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we hope, under his influence, diffuse itself and spread through distant parts of the land. Let us take heed we do not stop it, nor forfeit the divine favour, by any sinful anxieties, unthankfulness, and distrust. As God our Almighty father has graciously permitted us, let us cast our cares upon him, who hath promised to be careful for us : Rejoicing in the assurance, that he governs the world, and, though the young lions lack and suffer hunger, yet they that fear the Lord shall want no good thing. Finally, V. Let the scene of dreadful horror which has

now been presented to us, in the conflagration of a single town, make us prepare for and expect a vastly more awful scene, which will shortly take place, when the heavens shall be all on fire, and the whole earth with all things in it shalı be covered with destructive flame.

For we are expressly assured, that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, i. e. with suddenness and surprise, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ; the earth also with all that is therein shall be burnt

When the son of God shall be revealed from heaven in a bright and devouring flame: a fire will go before him to burn up and destroy his enemies, and it shall be very tempestous round about him : and he will rain down from heaven upon all incorrigibly wicked men fire and brimstone, an horrible tempest, like that which destroyed Sodom; this shall be the portion of their cup. In the conflagration of a single town, if one house be in flames, we can flee from it to another : or, if fire covers the whole place, we can retreat into the fields, and be safe from its destructive rage : but, when the whole world shall be set on fire at the conflagration of the last day, where then shall we fly for shelter, or find a safe retreat ?Mountains cannot cover, or rocks hide us from the fury of those desolating flames. Nothing, but the wing of the mighty Saviour, will then screen us. Jesus Christ is the only ark in which we can find safety from that fiery deluge : all, who are out of him, will be swept away by the dreadful tempest: but those, who by a true repentance and obedience to his laws have devoted themselves to him, will be caught up in the air above the reach of those flames.


Wherefore, brethren, seeing we really look for such things, and verily believe they will shortly come to pass, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness? How loose should we hang to this world, which, as pilgrims and strangers, we must quickly forsake? How dead to all its pomps, its grandeurs and possessions, wbich must all quickly expire in ashes and smoke? How careful to pass through it unspotted by the pollutions which are in it through lust, that, when the last fire shall rage around us (that fire which is to try every man's work) it may find in us nothing whereon to kindle, but, being purified from all sin, we may pass through it, like the three children in the fiery furnace of old, untouched by its flame. Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he comes, shall find so prepared !

As to what befalls us in the present world, let it little move or affect us, so our conscience be kept pure, and we have the favour of God. We see the instability of all worldly possessions ; let us, therefore, make it our chief care to secure to ourselves a more enduring substance, to make sure our title to those mansions in our father's house, those everlasting habitations, which our Lord is gone up to prepare for us in heaven. Being once possessed of these, as through the favour of heaven we hope shortly to be, our possession of them will be stable, permanent, and never end. Those houses not made with hands, which are built for us in heaven, no earthquake can overthrow, no enemy assault, no sickness or death enter, nor wasting flames destroy. Having, therefore, christians, this hope, let it little grieve us to be turned out of these poor cottages upon earth.

Though we have not the conveniences and accommodations we could wish; yet, thanks to a kind Providence, we have finer raiment than camel's hair ; and better food than wild honey : we are not forced to wander about in sheep skins, and goat skins, destitute, afflicted, tormented; or to lodge in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth. Seeing under all our present difficulties, then, our circumstances in life are so much easier and more happy than those of thousands around us, yea, than those of some of the worthiest and best persons who have ever lived upon earth, let us be truly thankful for it, and make the best of our present state, by a contented and cheerful mind. As for temporal things, let us trust God for their supply. The same hand, that hath sunk, can with infinite ease, and by a thousand unthought of ways, lift us up again. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. Though, in the wisdom of his providence, he hath now laid our town in ashes, he can grant it a resursection from its present ruinous state ; yea, can raise it from its present ruins more prosperous and flourishing (and may it be also more virtuous and religious) than it fell.

To conclude. As the things, which have now befallen us, were, it is probable, intended partly as an example or admonition to others, may all around us take warning, and stand in awe of the divine judgments, and beware how they offend. If there are any who live without God in the world, without daily addresses to him by prayer and thanksgiving, and without paying in their respective families the homage due to their Almighty guardian, benefactor, and friend-Or, if any who are wont to treat with a profane neglect that day which God has claimed as holy to hiinself; to waste it in idleness, diversions, and sports; and to deny the eternal Sovereign the tribute of their solemn worship in the congregation of his saints :-Or, again, if any who live in variance, emulation, strife, and party-zeal, envying, reviling, and grieving one another :-Or, finally, if any who are sunk into a sensual or worldly state; who walk after the flesh, fulfilling its unreasonable passions and lusts; living in wantonness and impurity, in rioting and drunkenness, in revelling and excess:--If, I say, there are any such around us, let them be awakened by the tremendous stroke which is now fallen upon us. Let them repent, and give glory to the great Governor of the world, lest they also fall under the severe rebukes of his rod. And, as his providence now loudly calls us, may bis spirit powerfully assist us all, to break off our sins, and to live soberly, rightcously, and godly in the world; looking for, and hastening to, the coming of the day of God, when the heavens and the earth, being on fire, shall be dissolved : that we may then behold that universal ruin, and subversion of the present frame, with a calm and untroubled mind; knowing it to be an introduction to a glorious and


most happy scene, even to the new heavens and the new earth, in which righteousness shall ever dwell.

If the present awful dispensation hath this happy effect, we shall all have cause to be everlastingly thankful to heaven for it; and to say, It is good for us that we have been thus afflicted. These billows of affliction on which we are now tossed, and this storm of adversity which sorely beats upon us, will then drive us the faster to the haven of eternal rest. By being cast into this furnace, we shall come forth like gold, purified and refined, and be so much the more prepared for the happy world above, where every sorrow shall flee away, and God will wipe all tears from

our eyes.

To which state of consummate and everlasting tranquility, may the mighty power of God safely bring us all, through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and dominion, world without end. - Amen.

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