Page images
PDF
EPUB

SE R M.

When this Day leads

your Thoughts from XII. a Dead Saint, whose Virtues You ought to ce

lebrate, as far as the History of so remote and dark an Age will permit, to that Living Example of Virtue, whose Birth gives it its present Lustre and Brightness; to a Saint, not dressed up in the Pageantry of a blind Superstition; but adorned with those real and substantial Graces, the Practice of which You can see with Admiration, and the Effect of which the World feels with Happiness : When this Day directs your Thoughts in this Manner, the Honour You pay to Her is paid to Virtue : And the Pleasure you perceive, in paying it, ariseth from a Regard to the Public; when You are carried by the fame Thought to view Posterity, made happy, perhaps in many Countries, by Those, whose Minds and Manners She is now forming to every Thing Great, and Beneficent; as well as to remark, the Influences of Wisdom and Goodness upon the present Generation.

When You consider Yourselves, as under the Prejidency of His ROYAL HIGHNESS, His Zeal for the Good of Great Britain, will animate and inflame your own,

In the Calm of Prosperity, He will always praise and extol your Love of Your Laws and of your Country. In the Times of Hazard

and

1

.

and Distress, if any such should come, He SERM.
will lead You on to Glory by his Example. XIII,
And if you follow Him through the Paths of
Honour and Courage, You will make your
selves, and your Posterity, as happy, as He
wishes You to be ; and that is, as happy as
You can wish yourselves to be.

Your Thoughts will now naturally lead you
to that truly Great and Good KING, whom
the particular Providence of God hath placed,
and preserved, upon the Throne of these
Kingdoms. If You consider Him in His Dif-
position, His Temper, His Resolutions; how
much Encouragement will You find in all
these, to your improving and inflaming a true
Public Spiritedness in Yourselves ? And how
much need of it will you discover, if you
reflect
upon

that Scene of Behaviour towards
Him, to which our own Eyes have been, and
are, Witnesses ? He came to Us, clothed
with all the Circumstances that could recom-
mend Him, even to our Passionate Love.
Power and Authority He had enjoyed, in its
Supreme Heighth, long before, in his own
Country. But He always chose to Reign, not
by His Power, but by His Goodness: And
They who lived under his Influences, loved
Him too well, to be sensible They obeyed
Him. His Beneficence made every Part of

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

SER M. their Behaviour, result from Affection, rather
XIll. than Duty. And yet, tho' this was. His

known and experienced Conduct ; and tho'
He came hither disposed to cherish Our Hap-
piness, as His own; and to establish this Na-
tion, by Justice, and Temper, and Wisdom:
We have seen Those amongst Ourselves, who
have been ready to prefer the Certain Enemies
of their Religion and Liberties, before the
Greatest Friend, Those invaluable Goods ever
yet could boast of. They have been willing
to call in the Bigotry and Revenge of Popery:
And, when that alone hath failed, even to in-
vite in a Deluge of relentless Destruction, and
Desolation, in order to get rid of a State of
Happiness, which they are conscious They do
not deserve, and have shewn themselves not
able to bear.

But let not the Zeal of fome, to tear in
Pieces that Scheme of Blessings which Heaven
hath put into our Hands, exceed our Zeal to
stop its Passage from Us, and to secure it to
Ourselves and all Pofterity. As We have a
Prince upon the Tbrone, who, unlike most of
the Princes of this World, desires nothing of
Us, but to make ourselves happy; as We
have all the Inducements that Men, and
Christians, and Protestants, can have ; as We
have all the Terrors, and Evils, that the

strongest

[ocr errors]

strongest Imagination can invent, to fear for ser M.
our Country, if the Cause of Religion and XIII.
Liberty should be overturned and oppressed ;
as We are ourselves, in our own Persons,
deeply concerned in all the miserable Conse-
quences of such an Event; and are under all
the Obligations of Honour, and Conscience, to
promote the Happiness of the Public, of
which We are Members; and as We must
expect to answer to God, as well as to our
own Consciences, for our Stupidity and Mad-
ness, in neglecting so great and invaluable
Good Things: Let Us not permit thė Zeal of
a true Public Spirit to cool in our Breasts ;
let Us not only improve it in Ourselves, but
let us kindle and increase it in Others; till it
may come to be too powerful for that Nar-
Tow, Vicious, Selfishness, which is the Root of
all Public Evil; and settle Us at last upon the
unmoveable Foundation of Peace and Happi-
ness.

The

The Nature of the Kingdom, or Church, of

CHRIST.

SERMON XIV.

Preached before the King, at the Royal Chapel at St. James's, on Sunday, March 31, 1717,

St. JOHN xviii. 36.
Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this

World.

SERM.

O

XIV.

NE of those great Effects, which Length

of Time is seen to bring along with it,

is the Alteration of the Meaning annexed to certain Sounds. The Signification of a Word, well known and understood by Those who first made use of it, is very insensibly varied, by passing through many Mouths, and by being taken and given by Multitudes, in common Discourse; till it often comes to stand for a Complication of Notions, as distant from the original Intention of it, nay, as contradictory to it, as Darkness is to Light. The Ignorance and Weakness of Some, and the Passions and Bad Designs of Others, are the great In

struments

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »