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dreadful cry,

with agony, HE is stretched out upon the cross!

The nails are applied to his hands and his feet ! - Hark! *The hammer resounds ! -0 Chriftians ! let me call off your thoughts from a scene that cannot be uttered, to behold its effects on the frame of Nature. -Lo! the fun veils his face, and is unable to look on ! the stars at noon-day are seen trembling on the vault of heaven! a sudden earthquake cleaves the rock! and, as if the general audit was already come, the dead arise from their fepulchres, with prophetic horror glaring their eyes! - In the mean time Jesus, hanging betwixt heaven and earth, looks down with pity upon his murderers! He hears the

“ His blood be upon us, and upon our children !and, looking up to his Father, cries out, “ Father, forgive them ; “ for they know not what they do!”-“Now " (we are told) it was about the sixth hour , " and there was darknefs over all the earth “ until the ninth hour; and the fun was “ darkened, and the veil of the temple was " rent in the midst.” The darkness that 0verspread the earth appeared to correspond with that horror which now fell upon the mind of our Redeemer. For a moment a cloud seemed to veil the complacent countenance of the Father! . He cast his eye around to behold him, and exclaimed, “ My God, “ My God! why haft Thou forsaken me ?”. What do you think, my brethren, was his agony at that instant ?- For your fakes his U 2

body body writhed, his blood streamed, and his lips almost uttered the language of despair !

But once more, Christians, turn your eyes to his face, now pale at the approach of death! He raiseth it again to Heaven ; and knowing that all was nou completed, and exclaiming with a loud voice, It is finised," he bows his head, and gives up the ghost.

III. Such is that scene which many of you whose hearts at this instant may be pained by recollecting it, are foon going to commemorate. Do you feel from the preceding reprefentation, imperfect and feeble as it is, love, pity, and gratitude, alternately excited in your breasts? Are you more zealous now than when you entered this facred house, to “ do this in remembrance of him?"-Let this truth then be imprefled upon your minds when you are employed in this folemn action, that the commemoration of the death of Christ can be no further beneficial to you, than as it produceth in you a steady determination to imitate the virtues of his life. “ Christ (says an apostle) suffered for us, “ leaving us an example that we may follow “ his steps.” As our Saviour's life consisted principally of a series of sufferings ; so in his example are displayed all those virtues which are called out into exercise by adverfity. Patience, fortitude, humility, refignation, forgiveness, those excellencies, which, though the objects of our admiration at a di

Itance,

ftance, we are at least able to transfuse into our conduct, shine with distinguished lustre in the example of Christ. To many of his fufferings you cannot be exposed ; by some of these your refolution would be wholly overthrown. In trials, therefore, of an inferior kind, suited to your situation, and proportioned to your ability, let his example animate you to make the most strenuous efforts; and while you profess yourselves to be his disciples, call upon him, as the Hearer of prayer, to render these efforts effectual. While you meditate therefore on his last fufferings ; while you pour out your souls to him in the fervency of prayer; may your hearts burn within you, like thofe of the disciples, when “ he opened to them the fcriptures," and " when he was made known to them in the 6 breaking of bread!” - May your resolution to imitate him, who was “ in all things made 6, like unto us," be fincere, permanent, and universal ! May you be enabled to devote yourselves through life to his service and obedience ; and by a steady adherence to his pre: cepts, may you be prepared for participating with him of eternal felicity in the land of feAtivity and rejoicing! Amer.

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S E R M ON

XIII.

The Cause, Symptoms, and Cure, of In

difference to Religion.

By ANDREW GRAY, D.D.

Preached before the Commiffioner to the Gene

ral Afsembly, May 31. 1767.

PSAL. lxxxv. 6..

Will thou not revive us again, that thy people

may rejoice in thee?

IT.

T is generally agreed, that this pfalm was

composed after the return of the Jews from their captivity, or, at least, revised on that occafion; and delivered to the chief mufician, to be sung as a proper anthem of praise after fo fignal a deliverance. The biftory of Ezra informs us of the violent op, position made by the neighbouring people to the rebuilding of the city and temple, whereby the work was for some time greatly obstructed. To this there seems to be a plain allusion in the 4th and 5th verses, where the pious author deprecates the difpleafure of the Almighty, to which he attributes the danger that threatened this people ; and, in our text,

he

he earnestly prays, that God, together with the re-establifhment of their civil and ecclefiaftic constitution, would revive a spirit of true piety and virtue, both among rulers and people, that their joy and happiness might ftand secure on its true foundation : Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Thefe words, then, present a subject of the utmost importance to our serious confideration: That the real happiness of any nation, enjoying the invaluable blessings of peace and liberty, and professing the true religion, confifts in their being animated by its fpirit; without which the greatest national advantages are of little avail. This good man therefore, anxious for the happiness of his country, prays, not only that the designs of its enemies might be defeated, and its religion and liberty secured; but likewise that God would inspire his people with a fpirit suited to their advantages; that he would banish from among them a cold indifference to religion, which, in truth, and in the pious man's judgement, bore a more threatening aspect to the public happinefs, than all the malice and violence of their focs; and that he would revive that spirit of piety and righteousness, which alone can support and exalt a nation.

In discourfing further upon this subject, I Shall, 1. Point out some of the principal causes

that

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