Mr. Parsons's ELECTION-SERMON, MAY 30th 1759.


A SERMON Preach'd in the Audience of HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR, HIS HONOR THE LIEUT.-GOVERNOR, AND THE HONORABLE His MAJESTY's COUNCIL, AND House of REPRESENTATIVES, Of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, MAY 31st, 1759.

Being the Anniversary for the Election of His Majesty's COUNCIL for the said Province.

BY JOSEPH PARSONS, A. M. Pastor of the Church in Bradford.

Est enim gloria solida quaedam res, et expressa, non adumbrata. Ea est consentiens laus bonorum, incorrupta vox benè judicantium de excellente virtute.—Quae quia rectè factorum plerumque comes est, non est BONIS VIRIS repudianda. Cic. Tusc, quaes. lib. III.



THAT BENJAMIN LYNDE and WILLIAM BRATTLE, Esq'rs, be a Committee to wait on the Rev'd Mr. JOSEPH PARSONS, and return him the Thanks of this Board for his Sermon preached Yesterday before the General Court, being the Anniversary Election of Councellors for this Province; and to desire a Copy thereof for the Press.

Copy attest. A. OLIVER, Secr'y.

AN Election-Sermon.

ESTHER 10.3.

FOR Mordecai the Jew was next unto King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews; and accepted among the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of all his people, and speak­ing peace to all his seed.

THE sacred scriptures, always in­tending the sanctification of sinful men, exhibit characters of various kinds; that there may be found in them, dissuasives from vice and motives to godliness, not only rational and forceable, but of peculiar influence upon every turn of mind.

[Page]THE principal persons in this book are Ahasuerus, Haman, Esther and Mordecai.

Ahasuerus king of Persia, whose dominion extended even from India to Ethiophia, over an hundred and twenty-seven provinces, was a monarch vested with such unlimited power, as no wise man would be willing any one should be possessed of, below the character of a confirmed angel; at lest any of the sinful race of fallen man; a power by edict to mur­der thousands of innocents in a day to gratify a favourite's passions; and a power able to perplex and distress the affairs of peaceable states round about, contented with their own possessions, and coveting no other.

AMBITION, pride and cruelty are the most conspicuous marks in the character of Haman; who had crept into the monarch's favour above all others, and was likely to make a distressing use of the absolute power which he could command.

Esther the queen, an orphan, without fa­ther or mother, but brought up by her near kinsman Mordecai, by the gift of nature, and her kinsman's pious paternal care, possest every lovely quality of the sex, made more illustrious by grace, which illustrates virtue it self; and had merit enough with the mo­narch to be advanced to his bed upon the di­vorce of Vashti, the former queen.

[Page 7]Lastly, THE character of Mordecai the Jew was truly excellent and great: from which, if I mistake not, something may be inferred sutable to that part, which, thro' the ill health of my dearly beloved brother in Christ, is so suddenly and unexpectedly fallen to my lot upon this retured anniversary.

AND his character seems to be that of a pious, just, wise man, and strictly tenacious of his purpose; a character in some danger of moroseness: (should I be much mistaken if I resembled him to the roman Cato?) but yet, when sanctified by the divine spirit, and influenced by the fear of God, a temper fitted for arduous undertakings, and to act sedately in shocking disasters.

HIS piety towards God is seen in his prayers, and in the prayers of his people by his direction under the queen, and their devout humiliations before God; a pious practice, always used in dangerous times, in the church of God; which it becomes the religious rulers and leaders of his people to recommend and urge as a becoming acknow­ledgement of his care and government of the world, due for his glory, and the way to his mercy. It is also seen in his firm reliance upon God, the protector of his church, ex­pressed in that message to the queen: If thou altogether hold thy peace at this time, from ma­king [Page 8] supplication to the king, then shall enlarge­ment and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place — and who knoweth whither thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

HIS justice is vindicated and declared, as the slaughter of a great number of the enemies of the Jews was necessary self-defence, and standing for their own lives; and in that when his enemies were in his power, and the law of retaliation might seem to justify the taking not only their lives, but their spoils, it is said more than once, on the prey they laid not their hands.

