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acler, io wbich distinguished wit and talents i so dear a rate. And soon after, she was marvere united with wisdom and piety,* both ried to to the prince Electoral of Bruswick; these last probably taught her in the school which gave a glorious character of her to of adversity, procured for her the admiration this nation. And her pious firminess is like of all who knew her, as well as the venera to be rewarded, even in this life, by a much tion of those whose religious sentiments were better crown than that which she rejected.'* congenial with her own.
Surely this portion of our queen Caroline's Such was the mother of George the first ! bistory deserves to be had in perpetual reShe lived, enjoying her bright faculties to a membrance ! very advanced age, to see a throne prepared The same prelatès speaking of king Willfor ber son far more glorious than that from iam, says, ' considered him as a person which her father had been driven ; or, what raised up by God, to resist the power of to ber excellent mind was still more gratify. France, and the progress of tyranny and ing, she saw herself preserved, after the ex-' persecution. The thirty years, from the year tinction of all the other branches of her pa-: 1672 to his death, in which he acted so great ternal honse, to furnish in the most honour; ' a part, carry in them so many amazing steps able instance possible, an invaluable stay and of a glorious and distinguishing Providence, prop for that cause, on account of which her that in the words of David he may be called, parents and their children seemed, or a time, – The man of God's right hand, whom he to have ó suffered the loss of all things.' made strong for himself.
Whether, then, we consider the succession But if there were just ground for this reof the house of Hanover, as the means of fi- mark respecting this particular period, and nally establishing our civil and religious con- this individual personage: what shall we say stitution, which then only can be regarded of the entire chain of providences, which as having attained a perfect triumph over runs through our whole national history, every kind of oppression ;-or whether we from the landing of our Saxon ancestors, to view it as a most sigual act of that retribu- , the present hour? May it not be confidentlive goodness which has promised that every ly asked, Is there at this day a nation upon one who forsaketh house, or brethren, or earth, whose circumstances appear so clearlands, for his sake, shall receive manifold ly to have been arranged, and bound togethmore even in this present life. I say, in er, by the hands of him, “ who does what. whichsoever light we contemplate it, s-soever he pleases, both in heaven and earth ?" pecially if we connect it with the series of
That the purposes of this great scheme events in England,-and, above all, compare have, as yet been most inadequately answerit with the fate of the family from which the ed, as far as our free agency is concerned, is parent princess had sprung,—but which, af- a deep ground for our humiliation, but no ter being chastised to no purpose, was re- argument against the reality of providential jected, to make room for those, who had suf- direction. The Sacred history of the Jews, fered in so much nobler a cause, and with so the only people who have been more distin. mach better effect,--what can we say, but guished than ourselves, presents to us pot with the Psalmist," that promotion cometh only their unparalleled obligations to the AlBeither from the east, nor from the west, nor mighty, but also a series of such abuses of yet from the couth. But God is the judge : those mercies, as at length brought upon he putteth down one, and setteth up another. them a destruction as unexampled as their For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, guilt. The great purposes of heaven cannot and the wine is red; it is full mixed, and he be frustrated; but the instrument which empoureth out of the same. But as for the barrassed the process may, too surely, be dregs therefore, all the wicked of the earth excluded from any share in the beneficial reshall wring them out, and drink them. All sults, and be, on the contrary, the distinthe horns also of the wicked shall be cut guished victim of indignation. Thus Judea, off
, but the horns of the righteous shall be in spite of all its apostacies, was made subexalted.'
