Mr. Prince's SERMON On the DEATH of King GEORGE I. AND Accession of his present MAJESTY King GEORGE II.


In the House of Representatives,


THAT the Representatives of the Town of Boston, be desired to wait on the Reverend Mr. Thomas Prince, with the Thanks of the House for his Sermon Preach'd Yesterday, on the sorrowful Occa­sion of the DEATH of His late Majesty, and the happy ACCESSION of His present Majesty; and desire a Copy thereof for the Press.

Wm. Dudley, Speaker.

A SERMON On the sorrowful OCCASION OF THE DEATH Of His late MAJESTY King GEORGE Of Blessed Memory, AND THE Happy Accession Of His present MAJESTY King GEORGE II. to the THRONE.

Deliver'd at the Publick LECTURE in BOSTON N. E. Aug. 24th 1727. In the Audience of the Great & General Assembly of the PROVINCE: And Published at the Desire of the Honourable HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

By THOMAS PRINCE, M. A. And one of the Pastors of the South Church in BOSTON.

BOSTON: Printed for Daniel Henchman at his Shop over against the Brick-Meeting House in Cornhill. MDCCXXVII.


A SERMON On the Death of King GEORGE I. AND Accession of King GEORGE II.

1 CHRON. XXIX. 26, 28.

THUS David the Son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. — And he dyed in a good old Age; full of Days, Riches, and Honour: and Solomon his Son reigned in his stead.

THE Words are an historical Tran­sition from the Reign of David to that of Solomon. And as it has just now pleased the most high GOD, in whose right Hand are all our Changes, to take away by Death from the Head of our British ISRAEL, a great and most gracious KING like David, and happily to advance his SON to his Father's Throne, whom we hope to prove another Solomon; I have chose the Text as a proper Subject of our Meditati­ons on this great Occasion. And in discoursing on it, shall endeavour these two things,

  • [Page 2]1. To consider the words in their original Impor­tance.

    AND then,

  • 2. APPLY them to the great Event of Providence before us.

1. TO consider the words in their original Im­portance; as they respect the Reign and Death of DAVID, and the happy Succession of his Son SOLOMON.

AND this I shall endeavour with a special view to those Events & Characters that are mostly applicable to the Case before us.

AND here are these three things in General,

  • 1. A conclusive Epitome of the Character & Reign of DAVID.
  • 2. HIS Decease and the peculiar Circumstances of it.
  • 3. and lastly, THE happy Accession of his Son SOLOMON to his Throne after him.

1. A conclusive Epitome of the Character & Reign of DAVID. Thus David the Son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.

THE Person spoken of, is the renowned David the Son of Jesse. A Person of an illustrious House, of the Lyon-like Tribe of Judah; tho' the first of his Family that came to the Throne.

HIS Ancestor of the third ascent was BOAZ; who is said to have been a mighty Man of wealth in Beth­lehem *. And the second above Him was NAHSHON; who is said to be the head of the House of his Fa­ther, yea a renowned Person of the Congregation, a Prince of the Tribe of his Father, and one of the Heads of the Thousands in Israel, Numb. I. 4, 7, 16. And in the following Chapter, we find him at the Di­vine [Page 3]Appointment pitching by his own Standard, with the Ensign of his Father's House, on the Eastern side of the Tabernacle, as Captain of the Children of Judah, and Head of his Host of above 70 Thousand Men: to defend that Sacred and Divine Pavilion, as it march­ed thro' the Wilderness *. And on the same day that Moses had fully set up the Tabernacle, this great Captain was the very first of the twelve Princes of Israel, Heads of the House of their Fathers, who were the Princes of the Tribes, and were over them that were numbered; who brought their rich and liberal Offerings before the Altar: and he made his Offering the first day as the Prince of the Tribe of Judah .

THIS was David the Son of Jesse's nearer and illustrious Pedigree. He was one of the most Princely Families in Israel: not to mention Three of his War­like Brethren, whom we find as Voluntiers in King Saul's Armies, Fighting against the Philistian Enemies, those implacable haters of their Nation and pure Religion.

As for his own Personal Indowments—He was of a beautiful and ruddy Countenance and goodly to look to: a comely Person, prudent in matters, a Man of War, a mighty valiant Man, and the Lord was with him . This is the Character we have of David, even when he was a Youth, while he dwelt at his Father's House, and before he came into any prospect of the Crown of Israel. He was every way accomplished to defend and rule so great a People, and to make them happy.

BUT how came the Son of Jesse to ascend the Throne of Israel?