HIS wisdom appears in all his method to deliver his people from the massacre intended by that wicked Haman: and his inflexibility in continuing in sackcloth, which kept him from the queen's presence, tho' called, and which the circumstances of things seemed greatly to require.

OUR text is the last verse in the book; and, for the encouragement of virtue in the ser­vice of God and his people, describes the fe­licity of Mordecai's condition after the diffi­culties and dangers he had passed thro'. He was next to the king; and the ambition of a subject can look no higher, nor the bene­volent mind wish for a better prospect of ex­tensive usefulness. He was great among the [Page 9] Jews: in true greatness distinguished, and universally honoured among them. And ac­cepted among the multitude of his brethren: his person respected, and his services well recei­ved: and no wonder, considering what he had done, and was still disposed and able to do for them: seeking the wealth of all his peo­ple, and speaking peace to all his seed: the peace and welfare of his people was his con­tinued concern, which he promoted by his wise counsels and powerful influence with the king.

IN discoursing upon this text, I pro­pose to speak to the following observations; which, I think, naturally arise from it in re­lation to the story.

I. WHEN God is pleased to advance men of integrity and ability into the frequent presence and favour of their sovereign, they have an happy advantage to serve with him the interests of their people.

II. TRUE greatness may commendably be sought; and when possessed should be considered, and thankfully acknowledged as the gift of God.

III. THE acceptance of an obliged people is a just satisfaction to the minds of men of great usefulness in exalted stations.

IV. Good Men advanced will hold themselves obliged to improve their power and fame for the prosperity of their people.

[Page 10] I. WHEN God is pleased to advance men of ability and integrity into the frequent presence and favour of their sovereign, they have an happy advantage to serve with him the interests of their people.

THEIR great abilities and many faithful services rendred to the king, engage his e­steem and confidence. And hence he becomes persuaded, no petitions will be preferred but such as righteousness shall demand, or mercy request; and such only as shall promote, or at least be consistent with, the publick good. The king must see with eyes not his own: and able, faithful men about him can hard­ly be too highly prized, as right action is universal good, errors dangerous, and wic­kedness extensive destruction. Therefore said a great and politic king, him that privily slandereth his neighbour will I cut off; him that hath an high look and a proud heart will I not suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: He that walketh in a perfect way he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house; he that telleth lies shall not stand in my sight.

IF Ahasuerus had not entertained an high opinion of Haman's ability and faithfulness, hardly would he have been able, tho' with the persuasive argument of ten thousand talents (which the king generously returned) to have prevailed for the bloody murder of so [Page 11] great a multitude; who had hitherto been in­dulged their peculiar customs without detri­ment to the king's affairs; and who while they lived peaceably in the land, content with their liberty of conscience, must be a great strengthening to the kingdom. Especially is fidelity, or approved loyalty, a very great re­commendation of a subject, strengthening his interest with his sovereign to serve his people. Ahasuerus was concern'd that Morde­cai's loyal services in detecting the conspiracy of Bigthan and Teresh had never been rewar­ded. Greatness is often suspected, but fideli­ty creates confidence.

THE story of Nehemiah, and the happy ef­fects to the people of God of his interest with the king and frequent opportunities of ap­proaching into his presence, will afford much useful instruction, and quickening spirit to a great man who delights to form himself by the divine lessons of holy scripture: and of such, I hope our number is very great.

II. TRUE greatness may commendably be sought; and when possessed should be con­sidered and thankfully acknowledged as the gift of God.

IN this light, I conceive, I may consider the advancement of the great man in my text, and his happy condition as the reward of a national spirit.

[Page 12]TRUE greatness sometimes intends those excelling accomplishments which merit ho­nour; and sometimes the honour which is given for them: I here consider it complexly, as comprehending both.

