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Mr. Lewis's ELECTION SERMON May 25, 1748.

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Good Rulers the FATHERs of their People, And the Marks of Honour due to them: A SERMON Preach'd at BOSTON: In the AUDIENCE Of His EXCELLENCY WILLIAM SHIRLEY, Esq GOVERNOUR; The Honourable His MAJESTY's COUNCIL, And House of REPRESENTATIVES , Of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in NEW-ENGLAND: On the DAY of Electing His MAJESTY's COUNCIL May 25, 1748.

By DANIEL LEWIS, A. M. Pastor of the Church in Pembroke.

Job 29.14. I put on RIGHTEOUSNESS, and It cloathed me, my Judgment was as a Robe and a Diadem.
Isaiah 49.23. Kings shall be thy nursing Fathers.
Mal. 1.6. A Son honoureth his Father, &c.

BOSTON: Printed by John Draper, Printer to His Excellency the GOVERNOUR and COUNCIL, for Daniel Gookin in Marlborough Street, over against the South Meeting-House.

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ORDERED, THAT John Cushing and John Otis, Esqrs. give the Thanks of this Board to the Rev'd Mr. Daniel Lewis, for his Sermon preached Yesterday before the General Court, being the Anni­versary for the Election of Coun­cellors; and desire a Copy thereof for the Press.

W. Shirley.
Copy examin'd, per J. Willard, Secr.
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AN ELECTION SERMON.

ISAIAH XXII. 21.And I will clothe him with thy Robe, and strengthen him with thy Girdle; and I will commit thy Government into his Hand, and he shall be a FATHER to the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the House of Judah.’

I Need not tell any here the Occasion of this Anniversary Solemnity; It being too well known already to make this necessary; but shall chuse rather, in the Words of another, spoken, not upon the same, yet on an high and great Occasion, a to say, (partly in order to [Page 6] obtain, if it may be, the Candour of this august Assembly; and partly, to apologize for the many Defects which my Hearers will doubtless discover in the present Performance) That ‘So many eminent Pens have gone before in this Way, as have left it very difficult for those who come after, either to say any Thing which they have not said, or not to say, that much worse which they have.

Upon being informed, that our Honourable Rulers (sure I am, very unexpected to me) had Ordered I should Preach before Them on this solemn Occasion, my Thoughts fixed upon the Words read; which, if God shall please to afford his gracious Assistance, may be profitably handled, and appear to be a Word in Season.

In order to the clearer Understanding of them, it will be requisite to look back to the 15th Verse of the Chapter, where, and in the Verses following, the Prophet is directed to go and deliver a sad Message to Shehna, to tell him, that though he made Prepa­ration for a pompous Sepulture in the Place where he then was, he should surely be violently tossed like a Ball into a large Country, and there die, and be suc­ceeded in his Office by one better than he, meaning Eliakim. As to Shehna and Eliakim ‘Both of them had been Ministers of State under King Hezekiah, Shehna having been his Scribe or Secretary, and Eliakim the Master of his Houshold. And their History (says a learned Man b) as far as may be collected from the Words of the Prophet, ap­pears to be thus. Shehna being a very wicked Man was a fit Person to serve the Lusts and [Page 7] evil Inclinations of Manasseh in the first Part of his Reign, and therefore was made his first Mi­nister Of State; and Eliakim, who was of a quite contrary Character, was quite laid aside. But on the Revolution that happened on the coming of the Army of the Assyrians, Shehna was taken Pri­soner with his Master, and carried to Babylon, and there detained in Captivity to his Death. And therefore Manasseh on his Repentance and return to Jerusalem, having resolved on other Measures, called for Eliakim, and put the Management of all his Affairs into his Hands, who being a Person of great Wisdom, Justice and Piety soon re-established them upon the same Foot as they had been in the Days of Hezekiah, and so preserved them in Peace and Prosperity all his Time, to the great Honour of the King, and the Good of all his People, and therefore he hath the Character given him of being a Father to the Inhabitants of Je­rusalem, and to the House of Judah.’ Thus he.

