Mr. Langdon's SERMON ON THE Long Life of a good KING AND THE Conquest of QUEBEC.


Joy and Gratitude to GOD FOR THE LONG LIFE of a GOOD KING, AND THE Conquest of QUEBEC.

A SERMON Preached in the First Parish of PORTSMOUTH, in New-Hampshire, Saturday, November 10th. 1759. Being the Anniversary Birth Day of His present Majesty King GEORGE II. And appointed by His Excellency BENNING WENTWORTH, Esq GOVERNOR of said PROVINCE, A Day of general THANKSGIVING and public REJOICING for the Success of His MAJESTY'S ARMS, especially against CANADA.

By Samuel Langdon, A. M.

PORTSMOUTH: Printed and Sold by Daniel Fowle. 1760.

PSAL. XXI. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 11, 12, 13.

The King shall joy in thy strength, O Lord, and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice. Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not with­holden the request of his lips. For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness; thou settest a crown of pure gold upon his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.—Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies, thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.—For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they were not able to perform. Therefore shall thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings, against the face of them. Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

IT is probable David wrote this divine ode soon after he had received that promise of the esta­blishment of his kingdom in an uninterrupted line of succession thro' his son Solomon, which we find, 1 Chronicles, 17th Chapter.

On this promise David there dwells with admi­ration and rapture: it is plainly the subject of several psalms; and he doubtless understood it as of the same tenor with the promises made to Abra­ham and the Patriarchs, ultimately referring to the [Page 6] kingdom of the Messiah. This he seems principally to keep in view in this psalm; in a prophetic man­ner he descants upon it, and rejoices not only in the highest assurance of his own continued victories, and the greater glory of his son Solomon, but of the irre­sistible power of that future royal son against whom no policy should prevail, no weapon prosper.

But as far as this psalm relates to himself, he de­voutly expresses his intire dependance upon God, ascribes all his strength, safety, honor, and prosperity to him, acknowleges them as answers to his continu­al prayers, and thankfully reflects upon divine good­ness in prolonging his reign, and granting him the hope of an endless life: by the great things which God had already done for him, and a believing pros­pect of the Messiah's kingdom, he rises to the most joyful confidence that God would still continue his favours to Israel considered as his church, and dis­appoint and confound all their enemies; and so he concludes with this exulting prayer of faith, which he puts into the mouths of the whole body of saints —Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. q. d. Lord ma­nifest thy divine perfections more and more, make thy power conspicuous in thy wonderful providences for the safety and prosperity of thy church; let all nations behold thy majesty and universal dominion: so will thy people sing of thy goodness, and celebrate thy praise. Let us on the present joyful occasion subjoin our hearty AMEN.

I have not time to mention many profitable in­structions contain'd in these verses; but shall confine myself to these three remarks, viz.

  • [Page 7]I. The strength, safety, grandeur, and prosperity of kings, especially when in connexion with the security and welfare of the church, must be ascrib'd to God.
  • II. The long life and prosperous reign of good kings is a great blessing, and an encouragement to the people of God to depend upon his con­tinued care of the church, and the further accomplishment of his promises.
  • III. When God in his providence remarkably defeats and subdues the enemies of his king­dom, good men will take peculiar notice of his power, and give glory to his name.

I. The strength, safety, grandeur, and prosperity of kings, especially when in connexion with the security and welfare of the church, must be ascribed to God.

All things are of God: the existence, order, beauty of universal nature, sprung from his almigh­ty word, according to that perfect plan of eternal wisdom, by which all things appear'd distinctly in their most minute circumstances to an infinite mind, when yet they were not: the constant laws of mate­rial systems were fix'd from the beginning, and con­tinue by his will: and all intellectual and rational beings are equally under the most exact regulation, by that supreme moral government which he more immediately exercises as God over all, and by the constitutions which he has settled agreeable to their various ranks and circumstances.

All government originates from him who is the Creator and Lord of the universe; who has plainly pointed out, by the different genius and capacities of [Page] men, various services, and different degrees of honor and power; who has made society necessary for our welfare and comfort; who led the first families and tribes of mankind, by a certain instinct of nature, to acknowlege and obey their respective heads, and consent to that authority which each found necessary for their common safety.

Government began in patriarchal authority, and was gradually improved into more ample power, and extensive dominion, establish'd upon new claims, according to the rising exigencies of those little com­munities, and the opportunities which artful ambi­tious men seized upon from time to time to aggran­dize themselves, and subject cities and kingdoms to their will. There is something in the very consti­tution of man, and the general condition of the in­habitants of the earth, which tends to divide the world into distinct nations, and produce the various forms and degrees of dominion which have appear'd in all ages. Thus the civil powers are ordained of God, designed originally for the benefit of mankind, erected in various forms by his special providence.

We no where find any certain model of govern­ment, prescribed by express revelation, except that given to Israel under Moses; which was peculiar to their circumstances as a national church, a proper theocracy under the conduct of a peculiar provi­dence. The divine right of kings, as it has been preach'd up in times past in order to support tyranny, and persuade people to bear the heaviest yoke with tame submission, is a whimsy without any foundation in scripture or reason: passive obedience is a doctrine which none can swallow who understand the natu­ral rights of mankind; which protestants especially [Page 9] must abhor; which England has always rejected as inconsistent with all her liberties: had this maxim prevailed, the great revolution by which Great-Bri­tain was happily secured from popish kings and pre­tenders had never been effected, and long before this time we might have been reduced under sub­jection to Rome.

But tho' we deny an indefeasible divine right, we acknowlege kings are set up by the providence of God. The famous antient monarchies of the world were erected according to his purpose, and rose to the height of their grandeur by his permission. Even tyrants who abuse their power, are exalted by the hand of God, to be instruments of chastising the nations for their sins; he raises them up, or casts them down, lets loose their rage or restrains them, at his pleasure. The Assyrian monarch * was but the rod of divine anger; the indignation of God put the staff in his hand; he was sent by heaven against an hypocritical nation, to take the spoil, to take the prey; tho' the tyrant never imagined any such thing, but only aim'd to destroy and cut off nations not a few. So the Most High gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom and majesty and glory and honour, and bro't all people into subjection to him, to answer his own wise and and holy purposes.

But when such an equitable constitution of go­vernment is form'd and settled as is plainly agreeable to the laws of nature, in the best manner serving the ends of society; when the plain design and tenden­cy of it is to secure life, liberty and property, and promote virtue and peace; especially when it not only guards and enforces the religion of nature, but gives protection and encouragement to the church [Page 10] of God, built upon the more immediate revelation of his will; such a government may be said with peculiar emphasis to be of God: such a kingdom is conformable to the perfect pattern of his supreme dominion, and the King of Heaven must be pleased with it in the same manner as he takes complacency in the virtues of individuals, and every thing copied from his own perfections.

