Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

VI.

DISC. with heaven there is a communion opened

of the greatest with the least; and to the prayers

of the meanest and remoteft subject of the empire, who knows him only by name when he prays for him, may the sovereign stand indebted for some part of the favour and prosperity vouchsafed him, who needs the prayers of his people, because the cares and the toils of business will often scarcely allow him time and compofure of mind to pray for himself,

III. But it is not only a regard to our rulers which suggests reasons why we should pray for them. A regard to ourselves should operate no less. Our own interest is deeply concerned.

“ I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks,

be made for kings, and for all that are " in authority" —Why?" That we may " lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all “ godliness and honesty ;” a

quiet and “ peaceable life,” as citizens; “ in all godFliness and honesty,” as Christians,

“ A quiet

“ A quiet and peaceable life !”- What disc, a blessing! involving in it all other bleffings. Without quiet and peace, what can we pursue with pleasure, or enjoy with comfort ? The Scriptures paint it under the lovely and affecting image of “ every “ man sitting under his own vine, and un“ der his own fig-tree”-“Sitting"-a posture of perfect ease and security—“ under “ his own vine” -something that he can call his own, guarded and insured to him by the laws and government of his country. Without laws, and government to carry those laws into execution, there would be nothing that he could call his own. His next neighbour, who had a mind for it, and was stronger than he, must have it, and with it the life of the proprietor offering to defend it. The weak must be a prey to the strong, and the honest man be ruined by the villain, without redress or remedy. We of this nation (blessed be our God for it) know not what it is to see government overturned by war from abroad, or insurrection at home. For years toge

VI,

ther

VI.

DISC. ther have we been enabled to sit composedly

in our habitations, and read accounts of what other countries have suffered in this way. Warm and comfortable within, we have heard the storm rage and howl around us without, waiting only for the return of a clear sky and the sun, to open our doors, and go forth again. This has rendered us insensible of the felicity we enjoy, because we have never been deprived of it ; and men are ready, in the wantonness of their folly, upon every trifling occasion, while serving the interests of themselves and their friends, to shake the foundations of the government under which they live, never reflecting on the calamities which must light upon all, were the fabric to fall, in the contest. But the States of America can tell what they have suffered : the States of Holland can tell what they expected to suffer : the inhabitants in some

parts

of neighbouring kingdom can inform us in the midst of a civilized and enlightened age). what it is to have the flesh torn from their bones, or be buried alive in the earth,

Of

a

[ocr errors][merged small]

Of these and other transactions we now fit Disc.

VI. and read (as was observed above) with perfe&t calmness. But fuppofe—God forbid the supposition should ever be realized; it is made, that it never may be realized-Suppose, I say, they should come home to ourselves.

More than a century has passed, since this nation experienced the miseries of anarchy and confusion ; when unhappy diffenfions afforded opportunity for a crafty and ambitious upstart to murder the king, annihilate one house of parliament, and having turned the members out of the other, walk unmolested to Whitehall, with the key of it in his pocket. This was LIBERTY, planted by able and skilful hands, duly watered and full blown! Great events from little causes! Who would have thought such an event could have happened, when the dispute first began ? Who could believe it ever did happen, had we not incontrovertible evidence to prove it? Least of all, who would wish to see it, or any thing like it,

happen

VI.,

pisc. happen again ? Let not, then, the princi

ples which produced it be adopted and diffeminated amongst us : let not the governed be taught to esteem themselves superior to their governors; but let all be taught, as they“ fear God,” to “ honour the king; that is, to “ honour the king," because they “ fear God,” who has commanded them so to do. Our felicity depends on the safety of the prince, and the stability of government, which may fail, among other reasons, through our neglect to pray for them. Our ingratitude, ungodliness, and indevotion, as well as our other vices and crimes, may bring a blast on the designs of our rulers; and while we blame the king and his ministers, the fault

may

be entirely “ Let supplications, prayers, “ intercessions, and giving of thanks, be

made, therefore, for kings and all that « are in authority, that we may lead a

quiet and peaceable life," as citizens ; and that we may lead it " in all godliness " and honesty,” as Christians.

our own.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »