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possibly live many years, he will sigh, perhaps, and tell you he is convinced of that as much as reason and experience can make him. Proceed, and urge to him, that after death comes judgment, and that he will certainly there be dealt with by a just God according to his actions,-he will thank God he is no deist, and tell you, with the same grave face, he is thoroughly convinced of that too ; and as he believes, no doubt he trembles too : and yet after all, with all this conviction upon his mind, you will see him still persevere in the same course, and commit his sin with as certain an event and resolution, as if he knew no argument against it. These notices of things, however terrible and true, pass through his understanding as an eagle through the air, that leaves no path behind.
So that, upon the whole, instead of abounding with occasions to set us seriously on thinking, the world might dispense with many more calls of this kind ; and were they seven times as many as they are, considering what insufficient use we make of those we have, all, I fear, would be little enough to bring these things to our remembrance as often, and engage us to lay them to our hearts with that affectionate concern which the weight and interest of them requires at our hands. Sooner or later, the most inconsiderate of us all shall find, with Solomon, that to do this effectually, “ is the whole duty 1 of man.”
And I cannot conclude this discourse upon his words better, than with a short and earnest exhortation, that the solemnity of this season, and the meditations to which it is devoted, may lead you up to the truc knowledge and practice of the same point, of fearing God and keeping his commandments, and convince you, as it did him, of the indispensable necessity of making that the business of a man's life, which is the chief end of his being, the eternal happiness and salvation of his soul :
A THANKSGIVING SERMON.
II CHRONICLES XV. 14.
And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting,
and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all the men of Ju. dah rejoiced at the oath.
It will be necessary to give a particular account of what was the occasion, as well as the nature of the oath which the men of Judah sware unto the Lord .; -which will explain not only the reasons why it became a matter of so much joy to them, but likewise admit of an application suitable to the purposes of this solemn assembly.
Abijah, and Asa his son, were successive kings of Judah.—The first came to the crown at the close of a long, and, in the end, a very unsuccessful war, which had gradually wasted the strength and riches of his kingdom.
He was a prince endowed with the talents which the emergencies of his country required, and seemed born to make Judah a victorious, as well as a happy people.-The conduct and great success of his arms against Jeroboam, had well established the first ;-but his kingdom, which had been so many years the seat of a war, had been so wasted and bewildered, that his reign, good as it was, was too short to accomplish the latter. He died, and left the work unfinished for his son.-Asa succeeded; in the room of Abijah his father, with the truest notions of religion and government that could be derived either from reason or experience.—His reason told him, that God should be worshipped in simplicity and singleness of heart; therefore he took away the altars of the strange gods, and broke down their images. His experience told him, that the most successful wars, instead of invigorating, more generally drained away the vitals of government-and, at the best, ended but in a brighter and more ostentatious kind of poverty and desolation : therefore he laid aside his sword, and studied the arts of ruling Judah with peace.-Conscience would not suffer Asa to sacrifice his subjects to private views of ambition ; and wisdom forbade he should suffer them to offer up themselves to the pretence of publick ones, since enlargement of empire, by the destruction of its people (the natural and only valuable source of strength and riches) was a dishonest and miserable exchange :-and however well the glory of a conquest might appear in the eyes of a common beholder, yet, when bought at that costly rate, a father to his country would behold the triumphs which attended it, and weep as it passed by him.--Amidst all the glare and jollity of the day, the parent's eyes would fix attentively upon his child ;-he would discern him drooping under the weight of his attire, without strength or vigour, his former beauty and comeliness gone off: he would behold the coat of many colours stained with blood, and cry,-Alas! they have decked thee with a parent's pride, but not with a parent's care and foresight.
With such affectionate sentiments of government, and just principles of religion, Asa began his reign. A reign marked out with new eras, and a suc. cession of happier occurrences than what had distinguished former days.
The just and gentle spirit of the prince insensibly stole into the breasts of the people.The men of Judah turned their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks.-By industry and virtuous labour they acquired what by spoil and rapine they might have sought after long in vain. The traces of their late troubles soon began to wear out. The cities, which had become ruinous and desolate (the prey of famine and the sword) were now rebuilt, fortified, and made populous.-Peace, security, wealth, and prosperity, seemed to compose the whole history of Asa's reign.-- Judah! what could then have been done more than what was done to make thy people happy ?
What one blessing was withheld, that thou should. est ever withhold thy thankfulness?
That thou didst not continually turn thy eyes towards heaven with an habitual sense of God's mercies, and devoutly praise him for setting Asa over
Were not the publick blessings, and the private enjoyments, which every man of Judah derived from them, such as to make the continuance of them desirable ;-and what other way was there to effect it, than to swear unto the Lord, with all your hearts and souls, to perform the covenant made with your fathers to secure that favour and interest with the almighty Being, without which the wisdom of this world is foolishness, and the best connected sys