great name's sake, be the principle of such actions, howfo. ever it may benefit others) it profiteth me nothing.” This is the constant language of the lively oracles of God. And, from them it is equally plain, that nothing has a greater tendency to beget and excite such an obediential love in us, than a serious and frequent consideration of the manifold mercies we receive time after time from the hands of our heavenly Father. The royal psalmist, who had the honour of being ftiled, “ the man after God's own heart," had an abundant experience of this. Hence it is, that whilft he is mufing on the divine goodness, the fire of divine love kindles in his soul; and, out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth Speaketh such grateful and extatic language as this. “What Thall I render unto the Lord for all his mercies ? Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” And why? " who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life froim destruction, who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies.” And when the fame holy man of God had a mind to ftir up the people of the Jews to set about a na tional reformation, as the most weighty and prevailing argum ment he could make use of for that purpose, he lays before them, as it were, in a draught, many national mercies, and diftinguishing deliverances, which have been conferred upon and wrought out for them, by the most high God. The psalm to which the words of our text belong, is a pregnant proof of this ; it being a kind of epitome or compendium of the whole Jewish history: at leaf it contains an enumeration of many signal and extraordinary bleffings the Ifraelites had received from GOD, and also the improvement they were in duty bound to make of them, “ Observe his fatutes and keep his laws.”

To run through all the particulars of the psalm, or draw a. parallel (which might with great ease and justice be done) between God's dealings with us and the Israelites of old : To enumerate all the national mercies bestowed upon, and remarkable deliverances wrought out for the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, from the infant state of William the Norman to their present manhood, and more than Auguftan maturity, under the auspicious reign of our rightful Sovereign

[ocr errors]

King George the second ; howsoever pleasing and profitable it might be at any other time, would, at this juncture, prove, if not an irkkotie,' yet' an unrealonable undertaking.

The'occafiön of the late folemnity, I mean the suppression of a moft horrid and unnatural rebellion, will afford more than sufficient matter for a discourse of this nature, and furnith us with abundant motives to love and obey that glorious Jehovah, who giveth salvation unto kings, and delivers his people from the hurtful sword.

Need Itnaké an ápology, before this auditory, if, in order to see the greatness of our late deliverance, I should remind you of the many unspeakable blessings which we have for a courfe of years enjoyed, during the reign of his present Ma-, jesty, and the gentle, mild administration under which we live? 'Without justly incurring the cenfure of giving Aattering titles, I believe all who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, and afeble d'lichte acquainted with our public affairs, must acknowledge that we have one of the best of Kings. It is now aedve hinedéen years' lince he began to reign over uso mo And yet, was ne seated 'on' L'oyal throne, and were all his subjects-pfaodaberörlet himf, Was ke to address them as Samuel once auärefteck the "Yrallistes, «Behöld Kere I am, old and grey-headed, '-withers'agaffitfhe before the Lord, whose ox have leaked? Or where áls Háve I'(äken?" Or, whom have 1 defraided ? Who have l'oppressed ?" They must, if they. 153 would Yo*Hinu jaftte, make the came answer as was given to Samuetz es "The Haft not defrauded us, nor oppressed us.” Tertullusway

Aattery, fajd to Felix, may with the ftreteft juhtida' be applied to our lovereign, "By thee we enjoy great quietness, and verdworthy deeds have been done, unto our natiòn by tây providence.”

" He has been indeed Pater Patria, a father to our country, and though old and grey-headed, " has jedparded' his precious life for us in the high places of the field. No has he less deferved the great and glorious title, which the Lord promises, that kings fhould sustain in the latter days, I mean, “ a nursing fatheç of the church.” For not only the Church of England, as by law established, but all denominations of christians whatsoever, have enjoyed their religious as well as civil liberties. As there has been no authorized oppression in the face, so there Vol. V.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


has beeit no publicly allowed persecution in the church. We breathe indeed in free air ? as free (if not freer) both as to temporals and spirituals, as any nation under heaven. Nor is the prospect likely to terminate in his majesty's death, which I pray God to defer. Our princesses are disposed of to proteltant powers. And we have great reason to be assured, that the present beir apparent, and his confort, are like minded with their royal father. And I cannot help thinking, that it is a peculiar bleffing vouchsafed us by the King of kings, that his present Majesty has been continued so long among us. For now, his immediate succeffor (though his present fituation obliges him, as it were, to lie dormant) has great and glorious opportunities, which we have reason to think he daily iinproves, of observing and weighing the national affairs, confidering the various steps and turns of government, and consequently of laying in a large fund of experience, to make him a wise and great prince, if ever God should call bim to sway the British sceptre. Happy art thou, O England! Happy art thou, O America, who on every fide art thus highly favoured!

