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the rule, and the only rule, of his conduct, He doth whatsoever appears right to him in the mean time, and leaves the iffue with God. He is neither difcouraged by the fmall number of the godly, nor intimidated by the multitude of tranfgreffors; but in all cafes, where he hath a call, and opportunity to act, publicly avows the master whom he ferves; and under the banner of his Almighty Saviour, he valiantly contends with earth and hell, being affured of a triumphant victory at last. If this render him vile in the eyes of others, like David, he is willing to become yet more, vile; and, with Mofes, the man of God, he bravely prefers the reproach of Chrift to all the fading riches, and honours, and pleasures, of a prefent world,

A GREAT variety of ufes might be made of this fubject; but I fhall conclude with addreffing a few words to three different claffes of hearers, which may be fuppofed to comprehend the whole of this affembly.

I fhall begin with those who think that there is no great caufe to complain of the world


world at prefent; and confequently, that the duty I have been recommending is neither fo neceffary, nor fo feasonable, as many others that might have been chofen. If you are very young, I partly excufe you; but if you are advanced in life, I am unable to devife any colour of apology for you, but must neceffarily charge you, either with amazing inattention, or more amazing perverfenefs; for it is notorious, that not the power only, but even the form of godliness, is under a lamentable decay, and hath been fo for many years paft: witnefs the general neglect of family-worship, the grofs profanation of the Christian Sabbath, and fundry kinds of immorality, which were fcarcely known in our country half a century ago. These illboding symptoms make it too evident, that we are a degenerate and backfliding people, who are faft filling up the measure of our iniquity; and it is an additional cause of grief, that fo few among us obferve and are affected with it.

I fhall next fpeak to thofe who make a mock of fin, who are obftinate and hardhearted, and, instead of lamenting, glory


in their wickednefs.

You perhaps fuf

pect that I am going to address you with sharpness and severity; but you are really mistaken. God knows that I pity you, and have no other aim but to make you pity yourselves.-You have long been deaf to warnings and reproofs :-O let the sweet voice of mercy at length prevail! God hath fworn, that he taketh no pleasure in your death; and this is his call to you after all your provocations, Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die? Nay, he hath paved the way for your return to him with the blood of his own Son, "who fuffered, the "just for the unjust, that he might bring "the chief of finners to God." It is impoffible you can prevail against him, or disappoint him of his glory: the weapons of your rebellion can only hurt yourselves; and ere long, the proudeft of his enemies fhall bow down before him, and lick the very duft. Even you, my friends, muft either bend to the fceptre of his grace, or be dafhed in pieces with his rod of iron: thofe haughty looks fhall fhortly be humbled, either in mercy or in judgement;

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and if once his wrath begin to burn, there is no power that fhall be able to deliver you out of his hand. Why then will you reject his gracious counfel? Why will you perish when mercy is in your offer? Why will you break the hearts of all that fear God, when, by your converfion, and flight into the true city of refuge, you might afford cause of great joy both in heaven and on earth ?—For the Lord's fake, confider your ways, and be wife; "feek the Lord "while he may be found, call upon him "while he is near." The great enemy of your fouls will probably fuggest to you, that if you comply with this exhortation, your old companions will mock and ridicule you, in proportion to your former excefs in fin; and this fnare, I am afraid, is too fatally successful with many. But let not any suggestion of this kind deter you from doing what you plainly fee to be your duty and your intereft. The godly, with whom you join yourselves, will be far from upbraiding you with paft offences; they will freely forgive all the injuries you have done to them, and teach you to magnify the

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riches of divine grace, which took hold of themselves when ready to perish, and advanced them to be heirs of everlasting falvation. "Wherefore come out from among "the wicked, and be ye feparate, faith the "Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; " and I will receive you, and I will be a "father unto you, and ye shall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Al"mighty."

I now turn with pleasure to the mourners in Zion, who are deeply affected with their own fins, and with the fins of those among whom they live. And I would fay for your encouragement, that this becoming temper affords undoubted evidence of a work of grace upon your own hearts. Hereby it appears that you are the children of God, feeing the honour of your heavenly Father is fo precious in your efteem. And know for your comfort, that none of these filial tears can be loft: God puts them into his bottle, as the Pfalmift expreffeth it; and whatever be the fate of those on whofe account they were fhed, you fhall at laft receive joy for mourning,


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