FOR he was neither the eldest Branch of Jacob, nor of Judah, nor of his Grandson Hezron, nor yet of his [Page 4]own, Father Jesse; and there were great numbers of prior Lines by Birth Surviving: So that if the Senior Branch were to be indefeasably prefer'd, he could never have had a Right or Hope of ascending to so much as the Principality of his own single Tribe: And yet the Text observes that he came to Reign over all Israel

REUBEN was the first born of Jacob: And so the Birthright was by Nature his, & would have descended so to his eldest offspring. But for his signal wicked­ness, he both forfeited the Priviledge for Himself and the Intail for his Posterity. His Father Jacob therefore by Divine direction justly cut him off: Declaring that tho' Reuben was his first born, his might and the be­ginning of his strength, the excellence of Dignity and the excellence of Power; yet for his great unworthy­ness, he should be as unstable as water, he should not excell: And then the Patriarch gave away the Birth­right of Inheritance to Joseph & the Power to Judah, his younger Children . Agreeable to this, the Writer of this Book observes, in the 5th Chap. at the begin­ning; That tho' REUBEN was the first born, yet his Birthright was given to the sons of JOSEPH, the son of ISRAEL: And the Genealogy is not to be reckoned after the Birthright: For JUDAH prevailed above his Brethren, and of him came the chief Ruler, but the Birthright was JOSEPHS.

THIS no doubt was a special work of GOD: with whom it is as equal to raise those Children he brings forth later into the World, to an higher Power and Dignity, as to bring forth others into the World before them. But who is there that does not admire the Wisdom, Justice, Holiness & Goodness of his Conduct in this matter? And is not this Divine Example written for our Admonition also, on whom the ends of the World are come? And wherefore should it be re­corded, but to teach us; That in Imitation of the like Perfections, Parents, and much more Kings & King­doms [Page 5]for a greater and more necessary Good, may set aside those elder Branches that have rendered them­selves utterly unworthy to excell, and bestow the In­heritance & Rule on younger? That so the Senior Branches, especially of more Publick Families, may be more careful of their Principles & Conduct, and may not forfeit their Succession: And in case they should— that the Junior Ones may by the same means secure their own Reversion to the forfeited Inheritance.

BUT to return —

As the most wise and righteous GOD was pleas'd to choose the younger Tribe of Judah for the Principal Seat of Power in Israel; so he likewise chose his Ser­vant David a younger Branch of the Princely line to be Ruler of his People Israel *. Agreably to this he afterwards declar'd in a Great Assembly of all the Princes of the Tribes, with the Captains, Officers and mighty Men of Israel, 1 Chron. XXVIII. 4. Howbeit, the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the House of my Father, to be King over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the Ruler; and of the House of Judah, the House of my Father; and among the Sons of my Father, He liked me to make me King over all Israel.

GOD had indeed, before, instated Saul of ano­ther Family in this Royal Dignity. But upon his great Folly, Rashness, Prevarication and Rebellion against the LORD, who had so highly exalted him; it is said, The LORD repented that He had set him up to be King : And because that Saul had rejected the word of the LORD, therefore the LORD had rejected him from Reigning over Israel . Yea the Prophet Samuel plainly tells him, 1 Sam. XV. 28. The Lord hath rent the Kingdom of Israel from thee this Day, and hath given it to a Neighbour of thine that is better than Thou. And tho' King Saul [Page 6]had left behind him both a legitimate Female and Male Posterity; yet they were entirely excluded with Him, and their entail to the Crown cut off for ever. The poor rejected King seems indeed at length convinced of his Sin and Foolishness *: But his Repentance was alas too late to preserve the Kingdom and it's Suc­cession to his Royal Family: For the Prophet tells him; that the Strength of Israel would not lie, nor Repent: i e. The Great GOD wou'd not alter his declared Resolution in this matter.

BUT this better Neighbour was the excellent young DAVID the Son of Jesse. For now the Divine De­cree breaks forth concerning Him: And Samuel is quickly sent, even while Saul was yet alive, to the House of Jesse, to anoint his Son and signify his cer­tain designation to the Kingly Dignity.

BUT his Ascent to this was Gradual, and thro' a great variety of surprizing Turns and strenuous Op­positions.

HE was quickly called forth by Providence, into Publick Service. And then he gave a fair & charming Specimen of the Glory & Felicity of his future Go­vernment.

HE began with a most Heroick Act of Zeal and Courage in the Cause of GOD & Israel . And whither­soever he went he behaved himself wisely and prospe­red. Being set over the Men of War, he was ac­cepted in the sight of all the People, and even also in the sight of Sauls Servants, 1 Sam. XVIII. 5. At the 13th Verse, we read, that being made a Cap­tain over an Army, He went out and came in before the People, He behaved himsel wifely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him. And at the 30 v. That he behaved himself more wifely than all the. Servants of Saul; so that his Name was much set by.

[Page 7] SAUL indeed for this grew very jealous & fearful of him; and became his inveterate and perpetual Ene­my *: and so did Doeg the Edomite, who was set at the head of Saul's Servants , and other of his close Adherents: But they were generally such as gave no Reputation to their Cause or Opposition. In the 2 Samuel XXII. 5. He stiles them, The Floods of ungodly Men; or the Floods of Belial, as the Hebrew and the Margin have it. But all Israel and Judah loved DAVID . The Generality of the Nation loved him, and had their Eyes upon him, even when they dare hardly show it thro' the Violence and Rancour of his reigning Enemies. And what is usual in such a case, their Enmity and Fear excited them to such a Train of violent Proceedings, as extreamly weakned their own Esteem and Interest, increased his, and even helpt to pave the way for that Succession, which they did their utmost to prevent for ever.

