Judgments of God Upon Ireland
Sickness and Famine
Sins of the Nation
Printed byGeorge Grierson
1. The Judgments of God, &c.
IT having pleased God to visit us with two of those four sore Judgments, Ezek. 14. 21. with which he threatens a sinful Nation, his design in it is that we should search our ways, Lam. 3. 40. and it is natural for every serious Christian to consider, what are those National, Crying Sins, that have drawn down these heavy Judgments upon us, and what are the surest methods to remove them.
For the holy Scriptures and the History and Experience of the World in all Ages and Nations, have plainly shewn, that when once Sin and Wickedness is grown to such an height, that it can be no longer restrained by the ordinary means, that God has appointed to keep the World in order, which are the Power of the Magistrate, and the Persuasion of the Ministers of his Word, he has then been constantly pleased, as the Sovereign Judge of the World, to take the matter into his own hands, and to judge as himself, that we may be convinced by [Page 4] our Sufferings, when we will not be prevailed upon by the milder methods of Reason and Persuasion, which are the Cords of a man. Hos. 11.4. And this is the only method, that is then left, to vindicate his Authority and Laws from contempt, to restore the publick Virtue of Nation; and to save some, in that last most dreadful Judgment he will exercise at the end of the World. There can be no doubt, but the Great, Crying Sins of this Nation are,
- Perjury and Prophane Cursings and Swearing.
- Dishonesty and Injustice of all kinds.
These National Sins have so long cried to Heaven for vengeance, that we have reason to adore the forbearence and long suffering God, which should have led us to repentance,Rom. 2. 4. and they are grown so common, that they have lost all that horror, with which they naturally strike the minds of other Men, and are made flight of amongst us, so that nothing but our suffering for them, and I fear by some severer Judgment, than we have yet felt, or seem to fear, can restore us to a due sense of their horrid guilt and nature, which have well nigh destroyed the pleasure and comfort of Society, and all Fear and Reverence of that Holy and Great Name, which ought to keep the whole World in awe.
If any thing can prevail against such an overgrown Evil, and teach the Inhabitants of the World to learn Righteousness,Isai. 26. 9. it must be the Authority of God himself speaking from Heaven against such desperate Crimes,Heb. 12. 25. at a time when his Judgments are abroad in the Earth, [Page 5] when the living are scarce able to bury their dead, and the Earth is strewed with human carcases, that lie to be devoured by birds of Prey, when Sickness and Famine still walk through the Land, destroying thousands, for a warning to us, and proclaiming how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the Living God. Heb. 10. 31. I shall therefore interpose the Word of God against these National Sins, that it may stand, like Aaron, between the living and the dead, to stay the Plague, Num. 16. 48. and avert the Judgments that are going out against us, which we may humbly hope for, since we have God's general Promise with respect to the Evils of this Life, and his absolute Promise of being delivered from those of the next, provided we hearken to his Holy Word, and amend our lives according to it. Exod. 34. 6, 7. He is the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression and Sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. Psal. 103. 13, 14. Yea like as a Father pitieth his own Children, even so is the Lord merciful unto them that fear him. For he knoweth whereof we are made, he remembreth, that we are but dust, and is never better pleased than when we give him an opportunity, by our repentance, and ammendment, to pardon, and to do us good. But if you find your hearts are hard, and that the Word of God and the warnings of his Judgments make no impression upon them, to humble you for your Sins, and make you reverence an Oath, and to do, as you would be done by, let this at least alarm you, that Hardness of heart is the surest sign that [Page 6] the Spirit of God, which will not always strive with Man, Gen. 6. 3. is about to leave you, and give you up to a reprobate mind, which is the most dreadful state that Man can fall into on this side the Grave. It is the State of a Condemned Criminal, shut up in order to be led forth to Punishment, and the remainder of your life is only about respite between Sentence and Execution, unless these temporal Judgments, the last effort of the Divine Goodness, to bring you to repentance, should at last move you to take the alarm, and to cry mightily to God, that you may recover yourselves out of the snare of the Devil, Jonah 3. 8. 2 Tim. 2. 26. before the last fatal stroke is given, and Death, which may be drawn in with the next breath, conveys you to a State of everlasting Misery, to those dismal Prisons, where the Souls of wicked Men shall be tormented for ever and ever, where they have no rest Day nor Night, where their worm dieth not, and the fire never shall be quenched, Rev. 14. 11. Mark 9. 43. 44. from which neither the Absolution of a Priest, nor the sending for a Minister can deliver you, nor any thing else, but that alone to which God has promised Pardon and Eternal Life, namely Faith in our Saviour Christ, Gal. 5. 6. Matth. 3. 8, 9. working by love and bringing forth the fruits of Repentance and Amendment of life.