By the church we are not to understand some one distinct form and establishment of religious society; but collectively the whole body of christians, united, tho' in many distinct societies, under various particular denominations, in the worship of the one true God according to the express revelation of his will. Nor is the church so connected in its own nature with the power and prosperity of any particular govern­ment, that it cannot stand upon its own proper basis without the support of civil authority: for we know the christian church flourish'd and spread, in its great­est purity and power, long before it had the counte­nance of emperors and kings. Civil and religious societies are entirely distinct in their nature; the or­der and proper authority of the one cannot be blend­ed with the order and proper authority of the other, without the greatest hazard of corrupting and weak­ening both.

Yet the church receives great advantage from a well constituted civil government, and the prosperity of the state. Under such a happy government it is guarded against the rage of persecution; appears openly in the worship and order of religious assem­blies; enjoys the benefit of public instruction, free inquiry, and undissembled profession; is permitted to employ all the artillery of the word of God against [Page 11] the devil's kingdom, and use the best means for its own inlargement and perfection. The church thus built on its proper foundation, must very much de­pend on the safety and prosperity of the kingdom, for it's own security and welfare: if the nation is weakened by wars, or over-run by invasions, the enemies of the one will probably be enemies to the other, and the church must have a great share in the public calamities; but when the nation grows stronger, and not only maintains its ground but multiplies its conquests, and becomes great and for­midable, religion stands more secure, and spreads knowlege and liberty farther and farther.

A kingdom established upon such equitable prin­ciples, where civil liberty and evangelical religion are encouraged and supported, stands fair for the pe­culiar guardianship of Heaven. As the hand of God may be seen in erecting, his providence will be observable in defending and aggrandizing it: he will make its kings great and honorable by his spe­cial favor, and grant them his strength and salvation.

When good kings are rais'd up, who by their example and authority encourage piety and virtue, and rule in the fear of God, they are like David and Solomon, dignified and protected by a peculiar providence, and given as blessings to their people and the church of God: and he will make them great on the throne, and successful in war; they will reign in the hearts of their subjects, and be fear'd and honor'd by neighbouring nations. The goodness and power of God will be as plainly visible in their ad­vancement, and the prosperity which attends their reign, as if they had been chosen and appointed by him in the most immediate extraordinary manner, [Page 12] and gain'd their glory and magnificence in conse­quence of the most express personal promises: and the people ought to have a just sense of this divine goodness, and esteem it a great blessing to have the life and reign of such kings prolonged.

This naturally brings on the next remark,

II. The long life and prosperous reign of a good king is a great blessing, and an encouragement to the people of God to depend upon his continued care of the church, and the farther accomplishment of his promises.

Foolish, irreligious, an vicious princes are often sent in wrath to a people, as a just punishment of their sins: when they have forsaken God and cor­rupted themselves, he suffers them to be corrupted more and more by the example of their kings, per­mits their vices according to their natural tendency to infect and weaken the government, distract their councils, impoverish and lay them open to the power of their enemies; and sends his curse upon them in all their interests and undertakings. By a succession of wicked kings Israel was soon ripened for utter ruin; and the favor or displeasure of God toward Judah was apparent according to the character of the kings which from time to time reigned over them: nor should we be mistaken perhaps in mak­ing the same remarks upon the history of our Eng­lish monarchs.

Not that irreligious princes are never us'd by pro­vidence as instruments of doing some real good to a nation: to assert this would be to limit the wis­dom and power of God, in contradiction to scrip­ture and experience. He can make advantage even [Page 13] of the vices of the great, their pride, ambition, re­venge, avarice, or lust, to accomplish his designs for the good of a favorite nation, and the welfare of his church. Saul was a self-will'd, jealous, revengeful prince; yet he introduced order among a people who had lived for centuries too much at loose from government; he perform'd several worthy actions, and laid a good foundation for a prosperous king­dom. Jehu's zeal was fir'd chiefly by ambition; yet he did the work which God commanded, in cutting off the house of Ahab, and destroying the worshippers of Baal. The grand charter of Eng­land's liberties was obtain'd of kings far from the best of characters. And a monarch whose chief aim was to gratify his lust, became the instrument of our deliverance from the pope's tyranny, and the intro­duction of the most valuable blessings of the refor­mation.

But wise and virtuous kings, whose breasts glow with all social affections; who are equally ennobled by great and generous actions as by royal blood; who value their high authority only as a power of doing the greatest good; merit the warmest love of their subjects, and will be honor'd as fathers and benefactors, blessings which Heaven gives and con­tinues. Such amiable princes have appear'd even among the heathen, the delight of their people, the strength and glory of their kingdoms. Such was Cyrus, the founder of the Persian monarchy, Ju­dah's great deliverer from the captivity of Babylon, whose name stood honorably register'd in one of the most remarkable prophecies of Isaiah near two hundred years before the event *. Such among the Roman emperors was Augustus, whose reign was [Page 14] gloriously distinguish'd by the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ within the limits of his empire: and after him, Vespasian, Antoninus, Pius and some others.

But especially when kings are men of true reli­gion, fearing and giving glory to God; it is a ma­nifest token of the divine presence with them,—a plain intimation that God designs the greatest favors to such a nation. The best of Kings will be im­ploy'd in the most eminent services, and distinguish'd by providence with the greatest honors. If ever we may depend upon remarkable public prosperity, it is under such princes who acknowlege their de­pendence upon the supreme Majesty of Heaven, and ask counsel of God, in all affairs of government, peace and war; who make him their strength and confidence, honor his laws, observe his providences, and give him the glory of their victories. What is too great to be expected under such a reign? What can give greater joy to a happy nation than to be­hold their king governing with wisdom, prudence and justice; aiming, in every thing, at the honor of God and their interest, protected by divine goodness, and reigning prosperously even to old age.

Long life may be considered as a great blessing to the King himself: for though the life to come is infinitely preferable to the happiest state on earth; and the honors of an heavenly kingdom, the never­fading crown of glory, the true and everlasting riches, beyond all comparison above earthly crowns and sceptres, and the utmost splendor of the king­doms of this world; so that christians, in the vigo­rous exercise of faith, would desire rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, even though [Page 15] they had the highest enjoyments and noblest pros­pects which earth can afford: yet when our conti­nuance here may give us a farther opportunity of exercising and improving the noblest virtues; when we feel ourselves capable of doing yet greater ser­vice, and our hearts more and more inlarg'd with generous passions; when it seems necessary we should continue here for the advantage of our fel­low men, especially of the church; a christian, even in the best frame, would ask life, though with submission, and entertain with pleasure the hope of doing greater good. This is the language of an apostle, anxious for the church's welfare * — I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better: nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you, and having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for your furtherence and joy of faith. In such a case, life is a blessing, and the greater as we move in a sphere of the most extensive usefulness.

