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or afraid to speak, when his providence calls on them so loudly, to lift up their voice. Should the storm, which is now beating on many of our fellowsubjects, be dispersed by Infinite Goodness ever so soon and so entirely, without reaching us; it may yet be of unspeakable use, to have made the proper reflections and resolutions, whilst it was approaching towards us. And should the Almighty suffer us to feel it, as we have well deserved ; nothing, but thinking and behaving rightly under his judgments, can give us hope of his mercy to moderate and shorten them.

Now whatever is requisite for these ends, is clearly comprehended in the words of the text : which bring naturally to our thoughts the three following particulars.

I. The interests we have at stake. Our people, and the cities of our God.

II. The spirit, which we ought to show in defending them. Be of good courage, and let us play the


III. The humble dependance on Heaven, which we ought to exercise at the same time. And the Lord do that which seemeth him good.

1. The interests we have at stake. Our people, and the cities of our God: in other words, our civil rights, and our religion.

The defence of their persons and possessions against lawless power, and the secure enjoyment of the means of happiness here and hereafter, were the great motives, that induced men to submit originally to government. And every particular government is good or bad, as it answers or fails of answering these purposes. Now in our own, as it stands at present, our liberties are greater than those of any other


upon earth : we enjoy them so fully, that we abuse them beyond example: and, I believe, no one person amongst us, of knowledge and consideration, doth or can suspect our king of having the least design to infringe any branch of them. The private property of the very meanest is as safe from the violence and oppression of the greatest, as good laws and an impartial execution of them can be hoped to make it. And for the public burthens we labour under, we have laid them on ourselves, by representatives of our own choice, for uses, which we and our fathers, very justly in the main, thought necessary : in particular for the most important use, of securing the nation, from time to time, against the mischief that now once more hangs over us : which if we at last get rid of, all we have spent is well laid out; and if we submit to, all is thrown away.

Still, there may doubtless have been faults committed, in relation both to these and other matters. But then, part of the faults commonly charged may be imaginary: for we are all as fallible, as those whom we blame; and few of us in so good a situation for judging. Part may be of small consequence; and therefore no ground for any great resentment. Part may have arisen from our own misconduct, as much, if not more, than from that of our superiors. Part again may have proceeded from excusable mistakes or infirmities of theirs; for which, as we need allowance in ourselves, we should make allowance in others : especially in princes, for the same reason as in parents; and to a fit degree, in those also that are employed by them. But whencesoever apprehended grievances may have come, we have legal, constitutional, peaceable means for redressing them; with uncontrolled liberty to use those means,

if we will. And suppose they have not operated so speedily, or so effectually, as we may wish : yet, if force may be used instead of them, upon every failure or delay, especially when caused merely by difference of opinions amongst ourselves, no society can ever subsist. And if we are too corrupt a people to expect any good from mutual persuasion ; much less can we expect it from mutual violence.

Then lastly, as for our religion; the least valued, I fear, yet infinitely the most valuable of all our blessings; and which guards and fences the rest, in a manner that nothing else can: our religion, I say, is undeniably the most rational and worthy of God, the most humane and beneficial to men, the furthest from being either tyrannical or burdensome, the freest from superstition, enthusiasm, and gloominess of any in the world. It is established with such care, that the support of it is inseparable from that of the civil government: yet happily with such moderation, as to bear hard on none who dissent from it. The practice of it indeed, we must own, hath not been enforced on its professors, so generally or so carefully as it ought, either by the authority or the example of those, whose duty it is. Would to God it had ! God grant it may! But still, they who have not duly excited men to piety, have not restrained them from it: and every one's disregard to it is principally chargeable on himself alone.

This I apprehend to be a true and a modest account of our present condition : for I have put the advantages of it at the lowest, in order to say nothing that can be disputed. And what are we to change it for, , if the attempt, now making, should succeed? Indeed what have we to expect before it can succeed, (for every one must be convinced, that it will not be

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tamely submitted to), but a wide and horrid view, in proportion as it makes a progress, of bloodshed in the field and out of it, and of ravage at the pleasure of a rude and uncivilized people, to the imminent hazard of every thing, and every person, dear to us? Judgments, which this island hath been long without experiencing: but how long, and heavily it may groan under them now, unless a speedy check be given to this rebellion, God only knows. For a conquering enemy, had he the will, which is dreadful to trust to, hath often not the power of restraining the desolations of fire and sword, when once they are begun.

But suppose this beginning of sorrows over: what must follow ?

With regard to our civil concerns : how large numbers are there, who have no other security for a considerable part, it may be the most, or the whole of their property, than the continuance of the

government now in being; in whose hands it actually is ? And should that government fail : as it cannot be hoped, that what hath been lent for its support, and proved one of its main supports, will be regarded very favourably by those who come to overturn it; how terrible may the distresses of such persons be, and how much farther than themselves must they extend ? To all their domestics, all their dependants, all that have dealings or concerns with them. What multitudes are there again, whose fortunes are entirely, or principally, built on royal grants, judicial determinations, or acts of the legislature, made within the last six-and-fifty years ? which, in case of a change, will all become questionable, as done by incompetent authority, and lie at the mercy of we know not whom. The person, who now threatens us, comes attended with a large and an indigent train of followers, collected from each of the three nations, who will think, and do their utmost to make him think, that the long sufferings of many of them, and the present dangerous services of many more, can never be rewarded with sufficient bounty. And when revenge, and poverty, and avarice, are set on work together, what forfeitures may be claimed, what misdemeanors and treasons charged, in a nation, which will be looked on as the whole of it involved in treason, for so many years past; or how unfairly the plainest laws in our favour may be interpreted to admit of such attempts, or even wrested to serve them; which of us all can so much as guess, or who can be assured of his own safety ?

But besides these hazards to the properties and the lives of particular persons, in what state will the commerce and possessions of the nation be? Think, what innumerable debts the pretender to his majesty's crown must needs have contracted in so long a space, during which he hath had nothing of his own to subsist on: think, what immense sums foreign princes may charge on account of most expensive wars, which they may plead were begun or carried on for his service: and how dreadfully this nation may be exhausted, to satisfy but a small part of these demands : for which it will make no amends, to annihilate the present incumbrances on our public revenues, by a ruinous breach of the public faith. Think also, once more, what fatal concessions the powers who support the present invasion, and who will be wanted for a continual support, even were it to succeed; what fatal concessions they will assuredly require in return, of places on which our trade depends,


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