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A Fast Sermon.

DEUTER. XXVIII. 21. The Lord jhall make the Pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumo ed theé

M UCH are our Present Apprehen

fions, and such Cause have we to,

be very Apprehensive, of That great Evil, which is here denounced, that the Sound of the Words in the Text may well make both the ears of every one that beareth it to tingle. The : Danger of this Severe Judgment, which we dread, is not very far from us; And the Reasons, which, in Respect of Religion, we have of dreading it, too Nearly

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concern us: For it cannot be Denied, and ought, with all possible Humility, to be Confessed, that it would be Just in God, to bring Evil upon us, even the year of our Visiation.

Ought we not therefore to be Serious and Thoughtful, Studious and Sollicitous, Impartial and Particular, in Considering and Applying the Reasons of God's Inflicting the Punishment here Denounced? And These are obfervable from the 15th ver. It shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God; to observe to do all his 'Commandments and bis Statutes, which I command thee this day; that all these curses Mall come upon thee; And to This is fubjoyned an Enumeration of the Various Curses, including That in the Text, which their Disobedience would Infallibly bring upon them, and which their Obedience would effectually Prevent. • Under this Relation of the Text to the Context, the Subject and the Occasion of this Discourse do require our


Attentive Consideration of these two points; * I. First, The Rule and Measiere of our Duty, under a Proper Sense of the Threatning in the Text; and

II. Secondly, The Punisoment, which may be expected, if our Dusty be not Fulfilled. I · I. The Rule and Measure of our Dilty, under a proper Sense of the Threatning in the Text. And as the Sins of the Nation are assigned for the Cause of God's Inficting the Punishment Denounced against it; our Duty, under a Proper Sense of the Threatning, depends especially, upon Two Things;

ist, A Sincere and True Repentance for our own Sins.

2dly, Our Detesting and Bewailing the Sins of other Persons, and Deprecating that Divine Vengeance, which may Jupily fall upon the Kingdom, on account of Their Sins, or, our Own.

1. Our Sincere and True Repentance for air own Sins. The Neceflity and Efficacy of True Repentance, are fully represented, in this Moving Account of

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the Condescending and Compassionate Regard, which the Author of our Beings, hath to our Happiness: * Repent, and turn your selves from all your transgrelions ; To Iniquity Mall not be your ruine. Why will ye die? I have no Pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn your selves and live ye. God is Abundant in Mercy and Commiseration towards Mankind; But still, Mercy it Self cannot skreen us from his Wrath, if we will not be prevailed upon; to fulfil the Conditions of Mercy. Though he hath given us This Character of Himself, for our Encouragement and Consolation, that his Compassions fail not; it yet, that we may not Groundlefly Presume upon Them, or, conceive Them to extend unto Persons who are not Proper Objects of Them, He gives this Remarkable Warning to Incorigible Sinners; I will dash them one against another; I will not pity, nor fpare, nor have mercy, but destroy them I Disobedience is the Only Means of Forfeiting, and Sin..,* Ezek. xvii. 30, 31, 32. Lament, iii. 22.

Jerem. xiii. '14.:


cere Repentance the only Means of Re-
gaining his Favour.
- He, whose Hand directs Those Arrows
of Death, which we are now afraid of, is
Distinctly observing, how Serious, or Su-
perficial we are, in endeavouring to pre-
vent their being levell’d at Us; and our
Fate will be Determin’d by our Behavi-
our. It is not the Mournful Voice, or
the Dejected Looks, but the True and
Deep Contrition of our Hearts, that can
Avert the Impending Judgments of God
from us.' Is not this the Fast that I have,
chosen, to loose the Bands of Wickedness* ?
Our Conversion is the Proper Measure of
our Hopes; and the Proportion of our
Fears, is to be taken from our Impeni-
tence. 'Tis left to our Choice, whether
we will abandon our Sins, or our Safety;
whether we will be vessels of wrath, or,
vessels of mercy; whether we will be De-
fended, or Destroyed by the Almighty.

How shall we then be Particular enough in Recollecting, or Earnest and Vehement enough in Detesting and Bewailing, the

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