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Secondly, I fhall inquire, with as much tenderness as regard to truth will permit, how the cafe ftands with respect to the time and place in which our lot is caft; and if it fhall appear that ill-boding fymptoms of approaching danger are to be found among us in a very high degree, I fhall endeavour, in the

Third place, To lay before you a few of the genuine fymptoms and proper effects of the gracious temper I mean to recommend; -and then conclude the fubject with fome practical improvement.

First, If it fhall be asked, When, or upon what occafions, the exercife of godly forrow for fin is in a peculiar manner seasonable? I answer,

When tranfgreffors are very numerous; when the body of a people is corrupted, so that, in the language of the Prophet Ifaiah, "the whole head is fick, and the whole heart " is faint," then all who fear God are loudly called upon to figh and to cry for the abominations that are done in the midst of the land. If one Achan troubled the whole camp of


Ifrael, what muft a multitude of finners do? If the difciples of our Lord were exceeding forrowful when their Mafter told them that there was one traitor in their company, how afflicting must it be to a true lover of God, to behold the wicked fo multiplied, that in compariton of them, the godly are only a fmall remnant, a very "little flock," that can fcarcely be difcerned?

The call becomes ftill more preffing, when tranfgreffors are not only numerous, but likewife bold and impudent; finning, as Abfalom did," before all Ifrael, and in the

fight of the fun.” This is a fatal prefage of approaching vengeance; for God will not always tolerate fuch infolent contempt of his authority. Judgement may be suspended, while vice fkulks in darkness, as afhamed of the light; but when it appears in broad day, when finners proclaim their fins as Sodom, and hide them not, then they may be faid "to ftrengthen themselves against "the Almighty, and to run upon the thick "boffes of his bucklers :" and it is not to be fuppofed that fuch infolent defiance can long elcape without fome open and awful

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rebuke. At fuch a time, then, mourning must be peculiarly feasonable.

Efpecially when finners are not onlyʻnumerous and impudent, but likewife guilty of thofe groffer abominations which in former ages have been followed with the most tremendous judgements. It is true, indeed, that "the wrath of God is revealed from "heaven against all unrighteoufnefs and "ungodliness of men;" nevertheless there are fome particular inftances of ungodlinefs and unrighteoufnefs, which God hath marked out, and distinguished from others, as the objects of his greateft abhorrence; and with respect to which he hath said more explicitly, both in his word and by his providence, that he will not fuffer them to pafs unpunished. I cannot pretend to give you a minute detail of thefe. Only, if you read the Scriptures, you will find, that profane fwearing, perjury, contempt of the Sabbath, theft, murder, and adultery, are all of this kind. The Prophet Zechariah beheld a flying roll of curfes, twenty cubits in length, and ten in breadth, which had a commiffion to enter into the house of the thief, and

into the house of him that fweareth falfely by the name of God, there to remain till it had utterly confumed it, with the timber thereof, and the ftones thereof. "By fwear"ing, and lying, and killing," faith the Prophet Hofea," by stealing and commit"ting adultery, they break out, and blood "toucheth blood. Therefore fhall the land "mourn, and every one that dwelleth there"in fhall languish, with the beasts of the "field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, "the fifhes of the fea alfo fhall be taken away." And how highly God refents the profanation of his Sabbath, appears from the reproof and expoftulation of good Nehemiah, which is recorded, Nch. xiii. 17, 18. "Then I contended with the nobles of


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Judah, and faid unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the "Sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus, "and did not God bring all this evil upon. 66 us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Ifrael by profaning the "Sabbath." When therefore the fame fins are frequent and open among any people,

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that must furely be a feafon for grief and lamentation. And ftill more,

When the perfons that commit them are refolute and incorrigible. "He that being "often reproved, hardeneth his neck, fhall

fuddenly be destroyed, and that without "remedy."-" Becaufe I have purged thee," faith God by the Prophet Ezekiel, "and "thou waft not purged, thou shalt not be "purged from thy filthinefs any more, till "I have caufed my fury to rest upon thee. "I the Lord hath spoken it, it fhall come to "pafs, and I will do it; I will not go back, "neither will I fpare, neither will I repent; "according to thy ways, and according to

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thy doings, fhall they judge thee, faith "the Lord God.” When the wicked are forewarned of their fin and danger; when, by the preaching of the word, their duty is plainly and faithfully fet before them; when they are exhorted by others, and rebuked by their own confciences; when they are fmitten with fuch rods as bear the most legible fignature of their crimes; or when, milder way, they are admonished and warned by the punishments inflicted

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