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ber, the repeated instances, in which end in defeat and ruin. Again, inGod has thus shewn, that it is his tegrity and beneficence generate and especial character, “ that he hath re- preserve to us general confidence and spect unto the lowly, while the proud good will; and these enable us both he knoweth afar off.” But I am not to enjoy and diffuse happiness. In ignorant that it has become a preva- like manner every virtue, and every lent opinion among too many who do vice, might be shewn to bring along not openly disclaim the authority of with it, in general, its own reward the holy scriptures, that to suppose and punishment. Sometimes also it
the supreme Being to alter or controul pleases God to manifest his hatred of - the course of human events in conse- sin, by extraordinary interferences of quence of the prayers of weak and power, which may be regarded as fallible mortals, or even to regulate deviations from the ordinary course of them in any degree with a reference nature; and his arm is lifted up and so to their conduct, is mere ignorance unambiguously displayed, as to compel and superstition. -Thus it is, that all but the determined and hardened scepticism gains ground upon us un- infidel to see and acknowledge it *. der the guise of liberality, and un- These, however, are rarer instances; scriptural concessions are often made but whenever they occur, they should by inen who, while their station in not be lost upon us. We should conlife, or perhaps even their remaining sider ourselves as solemnly called scruples prevent their disclaining the upon by Providence seriously to obtruth of our boly religion on the one serve, and to endeavour to preserve hand, are prompted on the other by a the memory of all such instances of regard for their literary reputation to the divine procedure; which must be agree as far as they can with the intended, like the incident recorded more open contemners of revela- in the Acts of the Apostles, chap. v. tion.
to vindicate the majesty and honour It will be readily acknowledged, that the doctrine of a particular Pro * The memory of a remarkable incividence and the efficacy of prayer dent of this kind is preserved at Devizes, has been often misapplied by the by a tablet of stone affixed, soon after the weak or enthusiastic; nay more, that real or enthusiastic. nav more that event which it commemorates, to a pillar it has been abused to serve the pur
in the market place. It was with great poses of hypocrisy and fanaticism.
concern that one of our number, in passing
lately through Devizt's, found that the taBut the truth and importance of the
blet was removed in making some alteradoctrine itself, as soberly and justly tions in the market place; but he was explained, are not on that account to assured that it was to be speedily rebe given up. It is not sufficiently placed. The story is this : a woman remembered that the course of nature who had falsely denied that she had reis itself the ordination of God; and it ceived the price of an article which she is so adjusted that events, which to bad just before gold, and had solemnly the eye of a cursory observer, present appealed to heaven for the truth of her no more than the natural effects of affinination, was suddenly struck dead in ordinary causes, are often the judicial
dirisi the view of a crowded market, which be. accomplishments of the divine will.
I held the awful manifestation of divine Notwithstanding all the obliquities of
power with holy awe and apprehension.
We were informed by a worthy clergythe moral world, which have so often
man of the strictest veracity, of another excited the sneer of the profligate,
instance which had fallen under his own and drawn forth a sigh from the notice, wherein a man, who was so far pious mind, in the prospect of suc prostituting the powers of speech as to be cessful wickedness or of suffering cursing and swearing for a wager, was sudvirtue; yet the connection of causes denly struck duinb, and continued so all his and effects is so regulated and esta life. He lived for many years afterwards blished by the great disposer of all in the neighbourhood of our informant ; things, that, even in this world, false
but though there had been no previous de
fect in his utterance, he never after could hood and vice generally lead the
articulate. It is much to be wished that way, of natural consequence, to mi
all who hear of any similar incident would sery ; truth and virtue terminate in
make it their business to ascertain their happiness. Thus, pride generates truth or falsebood, and if they prove true, presumption; presumption produces that they might be authenticated and renegligence and false security ; negli- corded before the means of complete ay. gence and false security generally thentication are gone by.
CuRIST, OBSERY. No.21.