IN the mean while, his Conduct was so exact and perfect, that even Saul himself acknowledg'd that DAVID was more Righteous than he . Abigail de­clares that evil had not been found in him all his days * And even Achish the King of Gath was so charmed with him; as he solemnly protested, that DAVID had been upright in his eyes, that he had found no evil in him, but that he was good in his sight even as an Angel of GOD . Yea so great a Love had many, even of the very Tribe of Saul for him; that in the most dangerous conjuncture which threatned his Per­son & Succession, they ventur'd to go over to him; protesting as in 1 Chron. XII. 18. Thine are we DA­VID, and on thy side thou Son of Jesse: Peace, Peace be to Thee: and Peace be to thy Helpers; for thy God helpeth thee.

Now all this was during the Life of Saul. And then afterwards—for many Years before his Accession [Page 8]to the Throne of Israel, and in the Reign of Saul's Successor, he gave a bright Example of an happy Go­vernment, while he ruled over his own Tribe of Judah only. He ruled them with such Superior Wisdom, Equity and Lenity, as exceedingly endear'd him to all his Subjects, in creased his Fame, and yet further re­commended him to the other Kingdom: And so con­summate was all his Management, that 'tis said in 2 Sam. III. 36. Whatsoever the King did, pleased all the People.

IN fine; As there was a pretty long Contest be­tween the House of Saul and the House of DAVID; The House of DAVID waxed stronger and stronger, and the House of Saul weaker & weaker: 'Till with the dying Struggle in the Reign of his Successor, the Power of the House of Saul dwindled away. And at the Death of Ishbosheth came all the Tribes of Israel, with all their mighty Men of Valour, and their famous Men for understanding of the Times, to know what Israel ought to do, They came to make DAVID King over all Israel. And as he made a solemn Compact with them before the LORD, they anointed him King over all their united Tribes: and there was Joy in Israel *.

THUS did the most high GOD provide himself a King among the Sons of Jesse . By a wonderful Train of various Providential Changes did he carry and advance him to the Throne: a great number of elder Branches of his Princely Family were passed by; and another Family before him in Possession set aside, in great Honour to him and in abundant Favour to that distinguished Nation. Thus did he chcose DAVID his Servant, and took him from his Father's House: He brought him to seed Jacob his People, and Israel his Inheritance .

[Page 9] AND thus he reigned over all Israel—. But how or in what particular Manner did He reign over them?

BY this Historical Expression at the Close of His Royal Life, there seems to be represen­ted a short Review of the Manner of it. Thus he reigned, i. e. Thus as we have above described; thus Couragiously & Wifely, thus Righteously & Graci­ously; thus kindly, gently, successfully and happily.

THIS Illustrious Person did not then change the Tenour of his happy Government, or disappoint the raised Expectations of the Tribes of the other King­dom, when they had unanimously called him to the Head of Empire. With his increased Power, He ex­tended his happy Influence to the utmost Reach of his Dominions. He sed his People according to the In­tegrity of his Heart and guided them by the Skil­fulness of his hands *.

BY the Books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, as also by the Psalms, it appears he had many Enemies both Foreign and Domestick; and not only before but also after his Accession to the Throne. And they in their Turns created him a deal of Trouble, and often interrupted the Calmness of his Reign. But in the Depths of his Distress, the Earth shook & shook, be­cause the LORD was wroth. And HE bow'd the Hea­vens and came down — And HE rode upon a Cherub and did fly — HE was seen upon the wings of the Wind — And HE sent out Arrows and discomfited and scattered his Enemies. HE sent from above — HE took and drew Him out of many Waters — HE delivered Him from them that hated Him — HE bro't Him forth into a large Place. — And then He sang with Triumph in the Day when the LORD deliver'd Him from the Hand of all his Enemies —

[Page 10] HE setteth me upon my High Places — Thou hast also given me the shield of thy Salvation: and thy Gentleness has made me Great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me. I have pursued mine Enemies and destroyed them: and turned not again till I had consumed them — I have wounded them, that they cou'd not arise: Yea they are fallen under my Feet. For thou hast girded me with Strength — Them that rose up against me, hast Thou subdued under me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine Enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me — Then did I beat them as small as the Dust of the Earth, and did spread them abroad. Thou also hast de­livered me from the strivings of my People: Thou hast kept me to be Head of the Nations. Strangers shall submit themselves to me: As soon as they hear, they shall be obedient — They shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close Place. It is GOD that avengeth me, and that brings down the People under me: and that bringeth me forth from mine Enemies. Thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me — Therefore, I will give Thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the Nations, and I will sing Praises to thy Name. He is the Tower of Sal­vation for his KING: and sheweth Mercy to his anointed; unto DAVID, and to his Seed for ever more.

THUS He Triumphed over all his own and his Kingdom's Enemies. And He went on & grew Great, and the LORD GOD of Hosts was with him: He established him King over Israel, and exalted his Kingdom for his People Israel's sake *. And the LORD was with Him wheresoever he went: He cut off all his Enemies out of his sight; and made him a great Name, like to the Name of the great Men that are in the Earth . And the Fame of DAVID went out out into all Lands: And the LORD bro't the Fear of Him upon all Nations .

