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A Revolutionary War Sermon

A Revolutionary War Sermon

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY ROBERT WALKER


Preached Dec. 12, 1776, being the first public Fast after the
Commencement of the American War.

Psalm 11. 18.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the
walls of Jerusalem,
BY ROBERT WALKER


Preached Dec. 12, 1776, being the first public Fast after the
Commencement of the American War.

Psalm 11. 18.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the
walls of Jerusalem,

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 24, 2013
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A REVOLUTIOARY WAR SERMOBY ROBERT WALKER Preached Dec. 12, 1776, being the first public Fast after theCommencement of the American War.Psalm 11. 18.Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou thewalls of Jerusalem,THERE is an advice becoming the wisdom of Solo-iii(m (in Eccl. v. 2.) ^' Be not rash with thy mouth, andlet not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing beforeGod : for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth : there-fore let thy words be few." To pray to the Most HighGod is a very solemn thing, even when we view him asseated on a throne of mercy. He is always present withus, whether we think of him or not: but when we pray,we, by our own deed, place ourselves in his sight, andsolicit his attention. And is not this a very solemn andawful thougiit? We speak to one who looks immediate-ly into the heart, and who requireth " truth in the in-ward parts." ay, we appeal to him as the Searcherof hearts, for the truth of every word which we utter be-fore him, and challenge his omniscience to take cogni-17^ SERMO XLVII.zance, whether what we say doth not express the realsentiments and desires of our hearts. I say the desiresof our hearts; for these, and not the language in which\vs clothe them, are our prayers to God. ay, the betterthe words are which we use in prayer, the more insolent
 
is the profanation, if they are not animated by the de-sires which they ought to express. Too many are aptto imagine, that they have succeeded well in the exer-cise of devotion, if they have been able to address Godby his proper titles, and to recollect those words inditedby the Spirit of God, in which holy men of old express-ed their desires, and which they committed to writingfor the use of the church. But they do not consider, thatthe very end for which those accepted prayers were re-corded, was, to regulate our hearts instead of directingour lips; and that it is our most immediate business,when such petitions occur to our minds, to try our heartsby them, that we may truly feel what they express, be-fore we adventure to present them to God.It is the character of hypocrites, whom God abhorreth,that they " draw near to him with their mouths, andhonour him with their lips, while their hearts are farfrom him." This is to add abuse and insult to all theirother sins; and those prayers which have proceededfrom feigned lips, will, in the great day of judgment,stop the mouths of transgressors more effectually, thanall the other offences with which they shall be foundchargeable.The articles of a man's belief may not always be pre-sent to his mind ; or at least the practical inferences whichmay justly be drawn from them, may not be all so obvi-ous as to command his uniform attention. To counteractindeed a plain and positive law, is such a flagrant re-bellion as admits of no excuse : and yet even in this case,SERMO XLVII. I73the sinner may pretend to plead, in alleviation of hiscrime, that the law appeared to him so strict and rigor-ous, that he could not hring his mind to consent to itsdemands.
 
But what evasion can a man find for contradicting hisown prayers? Or what sliall he be able to answer, whenGod shall say to him, ^' Out of thine own mouth do Icondemn thee, thou wicked servant?" Every requestwhich we make to God, is not only an explicit declara-tion that we highly esteem, and ardently desire the bene-fits we ask, but likewise implies an obligation on ourpart, to put ourselves in the way of receiving what weask, and to use all the means in our own power to ob-tain it. When therefore we do not endeavour to obtainthe blessings which we ask, we plainly declare that wedo not heartily desire them. And by asking what wedo not desire to obtain, we make it evident that we arepresumptuous dissemblers, who use greater freedom withthe all perfect Being, than we dare to use with any of our fellow mortals, who is possessed of sufficient powerto resent such unworthy and abusive treatment.I have just now read to you a prayer of the royalPsalmist, which none of us, I suppose, will hesitate toadopt. It consists of two distinct petitions ; the one re-specting the spiritual, the other the temporal prosperityof the people over which the providence of God hadplaced him. And it will readily occur to you, that boththese important interests of the nation to which we be-long, are recommended to our attention in the royal pro-clamation which hath brought us together this day. WhatI propose in the following discourse is to make a fewremarks,First. On the matter of David's prayer.Secondly, On the order observed in the petitions con-tained in it.174 SERMO XLVII.

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