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" What meanest thou, oh sleeper T arise, call upon thy God ; if so
be that God will think upon us, that we perish not." Jonah i. 6.

" What meanest thou, oh sleeper T arise, call upon thy God ; if so
be that God will think upon us, that we perish not." Jonah i. 6.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 08, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE SLEEPIG SIER AWAKEED. BY THE REV. T. T. CASTLEMA. " What meanest thou, oh sleeper T arise, call upon thy God ; if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not." Jonah i. 6. There was once, far away in the East, a great city called ineveh. It was sixty miles round, and within were more than six hundred thousand people. But no Christian Sabbath was known there. o sound of the church-bell invited the people to the house of God. o company of Christians met to offer up prayer and praise to His name. The people thought not of God. They loved not His laws. They all lived in sin. Their wicked- ness rose up, as it were, in the sight of heaven. For a long, long time, God was patient with them. At last he could bear with them no more. He grew weary of their sins ; and said he would destroy the city and all the people in it. But He would not do this without giving them warn- ing, and still further time to repent. He, therefore, com- manded a man, whose name was Jonah, to go and cry out in the streets " forty days and ineveh shall be destroyed." But the people of ineveh were rich, and proud, and great. Jonah could not see how God could find it in flis heart to destroy so great a city, and so many thousand people. He was afraid to go to them on 64 BEBMO V. such an errand. Instead of going to ineveh he went down to a city on the sea shore, called Joppa, and got ready to set sail for another land. Presently the wind blew, and the ship moved off like a swan upon the water. It danced on merrily, from wave to wave, until Jonah could see nothing but the blue sea around him. I think I can almost see that ship, with its white sails, shining in the sun, its tall masts bending before the breeze,
and Jonah standing with an air of careless confidence, on its deck, just as if he had really found a hiding place from God. Vain and foolish man ! not to know that if he had gone down to hell, God was there ; or if he had taken the wings of the morning to go to the uttermost parts of the earth, even there would God be." Upon that ship Jonah was an entire stranger. Having no acquaintances and nothing to do, he went down into the lower part of the ship and laid down quietly to rest. A little cloud was seen at last to rise up far off over the sea ; and presently the skies were covered with blackness. The wind whistled through the rigging, and swept a tempest round the ship. It was carried like a cork on the waters. The captain and the sailors grew pale with alarm ; and every man of them prayed to his false God to save them from a watery grave. The goods and the wares they had on board were all cast into the sea, to lighten the vessel of its load. But still the storm did not pass away. Death seemed to stare them all in the face ; and they knew not what* to do. In this terrible hour the captain thought of his strange passenger, Jonah. He was about to give up all as lost, but thought he would seek him, to see whether he could do something for them. And where does he find him ? Is Jonah alone on his knees, before God, in deep sorrow for his dis- THE 8LBRPQTO SIHKIE AWAKEKBD. 65 obedience ? Is he looking out upon the storm and crying fbr God's mercy on ninif o, he is down in a dark corner fast asleep on his pillow. He has thought nothing of the storm ; he knows nothing of his own danger. Even the common sailors on that ship, who all worshipped false gods, feel more concern for their souls than the disobedient Jonah does. You may learn from this how sleepy, and careless, and stupid, the practice of sin will make any man* The man who will not listen to the warnings of God, who will not obey the commands of God, will always become blinder, and colder, and deader, in sin. Jonah had refused
to do what God told him. And now he can lie down and sleep quietly, while the wrath of God rages oyer him* This is the way that the sinner sleeps, even while the anger of God is rising like a tempest against him. This was Jonah in the storm. When the master of the ship found him, he was lying there, as unconcerned as if he was sleeping on a summer's day, under some cooling shade, while the breezes of heaven were fanning him to still sweeter rest. He was astonished at the man's stupidity. o wonder he cried out to him " what meanest thou, oh deeper?" But let me tell you that the storm that sweeps over the sea is not the only storm, and Jonah that laid down to sleep in that ship, is not the only man that sleeps in the storm. I see a sleeping Jonah in every careless sinner here ; and I hear the roaring of a coming storm in every threat of God against your sins. You may not fear it, but you are sleeping on the brink of ruin. There is a storm of wrath raging round and beneath you; and I call upon you just as that ship captain called upon Jonah, " what meanest thou, oh sleeper?" 6* 66 01RMOH V. But I hear some of yon answer, " o, we are not asleep. 9 ' " Our eyes are wide open." Yes, but your minds and hearts are asleep. And, if you will listen, I will tell you how you are asleep, and how that sleep is far more dan- gerous and awful than ever Jonah's was. You are asleep in your carelessness about religion. I cannot believe that any of you can think there is no such thing as religion. You see how it has changed the hearts and lives of some of your fellow-servants. You see it makes the lazy man industrious — the dishonest man honest

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