[Page 11] WHILE He defended the remotest Borders, He enlarged & beautify'd the Capital of his wide Empire. He protected the Good & Virtuous: He preserv'd and countenanced the pure Religion: He executed Judg­ment and Justice unto all his People *. He abounded in acts of Royal Clemency & Bounty among them: He appeared their common Guide & Father: The King­dom greatly flourished under his Auspicious Manage­ment, as it never had done before: And so dear he grew on the account of his easy wise and happy Govern­ment; that at length they would not suffer him to go out to Battle, least he should thereby quench the Light of Israel . And in fine, among his last words, he very live­ly described his own excellent Reign and Spirit, 2 Sam. XXIII. 1—4. 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, over a Morning without Clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the Earth by clear shining after Rain.

THIS was DAVID the Son of Jesse, the Man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the GOD of Jacob: This he said, and thus he Reigned over all Israel.

BUT we must now come to consider,

2. KING DAVIDS Dying, and the peculiar Circum­stances of it. And he died in a good old Age; full of Days Riches and Honour.

AND must this Light of Israel at last be quenched! Must an End be put to such an happy Reign! And must so Great & Excellent a Prince, the Beauty of Israel be cut off by Death! Alas! how fading is the Glory of the Highest & Best of Men on Earth! The time must come when He must live no longer to be the great Delight & Blessing of his Subjects. Even the most consummate King DAVID himself must give up the Ghost, and leave his most affectionate People.

[Page 12] BUT then, he died In a good old Age; full of Days, Riches and Honour.

SINCE he must inevitably decline and die; it is in some respects desireable and a comfortable circumstance both to Himself, his Royal Relatives, and his loving People, that he should Die in his advanced Age, and in a Plenitude of Glory. On these accounts he seems to prosper even in Death it self: He prospers to the ut­most Point of his Existence here: And even the Moment that puts a Period to it, is the very Moment that up­on his own account he could in Wisdom wish for.

HE Dies in a good old Age —

KING DAVID Died in his 70th Year. His Strength & Vigour both of Mind and Body were beginning to Decay: And if He had lived longer, his Royal Life wou'd have grown less pleasant and easy to Him. For the Days of our Years are three­score Years and ten: and if by reason of Strength they be fourscore Years; yet is that Strength of theirs but Labour & Sorrow, Psal. XC. 10.

THE words in Hebrew signify, — A good & happy old Age *. And in short; It was as Old an Age, as a mortal, frail, good Man, would upon his own account desire to Live to; and as Good an Age as He would choose to Die in.

HE Died Full of Days, Riches & Honour.

HE had liv'd as many Days as rendered Life de­lightful & easy to Him: And He was full of Days to his entire Content & Satisfaction. As Eliphaz expresses it,—He comes to his Grave in a full Age, as a Shock of Corn comes in, in his Season, Job V. 26. In short, He was fully satisfyed with Life, and with the great [Page 13]Abundance of his Wealth & Glory . For his prodi­gious Riches — His Preparations for the Temple amounted to above 850 Millions Sterling . And he accounted he had Liv'd enough for his own Comfort and Renown: That he could not propose to acquire any more of either by living longer, and that he had nothing now to do but Die & enter into an infinitely happier & more glorious Kingdom.

IN fine, He began to feel the Impairs of Nature growing on him: And he wifely foresaw their hastning Advances, when he should Live with lower Comfort and Reign with lower Honour to himself, and less Advantage to his People. And just as he arrives to such a view as this—at such a Point he Dies. As a most wise and foreseeing Man could wish; that had fill'd his Days with Service, had perform'd his part with Honour, and was fully ripe for the Rewards of Heaven — He now goes off the Stage, in the Fullness of his Earthly Splen­dor: And he leaves his Kingdom & this lower World, as the Sun sometimes goes down, shining in his Strength and Brightness, just before he enters into a dark and sad Eclipse, that would soon have covered all his Glory.

THUS Prosperously King DAVID Reigned, and thus he also Died.

HOWEVER, the Light of such a King is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is to us, to see so bright and feel the Influence of so warm a Sun, as long as possible. His happy People cannot but wish a longer Day: And for themselves they can't but mourn when it comes to an end. With reluctant Sorrow they then remember how greatly they Rejoyc'd & Flourish'd in his benign Light & Influence for so short a Season. Their Pangs of Grief will rise, their Springs of Tears will flow, and a sad and gloomy Night will overshade their Minds.

[Page 14] LET us therefore hasten on in the

3 And last Place, To the Happy Succession of SO­LOMON his Son to his Fathers Throne. And SOLO­MON his Son Reigned in his stead.

KING DAVID had a most hopeful Son appointed to succeed Him in the Kingdom: and this was SOLOMON.

