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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 training 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.
It, 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 grati.
tude for preservation, like that of Israel at the Red Sea, who “ soon forgat the works of God, and waited not for his coursel.'”—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 of his goodness, and “ forbearance, and long-suffering; not knowing " that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repen“ tance?. but after thy hardness and impenitent “ heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath, against “the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous “ judgment of God, who will render to every “ man according 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 description, (alas, it is most lamentable to observe how they every where abound,) I would with all earnestness and affection say, “ Seek ye the LORD ps while he may be found: Call ye upon him while
'Ps, cvi, 12–14.
* 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 abund"antly pardon.” “Behold, now is the accepted “ time. Behold, now is the day of salvation,” Nay, though it is a day of holy joy to believers, I would also add, “ Be afflicted, and mourn, and "' weep: let your laughter be turned into mourn"ing and your jey into heaviness: humble your“selves under the mighty hand of God,” that he “ may exalt 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 improve 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. es while ye have the light; lest darkness come “ upon you; for he that walketh in darkness; “ knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have 6 the light believe in the Light, that ye may be Fl the children of light.”
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 beloved 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 spiritual blessings, should be followed by the improvement of our several talents, to promote the cause of Christianity in our several circles. It seems evident, on scriptural principles, that the company of real believers, who unite in prayer for the land, constitutes its best security in these alarming times; and in proportion as they understand and perform their several parts consistently, the number of them may be expected to increase. While therefore, they to whom the care of outwardly providing for our national defence, are sedulously employed, in en listing and disciplining soldiers, and manning our navy, by which the force of the nation becomes gradually more formidable: it is our concern to use every means of increasing the number of true Christians, and of promoting their edification; that these peaceful warriors may be multiplied, and rendered more expert and prompt in the use of their spiritual armour, · If every real believer should, in the
course of a few years, be an instrument of adding but one or two to this company; the number would be soon doubled or trebled. If every faithful minister should be prospered, besides his other usefulness, in calling forth one or two to preach the gospel fully and effectually; what a progress might we expect to make in a course of time! And if Christians in general were better acquainted with every part of their holy religion ; they would more edify one another, and “ let their light shine “ much more before men.”
Parents, masters of families, and all especially who have influence over others, should diligently study the duties of their several relations, and earnestly pray to be enabled properly to fulfil them. They should be very assiduous in correcting whatever is faulty in their own conduct and tempers, and in exhibiting genuine Christianity in its native beauty by their examples; while they endeavour, by their conversation and every suitable means to recommend it to others. The effect of such a plan, if generally adopted and cordially entered on by all real Christians, would probably in the course of a few years be immense. This, this, my brethren is the grand thing wanting among us: the revival of religion must begin in the church; and when they who preach and profess the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, shall with one consent make it their leading aim to “let their " conversation be, as it becometh the gospel of