Saturday, October 22, 2016

If God is turned against a nation...


It was 1755 when Samuel Davies preached this sermon in Virginia while it was still part of Great Britain.. 

Notice the contemporary relevance. 

And if God is turned against a nation, if he is resolved to punish them, how helpless is their condition! Who can defend them—if the Ruler of the universe is their enemy? Now, it is guilt alone, which can incur his displeasure—it is guilt alone, which can remove a nation from off its only sure basis—the protection of God. Guilt, therefore, is poison in the veins of a nation, and will cast it into dreadful convulsions, if not remedied in time by a speedy repentance.

And, if this is the case, how may we tremble for our country, and fear the divine displeasure? We have enjoyed a long, uninterrupted peace in this land. We have not been alarmed with the sound of the war trumpet, nor seen garments rolled in blood. But what a wretched improvement have we made of this, and many other inestimable blessings? What a torrent of vice, irreligion, and luxury has broken in, and overwhelmed the land? What ignorance of God and divine things; what carelessness about the concerns of religion and a future state? What a neglect of Christ and his precious gospel—has spread, like a subtle poison, among all ranks and characters!

How daring are the immoralities of some, their profane oaths, their drunkenness, immorality, and many other monstrous vices under which our land groans? What luxury and extravagance in eating and drinking, and especially in diversions and amusements, (if they deserve so soft a name,) may we see among us, especially among people in high life?

How few are the penitent, affectionate, dutiful servants of God among us! How little is the Ruler of the universe regarded by his own creatures—in his own world! Creatures supported by his constant bounties, and protected by his guardian care. Alas! my friends, what shall I say? Most willingly would I draw a veil over the shame of my country; but, alas! it cannot be hidden! While such glaring crimes are rampant among us; while such a stupid carelessness about the concerns of eternity prevails among us—it is impossible for the most benevolent charity to avoid the discovery.

And may we not fear that the measure of our iniquity is full? May we not fear that the righteous Judge of the earth will visit us for these things? Under the present happy government, we have enjoyed our liberty, our property, and our religion, and everything dear to us; but we have abused them all! And may we not fear that these blessings shall be exchanged for the tyranny of a French government, and the superstitions and cruelties of the church of Rome? I hope and pray that this may not be our doom; but I think it is the part of stupid presumption, and not of rational courage, to be quite fearless about it. We are, indeed, so happy as to be closely connected with our mother country, and under its protection. But, alas! vice and luxury have spread like a deadly contagion, there, as well as here: and Great Britain is worthy of divine vengeance, just as well as ourselves!


Now what shall we do in this dreadful case? Shall we put our trust in our military forces? Alas! what can an arm of flesh do for us, if the Lord Almighty deserts us? Though our army was ever so powerful, how sad would be our case, had we reason to say, like Saul, "The French are upon us—and God is departed from us!" Who can bear the thought?

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