But, alas ! how soon would this happy scene have shifted, and a melancholy gloomy prospect have succeeded in its room, had the rebels gained their point, and a popish abjured pretender been forced upon the British throne! For, fuppofing his birth not to be spurious, (as we have great reason to think it really was) what could we expect from one, descended from a father, who, when Duke of York, put all Scotland into confufion; and afterwards, when crowned King of England, for his arbritrary and tyrannical government, both in church and ftate, was justly obliged to abdicate the throne, by the allertors of British liberty ? Or, fuppofing the horrid plot, first hatched in hell, and afterwards nursed at Rome, had taken place; supposing, I say, the old Pretender should have obtained the triple crown, and have transferred his pretended title (as it is reported he has done) to his eldest son, what was all this for, but that, by being advanced to the popedom, he might rule both son and subjects with less controul, and 'by their united intereft, keep the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, in greater vassallage to the fee of Rome? Ever since this unnatural rebellion broke out, I have looked


Opon the young Pretender as the phaeton of the present age. He is ambitiously and presumptuoufly aiming to seat himfelf in the throne of our rightful sovereign King George, whichi he is no more capable of keeping, than Phaeton was to guide the chariot of the fun; and had he succeeded in his attempt, like him, 'would only have set the world on fire. It is true, to do him juftice, he has deserved well of the Church of Rome, and, in all probability, will hereafter be canonized amongst the noble order of their fietitious faints. But, with what an iron rod we might expect to have been bruised, had his troops been victorious, may easily he gathered from those cruel orders said to be found in the pockets of some of his officers, “ Give no quarters to the Elector's troops." Add to this, that there was great reason to suspect, that; upori the firft news of the success of the rebels, a general mafsacre was intended. So that if the Lord had not been on our side, Great Britain, not to say America, would, in a few weeks or months, have been an Aceldama, a field of blood.

Besides, was a Popij Pretender to rule over us, instead of being represented by a free parliament, and governed by laws made by their consent, as we now are ;

we should shortly have had only the shadow of one, and it may be, no parliament at all. This is the native product of a Popish government, and what the unhappy family, from which this young adventurer pretends he descended, has always aimed atin Arbitrary principles he has sucked in with his mother's milk, and if he had been so honest, instead of thar immature motto upon his standard, Tandem triumphans, only to have put, Stet pro ratione Voluntas, he had given us a short, but true portrait of the nature of his intended, but blefied be God, now defeated reign. And why should I mention, that the finking of the national debt, or rending away the funded property of the people, and the diffolution of the present happy union between the two kingdoms; would have been the immediate consequences of his success, as he himself declares in his second manifesto, dated from Holy-rood House? These are evils, and great ones too; but then they are only evils of a temporary nature. They chiefly concern the body, and must nécessarily terminate in the grave. F 2



But, alas ! what an inundation of spiritual mischiefs, would foon have overflowed the Church, and what unspeakable danger should we and our pofterity have been reduced to in respect to our better parts, our precious and immortal souls ? How soon would whole swarms of monks, dominicans and friars, like so many locusts, have overspread and plagued the nation ; with what winged speed would foreign titular bishops have posted over, in order to take poffeffion of their respective fees? How quickly would our universities have been filled with youths who have been sent abroad by their Popish parents, in order to drink in all the fuperftitions of the church of Rome? What a speedy period would have been put to societies of all kinds, for promoting christian knowledge, and propagating the gospel in foreign parts ? How soon would our pulpits have every where been filled with these old antichristian doctrines, free-will, meriting by works, transubstantiation, purgatory, works of supererogation, passiveobedience, non-resistance, and all the other abominations of the whore of Babylon? How soon would our protestant charity schools in England, Scotland and Ireland, have been pulled down, our Bibles forcibly taken from us, and ignorance every where set up as the mother of devotion? How foon should we have been deprived of that invaluable blefling, liberty of conscience, and been obliged to commence (what they falsely call) catholicks, or submit to all the tortures which a bigoted zeal, guided by the most cruel principles, could possibly invent? How soon would that mother of harlots have made herself once more drunk with the blood of the saints ? And the whole tribe even of free-thinkers themfelves, been brought to this dilemma, either to die martyrs for, (although I never yet heard of one that did so) or, contrary to all their most avowed principles, renounce their great Diana, unaffifted, unenlightened reason? But I must have done, left while I am speaking against antichrift, I should unawares fall myself, and lead my hearers into an antichristian Spirit. True and undefiled religion will regulate our zeal, and teach us to treat even the man of sin with no harsher language than that which the angel gave to his grand employer Satan, “ The LORD rebuke thee."


« VorigeDoorgaan »