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the Hands of Their Allies: Then did He appear, and own Our Cause; Then was the God of Hofts our Strength, and our Shield. Surely, There is no End of that Goodness, which continues thus to pursue us; which vouchsafes to establish to Us, and to our Posterity those Blessings, under which we have been so unthankful, and so ingrateful already! and to give us fresh Opportunities of Praise, which I hope we shall make better use of !
Let us, therefore, Offer unto God Thanksgiving; and not That only, but Our selves also, our Souls and Bodies, to be a Reasonable, Holy, and Lively Sacrifice: Let us render him the Fruit of our Lips, and the Obedience of our Lives, that these Blessings may not prove a Curse to us; but that He may still be Our God, and we may be His People. To him, with the Son, and the Holy Ghost,
be all Honour, Praise and Glory, henceforth and for Evermore. Amen.
i St. PÉTER iř. 8. Charity shall Cover the multitude of Sins.
OD be thanked, the frequent Re
turns of such Pious Meetings as thefe, in this Rich and Charitable CITY, have made the General Argument of
CHARITY, the Nature and Chief Properties, the feveral Grounds and Reasons of this Duty so well understood, that, to Entertain You with a Discourse at large on that Subject, would be a very needless and useless Attempt. So many Eminent Pens have gone before, in This Way, as have left it very difficult for those who come after either to say any thing which They have not faid, or not to say That much worse, which They have.
Upon This Account; and because, indeed, I'take General Discourses, for the most part, to be like Large Prospects, where the Eye is lost by the wide Compass it takes, and sees so many things at once, that it sees nothing distin&tly ; I have chosen at present to point Your Thoughts only on One Particular Property of this Great Vertue, which hath been not often handled, I think ; and even Then, not always well understood: It is That which the Apostle St. Peter propofeth to Us in those few words I have read to You - Charity Mall Cover the multitude of Sins.
Few as they are, they will fufficiently employ our Thoughts at this time, if we consider, in the
Firft First place, the several Explications IA that have been given of them, and satisfie our felves, which of These ought to take place. If,
Secondly, We free That One True IT: Genuine Meaning of the Words from the Exceptions which lye against it. If,
Thirdly, We establish the Truth laid III. down upon its Proper Grounds and Reasons. And if,
Fourthly, We make some few useful De- IV: ductions from it. After this is done, the little Time
V: that is left will properly be spent in Applying what hath been said more immediately to the Occasion of This Present Assembly Charity Mall Cover the multitude of Sins.
I. There is scarce any man, I believe, who hears these Words, that is not ready to frame to himself This Sense of
« That the Vertue of Charity " is of so great price in the Sight of “ God, that Those Persons, who possess " and exercise it in any Eminent man
ner, are peculiarly Entituled to the « Divine Favour and Pardon, with re
gard to numberless Slips and Failings in their Duty, which they