reason for this is, that true religion is emi-nently practical. While it is founded on those greatSERMO XV. 251principles which are laid, and which produce a renovat-ing effect on the heart, they are designed to exert a con-trolling influence over the life. It does not consist ina system of doctrines, to be believed only ; in a creed,however correct. Such a system or creed is, indeed,necessary — is absolutely essential, whether in a formalmanner expressed or not. o man's conduct is likelyto be better than his belief, nor will be correct in thebelief of essentially erroneous sentiments. Correctevangelical views of Divine truth, however, will be in-volved in the course which I have prescribed to myself in the remarks to be submitted.
 
My object will be to trace the parallel, or points of agreement between the two courses which we haveintimated.I. As the Israelites took their departure from aland of bondage, so have Christians come out fromthe world, a state, though of a dijBferent kind, yet oneof no less severe bondage. o bondage is worse thanbondage to sin. It is the bondage of man's immortalpart, — bondage of the soul. It is the being led cap-tive to the will of the great adversary of God and of man, of the glory of the one, and the highest interestsof the other. Sin has blighted a world, which origin-ally reflected only the glorious perfections of itsMaker; has changed its whole aspect; turned all itsloveliness, not indeed into physical deformity, butinto objects and sources of temptation, which subjectsthe soul to the worst kind of servitude, — to moral252 SERMO XV.deformity and endless ruin. On its account, Godcursed the very ground. And what was originallycreated for an abode of the purest freedom and happi-ness, became a thorny wilderness — a world of sickness,sorrow, pain, and death. Provision has indeed beenmade for man's redemption from such a state ; ampleatonement for his sin has been made, by the greatestsacrifice which heaven itself could furnish ; and thereare yet to be new heavens and a new earth whereindwelleth righteousness ; and to this high and happydestiny those will be exalted who here bear God's re-stored moral image. Hence the command, " Comeout from the world, and be ye separate." Break aw^ay from this bondage to sin. Renounce the prin-ciples, customs, and fashions of this world. Andtrue Christians have obeyed this Divine injunction.They have been liberated from this bondage, and set

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