Christ is the author of Eternal Salvation, but then it is to them that obey him. Heb. 5. 9. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are, as filthy rags. Isai. 64. 6. For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. Rom. 3. 23. And when we have done all those things, which are commanded us, we must say we are unprofitable Servants, we have done that [Page 7] which was our Duty to do. Luke 17. 10. And what would have been but the Duty of a Saint can make no Atonement for a Sinner. But God has provided an Atonement for us, and has taught us in his Holy Word, that as there is one God, so there is one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a Ransom for all. 1 Tim. 2. 5, 6. If we will believe St. Peter he assures us, that neither is there Salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among Men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4. 12. And it is Blasphemy and Idolatry to set up Idol Mediators, or to join any other with the Son of God, in the great Work of our Redemption, and to make them the Authors of Salvation to us, which was purchased for them, as well as for us, by Christ alone, contrary to the plain and express Word of God, which testifies, that there is but one Mediator, that neither is there Salvation in any other, and that there is none other Name whereby we must be saved, but Christ's alone, who hath troden the Wine-press of his Father's wrath alone, and of the people was there none with him. Isai. 63. 3. Neither must we idolize ourselves, by trusting to our own merits, which are but as filthy Rags, as if we could do anything to deserve such mighty favours, as Pardon, Grace, and Eternal Life.
Leviticus. 19. 11, 13, 35, 36. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsly, neither lie one to another.
Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: The wages of him that is hired, shall not abide with thee all night until the Morning.
Ye shall do no unrighteouness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight or in measure.
Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin shall ye have: I am the Lord your God.
Chap. 25. 14, 17. 19. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbours hand, ye shall not oppress one another.
Ye shall not therefore oppress one another, but thou shalt fear thy God: For I am the Lord your God.
And the Land till yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.
Deut. 24. 14, 15. Thou shall not oppress an hired Servant, that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates.
At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the Sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it, lest he cry again thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.
Chap. 25. 14---16. Thou shalt not have in thine house, divers measures, a great and a small.
But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have, that thy Days may be lengthened in the Land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.
Prov. 11 . 1. A false balance is abomination to the Lord: But a just weight is his delight.
Chap. 10. 2. Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteouness delivereth from death.
Chap. 21. 6, 7. The getting of Treasures by a lying tongue, is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them, because they refuse to do judgment.
Chap. 29. 24. Whoso is partner with a thief, hateth his own Soul, he heareth cursing and bewrayeth it not.
Hosea. 7. 1, 2. When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: or they commit falshood: and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.
And they consider not in their hearts, that I remember alt their wickedness: Now their own doings have beset them about, they are before my face. See above Zech. 5. 1---4. Mal. 3. 5.
OPPRESSION is a Crime, which thro' the defects of human Laws, and that power and wealth which Providence necessarily entrusts to some for the good of others, cannot be always restrained by legal punishments, and we may well suppose that it is for this reason, that God, the Judge of all the Earth, so often declares, that he will regard the Tears of the oppressed, and punish it himself.