THE intrinsic greatness of Mordecai, his wisdom, justice and firmness of spirit, direct­ed by the fear of God to the public good of his own church and people, was the solid foundation of his estimated greatness, or the universal honour that was paid him, and will always be paid him, in the church of God: and upon such a foundation only can true honour arise. Let us here a little consider the difference between true and false greatness as a comparison between Mordecai and Haman may shew it. Both these great men were alike high in the king's favour, both were fear'd for their power, and might alike be supplicated by abject dependants, avaricious or ambitious aspirers after employments they were unfit for. Their glare of glory upon they eye of the world was much the same, or Haman's the brighter: Yet the greatness of the one was true, of the other false: and the fear of God and a religious love of virtue made the difference. Pride, a glittering appearance, a temper never to for­give, but to revenge the slightest affronts of one man with the blood of a nation, and a rapacious disposition to seize the prey; such was the foundation of Haman's estimated [Page 13] greatness. But Mordecai's arose upon the so­lid foundation of many conspicuous virtues peculiarly useful to the public, and a manifest indifferency to the trappings of state which the childish pride of Haman dictated for him­self, as a fitting reward for the man whom the king should delight to honour.

THIS true greatness is what may innocent­ly and worthily be pursued: and the desire of glory is not criminal but virtuous: Christ re­commends it by his own example in that prayer, Father glorify thy Son. Fame, or a good name is said to be better than precious ointment. Ever­lasting inconceivable glory is the great allure­ment of the gospel to the obedience of faith.

BUT this, like other virtuous propensities, is capable of being turned into the worst of vices. Piety, may proceed to superstition, and termi­nate in hypocrisy; a prudent care, to anxious sollicitude, and to that love of the world which is inconsistent with the love of God; and a just resentment of evil may degenerate into re­venge: and so may the love of glory into pride, detestible in the sight of God, and never en­dured by men, how much soever each one hath of it in himself. Yet is there a thirst af­ter true greatness, as it is virtue improved into great abilities for public usefulness, which must therefore be virtuous; and after the con­nected glory, and a joy in it with moderation [Page 14] when acquired, which must be innocent, be­cause made a motive in the word of God to serve the interests of religion: they that honour God he will honour, but they that despise him shall be lightly esteemed.

AND therefore it must be consistent with humility, a shade necessary to add the true lustre to every shining public virtue; a grace of the spirit of God, essential to the character of a true christian; for he that comes to Christ must take his yoke upon him, and learn of him who was meek and lowly in heart, or he will not find rest to his soul.

AND so we see it was in Christ; for at the time he was fullest in his expectations of hea­venly glory, and doubtless contemplating up­on it as a support, under his approaching ago­ny and bloody sweat, and all the cruelties of the cross, he set his disciples the most lowly example of humility in all his life. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, that he was come from God, and went to God, he arose from supper and took a towel, and girded himself, to wash his disciple's feet.

I know, after all that can be said, proud ambitious men will be apt to flatter themselves that their love of glory is the virtue: so na­tural is it for men to put darkness for light when a favourite lust is in question. It is ne­cessary [Page 15] however that a preacher of the gospel should lend his assistance to enable men to distinguish rightly, or at lest to revive and con­tinue the well known distinction in their minds; lest, as man was once for pride tur­ned out of paradise, for pride the gates of it should be shut against one that would return thither.

I beg leave here to mention two things;

1. Earthly glory should be always sought in subordination to heavenly. This will be, according to the directions of our gospel, to live by faith and not by sense, to seek first the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, and justly to prefer what is infinitely to be prefer­red. This will evidence our sincerity, that we believe, what we profess, that there is a future everlasting world, in which all, who persevere in ways of well-doing, shall be rewar­ded with glory, honour and immortality. Therefore, when earthly glory is inconsistent with heavenly, the pursuit of the former is entirely to be remitted. For what madness would it be to forego, or even hazard, the loss of heavenly glory for any thing that is earthly? for the whole world?

THIS is a consideration which ought always to be present to the mind of him, who is in the pursuit of glory: for he is entred into [Page 16] temptation which nothing will carry him safe­ly thro' but the faith of the gospel, which is the substance of things hoped for, and the evi­dence of things not seen.

