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to put in the balance with our vices; that there is mercy with God for us all, if we earnestly seek it of Him; and that the day of our entire desolation is not yet come! But let us remember that every neglect of his visitations is an approach towards that fatal day, and that if we continue longer hardened under the present severe chastisements of his hand, we have reason to fear that a worse thing will befal us.
It is the method of God's providence to bear long ' with his people, and to try all methods of reclaiming
them consistent with their moral agency; such as by reproof, by example, by mercy, and by chastisement. But there is a time when his patience has had its full work, and “*there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” There is a stage or crisis in the corruption of nations, beyond which it is as impossible for them to subsist, onany tolerableprinciples of social happiness, as for the body to move when the life and spirits are fled. It follows, then, that every neglect to improve by God's mercisul visitations is an advance to this stage, and therefore a fatal symptom of approaching ruin.
To offer farther proofs of this would be needless. For if there be any meaning in all that I have laid before you;
if the words of the text and the whole tenor of scripture be of any weight; if the voice of reason and the experience of ages be worthy of regard; then it is evident, past contradiction, that national vices lead to national misery. For a holy and just God must punish the Aagrant abuse of his miseries; and when this abuse is by a whole people,
Heb. x. 26.
or the majority of them, the punishment may well be expected in this world, seeing in the next all the present societies of men will be disbanded. Besides this, in the very nature of things, a general corruption of the several members must lead to a dissolution of the whole body.
If we search all the annals of mankind through, we shall find that no people was ever truly great or prosperous, but by supporting a sense of Liberty, and upholding the majesty of virtue. Government cannot be maintained on any other principles than justice, truth, and sobriety. Vice is a standing rebellion against God and government, and a total subversion of all order and faith, and peace, and society among men.
Let me, then, my brethren, adjure and beseech you to improve this day of solemn humiliation before the Lord, to those pious purposes for which it was set apart. Let me call upon you, by every dear and sacred tie; by all the deliverances which God hath wrought for you; by all the inestimable blessings which you have received at his hand; by the glory and dignity of your immortal nature; by the sanctifying graces of his holy spirit; by the glorious coming of his everlasting Son from the bosom of his love; by his adorable plan of redemption and bloody cross; by the purity of his everlasting gospel and your high calling as Christians; by all that you are, and all that you hope to be; by the slender thread of life that separates you from the dark mansions of the
grave; by the sound of the last trumpet that will raise you to endless life; by the sun in darkness and the moon in blood; by Jesus the Redeemer seated on his awful tribunal; by the last solemn sentence and an eternity to come-or if these glorious and important considerations will not work upon you, let me call upon you by your dread of punishment and fear of ruin; by all the examples of divine vengeance that have been laid before you; by a regard to your posterity yet unborn; by the sighs and distress of your captivated brethren; and by the groans and miseries of your bleeding country-Repent; be converted from every sin; humble yourselves in the dust before the Lord; cry earnestly unto him for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, and stedfastly purpose to walk before him for the future, “ in holiness and righteousness all the days of your lives!”
Such a conduct as this will equally entitle you to the character of good Christians and good Citizens. For whatever we may boast of public spirit and love to our country, it appears from what has been said, that he, and he only, is the greatest patriot, and manifests the greatest public spirit, who supports the majesty of religion, reverences the laws of his country, and keeps a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man. And happy is he, of all others most happy, whether in a high or low station, who, in the present confusion of our affairs, can lay his hand on his heart, and pronounce that such has been the steady tenor of his proceedings. For him there will remain the recompense of the just, when all sublunary things shall have come to an end.
Grant, О heavenly Father! that such may be the future conduct, and such the final recompense of every one of us here assembled before thee. Graciously accept this day's imperfect service and the humble offerings of our praise for all Thy unmerited mercies; and particularly for having saved us from the fury of those raging Earthquakes that have so lately whelmed thousands, perhaps less guilty than we, in one sudden ruin. Strengthen us with Thy grace for the performance of those vows of amend. ment, into which we have now solemnly entered. Continue to us the pure light of the everlasting gospel, which thy justice might well remove from us. Bring our civil discords and all erroneous doctrines to a speedy end. Hear the cries of our suffering and captivated brethren every where, and support them in thy faith and fear. Have pity on the general distress of this country; and Oh! Thou whose Almighty power can raise even the dead from the grave, raise up leaders and champions among us for our holy Zion, in this day of peril; that even the bones which Thou hast broken may hear of joy and gladness! Inspire us with a high and commanding sense of the immense value of what we are now called to defend; which will be the best foundation of true heroism and virtue. For could we be once so lost to goodness and wisdom as to apprehend the difference between one religion and another, one system of government and another, not worth the price of blood and treasure, the day of our desolation would not be far distant; and we and our posterity would soon be lost and blended among the nations around us that know not thee; from which unspeakable calamity good Lord deliver us to the latest generations, for the sake of our Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen.
FATHER and Lord of all! Creator, Preserver and Judge of the World! Thou First and Best of Beings! Glory, eternal Glory, be ascribed to 'Thee, who hast made us capable of knowing, seeking, and loving Thee-calling us to fly to Thy mercy, .as Children to a Father, for aid and direction in all our undertakings, and for strength and deliverance in all our dangers.
Lost, utterly lost, should we be to all sense of Gratitude, and Goodness, if we did not feel and adore Thy daily lovingkindness to the Children of Men-We feel, and we adore, these Thy transcendent attributes, 0! Thou King of Nations! Struck with the unspeakable majesty of thy Divine Perfections, conscious of our own unworthiness, and relying only on the worthiness of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we come this Day to prostrate ourselves at Thy Foot-stool; Fearing, yet Loving; Trembling, yet Adoring!
When we contemplate Thy Providence, we must confess that Thou hast done wonderful things for Us, and for our Fathers of old! Thou gavest them a goodly heritage, and the power of Thy goodness hath often supported them, and us, in