of God, and to deter men from the by every Christian in the actual circominission of presumptuous sins by cumstances of this country, there can the dread of immediate vengeance, be no difference of opinion among
It should further be remembered, those who acknowledge the authority that God works by the instrumentality of the Bible, and are well acquaintof second causes and of human agents. ed with its contents. While the When he intends kindness to a na- character of the real Christian will tion, he endows its rulers with wis- be marked by at least no inferior disdom, diligence, and integrity; its play of patriotism, liberality, and enerpeople with public spirit and obe- gy; while with his counsels, his purse, dience; its defenders with bravery his person, he will stand forth in the and discipline. On the other hand defence of his king and country, he will does a nation incur the just displea- be no less intent on serving them hy sure of the Almighty? the counsels of his prayers. Following the example its governors are infatuated; selfish- of Nehemiah, Daniel, and other holy ness and insubordination pervade its men of ancient times, he will humble subjects; its fleets and armies are himself before the majesty of the Most intected with mutiny, or debased by High. “He will set his face unto cowardice. Thus it is that, without the Lord God, to seek the security infringement on the responsibility of and welfare of his country by prayers moral agents, the schemes of the po- and supplications with fasting." He litic and the undertakings of the en- will acknowledge with thankfulness terprising become subservient to the the unparalleled blessings wherewith purposes of the supreme disposer of we in this happy country have been all things; and the moral world, no so long favoured ; the signal deliver less than the natural, is the instrument ances we have experienced ; our of his will. « Surely the wrath of victories in war; our enjoyments in man shall praise thee, () God, and peace; our diversity of ranks without the remainder of wrath shalt thou re- oppression; our equality of rights strain."
without lawlessness and disorder ; All these principles are familiar to the unprecedented felicity of our pothe mind of every real Christian; and litical constitution ; our unequalled by them his judgments are formed, enjoyment of religious light and liand his conduct habitually directed. berty. It is often made the subject The word of God, which is his daily of reproach to the Jewish nation, that study, has admitted him behind the they enjoyed the bounties, and procloud, if we may so express ourselves. fited from the kindness of Providence, It has pointed out to his view the or- without observation and gratitude; dinary and the less familiar principles ard surely, Britons must be justly of the divine procedure.. It has dis- liable to the same censure, if, loaded covered to him that the conquest of as they are with blessings, they can Assyria, and the destruction of Baby- look up to the bountiful Giver of all lon by the Medes and Persians, which their enjoyments with cold and thank. by the profane historian are ascribed less hearts merely to the natural effects of in- He who endeavours to regulate his Creasing wealth and luxury, and to conduct by the precepts of our blessed the consequent decay of public spirit Lord, and by the example of his early and national bravery, were in fact followers, will also love to unite with the result of the divine determina- his fellow Christians in acts of humition to “punish the wicked for their liation, supplication, and thanksgiviniquity, to cause the arrogancy of the ing. The communion of saints is no
proud to cease, and to lay low the unmeaning article of his creed. It is - haughtiness of the terrible," Isa. süi. often matter of refreshing meditation
11. Cyrus is but the subordinate to his mind, when he can retire from leader of the Persian armies. It is the turmoil of worldly business, that the “ Lord of hosts who mustereth the happy day will come when all che host of the battle, and calleth forth the people of God dispersed throughthe weapons of his indignation.” out the world, now so variously cir“ Thus reads he nature, whom tbe lamp of cumstanced, often likewise so broken truth
into parties, and too often at variance Illuminates "
from: mutual infirmities and misconIn applying these principles to the ceptions, shall all compose one barpresent times with a view to ascertain monious family; and perfectly cethe proper conduct to be observed mented to each other by mutual affection, purified from all sin, and the exception of the month of Octowarmed with unceasing gratitude, ber, when Wednesday the 19th, the shall with united hallelujahs adore day appointed by his Majesty, will their common Father and Redeemer. more effectually answer the purpose And here too, while he remains in the first Friday in every month may be this world, he loves to anticipate that set apart to be a day of solemn fastblessed song of praise, and whether ing, humiliation, and prayer, on ac. in supplication or thanksgiving to count of the national sins, and of our unite his voice with the voices of particular share in them-and that on “ all those who love the Lord Jesus every Sunday evening some part of Christ in sincerity.” There is a spe- the time between half past seven* and cial promise made by our Saviour to half past nine o'clock, should be allotsocial praver, Mat. xviii. 19, 20; and ted to the office of intercession for the it would be strange, considering that security and prosperity of our country. the nature of man inclines him to so- No considerate Christian needs be ciety, if this inclination were to be reminded of the topics which, in such weakened in those who have been a season, it would be especially pro“ taught of God to love one another;" per to bear in mind: our manifuld proor if it were to be excluded from the vocations of the righteous judgments offices of religion, in which their com- of heaven; the multiplied blessings mon interests and common feelings which have been showered down would render it more especially natu- upon this favoured land ; above all, ral for them to combine.
