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We should recollect the necessity of proying even to ourselves, that we are sincere when we come before the Lord : for, If a brother or. sister be naked, and destitúte of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace : be ye warmed and filled: notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body: what doth it profit? Our actions must satisfy our own consciences.
Hear what the prophet Isaiah says, even of a Day of Humiliation :- Is not this the fast that I have chosen- to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own ftesh? then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily. and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward : then is it evident, that there is reality and sincerity in thy services.
But much more does it become us, in a day of Public Acknowledgment, to say, God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light : therefore bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. The wounded, the widow, and the fatherless plead with you. And I should inform you, that the sums contributed on this Day of Thanksgiving will be appropriated to the seamen and marines, and
to the wives and children of the killed, and wounded ; and that a separate account is to be
l kept for the purpose, so that your benevolence will be exclusively applied to the relief of your
distressed and wounded defenders, and the families of the dead.
And this leads me to speak
A caviller once said to Christ, And who is my neighbour? Recollect the answer. Remember our Lord's sentiments concerning those who passed by the wounded man that had fallen among thieves-One on one side, the other on the other. Reflect on what he said concerning the man who pitied him, took care of him, set him on his own beast, poured oil and wine into his wounds, carried him to an inn, and ordered care to be taken of him. And call to mind what he says to you and
. me on that occasion : Go, and do thou likewise !
Here is your duty to your neighbour.
You will recollect, however, that this man's neighbour was a stranger to him.
The neighbours before us are our countrymen, the men who defend us at the peril of their lives. :I cannot conceive a nobler institution of the kind than the Patriotic Fund. I cannot conceive a more suitable application of your alms, than the strengthening of the hands of the benevolent persons engaged in managing it, and the enabling of them to do things on a large scale.
c. Your countryman goes forth with his life in his hand; panting, with exertion, to meet the common enemy, He is wounded-not with a ball, but with the splinters of the ship; which often do more execution than the balls themselves. He is maimed for life. Or, it may be that he is killed, before the battle is over; and perhaps at the very time that his widow is talking to her child,: and encouraging it: “ Ah!
my dear child! your father will be home soon, and then our wants will be supplied : we shall have food and clothing: we shall not be distressed then : we shall have plenty of money.” But~-wife or child never more. shall he behold! Such is the sacrifice made by this man? And for whom is it made ? - That you and I may abide at home in safety: that you and I may sleep on our beds in peace: that you and I may be protected in our property, and have this day something to give for the relief of the distressed.
Consider, too, what encouragement is hereby given to these warriors to go forth..“ If I lose my health, or my limbs, or my life,” they will reflect, “ my grateful country will take up my wife and children when I am dead. I go satisfied that I do not defend a nation that is ungrateful, and cares nothing for me and mine."
You see then your duty to your neighbour, and this neighbour your defender. ;
Remember, that we are engaged in a defensive war. I never could reconcile it to my conscience, to plead for an offensive war; for a war of ambition. I consider this merely as a defensive war; and that our ships are our natural bulwarks; and that God has been pleased to bless and honour the exertions of our seamen in an extraordinary way: battle after battle has been accompanied with victory. Now, therefore, if we offer our sacrifice of praise to-day, in consequence of God's shewing us light, let us bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
3. As to our duty with respect to God, let us remember, that our sacrifices should be offered to him, who hath done great things for 'us: we should do what we do as in the sight of God; giving unto him what he hath given unto us. He hath protected us hitherto, and hath made us a most distinguished nation; for, while war, famine, desolation, misery, and death have gone over the face of Europe, what a picture is this country! We are called, therefore, to set up our Ebenezer a stone of help—if we consider the situation and circumstances in which we are, while we present our gifts to God to-day. Who gave those gifts ? How are we enabled to offer anything? and if God will accept the offering at our hand, if he hath declared that with such sacrifices he is well pleased, let us not indulge a grudging spirit, or raise any thing like an objection or cause of withholding in our minds. Instead of being the poorer for our gifts, God has promised to repay them. He has said, that he, that hath pity on the poor,
lendeth to the Lord, and that he will repay him. I think I am authorized to say, that never did such an occasion before occur. Such a victory, I believe, never appeared upon record, and perhaps never will again. God, therefore, has shewed us light: let us bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar.