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they are expecting to “ see our good works,” that they may“ glorify our Father which is in heaven.” You are an holy seed, sanctified from your birth, and eminently consecrated to the service and glory of God. Your education is a farther privilege; you have been bred up within the verge of the tabernacle, amidst holy offices, under the nurture and admonition, the example and the benediction of the sacred calling. Let it be seen by our lives and conversations, under whose roofs we have some time dwelt, by whose instructions we have profited, and by whose examples we have been formed. Let our manners declare our extraction, and every line of our behaviour show the work of some masterly hand. I cannot here run through the whole circle of divine graces and virtues, wherein we ought to be exemplary, after the pattern set us by our pious progenitors. Your own better thoughts will suggest to you more than I can find words to express. Three things only I will take leave to mention, whereby we may make our “ light shine” to very excel
1. By a becoming zeal for the primitive faith and doctrine.
2. By our promoting works of charity.
3. For the sake of both the other, by our expressing, on all proper occasions, a religious concern for the Establishment in Church and State.
1. Let us, in the first place, manifest a becoming zeal for the primitive faith and doctrine : that faith which was taught us by our fathers, and which they received and professed as handed down to them, by a long series and succession of bishops and martyrs, from Christ and his Apostles. We are now called to a more than common zeal for the faith, while Atheism and Deism make daily advances; and Arianism, paving the way to both, appears open and barefaced. It has been the glory of our Clergy, our immediate and our remote progenitors, that they ever held in veneration the mysterious doctrine of the ever blessed Trinity. When Socinianism, some years ago, made large steps and loud triumphs, very little impression could be made upon the Clergy; who, conformable to their subscriptions, still adhered to the true faith, almost without exception. They knew how ancient that faith was, and what value had been set upon it by all the primitive churches. Let it then be one principal part of our care and concern, to copy after those bright examples, by our constant and unshaken zeal for the ancient faith: so may we approve ourselves as true sons of this Church, by inheriting those principles which our fathers preserved as a sacred depositum, to be handed down to their children, and to children's children, and to all succeeding generations. To desert this faith, or even to be cold and indifferent towards it, is to sully our extraction, cancel our sonship, and to strike ourselves at once out of privilege and character.
2. A second method of making our light shine, is by promoting works of charity. This subject hath been often and excellently handled in this place, and upon the same occasion. The usefulness and necessity of public charities in general, and of this in particular, have been set forth in the strongest colours; and are, no doubt, so deeply imprinted in the hearts and minds of the audience, that they can never be erased or blotted out. Your light has shone abroad from hence to distant quarters, even to the darkest corners of the land : and both widows and orphans, with as many as wish well to them, have often
seen your good works, and glorified your Father which “ is in heaven,” for them.
Widows and orphans have been ever looked upon as very proper objects of compassion and charity. Their helpless. condition and afflicted circumstances plead strongly in their behalf: and lest they should ever want a friend to prefer their petitions, God himself has condescended to recommend their case, and in moving terms to intercede, and almost entreat for them. Now, if widows and orphans, in general, have so just a claim to our charity, much more those of our own household and family; whose husbands, whose fathers have served at the altar; and some of them by their integrity, or generous disdain of mean compliances, others by their suffering for conscience sake, many for want of provision suitable to their merit; have entailed poverty and distress upon their unhappy families. But these and the like considerations are so well known, and have been so often repeated, that I forbear. It may be a comfortable thought to us, that, amidst our sorrowings for the ravages made by avarice at home, and our consternation at the advances of a pestilence abroad, there are yet many great and excellent designs on foot, many commendable charities going on, promoted and encouraged by some of all ranks and orders of men, through the whole nation. These, we hope, may in some measure 'atone for a deluge of iniquity, and be sufficient to draw down still more and more blessings and mercies upon this Church and kingdom. Happy they that join hands and hearts in these good works; they shall not be afraid in the evil day, but shall stand in the gap, before the Lord, for this land, that it may not be destroyed when God comes to visit us.
Thirdly and lastly, to our zeal for the true faith and for works of charity, let us add, for the sake of both the other, a religious concern for the Establishment in Church and State. This will be securing the outworks, and preserving the necessary fences : which if we neglect to do, our faith will be broke in upon and trampled down; and all our promising foundations for public charities will be razed and tore up.
I need not remind you how much these depend upon the Protestant settlement in the State. This in particular, which we are now met to solemnize, is perfectly wrapped up in it; and must either stand or fall with it. An anniversary festival of the Sons of the Clergy, what is it but a triumph over Popery, an insult upon their doctrine of the Clergy's celibacy, and an affront to their policy and practice? Who sees not that our ground is entirely Protestant, that our charter subsists by the present settlement, and must dissolve with it?
As our zeal for the settlement in Stale is thus highly becoming our place and character, so likewise is our hearty concern for the Establishment of the Church. This is the band of union which keeps us in, and shuts heresy, Popery, enthusiasm, and every wild disorder, out. Take away this, and what are we but a broken, disconcerted multitude, without order or discipline, exposed to every rude assault, and unable to make head against foreign or domestic enemies ? If therefore we value our religion, we must look well to the Establishment of the Church, the only outward human means of preserving our faith and doctrine, and handing them down safe to our posterity.
Let us therefore, my brethren, be hearty and constant friends to our present Establishment in Church and State. I put both together; neither can they subsist asunder: none can be really friends or enemies to either, without being such to both. They that strike immediately at the Church, pave the way, at a distance, to the ruin of the State: as, on the other hand, they that aim directly at the overthrow of the settlement, indirectly and remotely lay a train for the destruction of the Church also. Church and State are vitally linked together, united in their interests, and inseparable from each other. This was well understood by our pious and wise forefathers; who, as they have, many ways, preserved the Church, by their close attachment to the constitution in State; so have they as effectually secured the State, by their resolute adherence to, and unanswerable defences of, the doctrines of the Church. Let us, their progeny, take pattern from their examples ; discountenancing, on the one hand, every wild conceit of a State's subsisting without an Established Church ; and on the other, all vain and delusive hopes of a Reformed Church's subsisting under a Popish settlement.
To conclude; may every one of us here descended of