FOR the Crown of Israel was not only setled on DAVID, but also on his POSTERITY after Him; and this on certain Conditions for ever, 2 Sam. VII. 12,—16. And when thy Days be fulfilled, and Thou shalt sleep with thy Fathers; I will set up thy Seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy Bowels; and I will establish his Kingdom: He shall build an House for my Name, and I will establish the Throne of his Kingdom for ever, &c. And of the immediate Off­spring of DAVID, we find Him declaring in a Gene­ral Assembly of all the Princes & Nobles of Israel, 1 Chron. XXVIII. 4, — 7. The Lord hath chosen SOLOMON my Son to set on the Throne of the King­dom of the Lord over Israel — Moreover I will establish his Kingdom for ever; IF HE BE CONSTANT to do my Commandments and my Judgments as at this Day.

UPON SOLOMON therefore, were the Eyes of the Nation fixed. And upon his Royal Father's Demise, He peaceably ascended the Throne. With great Gladness did they make Him King; and anointed him unto the Lord, to be the chief Gover­nour. Then SOLOMON sat on the Throne of the Lord, as King instead of DAVID his Father, and prospered, and all Israel obeyed Him. And all the Princes and the mighty Men — submitted themselves to SOLOMON: * And his Kingdom was established greatly

[Page 15] IT would be beyond the Scope of our Text to ex­tend our views very far into SOLOMON'S Reign. I shall only mention the excellent and dying Charge of his Father, and the famous History of his own wise Petition in the Entrance of it: which was the auspicious Occasion of his extraordinary Wisdom, and of all the admired Glory & Happiness that were con­sequent on it.

THE excellent Blessing & Charge of his Father is in these remarkable words, 2 Chron. XXII. 11, 12, 13. Now my Son, the Lord be with thee, and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee. Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayst keep the law of the Lord thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments, which the Lord charged Moses with, concerning Israel: Be strong and of good courage, dread not, nor be dismayed.

AND the History of his pious Petition is in the Chapter immediately succeeding our Text, from the 7th to the 12th verse— In that night did God appear to SOLOMON, and said unto him, ask what I shall give thee. And SOLOMON said to God, Thou hast shew­ed great mercy to DAVID my Father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. Now, O Lord God, let thy promise to DAVID my Father be established: for thou hast made me King over a People, like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now Wisdom and Knowledge, that I may go out and come in be­fore this People: for who can judge this thy People that is so great? And God said to SOLOMON, Be­cause this was in thine heart and thou hast not asked riches, wealth or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked Wisdom and Knowledge for thy self, that thou mayst judge my People, over whom I have made thee King: Wis­dom and Knowledge is granted to thee, and I will give thee Riches and Wealth, and Honour, such as [Page 16]none of the Kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

THIS was SOLOMON the Son of DAVID, that Reigned in his stead. And the Kingdom quickly saw that the Wisdom of GOD was in him to do Judgment . And also Hiram King of Tyre, who was ever a Lover of his Father DAVID, and his firm and faithful Allie, Rejoyced greatly and said, Because the Lord hath loved his People, he hath made Thee King over them: And Blessed be the Lord this Day, which hath given to DAVID a wise Son over this Great People.

AND thus have we considered the words in their First Importance; as they respected the Reign and Death of DAVID, and the Happy Succession of his Son SOLOMON.

WE now Proceed in the II. Place, TO Apply them to the Great Event of Providence before us; in the late Reign and Death of our most Gracious Sovereign KING GEORGE the I, of ever Glorious Memory, and the Happy Suc­cession of his Son KING GEORGE the II, our present rightful Sovereign, to his Fathers Throne.

BUT you are doubtless very sensible, that I have in a great Measure prevented my self from inlarging much on this paralell and illustrious Argument. And surely you could not but think, that I have been all this while treating in a figurative sort of manner; not of DAVID and SOLOMON alone, but of These Two Great British Kings, who fill our Hearts with the mingling Passions of Grief & Joy, this Day.

AND I must confess my self both uncapable, and unprovided of Materials also, to pretend to draw with [Page 17]any Accuracy their transcendant Characters. Since I had the Happiness to see them, which was about 10 Years agoe, I have not been able to procure any other than broken and interrupted hints of their Royal History. I must therefore wholly rely on these, with what I have learnt concerning them before my returning Hither, together with that happy Influence of theirs which has reached these far distant Shoars since my Arrival. And tis but a very small part of these, that I have either Time to recollect or lay before you. Something in Gratitude and Honour to them, we may briefly touch, under those Three consentaneous Heads we have been Discoursing on.

  • 1. THE Character and Reign of our late Blessed Sovereign.
  • 2. HIS Decease, and the Circumstances of it.
  • 3. THE Happy Succession of his Son to the Throne.

1. THE Character and Reign of our late Blessed Sovereign KING GEORGE the I.

WE all doubtless know, that he was the Son of Nobles. He by Both his Parents descended of a Race of Ancient Princes, both in Germany and Britain. His immediate Father was one of the most Powerful Princes of the Empire: And his immediate Mother, was in the latter part of her Life, the nearest of any Protestant Royal Blood, to the Crown of Great Britain.

HE was of a comely, florid Countenance, like DAVID. Of great Wisdom, Courage, Resolution, Steadiness, Integrity and Clemency. Well vers'd in the Art of War; but naturally of Peaceful inclinations: which mixture of Qualities, is agreed, as one observes, by the Experience of all Ages, to make the best and most glorious Princes. So remarkable for a strict Re­gard to Justice; that agreable to his own Judgment [Page 18]and Disposition, his MOTTO was — That The Glory of a Prince consists in doing Justice.

