you partake of many blessings in answer to pray-. er, though you never joined in seeking them by prayer. Be not then now negligent in thanksgiving, though you were in praying; and henceforth forget not to unite your requests for national mercies, with those of that army of supplicants, of divers denominations, who are indeed the bulwark of the land.

Finally-Do any continue impenitent and ungodly? I fear I shall exhort you to gratitude in vain : if you neglect prayer, I fear you will have as little heart to praise and thanksgiving, though you have abundant cause. But two hints I will leave with you: though you despise spiritual blessings, you value temporal blessings inordinately. In answer to prayer, these are continued to our land, and to you among the rest. Do not then revile and ill-treat your praying neighbours, to whom under God you are indebted for your share of national security. And remember, that although, through the intercession of others, you may escape tenporal calamities during life: yet death will come shortly; and then if you be found impenitent, the most tremendous earthly judgments, in comparison of your eternal portion, will be known to be but light afflictions, and but for a moment. “The “ hand of the Lord shall find out all his enemies; “ his right hand shall find out them that hate • him. He shall make them as a fiery oven in

[blocks in formation]

“ the time of his anger.”—“Seek then the LORD, “ while he may be found ; call upon him while he

Let the wicked forsake his way, and “ the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him “ return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy SERMON II.1

66 is near.

upon him, and to our God, and he will abun“ dantly pardon.”


Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen.

It is of great importance that christians should possess a distinct and comprehensive knowledge of the doctrine of scripture, in respect of God's providential dealings with nations who enjoy the light of revelation, and of their own duty in this particular. For this would supersede a variety of questions and discussions, which prevent numbers from joining cordially either in prayer for publick mercies, or thanksgiving for them when evidently vouchsafed. It would teach them to consider all creatures as instruments in the hand of him“ who

worketh all things after the counsel of his own

will;" and shew, that humiliation before him for sin, or gratitude for unmerited comforts, has nothing to do with approbation, or disapprobation

Preached at the Lock Chapel, Nov. 29, 1798.

of men or measures; except as in case of approbation there is additional cause for gratitude, in case of disapprobation for deeper humiliation.'

Let it then be allowed, (and who can deny it?) that this nation has been peculiarly favoured by a merciful Providence: and waving, but by no means yielding, the question concerning publick measures, I would ask such as continue dissatisfied, whether Elijah was the less bound to thank the Lord for his daily provision, because it was sent him by ravens? whether David did wrong in blessing God for seasonable deliverance from the rage of Saul, because he could not approve the conduct of the Philistines, whose sudden invasion called

away his persecutor:-or whether the primitive Christians, during three hundred years under pagan emperors, generally of very bad character, and most of them persecutors, were never called on to thank the Lord for their share in publick peace, or exemption from national calamities? Alas, in how few ages and places, if this reserve be admitted, have Christians been so much as required to be thankful for national mercies! How small a tribute of praise must our gracious God receive from his whole church in this behalf!

My brethren, we do not meet together at this time to enquire what men have been doing; but what the Lord hath done for us as a guilty nation. · He hath not dealt with us according to our sins,

! 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. 2 Chron. ii. 11.

neither hath he rewarded us after our iniquities: but " he hath withdrawn his hand, and wrougn “ for his name's sake, that it should not be pol“ luted in the sight of the heathen.” In prosecuting this subject, I shall,

I. Make some brief observations on the text, as illustrated by the Lord's dealings with the nation of Israel.

II. More fully consider the words as applicable to the present circumstances of this our favoured land.

I. Then, I shall make some brief observations on the text, as illustrated by the Lord's dealings with the nation of Israel.

If we carefully weigh the import of a few remarkable passages of scripture, we shall find them throw much light on the subject, and prepare

the way for all our subsequent enquiries. When Israel had made and worshipped the golden calf, the LORD said to Moses, “ Now therefore let me alone, " that my wrath may wax hot against them, and “that I may consume them; and I will make of

thee a great nation And Moses besought the “Lord his God, and said, Why doth thy wrath “ wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt, with great power and with a mighty hand? Where

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »