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Saviour, who died, the just for the unjust. Sinners! remember the threatenings contained in this volume, which records God's visitations on impenitent sinners, on churches, on nations ; and which, in the bitter sufferings of Jesus, demonstrates the guilt and ruin of the impenitent. They who are still in their fins, who hold them fast and will not let them go, provoke God to continue to visit the earth with his judgments; and to lengthen out the alarms, calamities and defolations of war: these things are the beginnings of the marks of his difpleasure. It is true, some of them the most wicked may not experience ; but, should they escape the judgments that overtake the children of difobedience, in this world; remember there is “ a certain fearful looking for of judgment 6 and fiery indignation," which shall devour the adversaries of God, and of his CHRIST, in the world to come.
To the purest and most pious, the exhortation is addressed : Mourn ye, and be in bitterness. We well know that the more holy you are, you suffer, the more readily, the word of exhortation; you see more clearly
your your finfulness; you are more humbled and contrite in heart. Your trespasses in thought, word and deed, your omissions and short comings, your remifsness and languor, the fins of your holy things, fill you with grief, cover you with shame and confusion of face. The sorrow and mourning of a godly sort is excited and awakened, in the pious, by prevailing fins : the pious exceedingly deplore the sins of the times, their tendencies, their effects, their aggravations : “ Horror hath “ taken hold upon me, because of the wicked " that forsake thy law. Rivers of waters “ run down mine eyes, because they keep • not thy law :” but the most exquisite distress arises in the godly, let it be felt and cherished by you on account of your own fins : search and try yourselves, my friends! and see if there be any wicked thing in you: pray to God to shew it unto you, and to lead you in the way everlasting.
Wars and rumours of wars occasion grief and distress, and ought to occasion grief and distress: for with them human wretchedness tises before you : human guilt is discovered and proved by these visitations of the AlNn
mighty. Nevertheless, says our Lord, “ Ye “ shall hear of wars and rumours of wars : “ see that ye be not troubled.” It is to this exhortation I turn your attention : what our Lord said to his disciples, in the prospect of the dreadful calamities foretold by himself, he says to his faithful followers in every age: in his name, we address the exhortation to you, who now hear of wars and rumours of wars, “ See that ye be not troubled.”
· Anxiety and alarm must be guarded against ; degrees of defpondency and terror, and perturbation, are too frequently discovered in days of calamity, even among those who are the servants of God: the apostles themselves needed the exhortation, are befought by their Master, “ See that ye be not " troubled.”
But when is it, you may suppose the apostles might say, that trouble is unavoidable, if not when there are wars and rumours of wars ? Perhaps it is your own rising thought at this moment, Is it possible not to be troubled and alarmed, when we think what war is? The horrid image of war is easily paint
ed. Can we, unmoved, peruse the scenes of bloodshed and devastation that history records ? Can we with unconcern read or hear. of the fatigues, the hardships, the exertions, the sufferings of soldiers and failors, of camps and marches, of campaigns and battles? War has raged. And, judging of the present by the past, most seriously alarming, eventful and overwhelming may be its progress and effects to the nations ; to this nation, to families, to foldiers, to failors, to us all!
We readily allow that there are degrees of concern and apprehension, when there are wars and rumours of wars, that are natural and unavoidable: I say more, they are amiable and pious. There is a trouble of heart, however, that must not be indulged. “See “ that ye be not troubled.”
What that trouble is, we shall show you in the first place : secondly, lead you to the sources of tranquillity and consolation, when there are wars and rumours of war. And lastly, notice, for your direction, the character and duty of Christians in relation to the Nn 2
peace and composure of seasons of alarm and danger, and suffering.
I. What is the trouble of heart to be guarded against, in the times of war and alarm ?
I have said there are degrees of concern natural and unavoidable, amiable and pious. Neither reason nor Scripture, the Old Testament nor the New, require or vindicate unconcern of heart respecting our own dangers and fufferings ; or respecting those of our fellow creatures. The most amiable and excellent have mourned over human i have lamented the desolations about to overwhelm the devoted cities and kingdoms of the earth. JESUS wept at the grave of Lazarus. Jesus beheld Jerusalem, and wept over it. He permits and directs the grief of the daughters of Jerusalem. “Now," says he, “ my heart is troubled :-He was exceeding " forrowful : he was in an agony."
Our evident duty, our best employment,