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wild and savage beasts. He complains, that impiety, irreligion and intemperance reign over those souls, which are formed for the honor of having God for their king. He complains that you forget the excellence of your nature, and the dignity of your origin, and that you occupy your immortal souls with amusements unworthy of the attention of creatures having the least degree of intelligence. He complains, that exhortations, expostulations and intreaties, the most forcible and affecting, are almost always without success. He complains of some abominable crimes, which are committed in the face of the sun, and of others, that are concealed under the darkness of the night, the horrors of which I dare not even mention in this place dedicated to the service of God. He complains, that you force him, as it were, to lay aside his inclination to bless you, and oblige him to chastise you with severity. Behold! the storm gathers, the thunder mutters and approaches, the lightning is ready to flash in our faces, unless our fasting and sackcloth and ashes avert these judgments, which threaten us, or shall I rather say, which are already falling upon us?

O my

Such is the controversy of God with you; these are his complaints. It is your part to reply. Justify yourselves, plead, speak, answer. people, what have I done unto thee? What have you to say in your own behalf? How can you justify your ingratitude, your insensibility, your luxury, your calumnies, your dissipations, your lukewarmness, your worldy mindedness, your pride, your unworthy communions, your forgotten fasts, your false contracts, your broken resolutions, the hardening of your hearts against threatenings and promises, and personal chastisements, some public calamities already inflicted on the church, and

others ready to overwhelm it? Have we any thing to reply? Again I say, justify yourselves, plead, speak, answer.

Ah! my brethren, my brethren! am I deceiving myself; I think, I see your hearts in your countenances, and read in your faces the reply you are going to make. Methinks I see your hearts penetrated with genuine grief, your faces covered with holy confusion, and your eyes, flowing with tears of godly sorrow. Methinks, I hear the language of your consciences, all broken and contrite, and trembling at the word of the Lord, Psalm. li. 19. methinks I hear each of you say, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer: but I would make supplication to my judge, Isa. lxvi. 2 Job. ix. 15. This was the disposition of the people after they had heard Micah. God said, O my people, what have I done unto thee? wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. And the people, afflicted on account of their sins, afraid of the judgments of God, all wounded and weighed down with a sense of guilt, confused and astonished at their condition, replied, Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?

This was the answer of the Jews, and this is the answer we expect of you. Let each of you say, Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? How shall I turn away those torrents of divine judgments, which threaten to overwhelm the christian world? We, the ministers of Christ, we answer in the name of God, prevent them by sighs and tears of genuine repentance, prevent them by cool, constant, and effectual resolutions, by effusions of love, and by increasing zeal for universal obedience.


This ought to be the work of this day, it is the design of the fast, and the aim of this sermon; for it is not sufficient, my brethren, to trace the controversy of God with you, it must be finished, the parties must be reconciled, and each of us must yield obedience to the voice that says to every one of us, he may make peace with me, he shall make peace with me, Isa. xxvii. 5.

Magistrates, princes, noblemen, ministers, peóple, parents, children, will you not all of you embrace this invitation? Do you not solemnly protest, in the presence of heaven and earth, and before the angels that wait in this assembly, that you prefer this peace before all the riches of the world? Do you not, all resolve, with the utmost sincerity and good faith, never more wilfully to break the commandments of God? O Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest the hearts of all mankind, thy searching eyes survey the most secret purposes of the souls of all this assembly!

If each of us reply thus to God, let us cherish the pleasure that is inspired by the return of his favör. Christians, what came you out to-day to see? What came you out to hear? God pleading before you, God justifying himself, God convicting you: yet after all, God pardoning you. What may we hot expect from a God so patient and kind?

Lo! I see on a happy future day the tears of Zion wiped away, the mourning of Jerusalem ended, our captives freed from bondage, our galleyslaves from chains.

I see on a happy future day victory following our march; our generals crowned with laurels, and every campaign distinguished by some new triumph.

Methinks I behold, on some future day, our prayers exchanged for praise, our fasts for solemn festivals, our mourning for joy and triumph, and

all the faithful, assembled to-day to implore the aid of the God of armies, again convoked to bless the God of victory, and making this place echo with repeated shouts, The right hand of the Lord is exalted. The right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly. The sword of the Lord and Gideon, Psalm cxviii. 16. Judg. vii. 20.

I see on some happy future day our enemies confounded, one post running to meet another, one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his army is routed. I see commerce flourishing among this people, and liberty forever established in these provinces.

Go then, generous warriors, go verify these pleasing omens, go holily prodigal of spilling your blood in defence of liberty, religion, and your country. May the God of armies return you victorious as rapidly as our wishes rise! May he reunite the many hearts, and re-assemble the many families, which this campaign is going to separate! May he prevent the shedding of human blood, and, while he makes you conquerors, may he spare the people subdued by you! May he return you to wear the crowns and laurels, which our hands will be eagerly preparing for you! May he, after he shall have granted you all a long and happy life, useful and glorious to the state and to your families, open the gates of eternal happiness to you, and fix you for ever in the temple of peace! To him be honor and glory henceforth and for ever. Amen.

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