The Robe and Girdle mentioned in the Text, are Ensigns of Authority. The Former very peculiar to Princes and Magistrates, hence it is said concerning the King of Israel, and Jehosophat the King of Ju­dah, that they sat each on his Throne, having put on their Robes.c—Purple was anciently the Colour of the Garment or Robe worn by the Chief Ruler among the Romans: So that to send any one the Purple was in Effect to declare him Emperour d The Latter, viz. the Girdle, is likewise a Mark of Distinction; the Word signifies Strength e, as well as [Page 8] a Girdle, because a Girdle causeth Strength. A good Ruler is the Strength, the Girdle of his Poeple. For by his wise and just Administration, an enseebled State will be cherished and invigorated, confirmed and united, as a Girdle or Belt doth bind and strength­en the Loins of him that wears it.

It follows,

And I will commit thy Government into his Hand. Civil Government is not an accidental Thing, which Men have hit upon by Chance, but is of Divine Institution; By Me Kings reign f. The Powers that be, are ordained of God, says the Apostle g. And this Ordination is so necessary that Public Communities cannot subsist without it. Anarchy unavoidably tends to Confusion and Ruin. When there was no King in Israel, 'tis said every Man did that which was right in his own Eyes. h And when this comes to be the Case, a worse State of Things can hardly be imagined.

Whereas, When the Civil Magistrate is to those under his Inspection, what Eliakim is told here in the Text, he should be to the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the House of Judah, viz. A FATHER, there will be more than a seint Image of the happy Times that were in Solo­mon's Reign, when it is said, Judah and Israel dwell safely, every Man under his Vine, and under his Fig-Tree. i The Appellation here fixed upon Eliakim is a fit Title for a good Governour. k And therefore you may be sure, that in the Progress of this Discourse I shall not forget it.

[Page 9]What has been said upon the Words under Consi­deration, opens the Way for these Two Observations, which I shall offer from them,

Obs. I That there are outward Marks of Distinction and Honour, and Ensigns of Authority, which especially belong to the Civil Magistrate.

Obs. II That Good Rulers are, and should be FATHERS to their People.

I shall handle both these Points with as much Bre­vity as I can conveniently; supposing that the Elections to be made this Day of His MAJESTY'S COUNCIL, will not admit of a long Discourse from the Pulpit. The

1st Obs. is this, That there are outward Marks of Distinction and Honour, and Ensigns of Authority which especially belong to the Civil Magistrate.

Notice is here taken of the Robe, Girdle, or Belt, and elsewhere l of the Diadem; all which, as also Crowns, Scepters, Gold Chains, &c. are Emblems of Honour and Authority; and therefore Princes and Potentates, have by the unanimous Vote of Mankind, had these Marks of Respect conferred upon them. All Ages have been content, that those who govern them should be distin­guished from the Vulgar, and make a more splendid Appearance upon all Occasions than a Peasant. And if they do not, they are apt to be look'd upon with Contempt. ‘History (says one m) makes report of a very famous King, who coming to Egypt, a mighty Concourse of people flocked from all Parts to see [Page 10] him, but when they found him without any State, an old man in a mean Habit, they went away Laugh­ing, none regarding him.’

But not to inlarge here; I shall proceed to offer a few Reasons, why those who are advanced to Places of Power (as Civil Rulers are) should be distinguished from others, by external marks of Grandeur. And they are these that follow,

1. To be a Motive to Rulers to excite them to Vi­gilance and Care for the Good and Welfare of those, on whose Account they have a just Title to those Ensigns of Authority. A Ruler is not prefer'd to that Dignity only to give him Liesure to be slothful and indolent, put in order to inspire him with Resolutions of acting in his exalted Station agreable to it: So that the Ho­nours done to him ought, and should be so many Monitors to him, to lay out himself with so much the greater Diligence and Fidelity in serving the Publick.

