Let us not trust in outward privileges, nor rest in a form of godliness destitute of the power. It will be in vain to say, “The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these” (Jer 7:4), if the Lord of the temple should depart from us. When the Israelites were afraid of the Philistines, they carried the ark of the Lord with them to battle (1Sa 4:3). But God disappointed their vain confidence. He delivered the ark of His glory into the hands of their enemies to teach them, and to teach us, that formal hypocritical worshippers have no good ground to hope for His protection.
Alas, then, who can tell? Appearances are very dark at present. Besides what we may expect or fear from the rage and madness of our foreign enemies, we have much to apprehend at home. A spirit of discord has gone forth. Jeshurun has waxed fat, and kicked (Deu 32:15). Many seem weary of liberty, peace, and order. Our happy constitution, our mild government, our many privileges, admired by other nations, are despised and depreciated among ourselves—not only by the thoughtless and licentious, and those who, having little to lose, may promise themselves a possibility of gain in a time of disturbance and confusion, but they are abetted and instigated by persons of sense, character, and even of religion. I should be quite at a loss to account for this, if I did not consider it as a token of the Lord’s displeasure. When He withdraws His blessing, no union can long subsist!