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with which our country and ourselves are at this moment surrounded. The restoration and continuance of peace to our land, with the exception of that Indian warfare, to be lamented, but not to be dreaded, demand our thanks. Our citizens can with confidence engage in the ordinary pursuits of civil life.
After beholding the tranquillity and peace of our beloved country, let us cast our eyes to Europe, and behold her bleeding at every pore: and while our hearts melt with sympathy and compassion for the sorrows of her inhabitants, while we supplicate the God of peace that the sword may soon return to its sheath, let us bless Him who has exempted us from these calamities. Often has the rod been shaken over us; often have we listened to the sound of the distant thunder, and, marking its apparent approach, supposed it would soon burst upon us. But our God has still preserved us in peace; has thrown his shield before us; and war has not been permitted here to light her torch, or destruction to unfurl her banner. Ye who have seen the battle of the warrior, and garments rolled in blood;" the plains covered with carnage; the desolated fields; the temples of the Lord in ruins; the services of religion interrupted; the immorality always attendant upon a state of warfare; your habitations sinking in flames, and your families fleeing by their light, terrified and destitute, from a plundering and licentious foe: tell us what gratitude we owe for this mercy. Ye mothers, ye wives, who have waited with agonized suspense and with trembling hearts, to hear the result of every battle ; who have had those, united to you by the tenderest ties of nature or affection, suddenly sunk in the dust; who bedewed with your tears their laurels moistened with their blood : ah! your hearts
tell you, with an energy which makes you feel the poverty of language, how much we are indebted to God for that peace which we still enjoy!
This is but one of our public mercies, which we should this day record. Still there is preserved that form of government in which we so deservedly rejoice; a form of government such as the most wise and virtuous of ancient legislators laboured in vain to accomplish; such as speculative statesmen of former ages rather delineated in idea than expected ever to see carried into execution; a government, where the rights of the citizens are secured as far as they can be by any human institutions; where the most elevated individual cannot with impunity openly injure him in the lowliest station in life; where the laws are not arbitrary, depending only on the caprice, the interest, or the passions of a single man; but fixed, made by yourselves, and to be suspended or changed only by those who enacted them : a form of government, which, by the admirable union of liberty and energy that is found in it, preserves us on the one hand from the horrors of despotism, and on the other hand from a furious licentiousness, more bloody and ferocious than despotism. Still our land continues the asylum of the oppressed of all nations ; still we behold a bright and glorious prospect expanding before us; and advance with unexampled rapidity in population, strength, and all the arts which adorn and embellish life. · Still there is preserved unto us the inestimable privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of our own consciences; and religion is not polluted by the touch of the secular arm. cred rights of conscience, which knows no other master than God, are here still unassailed. No
emoluments are attached to a particular church; no penalties to enforce particular doctrines. Religion presents itself to you in its native charms, and relying upon Him from whom it proceeded, asks no other support. May this be ever the peculiar boast and honour of our country! If the truths which we preach are not of God, let them fall; if they have been taught by Him, we know that the gates of hell will not prevail against them.
It is another mercy which peculiarly calls for our praise, that the triumphs of the gospel during the last year have in our country been extensive. You have heard, and you daily hear from every part of our land, of extensive revivals of religion; and you every where behold temples rising for the worship of the Almighty, and institutions for the extension of and undefiled religion. Herein God indeed has done great things for us; myriads are now celebrating the praises of Jesus, who a short time since were 66 enemies to him by wicked works," and perhaps were open despisers of his grace and atonement. Thousands are now singing the song of the redeemed in heaven, who, had they been cut off a few years since, must have lifted up their eyes in torments ! What a motive to gratitude! In a country in which, some centuries back, there existed none but the most blinded pagans, bowing down to stocks and to stones, not only has the cross of Jesus been erected, and his ordinances administered, but this cross has given comfort, hope, salvation, to thousands and tens of thousands; and the Redeemer is still daily seeing among us “ of the travail of his soul,” and is satisfied. In vain has infidelity raised its voice; in vain have many impious Rab-shakehs vomited forth their blasphemies against the Lord. “ He who sitteth in the
heavens has had them in derision.” Though they have vented their fury against religion, yet they have only resembled those ferocious wolves, who .bark in impotent rage against the moon, which, undisturbed by their noisy clamour, still proceeds in its splendid course. And rapidly may thy gospel still advance, thou Redeemer of sinners! Long as the orb of day continues to roll, mayest thou, the Sun of Righteousness, shed down thy cheering beams more brightly and more extensively!
In passing from our country in general, to the city which we inhabit, we still see that God hath done great things for us.
To whom have we been indebted for the almost unprecedented healthfulness of our city, but to that God who sends sickness or preserves life at his pleasure ? Ascribe it not merely to natural
“ Nature is but the name of an effect,
To talk of natural causes, without looking to the great first cause, is either to speak without ideas, or to be an atheist upon principle. Bless then, Him, “ whose visitation preserveth our spirits;" that the grave has in comparison opened so rarely; that in so few of your families fatal breaches have been made. When you are partaking of a pure and serene joy in the bosom of your domestic circle; when you see the dear objects of your affection still spared to you, will not gratitude to God mingle with the indulgence of “ the sweet charities of life,” and give a new and holy charm to your union ? Forgive me, ye bereaved and mourning families, if, in teaching others their duty, I am opening in your breasts wounds scarcely closed; I mean not to distress you: but you too may
preach to them; and how eloquently will you urge them to thankfulness, when you tell them of the agony which
felt when the ties which had been cementing for years, were in a moment snapped asunder ; when your friends strained upon you for the last time their closing eyes; an agony from which they, through the mercy of God, have been exempted. And even many of you, my bereaved friends, find abundant reason for gratitude in the Christian consolations and supports of your departed friends ; in the hopes you are permitted to entertain ; in the sympathy of surviving friends; in a thousand mercies that have been mingled with your afflictions.
Need I also recall to you, my brethren, in order to excite your gratitude, your preservation from those judgments which have afflicted many of our sister cities? The silence of repose has not here been disturbed, as in many other places, by the alarms of fire; you have not had the hard earnings of many years in a moment swept from you, and been thrown upon the world houseless and destitute. Let the recollection of the distress that such calamities have often produced in this place, make you
bless that God who has watched over you, and defended you.
What great things has God done for us as individuals? Here, my brethren, your own meditations must supply what we can only intimate. Consider the numberless enjoyments with which you are surrounded; those continued mercies which have never been intermitted; those unexpected blessings which could
; not be anticipated ; those blessings of nature, of providence, and of grace, which encompass you: each of these has a voice intelligible to the grateful heart. Are you yet an unrenewed sinner, uninterested in the