I believe the high Dignity Joseph was raised to in Egypt, was a considerable Incentive to him to be very active in promoting the Welfare of that Kingdom. For after the Account that is given of the Marks of Respect Pharaoh put upon him, by placing him next to him­self in Authority, and giving him his Ring from off his Finger, clothing him with sine Linnen, and putting a gold chain about his Neck; I say, after all this, it is said, that Joseph went out over all the Land of Egypt n. He forthwith applied himself to the Duties belonging to his Station, and did not content himself at Home in the enjoyment of the Honours conferred upon him, but by [Page 11] his Diligence and Activity in his Office, let the King who had thus advanced him see, that his Favours were not misplac'd.

Indeed, Civil Rulers have much better, stronger and higher Motives to be public Benefactors than any Ex­ternal Honours, that are done them, can be; such as their being in a Capacity more extensively to serve their Generation, than those who move in a lower Sphere; and the high Reward that shall be given them in Hea­ven, if they do it religiously. But still outward Marks of Respect and Honour have their use and influence to this Purpose.

2. The publick Honours paid to Civil Rulers are partly designed for the Safeguard and Security of their Persons. If Rulers behave in their Office suitable to the Dignity of it, and discharge with a laudable Fidelity the Trust reposed in them, the State ought to be more than a little concerned to preserve and protect them. Men in high Stations are sometimes exposed to the Rage of unthinking People, and malign'd by envenom'd Tongues, while at the same Time they are endeavour­ing faithfully to serve the Public; Is it a small Thing that thou hast brought us up out of a Land that floweth with Milk and Honey, to kill us in this Wilderness, ex­cept thou make thy self altogether a Prince over us?—Wilt thou put out the Eyes of these Men? We will not come up, o is Language that the meekest Man on Earth, and one of the best Rulers, was treated with, by an obliged, tho' ungrateful People. And it were well, if nothing of this Spirit were now to be found in the World, The Civil Ruler being ‘the Guardian [Page 12] of the publick Quiet; appointed to restrain Violence,—and to preserve that Order and Peace which preserves the World: It is apparent, on these, and many other Accounts, what Hazards a good Ma­gistrate runs; and therefore the Retinue of State which belongs to him, is such as may, at the same Time, be his Ornament and Defence.’

3. and Lastly, External Marks of Honour are like­wise appropriated to Rulers, in order to promote in those under their Authority a proper Esteem and Re­gard for them. Not that it is to be supposed any are so weak as to be influenced to behave dutifully towards Rulers, and treat them with Reverence merely on the Account of the outward Splendor, annexed to their Office, but that this may be some Inducement to People to shew them that Respect and pay that Defference to them which is justly due to their Character.

None then should envy the civil Ruler those Marks of Honour which the Oracles of God entitle him to, and the Wisdom of Nations hath thought it proper he should enjoy: Since such valuable Ends as we have heard may be served hereby.

I now proceed to the

II. Obs. That Good Rulers are, and should be FATHERS to their People.

'Twas my Purpose chiefly to have insisted upon this, but the Time, I perceive, will not admit of much [...] here; and therefore shall content myself as briefly as I can,

[Page 13]1. To shew, Wherein Civil Rulers should be FATHERS to their People. And,

2. What Obligation they are under to be so.

1. I am to shew, Wherein Civil Rulers should be FATHERS to their People.

This is an Appellation given in the Scripture to Persons cloathed with Publick Authority. Hence KINGS are called nursing Fathers; and Naaman's Servant addressed him in the same Stile of Respect and Reverence, who was a great Man with his Master (the King of Syria) and Honourable, p My Father, if the Prophet had had thee do some great Thing, &c. And 'tis related of Augustus (who perhaps was one of the best and wisest of all the Roman Emperors, before the Christian Religion was publickly countenanced in that State,) that when ‘the People offer'd him the Title of Lord, he re­fused it, and thought the Title of Pater Patria more honourable’ q, as indeed it was.