2. IN like manner earthly glory is to be sought with a view to future usefulness. The author of our beings hath joyned sensible plea­sure with our food; yet it is to be under the controul of the rational intention of preserving our health, and strengthning the animal frame; and the religious one, of presenting our bodies living sacrifices holy and acceptable to the Lord, which is also, according to the apostle, a reasonable service. So the delights of world­ly glory should be but a subordinate end: and the superior should be usefulness to the public.

THIS Christ hath taught us by the before-cited prayer. Father glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. If this were duly consi­dered, great men would not by retirement de­sert the service of their country, because they had attained to their summit of worldly glory, and their employments were become troublesome and dangerous; by which means the common-wealth is sometimes deprived of it's most useful members, when the greatest abili­ties, with all the advantages of long experi­ence, are most necessary. If the increase of worldly honour be not sufficient to dissuade [Page 17] from what is really an ignominious forfeiture of honour obtained, let it be considered what an increase of heavenly glory will be made by so great self-denyal for the public good, as the continuing in a troublesome dangerous post is supposed to be.

BEFORE I conclude this general head, let me observe, what indulgence soever may be given to men to value themselves upon their services according to their true worth, and benefit to their fellow-men, and to expect me­rited honourable acknowledgments for them, there is no place for such a temper in respect of the infinite God. For, can a man be pro­fitable to God? His we are, and from him we received all our talents, and opportunities of improving them: and when we have done all in our power, and with the greatest success in serving him, we must confess ourselves un­profitable servants, and that we have done but our duty. This confession becomes the mouth of the most exalted angel about the throne of God; how much more man who is a worm, and who drinketh in iniquity like water; and in the most glorious of whose ac­tions will be found, such ignoble, impure mixtures as to be a just occasion of penitent reflections and deep humiliation. If man hath whereof to glory, it cannot be before God.

[Page 18] III. THE acceptance of an obliged people is a just satisfaction to men of great usefulness in exalted stations.

IN the minds of generous men there is a natural passion for their people, which is ex­ceeded by no other, but is stronger than even the fear of death. This gives the greatest con­cern when our country is in danger, pains our hearts in all it's sufferings, produceth into action the wisdom and resolution of the great, and even creates courage in the effeminate where it never existed before. When the people were smitten and the ark taken, Eli could live no longer: And the psalmist thought it criminal not to prefer Jerusalem to his chief joy. This same passion, which produceth the powers of men into strenuous action, pre­pares the mind to receive great satisfaction from the good affections of their country.

AND they are what the endeavours of great men to serve their country justly deserve; and the more for the greatness of their good actions which are felt in their good effects throughout the community. By them not one man, not a few men, but multitudes taste the sweets of their own plenty in security; and a whole nation is sometimes saved from imminent ruin.

HOW ingrateful then will it be to disappoint the expectations of great and useful men so [Page 19] justly founded? Ingratitude occasions a pe­culiar kind of painful resentment from anger and love intermixed; perhaps harder to be endured than anger by it self, as the softness of love produceth dejection of spirit, to which simple anger would not be liable. It was not an enemy that reproached me, said the Psalmist, then I could have born it, but it was thou, a man, mine equal, my guide, and my acquaintance: we took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in company.

To be sure, very painful resentments do an unthankful people give to those who have loved them, and denied themselves greatly for them; enduring such disquietudes and hardships as men at ease, and unused to ima­gine themselves in the places of others, (ac­cording to our saviour's direction for right thinking,) have little apprehension of; and therefore are less likely to value the benefits they have received by them.

Ancient Greece may, I presume, vie with any state for it's number of public-spirited great men, and the glory of their actions perform­ed in the defence of their country. But how ungenerously, how inhumanely were those great men treated! How many from Miltia­des, the great commander of the famous bat­tle of Marathon, thro' Socrates down to Pho­cion and Demostthenes, were imprisoned to death, or died by poison or the sword?