A good king enjoys the greater happiness in life in proportion to his exalted dignity: He considers himself as a god to his subjects; and when he re­flects upon his benevolent schemes yet but imperfect; when he views the important services which lie be­fore him; when he sees the nation yet in an un­settled state, and many farther regulations necessary which he has scarcely had opportunity to attempt, religion and virtue demanding his patronage, and the future peace and prosperity of his subjects greatly depending upon the continuance of his life; he will ask it of God, and value it as a special favour.

But to his happy people the long life of a good king is more especially a blessing. They consider [Page 16] him as their guardian, their father, the minister of God. They see the wisdom and equity of his go­vernment; they experience the salutary effects: religion and virtue prevails; their liberties are guard­ed; every thing is brought into order, and it is put more and more out of the power of future princes to oppress them; so that, for their own advantage, they cannot but wish to have his life and reign pro­longed.

Besides; there are some peculiar circumstances, which may add greater importance to the life of a good king: as, when there is no certain successor: or none but a minor, under tutors and governors, so that the administration may fall into the hands of ambitious designing men, contending among them­selves for superiority, and aiming more at their own private interest, and the advancement of their fami­lies, than to discharge their duty to their king and country:—when the situation of affairs is critical;— when there are intestine broils, or foreign wars:— when successful plans of operation are but just ripen­ing to afford a comfortable prospect of approaching tranquillity:—at such times to have a good king, though advanced in years, taken away, may discon­cert all measures, reverse events, and throw all things into confusion.

On the contrary: when, at such a juncture, his life is continued; when we see him surprizingly extricated from the greatest difficulties, and success­ful in his wars beyond our utmost expectations; when God by him is apparently performing great things for his church, disappointing the designs, and breaking the power of the adversaries of religion and liberty; it gives great encouragement to look upon [Page 17] these things as a prelude to farther favors, the be­ginnings of those greater events, by which the church is to be brought into a more complete and flourishing state, and the kingdom of Christ esta­blish'd through the world. By these things our faith is confirmed, that God will preserve and defend the truth of the gospel in such a nation, ingage himself on their side, and support his own cause, till he has silenced and confounded all who oppose his king­dom, and blessed all nations with light, liberty, and peace, under the glorious king of righteousness. If the antient people of God were encouraged, by the favors granted to the church in David's prosperity, to depend upon the full accomplishment of the pro­mises, that the church should be secured notwith­standing the most threatning appearances, and rais'd at length to greater glory under the Messiah; we also may be assured by all which God has done in times past for Protestants, and by the wonderful things which he has lately been doing for Great-Britain and her allies against a grand confederacy of the antichristian powers, that he will continue his care of the reformed churches, till all the prophecies of the new testament against mystical Babylon are accomplished, and the kingdoms of this world be­come the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our fathers have told us what God did for them in their day: and now we ourselves are wit­nesses of his goodness and power, and are at this time rejoicing in the life of one of the best of Kings, and the astonishing success with which, in his old age, his arms have been bless'd: the hand of God is visible in these great events, and it is our duty to observe it, with admiration and gratitude. This is [Page 18] agreable to the last remark upon our text; which I shall briefly illustrate, to make way for a more par­ticular consideration of those extraordinary circum­stances which this day fill our hearts with joy, and demand our grateful praises to God.

REM. III. When God in his providence remark­ably defeats and subdues the enemies of his kingdom, good men will take peculiar notice of his power, and give glory to his name.

The generality of persons overlook the hand of providence even in the greatest events; they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operations of his hands. As they lightly glance over the stupen­dous works of creation, and behold the starry skies without observing the incomparable wisdom and unrival'd magnificence of that universal King, who has spread such a pavement under his throne; as they behold the sun, restoring and brightening the day, without considering the power and glory of that Being who kindled its blaze, and continues its revolutions; so they are equally inattentive to the works of providence: they think of common events as things of course; of events whose causes are more secret, whose appearances are more inconstant and irregular, as meer casualties; of evils or benefits as coming merely from men or nature. If they are involved in war, and things go against them; it is far from their thoughts that the enemy may be a scourge in the hand of God; they reflect only upon a weak or wicked ministry, bad officers, and the like: if they have success, they extol the generals and the troops, commend the wisdom of the admi­nistration, and give all the glory to men; regardless [Page 19] of a superior Power, and those acknowlegements which are due to God.

But wise observers will see the majesty and power, the justice, displeasure, or favor of the great Lord of the universe, in all these things; in the moral, as well as the material system; in common, as well as extraordinary appearances; in all occurrents, relat­ing to persons, families, or nations. Especially in the great affairs of government, or war, they see some of the plainest instances of that supreme do­minion which God exercises over all mankind: how he regulates the kingdoms of this world, like so many provinces of one general empire, under his own immediate care; marks their bounds; limits their privileges; balances their power; and retains them in subjection. They behold him judging among the nations; correcting them by one another, and by their own vices; punishing them for the abuse of distinguishing mercies, by the most signal judgments; defending his church when surrounded with enemies; and by his arm strengthening the hands of kings who engage in his cause.

Such an acknowlegement of Divine Providence necessarily arises from a proper belief of the Being and Perfections of God: the light of nature teaches it; all religion requires it. If He has no concern either with material or rational beings, after giving them laws of action agreable to their natures; but, without any farther exertions of Will or Power, leaves them to go on intirely of themselves; what do we make of God more than an idle spectator? In such a system, He seems to be introduced only to save the absurdity of an infinity of causes; or the eternity of the world: and when we have made use [Page 20] of his name to give the first birth to things, we lay it aside again, as if he were no more of any impor­tance.

How widely different is this from the religion taught in the sacred Scriptures! The Great God reveals himself in his word, not only as the Creator, but the Governor and Disposer of all things. In this majestic language He speaks of his perpetual universal providence— * I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil.— I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal.— My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. There we find the saints, in all ages, confessing a continual Divine agency; looking to God for direc­tion and prosperity in all their ways; observing his providencial government; adoring his wisdom and justice; and praising him for his mighty acts, and unbounded goodness.

As there are, in nature, some rare and surprizing phenomina, to awaken the attention of mankind, and fix upon their minds a deeper conviction of the Being and Perfections of God: so, in the course of providence, there are great and remarkable events, designed as more striking evidences of the Divine government, to continue and increase in the world a reverencial regard to his supreme Majesty and autho­rity. It is most reasonable to suppose that this is the principal point in which they centre, to promote religion and moral virtue: and it is observable in fact, that by many extraordinary and miraculous providences; by plagues, and famines; by wars, and desolations; by the rise and fall of empires; and by continual changes in the affairs of nations; God has been carrying on one uniform design from [Page 21] age to age, to purify, enlarge and perfect his church, till all things shall be prepar'd for the dissolution of this present system, and the introduction of a more glorious happy state.

