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pected from the conjoined power of fervent supplication and practical godliness. "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him; yea, ; yea, all such as call upon him faithfully." Yea! the Lord shall even be nigh to us, to succour and deliver us: although it may not please him to accede to the precise wish of our prayer. “He will not suffer the righteous to fall for ever." In the midst of the overthrow, when the fire of God's wrath shall be consuming and utterly annihilating the vain hopes of the impenitent sinner, the Lord will spare, he will rescue from the destruction "those that are his, and those who are holy."
And this, brethren, is another, and a very instructive lesson to be deduced from the consideration of this most awful transaction, and from the clear proof here afforded of the efficacy of Abraham's prayer. The cities of the plain would have been spared, had "ten righteous" been found therein; 3 Psa. lv. 22.
2 Psa. cxlv. 18.
and although that small number could nowhere be found, yet, "God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow." The righteousness of ten would have saved the city; and righteous Lot did not perish in the destruction thereof. O! what an argument, my brethren, have we here furnished to us, and on what affectionate and patriotic grounds likewise, for individual holiness and personal sanctification. See what the well-disposed and faithful Christian may do for the welfare of his friends and the preservation of his country. The Lord for his sake may be pleased to bless, and not to punish; to spare in love, and not cut off in wrath. So true is it, so agreeable to the word of God, that the best Christian is the best patriot, and that whilst “righteousness exalteth a nation, sin is a reproach to any people." And surely, brethren, we may look with some little emotion of christian exultation to the religious
4 Prov. xiv. 34.
institutions of our country, to the support which they receive from the good men of our time; surely we may look, and with feelings of devout gratitude, towards those exalted spirits among our own countrymen who delight in honouring God, who desire that his name, and the truth and purity of Christ's Gospel, be established and promoted in the earth, and who in their own persons, and according to their means, set themselves to stay the torrent of vice and irreligion, of misrule and impatience. And may we not say, that thus hath our beloved country been blessed, signally blessed, with honour, and glory, and victory! And surely our reputation hath thus in some degree at least been the award pronounced of old-the reputation of being "a wise and understanding people." O! remember we, and feel we, the certainty of the scriptural declaration already cited, "Righteousness exalteth a nation." And let us further remember, and be we ourselves inwardly strengthened
5 Deut. iv. 6.
thereby to a steady perseverance in the right way-let us, I say, further, remember that the aggregate of good, the aggregate of public piety, and of national zeal for the glory of God, is made up of single, it may apparently be, of unrecorded acts of individual devotion to the cause of true religion and virtue. Therefore are we so to assist individually; therefore are we to look unto ourselves, and to see that our own ways and doings, and the thoughts and intents of our own hearts, be right, and agreeable to the word of God. And then, brethren, come what will, our hope will be stedfast, our confidence immovable, that "the Judge of all the earth will do right." Although "iniquity may abound," and the flood of ungodliness may be strong and overwhelming-even to the turning away of the face of the Lord from that nation and people-yet shall the Lord, amidst the fierceness of his anger, remember his servants to save them, if not with temporal deliverance, yet with an everlasting salvation. He will separate
between the tares and the wheat, he will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. "It came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow."
Such, in truth, shall be to us the profit and the worth of our own righteousness. With God's blessing, and in his graciousness and kindness, our prayers for the public weal, and our own steady and exemplary walking in the ways of godliness, shall not be without effect; they may be the instrumental cause of good to others. Should however this not be the prosperous issue, should sin and iniquity so abound as to weigh down, and frustrate the patriotic and christian endeavours of the pious, the loyal, and the well disposed,— this are we to know, that the Almighty will in the end surely remember the righteous "for good." And wherefore? for their own worth and deservings; and because there hath been "no error or fault found" in them?" Who, then, alas! can