[Page 20]AND what an ungrateful return was made by Israel to Gideon, who fought for them, and adventured his life far, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies, in slaying threescore and ten of his sons upon one rock, to put them out of the way of Abimelech the usurper? The scripture takes great notice of this ingratitude, coupling it with their ingra­titude to heaven. The children of Israel re­membred not the Lord their God, who had deli­vered them out of the hand of their enemies on every side: neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely Gideon, according to all the goodness he had shewed unto Israel. *

THE acceptance of an obliged people is food that nourisheth a public spirit, which will hardly subsist long without it. True it is, the noble Athenians, I mentioned before, notwithstanding the ungrateful treatment o­thers had received, and they had received themselves, surprizingly retained the love of their country, and declared they esteemed Athens and it's priviledges their chief joy, by studying, and some times serving, it's interests and even in banishment. But oftentimes, men have been made traitors by far less bad treat­ment; so corrupt is the state of mankind, and so true it is that every great man is not a hero.

BUT when the faithful endeavours of able men to serve their country are considered [Page 21] with pleasure and gratefully received, it secures the benefit of their abilities, and urgeth them forward with renewed vigour. The love of our country is cherished by love.

IN such a state, how happy is the unity! how delightful the communion! similar to that which is between the great God, after whose name rulers are in scripture sometimes called, and his sanctified sons: for that divine communion is very much in asking and re­ceiving blessings, and in grateful acknow­ledgements in return.

THIS acceptance of public services was, I say, one of the satisfactions of Mordecai's happy condition; and what every good man will rejoice in. And the consideration, that this acceptance of the people is for real good done, makes the great man's satisfaction both innocent and solid; and not like the praises which are given for no reason. How much more eligible is the sober acceptance of a con­siderate people than the highest applause of a flattering multitude?

Besides, Such an acceptance is a great sa­tisfaction as it is an happy presage when pub­lick virtue is justly esteemed by a people; and when heroic actions, such as a good man doing them can afterwards reflect upon with inward satisfaction, are to their acceptance, [Page 22] and the only ones they are content to re­ward. In that state there must be much of that righteousness which exalteth a nation.

IV. GOOD men advanced will hold them­selves obliged to improve their greatness for the prosperity of their people.

Bishop Patrick paraphrases the last clauses of our text thus; ‘advising and promoting whatsoever was for their advantage; and speaking still to the king for that which might tend to the happiness and prosperity of his nation, which he advanced to the ut­most of his power.’

THEY by their interest in the king's fa­vour, or with those who stand before princes, if they love their country (as all good men do) will have frequent opportunities, and gladly improve them, of pleading it's cause when it's character is aspersed; when crimi­nal matters, of which they are innocent, are invidiously laid to their charge, or their faith­ful, industrious, expensive services represented in a diminishing light. They will urge for the royal favour, their country's loyalty and firm attachment to the sovereign, it's usefulness as a valuable member of the grand body po­litic, notwithstanding any peculiar customs, innocent to the state, which may have obtain­ed among them, and it's desire to the utmost of it's ability to promote the universal good [Page 23] of the kingdom thro' all it's numerous pro­vinces.

THEIR councils, when demanded and gi­ven, in virtue of the high and important offices they sustain, will be the utmost efforts of their wisdom for the good of their king and country, whose interests are inseparable. Especially may this be expected from them in the capa­city of legislators, as upon good laws the wel­fare and peace of a people greatly depend.—They will be concerned that their laws, for their goodness and wisdom, may, be accept­ed and revered.

FOR there is a veneration due to the laws of a country as sacred and inviolate, and, to which men ought to submit, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake. And for this reason, it seems, the formalities of them are made very solemn, to awe the minds of lawless men into a fear of transgressing what their wickedness prompts them to transgress. And this is no more than is necessary considering how great numbers in the community by liberty under­stand the doing what is right in their own eyes, as when there was no king in Israel; how full many are of compassion, and how ready to take the part of a villainous trans­gressor, and studious to screen him when in danger of being detected, and brought to a well merited punishment; and this not only of the meaner and more sordid part, but of [Page 24] better men, who can have no reason to fear for themselves the fate of a villain. These better men should consider, all men should consider, the law is the hedge between pro­perty and property, the fence that secures to us all that is dear, even our very lives; and that to side against the law is to side against our own lives, and to give that fence a blow to­wards bringing it tottering down to the ground.

