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ces. It is, however, our bounden duty thus to assist all who labour to do good.
We should pray, without ceasing, that the ministers of Christ may be faithful, bold, zealous, pru. dent, and successful; that the LORD would send forth labourers into his vineyard; that pure christianity may be diffused on every side; that the church may become as “a city that is at unity with itself;” that at this time, " when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of " the Lord may lift up a standard against him;” that irreligion and false religion may be suppressed; that Jews, Pagans, Infidels, and Mahometans, may be converted; that such as are gone, amidst manifold dangers and hardships, to preach the gospel in remote re. gions, may be protected, supported, comforted, and prospered; and that “the earth may speedily be filled “ with the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters
cover the sea.”
We should pray, (not only in the service of the church, but in our closets and families,) that the LORD would bless our king, and all his counsellors, ministers, senators, and magistrates, with wisdom and grace; that the best methods may be taken to preserve peace, and promote religion at home; and to extend the same blessings to the nations abroad. We should intreat the LORD, who hath all hearts in his hands, to dispose the contending parties to peace, and thus prevent the further effusion of human blood; to stem that torrent of iniquity and misery, which bears down all before it, in the once flourishing land of our enemies; that so a way may be made for the establishment o
peace, order, and good government, at an equal distance from despotism and anarchy; and that a tolerating system may open a door for the successful preaching of the gospel among them: and, in short, we should beseech him so to over-rule present calamities, that now “his judgments are abroad in the lands, the "inhabitants of them may learn righteousness.”
Charity, in all its branches, constitutes an important part of our present duty, as it was emphatically incul. cated in the lesson for the morning service. But whilst "we igive our bread to the hungry, and bring the “poor outcasts to our houses;" we should also remember" to forgive our enemies, to bless them that
curse us, to pray for them who despitefully use us; " and not to be overcome with evil, but to overcome “evil with good.”
These are some of the principal duties incumbent on us: and in vain does any man pretend to be a patriot, who will not practise them: for by his sins he is helping to bring down divine judgment on the land; and he refuses to concur in the proper means of avert. ing them. The preparation for, and subsequent improvement of, such solemn observances, constitute a principal part of their benefit; and, if due attention be paid to these obvious duties, by those in general who apparently keep this day according to the design of it, we may expect important consequences.
I would conclude with observing, that if there should be any present, who have not felt themselves interested in these things, and purpose not to give heed to them; they may perhaps be preserved from national
judgments, by the humble prayers of those whom they despise: but without personal repentance, faith, prayer, and newness of life, they cannot be saved from the wrath to come. On the other hand, the upright believer need not be dismayed, on account of those iniquities, over which he sighs and mourns: for he will be taken care of at all events; should the deluge come in his days, he will be found in the ark, and nothing shall “ separate him from the love of God, which is in “ CHRIST JESUS our LORD.”
And now, O Father of Mercies, we beseech thee to give thy blessing to the word of all thy ministers, this day; that there may be joy in heaven over many sin. ners brought to repentance; and that thy people may be stirred up to greater diligence in every good work, and more fervent zeal for the glory of thy name. Hear the supplications which, with many thousands of our fellow Christians, we have presented before thee, in behalf of that much favoured, but guilty land, of which we confess ourselves to be guilty inhabitants. Oh that we may indeed shew, by works meet for repentance, that our humiliation this day hath been unfeigned! Avert the judgments which we have deserv. ed; revive thy work in our land, make true religion to prevail over all opposition, and prosper those who labour to do good to men for thy sake! Have mercy upon our fellow creatures in other nations, and bid the avenging sword of bloody war return into its scabbard. Pity our infatuated enemies; bring them to repentance, and incline them also to turn to thee, with weeping, fasting, and prayer; that so their miseries may be terminated; the wicked devices of such as persist in mischief be finally disappointed; and the bles. sings with which thou hast long favoured us, be extended to them, and to all other nations; till genuine liberty and peace, as the effects of pure christianity, may fill the earth, and bless the whole world of mankind! These prayers' we present before thee, in sole dependence on the merits and mediation of thy Son JESUS CHRIST.
Now to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three Persons in one mysterious Deity, be ascribed all glory, praise, and adoration, for evermore. Amen. SERMON II.
JEREMIAH XIV. 7.
O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do
thou it for thy name's sake.
THE prophet Jeremiah performed his mournful office, at that crisis when Judah had filled up the measure of his iniquities, and was ripe for national judg. ments. Having pathetically described, in the preceding verses, a terrible drought with which the land was visited; he broke out in the abrupt and fervent prayer contained in the text; “O LORD, though our iniqui“ ties testify against us, do thou it for thy name's “ sake!” adding, “our backslidings are many, we “ have sinned against thee.” The Lord had before intimated that he would not grant the prophet's supplications for the land; * and, on this occasion also, he answered, Pray not unto me for this people for
Jeremiah xi. 146