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The Happiness of ENGLAND.
A Thanksgiving SERMON,

Preach'd November 22. 1709.

DEUT. xxxiii. 29.
Happy art thou, O Israel : who is like unto

thee, 0 People sav’d by the Lord, the
Shield of thy Help, and who is the Sword
of thy Excellency! and thine Enemies shall
be found Liars unto thee, and thou shalt
tread upon their high Places,

HE proper Work of this Day Vol. II,

T

being to celebrate the Divine Goodness, and to contemplate

with grateful Hearts our own Happiness, as flowing from it, I could pot pitch upon a more proper Text than

these

P. A

Vol. II. these Words, which the Office has applied i to our Nation. Blessed be God, who by

repeated Successes does justify our doing fo. I shall therefore need to give you no Explication of the Words, but only substitute England in the place of Israel, and the Text will then run, Happy art thou, 0 England, who is like unto thee, &c.

Hence I shall insist on Two Things.

1. Our Happiness.

II. The Cause of it, viz. the Divine

Goodness.

I. Of the Happiness of our Nation. I shall consider this,

1. Absolutely, and without regard to our neighbouring Nations ; Happy art thou, &c.

2. Comparatively; Who is like unto thee?

1. To form a true View of our Happiness, without carrying our Thoughts any further than our selves, we may

divide the Mercies of God into two sorts.

First, The fix'd, and almost constant Biesings:

Secondly, The extraordinary and occasional ones, which he has conferr'd upon this Nation.

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many and

a little

First, His fix'd and stated Blessings Serm. may be reduc’d, for Distinction fake, un- XI. der Three Heads, Natural, Civil, and m Spiritual. For we enjoy a good Country, a wife and well-temper'd Government,a Primitive and Apostolical Church. Each of these Heads involve so so great Mercies in ’em, that I cannot pass them over without entring, at least way,

into the Detail of them. ist, As to our Country; we have a fruitful Soil, a healthy and temperate Climate ; if it be not our own Fault, our Inhabitants live long, and in Plenty, and Ease too; we abound in Commodities of general Use not elsewhere to be found; the Sea that is about us is not only a Fence and Security to us, but an Abyss of Treasure, ministring not only to our Safety, but to our Grandure too, and I wish I could not add to our Pride and Luxury; but this is our Abuse of Merсу,

'tis our Sin and our 'Shame. Here too I may mention the Capacity and Courage of the Inhabitants of this Ille, both which are illustrious in the Tenderness and the Jealousy we have at all times expressed for our Rights and Laws, and the Struggles by which we have maintain’d'em against all Incroachments either at Home or from Abroad. I will

not

/

Vol. II. not insist longer on this Head, the TreaNfure we have spent in the last Twenty

Years, and the Safety we have enjoy'd when almost the whole world has been in a continual Storm and Tumult, is a plain Demonstration of God's Goodnefs towards us, and shews how well we are fitted naturally to be a happy People.

adly, The next Head under which we may reduce the Mercies of God, is the Civil Government. This amongst us is gracious and mild. Power is bounded by wise and equal Laws; Dominion and Subjection are fo temper'd, that 'tis almost impoflible, unless we betray our felves, that Sovereignty should swell into Tyranny, or Obedience degenerate into Slavery: The Prerogatives of the Crown are great enough to make the Prince not only easy, but glorious; and the Rights and Liberties of the People are large enough to make 'em happy; and each are as exactly bounded, and as strongly guarded as Human Prudence, under the common Assistance of God, can contrive.

3dly, We have a Primitive and Apoftolical CHURCH. The Dactrine of it breathes Holiness, Charity, and Obedience; the Sacraments are administred with great Plainness and Simplicity, neither incumber'd by Superftition, nor per:

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plex’d by controverted Opinions, or Phi- Serm.
losophical Speculations; our Liturgy is XI.
devout and grave, solid and weighty; and
the Rule and Standard both of our Faith
and Manners is the Word of God, ex-
pounded according to the Catholick Sense
of the purest Ages. There is nothing in
the Constitution of our Church that mi-
nisters either to Fierceness and Bigotry
on the one hand, or to Fancy and Enthu-
siasm on the other. And our Discipline,
were it put in Execution, is such as would
effectually tend to restrain Immorality
and encourage Virtue. And thus I Irave
gone thro' very briefly the fix'd and sta-
ted Mercies of this Nation; I'll now pass
on,

Secondly, To that sort of Mercies, which
for Distinétion fake, I call extraordinary
and occasional, tho' the Truth is, God
has repeated them to us so often, that as
transcendent as they are in their own na-
ture, we may in a manner call them
common and ordinary. I need here but
follow the Thread of my Text, which
has describ'd these very eloquently and
emphatically, 0 People Saved by the Lord,
the Shield of thy Help, and who is the Sword
of thy Excellency. These Words call ta
our Mind the many Deliverances we
have had, and the many Victories we

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