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promised a Blessing, is: I will yet for this be inquired of by the House of Israel, to do it for them*. And the Direction of his Prophet is, Ye, that make mention of the Lord, keep not Silence, and give him no Rest, till be establish, and till be make Jerusalem a Praise in the
Affectionate Vigilance therefore to do each his Part for the Service of the Whole, and constant Prayer, that God would prosper the united Work of our Hands I, are the genuine Demonstrations of that Regard, which we owe to the publick Welfare. Let us now consider,
III. What Advantages will flow from ex- · pressing it in this due Manner. They shall prosper that love thee. Worldly Prosperity is designed to partake of the Uncertainty of all worldly Things : but, fo far as any thing on our Part can secure it, a virtuous and pious public Spirit must. Princes, Magistrates, Teachers of Religion, military Men, private Persons of all Ranks and Professions; who thus express the Love of their Country, will be loved by it, and love one another. Such Union : * Ezek. xxxvi. 37. . + Ifai. Ixiî. 6, 7.
| Pfal. xc. 17
will give them both the highest Pleasure, and the greatest possible Strength : nothing will be done to betray or thwart the general Interest, but every thing imaginable to promote it: they will be bold in Dangers, persevere through Difficulties, furnish mutual Assistance at any Hazard: Allies will know they can trust them; Enemies will respect and dread them. Indeed they will have no Enemies, but such as oppose Truth and Right: and therefore, when they are driven to War, they will consider themfelyes as fighting the Battles of God. But usually they will enjoy Peace, at home as well
as abroad, and taste the Comforts of it without : Allay: each delighting in the other's Good;
each feeling the Tranquillity, the Wealth, the
Honour of the Community, as his own; and i rejoicing with humble Thankfulness, that His
Share in the Production of it hath not been wanting. If such Happiness be seldom seen, the Reason is, that such Dispositions towards it are seldom general. But let them be ever so uncommon, and Affairs for want of them ever so unprofperous ; whoever sacredly preferves them in himself, and faithfully exerts them when he can, bis Soul shall prosper, as
St. John expresses it *: be filled with the Consolation, that he hath meant and endeavoured well, though surrounded with Examples and Temptations to the contrary; and that none of the Calamities, that have happened or may happen, can be laid to his Charge. Were he to be intirely deserted by other Men, he would support himself by our Saviour's Reflexion : Behold, tbe Hour cometh, jea is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every Man to his own, and shall leave me alone : and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me of. Some, however, in the worst of Times, will probably bear witness to him on Earth : but God will certainly look down upon him with Approbation from Heaven; and bless him with a pleasing Consciousness of his Favour, the Foretaste of future Reward.
Let us now, on the other hand, contemplate the Effects, I do not say of downright Ill-will to the Public, which few perhaps can be wicked enough to harbour knowingly, but of
Indifference, and preferring other Confidera• tions to its Advantage. If Persons in Stations of Trust, fupreme or subordinate, regard Empire, absolute Power, Profit, Pleasure, Indo*** 3 John, ver. 2. † John xvi. 32.
lence, as their Felicity: Inferiors will in proportion be facrificed, oppressed, exhausted, neglected. If these Inferiors are principally intent on their own private Gratifications of any Kind: even where they have no Share in the Government, they will hurt it by serving it remislly or unfaithfully, and be miserable by unwilling Subjection. But where the Government is mixed, and divided between the Sove: reign, the Nobles, and the Representatives of the Commonalty; as it cannot be carried on at all in that Form, without Professions, on every Side, of a patriot Spirit: fo in the Degree, in which these Professions are false, there will be a wide Door open for supine Mismanagement, selfish Projects, Corruption, Treachery : the vileft of Men will shelter themselves under plausible Appearances and favourite Names; and be supported by Parties, which they have artfully raised or caressed. At the same time, they, who think they have the tenderest Love for their Country, perhaps will find on Reflexion, that in truth they love only the Faction, in which they have listed: or v though it be their Country; if they have not had Tenderness enough for it, to examine coolly what Conduct its Interests require, they
may accelerate its Ruin, by increasing the Fierceness of Contention, and lending the Reputation of their good Meaning to colour over the bad Designs of others. Free Nations therefore, as they are the happiest beyond Comparison, if the general Advantage be the general Object: so they are peculiarly uncomfortable, and exposed to Danger from within and without, if Divisions inflame Men one against another, or the Attention of each be confined to himself.
Still the Wife in their Generation * may imagine, that however impossible it be for the Whole to prosper without the mutual Affection of the Parts, They shall prosper the better for throwing off a Principle, that will be always interfering with their Interests or Inclinations. But they cannot attempt to throw it, off, or even contradict it in a single Instance, without severely condemning themselves in their Hours of Recollection. Or if they could, they will be detected, in spight of all Disguise, and abhorred by others, and most by the Worthiest: which gives the hardest Hearts much greater Uneasiness, than they are willing to own. Besides, through the Mercy of Pro* Luke xvi. 8.