Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

placed over a generous people, who are difposed to do whatever is necessary, to make their princes easy and happy in themselves and families, and to appear great and glorious in the fight of the nations round about: so this, (as well as the anniversaries referred to,) should teach and admonish our princes, not to lay any unnecessary burthens upon the people, nor any otherways awaken their fears, of suffering those very evils from their governours, which government was designed to secure them from. And, this, I think, was partly the case, in King Charles the First's time: the peoples fears were alarmed, and they thought themselves in danger of falling under an arbitrary and despotick power ; whether there was any just ground for these apprehensions, is beside my present purpose to enquire. Thus, I have shewn, how chose anniversaries (founded on the forementioned principle,) naturally point out the political behaviour of the prince. Again,

Secondly, I am to shew, how these two anniversaries (founded on that principle,) are mutually conducive to regulate, or rather point out the political behaviour of the people ; as well, when they are happily under the government of a wise and good prince, who carefully and faithfully discharges the trust repofed in him, to promote and secure the common good; as when they unhappily fall into the hands of a vicious prince,

who

who wickedly abuses the truft reposed in him, by attempting and endeavouring to undermine and destroy the common happiness. And,

First, The anniversary folemnity on the thirtieth of January, points out to us how we ought to behave under the government of a good prince; a prince, who carefully and faithfully executes the trust reposed in him, by employing the publick treasure for the publick good, and by making and executing such laws, or rather by doing his part towards it, as are proper to guard and fecure the persons, the characters, the liberties, the properties and lives, and thereby the happiness of his people; and who makes the common good the rule and measure of his government. And, such a prince, our publick form of divine service appointed for the thirtieth of January, supposes King Charles the First to have been. I say, that this day's solemnity points out to us our political behaviour, or how we ought to act when under the happy government of such a prince. For, as we are led by the service of the day to complain of, and lament the miscarriages and bad behaviour of our fore-fathers: so, this points out to us, not to repent of their fins, for that we cannot do; neither to repent of our own fins with respect to what they did, because in that respect we have not tranfgressed ;

and

and where there is no transgression there
needs not, neither can there be, any re-
pentance ; but it calls upon us to take
warning by them, not to be guilty of their
faults and miscarriages, so far as they were
juftly blamable, and to be very careful that
we act a wiser and a better part. When there-
fore, we are under the happy government
of a good prince, viz. such a prince as I have
before described, this day's solemnity shews
us how we ought to behave towards him.
Namely, not only, not to offer any injury
or disrespect to his person or character, not
to perplex or disturb his government, not to
create jealousies, and thereby introduce un-
casiness in the minds, and alienate the affec-
tions of his people from him; and the
like: but, it also calls upon us, to pay all
due allegiance and subje&tion to him, tó ho-
nour him with the highest honours, and to
reward his faithful service for the publick
good, with the highest rewards. This, is
that political behaviour, which this day's so-
lemnity points out to us, when we are hap-
pily under the government of a good prince.
And, happy would it be for us, if we could
all learn this wife lesson of instruction from
it; then, this anniversary solemnity, would
not be the unhappy occasion of fasting for
strife and debate, and to smite with the fift
of wickedness, as it is to be feared it has
too often been ; but, it would be the happy

occasion

:

occasion of leading us into the praktice of that duty, upon which the happiness of society does most apparently depend. Again,

Secondly, The anniversary folemnity on the 5th of November, points out to us, how we ought to behave under a vicious prince, who wickedly abuses the trust reposed in him, by attempting and endeavouring to undermine and destroy the common happiness. For, as the publick good, is the principal object of our care, and ought always to be preferred, to every thing which may come in competition with it: so, this anniversary, points out to the members of society, how they ought to act, when the common happiness is in apparent danger, viz. to hazard their lives and fortunes in the defence of it. This, is plainly pointed out to us, by the service and folemnity of the day; as it brings to our remembrance, and as it were livelily sets before our eyes, the glorious example of our fore-fathers at the late happy revolution ; by which example, the members of society are taught, ( what is indeed their duty, because the publick good ought always to be preferred,) to have a watchful eye upon chose princes, who attempt and endeavour to undermine and destroy the common good. They, are likewise taught by it, to be timely upon their guard, to check all approaches to arbitrary power, and not to suffer the eyil to run to such a heighth, as to be part re

dress,

[ocr errors]

dress, or remedy. In fine, this day's solemnity, calls upon the members of society, to venture their lives and fortunes in the cause of the common happiness, when it is in danger ; and to hazard their all, to guard and secure the common good. This, is that political behaviour, which the solemnity of the day, plainly points out to us, when we unhappily fall into the hands of such a wicked prince, as I have before described. And such a prince, our publick form of divine service for the 5th of November, supposes King James the Second to have been. This day's folemnity, brings to our remembrance, the examples of our fathers, who gloriously interposed at the late happy revolution, when the common good was in imminent danger, and ventured their all in the defence of it. And, this day's solemnity invites us, and as it were calls upon us with a loud voice, faying, Go ye and do likewise in a like casé. And, in such a case, it would not be, to act like double-minded and unstable men, men who are given to change ; but, it would be, to act uniformly and consistent with that principle, by which our political behaviour is always to be guided and directed. A principle, which requires subjects, as well to oppose a vicious prince, in his attempts and endeavours to undermine and destroy the common happiness, as it requires their most firm and constance adherence and subjection

to

« AnteriorContinuar »