our religious privileges and advanWe cannot help being extremely tages, contrasted with our scanty reanxious, therefore, that in the present turns of service, with our defective circumstances of this country true gratitude, and our neglect and abuse Christians of all denominations should of signal opportunities of improveconcur in setting apart particular ment; the various dispensations of times, when collectively in their seve- Providence, all intended and calcural places of Worship, and indivi- lated to call a careless nation to recoldually in their closets, they should by tection and thankfulness ; chastisefasting, humiliation, and prayer, inter- ments, at one time, which might cede for their common country. I justly humble us ; a profusion of have been informed that in a former bounty, at another, which might war in which this country was en- well kindle the flame of gratitude gaged, a similar plan was recom- in the coldest bosoms; but neither mended by an excellent clergyman the recognition of the divine hand in of the Church of England, now de- the temporary withdrawing of our ceased, and that it was not only a- comforts, nor any grateful perception dopted generally in this country by of the source of our mercies on different denominations of religionists, their flowing in upon us again with but also by our allies on the conti- their accustomed fulness, raising in us nent. It has been said that the same just emotions towards the Most High. practice was set on foot in the Ame- But it must be needless to continue rican war. And surely never was this detail. Let every private Christhere a time in which we were more tian retire to his closet, let him exaurgently called upon to deprecate the displeasure, and implore the mer- *We name this portion of time from a cy of God, whether we contemplate persuasion that Christians, of every differthe internal, or the foreign prospect; ent situation and rank in life, will be able whether we consider the general pre- to allot some, perhaps considerable, porvalence of dissipation, and irreligious tion of it to religious offices with more thoughtlessness, from which neither convenience than any other which could the chastisements of heaven have re- be selected. It will be recollected, that in claimed us to penitence, nor its bless
inany places, public worship on a Sunday
evening is not over till eight, or a quarter ings to gratitude; or the dangers to
past eight; and in such places some time which we are exposed from the power
must be allowed for the return of persons and malignity of our enemies.
to their own houses. But where this is not It is only because some time must the case, the earlier portion of the interval be amed in order to produce that proposed will, probably, be more conve. union in religious offices which we nient to Christians in the lower orders than have been urging, that we take the the latter. It is on this account that cerliberty of recommending--that, with tain range of time is proposed to be given.
mine his own heart and life, let him for succour, while they are trusting from this retirement look abroad into to the councils of the wise, and the the world, and he will be at no loss bravery of the valiant; to the courage for abundant matter of humiliation, and discipline of our fleets and arsupplication, and thanksgiving. From mies; to the resources of an armed the very constitution of our nature, nation, naturally hardy and intrepid; we are apt to be powerfully affected do you place your reliance on him with sympathy. And surely it is a “ who ordereth all things both in consideration calculated to animate heaven and earth," and who has de the most torpid, and warm the coldest clared "that his ears are never deaf heart, for any one to retlect that while to the cries of his people.” He may he is thus engaged in the solemn acts dispel the gathering blackness. He of religious worship, thousands and may at least suspend the stroke, and ten thousands of his fellow Christians quality its severity. At the worst, are in like manner pouring forth their you will be found, when the tempest souls also before the throne of grace. breaks upon us, in the attitude of
Wbat may be the effect of these prayer; and whatever others may prayers, can never be fully and clearly suffer as the punishment of an offendknown till the last great day, when ed judge, will in your case be sof the real causes of all human events tened down into the chastisement of shall be laid open. Then, perhaps, a loving parent. Cheered and invimany a dcliverance which has been gorated by these reflections, go forth ascribed, among men, to the councils then from your closets; discharge with of the politic, or the valour of the en- alacrity, each in his particular station, terprizing, shall appear to have been the duties which the place you occupy really granted to the effectual fer- in society calls upon you to fulful. Ee vent prayers” of some poor unnoticed each at his post, vigorous, active, perChristian.
severing; and animated with the same Perhaps the self-approving haughty world,
W spirit as that which warmed the heart That as she sweeps him with her whistling
of the psalmist, exclaim in his triumsilks,
phant language-"God is our refuge Scarce deigns to notice him, or, if she and strength, a very present help in sees,
trouble. Therefore will we not fear, Deems him a cypher in the works of God, though the earth be moved, and though Receives advantage from his noiseless the bills be carried into the midst of hours,
the sea. The heathen made mucē Of which she little dreams. Perhaps she ado, and the kingdoms are moved owes
but God hath shewed his voice, and Her sunshine and her rain, her blooming
the earth shall melt away. The Lord spring And plenieous harvest, to the pray'r he
of Hosts is with us: the God of Jacob
is for us.” makes When, Isaac like, the solitary saint Walks forth to meditate at even-tide FAMILY PRAYER FOR A DAY OF HUMILIAnd think on her, who thinks not for herself.
