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ed with a comfortable state of health; if violent maladies have not seized on us, or have been removed; if the use of our eyes, ears, senses, limbs, and understandings have been continued, or restored to us; whatever second causes have concurred, we should thankfully say, "Hitherto hath "the LORD helped us."

Our lives and comforts are likewise exposed to perpetual dangers from wicked men. If then we have lain down in peace, one night after another, and risen in safety; if we or our dear friends have journeyed from time to time, without having been injured or even alarmed by robbers and murderers; or if, to shew us our danger, and remind us of our invisible Protector, we have been alarmed, and yet preserved from material detriment; how ought we to bless and praise the Lord for his peculiar kindness to us? Every time that we have gone from home, by land or sea; or have parted with our beloved relatives, thus called into distant parts; and on our return have met them in safety, without having experienced fatal disasters, or heart-rending distresses; should excite us to renew our grateful acknowledgments to the God of our lives.

Some of us can say, 'We were never, during 'all our past years, disturbed by the midnight 'alarm of fire in our habitations; our property, ' or part of our families was never thus tremendously taken from us.' Others may indeed have been thus alarmed, and endangered, but were mercifully preserved, and extricated from the difficulties in which they were involved. And have

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we not, my friends, abundant cause for gratitude to our kind Protector and Deliverer?

Let us not on this occasion forget the special mercies we enjoy in this favoured land. The nation has indeed, within our days, been frequently engaged in war, and great complaints have been made: but few of us know any thing experimentally of the horrors attending on actual warfare. We have not been shut up in besieged cities, nor witnessed the dismay, carnage, and devastation of such a scene. Streets flowing with human blood, or strewed with mangled corpses; the groans of the wounded and dying; the ruins or smoke of houses made the graves of the inhabitants; with all the dire effects of places being taken by assault, and given up to plunder and massacre; have not been rendered familiar to our senses. We have not beheld the fields ravaged by hostile armies; the labour of the husbandman destroyed; towns and villages reduced to ashes; and the neighbourhood rendered almost a desert; except as the engines of destruction, the conflicting armies, the moans of the dying, or the more affecting lamentations of surviving parents, widows, and orphans, give a sad variety to the dreary scene. How few comparatively of the human race have passed so large a portion of their lives, without sharing these sorrows, or having their hearts pained by these woful spectacles! Is there then no cause on this account to set up our Eben-ezer, and say, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us?" If any doubt of it, a few months' residence in a country that is made the seat of

war would effectually teach them (provided they be peaceably disposed,) to value a land of peace; and to be thankful, if henceforth they may know nothing of war, except from newspapers and taxes. -Many apprehensions have lately been entertained in our land on this account; but during another year we have been preserved. "Oh that "men would praise the Lord for his goodness, "and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"

The same may likewise be observed concerning pestilences, earthquakes, hurricanes, famines, and other dreadful scourges of a guilty world. We have thus far been exempted from them; and our fears of these dire judgments, which desolate other cities and countries, with complicated miseries that baffle all description, should excite us to bless God, who hath hitherto distinguished us by his special protection.

It would occupy too much time, and prove tedious, to enter into further particulars of the deliverances, comforts, and mercies, which a kind providence hath vouchsafed us. This specimen may suffice to aid the serious inquirer in recollecting the peculiar favours that he has received during his past life and this may prove one of the most useful studies in which he can engage.— It may, however, be proper to ask, whether there has not been some peculiar trial which you have dreaded more than any other? Now, if you have either been preserved from this, or have, beyond expectation, been supported and carried through it; you can scarcely help considering this as a

powerful call on you to say with gratitude, "Hitherto hath the LORD helped us."

But it behoves us also to inquire, in what manner we have received the blessings of a gracious providence, and what returns we have made for them? Alas, we have generally the utmost reason to confess our ungrateful forgetfulness of our Benefactor; our disposition to abuse or idolize his gifts, to undervalue them because not answerable to our exorbitant desires, to ascribe our safety and success to our own prudence and good conduct, or to spend our abundance in gratifying our carnal passions! This subject therefore, if investigated with care, may probably convince us that we have great cause to admire the Lord's goodness, in preserving us from ourselves, and the consequences of our own vices and follies. If we had been left without restraint, we might, either directly or by excesses, have long since proved our own murderers: we might have been hurried on, by violent passion or resentment, or in prosecution of some favourite project, to murder others, or have provoked them to murder us. We might in various ways have exposed ourselves to the sword of human vengeance: and it is indeed wonderful that God hath born with our rebellion and perverseness, and hath not cut us off in the midst of our sins. "It is of the Lord's "mercies that we are not consumed, because his "compassions fail not." We are infinitely indebted to his patience and long-suffering. He spared, protected, and provided for many of us, during a number of years, when we neither asked

him to do it, nor thanked him for his kindness. While multitudes were perishing around us, and several of our companions in ungodliness were cut off; while we sinned on amidst repeated warnings and narrow escapes; our offended God would neither destroy us, nor permit, others to do it: nay, he prevented the fatal effects of our own madness and folly, and overruled many instances of it for our good. Thus he gave us space for repentance: his providential dealings with us had a tendency to excite our attention, and lead us to consider our ways: and every true penitent will perceive that they were actually designed to effect the most gracious purposes. We have been spared by the forbearance of our God, that we might be saved by his mercy!

2. God hath hitherto helped believers by his special grace.

Ages before we were brought into existence, he foresaw our wants and miseries, as the descendents of fallen Adam; "by whom sin entered into the

world, and death by sin:" and in infinite mercy he had made "all things ready" for our salvation, in the person and redemption of his beloved Son. In due season he blessed the land, which was destined to be our residence, with the light of the gospel; and by a variety of wonderful interpositions he hath continued to it that light, while it hath been extinguished or greatly obscured in other lands. When we found our lot cast in a country thus distinguished; we had, perhaps for a long time, no disposition to attend to the word of salvation; but lived, carelessly or by choice, in Egyp

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