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of what was immediately evident to fenfe; the real exiftence of what they faw and felt;-nay, of their own bodies.
Our modern fceptics talk much in the fame trifling ftrain.-How, fay they, can we acknowledge a God, when we never faw him? -Ridiculous!-Do not you, though blind or in a dungeon, believe there is a fun? And when God is to be feen in every pile of grafs, or atom of duft, can you doubt of his existence ?-Do you not, on the first sight of a tree, naturally suppose it has a root, though the earth covers it?-Do you not trace a river to its head, though never so distant from it ?-Suppose you were travelling through some defert and in your progrefs fhould caft your eyes on a regular cottage, would you not readily infer, that the place had once been inhabited, from the visible marks of human contrivance?-And when you take. a furvey of a multiplicity of objects furpaffing the most exalted conceptions of men, muft you not conclude; This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes ?"-How many things do we firmly believe, which we do not fee?-Do we not allow that plants and animals have a fort of fouls, though we cannot discover their hidden qualities and originals?—That we have a rational faculty, whereby we contemplate on ourselves and our fellow-creatures ?-Now fince both the external and internal parts of the body are the fame after death as they were before, where is the foul?-When did you fee it?-If in its effects, in that fenfe we fee God. You difcern nothing but with your eyes, and by the influence of your foul, which is of too refined a nature to be difcerned by human fight. You believe you have a face; yet you can only fee the refemblance of it in a glafs; and will you not believe there is a God, the bright characters of whofe divinity are fo legible in the various and inimitable works of the creation?
Here then we reft;-for though infinitely more might be faid on this moft copious fubject; yet may we fafely defy the fubtileft infidel, armed with all the fophiftry of habitual wickedness which
makes it his intereft to disbelieve, to evade the force of what has been already offered. And though it it is poffible nothing new has been advanced on the subject; yet if these confiderations have the power to remove the thick veil of worldly-mindedness and fenfuality from the eyes of one fellow-creature ;-if they should induce but one thoughtless finner to appeal from his heart to his head, to confult his reafon instead of his paffions; his bofom must that moment travel with repentance, and feel a vigorous refolution forming within him to devote himself for the future to an upright and an holy life; fince, as we have already intimated, it is as easy to demonftrate, that God certainly will, and neceffarily must be a rewarder of the good and a punisher of the wicked, as that he really exists; which truth even these few obvious reflections have, it is humbly prefumed, put beyond the reach of contradiction and rational doubt.-Finally brethren, feeing there affuredly is a God above us, the creator and preferver of the universe, the great fearcher of all our thoughts, the liberal rewarder of all our good words and works, to HIм, and him only in humble ftrains of unfeigned thankfulness and fervent devotion
LET US PRAY.
Almighty God, who haft manifested thyself to all mankind by the various works of thy creation, we thine unworthy fervants, firmly believing that thou art the fupreme Preferver of the univerfe, befeech thee of thy gracious goodness to strengthen our "faith.-All our expectations are from thee, do thou confirm our hope. We love thee, do thou inflame our affections; we are forry for our manifold fins; do thou increase our repentance. We "adore thee as our first principle; we defire thee as our laft end. "We thank thee as our perpetual benefactor, and we call upon thee as our fupreme defender. O God be thou pleased to guide us by thy wisdom, rule us by thy juftice, comfort us by thy mer"cy, and keep us by thy power. To thee we dedicate our thoughts, "words
"words and actions; that from henceforth we may think of thee,
speak of thee, and act according to thy will. We beseech thee "to enlighten our understandings, to purify our bodies, and fanctify our fouls. Enable us, O God, fincerely to repent of our past offences, to conquer our future temptations, to reduce our paffions " which are too fstrong for us, and to practise the virtues that be"come us. Fill our hearts with a tender remembrance of thy fa"vours an averfion to our infirmities, a love for our neighbours, "and a contempt of the world. Let us always remember to be "fubmiffive to our fuperiors, faithful to our friends, charitable to "our enemies, and indulgent to our inferiors. Enable us, O God, "to overcome pleasure by mortification, covetoufnefs by alms, an
ger by meekness, and luke-warmness by devotion. Make us pru“dent, O God, in all our undertakings, patient under disappoint
ments, and humble in fuccefs. Let us never forget to be fervent "in prayer, temperate in our food, and diligent in our employments. "Enable us, O God, to be modeft in our deportment, regular in "our conduct, and exemplary in our lives and converfations.- Let "us always apply our minds to refift nature, affift grace, keep thy "commandments, and labour to be faved, convince us of the vani"ty of all earthly enjoyments, the tranfports of thofe above, the "shortness of time, and the duration of eternity. Grant that we may be ever prepared for the day of our diffolution,-that we. may dread thy judgments,-efcape thy wrath, and be admitted at "laft into thy heavenly reft,—and this we humbly beg of thee, O
holy Father! Almighty everlafting God!-not trusting in our "own righteoufnefs, but in thy manifold and great mercies-"Wherefore thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour,. "and power; for thou haft created all things; and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
ERM ON III.
The Danger and Folly of Practical Atheism.
PSALM XIV. 1.
THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD: THEY ARE CORRUPT, THEY HAVE DONE ABOMINABLE WORKS, THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD.
HE Pfalmift having in the beginning of this verse asserted, that there were men fo blind and foolish, as to deny the Being of a God, tells us, in the latter part, what fort of men those were:-" They are corrupt,-they have done abomin"able works, there is none that doeth good." Dr. Hammond's paraphrafe of this verfe runs thus:" This wicked nation, speak
ing of the Jews, is now made up of fuch as have cast off all fear, and care, and even acknowledgment of God: Whatsoever they do with their mouths, which, perhaps, are not let loose to "that boldnefs, their actions, as far as they are interpreters of their
thoughts, evidence an atheistical principle of belief within them, "that God hath not the governing and judging of the doings of men; for fuch are their dealings, fo falfe, fo deteftable, and fo "univerfally fuch, that a man cannot judge more favourably of
them, than they never expect to be accountable to God for what they do." Or, in more direct terms, that they perfuade themfelves, that there is no God to call them to account. "The fool F