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World, under a Weight of Aflicions, next to Insupportable. And all Serious and Judicious Men, taking the Consideration of a Future State into the Account of These Cases, do Unanimously Approve and allow the Just and Clear Reasons of them, though they do not much affect the State of Mankind, consider'd as a Community; which, in the Examples
of Suffering Princes, Implies Additional , Reasons, and those of great Weight un
der the Argument before us. For since the Punishments of Mankind, under the Capacity and Notion of a Society, are Peculiar to This State, and must Finally Terminate with it; And since the Circumstances of a Prince are of such vast Moment to the Publick Society, that God's Dispensations to the One do Directly, and Principally affect the Other; Therefore the Sufferings of a Good Prince, especially, when they prove the effectual Means and Instruments of reducing a Disobedient, : Profligate People to Destruction, or great Distress, are most Reasonable Administrations in the Governour of the World, and the Just Consequences of National Sins.
But the Length, to which this Difcourse is now run, Forbids my delaying any longer, to draw up a Short Application of it to the Rueful Occasion of the Present Solemnity.
And it seems Natural to observe, That the Proof, which hath been offer'd, that the Sins of the People are a Just Cause of the Sufferings of a Prince, is the Proper Rule of Accounting for the Martyrdom commemorated this Day. For after all the Cruel Labours, which have been used, to Deface and Violate the True Images and Representations of the Martyr; To Demolish his Virtues, and improve his Infirmities, Infirmities scarce Separable from Man, into Vices of the first Magnitude; Utterly to Stifle, or bury in Oblivion, the Redress of Grievances, and the Satisfaction made for them, and to Inflame the Remembrance of the Grievances Themselves, as if they had never been Redressed at all; To tranfform Surmises of Mischiefs expected, or Pretended to be expected from him, into clear Demonstrations, that they were Intended by him; and to rivet those Deformities into his Character, which were never found in his Person; It still remainis Evident, and cannot be Denied by any Equal and Impartial Judge of the Hiftory, that he Abounded in True Virtue' and Religion, and that there was Nothing in his Qualities or Administration, which bore any Proportion to his Sufferings, or can be assigned for a Just Reafon of Accounting for them. • But when we Change the Prospect, and an Amazing Change of Prospect it is; from the Beauteous Innocence of the Prince; to the Ghaftly state of Iniquities in the People; the Reafon of His Fate does Immediately rise in our view. Even Their Deliberate Purposes to Destroy the Lord's Anointed, and their persisting Resolutely and Immoveably in those Purposes, and in the Concerted Measures of carrying them on to Accomplishment and Execution, were Themselves such Horrible Enormities, as might Justly Provoke God to permit the Execution and Accomplishment of them, that só Rebellious a People might fall into the Pit which they had made, and Perih in
their own Folly. And to this it might be added, if there were Room, or Neceffity for adding it, and confirming it by an Enumeration of Particulars, That there are not Many of the Fundamental, Ef sential Principles of the Christian Reli
gion, whether relating to Faith or Prac» tice, but what were, in That Unhappy
Time, Rejected, or Perverted and Violated, by Men of One Denomination, or Other. But it may perhaps be no Inconfiderable branch of Compassion towards Them, to Avoid descending into a more Particular Account of Them. And if any one should be desirous of saying the Highest things that can be faid, of the True Greatness and Firmness of Mind, and Spirit of Goodness, which shone forth Illustriously in our Suffering King: Let it be said, That They were Equal to the Debasement, and Impiety, and Iniquity of the People, which Devised, and Executed those Sufferings upon Him.
But the obligations of Duty to God, and to my Country will not suffer me to Close this Discourse, without this Further observation from it; That the most
Useful, and Effectual Evidence, which
That an Universal and Inviolable Concern for God's Honour Demonstrated by Effectual Provisions for the Preservation and Advancement of our Holy Religion, A a ?