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it." We are told, "God considers all the oppressions that are done under the sun." There was much notice taken of this in the infancy of our Plimouth colony, when the poor planters had their dependence on certain adventurers in England. The adventurers, taking their advantages of the extream straits which those poor planters were in, sent over supplies unto them at the most extream rates imaginable. The poor planters made return in peltry, but the vessel was taken by a Turks man of war,
and ried into Salley, where they sold the peltry for groats a-piece; as much too low, as the goods for which they had been return'd were too high, and the men were made prisoners into the bargain, to the great loss of the adventurers. But it would spend many hours to relate the notice which might have been since taken of many more such evident judgments of God on the ways of the oppressor. Oh! do not learn his ways. God gives unto all sorts of devourers letters of reprisal to take away his unjust gains from him; very commonly it so falls out.
There are some that have used the grossest sort of stealing and robbing. But have they enrich'd themselves ? I intreat you, sirs, to make our NewEnglish pirates the subjects of your meditations. That man is blind unto sun shine, and blind before lightning, who sees not the tremendous judgments of God, pursuing of those wicked men. Let no man, after this, run greedily after the error of those children of perdition. But if any of you bare knowingly been sharers with them in their gains, for God's sake repent of what you have done: You have carry'd burning coals into your feather'd nests; don't put a farthing of that money among the rest of your possessions; it will consume all the rest.
Others have had their finer ways of cheating. But what has come of them? The estates gotten by cheating, have been but so many "treasures of snow;" the rains of the wrath of God have wonderfully melted them;at least, Vex gaudet Tertius Hæres. *
There are persons that have broken by their own extravagancies; not meerly by sad providences, but their own extravagancies, these have used more fraudulence than fuir dealing in their compositions with their creditors:
But have we not seen afterwards, that after this, (as we say) “no butter I would ever stick upon their bread."
Widows, when the estates of the deceas'd husbands have been insolvent, have not always given in true accounts; they have held back a part, that they should not have with-held: God has been offended at 'em; they have gone under the scourges of God all their days for that offence.
Desperate gamesters, what hand have they made of it? I can tell what one of 'em did. He had played away about forty pounds in lewd company, and then he fell into horror of conscience, wherein he often cried out, “I am all on fire under the wrath of God! I am all on fire under the Wrath of God!" And so he went and hanged himself.
. The third beir in succession is rarely rich.
Make all the restitution you can, ye cheats; or expect the judgments God upon you-Discite Justitiam Moniti,*
THE NINTH REMARK.—Methinks the public judgments, under which have labour'd, have sometimes very convictively intimated the sins a faults for which those judgments have been laid upon us. I will use plain dealing in this matter. When have the judgments of God ever d prived us of any good thing, but we first of all have despis'd that goori
We have been sensual, excessive, unthankful, in our enjoyment of t fruits of our harvest. The judgments of God have blasted them.
We have made idols of our lands, and for the sake thereof neglecte almost all that is holy, and just, and good. There was a time wher through the judgments of God, our titles to them all were conteste Litigious law-suits were scandalously multiply'd, among us. The juda ments of God brought us into a time when the extortions of the law mad a cry among us.
Drinking houses have been a most undoing stumbling-block of iniquit in the midst of us. The judgments of God brought us into a time wher unsufferable villanies were perpetrated every where, under the pretene of the excise.
Those times are now over indeed. But our Indian wars are not over yet: We have too far degenerated into Indian vices. The vices of the Indians are these: They are very lying wretches, and they are very lazy wretches, and they are out of measure indulgent unto their children; there is no family government among them. We have shamefully Indiarized in all those abominable things. Now, the judgments of Gol have imploy'd Indian batchets to wound us, no doubt, for these ou Indian vices.
A thousand more such things may occur to a serious observation. Sirs, consider the wondrous works of God.
THE TENTH REMARK.—Many people have sinned horribly, upon a pre sumption that they sinned secretly: but the judgments of God have been wondrously and prodigiously and stupendously display'd in the discover ing of secret sinners among us. David, no doubt, promised himself an everlasting secresie of his transgression. “Thou didst it secretly," said the prophet: And the Psalmist, calling to mind that word, own'd in Psal li. 4, “ Against thee, thee only have I sinned: and the evil I have done in thy sight." None was privy to the crime, except one man, who was partner in it. Yea, but says the Lord, “I'll make all Israel hear of it: The sin-confounding judgments of God made all the sin to come out Sirs, those judgments of God have been so exemplified among our selves that I cannot imagine how some guilty wretches, whose crimes are hitled
• Being admonished, learn justice.
erto secret, are able to walk about having the terrors of the shadow of death upon their souls.
How many secret murders have strangely been discover'd among us! and I believe there are yet more to be discover'd.
There have been devilish filthinesses committed annong us. But, Oh, how strangely have the sins of men found them out!
At the southward there was a beast, which brought forth a creature which might pretend to something of an human shape. Now, the people minded that the monster had a blemish in one eye, much like what a profigate fellow in the town was known to have. This fellow was hereupon examined; and upon his examination, confess'd his infandous Bestialties; for whicb he was deservedly executed.
But, " I'll never confess,” thinks many an hard-hearted sinner. No! So thought another man, whose name I could mention. He was one who had formerly and frequently derided other persons, as fools, for confessing against themselves. This man liv'd in adultery, especially with one vile woman, until God struck him with a dead palsie and a quick conscience. Then he that had laugh'd at others for not concealing their sins, could not conceal his own. He reveal'd his villanies with that woman and others, and he acknowledg’d the justice of God in compelling him to reveal them. The woman also made an acknowledgment of her enormities: and they both dy'd for their iniquities.