A Person that appeared always to have a mighty Sense of the Publick Interest; and of the great Duty incumbent on him, in his High Station, to promote the Welfare of the World. His Eyes were always fix'd on the Affairs of his own Dominions, and of the Na­tions round about him. — Close and Indefatigable in his Application to Publick Business — Steady to his Friends and Allies — Resolute to maintain the Faith of Treaties — Frugal of the Publick Monies — Temp­erate and Sober — and in all his Oeconomy exactly Regular.

FOR Religion — a thorow Protestant — Full of Christian Charity & Genorosity — An utter Enemy Christian Charity & Genorosity — An utter Enemy to Slavery and Persecution — Zealous for the true Religion, and the Cause of Civil & Religious Liberty. In this Noble Cause he oft expos'd his Person, at the Head of Armies, and in his Earlier Days, in diverse Parts of Europe.

WHILE he ruled in his own Electorate; He show'd the Excellence of his Political Spirit, Principles and Conduct; in the Shining Prudence, Equity & Mild­ness of his Administration: That he was tho't to be the most beloved by his Subjects, of any Prince in the whole World. He looked on their Wealth & Hap­piness, as the Source and Basis of his own. There were no Divisions or Factions among them, by reason of his Impartial Destinction of Merit: And instead of Murmuring against him, they would be always telling Instances of his exemplary Justice and Moderation.

HE was even then accounted without a Rival, the Wisest Prince of Germany. And seemed to be the Person ordain'd & prepar'd by Heaven, for the raising Great Britain to that high Rank & Dignity, which it shou'd always have in the World: Which is to be the Tutelar Head of the Reformed Interest every where, and to hold the Ballance of Power in Europe.

[Page 19] IN Short, HE was every way accomplished for the Government of this Great & Mighty Kingdom. And both before, and after the Decease especially, of his most Excellent MOTHER; To HIM were the Eyes of the better part of the Nation turned, for the Security of their Precious Liberties & pure Religion; And in these of all that is dear to them both as Men & Christians.

THRO' a great variety of Revolutions, the Crown came to be, in a most Firm and Solemn manner, in­tailed on him, and on his Protestant Posterity for ever. And thro' many Violent and Mighty Oppositions, He came at last, by a Surprizing Turn of Providence, to take the Possession of it.

IN that Gloomy part of the preceeding Reign; when the Foundations of the Earth seemed to be out of Course, and the Enemies of his Succession to prevail & triumph over all Opposition: We were ready then to say with the Mournful Prophet * ‘The LORD has led and bro't us into Darkness, and not into Light. He hath builded against us, and compassed us with Gall and Travel. He hath set us in dark places as they that are Dead of old. He hath hedged us about, that we cannot get out. He has made our chain heavy. He has inclosed our ways with hewen Stone: He hath made our Paths crooked. He has filled us with Bitterness: And we said, our Strength and our Hope is perished from the LORD. Thou hast made us the Off-scouring and Refuse in the midst of the People. All our Enemies have opened their Mouths against us. Fear and a Snare is come upon us; Desolation and Destruction. The Light of our Eyes, the Breath of our Nostrils, the anointed of the LORD is taken in their Pits; of whom we said, under his Shadow we shall live among the Heathen!’

THEN the LORD turned again the Captivity of Zion; and we were like them that dreamed. Our Mouth was filled with Laughter, and our Tongue with Sing­ing. [Page 20]Then said they among the Heathen, The Lord has done great things for them. — The LORD has done Great things for us, whereof we are Glad. .

AND for my Part — I shall never forget the Joy that swell'd my Heart; when in the Splendid Pro­cession at his Coronation, preceeded by all the Nobles of the Kingdom, and then his Son & Heir apparent, our other Hope, with their Ermine Robes & Coro­nets — That Royal Face at length appear'd, which Heaven had in that Moment sent to Save these Great Nations from the Brink of Ruin. Nor do I speak it as my case alone, but as what appear'd to be the equal Transport of the Multitudes round about me. The Tears of Joy seem'd to rise and swim in every' Eye: And we were hardly able to give a Shout, thro' the labouring Passions that were swelling in us.

AND how did he Begin and carry on his ex­pected Reign? — With the same steady, wise & be­nign Tenour, as he us'd to Rule in his other Empire.

HE began with an open Declaration of his Reso­lution to maintain our Religion, Properties, Laws and Liberties: And as He was never known to deceive; He has all along made Good his Royal Word.

BY industrious Applications and wise Treaties, He soon retrieved the Nation's Commerce, which is it's very Strength and Soul; and that had been miserably given away by Articles, at the Close of the fore-go­ing Reign. He brake the Chains of his distressed loyal Subjects. He appeared constantly to be their affectionate & common Father. He ever chose the wisest & most approv'd Counsellors: such as He knew had shown themselves the Nation's steady Friends in the darkest & most trying Times: And He ever carefully improved their Advices for the Publick Welfare. He never acted against the known Laws or Customs, but ever strictly made them the Rule of Government.