TO mention no more, good men for the welfare of their country will be active in the execution of every wise purpose within their sphere of action. Their counsels are useless until put in execution; and particularly, the wisdom of the legislature is expended in vain, if the laws be disregarded. Magistrates do not appear to be good men, or to have the welfare of their people at heart, who behold, but connive at, the transgression of the laws in the face of day; instead of being guardians and conservators of the foundation of their security and prosperity, according to the in­tention of their advancement. And if such an evil prevailing be not observed, or being observed, is not speedily remedied, well may the laws lose their just veneration and fall into disrepute, by the frequent unnoticed transgressions of them.

THESE and such like things will a good man consider himself as obliged to by advance­ment. [Page 25] For he is one that fears God and ho­nours the king, one that is concerned for the public good, and acted by that universal bene­volence which is the charity, the glory of the gospel.

HE will consider, as the doctrine of divine Providence is an article of his faith, his ad­vancement is from God, who setteth up one and putteth down another; and that the righ­teous Lord, who loveth righteousness and ha­teth iniquity, the infinitely good giver of every perfect gift, regards him as His magistrate, ordained by himself to do justice and judg­ment, and to exercise loving kindness in the community for the glory of God, the honour of the redeemer, and the wealth and peace of his people. And often will the pious magis­trate bring himself before God's vicegerent in his own breast, his own conscience; and strict­ly examine his life in relation to his own office, as knowing that he must give an account a­nother day; that judging himself now, he may not be condemned with the wicked world.

AND because he is convinced of the vanity of every thing that is earthly in the compari­son, he esteems heavenly glory, the greatness of perfect virtue, and the glory of the heavenly train about the throne of God as his supreme good; after which he aspires by a conscienti­ous endeavour to approve himself to him.

[Page 26]NEITHER is it an inconsiderable motive, but a very weighty one, with the good and the great, uprightly to seek the welfare of their people, that their constituents expect it from them, and distinguished them with that very intention. Unfaithfulness is a very inconsist­ent character in a candidate for honour, cri­minal, injurious and ungrateful; and there­fore inconsistent with goodness. What a dis­appointment will it be to those who distin­guished and honoured the advanced, and had given them great testimonies of their respect, if they should be negligent and unfaithful for the sake of private interest? What should we call it among people of lower life, if a man, valuably considered and intrusted, should serve his own ends by the confidence placed in him? To deceive, to cheat, is ignomi­nious among the vulgar, and greatly scanda­lous to him that pretends to be good; and a very unthankful return for acceptance a­mong the multitude of our brethren.

FINALLY, A very influential motive every good man finds the consideration of the in­finite displeasure of God in the everlasting world, against unfaithful men, who had been entrusted with many talents for important ends. By these they had in their hands an advantage to be di­stinguished among the saints in heaven, as themselves had been dis­tinguished by their fellow men in this world; but forfeited not only the distinction, but even [Page 27] heaven it self, by hiding their talent in a nap­kin, or improving it to a bad purpose: so that what was intended to have been their distinguishing glory will be the increase of their everlasting misery and disgrace.

IT is not the knowledge of these things, my honoured fathers and brethren, for every one knows them, but a serious influential conside­ration of them which produceth the holy ef­fect; and, dwelling in the minds of good men, continue them fixt in the pursuit of glory by virtue.

IT remains now to conclude with the ad­dresses which in decency are to be expected upon this anniversary.

AND may I be permitted, in the first place, in the most humble manner, to address your EXCELLENCY, sitting in the first chair of go­vernment, among the rulers of this Province;

May it please your Excellency,

IF I am not mistaken, the divine author of our natures, in forming us with a princi­ple of self-love and preservation, hath pre­pared us to take a peculiar delight in what is our own; so that, by this circumstance, an additional satisfaction is received from [Page 28] every thing that is excellent. This province, SIR, by the disposition of divine providence, and the favour of the best of king's, is yours; it will therefore have your kind distinction: it's griefs will more sensibly touch, and it's prosperity rejoice your heart, than those of others.