Eternal and Almighty Lord God! This is a mode of serving their Thou livest and reignest for ever and country, which all Christians may ever, and art disposing all events for adopt; a mode--nobjectionable in the general good of thy creatures, and its nature, sure in its tendency, highly for the particular benefit of those who promising in its effects. A mode not put their trust in thy mercy. May counterbalanced by considerations of we learn to see thy hand in the va opposite evil, or ultimate mischief re- rious changes which take place, not sulting from present good; conducive . only in our own lot in life, but in the to private, while it is favourable to world around us. May we be dispublic virtue; conducive to indivi- posed thankfully to own thy goodness dual, whilst it is fruitful in universal in all our comforts, whether personal happiness. O! Christians ! know or national ; and humbly to adore your true worth, recognise your pro- thy wise and righteous Providence in per duties, arms, and privileges. Prove every afflictive visitation. May we the warmth of your patriotism by the learn to trust in thee at all times, and fervency of your prayers; and while to pour out our hearts before thee. others are looking to the arm of flesh And since it hath pleased thee to bring
ATION AND FASTING.
upon us the calamities of war, we be made desolate, nor our sons and would now humble ourselves under daughters be carried captive, subjectthy mighty hand, and unite in fervented to brutal violence, nor slain with supplications unto thee who alone the edge of the sword. Let not our canst help us.
houses be consumed, nor our temples Pour out upon us, O Lord, and upon laid in ruins, or made the strong holds all the people of this land, a spirit of of the sons of rapine and blood. grace and supplication; a spirit of hu- . Pity, O Lord, the nations where miliation and repentance. Enable us these outrages are committed, and to unite, with one heart and soul, these miseries are felt, and do thou in seeking thy mercy to pardon our put a stop every where to the ravages manifold offences; to take away out of war. Extend, we humbly and fersins; to reform, and to save our coun- vently pray thee, the empire, of thy try.
son Jesus Christ, and cause it to be. "We acknowledge, 0, merciful Fa- come universal, that the nations may ther, with grateful hearts, the innu- learn war no more. merable blessings which we enjoy as Restrain all impiety and licentiousBritons. Our lot is cast in a land of ness in our fleets and armies. Reform light and liberty, which has long been their morals. May they fear God, preserved by thee from foreign inva- honour the king, and be of one mind. sion, or intestine war; from the op- Animate those who are to fight our pression of tyranny; or the darkness battles with courage and resolution, of superstition. O that we had duly and give to our commanders prudence improved our distinguished mercies, and fidelity. May they go forth unand had hearkened to the voice of thy der thy guidance, and in thy good commandments!
time lead us to a safe and lasting But we must confess, O Lord, that peace. we have greatly abused our mercies. We would offer up our prayers for We are a people ladlen with iniquity. Our gracious sovereign. May thy We have departed from the faith and choicest blessings descend on him purity of the Gospel. We have been and his family. May his throne lukewarm in thy cause, and the pow. be established in righteousness, and er of godliness has been little appa- may he long reign over a free, a rent either in our families or in our loyal, and a happy people. Keep him churches. Justly, therefore, might- perpetually in thy fear and favour, est thou now withdraw thy protection and crown him with glory and imfrom us, and make us to feel the se- mortality. May thy wisdom guide vere effects of thy displeasure. . his councils and direct his ministers,
But, ( gracious God, we entreat at this critical juncture, to pursue the that thou wouldest not deal with us best measures for the lasting peace according to our deserts, but accord- and prosperity of the empire. Bless ing to the multitude of thy tender all the ministers of the Gospel, and mercies in Christ Jesus. Be pleased the churches which thou hast placed to appear in our behalf in the time of among us. Cause real religion to our distress, and to avert the righteous flourish and abound ; and while thy judgments which our sins have de- judgments are abroad, may the na. served. O Lord be favourable to our tions of the world learn righteousness. land. Save us from the evil designs Engage us all to return unto thee of all our enemies. Let no foreign toe with our whole hearts, and to devote be suffered to invade our coasts—to what remains of our lives to thy serspread among us the evils of anarchy vice. and despotism. Suffer no internalFinally, we pray, that we may be enemies to sow the seeds of domestic led by a view of the calamities of this strife; or by kindling the flames of re- lower world, to direct our hopes and bellion to overturn our happy consti- pursuits to that better world above, tution, and subject us to religious or where thou dwellest; and where love, civil tyramy. Be thou our defence and peace, and joy reign undisturbed in the time of trouble. Thou hast for ever. These mercies we ask of often delivered us heretofore : we thee in the name and for the sake of humbly trust that thou wilt yet de- Jesus Christ our Lord. Our Father, $c. liver us. () merciful Lord, let not
FRANCE. our fields be laid waste, nor our rivers The construction of gun and flat-botturned into blood. Let not our cities tumed boats for the invasion of this coun.