Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Preached before the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

King and Queen, WHITE-H A L L.



LI, PSALM xcvii. 1. ; ; The Lord is King, the Earth may be glad thereof; 3. Syea, the multitude of the Isles may be glad

thereof. Men W HAT is to say, it ought to be Mata

62 ter of exceeding Joy to all the Inha

bitants of the World, that amidst all to the Uncertainties, and Hazards, and Variety of Fortunes, which they here find themselyes exposed to, there is one Above that Governs ait. , GOD that made the World, is the King of it. ' All the Beings of the Universe, Angels, Men and Devils, with all the other Animate or Inanimate Things in Heaven and Earth, as they are His Creatures, fo are they truly and properly His Subjects, and act entirely in Sub· Vol. I.



[ocr errors]

ordination to him, as Ministers and Instruments do under the Guidance of the Principal Agent.

GOD doth as truly Reign in the World, as any King does in his Kingdom; He doth as, truly order the Affairs of it, as any Master doth those of his own Family. Nay, a Man's own Thoughts and Adions, are not by a Thousand times so much attended by himself, are not so much in his Care, as the Affairs of the Universe are attended by, and are the Care of God Almighty...,?

This is the Notion of the Lord's being King; and, do you not think it ought to be Matter of Rejoicing to all Reasonable Creatures? ** O Lord! what a gloomy dismal Scene of Things do they present us with, that give other Áccounts of these Matters ?

To banish God's Providence and Government out of the World, is to banish all Joy, all Peace, all Hope, all Comfort for ever, from all those that have the Power of Thinking.

A Brute, indeed, is not much concern'd how Matters are order'd: An Ox may grow fat in his-Stall, and a Colt 'frisk in his Pasure, let the Hypothesis of the Government of the World be what it will. But to one that is made with a Faculty of Reasoning, that has Hopes and Fears, and reflects on what is past, and hath a Prospect of what is future; what black and melancholy Apprehensions must it cause in such a one, to suppose that no Care is taken of Human Affairs; but that we fail in the tempestuous Ocean of this World, every Minute in danger of Rocks and Quickfands, without any Pilot to Aéer us? is in



Take what Hypotbesis you will; either, That there is no God, but that all Things come to pass by Chance, or inevitable Necessity; Or, That there is a God, but that God having once put Things into this Frame, never meant to trouble himfelfmore about them, but left them to thift for themselves. Natural Events falling out from necessary Causes, and Civil Affairs being left to Mankind, who are to fhuffle and divide the World among themselves as well as they can: I lay, proceed which way you will, if you exclude God Almighty's Government, you make this World so dark and miferable a Place, that no ferious considering Man can tolerably enjoy himself in it.

For here, upon the former Supposition, you are left without Counsel or Advice. You have nothing to purpose, nothing to design in the course of your Lives. It is all one how you behave yourselves, whether Honestly or Wickedly, whether you mind your Business, or mind it not, for the Event will be the fame. You are obliged to No-body for any Benefits; you can complain of No-body for any Ill-ufage. If you be in ill Circumstances, you have none to apply to for Remedy; and if you be in good ones, you may be stript of them without Remedy the next Moment; for all Things are carried on by a Whirl of Fate. This

And you are not much better'd by the latter Hypothesis, That God hath trusted the Government of the World with Mankind, who are endowed with Reafon and Understanding. ::

For, if we consider how Mankind do sometimes use their Reasons, it is as good, if not B b 2


better, to be exposed to the Hazards of Chance or Necessity, as to be subject to their Wills..

The Truth of it is, if this System of the World be well consider’d, it will appear a more uncomfortable one than the other; for it doth not remove from us the Iron Bands of Fate, wé are still under that Yoke, as much as we were before. Yet besides these, it puts upon us anos ther Yoke, the arbitrary Pleasures of those of our own kind, which, if they be not govern'd by Reason, are Ten times more unsupportable than the other.

We are by this Hypothesis, as much expofed to Natural Evils, as we were before, and there is no help for them; but, over and above, we must bear the Indignities and Infolences, the Ravages and Cruelty of every one that is stronger than ourselves, and hath the Will to oppress us.

O hard Lot of Mankind, if this was their Constitution ! better by far were it for them to be Brutes, and think of nothing; than to be Men, upon such Terms as thefe.

Happy therefore are the Inhabitants of the Earth, happy are the remoteft Isles thereof, that there is a King that reigns both over Fate and Men. Happy are we, that there is a wise and intelligent Being, that super-intends all our Affairs, and so governs both the Powers of Nature, and the Powers of Mankind; that nothing can be done by either of them, but what is design'd by, and pursuant to his Counsels. · Upon this Supposition, we may live like Meni, and enjoy ourselves with some Comfort in this world. We may propose Ends and Designs to ourselves, and hope that with our


Diligence and good Management they may take effect.

Upon this Suppofition we may and ought to look upon all our good Successes, as the Blesdhe sings of God to us, and particularly that which al; we are this Day met together to thank him for; * I mean, the wonderful Preservation of his Ma5 jefty, from all the Dangers to which he hath

so often been expofed, and his fafe Return E . - Upon this Supposition we may hope, that

tho' all Things have not succeeded according

to our Wishes, yet in due Time they may, di since the King of the World hath, by the freTquent and unexpected Deliverances he hath I wrought for us, and the strange unusual Pro

vidences that have attended our King, given

us fome Encouragement to believe (provided at we doour Parts towards it that he hath reserv'd

Us for better Times, and Him for the exe& cuting those Glorious Designs, which Good

Men hope will at last be accomplish'd in the

Lastly, Upon this Supposition, every Honest * Man will find Reafon enough, both to bear

contentedly whatever uneasie Circumstances he ·lies under, and to trust in God's Mercy for the

Removal of them; and in the mean Time to
poffefs his own Soul, in a chearful Dependance
on God's Providence, and a hearty Thankful-
ness, for all the innumerable Blessings he hath
receiv'd, and doth daily receive from his Hands.
And, therefore, fince the Lord is King, let the
Earth be glad; yea, let the multitude of the Illes
be glad thereof.
Bb 3


« AnteriorContinuar »