People are apt to think, when we are perswading them to Religion, we are perswading them to renounce their pleasures. But what pleasure is there in profane Cursing and Swearing? What uneasiness in having an Awe and Reverence for that Glorious and Fearful Name, the LORD OUR GOD, Deut. 28. 58. or in watching over our words, till we have broken ourselves of the habit of taking it in vain! What harm is there in the Character of an honest and good Man! Religion only directs us to the true pleasures. For the Laws of God are only the right methods of making us and all the rest of his Creatures happy, and as we are perpetually running, for the sake of some present ease or gratification, into things that are hurtful to ourselves or others, it is Merey and Goodness in God to restrain us from them by the severest Penalties, and if some will not obey, to punish them for an example to others, rather than all should make themselves miserable by offending with hopes of impunity, or by being carried away with bad examples, and the contagion or Vice. For instance when once a Nation is grown universally wicked and corrupt, [Page 31] they can only propagate wickedness and misery to their Posterity, and it is mercy in God to their innocent Posterity to cut off such incorrigible Offenders and Propagators of Sin and Misery, by such Judgments as Sickness and Famine, or as he did the old world by a Flood, and to bring on a new Generation, who may teach their Children the ways of Religion and true Happiness, like Noah, a Preacher of righteousness, and the Father of the new World, or Abraham, whom God made choice of to be the Father of the Jewish Nation, because he knew him that he would command his Children and his household after him, and they should keep the way of the Lord to do Justice and Judgment. Gen. 18. 19.
St. Paul has taught us that what is written in the Old Testament, was written for our admonition and that these things were our examples. 1 Cor. 10. 6, 11. Now there are two very remarkable chapters in the Old Testament, the 26th of Leviticus, and the 28th of Deuteronomy, in which God Almighty after having published his laws to the Jews, gives a strong and affecting account of those rewards and punishments, he would exercise towards them, according as they obeyed or disobeyed them. And tho' particular persons, with the rich man in the Gospel, may receive their good things in this life, and be tormented in the next, Luke 16. 25. yet nations, as such, are only capable of rewards or punishments in this world; and if we look back to the History of our own or other nations, we shall find, that as vice prevails and gets a-head, it has been generally checked, and beat back by Famine, Sickness and destructive Wars. These 2 Chapters should be read by every one at such a time as this, as they contain a most lively and affecting account of those sore judgments, with which Asia and Africa have been laid waste of late, and which now seem to be gathering over our heads in Europe. It is very remarkable that in the 28th of a Deuteronomy, in the midst of that dreadful train of Miseries which are threatned, God Almighty declares, that he would be thus severe in punishing them, for this very reason, Because thou served not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, or the abundance of all things, Ver. 47. which [Page 35] they were before not only allowed, but even required to enjoy with a liberal, and chearful heart: Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing, which the Lord, thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou and the Levite and the stranger. Deut. 26. 11.
It is noted of the first christians, that they eat their meat with gladness, and singleness of heart, Acts 2. 46. with a sincere and open freedom and liberality, void of sinister designs, and malignant passions to disturb the peace and harmony of their society, as the word seems to signify. Our Saviour himself, whilst he was here on Earth, was the most friendly, and humane, and the most conversable person, we ever meet with, conforming to all the innocent customs of his age and country, receiving all that came to him, and accepting the entertainments that were made for him, with great freedom, and kindness. There was nothing austere, or unnecessarily severe in his temper or carriage. In the midst of the great Business, for which he came into the world, we often find him mixing the cheerfulness of a Feast with the more laborious and difficult parts of his employment. He worked a miracle to save a young Couple, whose wedding he honoured with his presence, the shame of wanting wine for the entertainment of their Guests. With what tenderness and humanity does he defend the woman, who poured the box of precious ointment on his head, Mark 14. 3-9 when she was fallen upon by his Disciples, who thought it might have been better bestowed in charity; teaching us hereby, that an expence upon proper occasions, for the entertainment of our friends, or to show our gratitude to our benefactors, is no entrenchment upon charity, tho' that is a duty, which of all others, he recommends it to us to abound in? His Disciples thought the people troublesome and impertinent in bringing their children to ask his blessing, but when he saw it, he was much displeased, and said, Suffer the little children to come unto [Page 36] me and forbid them not, and he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them. Mark 10. 