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S.x. Y et ceeing it batb, pleased thes, of the tender Itatton, to alwage the contagtous sicknels, where. with we lately have been so foze afflicted, and to rettore the uptce of fog and health into our dwellings.
This one Judgment of the late raging Sickness, though it were less than we deferved, yet if God had made it continue, or caused it to spread, might have almost consumed us : So that we have Cause to reckon it as an act of his tender Percy, that he was pleased to affwige it. 'Tis true, we did express a great Humiliation under it, and prayed earnestly for the removal thereof: But we must not be so vain as to think our humtltation could merit our deliverance, since it is said, that when God in anger sends his Judgments upon a Nation, Though Noah Daniel and Job were in it, they mould only deliver their oxon Souls, Ezek. xiv. 14. And doubtless our Piety and Devotion is far fhort of theirs: and we here do justly confefs, it was but weak and unwo2tby; our sorrow went not so deep, nor were our Prayers so fervent,or our Repentance so serious, as fo great an occasion did require : so that we may note, that this Mercy of health was granted [apon our humiliation, but not for the merit thereof: The grant proceeded merely of bts tender mercp ; only he was pleased with our imperfect humiliation, and took that occalion to send us relief. And now how are we bound to bless his infinite pity! that beheld some of us dead, and others dying, many smitten with this Difcafe, and all of us full of grief and fear, and then remembring our Sins no longer, he commands the Angel to put up his Sword, the mournful knels are ceased, and there is ne more complaining in our streets, no more lamentation in our dwellings. But the outce of Joy and Health,
which God promiseth to fend into the dwellings of the righteous, Psal.cxviii.15, is now to be heard in our houses also. While Sickness was there, all joy was banished from our houses and our hearts also, nothing else but Mourning and Woe, fighs and groans, complaints and doleful accents dwelt there : but now health and joy are returned together, now we are able and fit, as well as obliged, to sing praise to God:and I wilh we may make use of this chearfulness of our temper, and this spriteliness of mind, which health hath restored us unto, to praise God more chearfully and more devoutly , for doubtless Health is the greatest blessing, which God can bestow upon us in this world. Aristotle and Plato reckon it the first of all outward good things and our own experience shews us that riches, honours and pleasures are nothing if we want health to enjoy them; so that when God restores this, he gives us a power to enjoy all other earthly comforts : Let those therefore give thanks to the name of the Lord, who have wholly escaped this Disease, because they had their Health without interruption, and those who are recovered from this Sickness, because they have tafted the misery of wanting health, and so can better apprehend the mercy of its restauration : All of us indeed are bound to joyn in this necessary act of Praise.
S.XI.TTI offer anto thy Divine ajetty the $d
crifice of Praise ono Lhanksgiving, landing and magntfying the gloztcus Pame, foz Cuch the preservation, and Pjovidence over as, through Jelas Cbait our Bozd, Amen.]
This Conclusion is the natural Consequence of all the former Confiderations: for whether we compare the greatness of our Sins with the gentleness of our Punishment ; or reflect upon the misery of our late
condition in respect of our present estate, we have abundant cause to offer op the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgivtng. There are many of our Brethren swept away by the late Mortality, and we are yet left alive: Now, the dead praise not thee, O Lord, neither all they ibat go donon into silence ; but we will praise the Lord from this time furtla for evermore, Pfal.cxv.17. The Grave is called the place of filence, and they are silent, that
dwell there (m): The Grave cannot (m) Psal. xxxi. praise thee, death cannot celebrate 19,75,dcxv.17.
thee (faith good Hezekiah in the -filet rex ipfe filentum. Virg.
like Case) the Living, Æneid.
they shall praise thee, as I do
this day, Irai.xxxviii. 18,19. It is we who are spared that must laud and magnifie the glorious name of our Deliverer , for we were rescued from the common destruction to this very end. Let us consider how strangely his Providence did take care of our Preservation, when many younger or fronger, many that had better means of escaping, and seemed to be in less danger than we,dyed by this sad Disease; and what reason can we give; why they were taken, and we were lett? It was God's infinite mercy towards us, and it is our duty to own it with the most hearty praises we can express ; yea if we shall neglect it, we are the most ungrateful wretches in the World, and deserve to be cait out of God's protection for the future: and it is very likely, if we will not praise the Lord now, when we can, and are so much obliged to do it, it shall not be long 'ere we be fent to the house of filence our selves, where we cannot do that, which now we will not perform. Let us cherefore be so wise, and so just, so kind to our. selves, and so grateful to our Deliverer, as to bless him heartily now, and that will engage him to keep us for ever hereafter, till a timely death take us to
a glorious Immortality, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
* The Paraphrase of the last Thanksgiving.
O Lord, we are so far from murmuring at this grievous Sickness, which hath raged among us, that[Tae bambly acknowledg] here now that we are [before thee] in thy house, [D mot merciful Father, that] thou art very gracious in thy dealings with us : since instead of that one Judgment [all the punityments] and dreadful plagues, (which are] terribly, but justly, [threatned in thy Law] against all the wilful Transgressors thereof, [might julle bave fallen upon us] to our utter ruine [bg reason of] the horrible guilt of [our manifold Transgredions,] and the great provocations we have given thee by our Impenitence [ and bardness of heart] after we had committed them: [Yet seeing it bath pleased thee,] notwithstanding all our evil-deservings, [of thy tender mercy] and mere Compassion to pity our miserable Case,and that so speedily (apon,] though not for the merit of, [our weak] Supplications, [and unwoatby bumiltatton]: Weadmire thy readiness to relieve us, and own thy great favour in that thou hast vouchsafed (to alwage the contagtoas] fury of this Epidemical (Sickness, wherewith we] and our Neighbours (lately have been roze afllicted] : For Mortality and Mourning were round about us, till thou wert pleased to deliver us, [and to retto:the] long estranged (voice of joy and health,] which are both together now returned [tnto our owellings]: And Lord this joyful voice shall re-, turn to thy house also; for here (we offer unto the Divine majetty] our gracious Deliverer [the Sacriace of] most hearty (Pratre and shanksgiving:]
And we resolve to spend the time, which thou hast given us [in laading and magnifying the glozlous Hame] both in private and publick [foz (act] illuftrious Intiances of thy mercy as thou haft shewed in [the Preservation] of us at this time, and in thy Care Land Providence oder us] at all other times, which we pray thee to continue [tbzouigb] the merits and mediation of (3.lus Chrið our L-020] and Saviour. A. men,
Τα Θεώ μόνω Δόξα.