Fast day Sermon.
--At the Third Presbyterian Church, Church Hill
, Rev. Mr. Leftwich
chose as the foundation of his remarks 1st Peter, 5th chapter, 6th verse, ‘"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."’
Three reasons were given for humbling ourselves under the hand of God.
The first was found in our present exposed and threatened condition; the second, in the malignant spirit and vast resources of our enemies; the third, in the prevalence of sin in manifold forms of vice among us, sufficient to call down the vengeance of Heaven upon us; unless by repentance we arrest the arm of righteous indignation and obtain mercy.
In unfolding these topics the speaker adverted, first, to our losses in Missouri
, and Tennessee
, and to the lust of spoil, and power, and revengeful spirit with which our enemy, with superior means and appliances of war, and superior numbers, is approaching our doors.
From the contemplation of a state of things where the odds are so much against us, he found no refuge, save in the righteousness of our cause; but in order to avail ourselves of this plea the nation must be pursed of its sins.
Among those enumerated were extravagance and love of ease; want of that missionary spirit, which has made us in all works of Christian benevolence, at home and abroad, so far inferior to our enemies; profanity and desecration of the Sabbath; vainglorious pride of ancestry and chivalry; and a covetousness so greedy and defiant in its recent manifestations that it ranks with that idolatry which worshiped a golden calf at the foot of Sinai
, at the very moment when God was revealing his awful presence.
These sins have demoralized our army and our people; the church has yielded to their pernicious influence, and slumbers in sinful apathy amid the growth of inequity.
If the divine Being were to blot us from existence as a nation, it were no more than we deserve.
In conclusion, the congregation was urged to that humiliation and repentance to which the text invites, and confidently assured that thus the nation might be exalted, protected, and secured in the favor and blessing of God.
We have given a more outline of an eloquent and instructive discourse in language which presents no correct idea of that chaste and graphic style which is the felicitous gift of this young divine.
There were powerful descriptions and touching appeals to which we have barely alluded.
's picture of the effects of the present war in the waste of life, and bereavement of relatives, the ejection of families from their homes, and the separation of pastors from their churches, derived additional pathos from the fact that himself is a refuges from down-trodden Alexandria
, where, as published heretofore, he so valiantly resisted the tyrants who endeavored to forbid his public prayers for the Southern Confederacy.