What shall I say? There have been church-members among us who have made no mean profession of religion. These have gone on from year to year in a trade of secret filthiness. Even, "I know, and am a witness of it," says the Lord. Some of these have died in very sad circumstances, and the world has never heard any thing of the Lord's controversie with them. Yea, but many of them have been strangely detected before they have dy'd. They have been left unto some foolish and sottish action at last, which has occasioned the publishing of their vileness unto all the world. The holy eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, which are like "a flame of ire," have seen their damnable hypocrisie and impiety; and he hath made sli the “churches to know, that he searches the reins and hearts of men" lie hath made their “wickedness to be declared before the whole congregation;" he hath brought the public censures of his faithful people upon them. He hath done much in these awful judgments; and I fear, I fear he hath yet more to do upon some, in the midst of thee, O Boston, except they repent!
THE ELEVENTH REMARK,-The judgments of God” among us have not been more conspicuous upon any sinners, than upon those that have nade others to sin. There are some whom the Scriptures call the “chief i sinners:" Those who are chief in drawing others on to be sinners. Truly, the "judgments of God” have often made these as exemplary in their plagues, as they have been in their sins.
I have known some wretched young men in several societies, who have been the chief debauchers of the societies which they belong il unto. But, Oh! what sad things could I tell you, of the deadly judg. ments that God hath showered from heaven upon the heads of those , infamous youths! God has made 'em the sons of Eli with his deadly judgments.
Under this head of the divine judgments, why should I not mention the condition of one whom I knew in this place? The man deny'd the “immortality of the soul,” and would go to debauch other men with his vile opinion, that we have no immortal soul in us. This poor man came to lie on his death-bed, and then the terrors of God so thunder-struck bris conscience, that his dying out-cries were, "Oh! what shall I do for my immortal soul! What will become of my immortal soul for ever!"
And when, alas! when will our Indian traders apply themselves to that commination in Heb. ii. 15: "Wo to him that gives his neighbour drink; that puttest thy bottle (thy rhum bottle] to him, and makest him drunken also." While there has been a most observable blessing of God upon preachers of truth to the Indians, all the world may observe a judgment of God upon the sellers of drink to the Indians. I pray, what have the estates of such men generally come to? Do; Trade on, ye merchants of souls, or, more truly, ye butcherers of souls; Trade on, till the judgments of God have caused you to trade your selves into beggary at the last! But know, that the "blood of souls" will be found on your skirts. It is not very long ago that an unusual accident in a part of this province did affright the neighbours into some serious thoughts of this matter. ' Several Indians were made horribly drunk by the drink which the English had sold unto them. Returning home over a little ferry, eight of them were drown'd; and three months after they were drown'd (from December to March) one of their dead bodies came ashore very near the place where they had been supplied with their drink; and lying on the shore, it blei so plentifully, as to discolour the water and sand about it. Upon which the considerate spectators thought of that scripture, “the stone shall cry out of the wall" against him that “gives his neighbour drink.” They thought there was a loud cry of "Blood! blood !” against some wicket English in this matter.
THE TWELFTH REMARK.— Finally, we have seen that, by omitting thei prayers to God, men bespeak for themselves the "judgments of God. How many that have liv'd prayerless, have we seen to die prayerless, o to die hopeless?
We often miscarry in our enterprizes. Now, if we would "search an try our ways," it may be, we should find that we did not sufficiently pray over our enterprizes before we resolved upon them. How often, hos often, have I seen this verify'd in the judgments of God!
Yea, by a prayerless life, we have seen men pulling down the most consummate judgments of God upon their own woful heads.
It was a pathetical passage in the last prayer of a poor murderer that was executed in this place not long ago: “Oh!" said he "if I had gone to prayer that morning when I committed the sin for which I am now to die, O Lord God! I believe thou wouldst have kept back my hands from that sin!"
The day wherein men have gone abroad without prayer before they went, how often have the "judgments of God” made it a day of thick darkness to the prayerless people? How remarkably has that observation been confirmed in the experience of thousands among us, Negligentiam in crando semper aliqua notabilis transgressio sequitur.* Indeed, the instances of Origen's apostacy has been sometimes brought with this observation: But I do from the universal silence of the more ancient writers, both before and after that scandalous reporter, Epiphanius, believe that whole story of Origen to be a sham, in after ages invented by the adversaries of that excellent man; and as false as that Origen wrote the discourse entituld " Origen's Lamentation."
Yea, there was an aged professor, belonging to a church in this town, who, after many years of good repute with good people, became a drunken 304, for which he was excommunicated. After his excommunication, he fell into bitter anguish of soul, and at length dy'd in astonishing circumstances. But some of his dying words were: "I often pray'd unto God for a mercy, which he still deny'd me. At length I grew angry at God: whereupon I grew slack in my acquaintance with the Lord: ever since which, he hath dreadfully forsaken me, and I know that now he hath no mercy for me.” Think of these things; and, oh! do not so reject fear as to restrain prayer before the Lord.
These are the most peculiar "judgments of God," unto which I have 20counted it not amiss to point you; so you may “tremble for fear of him, and be afraid of his judgments.”
AN HISTORY OF SOME CRIMINALS EXECUTED IN NEW-ENGLAND FOR CAPITAL CRIMES;
WITH SOME OF THEIR DYING SPEECHES.
We find in Zuinger, the mention of a city besieged by a potent enemy; where the inhabitants took the dead bodies of the starv'd people, and set thern in armour on the walls; at the sight whereof the amazed enemy fled.
* Some notable transgression always follows a neglect of prayer.