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every such Person mourn, as One Wtiq will not be Comforted; Will not? Cannot be, Otherwise, comforted, than under the Hopes of God's Mercy, upon the Condition of that Repentance, which is still to be Persorm'd, and which he must Begin with the Profoundest Sorrow, if he would have it Terminate in the Perfection of Joy.
Let us no longer dare to Trifle with God, and Deceive our Selves. Nothing can render Him Propitious to Us, but the Faithful Discharge of our Duty to Him. May therefore the Sincerity of our Repentance effectually recommend us to his Mercy and Favour This Day, and may every succeeding Day of our Lives be a New Props of That Sincerity.
2. '7/j our Duty, to Detest and Bewail the Sins of Other Persons, and to Deprecate that Divine Vengeance, which may justly fall upon the Kingdom, on account of Their Sins, or, our Own.
In a Future State indeed, no Body shall be hurt by any Man's Sins, but Himself. The Proper Weight of Punishment Due to every Man's Guilt> will be
laid upon his own Person Alone. But this Rule does . not hold good/ in all the Distributions of Punishment/ in This State. Nations and Communities, as such, do finally Dissolve and Cease in This World; And therefore, as such,* they are to be Rewarded and Punished Here, or not at all. And, when God sends a General Calamity upon a Nation, Those who have Provoked him to it, are not the Only Sufferers by it; Their Neighbours are distressed, as well as Themselves, who have been the Cause of such Distress. And This is One Weighty Reason of our Detesting and Bewailing other MensSins, and of Proving the Reality of this Detestation and Sorrow, by bearing our Testimony against them, upon all Proper Occasions: "Fis a Reason abundantly Sufficient to justify our being so highly concern'd for the Iniquities and Abominations of our Fellow-Citizens and Countreymen, as to testify that Concern, no less by Exhorting or Reproving them, as Circumstances Require, than by Mournjng and Praying for them*
But so Injudicious, and Injurious are Wicke&.Men, as to account such Reproof and Exhortations, the Effects of a Meddling and Impertinent Spirit. In the Defence even of their Blasphemy, their Burlesques upon God and Religion, and, to use St. Jude's Words, of all their hard Speeches, which Ungodly Sinners have spoken against the Lord, they are wont to express Themselves, in much the fame way, as Those Haughty Scorners, who are introduced by the Psalmist, faying, * With our Tongue will we prevail; our Lips are our own, who is Lord over us? They are apt to fay, and to fay. it with Virulency enough, That no Man hath any thing to do with Them, or Their. Behaviour: And whosoever Concerns himself with Them, is Petulant, and Affected, and Phantastical.
Happy indeed would it be for Humane Society, if the Truth of this their Observation were but equal to the Acrimony of it. But the Advantages, or the Misfortunes, the Joys, or the Sorrows of all
. *Psal. xii. 4.
the Members of a Community, are, iri many Respects, and on many Accounts, so Mix'd and Complicated, that in the Political, as well as the Natural Body, when one Member suffers, all the Members suffer -with it. Where is the Petulancy, or, the Impertinence, of Claiming to ourselves that Concern with Impious Men, or, those Relations to them, which we should be glad to Shake off and Disannull. The Cafe is so Plain, that it needs not to be Largely Illustrated, and so Afflicting, that it cannot be Neglected, That our Relations to Them are, in This State, Indissoluble; That we must have Concern for Them, unless we can be Unconcern'd for our Selves; That their Rebellions against God are Apt to call down Storms of Divine Fury upon the Kingdom, and, that an Universal Calamity will Affect Us in Common with Themselves.
The Deliverance of Righteous Lot from the Destruction of Sodom, was Extraordinary; And of such Uncommon and Extraordinary Instances, the Spirit of God speaks in the xwth Ch. of Ezek.
with Relation to the several Kinds of" Natioritd Judgments, and Particularly That, wiaich should Now move our Piety, as well as our Fear: If I send a Pestilence into that Land, and pour out my Fury upon it in Blood, to cut off from it Man and Beast; though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, faith the Lord, they shall deliver neither Son, nor Daughter 5 they shall but deliver their own Souls by their Righteousness: Though God should think fit to deliver such Extraordinary Persons, in an Extraordinary Manner \ yet even their Families, even the Dearest Branches of them, their Sons and their Daughters, should fall in the Common Destruction. And, in all Ordinary Casses, the Great Instruments of God's Vengeance, the Sword, the Famine, and the Pestilence, seem to break in, Promiscuously, upon Virtuous, and Vicious Men. If any Person be Preserved, in the very middle of Danger, by the special Interposition of Heaven, from these Great Evils; yet do They plainly Ravage and Consume the Inhabitants of the Land, without visible Difference or Discrimination,