Now there are several Ways wherein Civil Rulers, (who are Political Fathers) may, and should mani­fest their paternal Regards to those who are under their Authority,

1. By their Love to them. The Love of natural Parents to their Children is exceeding great: Can a Woman forget her sucking Child r? Intimating that [Page 14] it is a very unlikely Thing, and next to an Impossibility, David wish'd he might have died instead of his Son Ab­solom; Would God, says he, I had died for thee s.

And shall no Footsteps of paternal Affection be found in those who are political Fathers? Since both are stiled Fathers, may it not be justly expected, that there should be something similar in them? Certainly, civil Rulers may be look'd upon rather as Tyrants than FA­THERS, if they be not cordial Lovers of those whom they rule over: God be gracious to thee my Son, said Joseph to his Brother Benjamin t. Which, perhaps, was spo­ken rather as Superiours were wont to do to those below them u than because he was his near Relation; tho' it may include both. If the former be only meant, then it shews great Regard, Love and Affection, civil Rulers ought to have for those who are Subject to their Authority

The Truth is, if political Fathers have no real Affecti­on for their People, 'tis not probable that there will be any mutual Confidence between them. They will always be jealous one of the other; and the One will be apt to rule as Tyrants, and the Other to obey as Slaves; because they cannot help it.

So that it is necessary, in order to answer the Ends of civil Government, that Rulers should behave towards their People, with the Tenderness and Affection of FA­THERS. So did Nehemiah, David, and Jehoshaphat, and divers others in the first Chair of Government, which are found on Scripture Record.

[Page 15]And in the same Way, it is still the Wisdom and Duty of civil Fathers to conduct themselves towards their Peo­ple: And if they do so indeed, doubtless they will find their Account in it, sooner or later.

2. Civil Rulers should shew themselves Fathers to their People, by protecting them to the utmost of their Power. This they should do both in Times of War and Peace.

(1) In a Time of War. ‘In such a World as this is, there is no living without War’; tho' the Conse­quents of it are commonly very dreadful; every Battle of the Warriour being with confused Noise, and Gar­ments rolled in Blood w.

Therefore civil Rulers (as Fathers of their People) should do all they can, to preserve them from so great Calamity; as natural Parents, we may well suppose, would, to save their Children from Destruction. Hence 'tis their Duty to make seasonable Provision for their Safety; and this they may do, not only by using all proper Means to preserve them from the Miseries of War; but likewise by making, in Times of Peace, sui­table Preparation for their Defence, in Case a War should happen. 'Twas prudent Advice King Asa gave his People, and well becoming a Father of his Country, Let us build these Cities, and make about them Walls, and Towers, Gates and Bars, while the Land is yet be­fore usx.

(2) Political Fathers should be careful to promote the outward Prosperity of their People in Times of Peace. [Page 16] How much of the Spirit of a true Patriot breathed forth in these Words, which proceeded from royal Lips; and how much of the Tenderness and Affection of a Father did they discover towards his People? And David spoke unto the Lord, when he saw the Angel that smote the People, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly, but these Sheep, what have they done? Let thine Hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my Father's House y. As a tender Parent will hazard his own Life to save his Child's, so this good King had the Welfare of his Subjects so much at Heart, that he was even willing to redeem their Lives with the Loss of his own: These Sheep, what have they done? Let thine Hand, I pray thee, be against me.

Civil Fathers, it may be, never act more becoming their Character, than when they manifest a true Concern for their People's Prosperity, and how they may most effectually promote it.

And here allow me to say, that a necessary Step to this Purpose, is to provide good Laws, and to take due Care that they be well executed; Laws that encourage In­dustry, and are designedly calculated to put Marks of Disgrace upon the Idle and Lazy; that Children born of needy Parents, be put out to Trades, and brought up in honest Callings: Hereby the Publick, in all Probability, will, not only be eased of a Bill of Charge, but reap the Benefit of their diligent Labours. That good Order, and seasonable Hours be kept in Houses of publick Enter­tainment; and Intemperance (the growing Iniquity of the present Age) be supprest, if possible. Especially, that the LORD'S-DAY be religiously observed, and kept [Page 17] as a Day of holy Rest. In a Word, that ALL Immora­lities, of what Kind soever be discountenanced and pu­nished.