servient to its original object. In spite of Another less momentous, yet highly inter- the barrenness of the parent tree, the mystic esting instance of providential remunera- / branch was made to spring from its roots; tion, connected with this great event, must but this purpose being once served, the tree not be passed over. It shall be given in the itself, nourished as it had been with the chief Fords of a living and a near observer. • A fatness of the earth, and with the richest wise,' says bishop Burnet, “was to be sought dews of heaven, was bewn down and cast for prince Charles (the emperor's brother, into the fire' wbom the allies wished to establish on the
Let England, let those especially of rank Spanish throne) among the protestant courts, and influence, and, above all, let the personfor there was not a suitable match in the po- age whose high, but most awful trust it may pish courts. He had seen the princess of be to have the delegated oversight of this Anspach, and was much taken with her. so vineyard, which God has . fenced and planted that great applications were made to per- with the choicest vine;' let all feel the suade her to change her religion ; but she weight of their responsibility, and avert could not be prevailed on to buy a crown at those judgments which divine justice may
deem commensurate to our abused advanta* See M. Chevreau's character of the Princess Sophia, quoted by Addison. Freeholder, No: 30. ges! See also her two letters to bishop Burnet, in his me, annexed to his ovn times.
* Burnet's own times, 1707.
We have been the object of admiration to with death, and all the churches shall know the whole civilized world! Such have been that I ara he thạt searcheth the reins and the blessings conferred upon us, and such hearts, and I will give to every one of yon have been the bright lights, from time to according to your works.' time, raised up among us, that it could not bę otherwise. But what would the effect have been, if our unexampled constitution,
CHAP. XL. correspondent to its native design, had called forth, not the unblushing, because unpunish. On Christianity as a principle of action, esable, baseness of party profligacy, but the
pecially as it respects supreme rulers. unfettered, disinterested, unanimous, exertion of commanding talent, of energetic ap CHRISTIANITY is not an ingenious theory, plication, and of invincible virtue! Ifa a sublime but impracticable speculation, a solicitude to digest the principles, to imbibe fanciful invention to exercise the genius or the spirit, and to exemplify the virtues of our sharpen the wit; but it is a system for comillustrious worthies had been as assiduously mon apprehension, for general use, and daiexcited by preceptors in their pupils, and by ly practice. It is critically adapted to the parents in their children, as a blind admira- character of man, intelligible to his capacition of them, or a blinder vanity on account ly, appropriated to his exigencies, and acof them :-if those worthies had been as sed- commodated to his desires. It contains, inulously imitated, as they have been loudly deed, abtruse mysteries to exercise bis faith, extolled; and above all, if our national to inure him to submission, to habituate bim church establishment had been as universal- to dependence; but the sublimest of its ly influential, as it is intrinsically admirable doctrines involve deep practical consequenin its impressive ordinances, its benignant ces. spirit, and its liberal, yet unadulterated doc Revelation exbibits what neither the phi- . i trines :-We mean not, if these effects bad losophy of the old, nor the natural religion been produced to any improbable Utopian of the modern, sceptic ever pretended to exextent, but in that measure, wbich was, in hibit, a compact system of virtues and grathe nature of things, possible, and which the ces. Philosophy boasted only fair ideas, inmoral Governor of the Universe bad an dependent virtues, and disconnected duties. equitable right to look for.-If this had been Christianity presents an unmutilated whole, realized, who can say what evils might have in which a few simple but momentous premibeen prevented, what good might have been ses induce a chain of consequences comaccomplished? How might protestantism mensurate with the immortal nature of man. have spread throngh Europe, did our nation. It is a scheme which not only displays every al morals keep pace with our profession ? duty, but displays it in its just limitation and How happily might the sound philosophy of relative dependence ; maintaining a lovely the English school, when thus illustrated, symmetry and fair proportion, which arise have precluded the impious principles and from the beautiful connexion of one virtue the blasphemous language of Voltaire and with anotber, and of all virtues with that his licentious berd! And how would the faith of which they are the fruits. widely diffused radiance of our then uncloud But the paramount excellence of Chrised constitution bave poured even upon sur- tianity is, that its effects are not limited, rounding countries so bright a day, as to have like the virtues of the Pagans, to the cirmade rational liberty an object of general, cumscribed sphere of this world. Their but safe pursuit, and left no place for those thoughts and desires, though they occasionworks of darkness by which France has ally appeared, from their sublimity, to have degraded herself, and outraged human na- been fitted for a wider range, were in a great ture!
