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The Silence of God

The Silence of God

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. HENRY WOODWARD, B.A.,

July, 1838


Psalm 1. 21.
" These things hast thou done, and I kept silence ;
THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS thyself: but I will reprove thee, and SET THEM IN
ORDER BEFORE THINE EYES."
BY REV. HENRY WOODWARD, B.A.,

July, 1838


Psalm 1. 21.
" These things hast thou done, and I kept silence ;
THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS thyself: but I will reprove thee, and SET THEM IN
ORDER BEFORE THINE EYES."

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 01, 2014
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THE SILECE OF GODBY REV. HERY WOODWARD, B.A., July, 1838Psalm 1. 21. " These things hast thou done, and I kept silence ; THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH A OE AS thyself: but I will reprove thee, and SET THEM I ORDER BEFORE THIE EYES." It is by no means necessary, that we should have committed the precise sins enumerated in the pre- ceding verses, in order to implicate us in the charge of guilt, vt^hich my text contains. It applies, in the full spirit of its meaning, to every unconverted child of Adam. And yet, tremendous as is the state of all, vrho have not, in penitence of heart, returned to God, no angry voice is heard, nor avenging arm stretched forth : all is still and motionless, as if none in heaven regarded. Sinners triumph, and iniquity abounds: but no palpable signs are given, that there is a witness on high, a God to whom vengeance belongeth. "These things hast thou done, and I kept silence." That which, to the filial heart, and awakened soul, causes sin to appear exceedingly sinful, and makes all departures from duty doubly painful, all inward reproaches of unfaithfulness, intolerable Digiti zed by Google
 
SERMO VII. 99 and ** sharper than a serpent's tooth;" — I mean the long-suffering of God :<— this is the very thing, I say, which hardens the children of this world, in their insensibility and crimes. Dead to every elevated and generous feeling, they pervert God's best means of saving them, to their own destmc- tion. They despise " the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and long-suffering ; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth" — (that it is intended and calculated to lead them) " to repent- ance." If it thundered out of heaven; if the Almighty were to cast forth his lightnings and tear them, to shoot out his arrows and consume them, when they committed open sin, or resisted the inward voice of conscience ; they would be all submission, all zeal, all activity, all devotedness. If they could not love God, at all events they would fear him, and strive hard to love him, with every faculty and energy of their souls. But because he is patient, he is provoked every day : because he is gentle, mild, and slow to anger, his mercies are disregarded, and his omnipotence defied. ** These things hast thou done, and I kept silence ; and " (what was the consequence of this forbearance ?) " thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." " o man hath seen God at any time." He does not show himself, in any outward manner, to h2 Digiti
 
zed by Google 100 SERMO VII. US. He does not openly or palpably concern him- self, or declare how he feels disposed, respecting what is going on here. Even when the most heinous provocations are calling aloud to heaven ; God is still retired, withdrawn, secret, and invi- sible. Hence it arises, that men's notions of the Divine nature, are so infinitely various. o fixed standard is laid down : no common object is pre- sented, by which their judgment can be brought to agree, upon this all-important point. The volume of Scripture is, to the unawakened mind, scarce less indefinite, than that of nature. In both, materials are supplied, from which each individual can form a combination for himself: and out of these, we are, instinctively, led to frame such a notion of God, as may best suit the peculiar temperament of our several characters of mind. Hence the justice of that charge, which lies against the wicked, in my text ; " Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." And hence that universal law, by which a correspondence will be always found, between the worshipper and the object which he worships ; between what each individual discovers in himself, and what he thinks of God. But how can they, to whom it is given, in a Scriptural sense, to know the Lord, presume that the Being, whom they have learned to worship in spirit and in truth, is such an one as themselves ?

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