Imágenes de página

-------- - ... ----

being an Infringement upon the Duties of
Respect and Honour to their Persons, that,
on several accounts, it ought to be In-
creased and Improved by the Sense of
Them. Far be it from any Christian to
derogate from the Authority or Dignity
of Magistracy, by Exposing, or Describ-
ing, or Pointing out, any of those Of-
fenders who are vested with it; But far be
it also from Him, to Neglećt a Secret Dis-
approbation, in his own Mind, of such
Iniquities and Corruptions, as shall, at any
time, Plainly appear in any of Them, or,
to Negle&t the offering up his Supplicati-
ons, Prayers and Intercessions, on Their
Account. . . . .
Wholesome Laws, which amount to a
sufficient encouragement of Virtue, and
Restraint or Punishment of Vice, are the
Blessing of a Nation; But the Negleš of
putting them in Execution is the Curse of
it. Let this sink deep into the minds of
all Those, who are Qualified and Adorned
with sufficient Power, and yet Unfaith-
fully neglect the Application and Exercise.
of that Power, to Guard God's Honour.
against all Open Attacks upon it, and to
... U Suppress

[ocr errors]

Suppress that Drunkenness, those Execrations, those Violations of the Sabbath, those various other Instances of Profaneness, those Blasphemies, and all those other Enormities, which Pollute the Land, and Therefore lay it open to the Fierce Anger of God ; Let Them, in Due time, confider, how they would Hereafter bear the Punishment, or the Thoughts of having contributed to the Speedy Destru&tion that may come upon us, Through those Vices, which it was as much within the Compass of their Power, as of their Duty, to have Discouraged and Suppressed. 'Tis Incumbent upon us, to Bewail Their Unhappiness and our Own, if they should Wiolate their Obligations; as well as to pray, that they may Fulfil these Obligations to execute justice, and to maintain Truth. What hath been said, to Enforce That part of our Duty, which Relates to the Sins of our Brethren, amounts to This: Since the Corruptions of our Brethren are a Manifest Dishonour to God and Religion, and a Just Occasion of God's reducing Us, and Them, and our Countrey, to Distress and Destruction; Therefore our Obligation to Detest, and Bewail, and Disclaim Their Sins, ariseth from the Necessary Love of God and True Zeal for his Honour, from our Love of our Brethren Themselves, and of our Countrey, and from the Natural Principle of ...} preservation. And, as the Obligation of this Duty is built upon these strong Foundations, so the Reasons of its Acceptance with God, have been, Above, Deduced from the same Fundamental Principles; To which I shall only add God's Declared High Approbation of it, in the ixth Ch.: of Ezek, where, representing the Corruptions of jerusalem, and His purposes of Destroying it, upon account of Them, He fixeth a Special Mark of Favour upon the men that Sigh, and that Cry for all the Abominations that be done in the midst thereof. , The Sum of what hath been said, concerning our Whole Duty is This: The Safety of the Kingdom depends upon God's Favours to it; God's Favours to the Kingdom depend upon its Conformity to - - U 2. His

His //ill; The National Conformity to God's Will depends upon such a Conformity of the Particular Persons, which the Community consists of; and the Perfettion of that National Conformity Riseth in Proportion to the Numbers of such Conformable Persons, whose Spiritual State is Distinétly seen and Estimated, in One View, by the Omniscient God; Such a Conformity of Particular Persons to God's Will implies their utter Aversion to all Evil, whether in 7hemselves or in Other persons, and Their Intire Love of all Goodness; Such Their Aversion and Love do Imply Their Sincere Repentance for their Own Sims, and their Deteffation of the Sims of their Brethren, and all the Proper Consequences of Both; Therefore the Safety of the Kingdom depends upon such our Repentance and Detestation, and the Proper Fruits and Effetts of Them. II. The Second and Laff thing to be taken notice of, is, the Punishment which we may expets, if our Duty be not Fulfilled. We should Seriously and Attentively Possess our Minds with the Thoughts of . the judgments, which hang over us, that - - *- We

we may be the more Earnest in our De

[ocr errors]

pends, whether They shall, in Fury, break in upon us, or, in Mercy, be With-held from us. Let the Quick Sense, of our Danger add Quickness to the Sense, and Fidelity to the Discharge of our Duty. Let our Imaginations give us aView, and may we never have any Other View than what Imagination can give, of the Vast Miseries we should labour under, if that Horrid and Relentless Minister of Death, which is now wasting our Neighbouring Nations, should make an inroad into our Own. 'Tis not Easy to be conceived, how we shall be Oppressed, and Sunk under Consternation and Confusion, if this mighty Conqueror shall find us in a State of Impenitence, if we shall be Surprized with those Gloomy and Dismal Days, when thousands shall fall beside us,

[merged small][ocr errors]

Piercing Apprehensions, of having our Own Tortured Bodies added to the Heaps of the Fallen. Life will lose its salue, - - - U 3 when

« AnteriorContinuar »