14, 16. He was pleased with their innocence, and proposed it as a pattern to his Disciples. There could not be a greater argument of the sweetness of his temper: Tho' they were not capable of his instructions, they were of his kindness, and blessing. He chose one of his Disciples for his bosom friend, and refused none of the innocent enjoyments or pleasing endearments of life, but was an example of every thing that is amiable or agreeable in human nature, as well as of all the difficult and painful virtues, that any of us can ever have occasion to put in practice. He worked several miracles to entertain the multitudes, that came to hear him, and invited himself to the house of one, who was desirous to ask him, but durst not, on account of the scandal of his profession; and he conversed so freely and familiarly with all sorts of people, whom he could benefit by his conversation, that the malicious Pharisees reflected upon him, as a gluttonous man, and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. Matth. 2 11. 19. So far is religion from being an enemy to joy and gladness that it is the only true source of it. It cultivates and improves all the innocent pleasures and endearing affections, in which the heart of man is formed to find so great delight. God is Goodness itself, and denies no good to his creatures, but for the sake of a greater good, nor inflicts any evil, but to prevent a greater. He gives us rain from Heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness, Acts 14 17 and delights to see us rejoycing in the blessings he has bellowed upon us, whilst: we do it with a thankful heart, and within such bounds, as are consistent with our own and the happiness of others.
Others there are who, though they believe these calamities, to be the judgments of God, for the sins of the nation, yet they do not care [Page 38] to apply them to themselves, and to look upon them as a call from God, to search and amend their own hearts and lives. They cry out for the reformation of others, when they should begin with their own. Our saviour instancing in those judgments that befel those whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices, and on whom the tower in Siloam fell, Luke 13. 1.--5. warns us not to think them sinners above all others, and declares that except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. The arrows of death fly about uncertain where they will light. No one knows whose turn it may be next: Yours or mine as soon as anothers. But if they strike us careless and unprepared, eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, Luke 17. 28. before we have secured our selves by repentance and making our peace with God, we are undone for ever.
This Nation has formerly felt the severity of God's judgments, by which they were a little reformed for a time: Since that God has been peculiarly favourable to this land; giving us all things that pertain unto life and godlinest; Peace and plenty under a mild and easy Government, and above all the free use of his holy Word, the greatest Gift the world enjoys, to those that use it; but to those that neglect it, the greatest Curse. 2 Pet. 1.3- 2 Cor. 2. 15, 16. Luke 2. 34. Joh. 2. 39. 1 Pet. 2. 7, 8. Heb. 2. 3, 4 For how shall we escape, it we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him, God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost?
Though our sins have been thus great and provoking, yet the goodness and long suffering of God has waited, as in the days of Noah, 1 Pet. 3. 20. to see whether we would repent, which St. Paul tells us is the true use we ought to make of the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, Rom. 2. 4. which are intended to lead us to repentance, and to give us all the time and opportunity, that may be, to prevent the dreadful Sentence, that must determine our fate to Eternity, from passing upon us: But we have been so far from making this wise and excellent use of the Divine Goodness and Forbearance towards us that it has only served to make us grow careless and secure in our sins, and to proceed to such an height of Impiety, as even to glory in our sins, an Aggravation that tempts the severest Vengeance, as if we thought Justice slept, or the reins of Government grew slack in the hands of the Almighty. But the Lord is not slack, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet. 3. 