Therefore Good Men, when they are rejoicing in any public prosperity, particularly in the successes of war, will give honor to men, as instruments by whom such great things are done for them; but they will give glory to God above all, whose instru­ments they are. They will observe how he glorifies himself and carries on his designs in favor of truth and righteousness; how wonderfully he appears at one time and another for the support and defence of true religion; how remarkably he disappoints it's adversaries, even when they grow most confident of success, and takes them in their own craftiness. They will take notice, by what surprizing turns of providence the designs form'd against truth and liberty, and to introduce and propagate ignorance, superstition and slavery, are blasted and overthrown, and that very mischief brought upon the wicked projectors which they meditated against others. They behold the King of Heaven, in these things, accomplishing his own purposes, notwithstanding the opposition and rage of Earth and Hell; fulfilling his promises; magnifying his power and wrath against his enemies; and distinguishing, by his wonderful goodness, those who place their trust in him. When such things as these are visible in our successes, it is justly expected we should take notice of them, and give glory to God, as exalting himself in his own strength.

Christians may triumph in the victories of war; but not as the heathen, who shout and give honor [Page 22] to their idols with frantic noise, and bruitish sensu­ality: the joy of christians ought to be more ration­al, temperate, and noble, springing from a proper sense of the benefits receiv'd, and exciting religious sentiments and affections. They ought to rejoice and give glory to God; to ascribe to him all the advantages they have gained; and praise him for such public blessings, and the prosperity of Sion. By this joy they will find their knowlege, love, and reverence of God increasing, and their faith and con­fidence in him more and more strengthned.

But it is high time to pass from generals to a more particular application of the subject.

Therefore to bring these things home to ourselves

In the first place. We have reason to acknow­lege the glory of our British Monarchs as a peculiar favor of God. He has placed Great-Britain among the most considerable powers in Europe, and made her kings rich and honorable, so that they may vie with the greatest absolute monarchs. Tyrants have the command of their people's purses, yet they often find themselves poor; they are despotic, but hated: but the kings of England have the affections of a free people; they are rich in the national wealth, which is freely granted whenever it is necessary; and their authority is obeyed with pleasure, with the firmest loyalty, while they adhere to the constitution, and love their subjects. Never did any nation more heartily abhor tyrants, or oppose with greater reso­lution such stretches of authority as are inconsistent with the natural rights of mankind: but no where can be found a more loyal people while their princes observe the proper bounds of power, and aim to be benefactors. Every good king, crown'd according [Page 23] to the settled laws of the realm, we revere as God's representative, equally as if he could plead a divine right, in a succession established by Heaven.

The liberties of Great-Britain, and her prosperity, have been remarkably favorable to the church of Christ: for true christianity, the religion of Pro­testants, is inseparably connected with free inquiry, conviction, and profession. Where these are ob­structed, though it may support itself under discou­ragements and persecutions, among a happy few, whose minds, by divine grace, are taught to reverence the truth, and obey God rather than men; yet the church of Christ can have no firm footing in such a nation; it will be like a stranger, discountenanc'd, oppress'd, and denied any settled residence among them. As Tyranny, once establish'd, commonly extends it's insolence to blind and curtail men's un­derstandings, and determine what they shall believe, and how they shall worship; it must either be taken away first, in order to the introduction of true christi­anity; or else if protestant principles should gradu­ally enter and gain ground, by some remarkable conduct of providence, they will effectually coun­terwork, weaken, and destroy such tyranny, and restore both civil and religious liberty. Thus that spirit of liberty which has appear'd from the first foundation of the British empire, and so often ex­erted itself, notwithstanding the enchantments and chains of popery, prov'd very friendly to the refor­mation; and the establishment of the protestant religion has, on the other hand, greatly secured and inlarg'd our liberties.

Divine Providence has seem'd to point out Britain, from the beginning, as a favorite nation, to make it [Page 24] a pattern to other kingdoms of the most rational and equitable government; to show how wealth, and power are connected with freedom, and to prepare the way for her enjoying a remarkable share in the blessings of knowlege and true religion. The Great Lord of the world commonly performs the designs of his providence, not by immediate exertions of almighty power, but by means suited to the general constitution and course of things. Therefore as Antichrist had ingaged on his side the policy and arms of the greatest empires in Europe to crush the Reformation; it was necessary that some earthly powers should be rais'd up to encourage and defend it. For this end, from small and confused begin­nings, by wonderful steps, through many strange revolutions, God strengthened and aggrandized the English nation, increas'd knowlege and liberty among them, and made them the envy and terror of their neighbours, so that they became the strength and glory of the reformed churches.

The Roman-catholic powers consider'd England as the grand support of the northern heresy, as they term'd the Reformation: therefore they tried their utmost efforts, either to conquer, or reduce it under the Papal yoke. But He that sits in the Heavens derided them, and defeated all their attempts: in vain they formed strong confederacies; in vain they fitted out the most formidable Armadas *; in vain did Hell suggest and carry on a scheme to burst its fire from beneath, and destroy at one blow all the Princes and Senators of the nation : neither po­licy nor arms availed to subdue Great-Britain, or root out the protestant religion.

[Page 25]The most refined policy of Rome, was to debauch and infatuate our Kings themselves *, to purchase of them the religion and liberties of their subjects, and so make us again a province of the papacy: but this was wonderfully over-rul'd, by Him who con­founds the wisdom of the wise, and takes them in their own craftiness, for the more effectual security of the nation from all future attempts of that nature: it occasioned that glorious Revolution under King WILLIAM, and those parliamentary acts, by which all Papists were forever bar'd from the British throne, and the succession was settled in the protes­tant line of the present illustrious house of Hanover.

Thus the nation has been guarded from time to time by the peculiar care of Heaven, defended by almost miraculous providences, and religion and liberty, arts and sciences, husbandry, trade and ma­nufactures have been increasing and flourishing to­gether. We have been growing greater and more respectable among the powers of Europe; we have been able to claim the sovereignty of the seas, and hold the ballance on the continent.

Who, that attentively considers such a series of remarkable events, relating to a nation where liberty and truth have found the greatest encouragement and support, can overlook the Divine hand so mani­fest in them? The wonderful works of God ought to be remembred from generation to generation as often as we read of the great things which he has done for our Fathers; especially when we behold his acts of power and goodness repeated in our own day; our souls should be fill'd with fresh admiration, and renew their songs of praise and gratitude.

[Page 26]Let us therefore now more particularly observe the wonderful goodness of God to us, in prolonging the Life and Reign of our most gracious Sovereign, his sacred Majesty KING GEORGE II. to com­pleat this day the seventy-sixth year of his age, and in crowning his arms of late with the most glorious success, by sea and land, in all quarters of the world, especially in America.

