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The Days now before us, were separated by the Piety of our Ancestors for holy Joy ; were separated, that, with humble thankful Hearts, we might give ourselves up to mutual Congratulation, to speak one to another of the great Things which the Redeemer hath done. But to think, how the approaching Holy-days will be spent in this Land; how the Body of this People, as it were fet loose and casting off all Restraint, are going with a determined Refoluteness into all manner of Debauchery and Riot, as if a Licence to Sin upon this Occasion had been issued from Heaven; how doth it pierce every faithful Heart with Sorrow, and cover the loyal Countenance with Sadness! My Brethren, what little Spot will be undefiled ? What Corner of the Land where God will not be peculiarly dishonored, Christ trampled upon with a more than double Portion of Infolence, and Vice wallow in mad Lawlessness? Horrid Expectation! But shall not we escape? Shall I not hope, that this seafonable Word will check the Sallies of intemperate Mirth among you; and direct your Joy into a better Channel than that of drunken Carousals and abused Feafts? Your Hearts must be hard and savage, if what you have heard already, and what is now to be advanced, do not gain so much as this with you, to be sober and considerate a few Days. But to come nearer to the Subject:
If I have thus far prevailed'; if Conscience. pronounces you guilty; and, from a deliberate Attention to the Consequences of Sin, Vengeance dismays you, as a Dishonorer of God's universal Government, and as defiled and unfit for his Presence, having found that no other Way remains on your Part to glorify God, than by the eternal Suffering of his just Indignation, and also that your rebellious Spirit hath taken to it such black and malignant Dispositions, as when filled to the full Measure, (which they would neceffarily grow up to, for any Inclination or Power you have to restrain them) would leave you only a meet Companion for the accursed Outcasts of Heaven: If, with a fair Inquiry, being just to your eternal Interests, you have weighed what hath been before said, and are wondring at the Immensity of Ruin which Sin hath introduced; surprised too with the Conviction of your own Helplessness; my Doctrine fall drop upon you as the Rain on a parched Ground, my Speech shall distil as the Dew, as the small Rain upon the tender Herb, and as the Showers upon the Grass, when I publish the Name of the Lord, the Rock of Salvation, whose Work is perfect (m). Upon a fupposed Conviction, now wrought in you, of your Sinfulness, of the Consequences of Sin, and of your utter Inability to remove them, I proceed to the (m) Deut. xxxii. 2.
Third general Proposition :
Cbriß is able to succour you, baving taken away all these fearful Circumstances, which were seen to be the Event of Sin: And, witbal, be is willing to do so.
Firft, He is able to succour you: For he hath fully vindicated and restored God's in jured Glory
Secondly, He hath obtained Power to renew the Hearts of Men to their original Purity.
Thirdly, He hach satisfied the Demands of Divine Justice; and all this by his Obedience, even unto Death.
First, But you are ready to say, Who is he that is sufficient for these Things? Who is the Person fo dignified, as by his fingle Might to set out the Glory of God upon Earth in its native Grandeur and Splendor ; by his own meritorious Doings, to bring all that Honor to the Divine Government, which it would have received from the universal Obedience, Loyalty, and Submission of the whole Race of Mankind? What is his Rank, that he should have Power to prevail with God to return, and, creating anew the Souls of Men, again to communicate Himself to them? Who is that wondrous One, that could undergo the Vengeance and the Punįrment, 'which the Sins of Men deferved, and amply satisfy the ftrict Demands of
Justice? Who is he, thus mighty to save? Suffer me, ye highest Angels and Arch: angels, ye Cherubim and Seraphim; ye can only be his Attendants. Your kindeft Endeavours had left us without Hope. You presume only to stand at a Distance, and adore the Counsels of divine Wisdom; while. Admiration overspreads you, and your Spi: rits cry with solemn Sentiment: “ How
deep thy Knowledge and Wisdom, O God! & how unsearchable thy Judgments ! how “ paft finding out thy Ways!"
The Son of God was manifefted, that be might destroy the Works of the Devil (n); thae is, to restore that original State, which Sm had overturned ; to effect a Reconciliation between the Creator and the Creature, wherein the Majesty and Justice of God Tould remain unhurt, and Man brought to Obedience and Submission, should live. God was manifeft, in ebe, Flesh (e), upon this important Reconciliation. The Word, which was in the Beginning with God, and was God by whom all Things were made, and wilbout whom was not any Thing made that was made, was made Flesh, and dwelt among us (). In that Flesh which he had affumed, now God and Man myfteriously united, he was amply qualified to restore that Glory to God upon (n) 1 John fi. 8.
(0) Tim. ji. 16 (d) John i hy 3.-14.
Earth, which Sin had spoiled him of; to quicken the Souls of Men funk under the Dominion of Sin, and to bear the utmost Înflictions of Justice. And to these Ends, in that Flesh he suffered Death upon the Cross.
Consider him not now, as a Man merely of
your own Nature ; but as a Man..of the fame Nature with you, united to the Deity. The Man thus dignified, free from all Spot of Sin, gave himself a willing Victim to the divine Glory, was made a Speztacle to Angel's and Men, was lifted up to Shame, and refigned his Breath upon a Tree: and this with every Circumstance of Reproach, which could possibly make Sin appear infamo , and put it to Shame.
it to Shame. And what Infamy or Shame could Sin be brought to in the Face of the World, equal with the facrificing of the only innocent Man that was ever born, and this Man also avowed to be the Son of God, where-ever his Name should be heard; and that by a Death most vile and Nave-like? Surely herein Sin suffered Disgrace indeed; and the Glory of God's Government was
fully vindicated.” As in buman Constitutions, when shaken by the Insolence of Rebellion, the Execution of some capital Rebel recovers the Majesty and Firmness of Government, and makes Rebellion shrink in the utmost Corners of the Land ; so much