Many people are now looking upon you, who once were as you are now. And, I doubt not, they are praying that you may be as they now are. Try to pray for yourself; our God is assuredly in the midst of us. His gracious ear is attentive to every supplicant. Seek Him while He is to be found. Jesus died for sinners, and He has said, Him that “come to me I will in no wise cast out” (Joh 6:37). He is likewise the author of that faith by which alone you can come rightly to Him. If you ask it of Him, He will give it you; if you seek it, in the means of His appointment, you shall assuredly find. If you refuse this, there remains no other sacrifice for sin. lf you are not saved by faith in His blood, you are lost forever (Rom 3:25). Oh, “kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psa 2:12)!
Prayer for Our Nation
Lord, while Thy judgments shake the land,
Thy people’s eyes are fixed on Thee;
We own Thy just uplifted hand,
Which thousands cannot, will not, see.
How long hast Thou bestowed Thy care
On this indulged, ungrateful spot!
While other nations, far and near,
Have envied and admired our lot.
Here peace and liberty have dwelt,
The glorious Gospel brightly shone;
And oft our enemies have felt
That God has made our cause His own.
But ah! both heaven and earth have heard
Our vile requital of His love;
We, whom like children He has reared,
Rebels against His goodness prove.
His grace despised, His power defied,
And legions of the blackest crimes,
Profaneness, riot, lust, and pride,
Are signs that mark the present times.
The Lord, displease, has raised His rod;
Ah! where are now the faithful few
Who tremble for the Ark of God,
And know what Israel ought to do?
Lord, hear Thy people everywhere,
Who meet to mourn, confess, and pray;
The nation and Thy churches spare,
And let Thy wrath be turned away.
V. Those Without Christ
There may be some persons in this assembly who are little concerned for their own sins, and are, of course, incapable of taking a proper part in the service of the day. Yet I am glad that you are here; I pity you, I warn you. If you should live to see a time of public distress, what will you do? To whom will you look, or to where will you flee for help? All that is dear to you may be torn from you, or you from it. Or, if it please God to prolong our tranquility, you are liable to many heavy calamities in private life. And if you should be exempted from these, death is inevitable, and may be near. My heart wishes you the possession of those principles which would support you in all the changes of life, and make your dying pillow comfortable. Are you unwilling to be happy? Or can you be happy too soon?
And let us pray in faith. Let us remember what great things the Lord has done in answer to prayer. When sin had given Sennacherib rapid success in his invasion of Judah, he did not know that he was no more than an ax or a saw in the hand of God. He ascribed his victories to his own prowess, and thought himself equally sure of Jerusalem, but Hezekiah defeated him upon his knees. He spread his blasphemous letter before the Lord in the temple, and prayed, and the Assyrian army melted away like snow. When Peter was shut up and chained in prison, the chains fell from his hands, the locks and bolts gave way, and the iron gate opened, while the church was united in earnest prayer for his deliverance.
The present is a very important crisis. All that is dear to us as men, as Christians, is threatened. Our enemies are inveterate and enraged. Our sins testify against us. But if we humble ourselves before God, forsake our sins, and unite in supplications for mercy, who can tell, but He may be entreated to give us that help which it would be in vain to expect from man. Yea, we have encouragement to hope that He will be for us, and then none can prevail against us. But without His blessing, our most powerful efforts and best concerted undertaking cannot succeed.