IN these days of perplexity and danger, when much darkness is scattered in our paths, we need the assistance and conduct of the most discerning penetrating powers: and may we not hope, that from affection to your people, as well as duty to God and the king, your great abilities will be employed for our welfare, peace and protection, espe­cially when such mighty preparations are made from home, to improve the successes, with which a good God was pleased to fa­vour our enterprizes of last year, into a deliverance from the future fear of an enemy, whose tender mercies have been cruelties.

AND as in this province you, SIR, are next unto the king, thro' your interest in the great men who stand in the king's presence, and have the privelege of the royal ear, and your sollicitous applications still continued for us, may we not hope to be always justly and fa­vourably represented.

OUR priviledges, religious and civil, will always have your paternal care, not only be­cause [Page 29] your people's hearts are set on them, but as things of invaluable worth, and great importance to their virtue, happiness and glory.

OUR College, SIR, is our glory; many of those you have been pleased to employ in exalted stations, to your own satisfaction, and the acceptance of their people, laid the foundation of their intrinsic greatness within it's walls: and others divine providence will present you with to be employed as your in­struments in government, as occasion may call for them. This address for patronage to a great proficient in learning, might be considered only as a decent compliance with prevailing custom; but is more, if the num­ber of those who cannot, or will not, be sen­sible of any advantage in an academic edu­cation for the service of church or state, is greatly increased.

AS it will be equally honorable and ad­vantageous to your administration, as happy for your people, it will be your Excellency's concern, that posts of profit and honor, at your sole disposal, or by the advice of his majesty's council, be filled with men who seek worldly glory and advantage in sub­ordination to that which is everlasting; who fear God and love their country, and whose ablities are equal to the trust.

[Page 30]WE praise God and congratulate your Ex­cellency upon your safe return from the east­ward, where your presence would be so use­ful to the erecting the projected fortress to strengthen our frontier, and curb the cruel enemy. May your Excellency's services for the public always find acceptance with the people and favour with the king, and be ap­proved of God almighty at last, and reward­ed with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

IN the next place, may I be permitted to address your HONOR our Lieutenant-Gover­nor, in the next seat of gevernment, upon the first return of this anniversary, since the pub­lication of your Honor's commission.

IT is with great satisfaction we behold your abilities, by the good providence of him who gave them, brought forth into the fullest light, and advantageously situated to serve your king and country, for which they are pecu­liarly formed.

AS your greatness among your people, and acceptance among the multitude of your bre­thren, took it's rise from your early and con­tinued concern for their prosperity, and seek­ing their peace by wise and upright counsels, the same public spirit, we doubt not, will increase with your opportunities. For we [Page 31] know, from what we have felt in our own breasts, and what great and virtuous minds minds feel in a proportionable degree, what anxiety perplexed your spirit, when our af­fairs were critical, what compassionate con­cern when the enemy were mostly victors, and what joy dilated your heart, when God in mercy to a guilty, but prayerful people, re­turned to us, and by repeated and very im­portant successes taught us, what he would delight to do for us, would we but answer his just expectations in our repentance and reformation.

MAY you, SIR, long continue to deserve and receive the honors of your king and country; every day adding weight to an heavenly crown, in the pursuit of which there is no danger of a faulty ambition, and when possessed, shall never fade away!

IN the next place, may I address my self to the honorable his Majesty's Council, and the honorable House of Representatives, the electors by royal Charter of one of the impor­tant branches of the legislature.