It is difficult to speak very particularly of the re­ligious character of Kings; and the more so, at such a distance; their piety must exceed that of common christians in proportion to their greater temptations, and more illustrious and extensive sphere of action, or it cannot be conspicuous. Flattery often covers the greatest deformities, compliments even the vices of Princes, and paints them in those ornaments of grace which they never wore; the greatest monsters of wickedness have some times been sainted, and even deify'd. It is rare to see a David or a Solomon shining on the throne in all the excellencies of the greatest Kings and real Saints. But we never had more reason to speak well of any King of Great-Britain, than of his present Majesty. He has always acted as under a proper sense of his dependance upon God; concern'd to approve himself to his Master in Heaven; aiming to promote justice and virtue, love and peace, in the nation, and secure to his sub­jects their civil rights, and the most valuable liberty of conscience. He has never attempted to deprive his people of any of their privileges; the spirit of his reign has been the most opposite to every degree of tyranny and oppression; and it is no inconsider­able part of the glory of it, that he never would suffer any of the several denominations of christians, [Page 27] in his dominions, to be compell'd to worship God contrary to the real free perswasion of their own minds. Whatever misconduct may have been chargeable upon any of his Ministers; if it should be supposed that they have ever carried on schemes tending to undermine the liberties of the nation; for the best of Kings may be deceived in the persons whom they entrust with power, and servants, we know, are often more haughty and imperious than their masters; our benevolent Sovereign never gave his people the least cause of complaint on this score. He has always contented himself with that authority which belongs to him by the constitution and laws of the nation; he has acted as the Guardian and Father of his people; He has reign'd in their affec­tions; and his reign will forever be distinguish'd as one of the longest and happiest in the British Annals.*

[Page 28]If we consider the late situation of our public affairs, we must be convinc'd that the continuance of our good King's life was of the greatest importance, and ought to be esteem'd a peculiar favor of divine pro­vidence. But a little while ago, the nation appear'd in a most critical dangerous state. We were un­avoidably involv'd in a difficult expensive war. Be­sides the daily bold encroachments of the French upon these American Colonies, France and Austria had enter'd into a deep conspiracy against Hanover and Prussia, and aim'd at nothing less in the end than an intire extirpation of the protestant religion. It was plainly necessary for us to form some alliance on the continent of Europe; and we were naturally led to unite with his Prussian Majesty in a defensive and offensive treaty. But against Prussia the greatest powers in Europe were confederate: France and Austria, the Empire, the King of Poland as Elector of Saxony, Russia and Sweden, were collecting their forces to surround and assault him on all sides with mighty armies: confident that they should make short work with him, they had already, in imagina­tion, made a division of his dominions among them­selves. And though by his unparallel'd military genius, and timely resolution, he very much discon­certed their measures, and early gain'd great advan­tages; yet there was the utmost danger of his being overpower'd with numbers, and ruin'd in the end. On our part, the success of the war, for some time after it began, was far from answering our sanguine expectations. England was bullied with a threatned invasion, and thought herself oblig'd to send over to Germany for several thousand troops for her own defence; while France was preparing to strike the [Page 29] first blow upon Minorca. Our Navy was inactive, or imployed to little purpose. The French gain'd fast upon us in captures by sea, and distress'd our trade, in the channel, in the West-Indies, and along the coast of Africa: their Fleets escap'd our vigi­lance before their ports, and prevented our designs abroad, by seasonable aids where they were most in danger. Our army of observation in Germany, un­der the Duke of Cumberland, was reduced to the necessity of capitulating with the French General, and delivering Hanover into his hands. Our ex­pensive armaments at Home effected nothing. In North-America we met with almost continual dis­appointments: notwithstanding the large supplies granted by parliament for prosecuting the war here with vigor, the numbers of troops sent over to our assistance, and the cheerfulness with which the pro­vincial forces were rais'd, and forwarded, the enemy gain'd ground from year to year, and our colonies were in danger of being brought into the utmost distress, if not intirely wrested from us.

All these things together rais'd loud clamors in the nation; who look'd upon themselves as on the brink of ruin; and complain'd of corruptions in the state, and public vices, as the real causes of all their disappointments, more threatning than the whole power of the enemy. Discontent and faction pre­vailed; remonstrances were daily presented to his Majesty; who plainly found his wisest counsels em­barrass'd, and every thing appearing either to be mismanaged, or unfortunately to go wrong. He felt the most tender paternal concern for his subjects; he heard their complaints; and was desirous of gra­tifying them, as far as might be consistent with the [Page 30] honor and true welfare of his government: but it was a work of no small difficulty to find out the true source, and apply a proper remedy to these evils; for if the complaints of the people were upon just grounds, such an entire reformation as they de­sir'd could not be effected without danger of greater convulsons.—

Now at such a juncture, had God, in righteous anger, taken from us our wise and good Sovereign, how unhappy and even fatal might have been the consequences! The present illustrious Prince of Wales was not ripe to manage the national affairs by his own judgment: his youth might have laid him open to the artful designs of corrupt politicians; who to gratify their own ambition, and satiate their avarice, would have sacrificed all the interests of the nation. As things were circumstanced, many reso­lute steps were necessary, which none but a steady experienced King could easily have ventured upon. Great opposition might be expected; fierce conten­tions would naturally arise; and while the jarring parties were disputing, and counterworking each other, our enemies might have made great advan­tage of such an unsettled state, our strength might soon have been exhausted, the colonies lost, and the kingdom seized upon and made a province of France.

But how remarkably has the kind providence of God prevented all such fears, by prolonging the life of our gracious Sovereign; who in his old age re­tains the wisdom, spirit, and resolution of a King, and the most earnest sollicitude for the happiness of his subjects. With the most condescending good­ness He has listened from the throne to their petiti­ons, [Page 31] and raised to the most honorable and important trust the very Minister whom they requested;— A Minister whose wisdom, honesty, and courage are equal to the exalted, but difficult place, which he fills. The desired reformation has already proceed­ed very far; the whole face of affairs now appears happily changed; and things are brought into the most promising situation. The excellent Mr. PITT has conducted every thing relating to the war with consummate prudence, unexceptionable fidelity, and incessant application, and has been honored of GOD with astonishing success. May he more and more recommend himself to the esteem of his Royal Ma­ster, the affections of the Heir apparent, and the whole nation, by his faithful services; and be im­powered and encouraged, together with all those honorable persons who are with him in the work, to accomplish his generous schemes, for the dignity of the Crown, and the prosperity of Britain.

It is a happy circumstance, which ought not to be overlook'd, that his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has had the advantage of observing the past and present conduct of affairs, in so critical a season. He has seen the consequents of public vices, and that policy whose basis is self-interest.—He has seen the nation ready to sink under these evils; but re­covered before he is called to ascend the throne.— He has seen the advantage of Royal condescention; the wonderful change effected by a faithful Mini­ster and honest politics; with what prudence, peace, and order, all things are manag'd; how successfully our fleets and armies are employed; and with what union, cheerfulness, and zeal the nation bears the heaviest expences of war. He is now arrived at [Page 32] maturity, and is ripened for government, whenever providence may call him to take the Sceptre in his hand. He has had the best advantages of educati­on; is well accomplish'd with princely virtues, and, if we may depend upon credible information, breathes already something of that genuine spirit of christianity which appear'd in his late excellent Father, and still adorns his illustrious Mother; which will more effectually guard him against the temptations of youth, and inspire him with the noblest sentiments and views.

