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di&ory their A&tions are to the Precepts of that Religion they do profess. Their Zeal for so good a Cause will fanctify all the other A&tions, be they never so wicked and unjust.
But if this be not Hypocrisy, there is no such Thing in the World. Sure I am, it was this sort of Çarriage, that God so often reproves the Jews for, by his Prophets ; and upon Account of which they are so often reproached as a Generation of Hypocrites, and for which he threatens them with utter Destruction.
O my Brethren, what have we to say to these Things? If the Case be thus with us, as I am afraid it is; what Plea have we to put in for ourselves? If God should let loose our Enemies upon us, the Enemies of our Nation, and of our Religion, and should give us over as a Prey unto them, what have we to reply? Truly, nothing that I know of, except that of the Psalmist, Righteous art thou, O Lord, and Just are thy Judgments.
Bụt we trust God's Lenity, and Forbearance, and Mercy is as great to Publick Societies and Kingdoms, as it is to Private Persons; and, that we may apply those Expressions to our Nation which David uttered with reference to himself; O Lord, if thou shouldst be extreme to mark what is done amis, O Lord,
Lord, who may do bide it? But there is Mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
When the Iniquities of a People are at the full, God will not fail to punish them. But whether ours be so or no, He only knows. We hope, though they be very grievous and
crying, they have not exceeded the Measure of God's Patience, and that there is yet left a Place for Repentance. This is indeed the only Plank we have to trust to, that can save us from Shipwreck; and therefore we ought to lay hold upon it.
Let us therefore this Day, every one of us, If we have any Kindness for our Native Country; If we have any Resped to that dear Place, where we and our Ancestors, and all our Relations and Kindred, for many Generations, have lived so happily;
If we have any Zeal for, or Regard to that Excellent Church, and that Holy Religion, that God did in so extraordinary a manner plant a. mong us; and for the preserving of which in Our Land; his Care and Providence hath fo often and so wonderfully appeared ;
If we have any Concernment for many Thousands of innocent Souls, who, without their own Fault, may deeply suffer for the Nation's Sins;
Lastly, If we have any Bowels of Compalfion to those dear Children of ours, that God hath given us, that we may transmit to them, and their Children atter them, that Birtha Right, and those Privileges, and that excellent Religion we received from our Fathers :
I say, if we have any Sense of theie Things, let every one of us this Day, most sincerely apply ourselves to the Service of God, in all the Ways of a serious Vertue and Piety. Or if we have been careless of this Matter heretofore; or, which is worse, have been lewd or
wicked in our Lives; yet let us now at last heartily repent of it. And with Prayers and Tears, and the most folemn Resolutions of Amendment, prostrate our-selves before the Throne of Grace; imploring and beseeching God's Pardon and Forgiveness, and, if it be possible, a lengthning of our Tranquility.
O let us not refuse this opportunity of doing the greatest Kindness, and the best Service to our Country, that we possibly can. And therefore let us not only heartily bewail our own Sins, but the reigning Impieties and Wickedness that our Nation ftands accountable for.
Now is the Time, if ever, that we are all concerned to be importunate with God for our Selves and our Country,
And a fitter Prayer for this purpose cannot be composed for us, than that which Daniel
put up to God for his Nation, and that at such a folemn Time as this, when, as he tells, us, he had set himself to seek God for his people, by Prayer and Supplication, with Easting, and Sackcloth and Asbes.
The Prayer is in the Ninth Chapter of his Prophecy; and I shall conclude with it, and I çarnestly beg of you all to join with me in it.
O Lord the great and dreadful God, that keepeft the Covenant, and sewelt Mercy to them that love thee, and to them that keep thy Commandments 3.
We have sinned and done wickedly, and have com. mitted Iniquity and have rebelled; even by departa, ing from thy Precepts, and from thy Judgments.
O Lord, Righteousneß belongeth unto thee; but unto us Confusion of Face, as at this Day ; to the Men of Judah, and the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, because we have finned against thee.
But unto the Lord our God belongeth Mercy and Forgivenes, though we have rebelled against him; neither bave we obeyed the Voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his Laws which, be set before us.
O Lord, according to all thy Righteousneß, we beseech thee, let thy Anger and thị Fury be turned away from thy City Jerusalem, thy holy Mountain : Becaase for our Sins, and the Iniquiries of our Fathers, Jerusalem and thy People are become a Reproach to all that are about us.
Now therefore, O God, hear the Prayer of thy Servants, and cause thy Faqe to shine upon thy Sanctuary. ... O God, incline thine Ear and hear : Open thine Eyes and behold the City which is called by thy Name.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O. Lord, hearken and do. Defer not for thine own sake, O. aur God: For thy City, and thy People, are called by thy Name.
And whilst Daniel was thus praying and confefsing his Sins, and the Sins of his People unto the Lord, and supplicating for his City Jerusalem ; Behold the Angel Gabriel was sent unto him from the Lord, with the glad Tidings, that God had heard his Prayer for Jerusalem, and that it should be Built, and the Lord would dwell in it.
O may we all thus Fast and Pray, as Daniel did, and may God Almighty give us such a Return of our Prayers; Amen, O God, for Jelus Christ his fake : To whom, &c.
S E R
PREACHED AT St. GILES's in the Fields,
On the 28th of JUNE, 1691.
PHIL. iv. 8. Finally, Brethren, whatsoever Things are True,
whatsoever Things are Honest, whatsoever Things are Fuft, whatsoever Things are Pure, whatsoever Things are Lovely, whatsoever Things are of good Report ; if there be any Vertue, and if there be any Praise, think on these Things.
Have, the Two last Lord's Days,
made it my Business to treat of this Text in a Way that I thought did most tend to the informing your
Judgments: and to that Purpose, I have raised several Observations, and drawn feveral Inferences from it.
I mean now to treat of it in another way, and apply myself wholly, to the pressing you, to the Practice of it.
And, indeed, the Nature of the Sermon I am to make, doth call for this from me. For I am now to take my Leave of you, this being the last Time in all Probability, that I shall Preach among you as your Minister :