measure shut in by the dark and narrow Shall we then persevere in our inattention bounds of the present scene. At most, they to the indications of Providence? Shall we appear to have had but transient glimpses of persist in our neglect or abuse of the talents evanescent light, which, however, while they committed to us? Shall we be still uncon- lasted, made them often break out into short scious that all our prosperity bangs suspend but spirited apostrophes of hope, and eren ed on the sole will of God, and that the mo- triumph The Stoics talked deeply and elment of his ceasing to sustain us, will be the oquently of self-denial, but never thought of moment of our destruction ? And shall pot extending, by its exercise, their happiness this be felt particularly by those who, by be- o perpetuity. Philosophy could never give ing placed bighest in the community, would, to divine and eternal things, sufficient disin such a ruin, be the most signal victims, tinctness or magnitude to induce a renunciaso they may now do most toward averting tion of present enjoyment, or to insure to the calamity? On the whole, what is the the conqueror, who should obtain a victory almost audible language of heaven to prince over this world, a crown of unfading glory. and people, to nobles and commoners, to It never was explained, except in the page church and state, but that of the great Au- of Revelation, that God was himself an thor of our religion in his awful message to abundant recompense for every sacrifice the long since desolated churches of Asia? which can be made for his sake. Still less · Repent, or else I will come unto thee quick- was it ascertained, that, even in this life, ly, and will fight against thee with the sword God is to the good man his refuge and bis of my mouth; and I will kill thy children strength, ' a very present belp in time of
trouble. There is more rational consola-1 in short, if the true relish for every thing tion for both worlds, so these few words of substantially useful, every thing innocently the Almighty to Abraham, . Fear not, I am pleasant in life, with the prospect, when life thy shield
, and thy exceeding great reward,' is ended, of felicity unspeakable and eterthan in all the bappy conjectures, and ingen bal, be moping inelancholy, then, and not iwas probabilities, of all the philosophers in otherwise, ought the religion of the New the world.
Testament to be treated with neglecl, or The religion, therefore, which is in this viewed with suspicion ; as if it were hostile little work meant to be inculcated, is not to human comfort, unsuitable to high statior', the gloong austerity of tbe ascetic; it is or incompatible with any circumstances Dot the fierce intolerance of the bigot, it is which right reason sanctions. not the mere assent to historical evidence, The gospel is, in infinite mercy, brought por the mere formal observances of the nom- within the apprehension of the poor and ilic inal Christian. It is not the extravagance ignorant; but its grandeur, like that of the of the fanatic, nor the exterminaling zeal of God who gave it, is not to be lowered by the persecutor : though all these faint shad. condescension. In its humblest similitudes, ows
, or distorting caricatures, have been the discerning mind will feel a majestic simfrequently exhibited as the genuine portraits plicity, identical with that of created paof Christianity; by those who either never ture; and in its plainest lessons, an extent of saw her face, or never came near enough to ineaning which spreads into infinitude. delineate ber fairly, or who delighted to mis- When we yield ourselves to its influences, represent and disfigure her.