On all the foregoing considerations we ought to esteem it a great blessing, that his Majesty's most valuable life has been continued.— He is happy in that he has liv'd so long to enjoy the satisfaction of doing good to his people, according to the desires of his large and generous heart.— He is happy in the constant love of his subjects:—Happy in the conti­nued prosperity of his kingdom:— Happy in be­holding the numerous spreading Branches of his Royal Family, and an amiable worthy Grandson ready to fill his place, whenever he shall exchange his earthly honors for an unfading eternal Crown of Glory:—Happy that he has liv'd to see the admi­nistration so well settled, and universal satisfaction and joy expressed in every countenance; that he has liv'd one year more to rejoice with the nation in the surprizing progress of his victorious arms, while old and young are repeating their triumphs, giving glory to God, and blessing their King. Doubtless he is ready to assume David's language and sing in con­cert with him, and all who love the prosperity of Zion, The King shall joy in thy Strength, &c.

[Page 33]But we, in these American Colonies, are more espe­cially interested in these late signal smiles of Provi­dence. We have seen a most happy change in the face of our affairs here: and we shall be guilty of the most inexcusable ingratitude, if we are not sen­sible of God's hand in the great things which have been done for us. We have peculiar reason to ap­ply the words of our text, and say— They intended evil against thee, O Lord! against thy Churches here; they imagined a mischievous device which they were not able to perform: thou hast made them to turn their backs; thou hast made ready thine arrows upon thy strings, and discharged them in their faces.

Though lust of dominion, doubtless, has been one cause of the constant enmity of France against En­gland, and against us; yet the old enmity of the Beast and false Prophet against Christ and his faith­ful Spouse, the malice of the Romish Clergy against Protestants, English Protestants more especially, has inflamed their rage higher, given a greater spring to their motions, and led them to aim not only to sub­due us, but entirely to root out the Heretics from these Provinces. The Scheme which they laid ma­ny years ago, and which they have been endeavour­ing gradually to ripen and accomplish, is now well known: they have been stretching their settlements along behind us; building forts at every advantage­ous Pass; increasing their trade and shipping at home, that they might be a match for Britain by sea; send­ing over soldiers to America; and using all possible methods to gain over all the Indians on this conti­nent to their interest. By the success of the forces of New-England against Louisbourg *, under the late [Page 34] honorable Sir WILLIAM PEPPERRELL, in the last war, and the settling of Halifax, the French were alarm'd with apprehensions of our growing strength, and thought it high time to check our spreading settlements, and confine us to the limits which they had marked out for us, 'till they were prepared to dispute the whole. They made Peace principally with this view, that they might recruit their strength, and perfect these designs: and though the settle­ment of the limits in North-America, by Commis­sioners from both nations, was one main article of the Peace, they managed the matter so artfully, as to avoid coming to any agreement, and prolonged the time 'till they had made preparations to drive us back by force as far as they pleased. But by hasten­ing on their schemes too fast, they brought upon themselves the present war, and the mischief design­ed against us, is come upon their own Heads.

Now, that God's hand might appear more evi­dently in the events of this war, it is worthy our notice,— That while we presumed upon our own strength, and were not sufficiently sensible of our dependance upon Divine Providence, we were from year to year disappointed. At first we boasted of the numbers the colonies could raise; look'd upon ourselves as much more than a match for Canada; and desir'd no other assistance from home but mo­ney to pay our provincial troops. And when His Majesty, more sensible of our danger, out of his pa­ternal concern for us, sent over both money and re­gular troops, this gave us still more sanguine hopes; we then grew confident that every mountain would easily be levelled, and that we had nothing to do, but march and take possession. But how did we [Page 35] find ourselves mistaken! Great difficulties soon ap­pear'd in the prosecution of a war in a new country; especially as it was to be carried far back beyond our settlements, thro' almost impenetrable forests, thro' mountains, rivers, and lakes, against well constructed forts, and every advantage on the enemy's side. And besides all this, our rashness, or on the contrary, our slow and irresolute motions, the frequent changes of our Generals, and the delays of our Fleets, discon­certed and frustrated our most promising plans of operation.

We were flushed with our early success in Nova-Scotia , which was indeed of great consequence, as it most seasonably defeated the designs of the French in that part of the Continent. But how were we astonish'd and confounded, soon after, by the news of the inglorious bloody defeat of the army on which we had built our chief hopes, under the brave but unfortunate General Braddock *. Our motions towards Lake Ontario, the same year, against Niagara and Frontenac, were but a feint. Our provincial forces under General Johnson indeed repulsed the French at Lake George, and took pri­soner [Page 36] their General Baron Dieskaw; but this might be consider'd as an happy escape on our side, rather than a victory, and was an instance of the spirit and resolution of the enemy, in venturing to meet us at our own posts *.

The next year was remarkable only for our con­tinued fruitless parade against Niagara, and Crown-Point, and the loss of Oswego.

The following summer was spent to as little pur­pose. Great preparations were made for the siege of Louisbourg; our expectations were rais'd; our troops waited at New-York and Halifax for the ar­rival of the Fleet: but it came too late; the French were beforehand of us, and guarded their harbour with an equal naval force. The design was laid aside; our ships in cruizing on the coast suffer'd [Page 37] greatly by a storm, and hardly escap'd a general destruction: and in the mean time General Montcalm suddenly pass'd Lake George with an army of ten or twelve thousand men, and wrested Fort William-Henry out of our hands, and demo­lish'd it.

Thus we were disappointed and humbled from year to year; almost every thing went against us; the enemy gain'd ground, fortified and secur'd every pass into their own country, grew more and more animated, and were meditating and preparing to drive us farther and farther, and follow us down to Albany, or even to the city of New-York. In the mean time thousands of salvages were enticed over to their interest, and imploy'd to harrass our armies, cut off our convoys, and execute the most horrid barbarities all along on our western frontiers: and even those Indians who had ever been our fast friends, began to despise and desert us, and waited only for a fair opportunity to join our enemies. So that the Colonies were very much disheartened, and appre­hended great danger of being over-run.

