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Vol. II. have obtain'd. It would require more
Time than is now allotted me to take but a transient View of the one and the other. We have been deliver'd not only from Foreign Enemies, but from our selves, from the Egyptian Bondage and Darkness of Popery, and from the Frenzy and Confusion of Phanaticism. No Plots, no Arms have prevail'd against us : We have broken under Queen Elizabeth the Power of Spain first, and under Queen Ann that of France afterwards, when the one and the other grasp?d at an universal Monarchy. Nor has the Subtilty of Rome. fucceeded better than open Forces against us; the very Methods they chalk'd out to our Ruin have led to our greater Security and Glory. But the Success we celebrate this Day is alone enough to take up our Thoughts; here we see verified in a very eminent Instance the Words of my Text; Thine Enemies shall be found Liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high Places. We have baffled their best form’d Designs, and render'd all their Boasts vain; no Fortifications have been able to hold out against us; no Stratagems, no Numbers, no Advantages , have been able to resist us. We fee at this Day the mighty Projects of France brought to nothing; its strong Towns,
its numerous and disciplin’d Forces,which Serm. were long the Pride and Confidence of XI. that aspiring Monarch, and the Terror of his Enemies, have at length only afforded Matter of Victories and Triumphs to us. Who could have hop'd, who should have confider'd the Face of Affairs Twenty Years ago, that the vast and united Power of France should have been reduc'd to what it now is by a People fo unprepar'd for War, fo divided amongst Our selves, as we were? Who could have hop'd that he who threaten’d the Liberty of Europe, would scarce be able to defend his own? That he who had swallow'd up the neighbouring Kingdoms in his Imagination, should be sollicitous to fecure his own, and live to see Paris almost in as much Danger as we a little while ago saw Vienna in? Who could have thought that he who had been long thé Arbiter of War and Peace in Europe, that was wont to begin the one, and prefcribe the Terms of the other at his own Pleasure, should live to see such Terms of Peace propos'd him as France it felf, not to say its haughty Monarch, could not digest after so many terrible Defeats, and in the Distress 'tis in, in every refpect ?
Thus have I made some Reflection upon our Happiness consider'd absolutely in it felf:
2. Iam next to say something of it comparatively ; Who is like unto thee? And here I might again run thorough all our Blessings, and Thew what Pre-eminence we enjoy in each of 'em above other Nations. But I can but just glance at it.
What Nation is there that has abounded so much in. Wealth, or about whose Glory God has rais'd such a Defense, such a Bulwark, as he has about ours? What Nation is there that enjoys so much Plen ty with so much Security? What Nation has been able so long to maintain the Ballance of Europe? What Nation besides us is fit to be the Bulwark of the Proteftant Religion, the Center of Union, or the Retreat and Sanctuary of the Miserable and Oppressed? If we consider our Government, what Nation is there that has Laws so wise and equitable as we have at this Day? We alone of all the Kingdoms of Europe have retain'd our Liberty; we alone understand rightly the Difference between Kings and Tyrants, between Subjects and Slaves; we alone can call what we have our own, being almost the only People in Europe this Day
to whom Government is a Blessing, and Serm. not a Plague and Punishment.
XI. If we come now to Spiritual Blessings, what Nation is there in which Religion is so free from Superstition on the one hand, and Innovation on the other ? Where Christian Charity and Liberty is in good Measure secur'd against the Usurpation and Tyranny both of Confiftories and Classes? What Church is there in which the Word of God is preach'd, and the Sacraments administred with greater Purity and Simplicity? Where shall we find a Liturgy, where a Catechism, that has nothing in it of Controversy, no Stamp of a Sect upon it? Where is the Doctrine of Justification more truly stated? Where is the Notion of Gospel Holiness more clearly taught, and the Necessity of it more affectionately enforced? Where is Faith and Obedience more ftri&ly joyn’d together, and the Doctrine of good Works advanced with so true Humility and just Sense of our own natural Weakness and Insufficiency? Hence it is observ'd, that where those of our Communion are good, none are better, because our Religion is pure and solid, and our Service a sincere and rational one.
II. I coine now to the Cause of our Felicity, 0 People sav’d by the Lord, for to him undoubtedly we owe all. We cannot doubt, unless we are Atheists, but those I call’d natural Advantages or Blessings are the Product of his Creation.' 'Tis he that has encompass'd us with a natural Fortification; 'tis he that gives Fertility to our Soil and Healthiness to our Clime; 'tis he that has given us fuch strong and able Bodies, fuch generous Tempers, and such clear Understandings. And you will as little doubt, but that we owe our Spiritual Bleffings all to him: That Judgment and Moderation, that Wisdom and Zeal, both of our Princes änd our Bishops, visible in the Constitution of our Churchi, are surely to be afcrib’d to him. And as to our Civil GOvernment, it has in it fo many manifest Characters of Wisdom and Juftice ; 'tis compacted with that Depth of Contriỹance, and that solid Strength, that we cannot but think that Providence is as confpicuous in the establishing as in the defending of it: Nor have we any reafon to doubt but that God blefs'd with eminent Gifts those whom he made use of as his Instruments in the one and the other. As to extraordinary Mercies, De