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us be immutable. With we have chosen our path, let us hold on, though the temptations of life should beset us on one hand, and the terrors of death on the other, not suffering the commotions of the world, nor even the changes of nature, to shake or to disturb the more stedfast purpose of our souls. The most valuable of all possessions is a strenuous and a steady mind, a self-deciding spirit, prepared to act, to suffer, or to die, as occasion requires.
This is not an ideal character, which exists only in description. God hath never wanted his thousands who have not bowed the knee to the idols of the world. We can reckon up a venerable company of Patriarchs, and a Sacred society of Prophets, a holy fellowship of Apostles, an innumerable army of Martyrs and Confessors, who were found faithful in the midst of the faithless, who approved themselves the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of an evil and profane generation : and having received the recompence of reward, are now sitting on thrones, and singing hossanah in the heavens.
The contemplation of their lives should animate us to run the race that is set before us, with the same alacrity and zeal. Did we frequently and seriously call up to our remembrance, the lives and the virtues of those who are now inheriting the promises ; did we, by faith and contemplation, represent to our minds those unseen rewards of which they are now in possession, we would feel our hearts burn within 218; with zeal and emulation, we would inhale a portion of the same divine spirit, and beholding as in a glass reflected, their virtues and victories, we would be changed into the same image, from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the living God.
N. B. The Sermon which was delivered in its finished state, by the Author, from this Text, was much admired by his hearers. The above is only a part of it, and a first copy. .
. Psalm cxxii. 6.
LVELLOW-CITIZENS, we now assemble, in obedience À to the command of our Sovereign, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the prosperity of those that love her. Loyalty to our king, and love to our country, are the passions which ought to animate us on this day *. That attachment which good citizens bear to their country, has ever been esteemed a virtue of the highest class. Not to mention the Greeks and the Romans, the history of the Israelites, with which you are better acquainted, presents us with grand and striking instances of patriotism and public spirit. They never mention the names of Zion and Jerosalem, without gladness and rapture. The words which I have now read to you, seem to have come from the heart, and breathe this spirit in the most lively manner. . During their captivity, when they sat by the rivers of Babylon, the Jews thought upon Zion, and wept. When they prayed to heaven, they turned their faces towards Jerusalem. At their return from captivity, they are described as halting on a hill, over which they had to march, taking a fond look of Ju. dea, from which they had been banished so long; bursting into tears at the view, weeping as they went forward, at the recognizance of their ancient country, and their native land. Our Saviour, who was a pattern of all goodness, set us an example of this virtue. He loved his country, and uttered that celebrated ex: * Upon a fast-day, during the American war.
clamation of patriotism, 6 o Jerusalem, Jerusalem; " how often would I have gathered thee, as a hen 66 gathereth her brood under her wings !”
As we now meet to pray for the peace or welfare of our Jerusalemn, (for in the language of Scripture, peace is put for all kinds of prosperity), I shall endeavour to shew you, at this time, wherein the public welfare consists.
It consists in the national liberty, the national wealth and industry, the national defence, and the national character.
The first ingredient in the public happiness is lic berty ; a privilege invaluable, but frequently misunderstood, and still more frequently abused. Absolute liberty to do what we please, is absolute power. If one alone, or a few possess this, the rest are in slavery ; if all have it, the whole must be in confusion. In order to prevent mutual encroachments, and ascertain each person's claims, liberty must be secured by a constitution, and guarded by law. In the state of nature, men are not only free, but independ. ent; among the wandering tribes of sayages, none claim authority over others; but as such a state cannot subsist long, wlienever men enter into formed so. ciety, they give up soine of their natural rights, in order to preserve the rest ; they no longer wield the sword of justice themselves, it is given to the magis. trate ; they intrust their property to the laws, and their protection to the king.
Still, lowever, that is the happiest form of government, which best secures the natural rights of men. It is here that the British constitution triumplis. Pos sessing advantages which no other form of government ever possessed, it stands forth the envy of the neighbouring nations, and a pattern to succeeding tines. Liberty is the birthright of every Briton. That grand charter of nature to her children is established and confirmed by law. The constitution, like the providence of Heaven, extends its gracious regards to ali ; while it protects the poor in the possession of their legal rights, it checks the insolence of the great,
ånd sets bounds to the prerogative of Majesty itself, saying to the king, “ Thus far, and no farther does
thy power extend.” All the members of the state are represented in the great council of the nation, and have a voice in the Legislature ; the subjects are táx-, ed by their own consent. There is no despotic, or discretionary power, in any part of the constitution. No action must be deemed a crime, but what the laws have plainly determined to be such ; no crime must be imputed to a nian, but from a legal proof before his judges, and these judges must be his fellow-subjects and his peers, who are obliged by their own interest, to have a watchful eye over encroachments and violence. “We must ever admire as a mastere piece of political wisdom; and as the key-stone of cia vil liberty, that statute which forces the secrets of every prison to be revealed, the cause of every commita ment to be declared, and the person of the accused to be produced, that he may claim his enlargement, or his trial, within a limited time." By these means, Great Britain hath become what ancient patriots wished, a government of laws, and not of men. Highly favoured nation and happy people, if they knew their felicity, and did not, upon occasions, by their own fault, turn the greatest of civil blessings into a curse!
In the second place, The national welfare consists in the national industry and wealth. It is a vulgar error to suppose, that the greatness of a nation de. pends upon the number of its inhabitants. It is not the number of the people, but their being usefully einployed, that adds to the true grandeur and felicity of a state. A nation is a great family, where every member has a sphere marked out, and a part to perform, and which if it: abounds with the idle, must fall to ruin. “Men crowd where the situation is “ tempting, and multiply according to the means of “ subsistence.” Present the proper objects ; let the mechanic arts be cultivated ; let manufactures an bound, and commerce flourish ; and citizens will come from the east, and from the west, and from the
south, and from the north. Every thing in the world is purchased by labour and by industry,
Our passions and desires are the causes of labour and industry. When a nation introduces manufactures and commerce, new desires are created, and new passions are raised ; men increase the enjoyments, and refine upon the pleasures of life. Not satisfied with what is necessary, which is a vague term, and has a reference to the fancy, and to the habit of living, they look out for what is comfortable, what is elegant, and what is delicate in life. In order to supply these recent wants, the possessor of land, the manufacturer, and the merchant, redouble their labour and attention. Thus new industry is excited, greater numbers of men are employed, the grandeur of the sovereign, and the happiness of the state come to coincide. By this means, a stock of labour comes to be laid up for public use.
Trade and industry are in reality nothing but al stock of labour, which, in times of peace and tran.' quillity, are employed for the ease and satisfaction of individuals; but in the exigencies of the state, may in part be turned to public advantage. The cultivation of these arts is favoured, and forwarded in our country, by that security which we enjoy. W bat every man-has, is his own. The voice of the oppressor is never heard in our streets. The hand of rapacious power is never stretched, out to rob the industrious of the fruit of his labour. : ill. ; ,,
Thirdly, the public welfare consists in the national defence." The police of every well-modelled state has a reference to war and to national safety. The legis. lator of Sparta, one of the most famous of the ancient republics, thought that nations were by nature in a state of hostility: he took his measures accordingly, and observing that all the possessions of the vanquished pertain to the victor, he held it ridiculous to propose any benefit to his country before he had provided that it should not be conquered ; a most necessary provision; for unless a state be sufficient for its own