But when God had thus prov'd and humbled, and convinc'd us that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, and that our dependance must be plac'd intirely on him: when every one trembled for the event of these things, and we began to cry to Heaven more earnestly for Divine aid, with hum­ble confession of our sins, and submission to God; He that hears the prayers of his people, and pities them under all their afflictions, regarded our cries, [Page 38] and gave us help from trouble. His Providence bro't about a change of measures at Home, the happy ef­fects of which soon reach'd America. More powerful & seasonable aids were sent over, under brave, faithful, and virtuous officers. Our armies were active; our fleets terrified and shut up the enemy on every side. Last year Louisbourg, the key of Canada, was sur­render'd into our hands: Frontenac was demolish'd, and Fort du Quesne reduced, by a peculiar turn of Providence in our favor, by which even that melan­cholly defeat and slaughter of our troops at Ticon­deroga *, was over-rul'd for our advantage. These were the beginnings of our triumphs.

But this year what Wonders have been wrought for us!—Besides reducing Gaudaloupe, one of the finest Islands in the West-Indies, and recovering the ground which we had lost at Oswego; we have gain'd the command of the passages thro' the Lakes, by the im­portant conquest of Niagara; where we had a double triumph, in defeating, with great slaughter, a considerable body of troops sent for the relief of that garrison. From Ticonderoga and Crown-Point the enemy fled, and left to our forces the forts which guarded the entrance into the heart of their country, and which had been the principal objects of our former expeditions. And now, to crown all, QUEBEC is TAKEN: Quebec, the Metropolis of Canada, the strength and dependance of our ene­mies; Quebec, to which our most earnest attention [Page 39] was turn'd, is taken, by a brave General, the inde­fatigable resolute WOLFE; who, in the service of his King, for the welfare of this Country, in the faithful discharge of his duty, willingly expos'd and sacrificed his own life, and triumphed in the agonies of death.

With his little army he cheerfully push'd on thro' the greatest fatigues; tried every generous, every forcible method, to accomplish his design; till at last he found it necessary to trust all to a battle: and accordingly, with all the art and firmness of a skilful and heroic General, he drew the enemy from their entrenchments, met them in the field, though their numbers were more than double to his own, and gained a surprizing victory with the loss of very few of his troops.—Alass! among the slain He himself fell! by his zeal and activity He was soon distin­guish'd, and mark'd out for death!—But he died in the midst of the shouts of victory, with the satis­faction of having finish'd, faithfully, and successfully, the work which had been committed to him by God and his King: and if true religion was the basis of his courage and fidelity, He is still, and shall be forever triumphant. His name will be remembered, in these Colonies more especially, with the greatest honor and gratitude, to the latest posterity.

This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes: we must say, not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory, for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. We must not glory merely in man. While we give deserved honors to the worthy Commanders of our armies and fleets, we must remember that the victory is the Lord's, and that they are but instruments in his hands by which he [Page 40] performs all these things for us. Amherst, Wolfe, Boscawen, Saunders, are names which God has high­ly honored; they have been his officers to execute his purposes of goodness towards us, by chastening and subduing a proud, perfidious, and restless enemy: by them God has magnified his own power, exalted himself in his own strength, and discharged his arrows in the faces of the adversaries of his Church.

That which we have so long been wishing for, which has been projected again and again, and at­tempted in vain, is now accomplished. Canada must be subdued, has been the cry of New-England, ever since we have felt the effects of their barbarous prac­tices against us. Without any regard to the most solemn ratifications of peace, they have continually irritated the Salvages against these northern Provin­ces more especially, and hired them to destroy our towns, murder and captivate the inhabitants, and do us all the mischief in their power. We therefore had sufficient reason to look upon Canada as worse than a Carthage to us, and make it our grand aim to destroy or reduce it. But former Expeditions mis­carried and came to nothing: corruption, treachery, or cowardice, and the vices of our armies, which were filled with the most horrible profaness, and en­feebled with luxury, drunkeness, and debauchery, rendered all our schemes abortive. The time was not come for our conquest of that Country: their iniquities were not full; and we were not sufficiently chastised and humbled. But now we have seen that joyful day which our Fathers so earnestly wished for. We may consider all Canada as reduced, unless there should be some farther remarkable interposition of Providence. The passages of the Lakes are ours; [Page 41] we have possession of their Capital, and only Sea­port; they must surrender, or live another year without supplies of provision, and fight without am­munition. The Indians are forsaking their interest; our frontiers are quiet, and will be from henceforth secure, if we are permitted to enjoy, at the conclusion of the war, this important conquest.

But, as Christians, we should rejoice in these things chiefly as they relate to the Church and Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are, by profession, the people of God. Great-Britain has been one of the first among the reformed nations, and on her security and prosperity the Protestant interest very much de­pends: and New-England has been highly favored with the light and liberty of the Gospel; the doct­rines of Christ have been taught, and the worship and discipline of his Church maintain'd with equal purity here, as in any other part of the world. And therefore for his own name's sake, for the honor and advancement of true religion, God has granted us all this prosperity. Zeal for pure religion brought over the Fathers of New-England from their native soil, to plant churches, on these distant desolate shores, upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Je­sus Christ being the chief corner stone: and God smiled upon their design, and perform'd for them Wonders of Providence, almost parallel with what he did for Israel when he bro't them out of Egypt; so that we can with great propriety apply the words of the Psalmist, and say—We have heard with our ears, &c *. We now enjoy the word and ordinances of God in their original purity and simplicity, with that liberty which is the glory of christianity; a blessing from time to time has accompanied the means of grace; our Churches are greatly multiplied▪ well supplied with able and faithful Ministers of the New-Testament, [Page 42] and spreading farther and farther into the wilderness; and notwithstanding our great declensions, there are multitudes not only of honest, sober, virtuous pro­fessors, but humble, obedient, exemplary christians in our numerous Parishes, by whom the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is and will be glorified.

We may therefore behold the goodness of God to us, to the nation, to all the protestant Churches, in the late wonderful success of our arms, and the arms of our Allies. Thus God is strengthning and giving weight to the protestant interest, manifesting his wrath against the antichristian powers, and preparing the way for the final ruin of that spiritual tyranny and mystery of iniquity. For these ends He has raised up and supported his Prussian Majesty; that like a se­cond Cyrus, he may execute the Divine purposes against mystical Babylon. God has given him the most extraordinary military Genius, inspired him with wisdom and courage, upheld and strengthned him, and subdued mighty armies before his sword, not meerly that he might be famous, as the Hero of the present age, but, as we have better reason to sup­pose, to accomplish some important designs of Pro­vidence in favor of the Church. Providence has joined us in alliance with him; we have shared in his prosperity; the Lord of Hosts has been with our armies; thro' God we have done valiantly, for He hath subdued our enemies before us. Twice the French have been disappointed and totally defeated in their at­tempts upon Hanover: the former victory obtained over them by his Prussian Majesty, in person; and the late fatal blow which they have received from Prince Ferdinand, are equally surprizing, and happy in their consequents.