[Page 21] FIRM and resolute to assert the Rights & Honours of the Kingdom; He was neither ambitious of lar­ger Empire Abroad, nor of greater Power at Home. He ask'd no more of his People's Treasures, than what they themselves shou'd think were needful for their own Advantage & Preservation. And what is one of the distinguishing Glories of his Reign; He never dif­fer'd from or displeased his Parliament. He accoun­ted them his greatest Council: And it was wonderful to see the constant mutual Affection and Harmony between them. I don't remember that He ever made any Proposal to them which they did not chearfully comply with, excepting one, which was to lessen his own Prerogative. And yet never had a British King a greater Power among his Subjects. As an Argument of their highest Value for Him, and their most perfect Confidence in his Equity & Goodness; they desired and enacted that, for a certain Time, when the Pub­lick Safety requir'd it, He shou'd have a greater Pow­er over them than any of the Kings before him. His Reign is an illustrious Instance; That the most Indulgent Princes are the most Powerful; while the Ambitious raise their People's Jealousies, destroy their Confidence, and grow weak & impotent.

HE most wisely improv'd the Naval Power of the Kingdom: and has carried it to an higher Pitch of Glory than the Seas have ever seen. By this has He spread a Terror thro' the World: with a single Blow prevented bloody & expensive Wars, and put a Period to them in the very Moment, and by the very Action that began them. Hereby has He encouraged, pro­tected and strengthned his Allies; disappointed the De­signs of invading Enemies; broken pernicious Leagues; held the Ballance among the Nations; and preserved them in Order & Tranquillity.

IN short, HE was in some respects a Father to the Kings of the Earth; or at least a powerful & decisive Moderator and Umpire among them. The Eyes of the greatest Princes were turned to Him: To Him [Page 22]they gave Ear, and waited: they kept silence at his Councils: And their publick Resolutions were sus­pended upon his Determinations.

AND as for us in these far distant Ends of his Dominions—We have in a great measure felt the In­fluence of his happy Reign.

THRO' his safe Protection we still enjoy those pre­cious Charter-Privileges, which our Fore-Fathers left their Native pleasant Land, and came over hither into a miserable Thicket to procure; which were So­lemnly confirmed to us by the Glorious KING WILLIAM and QUEEN MARY of Eternal Me­mory *; and are comprehensive of every thing on Earth that is Dear and Valuable to us.

WHEN we contended in the dark, even about what was tho't his own Prerogative — while he knew we did it out of no Disaffection to Him, but from a Dif­ference of Judgment only; He like a Tender Father gently overlooked our Infirmities: He confirm'd our Liberties, and disappointed the earnest Expectations of our envious Enemies. And tho' they daily misrepre­sent our Actions, and exaggerate every petty Fault among us; they could never make any Impressions on Him to our Disadvantage. He had been well inform'd that there is not a single Person of our Denomination Here, who did not earnestly desire His Accession to the Throne and the Continuance of it in his Serene House for ever.

THUS Liv'd & Reign'd this Greatest & most Ad­mired of Princes in his Day: The Darling & Protection of his People: The great Support of the Reformed Interest: And the Arbiter of Europe.

AND thus does it become a grateful People, at the Sorrowful Conclusion of the Reign of so Great and [Page 23]Good a KING, to reflect upon the signal Wisdom, Goodness, and Happy Influence of his Royal Care and Government: That they may mention. Him with de­served Honour and preserve a dear & precious Memory of his Happy Reign. But in all these Great Vircues and Actions, we must behold that SUPERIOUR BE­ING, by whom Kings Reign & Princes decree Justice; and ascribe to HIM the Praise & Honour of all the Ex­cellence that appeared in our late incomparable So­vereign, and of all the Great and Happy things that were performed by him for his People.

AND we must now come to consider

2. HIS Decease, and the Circumstances of it.

THO' Kings are as Gods on Earth; yet even the Greatest & Best must Die like Men, and fall to the Dust as Humane Princes. And how hath the LORD covered the Daughter of our Zion with a Cloud in his Anger! How has he cast down from Heaven to the Earth the Beauty of Israel! He has made our Strength to f! In the midst of all his prosperous Designs and Labours for the Publick Peace & Wellfare; His Breath goes forth at once: He returneth to his Earth: In that very Day his Tho'ts perish.

AND yet he Died, like King DAVID, In a Good old Age, but Two Years short of His; and both full of Days, Riches and Honour. He died in the Hight of Wisdom, Strength and Usefulness. What a wonder­fully Flourishing & Wealthy Kingdom has he left be­hind him? And their unmeasurable Riches were as de­voted to him as if they were all his own. In fine, How full of Honour? — How fresh was his Glory in him? In the Perfection of his Reign, and in the full Respect and Honours of his People, and of all the Nations round about; He goes off the Stage of Life before he fades, and leaves them to bewail his Loss with an an­swerable Fullness of Regret & Sorrow.

