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S E R M O N I.

I SAIAH lviii. 1.

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice

like a trumpet ; and Mew my people their transgreshon, and the house of Jacob their fins.


HEN we reflect that God

hath planted in the breast of every man, a conscience, which approyes our good actions, and accuses our evil deeds, and continually calls them to our remembrance; there seems but little occasion for any one to undertake the ungrateful task of reminding men of their fins; much less that a prophet should be



particularly inspired for that purpofe, and commanded, in the strongest terms, to “ shew the people” of Israel 16

their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”


But when we consider that this hath been the constant practice of all the prophets from Moses, that this was the chief intention of their miffion; and further, that the hearts of men are often hardened, that their consciences are either lulled asleep, or, as it were, feared with a hot iron; and that they even sin against conscience; and that they rafhly and violently run on from one wickedness to another; to their own eternal perdition, we shall be forced to acknowledge the urgent necessity there is that God should send us such re

membrancers, membrancers, and his mercy in sending them; and shall be as thankful to those who have the courage to reprove us, as to the hand that holds us from tumbling down a precipice, or froin finking to the bottom of the sea.

And how can they who call themselves God's ministers, who think themselves commissioned by him, and, who watch for your souls ; how can they excuse themselves, upon every necessary occasion, from exhorting and reproving, from remonftrating with, and threatening you? Might they not justly, for their neglect of this duty, be accounted as dogs, which being set to guard the flock, gave no notice when the wolf was coming ? And ought they not to re



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