9. And though our impenitence and impudence in sinning has at [Page 40] last forced him to punish, yet how tenderly, how like an indulgent Parent has he dealt with giving us a more than ordinary plentiful harvest in the North, raising up a spirit of Charity, and sending us fruitful showers, and a supply of corn from a part of the world unknown in former times, America. when no other part of the Globe was able to supply our want, by which this great City has been visibly preserved from Famine and Infection? These are great mercies; but if neither fear nor gratitude can work upon us, they will prove only so many sad aggravations of our guilt and misery. We have been long forborn, but the day of Vengeance is at last come, and should it please God, in his just and righteous judgment, to send a blast on our next Harvest, one half of the Nation must perish, and the whole Kingdom would soon be filled with meagre Spectacles of Want, pining away in their iniquity, Lev. 26. 39 followed by the sure Attendant of a Famine, Sickness and an infectious Air, that sweep away both poor and rich, who draw in death with their breaths. It concerns us nearly to lay these things to heart in time. The arm of the destroying Angel is now lifted up for our destruction. But God, always inclined to spare, suspends the stroke, and waits for our repentance that he may lay aside his anger, and shew us mercy. And Oh! that they were wise, says the tender Parent of mankind, Deut. 32. 29. that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! Deut. 28. 63. How would he rejoyce over them to do them good! If there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, Luke 15. 7. what would there be over a whole Nation? We all acknowledge that without [Page 41] Repentance, we shall be eternally miserable, that whilst a man continues in a state of impenitence, he is under the Sentence of Eternal condemnation, and is every moment liable to be hurried away to Execution, and placed beyond the reach of the Pardon, that is now offered him, if he seeks for it in time. The immense, the momentous Opportunity of being eternally happy, and of escaping everlasting torments, is now in our hands: We may have a Pardon, if we will sue for it; We may have pleasures for evermore, if we will seek for them. What a cloud of horror and despair must overwhelm a Soul, just separated from the body in its sins? How must the thought like a stroke of Thunder, pierce through, and through the Soul, when it looks up, and sees those peaceful Regions and that immense Happiness, it has lost for ever, or looks down and views the horror and despair of that Place of Torment, into which it is now falling, without hope of ever being released from it. It is easy to say we will repent one time or other. But he who resolves to repent another time, resolves to continue in sin now. And this is such presumptuous, deliberate wickedness, that he has all the reason in the world to expect, that if ever that time comes, God may deny him his Grace to repent, or that he may cut him off in the midst of his wicked purposes. In short the only wise and safe way, the only way to make us easy here and happy hereafter, is now, immediately, without hazard of Eternity, or loss of a single moment, to search into our hearts and lives, to resolve to amend what is amiss there, and to implore the Pardon of our Sins through our Saviour Christ. A Resolution to forsake our sins, and to obey God in all things is soon taken, and tho' there is some difficulty in keeping it afterwards, ye if we pray to him, He, who is more ready to give his Holy Spirit to those that ask him, Luke 11. 9--13. than the best of [Page 42] Parents can be to give any good gift to their children, has promised to help us, and has told us that his Grace is sufficient for us, and that his strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor. 12. 9. Why should we then be averse to so necessary a work? Some things we must part with for his sake, otherwise there is no value in virtue, and what are these but our sins? At the same time if we lose any thing by it, he promises us more and better in their stead. What have we to be afraid of, when it is God that with so much goodness invites us to put ourselves under his protection, who has all Power in Heaven and Earth, and is always with us Matth. 28. 18, 20. to support and carry us through difficulties and trials, and to defend us from all dangers and temptations, that may be too hard for us. For he has assured us by his Apostles, that he will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it; 1 Cor. 10. 13. and that greater is he that is in us, than all the force and power of temptation, that is in the world. 1 John 4. 4. We bend our tongues, like our bow, for lies, Jer. 9. 3. and in defence of our own follies, and vices, but are not valiant for the truth, and for our souls. There is a force in that Arguement, used by Almighty God to Joshua, enough to raise our courage, and make us lay aside every weight, that hangs upon our hearts, Heb. 12. 1. to discourage our Repentance: Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee, whither soever thou goest. Josh. 1. 9. Let us but once list our selves in his service, and become Adventurers for Eternity, and let us take the same pains to be saved, that we do for other things that are necessary to our wel-being, and leave the rest to God, who will not fail to carry us through. For there is, my Brethren, there is an Immortal Spirit within us, and whether we will consider it, or no, we shall not die, like the Beasts that perish, [Page 43] but must live for ever, either in Joy or Torment.
