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parent cause that was acting, and the effect that was to follow; and in all probability were deriding the Hebrews, and encouraging one another in their unbeliefi and insolence, till the moment, when, at the command of God, his people shouted, and sudden destruction came upon them.

From this destruction, one person of the city is delivered ; and she, as we should think, a most unlikely person; even the harlot Rahab. But the text gives us the reason of this ; by FAITH the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she hud received the spies with peace. All the people of Jericho had heard of Israel, and of what God had done and was doing for them, as well as Rahab : but they did not believe, and she did. I know, said she, that the Lord hath given you the land; now therefore swear unto me, that ye will shew me kindness, and deliver our lives from death. When the king of Jericho was informed that the spies were with her, he sent to demand them; but she hid them till the danger was past. She did all this at the peril of her own life ; for had she been discovered in what she had done, she would surely have been put to death : but she brought herself into present danger, to obtain future deliver. ance for herself and her relations, which accordingly was granted soon after; and she is an example to us at this day. For this history of Jericho and Rahab is to be fulfilled upon the world, and those that dwell therein : the world will be destroyed like Jericho, and the faithful will be saved like Rahab. The apostle speaks of the future judgment of the world in such terms as certainly allude to this history of Jericho. The Lord himself, says he, shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God. Observe here; it shall be the

Lord himself, not Jesus the servant of Moses, but Jesus the son of God; the true captain of our salvation : and as the people shouted when Jericho fell, so shall there be a great shout of the host from heaven when this world shall fall. O how will the righteous be encouraged, and the wicked terrified, at the hearing of that shout! The trumpets also that sounded at Jericho, shall then prove figurative of the trumpet of the last judgment, called the trump of God : a thing not unknown to the people of Israel; for they had already heard the sound of it on Mount Sinai, as a prelude and earnest of that last sound which will shake the world. At that time will the faithful be delivered as Rahab was; whose example teaches us this lesson, that we are to believe what we have heard of the judge ment which is soon to come upon us, and to make our peace against that time of vengeance, not regarding what the world may say, and what men may threaten, to terrify those who dare to take a better part, for the sake of securing their own future deliverance, Rahab knew all that was said by the people of the city; but she was not moved from her purpose; the King's command did not terrify her; and at last she saved her life, by having ventured the loss of it; she perished not with them that believed not,

Such is the history of Jericho and of Rahab: on the particulars of which many important reflexions must arise to those who consider it. And first; the city of Jericho presents itself to us as a figure of this world, in which we now live: as being wicked ; as being in opposition to God; as being blind to iinpending judgments. The people of Jericho are distinguished by the title of those that believed not. In this consisted the difference between them and Rahab. Had they believed as she did, they might have been saved as she was : but where unbelief hath once prevailed, how rarely is it corrected! The Scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem had principles of their own, which would not suffer them to believe Jesus Christ to be the true Saviour; their pride would never give up their own false wisdom; and their covetousness would not give up the world : so all the miracles of Christ could not convince them. But publicans, and harlots, and all others to whom sin was burthensome, and judgment frightful, believed and were saved. Every man that will not believe, has some wicked reasons for it; and he can never believe, till those reasons are given up: on which consideration, it is necessary that repentance should go before faith. What those reasons were in particular, which hindered the people of Jericho from believing, it may now be hard to enumerate : long established idolatry, with the habitual vices attending it, was sufficient; in which pride and presumption are among the chief. I believe, their high walls, and their miraculous downfall, were alluded to in those words of the apostle, where he says; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that eralteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Such weapons as men use in war, are called carnal : these were not employed against Jericho ; but such only as were figurative and mystical, but which, nevertheless, are mighty through God to the casting down the walls of this proud city; such weapons as could have no effect but what he gave them. The Gospel is such another weapon: it is sounded by priests; and with the same effect: the high thoughts of man are brought down, and all imaginations fall before it*. In such wicked imaginations did the people of Jericho persist; and therefore they could not understand what was coming upon them. But observe, that though they continued firm to the last in their unbelief, they were far from being casy. The terror of destruction was upon them, and their hearts melted within them. Thus it is with wicked men: they suffer fear and terror from the state they are in; but it does them no good: they neither grow wiser nor better. What a deplorable. ease is this ! but it was the case almost universally of those wicked nations of Canaan, when they had filled up the measure of their iniquities: and such is the natural end, and last effect of sin: when it has blinded the eyes, it hardens the heart, and then there is no recovery to be expected. The judgments of God are then certain, and his justice is inflexible. When judgment is come, mercy is past; according to that terrible declaration by the prophet Amos; I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. How dreadful is it, when it comes to this! when God is determined upon punishment, then it soon appears what it is to fall into the hands of the living God.

But whatever a sinner may have been, if he returns and makes his peace while the day of mercy lasts, he is never cast out. This doctrine is exemplified in the case of Rahab; who was received to mercy when the city perished. This case, before it is well considered, may seem to give encouragement to sin. What ? hath a wicked harlot nothing to do, but to believe and be saved ? Here we are too hasty: for when she believed; what did she? She did not sit still to be idle and

See Isaiah, ii. 14,

worthless; but as she believed, so she acted: she received the spies with peace : and saved their lives at the hazard of her own. Surely then, if he who gives only a cup of cold water as a testimony of his faith, is entitled to a reward; he who saves the life of another on the same principle, must be entitled to a greater.

This case of Rahab has given occasion to some reasonings in the Scripture, which often are not rightly understood. In the text the apostle teaches us, that by faith the harlot Rahab perished not: but St. James asks; was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? There is here an apparent contradiction in words; but there is none in point of fact; for faith, and the work of faith, are in reality but one and the same thing: the faith produces the work; and the work proves the faith; and neither of these can be certain without the other. Faith which does not work is dead; and a work, if a work of faith, justifies : indeed faith itself is a work in the heart of man, and so the expression of St. James imports; for he

says of Abraham, that faith wrought with his works; and so it was a working, that is, a living faith. But the most express declaration to this purpose is the answer of Christ to that question of the Jews; what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? to which he answered, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. So that the dispute which men have raised about faith and works, is without foundation. When these two are asunder, they are nothing: when they are together, they are but the same thing. Faith that is alive will work; and the work will be good, because it is the work of a believer.

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