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manly integrity, which characterized the manners of their venerable ancestorsdepraving their minds by the adoption of bad principles-enfeebling their bodies by vice and effeminacy-squandering their fortunes at the gaming table, and then by an act of violence, in the rage and fury of despair, rushing forth to meet their Judge.--He beholdeth that virtue which constitutes the excellency and dignity of the other sex-which is to it protection and ornament—a robe and a diadem-in danger of being totally laid aside, while the courts are crowded with trials for conjugal infidelity.-He beholdeth an enormous and senseless luxury, still increasing with the distresses. of the times, accompanied by a dissipation, depriving its votaries of attention. to all that is wise and great and good. He beholdeth his ordinances neglected -his sabbaths profaned-his sacraments disparaged his temples forsaken-his ministers despised-his religion torn in pieces by contending sects, while there seems to be scarce enough of it for

each of them to take a little-the infidel openly reviling, or covertly mockingthe faith once delivered to the saints deserted for the dregs of Socinianism— a set of men wantoning in the paradoxical absurdities of scepticism, leaving us between them, neither matter nor spirit -neither body nor soul-and doing their best endeavours, in their lives and after their deaths, to render us a nation, literally "without God in the world."

Such, my brethren, are the forcible words in which a distinguished prelate ' of our Church describes the state of society in this land just half a century ago-and he then goes on to ask, "Is it matter of wonder-is it matter of offence, that a day should be appointed by royal proclamation for a general fast and humiliation before Almighty God, to be observed in the most solemn manner, by sending up our prayers and supplications to the divine majesty for obtaining pardon for our sins, and for

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averting those heavy judgments which our manifold provocations have so justly deserved ?"

And may we not in our time, ask the same question, my brethren, and plead the same necessity for humbling ourselves and falling down before the Lord with reverence and godly fear?-Surely you could not have failed to recognise the minute fidelity with which the passage I have quoted depicts the leading sins and vices of the present day. You could not but have imagined, that the sketch was taken from the life, as we now see it-not borrowed from the lineaments of an age departed. For what unsightly feature can we remove ?-Can we say that we behold no longer a people degenerated from noble simplicity and manly integrity ?-Can we deny that men's minds are any longer depraved by bad principles-or their bodies enfeebled by effeminacy and excess ?-Is that ruinous vice more rare which saps fame and fortune in this world, and perils soul and body in the next, too often

hurrying the frantic wretch unbiddenand oh! how unprepared-into the presence of his Judge? Or is virtue held more sacred?-Does the hand of the spoiler no longer intrude within the circle of domestic peace, and tear asunder those whom God's own ordinance had made one-finding "the land as the garden of Eden before him-but leaving it a desolate wilderness behind 1?"


But it is needless to proceed with these questions. Look where you will, and the scenes of dissipation and excess-the profanation of God's name and sabbath -the contempt of his word and all things dedicated to his service-the uncharitable fury of sects and parties, and the blasphemous mockings of impiety and unbelief-these abominations, and many others as bad as these, prove sufficiently that it is indeed high time to "blow the trumpet in our Zion, to sanctify a fast, and call a solemn assembly," lest the Lord arise in his fury, and say, "Shall

1 Joel ii. 3.

I not visit for these things, and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this 1?"-Indeed, if any alteration is to be made in the picture drawn by the hand of our predecessor, it must be done by rendering the shadows more broad and deep-not by the introduction of tints more cheerful and enlivening.-If we would judge fairly and honestly of our condition in morals and religion, we should have to plead guilty perhaps to all the offences charged in the above catalogue, and add to them moreover some which are peculiarly characteristic of our own time.-Such time. Such are "pride, hardness of heart, unthankfulness for God's mercies, and an obstinate following of our own imaginations instead of his holy laws 2."

It is possible, however, that you, may be ready to grant the existence of this state of things, and yet deny the inference we draw from it.-You may allow that iniquity does abound on every side, and

1 Jer. v. 9.

2 Form of Prayer for the Day.

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