The Scriptures make no allowance for our obstinate continuance in the practice of any wilful and known Sin, which is direct Rebellion against the Authority of God. God is a great King and will not endure a Rival, or give his Glory to another. Isai. 42. 8. If we do not love him with all our heart, our Love is not sincere. Mat. 22. 37. If we refuse to part with any sin, when he commands, we must break with him. If we prefer any thing to him, we make that our God, as St. Paul speaks of those whose God was their belly. Phil. 3. 19. To use the words of the Archbishop of Tuam in his short, but excellent Treatise of Repentance. ''God rejects our partial Obedience ''or Repentance. We cannot serve him and Mammon, or any other Sin. Mat. 6. 24. Either he will have the ''whole heart, or he will have none of it: And whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend ''in one point, if he persists therein, he is guilty of ''all, as being a Despiser of God's Authority. Jam. 2. 10.
But that this is not meant of the common frailties and infirmities of human nature, which the best of men are not free from, is evident, because the same Apostle allows, that in many things we offend all. Jam. 3. 2. And therefore provided there be an honest and good heart, Luke 8. 15. not indulging any wilful known Sin, but striving against every sin, that besets us, Heb. 12. 1. and to increase in the knowledge of God, Col. 1. 10. and the practice of every Christian Grace and Virtue; provided we thus love God with all our heart and with all our soul, Matt. 22. 37. which will be still pushing us on to do every thing that is pleasing to him, Col. 1. 10. the Scriptures make all the Allowance, that is possible, and have provided the most effectual remedy, not only for the common infirmities of our nature, which we strive against, but even for the greatest sins, not continued in, but repented of and forsaken. That we may not be discouraged, they [Page 49] tell us; that if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for the Sins of the whole World: 1 John 2. 1, 2. They assure us of one, who in our nature is entered into the highest Heaven, there to appear in the presence of God for us, Heb. 9. 24. ver. 12. and to intercede continually in our behalf. One, who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, having been in all points tempted, like as we are (yet without sin) Heb. 4. 15 and therefore can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way. 5. 2.
I shall at the end of this Discourse insert one of those two Chapters, I have before mentioned, as containing an account of the Judgments of God, on a Sinful Nation: And God grant that those we have felt, and are still threatened with, may prove a warning to us, that according to the advice of our Saviour to the impotent man, he had healed, we may repent and Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto us. Joh: 5. 14. If we refuse to humble our selves, under his hand now, God may send his Judgments upon us to the uttermost, 1 Thes. 2. 16. and refuse to hear our cries, when they are drawn from us, only by the extremity of our Sufferings. Hear what God himself says on this occasion whose Judgments are the voice of Wisdom, and in calling us to Repentance speak a language that all may understand, and none can refuse to hear. Wisdom cryeth without, she uttereth her voice in the Streets: Prov. 1. 20,--31. She cryeth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the Gates: In the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would [Page 56] none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not chuse the fear of the Lord. They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. We have seen many perish by the present Sickness that rages amongst us: Not that they were Sinners above all that remain, Luke 13. 2, 3. because they suffered such things: I tell you Nay, our Saviour repeats it twice, that we may take the more notice of it, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish, it may be in this World; but most certainly in the World to come: Joh. 5. 28. For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the Graves, shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the Resurrection of Life: and they that have done evil, unto the Resurrection of Damnation.
9. An humble Confession of Sin to Almighty God.
ALmighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; I acknowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness, which I from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against me. I do earnestly repent, and am heartily sorry for these my misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto me; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon me, Have mercy upon me, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christs sake, Forgive me all that is past, and grant that I may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
10. For Deliverance from the present Scarcity and Sickness.
O Almighty Lord God, who for the Sin of Man, dost break the staff of bread, and appoint over us Sickness, and Terror. Behold, I beseech thee, the afflictions of thy people, and give us Grace truly to repent us of our Sins. Turn thou us, O good Lord, and so shall we be turned; and although we for our iniquities have justly deserved to be punished, yet upon our true Repentance, withdraw from us this grievous Sickness, and send us such weather, that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth in due season, and learn both by thy punishment to amend our lives, and for thy goodness to give thee Praise and Glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.