Page images


ĐIS C. happen again? Let not, then, the princi

ples which produced it be adopted and disseminated 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 fupplications, prayers, “ interceffions, 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]


For if the state be disturbed, the church Disco cannot remain in peace; among the blessings of which, this is ever to be esteemed the greatest, that religion is then best cultivated, and made to flourish in a land. It's ministers enjoy leisure and opportunity to celebrate it's solemn offices, to meditate upon it, to write upon it, to preach, and to publish books upon it, for the edification of their people. Of all this what can be done in the midst of war and tumults, when priests and people are dying before their common enemies, or engaged in civil commotions against each other? The Ifraelitish monarch, driven by rebellion from his capital, and in danger of his life, is very affecting upon this circumstance. The remembrance of better times occurred to his mind; of times, when he went in proceffion with the multitude, and led his subjects into the house of God, with the voice of praise and thanksgiving, among such as kept holy day. A comparison of his former happy with his then afflicted condition almost broke his heart. " When I remember


of these

- VI.

DISC. “ these things, I pour out my soul in me.'

But faith came to his assistance, and bade -
him not despair the return of those happy
times, when he should again visit the tem-
ple, in like manner as before. Why art
« thou cast down, O my soul, and why art
“ thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in
“ God, for I shall yet praise him for the

help of his countenance.”

In a season of greater calamity and distress in our own country, this venerable cathedral, by the reformers of that period, was converted into a stable ; and small indeed was the prospect of it's ever being restored to it's original use and beauty. But, by the divine mercy, we are now assembled in it, “ with the voice of joy and praise, to keep

holy day.” We have a church, and we have a king; and we must pray for the prosperity of the last, if we wilh to retain the first. The levelling principle of the age extends throughout. A republic, the darling idol of many amongst us, would probably, as the taste now inclines, come



attended by a religion without bishop, priest, Disc, or deacon ; without service, or facraments; without a Saviour to justify, or a Spirit to fanctify ; in short, a classical religion, without adoration.

The external part of religion is, doubtless, of little value, in comparison with the internal; and so is the cask, in comparison with the wine contained in it: but if the calk be staved, the wine must perish. If there were no Sundays, or holy days, no ministers, no churches, or religious assemblies, no prayers, or facraments, no Scriptures read, or fermons preached, how long would there be any religion left in the world ; and who would desire to live in a world where there was none? It is to enable the ministers of Christ to perform all these their functions, for the benefit of mankind, in peace and quietness, with due decency and dignity, that kings are by divine appointment constituted “ nursing fathers” of the church, “ and queens it's nursing mo



DISC. “ thers;" nor is it more their duty, than it

is their interest, to become such.


The church, it may be said, can subGift without the state, or under oppresfion and persecution from it. True : the Christian church so fubfisted for three hundred years ; but in the mean time; it's members of all denominations were sought out, and put to death, with all the variety of tortures, which the ingenuity of men, actuated by the malignity of evil fpirits, could devise. If it should ever seem good to God to bring us into a similar condition, he would, we trust, prepare us to endure it; but neither clergy nor laity, it is presumed, can regard such a condition as a desirable one. The Greek church subsists, at this day, at Conftantinople, under the sceptre of Mahomet. But how does it subfift? Like the tree that had suffered excifion, in the dream of the Chaldean monarch, it's root indeed remains in the earth, with a band of iron and brass, and it is wet with


« PreviousContinue »