And while I am speaking of these Things, I cannot pass over in Silence, the late excellent ACT made con­cerning profane Cursing and Swearing; for which, I doubt not, all good Men are very thankful, and bless God, that he was pleased to put it into the Hearts of our honourable Rulers to make such a noble and heroic STAND against so prevailing an Iniquity.

And to encourage (if need be) our civil Fathers in their future Endeavours to reform the Lives and Manners of this People; I would further say, that the ACT re­ferred to, hath been thought (by those who are most likely to know) to have given a considerable Check to that bold Transgression. It were to be wish'd, that some­thing like it had been also, or may be invented, more ef­fectually to suppress Drunkenness; a Sin which threatens Ruin to this Land.

3. Civil Rulers, as Fathers of their People, should use much Prudence in exercising their Authority. It is said, concerning David, that he behaved himself wisely—and he was acceptable in the Sight of all the People, and also in the Sight of Saul's Servants y, The whole Court, it seems, admired him for his discreet Conduct: And in such a Society, to behave so as to be universally applau­ded, is no common Thing.

For Want of prudent Management, Rehoboam lost the greater Part of his Subjects. Had he given them good [Page 18] Words, and followed the sage Advice offered him by his grave Counsellors, the unhappy Separation that en­sued, might (humanely speaking) have been prevented:

But his Conduct was such, even when his all, in a Manner (as to his Regal Authority) lay at Stake, that the worst of his Enemies could not wish him to act more foolishly than he did.

It was said by the old Men, who had been of his Father's Council, If thou wilt be a Servant unto this People this Day, and speak good Words to them, then they will be thy Servants forever z. But he had not the Wisdom to take their Advice, and thereupon great Confusion followed. See here, How requisite Prudence, and wise Conduct is in Civil Rulers.

4. and Lastly, Civil Rulers should manifest their Paternal Care of their People, by setting before them a good Example.

'Tis not easy to imagine what a mighty Influence a pious Ruler's Example is apt to have upon those who are under his Authority. Children, we see, have a strong Propensity to approve and practice what is done by their Parents: And the Case is much the same with Respect to Civil Fathers; THE EXAMPLE OF THE KING being a Maxim that most seem willing to conform unto.

Therefore it must needs have a great Tendency to promote the best Intersts of a People when their politi­cal Fathers are Persons of eminent Piety, and bright Examples of pure and undefiled Religion.

[Page 19]The Prophet Elisha would have had no Regard to the distressed Host of Israel, and those that were with them, had it not been for the Respect he bore to King Jehosaphat on the account of his great Piety; And Elisha said unto the King of Israel, What have I to do with thee?—Surely were it not that I regard the Presence of Jehosaphat, the King of Judah, I WOULD NOT LOOK TOWARD THEE, NOR SEE THEE a.

If a People see their Rulers to be loose or profane, they will either despise them, or be too ready to imitate their bad Example; and thus their Leaders will cause them to err b.

Having shewed in a few Particulars, Wherein Civil Ru­lers should be FATHERS to their People: I come in the

II Place, as was proposed, to mention the Obligations they are under to be so.

And I shall Name only Two at present,

1. The great Trust committed to Civil Rulers ought to be a strong Inducement to them to exert their Autho­rity, in all proper Ways, for the Good of their People, and to carry as Fathers to them.

Natural Fathers look upon their Off-spring to be an important Charge (as indeed it is) and therefore are willing to run all Hazards to preserve them, and to promote their Welfare.

And the like Concern (in some Degree) ought Civil Fathers to have for their Poople.

