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ference from our minds, and unite our hearts to fear thy
We lament that the world in which we live, formed to show forth thy praise, was so early defiled by sin; that all flesh corrupted its way before God, and every imagination of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually. We adore thy awful but righteous displeasure, in bringing the flood upon the world of the ungodly, and taking them all away.
Yet even this tremendous desolation did not hinder the renewed human race from rebelling against Thee; and a long succession of private and public calamities proclaims the desperate depravity of our nature, and the evil of sin. Our world is the empire of death, a vale of tears; and tempests and earthquakes, and war, and pestilence, and famine, scatter the tokens of thy wrath, for Thou distributest sorrows in thine anger.
Thy judgments are now abroad in the earth-may the inhabitants thereof learn righteousness. They have reached and invaded us-may we lay them to heart, and be suitably impressed with the afflicting circumstances of the country to which we belong.
We have been equally distinguished by privileges and guilt; and it is impossible for us to review the one, without being reminded of the other. An innumerable number of natural, providential, and religious benefits, have distinguished our portion. The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places, yea, we have a goodly heritage. At an early period the gospel visited our shores, and has continued in the midst of us to this hour. We have lived under the administration of laws, just, mild, and beneficent. We have enjoyed civil and religious freedom. The scriptures have not been withholden from us, nor have our teachers been removed into a corner-but our eyes have been our teachers; and sitting under our own vine and fig-tree, none has
dared to make us afraid. In our dangers Thou hast appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks; the earth has yielded to us her increase, and God, even our own God, has blessed us.
It is impossible for us to express or conceive the obligations we are under to love and serve Thee.
But we know-and O help us to feel-how unworthily and ungratefully we have behaved ourselves towards our adorable Benefactor. We are a sinful nation, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint; from the crown of the head even to the sole of the foot, there is no soundness, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day, to our rulers.
But Thou art the Almighty. Thou hast all hearts in thy hand, and all events at thy disposal.
And we have heard that to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We are proofs ourselves that thy compassions fail not-hence, though corrected, we are not consumed; and though guilty, we are yet allowed and invited to enter thy presence.
With deep humiliation, not unmingled with hope, may we approach the throne of thy grace, at this time of need. O be merciful unto us and bless us, and cause thy face to shine upon us that we may be saved. For the sake of thy dear Son, who died the just for the unjust, by whose name we are called-behold a country prostrate at thy footstool; and hear the voice which will issue to-day from so many temples and closets, saying, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.
Remove, if it please Thee, the blow of thy heavy hand, in the calamity which we are deploring; and after giving us such a deliverance as this, may we no more break thy com
mandments. Or if Thou hast determined to continue the correction, O correct us, but with judgment, not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring us to nothing.
Aid thy people in the private and public devotions of the day. Pour out a spirit of grace and of supplication, that we may sorrow after a godly sort. May thy ministers be faithful and fearless; may they cry aloud, and spare not; but lift up their voice like a trumpet, and show thy people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sin.
And let the work that is to be spoken be quick and pow. erful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and be a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
U GOD, Thou hast established thy throne in the hea vens, and thy kingdom ruleth over all. We prostrate our selves before Thee, deeply impressed with a sense of the vastness of thy agency and dominion. Thou changest the times and the seasons: Thou removest kings, and settest up kings. Empires rise and fall, and fade and flourish, at thy bidding; and all nations are in thy hand but as clay in the hand of the potter.
But none of thy dispensations are arbitrary. Whatever
Thou doest, is done, because O Father it seemeth good in thy sight; and thy judgment is always according to truth Thou art holy in all thy ways, and righteous in all thy works--and Thou art good; even in wrath Thou rememberest mercy; and dost not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
Therefore it is that we have been this day humbling ourselves in thy presence. For we acknowledge that we have been deeply guilty. Thou hast nourished and brought up children, but we have rebelled against Thee. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but we have not known, we have not considered. Thou hast given us our corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied our silver and gold; and we have prepared them for Baal. Because of swearing, the land has mourned. Pride has compassed us about as a chain. Discontent has rebelled against thine appointments. How has the love of money, which is the root of all evil, abounded among us. How have thy sabbaths been profaned, and thy ordinance” disregarded. How has the gospel been undervalued, neglected, despised!
And all our transgressions have been more aggravated than those of any other people, because Thou hast favoured us unspeakably more than all the families of the earth.
Therefore Thou couldst easily and justly have destroyed us; but Thou hast not stirred up all thy wrath. In all that has come upon us for our evil deeds, Thou hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve. Yet Thou hast testified thy displeasure, and visited us with thy judgments; so that when we looked for light and peace, we have seen darkness and trouble.
O let us not be inattentive to the design of thy dealings, or insensible under thy rebukes. O let it not be said of us, as it was of the Jews, The harp and the viol, and the tabret and pipe, and wine are in their feasts, but they re
gard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hand. Thou has stricken them, but they have not grieved; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction; they have made their faces harder than the rock; they have refused to return.
In the way of thy judgments, O Lord, may we wait for Thee. Thou hast said, Is any afflicted? Let him pray. Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Fulfil the word unto thy servants, upon which Thou hast caused us to hope. And O let not the calamity be removed only, but above all, sanctified; let it appear that we have heard the rod, and Him that appointeth it; and be able to say, It is good for us that we have been afflicted.
For which purpose, bless, we beseech Thee, the word of thy grace, which has been spoken; and grant that the professed humiliation of the day may be real-for Thou lookest to the heart. And let it also be universal; may it extend from the highest to the lowest; may it pervade the court and the country; may it enter every church and every family-let none of us lose sight of ourselves in the public calamity. May each individual retire and ask What have I done?-and what wilt Thou have me to do? And though other lords have had dominion over us, henceforth by Thee only may we make mention of thy name. Regard the government under which we live. the President of these United States; the representatives of the people; and the magistracy of the land-may all be wise in counsel, exemplary in conduct, and faithful to their trusts.
And thus may we be reformed, and not destroyed. Thus may we be a holy, that we may be a happy people, whose God is the Lord. Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent Thee concerning thy servar.us. satisfy us early with thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all