Abbildungen der Seite

unite in what affects all fo nearly. They therefore, who have hitherto thought the Danger of such an Attempt small, let them now shew they were far from wishing it greater. They, who have been dissatisfied with particular Measures of Government, let them now give Proof, that they were not disaffected to the Government itself: and if possibly in any thing they may have opposed too far, take this fittest Opportunity of making amends. This will demonstrate the Uprightness of their Intentions, give Weight to their Sentiments on other Matters, and pull down the false Hopes, that our Enemies have founded on our domestic Disputes. But then, at the same time, if the Zeal of any for the present Establishment, hath tempted them to judge too hardly concerning the Affection of others towards it, they ought now candidly to acknowledge their Error: embrace those as true Friends, who approve themselves to be such in the Day of Trial; and remember for the future, that Strength is attained, not by Division, but by Union. Indeed we should all remember, instead of aggravating what our Opposers have done amiss, to reflect seriously what we and


[ocr errors]

our Friends have been faulty in: and perhaps we should most of us find, it hath been a great deal too much.

But it is not mutual good Temper alone, that our Case requires; but mutual Assistance and Encouragement, to be given with Spirit by each of us, according to his Ability, and the Nature of his Station, to all around him: by ranking ourselves openly on the Side we are of; joining our Counsels, contributing our Money, hazarding our Persons, if need require it; by instructing, undeceiving, exciteing, fortifying, as many others as we can. That Part would be indifferent, Part timorous, and All resist weakly, was the great Thing, that the Adversaries of the Government promised themselves, and its Friends were apprehensive of. God be thanked, both of them in some degree have seen their Mistake. Let us go on to complete the Conviction, by a daily Increase of resolute Activity. Strengthen ye the weak Hands, and confirm the feeble Knees : say to them that are of a fearful Heart, Be strong, fear not *.

One thing more, to be mentioned under this Head, is, that if the present Endeavour to ruin * Isaiah xxxv. 3, 4.


[ocr errors]

us should increase, though it were considerably, the public Expence necessary to defend us, we are surely neither to wonder, nor to murmur at it; but bear with Chearfulness what may be inconvenient, in order to prevent what must be ruinous; and confider well, that were this Design to take place, we should probably pay much more to Foreigners, as a Reward for enslaving us, than now to our own Governors, as the Means of keeping us free.

But human Means alone, human Prudence and Strength, be it ever so great, is no sufficient Ground of Confidence. For the Most High ruleth in the Kingdom of Men, and giveth it to wbomfoever he will * We must never forget therefore,

III. An humble Dependance on Heaven for the Event of all. And the Lord do that which feemeth him good.

What it will seem good to him to do with Us, when we consider our National Wickedness and Ingratitude to him, it must be acknowledged we have great Cause to fear. He hath blessed these Nations beyond most, if not any other Part of the World: and we have * Daniel iv. 17. .


turned all his Blessings into Occasions of Sin. He hath given us Wealth : and we have applied it to the wicked Purposes of Diffoluteness and Luxury. He hath given us Liberty: and we have abused it to the bitterest Hatred, and the grossest Licentiousness. He hath given us true Religion: and we have slighted and scorned it; cast off the Worship of God, received the Mercies of his Providence without Thankfulness, and the Threatnings of it without Humility; nay, ridiculed the Obligations even of Probity and moral Virtue, till we have scarce Principle enough left to be concerned for any thing, but present Pleasure and present Interest. Our Abhorrence of Popery is gone: our Zeal against Slavery is degenerated into Faction : our Zeal for the Government, into private Selfishness. We daily accuse one another of these things: we never think of reforming ourselves. And what can be, in a rational View, the probable Consequence, in a religious one, the just Punishment of such Behaviour, but that which the Divine Wisdomn hath fo clearly foretold ? For that they hated Knowledge, and did not chuse the Fear of the Lord; they would none of my Counsel, and despised my Reproof: therefore shall they


eat of the Foruit of their own Way, and be filled with their own Devices *.

It is by flow and silent, but it is by effectual Methods, that God shews himself the Governor of the World. Princes, that neglect to support His Authority, shall find their own decay with it. Subordinate Rulers, that trust to other than virtuous Arts of Government, shall find they have leaned on a broken Reed. And Nations, that indulge Profaneness and Profligateness, fhall experience them to bring on Confusion and Ruin. Escaping it in one Shape for once, is nothing: in that, or some other, it must fall upon them, if they continue such as they are. And were ever so great Ruin to fall upon Us now, what would it be more, than

Samuel's Prediction verified ? If ye shall fill do v wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your

King of. And what could we say, but acknowledge before God, with the penitent Fews in Nehemiah, Thou art just in all that is brought upon us : for thou haft done right, but we have done wickedly: neither have our Kings, our Princes, our Priests, nor our Fathers (would to

* Prov. i. 29, 30, 31.

† 1 Sam. xii. 25.


« ZurückWeiter »