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The Religious Improvement of the Late Earthquake

The Religious Improvement of the Late Earthquake

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
By REV. SAMUEL DAVIES, A.M.,

PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY.





ISAIAH xxiv. 18, 19, 20. The foundations of the earth
do shake. The earth is utterly broken down; the earth
is clean dissolved ; the earth is moved exceedingly ; the
earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall
be removed like a cottage ; and the transgression thereof
shall lie heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise
again.
By REV. SAMUEL DAVIES, A.M.,

PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY.





ISAIAH xxiv. 18, 19, 20. The foundations of the earth
do shake. The earth is utterly broken down; the earth
is clean dissolved ; the earth is moved exceedingly ; the
earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall
be removed like a cottage ; and the transgression thereof
shall lie heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise
again.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 07, 2014
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THE RELIGIOUS IMPROVEMET OF THE LATE EARTH- QUAKES. By REV. SAMUEL DAVIES, A.M., PRESIDET OF THE COLLEGE OF EW JERSEY.ISAIAH xxiv. 18, 19, 20. The foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down; the earth is clean dissolved ; the earth is moved exceedingly ; the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage ; and the transgression thereof shall lie heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again. THE works of Creation and Providence were undoubt- edly intended for the notice and contemplation of mankind, . especially when God comes out of his place, that is, de- parts from the usual and stated course of his providence to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquities; then it becomes us to observe the operation of his hands with fear and reverence. To this the Psalmist repeatedly calls us : " Come, behold the works of the Lord, what de- solation he hath made in the earth." Ps. xlvi. 8. " Come, and see the works of God ; he is terrible in his doing to- wards the children of men." Ps. Ixvi. 5. To assist you in this, I shall cheerfully devote an hour to-day. This world is a state of discipline for another ; and therefore chastisements of various kinds and degrees are to be enumerated among the ordinary works of Provi- * Preached in Hanover county, Virginia, June 19, 1756. Tua res agitur paries cum proximus ardet. HOB.
 
OF THE LATE EARTHQUAKES. 261 dence. Pain, sickness, losses, bereavements, disappoint- ments; these are the usual scourges of the divine hand, which our heavenly father uses every day, to chastise some or other of his undutiful children. But when these are found too weak and ineffectual for their reformation ; or when, from their being so frequent and common, men be- gin to think them things of course, and not to acknowledge the divine hand in them ; then the universal Ruler departs from his usual methods of chastisements, and uses such signal and extraordinary executioners of his vengeance, as cannot but rouse a slumbering world, and render it sen- sible of his agency. At such times, he throws the world into a ferment; and either controls its established laws, or carries such into execution, as were formed only for extra- ordinary occasions. These extraordinary ministers of his vengeance, are generally these four : the FAMIE, SWORD, PESTILECE, and EARTHQUAKES. A famine in this land of plenty, would be an unusual judgment indeed ; and yet sundry parts of our country have been reduced to the borders of it, by the severity of last year's drought. The sword has been a harmless weapon to us, till of late ; but now it is brandished over our heads, and pierces our coun- try in a thousand veins. The pestilence is a mischief that has not spread desolation among us; though there is not perhaps one year, in which it is not walking through some country or other upon our globe. As for earthquakes, we have had such shakes, as may convince us, we are not be- yond the reach of that desolating judgment, even on this solid continent; though they have not as yet done us any injury. But perhaps there never was, since the earth- quake at the deluge, that broke up the fountains of the great deep, so extensive a desolation of this kind, as has lately happened in Europe and Africa. And though, blessed be God, it did not immediately affect us ; yet the
 
262 THE RELIGIOUS IMPROVEMET very fame of so dreadful a judgment ought to be improved for our advantage. To this event I may accommodate the words of my text, " The foundations of the earth do shake ; the earth is utterly broken down; the earth is clean dis- solved ; the earth reels to and fro like a drunkard : it is removed like a cottage," or a tent,* that was set up only for a night's lodging ; and the reason of all is, " The trans- gression thereof lies heavy upon it." Such of you as have read the public papers, need not be informed of that wide- spreading earthquake, which begun on the first of ovem- ber last, and has since been felt at different times, through most parts of Europe. For the sake of those that have only had some imperfect hints of it, I would give you this short history. The city of Lisbon, that in a little spot contained about as many souls as this wide-extended colony,t is now no more ! Its vast riches, and by all ac- counts, between fifty and a hundred thousand persons, have been buried or burnt in its ruins. Sundry other towns in Portugal, Spain, and along the European coasts of the Mediterranean, have been damaged, overthrown, or sunk, like Sodom and Gomorrah. The earthquake also ex- tended across that sea, and has ruined a great part of Africa, particularly in the empire of Morocco, where the large and populous cities of Mequinez, Fez, and the port of Sallee, have been demolished, with many thousands of the inhabitants. It has likewise been felt in sundry parts of Italy, Germany, France, Bohemia, and even in Great Britain and Ireland. ay, the tremor has reached our continent ; and has been very sensibly felt in Boston and other parts of ew England. Though much mischief has not been done in those parts, yet a loud warning has been given ; and oh ! that it may not be given in vain. It would certainly be an instance of inexcusable stupidity, f About three hundred thousand souls.

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