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perverse abuse of the Lord's abundant mercies, have increased their own condemnation! Still "the Holy Ghost says, To-day if ye will hear his "voice, harden not your hearts."-" Seek ye the "LORD while he may be found; call ye upon him, "while he is near." And we intreat you, join your prayer for yourselves to our supplications in your behalf, that in the present year you may be "turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God."
Perhaps some are blessing God, that this has been their happy case, during the preceding year; and are now saying within themselves, Had I 'died before the year 1795, I should have perished ' in my sins, without Christ and without hope. 'But the Lord who spared me when others were 'cut off, and rescued me from numberless dangers
seen and unseen, when I habitually trampled on ' his commandments, and neglected his salvation, ' hath at length, in boundless mercy, "granted me "repentance," enabled me to believe in the Lord 'Jesus Christ, and taught me by his grace to walk ' in newness of life. "Bless the LORD, O my "soul; and forget not all his benefits; who for
giveth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thy "diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruc"tion, and crowneth thee with loving-kindness "and tender mercy."-How memorable with you my brethren, even to eternal ages, will be this "ac
ceptable year of the LORD," which to many hath doubtless been "the day of vengeance of our God!",
Oh, endeavour to 'shew forth his praises, not only ⚫ with your lips, but in your lives, by giving up yourselves to his service, and by walking before" 'him in holiness and righteousness all your days." Then many will glorify God on your behalf, and you will be in some degree instrumental in bringing others to seek the same blessings. Abide in Christ; keep close to the means of grace; watch against temptation; "be not high-minded, "but fear," for your enemies are many and your hearts deceitful; yet "be sober and hope unto "the end," "For greater is he that is in you, "than he that is in the world." Wait on the Lord continually, that he may renew your strength: and take heed, lest an increase of knowledge' and maturity of judgment should be attended by an abatement in the fervour of your affections. Be not contented with the low attainments of this lukewarm age; but follow those, who have most closely followed Christ. And now approach with' us to his table, to avow your acceptance of his salvation, and surrender of yourselves to his service; that, as "bought with a price, you may glorify' "God with your bodies and spirits which are his.
Some perhaps to this very day, may stand in doubt to what class or company they belong. May the Lord enable such persons, to begin this new year, with "giving all diligence to make their "calling and election sure!" Enquire, my friends, with impartial strictness, into the reasons of your uncertainty and darkness: cast away every idol, break off every entangling pursuit or engagement,
return from your backslidings, and seek the Lord with all your hearts: that should this year terminate your lives; your setting sun may break forth with cheering beams, and gild the dark valley, through which you must pass or should you be spared; that your walk may be henceforth more close with God, more honourable and comfortable, and more edifying and encouraging to those around
My Christian brethren! let us enter on this new year, by seriously reviewing the one that we have finished: that we may be humbled for the sins, into which we have been betrayed, and rendered more simply dependent and watchful: and that we may be more thankful for the special mercies, personal, social, and publick, with which we have been fayoured. Let us earnestly beg a blessing from God on every attempt we have made to sow the seed of truth, to speak a word in season, and to recommend the gospel: beseeching him also to prevent the bad effect of our mistakes and inconsistencies. should likewise remember that time is short: that we may learn patience in tribulation, joyfulness in hope, indifference about things present, and diligence in our proper work. "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might for there is no "work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in "the grave whither thou goest.'” "Let your “loins then be girded, and your lamps burning;" and be habitually expecting the coming of the Lord. Endeavour to recollect what designs of
1 Eccles. ix. 10.
usefulness you had formed, and intended to have executed during the last year, or in any former pe riod; and set about them without delay: persevere in every good work, and Christian course, on which you have entered; and aim to press forward, to grow in grace, and abound more and more in all the fruits of righteousness. Then should this be your last year, as it possibly may, and as some have probable reason to expect; death will be your. gain and while the survivors among us may meet together at the return of this season to set up another Eben-ezer to our merciful God; others will have joined the company before the throne, and be triumphantly rejoicing and blessing the Lord, that he hath helped them quite through, made them more than conquerors, and placed them for ever out of the reach of dangers and enemies.May we all, as in succession called out of this world, thus join the heavenly worshippers; till at length,
'When all the chosen race
'Shall meet before the throne, To bless the conduct of his grace,
And make his wonders known;'
we may be found of that happy number, and meet once more to set up an Eben-ezer in the world above, and to join in eternal adorations of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the one God of our salvation, to whom be praise and glory for ever. more. Amen.
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
JOHN Baptist, the predicted forerunner of the
Messiah, was doubtless well informed of his person, offices, and kingdom. He prepared the way of the Lord, by preaching repentance, as indispensably necessary to a participation of the blessings about to be communicated and while he baptized the people with water, as an outward emblem of their souls being washed from sin; he declared that the Redeemer would baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire. He bare witness to the Saviour as the Son of God, the Bridegroom of the Church, and "the Lamb of God, "which taketh away the sin of the world." He cried, saying, "This was he of whom I spake, He "that cometh after me is preferred before me; 'Preached Good-friday, 1796.