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THE VOICE OF GOD TO BRITAIN:
DEEPLY LAMENTED DEATH
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE;
PREACHED AT ASTON SANDFORD, BUCKS, ON THE DAY OF HER FUNERAL, NOVEMBER 19, 1817.
LET UI SKARCH AND TRY OUR WAYS, AND TURN AGAIN TO THE LORD. LET US LIFT UF OUR HEART WITH OUR HANDS UNTO GOD IN THE HEAVENS. WE HATE TRANSGRESSED AND HATE REBELLED. LAMENT, ill. 40—44.
AND ALL JUDAH AND JERUSALEM MOURNED FOR JOSIAH. J OH ROM. XXXV. 34.
M1CAH VI. 9.
The Lords voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
I Am not, my brethren, conscious of any other motive in appointing to meet you on this mournful occasion than a desire and hope of promoting your edification, and of glorifying God by doing good to you in the grand concerns of your immortal souls. Were I conscious of any other motive, I should be ashamed of it. And, if you, in attending, are indeed influenced by a humble and sincere desire of receiving instruction and spiritual good, I do not think that you will be wholly disappointed; as my text alone, when carefully considered, is peculiarly suited to edify the teachable inquirer. But, should any have been induced to attend with other views, they probably will fail of the expected gratification.
As our subject is sufficiently copious, I shall without further introduction, enter directly upon it, according to the following method:
I. I will explain the words of the text; making such remarks on each clause of it as may introduce, in a simple and obvious manner, the other parts of our subject:
II. I shall state some considerations, connected with the melancholy and deplorable event that gave occasion to our present assembling, which may shew that it should be considered as "the Lord's voice crying to the city:"
III. I shall in few words shew the outline of the scripture doctrine concerning rulers and their subjects; and (as I am speaking exclusively to subjects,) on the general duties which these latter are called to by the consideration of that doctrine: And
IV. Point out more particularly what I suppose "the voice of the Lord" to say to each of us, severally, by this afflictive catastrophe.
I. I proceed to explain the words of the text; making such remarks as may introduce, in a simple and obvious manner the other parts of our subject.
The chapter from which the text is selected opens thus: "Hear ye now what the Lord saith: "Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and "let the hills hear thy voice. Hear, O ye moun"tains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong "foundations of the earth; for the Lord hath a "controversy with his people, and he will plead "with Israel." 1 And after some further expostulatory and instructive admonitions, the text is introduced: "The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, "and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: "Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it." "Hear ye the rod;"* "the rod" then has "a "voice," and that voice is "the Lord's voice." Events felt and acknowledged as public calamities, and as opening the way to further calamities, or the apprehension of them, are evidently intended. Now the voluntary attention paid, by almost the whole nation, to this day of the interment of our greatly lamented and beloved Princess: the bells every where tolling, the shops shut up, the places of worship thronged, the pulpits hung with black, the raiment and even the countenances of the congregations; proclaim that her decease, and its attendant circumstances, are generally acknowledged and deeply felt as a public calamity, and suited in some degree to excite still further apprehensions.
1 Mic. vj. 1,2.
This public calamity is "the Lord's voice :" it ought to be regarded as a rebuke and warning from him. Inquiries into the secondary causes which might be supposed to lead to it are no part of our concern. The voice of God is to be recognized. "Shall there be evil" (natural evil or affliction) " in the city, and the Lord hath not "done it?"1 "I form the light and create darkness: "I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do "all these things."3
This " voice of the Lord" is that of a crier or herald; one who loudly proclaims any thing, saying with a loud voice, as it were, " He that hath "ears to hear, let him hear." Thus it " crieth to "the city;" that is, to every inhabitant of the land, "both high and low, rich and poor, one "with another."3 In this respect, however different in all other things, it is like the voice of Jonah in Nineveh; "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be "destroyed." "So the people of Nineveh pro
1 Am. iii. 6. 'Is. xlv. 7. 'Ps. xlix. 2.