Honored Fathers,

IT is a very serious consideration, and will have great weight in the thoughts of every [Page 32] godly man, the omniscient God observes with what spirit you are proceeding to the impor­tant elections of this day. The glory of God, and the good of this people are greatly in­terested in the exercise of that power with which you are intrusted. If unworthy, un­able, or unfaithful, men, are the rulers of a people, that people is in a state truly deplo­rable, and to all appearance hastening to ru­in. The great God, who hath provided, and for ages continued the happy privileges of this people, because he loved their fathers, and hath a kindness for themselves, will be greatly displeased if you should counteract his kind intention by suffering your selves to be influenced by any thing in your election, but the good of this people; and do not take all requisite pains to acquaint your selves with the qualifications of those whom you elect.

OUR mouths are often open, and with a great deal of reason, in praise of our privi­ledges; and they are a frequent subject of our thankgivings to heaven: but of what advan­tage will they be, and what can we be the better for them, if thro' avarice, pride and the pursuit of false glory, or bribed by friend­ship, or taken in, by being taken notice of, and a condescending, suppliant, court-like ad­dress, or from the spirit of party — a patriot should be excluded, and an undeserving per­son advanced. The end of our priviledges [Page 33] will be intirely lost; for they intend, that our rulers should be our safety, and our glory.

BUT if on the other hand, being duely affec­ted with the consideration of the account which must be given to God of your fidelity in the discharge of every trust, you are prepared to choose from a desire to do the public the best good you can, may not the subject, I have endeavoured to entertain you with, stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance of some important qualifications which, the word of God suggests, are necessary to be found in a ruler to be a blessing to his country.

HE who mistakes the tinsel of glory, for glo­ry, and seeks to shine, rather than to serve his country by the exertion of true greatness; he who seeks not with a becoming concern and industry the defence of his people in dan­gerous times, and their wealth and peace at all times, and in this way acceptance and ho­nour among them, is not the man: but he is, who fears God, and who, being convinced there is no christian grace which is more plea­sing to God, or is more the spirit of his son and his charitable gospel, cultivates in himself a public spirit, and rejoiceth in all occasions of doing public good; and though dangerous and expensive, thankfully improves them that it may be remembered to his future heavenly glory.

[Page 34]To the satisfied conscience of an elector, all the good done by the chosen must increase satisfaction; and he may, and not wrongfully, assume to himself a share in the merit of their good deeds: but painful must be the considera­tion of the michiefs which our country suf­fers, thro' the incapacity or unfaithfulness of the man whom we voted for.

BUT then will the joy of a good conscience be felt to the highest degree of satisfaction, when an office is to be resigned; whither be­ing temporary it is expired, or thro' misappre­hension, envy, disgust, or a party spirit to be taken away with ingratitude, or voluntarily quitted to withdraw from a world by degrees, soon to be forsaken for ever, to be wholly de­voted to a preparation for eternity, in a com­pliance with the admonitions of ill health, and the infirmities of advancing age, or finally summon'd by death to appear at the grand tri­bunal. Nothing can then impart support, consolution, strength and joy, equal to the necessity of the occasion, like a review of a long course of conscientious care, in the fear of God, in all things, and especially in impor­tant betrustments, to aquit ourselves to the acceptance of God, and the benefit of his people.

TO conclude, let me bespeak the prayers of this assembly that God would bless our land with patriots possessed of such excellent quali­fications [Page 35] as our subject hath led us to consider and admire: and having received them let us acknowledge it in our thanksgivings as a very great favour, and treat them as a gift of heaven, highly esteemed.

LET us consider there is a tribute of ac­ceptance and honour due to those who rule well; that to withold it from them is wrong, and to disparage their characters a great injury to themselves, and an hurt to our country, as it weakens their benign influences: so on the other hand acceptance, honour, applause lavished away upon those who deserve it not is to misplace one reward of public virtue.

AND let us consider, if we would be hap­py in our rulers, if we would be happy in any important respect, to our fervent prayers we must add sincere repentance and and reforma­tion; dreading all hypocritical pretences to the special favour of God when we have no­thing better to found them upon than profes­sion, form and ceremonies; for, for this very reason God sent this threatning message to Israel when their judgment lingred not, and nothing would prevent it but repentance and reformation, Isa. 24.13, 14. Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch, as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, the wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid.


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