[Page 24] IT becomes us to Lament his Leaving us — who was our Best & Greatest Friend on Earth: And especi­ally at such a Time as this; when he was the Soul and Center of that Great Alliance, which preserves the Na­tions from Confusion; and was just a Settling their uni­versal Tranquillity. Let our Eyes run down with Rivers — For the Joy of our Heart is ceased: Our Dance is turned into Mourning: And the Crown is fallen from our Head; even the Crown of our Glory! *

BUT for our Support and Comfort, Let us now di­vert our Eyes from this Gloomy Prospect; and Consider

3. THE Happy Succession of his Son to his Throne.

A PRINCE of a Winning Countenance, and of a Manly Aspect & Deportment. Who has a consider­able Treasure of useful Learning: And is a great Mas­ter of History, especially of his own Kingdoms; where­by he is happily furnished with the Knowledge of the best Examples, and above all his Royal FATHER's, to Rule them with mutual Glory & Satisfaction.

A PRINCE of Great Life & Courage: Who has high notions of the Wisdom, Power & Goodness of the British Government: Who ascends the Throne in the Fullness of his Strength and Vigour: And has had a vast advantage to observe the State & Genius of his People; and from his FATHER's Admirable Pattern to learn to rule them.

[Page 25] IN short, a PRINCE of the greatest Hopes, to pre­serve those Essential Principles of Publick Liberty, up­on which his own Succession is happily introduc'd and stands: And on which depends the Wellfare, and even all that is Dear and Sacred to these Mighty Nations.

AND in HIM — a most admirable PRINCESS — the Reigning Glory of Her Sex; for Beauty, Know­ledg, Wit, Discretion, the Sweetest Temper; the most Chearful, Affable and Ingaging Countenance and Carriage; and for every charming Virtue. In fine, Who in her Bloom of Youth prefer'd her Chast Reli­gion to all the Glories of the Imperial Family, and became the Love & Admiration of every Protestant.

AND Both These Blessed with a Numerous and most Hopeful Off-spring

HAPPY art thou O Israel! Who is like unto Thee, O People saved by the Lord! Who is the shield of thine help! and the Sword of thine excellence! And thine Enemies shall be found Liars to Thee: And thou shalt tread upon their High Places.

AND thus have we finished our Discourse on the Heads proposed.

AND now what Remains — But that we continue, as there can be no doubt we shall, the same Affectionate and Loyal Subjects to KING GEORCE the II, as we have always been to his ROYAL FATHER.

AND that we earnestly & continually Pray for HIM.

THAT the GOD of all Grace & Blessing, wou'd poure into his Royal Heart, even a double Portion of his FATHER's Spirit. That he wou'd give him Wis­dom as an Angel of GOD, as he did to SOLOMON; and a Largeness of Heart, as the Sand on the Shores of his extended Empire. That he may Reign in Righ­teousness and Mercy over all his Subjects, and make [Page 26]them happy in his equal and benign Influence. That the LORD wou'd Strengthen his Kingdom for Him: Magnify him exceedingly, as he did King SOLOMON, in the sight of all his People; and bestow upon Him such Royal Majesty, as has not been on any before him in the British Israel.

THAT Himself & his Posterity may for ever send us in these American Ends of the Earth, those to Govern, that are of Sober Conversation, wise in Conduct, & of gene­rous Principles in Religion; who will value our Consti­tution, and own our Ministry and Churches, to be true and valid, as we do theirs. And that Himself & They may for ever continue Sacred our Precious CHARTER; which with the PROTESTANT SUCCESSION, the Two inestimable Legacies of King WILLIAM and Queen MARY, will render their Names most Blessed to all Posterity. And as they Both come and stand on the same Foundation; may they together abide before the LORD for ever: under Him the joint Protection and Security of all that is valuable to us, against those that envy and seek to strip us of those Precious Things, which we and our Fathers have so Dearly Purchased, thro' a world of Peril, Labour, Toil and Hardship, Sweat & Blood, most Cruel Sufferings from Heathens, and the Lives of Multitudes of our Dearest Friends and Relatives.

IN fine — ‘THAT GOD would give the KING and QUEEN his Judgments, and his Righte­ousness to their ROYAL OFF-SPRING. That He may Judge his People with Righteousness, and his Poor with Judgment. That He may save the Children of the Needy, and break in pieces the Oppressor. That He may come down upon us, in his gracious Influence, like Rain on the mowen Grass, & as Showers that water the Earth. That in his Days the Righteous may flourish; and abundance of Peace, so long as the Moon en­dureth. That He may preserve his Dominions also from Sea to Sea; and from the River to the [Page 27]Ends of the Earth. That we who dwell in the Wilderness may be happy in Bowing before Him; and his Enermies may lick the Dust. That He may deliver the Needy when He crieth; the Poor also and him that hath no helper. That He may re­deem our Souls from Deceit and Violence; and that our Privileges, which are as dear as our Blood, may be precious in his sight. That He may live; and may daily be Praised: And that his Name may be continued as long as the Sun; that Mul­titudes may be Blessed in Him; and that all the Nations and Countries of his mighty Empire may call Him Blessed.’

AND now — Blessed be the LORD GOD, the GOD of Israel; who only doth wondrous things! and Blessed be his GLORIOUS NAME for ever! and let the Whole Earth be filled with his GLORY! AMEN, and AMEN.


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