its effects upon us are correspondent to its True religion is, on the contrary, the most own nature. It lays the axe to the root of sober, most efficient, most natural, and every kind of false greatness, but it leaves therefore most happy exercise of right rea- us in a more confirmed, and far happier en90m. It is
, indeed, rationally made predom- joyment of all which really, gives lustre to isaat by such an apprehension of what con- the character, which truly beightens the spirCeras us, in respect to our bigher nature, as it, which strengthens, ennobles, and ampli. sets us above all undue attraction of earthly fies the mind. It announces to us a spiritual objects; and in a great measure, frees the sovereign, to whose unseen dominion the mused from its bondage to the body. It is proudest potentates of the earth are in un. ftat inward moral liberty which gives a man conscious, but most real subjection ; but the tastery over himself
, and enables him who, notwithstanding bis infinite greatness, to pursue those ends which his heart and his condescends to take up his residence in every conscience approve, without yielding to any human beart that truly yields to his influof those warping influences, by which all, ence; suppressing in it every unruly and Icept genuine Christians, must be, more or unhappy passion ; animating it with every ies, led captive. In a word, it is the influ- holy and heavenly temper, every noble and eutral knowledge of Him, whom to know is generous virtue; fitting it for all the purposwisdon—whom to fear is rectitude-whom es of Providence, and fortifying it against
A principle this, so calamnities, by a peace · which passeih all jest in rational creatures to their infinite understanding.' planer, benefactor, and end ; so demanded That this is a view of Christianity, found by all that is perceivable in outward nature, ed in irrefragable fact
, and peculiarly desuggested by all that is right, and so re- manding our regard, appears from the unigaired by all that is wrong in the human form language of its divine author, respectmiad
, that the common want of it, which al- ing himself and his mission, on all occasions est every where presents itself
, is only to where a suinmary annunciation was fitting. be accounted for on the supposition of hu- It is a spiritual kingdom, on the eve of actu
i nature, being under some unnatural al establishment, of which he gives notice. terson, some deep delirium, or fatal in- To this ultimate idea, the other great purBotication ; which, by filling the mind
with poses of his incarnation are to be referred. iekly dreams, renders it insensible to those They over whom he means to reign are atfacts and verities, of which awakened pa- tainted rebels. He, therefore, so fuláls
every ure would have the most awful and most im- demand of that law which they had violated,
as to reverse the attainder, on grounds of Thus
, to awaken our reason, to make us eternal justice. They were, also, captives easible of our infatuation, to point us to our to a usurper, whose mysterious power he has inte interest, duty, and happiness, and
to fit so broken as to disable him from detaining k for the pursuit,' by making us' love both any who are cordially willing to break their the objects at which we are to aim, and the bonds. And having thus removed all obstapreth in which we are to move, are the grand cles, be offers privileges of infinite benefit ; purposes of the Christian dispensation. If and demands no submission, no dereliction, moral rectitude be an evil; if inward self- no observance, but what, in the very nature sajoyment be a grievance, if a right esti- of things, are indispensible to the recovery make of all things be folly ;' if a cheerful and of moral health, moral liberty, and moral happy use of every thing, according to its happiness: and what He, by the gracious inJust and proper value, be’misery; if a su- Anences of his ever-present Spirit, will renjeune, undeviating attachment to every thing der, not only attainahle, but delightful to the laat is true and bonest, and pure, and just, honest and humble heart. and lovely, and of good report, be weakness ; |
Tbe royal person, then, should early and
to love is happiness.
constantly be babitnated to consider herself servance of them. If thou will enter into as peculiarly under the goveroment, and in a life, keep the commandments. There are most especial manner needing the protection no exempt cases. The maxim is of univerand guidance of this Almighty Sovereiga; sal application. There will be no pleading looking to his word for ber best light, and to of privilege on that day, when the dead, bis spirit for ber best strength; performing small and GREAT, shall stand before God; all that she undertakes, in the manner most when they shall be judged out of those perfectly conformed to his laws, and most things which are written in the book of God's clearly subservient to the interests of his remembrance, according to their works.' spiritual kingdom; submitting all events to So far from a dispensation of indulgences huis wisdom, and acknowledging no less his being granted to princes, they are bound particular than his general Providence; and, even to more circumspection. They are set above all, praying daily for his support, de- on a pinnacle, the peculiar objects of attenpending on his goodness for success, and tion and imitation. Their trust is of larger submitting to buis will in disappointment. In extent, and more momentous importance. fact, to none, in so emipent a sense as to Their influence involves the conduct of mulprinces, does that sentiment of an inspired titudes. Their example should be even instructor belong: •Not that we are suf- more correct, because it will be pleaded as a ficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of precedent. Their exalted station, therefore, ourselves ; but our suficiency is of God.' instead of furnishing excuses for omission,