When we review the repeated victories which have been obtained on the continent of Europe since [Page 43] the present war;—when we consider how our Fleets have alarmed and distressed the enemy on their sea-coasts, destroyed their Navy, and ruined their Trade;— when we recollect all our conquests in Africa, the West-Indies, and these northern parts of America;— when we consider how greatly this war has embarrassed and weaken'd France and Austria, the two main Pillars of the Papacy;—we may see very evident tokens of God's favor to his Church, for the encouragement of all his faithful people to look and wait for the accomplishment of his promises. The time will shortly come, and it may be much nearer than we imagine, when it will be proclaimed with a shout of general joy— Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen! rejoice over her thou heaven, and ye holy Apostles and Prophets, for God hath avenged you on her. They have shed the blood of saints and prophets, & God hath given them blood to drink, for they are worthy.

As to America, the immediate design of Provi­dence may be to secure this part of Christ's visible Church, and make way for its greater enlargement and prosperity; that the knowlege of the truth may spread and fill the Continent; that Churches may rise up and shine every where, thro' the wide countries which now lie waste; that the Gospel may be pro­pagated in its purity, simplicity, and power, among the many thousands of indian tribes, which now live a ranging salvage life round the vast Lakes, and thro' the boundless forests. Perhaps a door is now open­ing for protestant missions, where the Emissaries of Rome have been establishing falshood and idolatry; that salvation by Jesus Christ, the only Mediator, may be preached among them, and that they may be taught a virtuous civil life. This will make way for the proper improvement of our largest charitable funds, to convert heathen nations, and those who have [Page 44] been deluded with popish superstitions, and bring them to the knowlege of God, and conformity to the doct­rines of Christ.

God has been stretching out his hand in favor of the Protestant cause, disappointing the mischievous designs of the French, and requiting the perfidy and barbarity which they have so long been practising against these Colonies. He has at length bro't us into the strong city, the Capital of a Country which to us has been like Edom to Israel. Shall we not sing, and praise his power? Let us behold and admire these remarkable displays of his goodness▪ and ascribe to him all the glory of those great things which have been done for us. If we have a proper sense of his hand in all this, it will fill our hearts with unfeigned love and gratitude;—it will strike our minds with deeper impressions of religion;—it will lead us to serve God, with greater zeal and cheerfulness, in all the duties of devotion, in the practice of universal holiness, in our Churches and families, in our private and public conduct, according to all his laws and ordinances:—it will fill us with the highest esteem of the glorious Gospel, which he has committed into our hands; we shall live as christians, as true pro­testants, agreable to our high and holy profession, according to the purity and power of that excellent religion which is our glory.

We have already sufficiently testified our Joy, in a civil way; we have given a decent public demon­stration of our loyalty and love of our country, upon the news of our conquests; we have proclaimed the success of his Majesty's arms to distant towns by thun­dering cannon, and indulged our joy by a splendid evening show *. It will now be most proper, and [Page 45] most acceptable to God, that our joy be of a more composed and religious kind, exercised in the most serious consideration of the wonderful mercies grant­ed us from Heaven. Tho' we could have wish'd for more religious solemnity on such an extraordinary oc­casion, and even to have devoted a whole day to offer our grateful acknowlegements to the God of the ar­mies of Israel, and meditate on his mercies; this would have been attended with some inconveniency this last day of the week.—We are called upon by authority "to perform divine service in the morning only. Let us therefore, while we are in the House of God, labour to offer our thanksgivings to him with sincere hearts, and pure devotion.—But certainly if it would be inconvenient to spend this whole day in religious exercises; it must not only be inconvenient, but highly improper and sinful, to spend the rest of it in the noisy, disorderly, sensual mirth, and diver­sions of the Mob, in revelling and drunkeness, in any of those things which either are vicious in themselves, or tend to discompose the mind, and unfit men for approaching holy time.—This evening is the prepara­tion, and the sabbath is at hand.—Noise and show, Guns and Fireworks this evening, can never be plea­sing to our King, as testimonies of loyalty; but to the King of Heaven they must be highly provoking, as the plainest indications that we have no becoming grateful sense of his Benefits.

We are ready to honor the King by the utmost testimonies of due respect and allegiance: but whilst we render to Cesar the things which are Cesars, we must also be careful to render unto God the things [Page 46] which are God's. We must not break in upon that part of time which God, by an express command, has reserved for himself and the benefit of our souls; nor put ourselves into an unsuitable frame for the religious exercises of it.

I tremble for our Sabbaths.—If We, who have been a people hitherto remarkable for keeping up the solemnity of the Lord's day, now grow careless, and foolishly affect and endeavour gradually to intro­duce an indifference and laxness in the observation of it; a general corruption of morals will immediately succeed, vice will break in upon us like a flood, and the Government will soon very sensibly feel the sad effects.—But, which is much more to be dreaded, this will bring down the anger of Heaven upon us: tho' we may be secure from enemies for many years to come, God has a variety of judgments with which he can punish a backsliding profane people. He can and will send upon us other plagues, as distressing, more destructive, than foreign arms, or Salvage cruelties.

But I need not enter any farther cautions against disorderly ill-timed rejoicings: you will doubtless pay so much regard to that melancholly providence, by which the joy of his Excellency our Governor * is suddenly turned into mourning, as to mourn with him in decent silence, omitting the intended parade and diversions of the day.

And now I cannot conclude without one hint at the most proper application of the whole to the King­dom and Victories of Christ, that promised Son of Da­vid, whose throne is established forever. God the Father has set this glorious King upon his holy hill of Sion; He has rais'd him up to the throne of uni­versal [Page 47] Empire; and he must reign till all enemies are subdued under his feet. His hand shall find out all his enemies, his right hand shall find out those that hate him. In vain do the powers of earth and hell combine against him, and his Church; he will dis­appoint and confound them; his wrath will be like a flaming furnace to devour them. In righteousness he doth judge and make war: by his word and providences he rides forth against his enemies, gloriously terrible in Majesty and Strength; either to conquer and bring them to submission, that they may become his wil­ling subjects: or finally to subdue and deliver them up to complete everlasting Destruction. He will fulfil the prophecies of his Word, and pour out the vials of his wrath to the utmost upon antichristian nations.—But there is a greater and more dreadful Day of Wrath to come, when all the mysteries of providence and grace will be finish'd; when all the kingdoms of this world, and this whole visible cre­ation shall be dissolved; when the wicked shall be as stubble to the flame, and all who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Christ, shall be punish'd with everlasting destruction from his presence and the glory of his power.—Let Sinners fear his wrath, and now make peace with him, while he offers to grant them not only the privileges of subjects, but the dignity and inheritance of children of the Most High.—Let us acknowlege and obey him as our King and Savior, and we shall rejoice that he lives, that he reigns and prospers; we shall now triumph in all his victories, and shall finally triumph forever with his saints, enjoy all the blessings of his glorious Kingdom, and reign with him in Life eternal.

Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto the King that sitteth on the heavenly throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever. AMEN.

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