[Page 20]Thus they should carefully consult their Interest in all Respects; advise them in the best Manner they can, and upon all difficult Emergencies appear in the Gap for their Relief. Hear how Job (who doubtless had been a Man in Authority) speaks concerning himself, I delivered (says he) the Poor that cried, the Fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The Blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the Widows Heart to sing for Joy. I was Eyes to the Blind, and Feet was I to the Lame: I was a Father to the Poor, and the Cause which I knew not, I searched out: And I brake the Jaws of the Wicked, and plucked the Spoil out of his Teeth c.

Thus to do is the surest Course Civil Rulers can take to secure to themselves the amiable Character of true Patriots. And indeed for this very End and Purpose were they appointed, and not to lord it over their Infe­riours.

And upon the Account of the great Trust reposed in Political Fathers, and the heavy Burden they sustain, those who are subject to their Government, ought to look on themselves as bound in Duty and Conscience to pray earnestly to God for them d ‘As for his Direction and Assistance, in the Discharge of their high Office, so likewise for his powerful Grace to preserve them from Sin and Evil, in the midst of those manifold Temptations to which they are continually exposed, in Appearance much beyond other Men, from the Heigth of that Condition, and he Extent of their Power, — and from the officious Servility of Parasites and Flatterers,, who sooth them in their Faults, and [Page 21] humour them in their Passions, and comply with their corrupt and vicious Inclinations, and are always ready at hand, and forward Instruments to execute their Commands, and to serve their Lusts and Vices.’ e

2. If Rulers do not behave as Fathers towards their People, there is Danger of their losing the Honour, Esteem and Reverence, which otherwise they might justly expect to receive from them. The Subject's Love is the Prime's strongest Cittadel. If Rulers are tyrannical and cruel in their Government, they must look for no chear­ful, but only a forc'd Submission to be paid them. If those under Authority perceive their Rulers have no paternal Concern for them, they will be apt to have but little Affection for their Civil Fathers; which must needs be productive of great Confusion and Disorder in the Body Politic: One will be jealous of the other; and when Power is visibly abused Submission will be found an hard Task.

That Parent who governs his Children with a prudent Lenity or Gentleness, and appears to be deeply concern­ed for their Welfare on all Accounts, takes the surest Course to entitle himself to their sincere Respect, and to be truly honoured by them. Whereas he that is rigorous and always treats them in a churlish imperious Manner, is only slavishly feared, but not cordially loved.

And the Case is much the same as to Political Fathers: If by them the People enjoy great Quietness, and very worthy Deeds are done unto them, by their Providence, they probably will accept of it always, with all Thank­fulness. Sure I am, they would be liable to severe Cen­sures [Page 22] if they did not. But if nothing but Frowns and Rebukes, haughty and imperious Carriage be to be ex­pected, no wonder if such Rulers soon lose the Hearts of their People. But Beloved, I hope better Things of you, our Civil Fathers, though I thus speak.

But there is one Thing that I must by no Means omit the mentioning of, and that is, to recommend a PUBLICK SPIRIT, which is so much wanting in this Land; and which is equally necessary to be found not only in Rulers, but the People also, in order to our be­coming a prosperous and flourishing State. A learned Man, whose Words I have had Occasion to cite before, says, ‘' Twas the Temper of the Romans to do and receive all they could for the Interst of the Common­Wealth, without taking or reserving any Thing to themselves, but the Honour of serving it to the ut­most of their Power; and as long as this Temper lasted, they prospered in all their Undertakings; but afterwards, when this Public Spirit became turned all into Self-Interest, and none served the Public but to serve themselves, by plundering it, every Thing then went backward with them as fast as it had gone for­ward with them before, till they were soon after swal­lowed up, first in Tyranny, and afterwards in Ruin.’ f Thus he.

And elsewhere g the same Person says, ‘And so it must happen with all other States and Kingdoms, when the Public Interest is sacrificed to that of private Men, and the Offices and Employments of the State are desired only to gratify the Ambition, and glut the Avarice of them that can get into them.’

[Page 23]If this be thought an Excursion, I hope it may prove no unuseful one, and so I leave it without further en­larging upon it.

Thus I have done with the Observations raised from the Text, and shall now proceed the the

APPLICATION

In which 'tis my Purpose to be very brief.