She should practically understand, that re- does but enlarge the obligation of performligion, though it has its distinct and separate ance. They may avail themselves of the duties, yet it is not by any means a distinct same helps to virtue, the same means for du. and separate thing, so as to make up a duty ty; and they have the same, may we nol of itself, disconnected with other duties; rather say, they have even a stronger assurbut that it is a grand, and universally gov- ance of divine aid, since that aid is promised erning principle, which is to be the fountain to be proportioned to the exigence; and the of her morality, and the living spring of all exigencies of princes are obviously greater her actions : that religion is not merely a than those of any other class of men. thing to be retained in the mind, as a dor Power and splendor are not to be considmant mass of inoperative opinions, but which ered as substitutes for virtue, but as instruis to be brought, by every individual, into ments for its promotion, and means for its the detail of every day's deeds : which, in a embellishment. The power and splendor prince, is to influence his private behaviour, of sovereigns are confirmed to them by the as well as bis public conduct; which is to laws of the state, for the wisest and most benregulate bis choice of ministers, and his eficial purposes. But these illustrious apadoption of measures ; which is to govern pendages are evidently not meant for their his mind, in making war and making peace; personal gratification, but to give impressivewhich is to accompany bim, not only to the ness and dignity to their station ; to be suitcloset, but to the council; which is to fill his able and honourable means of supporting an mind, whether in the world or in retirement, authority, which Providence has made indiswith an abiding sense of the vast responsi- pensable to the peace and happiness of sociebility which he is under, and the awful ac-ty; and on the adequate energy of which, count to wbich he will one day be called, the security and comfort of all subordinate before that Being, who lodges the welfare of ranks, in their due gradations, so materially so many millions in his hands. In fine, to depend. borrow the words of the pious archbishop Can we hesitate to conclude, that at the Secker, It ought to be explicitly taught, last great audit, princes will be called to acand much dwelt upon, that religion extends count, not only for all the wrong which they its authority to every thing: to the most have done, but for all the right which they worldly, the commonest, the lowest (and have neglected to do? Not only for all the surely, still more to the highest earthly) evil they have perpetrated, but for all that things; binding us to behave reasonably, they, wilfully, have permitted ? For all the decently, humbly, honourably, meekly, and corruptions which they have sanctioned, and kindly in them all ; and that its interfering all the good which they have discouraged ? so far, instead of being a hardship, is a great It will be demanded whether they have emblessing to us, because it interferes always ployed royal opulence, in setting an example for our good.'
of wise and generous beneficence, or of conParasites have treated some weak princes, tagious levity and voluptuousness ? Whet! as if they were not of the same common na- er they have used their influence, in proroture with those whom they govern ; and as ting objects clearly for the public good, or in if, of course, they were not amenable to the accomplishing the selfish purposes of mercesame laws. Christianity, however, does not vary favourites ? And whether, on the hold out two sorts of religion, one for the whole, their public and private conduct court, and one for the country; one for the tended more to diffuse religious principle, and prince, and another for the people. Princes, sanction Christian virtue, or to lend support as well as subjects, who, by patient contin- to fashionable profligacy, and to undertnine uance in well-doing, seek for glory, and hon- national morality ? our, aod immortality,' shall reap eternal At the same time it is to be remembered, life.' As there is the same code of laws, so that they will be judged by that omniscient ihere is the same promise annexed to the ob. Being, who sees the secret bent add hiiden
mclinations of the heart ; and who knows Christian piety, when real in itsell, and that the best prince cannot accomplish all the when thoroughly established in the heart and good he wishes, nor prevent all the evil he in the babits, is this secret. When the mud disapproves :- hy that merciful Being, who is not only conscientiously, but affectionatewill recompensé pure desires and upright ly religious ; when it not only fears God, as intentions, even where providential obstacles the Almighty Sovereigo, but loves and conprevented their being carried into execu- fides in hirn, as the all-gracious Father, not tion-by that compassionate Being, who sees merely inferred to be such, froin the beauty their difficulties, observes their trials, weighs and benignity apparent in the works of natheir temptations, commisserates their dan- ture, but rationally understood to be such gers, and takes most exact cognizance of from the discoveries of divine grace in the circumstances, of which no human judge word of God ;-and let us 'add, no less racan form an adequate idea. Assured, as we tionally felt to be such, from the transformare, that this gracious method of reckoning ing influence of that word upon the heart : will be extended to all, may we not be confi- then, acts of devotion are no longer a pendent, that it will be peculiarly applied, where ance, but a resource, and a refrestiment; in the case most expressly stands in need of it? so much that the voluptuary would as soon And may we not rest persuaded, that if there relinquish those gratifications for which he is a spectacle which our Almighty Ruler be- lives, as the devout Christian would give up bolds with peculiar complacency on earth, his daily intercourse with bis Maker. But and will recompense with crown of distin- it is not in stated acts merely that such deguished brightness in heaven, it is a sove-votion lives,-it is an habitual sentiment REIGN DOING JUSTLY, LOVING MERCY, AND which diffuses itself through the whole of WALKING HUMBLY WITH God.
