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So far as it is thus Proper and Natural for us, to Detest and Bewail th^ Sins of our Brethren, because, we, a/ well as Themselves, are Thereby in Danger of being visited by Ptiblkk Calamity, in Danger of being Involved with them and by them, in a General Desolation; so far, the Propriety and Obligations of this Duty do chiefly depend upon the Innate Principle of Self-preservation.
But we are under Further Engagements to it, as it is the necessary Consequence of that Love of our Neighbours Themselves, which is Indispensably required at our hands* Our Affectionate Concern for them, will constrain us to, Abhor and Bemoan thofe their Follies and Impieties, which must carry them, through the National Punishment, if they should bring it upon us, into Endless Misery; whilst Others, who may undergo the same Fate with them Here, shall pass, through the Doleful Vale of Death, into a Glorious Life.
And there are. still Other, and Superiour Reasons, of this Duty, grounded upon the zealous Concern we are Bound
to have for God's Glory, which is the Ultimate e^nd of the whole Creation. The Royal Prophet gives a Rule of Duty to Us, under this Pathetic account of his Fulfilling it Himself, in Both the parts of it, Deep Sorrow for the violations of God's Honour, and an Utter Abhorrence of them: * Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy Law. -f Do not I hate them that hate thee; and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? yea I hate them right for e; even as, though they were mine Enemies. *Tis impossible to be Warm in the Love of God, and to be Cool and Unconcern'd,' under a Sense of the Dishonour offer'd to Him, by our Brethren.
There is yet One Reason more of this Duty to be taken notice of, the Hope of its Acceptance with God, when 'tis added to a true Repentance for our own Sins. For when we are so far from Espousing, or Approving the Prevailing Corruptions and Iniquities, that we cannot bear the very Thoughts of them; when our An-guisti occasion'd by them is Pungent and Lasting; when our real Abhorrence of them introduceth, as it will certainly introduce, the utmost Opposition to them, according to our Circumstances and Capacities; when we Humbly acknowledge, that the severest Publick Judgments would be their Just Consequence and Reward, and, when our Deprecations of such Judgments are Sincere and Fervent; we do, at once Demonstrate our Ardent Love of God and Charity to our Bre-« thren, our Faith, our Sincerity, our Humility, our Affiance, our Zeal, Dispositions and Qualifications, which God, Principally, Requires, and must therefore be Highly Acceptable to him. And hence it follows, that if we should Happily Abound with Persons, who do truly Detest, and Bewail, and oppose themselves to, the Sins of the Times, and are therefore Adorned with All these Heavenly Dispositions, we may reasonably Hope, that they, through the Intercession of Chr'ifi, may prevail for Mercy with God, that we Perish not.
* Psal. cxixi ^36. t Psal. cxxxix. 21, 22.
It Js not for Man to Determine, or Imagine, what Number of such Holy Supplicants may suffice to Avert the Wrath of God, that he may spare the place, for their sakes. But we are certain, from the Scriptures, that he Particularly Regards the Duties of such Faithful and Devout, and Zealous Servants, as Oppose themselves to the Iniquities of their Countrey; And Therefore it is, that, after he had charged the Jews with all their Abominations, before he Proceeds to execute his Vindictive Justice upon Them, he gives in this Observation, * / fought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and flandin the Gap before me, for the land, that I should mt destroy it; but 1 found none. In one Instance, He condescended to Declare, what Determinate Number of Righteous persons in a Government should suffice , to Prevent the Destruction of the Whole, And who would not Wish and Labour to be ranked in such a Blessed Number? Who would not Crown his Repentance
* Ezek. xxii. 30.
for for his Own Sins, with all the Ejsebls of a True Sorrow for the Sin^of his Brethren, thereby Contributing to Their Present Safety and Happiness, as well as > his Own?
But if any man mould fail, This Day, of Testifying in his Heart, under the Presence of God, the Searcher of Hearts, and Hereafter, in his -Words and Actions, as Occasions shall Require, his Abhorrence of any of the Sins, which Appear in the Nation, and Threaten to bring Mischief upon it; let him be well Apprized, how far he would be Answerable to his Countrey, if it should be Depopulated by a Monster, which he will not lend a hand to Destroy; how Properly he may be accounted a Partaker of the Sins, which he does not, Proportionably to his Power and Opportunities, Oppofe and Discountenance, and not only so, but which he does not so much as Disapprove and Detest; and, by Consequence, how far he maybe Accountable for thofe Calamities, which National Guilt may bring upon us.
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