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you yet to go up to his house, with those that keep holy day; while many much younger than you, have been carried to the place of silence. Suffer me upon this occasion, to remind you of what you very well know, that special returns of praise and gratitude are due to your Preserver and gracious Benefactor. I hope you are often engaged in the delightful business of praise and thanksgiving. O! live holy, thankful, obedient lives, the few uncertain days before you, that you may finish your course with joy.
Again, suffer me to invite you who are middle aged and heads of families, to a thankful consideration of the personal and domestic favors, you have enjoyed the year past.
Has not God preserved your families, as well as persons, from sickness and death, that your number is not diminished? And do you not still enjoy the pleasures of friendship and society, among your dear relatives? And have you not some of you had your children preserved while absent from you, and of late returned to you again in safety? Surely the consideration hereof, may well excite you to make that inquiry, "What shall we render to the Lord?"-O! let family-mercies make you very careful to walk in your houses with a perfect heart.-But while I congratulate prosperous families, and endeavor to persuade them to manifest their gratitude, by holy and obedient lives; I would heartily sympathize with such as God has been pleased to break in upon, by sickness and sore bereavements.* Against several of you, my friends, God hath been writing bitter things; and has put the cup of affliction into your hands. I am far from thinking these afflictions small; or hardly to be taken notice of, among the mercies that have attended them. I desire to weep with those that weep, as well as rejoice with those that rejoice; and I have felt the rod of God myself, in so sensible a manner, in my long continued weakness, and infirmity of body; that I must be very stupid and inhumane not to feel a tender concern, for the sons and daughters of affliction.-Let me exhort you so to improve these visitations, that they may do you good; and then you will be able to look upon them as being, by the blessing of God, turned into the nature of mercies to you. And do not so despond under the rod of God, as to overlook the many merciful circumstances, which have attended all your afflictions; or fail to be thankful therefor. Again,
Let me call upon the young people, to praise the Lord for his goodness; in public blessings, and such as are peculiar to themselves. You, my young friends, have shared largely in the bounties of a kind God; have been supported most of you, in health, ease and pleasure.-Learn to look upon all these things, as coming
* Several deaths referred to, particularly the death of a young man at Lake George.
from the hand of your God; for which you are accountable to him. Consider them as given to engage your love and obedience to him; and oh! study to make suitable returns therefor. Do not be so ungrateful, so provoking, as to consume these good things upon your lusts. Look not upon the common blessings and delights of life, as sure and stable, fit to build your hopes upon; but while you thankfully receive, and fruitfully improve them, give all diligence to secure that better part, which shall never be taken away from you. Content not yourselves without an interest in the benefits of Christ's purchase; without a share in God's everlasting love.
I ask your patience, my hearers, a few minutes longer; while I congratulate our friends who have been called forth to jeopard their lives, in the wilderness, the summer past, upon their arrival at their homes again. My brethren and neighbors, I heartily bid you welcome to your friends and habitations again, and sincerely rejoice with you, and your friends, in your safe return.
You are sensible, beyond what I can tell you, of the dangers, hardships and difficulties, which you have passed through; and I hope you are not insensible who has supported and upheld you, has defended you from the sword and the pestilence, by which some of your companions have been cut off. You have experienced the distinguishing goodness of God: Certainly then it will be vastly ungrateful in you to forget it, or not to endeavor to render to him according to the benefits done unto you. In the spring of the year, when you were about to take leave of your friends, and go forth into the public service, I trust you were ready to say, as Jacob when setting out for Padan-aran; Gen. xxviii. 20, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on; so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God." I believe some of you had such serious thoughts, and made such solemn resolutions : And now you see the goodness of God in preserving you; he has performed the thing, which you sought to him for, which you trusted in him for. Oh then be not so ungrateful as to forget the performance of your vows. Take the Lord for your God and portion; devote yourselves unfeignedly to him and his service: love, honor and obey him as your God; and trust in his mercy, through the blood of the great sacrifice, for the pardon of your sins, and a title to eternal happiness.
Finally, let us all meditate upon the mercies of God in the year past, both public and private-and how great is their sum! May our gratitude therefor, be such as he will accept. Let us manifest a deep sense of the goodness of God, and of our obligations to him, by a cheerful obedience to his will; for indeed, the exhor
tation which has often been urged upon you, to live as well as speak the praises of God, is very significant, and vastly important: "They that offer" such "praise, glorify God, and they that" thus "order their conversation aright," may hope to "see yet more of the salvation of God."
Let us now go from the house of God, and partake of the bounties of his providence, with joy and thankfulness, with sobriety and temperance. Let us bless our households, and endeavor to walk in our houses with a perfect heart, resolving that we will serve the Lord. Thus may we be persuaded by the mercies of God, to present our bodies and spirits living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God, which is but our reasonable service.
Now to that God who is daily loading us with benefits, and crowning us with loving kindness and tender mercies, be glory and honor, thanksgiving and praise everlasting. AMEN.
PREACHED TO THE
ANCIENT AND HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY
IN BOSTON, NEW ENGLAND, JUNE 1, 1761,
ELECTION OF OFFICERS.
BY JASON HAVEN, A. M.
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN DEDHAM.
BOSTON, N. E.:
PRINTED AND SOLD BY EDES AND GILL.