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proach so near this our Metropolis, as to fill the Minds of all crue Protestants, and faithful Subjects of our gracious Sovereign with a Dread of the Consequences, if he had not by his Influence turned them back by the way that they came, and afterwards intirely subdued chem? Was it not he, who sent the morial Sickness among our Caitle? and who has been thro' a Course of several Years destroying them ! and shewing that he can as easily destroy our Persons ! and does he not awfully proceed, in the Way of his Anger, by smiting the Beasts of the Field still with Sickness, and Death, in divers Parts of the Country?
Pray consider, That Destruetion of Cattle is one of God's threatned Judgments; and that this still subsists in the Land ; and that Earthquakes are another Sort of them, very terrible: And let us keep in Remembrance how the Almighty has once and again very lately made the Earth to tremble under these great Cities ; and has violently shaken the Houles of the Inhabitants over them; and that the divine Power might either have caused the Earth to open and swallow up the Buildings, and all the living Creatures that are upon it, or else without the Opening of the Earth might have shattered, and thrown down even the strongest Edifices, and have crushed to Death those who dwell in them; and who can tell what, or how many of his other Threatnings will be executed among us, or how soon!
I entreat you to read again, and again, and revolve in your Minds what has been offered to your Thoughts in the foregoing Papers.
Let every one faithfully examine himself, and consider whether he is not of one or other of the Sorts of Perfons whom God has threatened, not only with everlasting Torments in the future State, but with Miseries, with Distress, and Destruction even in this World, when he visits Cities, and Nations for their Sins.
If you compare your Lives with the holy Laws of God, your Consciences will tell you, whether you are among the miserable Objects of the divine Threatnings.
And is this your Cafe! I must then tell you, that you are under a dreadful Sentence of Condemnation.
For hitherto you have not repented of your Sins, nor believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
In John iii. 18, 19. it is thus declared, viz. He that believeth not is condemned already, because be bath not believed on the Name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World, and Men loved Darkness rather than Light, because their Deeds were evil.
O how deplorable is your Condition! in being Enemies to God by your wicked Works, in being the Servants of Sin, and Satan? How deplorable, I say, is your Condition, whatever be your worldly Honours, Riches, and Poffeffions, or Eminency for Learning! Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourfelves Servants to obey, bis Servants ye are, to whom je obey, whether of Sin unto Death, or of Obedience unto Righteousness! Rom. vi. 16.
How lamentable is your Case in your being Objects of the divine Anger! For God is angry with the Wicked every Day, (Psal. vii. 11.) He is fo continually; and how wretched are you, in your being obnoxious to all the Miseries threatned to be inflicted in this Life! and in being liable to a speedy Death, and to the Pains of Hell for ever!
And what Comfort, what Peace can you have in your present State ? There is no Peace, saith my God, to the Wicked, Ifai. Ivii. 21.
What have you to yield unto your Souls a rational, a fincere Consolation! Have you itately Houses, rich Furniture, large Eftates, and great Honours ? yet these do not satisfy you.
You seek after Pleasure, and Joy in sensual Entertainments ; your Ears are delighted with exquisite Mufick ; your Eyes are pleased with a vait Variety of the agreeable Objects of Sight! Numberless are the Recreations, and Amusements, which human Invention has contrived to take up your Time.
But these Things do not satisfy you! you are at great Expences, and often take great Pains ; you fatigue your Bodies, and prejudice your Health in Pursuits of Objects, to gratify one or other of your bodily Senses.
And in the midst for your highest Enjoyments, you still find something wanting to give your Minds satisfying Joy! you have not yet found Rest for
your Souls !
And all the while that you have an AMuence of worldly Things, you are wretched Creatures. The Curse of God is upon you! you are liable to a Variety of Distempers, to the Gout, to the Stone, and to a thousand other bodily Diseases, to Melancholy, to Despair; and you are obnoxious to Enemies, to Shame, and to a Diversity of Afflictions, which you cannot comprehend, and liable to everlasting Torment in the next World.
But I may add, that altho' your present Condition is bad beyond Conception, yet you may be delivered from it! There is a sure Way to Safety, Comfort, and Happiness, both in this world, and in that to which you are going. Read again, and ponder in your Thoughts what has been proposed to your Consideration in my former Letter, Pag. 28, 29, &c. for the Encouragement of your Hope and Joy in following the Directions of the Gospel.
Repent of your Sins, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and all your Iniquities will be forgiven you. Our good God, tho' you have provoked him Times and Ways without Number, will then be reconciled to you ; and your eternal Salvation, and
Happiness through the crucified, the risen, the exalted and blessed Jesus will be sure.
Obecome sincere Disciples of the crucified, and risen Jesus ! take him for your Saviour, and Prince! for your Master, and Lord ! and trust in him, and in him alone, for a compleat Salvation from all your Sins, as well as from the everlasting Punishment due unto you for them! Trust in him alone for Holiness, and Happiness ; for Grace to encline, and enable you to lead holy Lives according to the Will of God.
Then will you find those rational Pleasures, those fincere Comforts, and that solid Peace and Rest for your Souls, which you never knew before ! then will you know the Difference between the Pleasures of Sin, and the Consolations which the Gospel adminifters to penitent, and believing Sinners! then you will despise, and abhor your former carnal, and sensual Delights, and find that Satisfaction in the Service, and Enjoyment of God, which you would not part with for ten thousand Worlds. This has been the Experience of those who formerly practised the like Sins, and pursued and enjoyed the same sensual Pleasures as yourselves, but since have been truly converted, and have accepted of Christ, and joined themselves to the Lord in his gracious Covenant, and walk closely with him in the Way of Holiness, and known by Experience that the Pleasures of a religious holy Life, are inexpressibly greater than those of Sin.
And that it may please the God of all Grace, by the mighty working of his holy Spirit, to put it into your Hearts sincerely thus to express yourselves unto him, viz.
“ O holy, and most merciful God! I am now " convinced that I have long been a vile, sinful,
guilty, and a rebellious Creature against Thee ! o convinced that there is a sinful, and dreadful De
* pravity in my Nature, and a strong and prevail
ing Bias on my Will and Affections to Things contrary to thy Laws! and that I have been eagerly
pursuing Objects, unbecoming the Desires, which “ I ought to cherish! I am now convinced that I u want a Saviour! and that I must be miserable for 66 ever without one !
" I am now convinced that thy only begotten, - and well-beloved Son, the blessed Jesus, is the “ Saviour, and I thankfully accept of him as my
only Redeemer! as my great Prophet, Prieft, “ and King!
“ Faith is thy Gift ! Lord, bestow this heavenly " Gift on me in a large Measure! and quicken “ me by thy Spirit, who am naturally dead in Tref“ passes, and Sins !
O make me a new Creature in Christ Jesus! 6. Make the old Things to pass away, and all “ Things to become new * and holy in me!
" I now renounce all my Sins ! I give up myself “ unto Thee, to be thine in the everlasting Cove“ nant; and to be instructed, inciined, and enabled
always to live according to the Engagements of 66 it.
“ O pardon all my Sins ! be Thou my reconciled « God, my Lord, my Lawgiver, and my. Portion, « now henceforth, and for ever! Amen, for the “ Sake of Christ Jesus my Advocate, and Redeemer. “ Amen."
Thus be you prevailed with to accept of Christ, and devote yourselves to God; and testify the Sincerity of your Faith in Christ, and the Uprightness of your Hearts, by a constant Attendance on the publick Worship of God, and a conscientious Obedience to all his Commandments.
2 Cor. v. 17.