life, purifying, exalting, and tranquilizing But is religion to be pursued by princes every part of it, smoothing the most rugged only as a guide of conduct, a law by which paths, -making the yoke of duty easy, and they are to live and act : as a principle, the burden of care light. It is a perennial which, if cultivated, will qualify them for spring in the very centre of the heart, to eternal felicity? These are invaluable ben- which the wearied spirit betakes itself for efits, but they do not wholly express all that refreshment and repose. princes in particular need from religion. In this language there is no enthusiasm. They, in an eminent degree, require conso- It is in spite of the cold raillery of the sceplation and support for this life, as well as a tic, the language of truth and soberness. --title to bappiness in the life to come. They, The Scriptures ascribe to Christian piety this above all human beings, need some power- very efficacy; and every age and nation ful resource to bear them up against the furnish countless instances of its power to agitations and the pressures, to which their raise the human mind to a holy heroism, subigh station inevitably exposes them. perior to every trial ! · Were there not,'
To whom on this earth are troubles and says the sober and dispassionate Tillotson, heartachs so sure to be multiplied, as to prin- something real in the principles of religion, ces, especially to those of superior under- it is impossible that they should have so restanding and sensibility? Who, of any markable and so regular an effect, to
supother rank are exposed to such embarras- port the mind in every condition, upon so sing, trials, such difficult dilemmas ? We great a number of persons, of different despeak not merely of those unfortunate mon- grees of understanding, of all ranks and archs, who have undergone striking vicissi- conditions, young and old, learned and untodes, or who have been visited with extra- learned, in so mnany distant places, and in ordinary calamities ; but of such also whom all ages of the world, the records whereof the world would rather agree to call pros- are come down to us. I say so real, and so perous and happy :-Yet let him who doubts frequent, and so regular an effect as this, this general truth, read the accounts given cannot, with any colour of reason, be ascriby all our bistorians of the last years of king bed either to blind chance or mere imaginaWillam, and the last months of queen tion, but must have a real and regular, and Anne; and then let him pronounce what uniform cause, proportionable to so great could be more trying, than those disappoint- and general an effect.'* ments and disgusts which sunk into the very We are persuaded that if the subject of soul of the one, or those cares and agita- this chapter be considered with an attention tions which finally destroyed the peace of the equal to its importance every other virtue other?
will spring up, as it were spontaneously, in If there be then any secret in the nature the mind, and a high degree of excellence, of thiogs, and clearly infallible remedy by both public and private, be instinctively purwhich such distresses may be assuaged, by sued. In such a case, how bappy would be which self-command, self-possession, and the distinguished individual, and how inconeven self-enjoyment may be secured in the ceivably benefitted and blessed would be the midst of the greatest trials to which mortali- community! ty is liable,-would not this be an object to Pious sovereigns are, at all times, the richwhich the view of princes, even above all est boon which heaven can bestow on a the rest of mankind, should be directed; country. The present period makes us more and in comparison of which, they might than ever sensible of their importance. A justly hold cheap all the honours of their birth, and all the prerogatives of their rank?
* Sermon XI.