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other, their strength is annihilated, and the enemy
From this view of our national situation, and personal duty, we may infer that the true Christian alone can be a real patriot. Others may promote the temporal interests of a nation, with great ability and success, and may be accounted excellent members of the community: but they daily increase the aggregate of the national guilt, by their own conduct, and the effects of their influence, converse, and example; while they use no means to avert the wrath of GoD from us.— To pray continually for their rulers and fellow-citizens, is a debt which they owe them: but they habitually refuse to discharge it. They perhaps censure publick measures, and lament publick calamities; yet neithe beseech God to give wisdom to those who are in au thority, nor to prosper their undertakings; and if u nation be preserved from impending danger, not fleets and armies, or by human policy and valour, b
by the out-stretched arm of the Almighty; they must allow that, so far from having contributed to this deliverance; they have counteracted the endeavours of those who implore the mercy of GoD in our behalf.
The sacred oracles, on such occasions especially, call upon impenitent sinners "to submit themselves to "GOD;"-" to cleanse their hands and purify their "hearts; to be afflicted and mourn, and weep;-and "to humble themselves under the mighty hand of the "LORD."* Thus they should join the national humiliation with personal repentance and conversion, " that "their sins may be blotted out:" or else "the wrath "of GOD will abide on them;" even if it be turned away from our guilty land.
We may also observe that the language of the text is equally applicable to the case of individuals, as to that of the community: and the trembling penitent, who has nothing to say in his own behalf, will never be rejected when he humbly beseeches the LORD, "for his name's sake," and for the honour of his mercy and grace in JESUS CHRIST: to pardon all his numerous and heinous sins, to subdue his iniquities, and to save his soul.
To those who seriously engage in the important duties of this day, with true repentance and living faith, according to the instructions of the Holy Scriptures, I would speak in the most encouraging and animating language. "Blessed are ye, that mourn now; for ye "shall laugh and sing:" "Fear none of those things,
Jam. iv, 7-10,
"that may come" upon the land, or upon you: "the "LORD will be your Refuge and Comforter in every "trouble;"" he will hide you in the secret of his presence from the strife of tongues;" "and seal you "in the forehead before the destroying angels are al"lowed to execute their commission."* Soon will the troublesome but transient dream of life be over; then shall you enter into that blessed place, where sorrow, sin, and discord shall never find admission, but light, love, and joy shall be perfected for evermore. "Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, un"moveable, always abounding in the work of the "LORD; forasmuch as ye know that your labour is "not in vain in the LORD."
ISAIAH IX. 13.
For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them; neither do they seek the LORD of Hosts.
THE LORD sent a word unto Jacob, and it hath "lighted upon Israel:" JEHOVAH had denounced judgments on the nation descended from the patriarchs; which had begun to be accomplished on the kingdom of Israel, by the kings of Syria and Assyria: yet the people disregarded these tokens of his displeasure. "And all the people shall know, even Ephraim "and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say in the pride "and stoutness of heart; The bricks are fallen down, "but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores "are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. "Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of "Rezin against him, and join his enemies together.
* Preached on the ninth of March, 1796, being a day of fasting and humiliation.
"The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind, and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all "this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is "stretched out still." After all the calamities which came on Israel by these numerous enemies; still more complicated and tremendous miseries awaited the na'tion, which would terminate in their final ruin and dispersion. "For the people turneth not unto him that "smiteth them; neither do they seek the LORD of "Hosts."-The text thus opened, suggests the following topicks suited to the present emergency.
I. Under affliction we should remember that the LORD Smiteth us.
II. It is our duty and wisdom in this case to turn unto him.
III. As Israel of old did not, so Great Britain at present doth not, properly attend to this duty.
IV. This circumstance may well create most serious alarms, concerning the event of our present calamities.
V. The admonitions and instructions, which may by deduced from these considerations.
I. We observe, that under affliction we should remember that the LORD Smiteth us.
A vain philosophy is at present employed, to resolve all events into second causes, and impute them to men or measures: as if that Gop, who "doeth according