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may be received with as much joy as the circumstances of that sad (and I hope far distant) day will admit of. Let the people be told how fully they inherit the virtues of their royal ancestors, that no distance of time or place can ever efface their love for our common country; but let none but theirs and their country's enemies insinuate that there
any cause for mutual fears and jealousies between them.
But whatever our fears are, let them be so far suspended at least, that we may enjoy the ease and tranquillity which the present auspicious reign affords. Let not all our zeal for our holy religion be spent in quarrelling and disputing about it; but some of it be shown in our dutiful behavior to our governors, in mutual love and charity. Let the purity of our religion be expressed in the innocence of our lives; that whenever God shall be pleased to deliver us from the scourge of war, we may be in such a disposition to receive the blessing, that mercy and truth may meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other.”
Above all, let us earnestly contend with God in prayer for mercies on our good Queen; that she may be long continued to us; that he would give peace in her time; that no demerit of ours may rob us of the invaluable blessings we enjoy in her; that whenever she, ripe for glory and immortality, shall be called to everlasting peace and a better crown, that then he would with a more especial eye of mercy and tenderness regard these orphan kingdoms, and hide them under the shelter of his wings, till the danger be overpast.
SUMMARY OF DISCOURSE IV.
II SAMUEL, CHAP. XXIII.–VERSES 3. 4.
The words of the text are said to be the last of David, uttered by the Spirit of the Lord, whose word was in his tongue. In whatever light they may be considered, they show the true art of governing, by which a prince may render himself and his people happy. The words shown to be applicable to the state of the nation ; whence arise two considerations : I. the character of a good prince expressed in them : II. the great blessing which a just prince is to his people.-I. The nature of justice described, in the limited notion of the word, and in its more extended sense as measured by the fear of God; which makes princes to become true fathers of their people : this topic enlarged on. This view carried through the particulars of government; whence the happy influence of such a religious principle is discovered. Character of the queen delineated; and the principle just laid down applied to her executive government.--II. The great blessing which arises to his people from a just prince. It is shown, first, that good laws, duly executed, are as much the happiness of the people as they are the support of the crown : secondly, how the very example of such a ruler has a natural tendency to promote the peace and welfare of the kingdom ; and how the virtue which shines from the throne, warms the hearts of all below it: lastly, that the blessing and protection of Heaven attend the government of a just prince ; and that as kings are the immediate ministers of God, so are they his immediate care. The virtues of the queen shown to deserve well this divine protection ; and that if the state may rejoice in the care taken of it by its monarch, the church has an equal right to boast of her regard. Her excellent conduct considered, when the prospect of the church was dark and gloomy; when some who wore its honors, forsook its cause; when others silently lamented its condition, and the fears of popery surrounded it.
Transition to the glories and triumphs of the queen's reign; her piety and compassion towards her conquered foes; and the noble end of her great victories in peace restored to harassed nations. Exhortation to her subjects to complete her happiness by uniting in love and mutual confidence, and by burying in oblivion those animosities which threaten the peace of our Israel. Allusion to the queen's sickness, and to the general grief which pervaded the nation on that account. Praise to God for dispelling those fears. Her desire of life arising from a love of her country: her concern for the good of posterity shown hy providing for the future peace and happiness of these kingdoms, in the settlement of the crown on the ILLUSTRIOUS HOUSE OF HANOVER : a blessing for which the nation can never be sufficiently thankful. Concluding remarks.
Preached before the House of Commons at St. Margaret's,
Westminster, March 8, 1714, being the anniversary of Queen Anne's accession to the throne.
II SAMUEL, CHAP. XXIII.-VERSES 3. 4.
The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spake to me, He that
ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God : and he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
The words read to you are said to be the last of David, and uttered by the Spirit of the Lord,' whose word' was ‘in his tongue.' They are by some Jewish interpreters referred to the days of the Messiah, as foretelling the righteousness and increase of his kingdom for evermore: but in this sense they can no otherwise relate to the Messiah than as they are pointed at him through David, who was a type of that great Prince of peace and of righteousness; and consequently, in their natural and literal sense, they regard the temporal government of David, and stand as a fit instruction for the princes of the earth.
There is likewise some doubt of the time when these words were first spoken; whether this admonition and promise were given David on his first entrance on his kingdom, as a sure direction to guide him through the difficulties of empire, and by him delivered as his last words, and the best legacy which he could bequeath, to those who were to succeed him in the throne of Israel ; or whether they were first conceived and uttered by David in the last scene of his life, and left with the authority of a dying father to his sons, as containing the true secret of governing happily ; which he had learned both from long experience and from the influence of the Spirit of God. But in whichsoever of these views we consider the text, it comes to the same thing; and we have the true art of governing, by which a prince may render himself and his people happy, described to us by the wisdom of the divine Spirit, · He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord.'
It is a happiness that we may justly glory in, that these words are a proper theme for this day, the subject of which is the accession of our prince to the throne. Such a description of the ruler's duty, produced on the like occasion, would in many places be esteemed a reproach to the prince; and could yield no fruit to the people, but a sense of their misfortune. Unhappy countries ! where even such Scriptures have the sound of treason; but with us, the brighter light they are placed in, the more honor they reflect on the throne, the greater comfort and consolation on the people: for though the merit of good government be the prince's proper praise, yet the benefit of it is universal, and reaches even the meanest of his subjects.
The prosperity of a prince who rules in the fear of the Lord, is represented to us in the latter part of the text under very beautiful similitudes : “He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.' The sun is the great spirit of the world, in the light of which all things are made to rejoice; perpetual spring attends his course; all things revive at his approach, and put on a new face of youth and beauty : winter and frost lag behind him; nature grows deformed, and the world sickens at his departure. What the sun is to the world, the same is a good prince to his people: he is the life and soul of the public; his influence produces beauty, order, and regularity, and so animates every member, that the whole society is harmony and peace. This difference there is; the sun in his meridian glory strikes some parts with too fierce a fire, and the field fades under the beat which should refresh it: but the just prince, like the rising