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SERM. than once read to the People, not only I. with Permiffion, but Applaufe, inftru&ting them how near they might approach towards the Sin of Rebellion, without actually incurring the Guilt of it? And why have impious Wretches by their Mock-Feafts ridiculed our Solemn Fafts, without being punished or (which
yet a worse Sign) even without being detected in order to Punishment? Certainly, these are no good Proofs of our Abhorring the Sin of the Day; and why then should we flatter our felves with the Thought, that God hath left off to abhor, and will no longer continue to chaftife us for the fake of it? Truly, (to ufe our Saviour's Words) ye bear witness, that ye allow the Deeds of your Fathers; for they indeed killed the Prophets; and build their Sepulchres; that is, Ye pay fome outward Respect to their Afhes, fome ceremonious Regard to their Memories; but without renouncing the Principles and abominating the Practices, that led to the spilling that Righteous Blood,
which, therefore, we have Reason to SERM. fear, may be required even of this Generation. When, and in what manner, God will require it, he alone knows. But if we confider the Height of all forts of Wickedness, to which we are now arrived; the open Contempt of Religion, and Scorn of facred Perfons and Things that reigns among us; the inteftine Discords, by which we are torn at home; the Dangers which have threatned us from abroad, and (however we may fay, Peace, Peace, to our felves) ftill do threaten us, we have juft Cause to apprehend, that the compleat Measure of our Iniquity is almoft filled up, and that the Day of our Visitation is not far off.
But do not thou, O Lord, to whom Vengeance belongeth, do not thou deal with us according to our Deserts; be not difpleafed at us for ever, neither ftretch out thy Wrath from one Generation to another! Command thy deftroying Angel, VOL. II.
SERM. when he goeth through the City (as the
I. Prophet Ezekiel speaks) to set a Mark Ch. ix. 4. upon the Forehead of all thofe that figh
and that cry for the Abomination which hath been done in the midft thereof; and either to fpare the whole for their fakes; or, at least, not to fmite the Righteous together with the Wicked. Make us deeply fenfible of this, and all other our great Enormities, and of thy wondrous Lenity and Forbea Luke xix. rance: Teach us, even yet in this our Day (if it be poffible) the things that belong to our Peace, e're they be hid from our Eyes. Teach us, by a Reflection on paft Calamities, to prevent new ones, and to avoid thofe Rocks and Shelves on which our Fore-fathers were fhipwreck'd.
Which God of his infinite Mercy grant, through the Merits of that Blood, which speaketh better Things than the Blood of Abel!
To him, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, I.