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cies He has favoured Us with, as a Nation —SERM, Placed Us in a Situation, and in Circumstances, XVIII. which point out to Us all Opportunities imam ginable of being a great and flourishing People;
Made us the Subjects of a Power governed by Laws, and not of Arbitrary and Unbounded Tyranny; often delivered our Liberties and Lives from imminent Ruine, and our Happiness from the very Jaws of Destruction Called us to the Knowledge of his Gospel (a Mercy which we can never duely value) not as it was hid, and obscured, and made useless, by ignorant and wicked Men, but, by his Providence, restored to Light, so far, as to lie open to All, in that Native Simplicity and Purity, in which his first Followers preached, and wrote it, for the Use of All. And, to engage us the more to it, He himself has made This happy Condition of Ours so much his Care, that no Attempts hitherto against it have prospered, but all have been wonderfully defeated. And then We may go on to consider, That, as Mercies have not been wanting to draw us, so neither have Judgments to alarm and drive Us of this Generation to Amendment. It is not very long since all was Confusion and Disorder ; since the Sword of Civil Fury was dyed in Blood and Slaughter ; nor much less Time, since a fatal Pestilence raged amongst Us, and
SERM. a terrible Fire laid waste this City. Now, if we XVIII. reflect on all these, we must think, either that
we are amended and reformed so much as to turn away God's Displeafure; or else, that the Day for Ruine and Destruction cannot be at a very great Distance, unless we do
soon and very seriously prevent it, by forsaking our Vices, and turning to Him in Holiness and Righteousness of Life. For thus We should call to Remembrance, He has dealt with the Nations of old; and particularly, with his chosen People, the People of Israel. And therefore, we should argue, in this same Manner, and these fame Methods, will He deal with us, in the future Dispensations of his Mercy, or of his Wrath.
The Thoughts, which I have now pointed out, will, in their natural Tendency, lead us all most heartily to endeavour to amend.our own Lives, and to do what in Us lies to discourage, and put a stop to, the open Wickedness of Others; and so to consult our own Interest and Happiness, in the Prosperity and Happiness of that Nation, and Society, of which we are . Members. And, as what I have now offered cannot but be thought very seasonable upon the Occasion, which has at this Time brought Us together; so, let iné add, with regard to our present publick Circumftar.ces; that such
Considerations can never be more seasonable, S E R M. than at a Time, when a Torrent of open xviii. Wickedness, and Shameful Divisions at Home, and a Powerful Enemy Abroad, seem to conspire to open the Way, to the Ruine of all that is dear to Us, as Englishmen, and Protestants. God
may know, even We, in this our Day, the Things that belong to our Peace; and all of Us act according to what We see to be our Duty, and our Interest !
Preached at St. Peter's Poor, March 8, 1708-9,
being the Anniversary of the Queen's Accession, &c.
I TIM. i. I, 2.
Prayers, Intercesions, and giving of Thanks,
SERM. HESE Words are a Direction to Ti
mothy, who had the Care and Over
fight both of Pastors and People, in the Parts about Ephesus; and they relate to the public Prayers of Christian Congregations: exhorting, that they should extend their Charity to the whole World, by recommending all Mankind to the Favour of Almighty God; particularly, that they should pray, and give Thanks, for Kings, and all that were in Au
thority, or, as the Margin expresses it, nearer S ER M. to the Original, in eminent Place; for All whom xix. the Providence of God has raised to any Degree of Power; that they should pray for all such, that Christians might lead a quiet and peaceable Life under them, in all Godliness and Honesty. Which last Words are either designed to direct them what should be the Matter of their Prayers; or else to express one End which he proposed by Christians thus publickly praying for All in Authority, or Eminence; viz. that these Perfons in Power might be induced by this to be favourable to them, or, at least, not to treat them as Enemies. If they be understood the first Way, the Direction is, That they should pray for all in Eminence, to this Effect, that God would be pleased so to dispose their Hearts, that They might so use their Power, as that so good Men, and Professors of so holy a Religion, as the Christians, might be safe and secure under them; that they might be Terrors only to Evil-doers, and a Praise and Safe-guard to them that do well. If they be understood in the latter Sense, as one End proposed by St. Paul, why Christians should at that Time particularly pray for all in high Stations, the Meaning of them will be this, That he would have them pray for their Superiours and Governours, not only