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@thers seem to think, that they are, and must for a long time continue, absolutely insurmountable. But, whatever they may be; if the whole company of Chris. tians in Britain could be induced to unite in fervent prayer for this most desirable blessing, in behalf of this land and of the harassed nations on the continent; I am persuaded we should soon be called upon to join in thanksgiving for peace. If we wrestle and prevail with God, as Jacob did, we shall also prevail with men. How effectually did Nehemiah's ejaculation, “ O Lord " give me favour in the sight of this man,” avail to the restoration of the almost hopeless state of Jerusa. lem and Judah! “ When a man's ways please the
LORD, he maketh his enemies to be at peace with “ him;" and we have ground from our success hither. to, to expect confidently, that he will hear our supplications in this respect also, and dispose the hearts of our enemies cordially to desire peace; or place those in authority who are desirous of it; or by some other means remove every obstacle, though to us it appear an immoveable mountain. And it would, I own, give me far greater satisfaction to have the prayers of the church of God in Britain considered, as the means of restoring peace to the nations, than as availing for the most brilliant victories. Nay, I feel no hesitation in adding, that I should unspeakably more rejoice, if God would dispose and assist us to pray, and answer our prayers, for poor, oppressed, and almost desolated France, and send to its inhabitants the blessings of peace, true rational liberty, good government, and the gospel of salvation; than to see her prostrate at the
feet of Britain, supplicating peace on the most humiliating terms.
But let us not stop even here, my brethren; Let us also take encouragement from past success, to pray more earnestly and constantly, that “the Spirit may be “poured out upon us from on high:” that all the ministers of religion, however distinguished, may be il
luminated with the true knowledge and understand. ing of the holy word of God, and both by their life
and doctrine set it forth and shew it accordingly:' ' that all who are called Christians may be led into the
way of truth, and hold the faith, in unity of spirit, in 'the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life:' that purity in doctrine and practice may adorn every part of the Christian church; and that every thing, which breaks its harmony, deforms its beauty, or weakens the energy of its testimony to the truth, may be removed; that labourers and faithful stewards of God'smysteries may be sent forth and multiplied: that an effec. tual stand may be made against infidelity, impiety, and every species of Antichristianity: that heavenly wisdom and grace, with every blessing, temporal and spiritual, may be abundantly conferred on our gracious Sovereign, and every branch of the royal family; on our nobles, counsellors, ministers of state, senators, magistrates, and all who possess power and influence; and that each person, in his vocation and ministry, may glorify God, and serve his generation, faithfully and effectually. Let us be very particular, frequent, and importunate in supplications to this effect remembering, from time to time, all the different orders and descriptions of men in the nation; the seminaries of publick or private education, especially those in which young persons are educated, on whom the charge of supporting true religion, or conducting publick business, will ere long devolve; the plans formed for train. ing up properly the children of the poor, preventing crimes, reforming the vicious, or alleviating misery; and especially every plan for spreading the gospel of salvation in the world.
If, laying aside all party.disputes, Christians in general would cordially unite in prayers to this effect; without any doubt, we should speedily witness a blessed change. In this manner the apostles and disciples, (about one hundred and twenty persons,) continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, from the ascension of Christ to the day of Pentecost, when the
Spirit was poured out upon them from on high:” and then in a short time, their numbers were increased to many tens of thousands, and such a revolution took place in the world, among Jews and Gentiles, as a little while before must have appeared almost impossible.
Again, the preceding statement of our national mercies and situation loudly calls on every one of us to improve our advantages, while they are continued to us. It may be feared, that many join the publick rejoicing for victories and success, and perhaps feel a kind of transient natural gratitude for preservation, like that of Israel at the Red Sea, who “ soon forgat " the works of God, and waited not for his counsel."* And am I not even now addressing myself to many individuals, who are very eager for news, warm in disputing about politicks, elated by victories, alarmed and dejected by defeats; but who still continue to trample on the commandments, and neglect the great salvation, of God. To every person of this description I would say, Poor deluded mortal! “Despisest thou the riches os of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering; “not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee " to repentance? but after thy hardness and impenis tent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath, against " the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous
* Ps. cvi. 12, 13.
judgment of God, who will render to every man ac
cording to his works?"_" The end of all things is “at hand.”_"Behold the Judge standeth at the door.” -" For what is your life? it is even a vapour which “ continueth a little while, and then vanisheth away.” And what will national deliverances and success avail, when God shall say, “ Thou fool, this night thy soul “ shall be required of thee?”—To persons of this de. scription, (alas, it is most lamentable to observe how they every where abound,) I would with all earnest- . ness and affection say, “Seek ye the Lord while he
may be found: Call ye upon him while he is near. " Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous " man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, " and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God “ and he will abundantly pardon.” “ Behold, now is " the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salva. “ tion.” Nay, though it is a day of holy joy to be. lievers, I would also add, “ Be afflicted, and mourn, “and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourn- .
ing and your joy into heaviness: humble yourselves “ under the mighty hand of God,” that he “may ex" alt you in due time.”
Should the Lord give us up to deserved ruin, and deprive us of our invaluable, but alas, greatly despised, religious advantages; the loss would most awfully be felt in the event, not by those who prize and im. prove them, but by you who neglect them, and who are now the least concerned about their preservation. Hear therefore the words of the Saviour and Judge of the world, “ Yet a little while is the Light with you: “ walk while ye have the light; lest darkness come
upon you; for he that walketh in darkness, knoweth “ not whither he goeth. While ye have the light be“ lieve in the Light, that ye may be the children of
The believer likewise should earnestly be called upon to improve his advantages, while they are continued; not only in "giving diligence to make his calling “ and election sure;” but in “doing good to all men,” as he has opportunity and ability; " Redeeming the “ time, because the days are evil.” It would be absurd, my brethren, to pray for blessings on our be. loved country, without using proper means in order to secure those blessings. An example of quiet and peaceable subjection, and the use of all our influence to promote union and order, should accompany our prayers for preservation from domestick disturbances: and still more important is it that our prayers, for spi. ritual blessings, should be followed by the improve