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The Happiness of ENGLAND. A Thanksgiving SERMON
Preach'd November 22. 1709.
DEUT. xxxiii. 29.
thee, 0 People sav’d by the Lord, the
HE proper Work of this Day Vol. II,
being to celebrate the Divine
with grateful Hearts our own Happiness, as flowing from it, I could pot pitch upon a more proper Text than
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
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 Bielings:
Secondly, The extraordinary and occasional ones, which he has conferr'd upon this Nation.
First, His fix'd and stated Blessings Serm. may be reduc’d, for Distinction fake, un- XI. der Three Heads, Natural, Civil, and Spiritual. For we enjoy a good Country, a wise 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 maintaind 'em against all Incroachments either at Home or from Abroad. I will
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 so temper'd, that 'tis almost impossible, 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 Superstition, nor per
plex’d by controverted Opinions, or Phi- Serm.
Secondly, To that sort of Mercies, which