Use I. Hence how great a Mercy ought a People to account it, when God gives such to rule over them who are concerned to promote their best Interests, and desirous to shew them all the Affection and Tender­ness of kind Fathers. And such a Mercy our Nation and Land enjoy in his present MAJESTY, our Rightful and most Gracious Sovereign King GEROGE II. who, we trust, esteems it a greater Honour to be the Common Father of his Loyal Subjects, than to wear the Imperial Crown of Great-Britain.

And such, we hope, His Excellency our Commander in Chief, and all our Civil Rulers will be to this Province. And if they are indeed so, and we do not accordingly Esteem and Honour and Support them, let every Body call us ungrateful, and they cannot call us worse, or say any Thing of us that is more to our Discredit.

'Tis justly to be look'd upon as an high Favour when Rulers are ambitious of arriving to the Character of being Fathers to their People. All Things in the State will then probably be carried on with much Ease and Unanimity; Rulers will not grasp after more Power than properly belongs to them, nor the People be under a Temptation to wish it less than it is.

[Page 24]And thus there will be an admirable Harmony be­tween Rulers and Ruled, which is the Beauty and Glory of all Communities both civil and sacred.

Use II. Are Rulers Civil FATHERS? Then 'tis our Duty to honour them as such; and not with a curious or (which is much worse) a malicious Eye, to pry into their Failings (which none are without) and magnify them beyond what they really are. Those of lower Rank know little of the Cares and Burden of Govern­ment. ‘Whatever ambitious and inconsiderate Men may think (says one) wise Men do certainly know and find by Experience, that to discharge all the Parts of a good Governour is a very difficult and trouble­some Province. Inferiour Magistrates (as he goes on) find Care and Trouble enough, in that small Share and Part of it which they sustain; and if so, then certainly the Care and Concernment of the whole must needs be a heavy Burden indeed. h

Therefore, instead of Murmuring and Railing at our Civil Fathers, we ought to pity and pray for them, to reverence and honour them; and as much as we can to encourage them in their faithful Endeavours to serve the Public, as they did Ezra; Arise, for this Matter belongeth unto thee, WE ALSO WILL BE WITH THEE: Be of good Courage and do it i And to put Marks of great Respect upon them, when they are seen to have the Public Good much at Heart, and to be true Friends to Religion, and the Interest of CHRIST'S Kingdom.

[Page 25]Use III. Lastly, Let what we have heard be a persuasive Motive to our Civil Rulers to be indeed FATHERS to the People of this Province.

And here in the first Place, Duty obliges me to address myself to YOUR EXCELLENCY, our chief civil Father under the KING.

I have no Design nor Inclination to flatter Your Excellency, and if I had, I suppose YOU are as much above it, as I am sure it is beneath an honest Mind to attempt it.

Nor would I be unmannerly in my Address to a civil Father in the first Chair of Government. If I may be so happy as to avoid both these Extreams, and yet be faithful, I shall reach the Point I aim at.

Suffer me then, Excellent SIR, with all suitable Re­spect to say, That as YOU are intrusted by our com­mon FATHER, the KING, with the Government of the People of this Province (dear, I hope, To God) so 'tis their general Expectation, I believe, that Your Excellency would please to consider, how great an Opportunity is hereby put into your Hands to be a Father to us all; not only by consulting our tempo­ral Interest; but, which is of much greater Impor­tance, by promoting pure and undefiled Religion a­mong us.

Those who have been your Predecessors, in your present exalted Station, have done worthily, and greatly in their Day; and 'tis, I doubt not, the unanimous Wish of this People, that YOU may excell them ALL.

[Page 26]And now need I put Your Excellency in Mind, how much it will induce to your own Ease and Quiet, in your Government, to countenance and encourage Vertue and Religion among your People, as well as to be a bright Example of the same YOUR SELF! For (as a great and wise Man says) ‘How can it be ex­pected, from that Man, who dares affront and despise God himself, that he should have any hearty Reverence for his Deputies and Vicegerents k?

