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A PRAYER AFTER SERMON.
FATHER of all! Preserver of all ! Judge of all ! thou First and Best of Beings ! all praise and glory be ascribed unto Thee, who hast made us capable of seeking and loving Thee; and hast invited us to fly to the throne of Thy Mercy for aid and direction in all our undertakings, and deliverance in all our dangers. Surely that heart must be lost to every nobler feeling, that does not see and adore Thy unspeakable goodness towards the children of men
We see and we adore it, O thou King of Nations! struck with the transcendent Majesty of Thy perfections, conscious of our own unworthiness, and relying on the merits of Thy ever blessed Son, we prostrate ourselves in the dust before Thy glorious presence; fearing, yet loving; trembling, yet adoring!
We confess, O Lord! that Thou hast done wonderful things for us and for our fathers! Thou hast indeed given us a goodly heritage; and the power of Thy Glory hath often supported us signally in the days of our danger. But alas! our ingratitude has increased in proportion to Thy Mercies, and all sorts of transgressions have spread themselves wider and wider among us.
Thou hast visited us for these things, and sent Thy Judgments upon the earth; but still we have not learned Righteousness; and justly might our unworthiness provoke Thee to remove from us our inestimable privileges, both civil and religious.
Yet still, though we have sinned against heaven and before Thee, we will trust in Thy paternal Mercy—and we know in what we trust. Thine ear is not heavy that it cannot hear, nor Thy hand shortened that it cannot save ; and there is sufficiency in the blood of the Redeemer! Suffer us, therefore, O merciful Father, in this day of our visitation, to throw ourselves upon the merits of the ever-blessed Jesus; humbled under Thy chastisements; confessing and bewailing our past ofiences, both public and private; and beseeching Thy divine grace to revive among us a spirit of primitive piety, integrity and virtue!
But oh! above all, and as the foundation of all, inspire us with an awful reverence of Thy glorious Majesty. Give us an unshaken Loyalty to our gracious sovereign; and a prevailing love and veneration for our excellent Constitution, civil and religious! and as often as we are called more immediately to appear in defence of it, O grant that in such a glorious cause we may betray no unmanly fears; but act the part of Britons and of freemen; going forth devoted either to death or to victory; and scorning a life that is to be purchased at the expense of the Protestant Religion and our National Privileges!
Bless and long preserve our rightful sovereign King George; Bless his royal family and all his alliances! Surround him with Counsellors of a true uncorrupted British Spirit; men sagacious to discover, and stedfast to pursue, their country's Good. Guard him from all conspiracies against his person and government; whether secret or more open. May his administration be steady! steady in the cause of liberty! steady in promoting the public welfare! steady in opposing the enemies of our Zion! and may the gates of hell never prevail against it!
For this end, O Lord, give success to his arms both by sea and land, and favour our righteous cuse! Give courage, conduct and integrity to our commanders, and “those who turn the battle from our gates.” In a particular manner, bless all those who go forth for the Protestant cause, in this American World; make them instrumental in preserving among us, and spreading abroad to the remotest parts of the habitable earth, the precious Blessings of Liberty and undefiled Religion. And Thou that stillest the rage of the ocean, and tumults of the people, speak peace to the rage of our implacable and savage foes, and bring this expensive war to a safe and speedy issue! May we soon be delivered from all our fears, and peace be restored in all our borders.
May these men here present, who now go forth in our cause, be returned safe to our friendship, crowned with triumph and victory; that they and we together may afterwards serve
and adore Thee without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Thee, all the remainder of our days! Hear us, O heavenly Father, for Thy son Jesus Christ's sake, to whom with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, be the kingdom and the power and the glory, world without end!
THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER'S DUTY, &c.
PREACHED, APRIL 10, 1768,
TO THE Xvitith, OR ROYAL REGIMENT OF IRELAND.
ST. LUKE, iii. 14.
And the Soldiers likewise demanded of Him, saying-Master!
and what shall we do? He said unto them-Do Violence to no Man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your Wages.
NEAR eleven years ago, I was called to Preach, on this text, chosen for me by General Stanwix, on a very important occasion, viz. to the forces under his command, previous to their march to the frontiers of Pennsylvania, &c. then bleeding under the devastations of the French, and their Savages, in consequence of Braddock's defeat.
The Sermon delivered on that occasion was, on Sunday last, likewise delivered before you, as an introduction, to sundry Sermons on the same text; which, before our present connection* is quite dissolved, I propose (God willing) to deliver before you, and to divide the subject into separate branches, in such manner, as to comprehend the whole of what I conceive to be the truly Christian Soldier's duty, in a free State, under a Government of Laws, Human and Divine, in times of Peace as well as War.
As Chaplain pro tempore.
You will remember, that, in our last Sunday's discourse, it was observed, that if any part of scripture can be conceived more particularly expressive of the Soldier's Duty, it must be our text, as being an express answer, delivered by divine inspiration, to a solemn Question of the Soldiers themselves; who, alarmed at the extraordinary appearance of John the Baptist, and their consciences awakened by his preaching and doctrine, flocked to him among the Publicans and other notorious sinners, to know how they might escape the alarming judgments which he threatened, and obtain the happy Salvation which he promised; perhaps all expecting, that he would absolve them from the duty they owed to their master Cæsar, and their fellow citizens; and command them to quit their temporal professions, as inconsistent with their spiritual high calling, in the service of the Living God.
But St. John is very far from encouraging such a spirit of disobedience to the laws, or breach of civil duty, in his answer. He considers these offices, of Publicans, Tax-gatherers, a Soldiery, &c. though often abused, by the corruption and iniquity of those who enjoy them, as nevertheless necessary in the state, and consistent with all the rules of Morality and Religion. He does not, therefore, command them to quit their stations; but boldly strikes at their Capi. tal Vices, and exhorts them to amendment.
To the Publicans, he says, “exact no more than what is appointed you” by law; for how shall you begin to be good, until you cease to be unjust?