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tendance on his cure, the terms of the law muft be pursued; beyond which there is nothing for any clergyman to ask, nothing for any bishop to grant.
CLERGY AND INHABITANTS
CITIES OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER.
My BRETHREN AND FRIENDS,
THE relation I stand in to you is a daily call
uponi me to confider the spiritual state of these great cities: and though I doubt not but God has many faithful and chofen among you, yet the general view of the wickedness and corruption that abound, and are spreading far and wide, gives me, and must give to every serious christian, very painful reflections. It is hardly possible to think of the history of providence, recorded in holy writ, and the many examples of divine justice exercised, sometimes in punishing, fometimes in utterly destroying wicked nations or cities, without being sensibly affected with apprehensions for ourselves : but more especially have we reason to fear, when we see the beginning of sorrows, and the displeasure of the Almighty manifested in the calamities we suffer under, and in the signs and tokens given us to expect a far more dreadful judgment.
It is every man's duty, and it is mine to call upon you, to give attention to all the warnings which God in his mercy affords to a sinful people : such warning we have had, by two great shocks of an earthquake ; a warning, which seems to have been immediately and especially directed to these great cities, and the neighbourhood of them; where the violence of the earthquake was so sensible, though in diftant parts hardly felt, that it will be blindness wilful and inexcusable, not to apply to ourselves this strong summons from God to repentance.
Thoughtless or hardened finners may be deaf to these calls; and little philosophers, who see a little, and but very little, into natural causes, may think they see enough to account for what happens, without calling in the aid and assistance of a special providence ; not considering, that God, who made all things, never put any thing out of his own power, but has all nature under command to serve his purposes in the government of the world. But be their imaginations to themselves; the subject is too serious for trifling, and calls us off to other views.
If we consider the general government of the world by God, and upon what reasons and motives he acts, when he brings calamities and plagues upon any people; or if we recollect from history, sacred and profane, what state and condition, with respect to religion and morality, the people were in, who have been examples of justice; and then compare our own case with the general reason by which Providence acts, and with the circumstances of those by whose example we ought to take warning; we shall soon discover whether there be just reason for our apprehensions. If