Need I use Importunity with Your Excellency, to improve your Interest in the Court of Great-Britain, as there shall be Occasion, on Behalf of this Province.

Your Excellency's past Sollicitations for us, have shewn You to be a true Patriot, and may You ever be so.

Or, Need I bespeak your paternal Care for the SCHOOL of the Prophets, which is the Glory of New­England.

Your Excellency knows too well the Advantage of a liberal Education to discourage Learning, and there­fore, 'tis hop'd, you will continue to be a kind Pa­tron to that learned Body. The Governours and Heads of that Society are at present, and may they ever be, Persons of Prudence, Piety and good Literature; and while they are such, there is no good Ruler but will think it his Duty to be a Father to them.

As to inferiour Schools, I need not (indeed I can­not) say more than has been already urged upon that Head, by others who have gone before me.

[Page 27]To close then my Address to Your Excellency; May God by his Grace, enable You to serve Your Generation, in the high Station you are, according to his Will; May you be able to appeal to Him in your last Moments, in the same Manner that the excellent Cyrus did, ‘Thou knowest (said he then) That I have been a Lover of Mankind, and now that I am leaving this World, I hope to find that Mercy from thee, which I have shewed to others’.

The hearty Prayer of all good Men for Your Ex­cellency, I doubt not is, That you may at last sleep in JESUS, and your Rest in him be glorious.

I now turn my self to the honourable His Ma­jesty's COUNCIL, and the Gentlemen of the honoura­ble House of REPRESENTATIVES;

To the Former, (by whose Appointment, in Con­junction with his Excellency's, I stand here to Day) I would humbly suggest, that the very Title you wear, His Majesty's Council! should be a powerful Motive to engage you to consult, according to the best of your Skill and Judgment, the Affairs of the Pro­vince, and all the valuable Interests of it; and to give the wisest Advice you are able, under our pre­sent difficult and perplexed Circumstances. Let your Counsel have no Mixture, no Alloy of selfish Views, but mainly aim at the Good of the Publick. We have been almost undone by the Prevalency of a pri­vate, self-seeking Spirit; may it no more be found a­mong us: Especially, may you, who are civil Fathers, excell in publick Spiritedness, and teach us all by your Example, to be ambitious of the same excellent Cha­racter.

[Page 28]To the Gentlemen who represent the Province, I would only say; do you need to be put in Mind, how great a Trust is reposed in you by your Con­stituents; and what an Influence the Choice of Coun­sellors to be made this Day (chiefly by your selves) may have upon the Government?

Let not then the Business of the Day seem as a light Matter or trifling Concern to any of you. Re­member that your Trust is great (as I intimated but now) and that both God and Man expect you dis­charge it faithfully.

There is one Thing, though it may seem a little out of the Way to mention it here, yet in as much as it is so great a Frown of Providence upon us all, and so much damps our publick Joy this Day, I can't but name it, and that is the Destruction of our State-House by Fire, which we may still behold lying all in Ruins. May we be duly affected therewith, and bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.

To proceed,

As to those who are in the Ministry: 'Tis need­less now to take up the Time in an Address to them, since that will be particularly done To-morrow by a much abler Hand.

To the People in general, I have only this com­prehensive Word to offer, Be dutiful and obedient to your Civil Fathers, and at Peace among yourselves. Forget not the Words of our blessed Saviour, Every Kingdom divided against itself is brought to Desola­tion; [Page 29] and every City or House divided against itself shall not stand l.

‘No Republic ever excelled Rome in profound Polity m. But notwithstanding this, She carried in her own Breast the Cause of her Ruin, in the per­petual Jealousy of the People against the Senate, or rather of the Plebeians against the Patritii n O then let all Jealousy between Rulers and Ruled be laid aside, and extinguished forever.

To conclude, The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our Fathers, Let Him not leave us, nor forsake us. — And the Lord maintain the Cause of his People at all Times, as the Matter shall require. AMEN.

FINIS.

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