« הקודםהמשך »
Let us therefore lift up our voices to God, who, for our deliverance, “ hath triumphed gloriously. The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is our strength and salvation, and he shall be the subject of our song. He is our God and we will prepare Him an habitation; our father's God, and we will exait Him. The right hand of the Lord is become glorious in power, and hath dashed in pieces the enemy. They said, we will pursue, we. will overtake, we will divide the spoil." —But the weakness of God is stronger than the strength of proudest man- When his people were but few, and strangers in a foreign wilderness; when they went from nation to nation in search of a settlement for themselves and their unborn posterity, the Lord suffered no man to do them wrong; yea He reproved even Kings for their sake.
“ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever: and all the people said Amen, and praised the Lord!”
Be these great examples of Praise and Thanks. giving followed by us this day; for surely whoever would be called a subject of these states, and is content to hold his Liberty and Property under their protection, could never desire to see their peace, however dear, established on Conquest or Force, by any power upon carth; and therefore we must rejoice when the Almighty in his providence appears to blast and defeat the most powerful reiterated attempts for reducing a free People, to a Government at will, and unconditional Submission.
After the days of mourning which we have beheld, the short period of about nine months hath produced such a series of favourable events, for these infant states, as astonishes ourselves; and, among our posterity, will scarcely be believed. Had the incidents which have taken place been but proposed to our hopes a twelve-month ago, by any person living, we should have thought that he mocked our Credulity, or insulted our Distress. But all things are possible with God; and when the affairs of a People are at the worst, then is often the time when the mighty one of Israel is pleased to interpose, and therein to “ triumph gloriously.”
In such cases, it is our indispensible duty to mark the manifestations of his power with humble reverence; and to rejoice before him exceedingly; but still, as was said before, we must “ rejoice with trembling,” because the same almighty Power which raised us up in our low estate, can dash us to the ground again, if, like the proud Assyrian of old, we begin to boast ourselves, and say that our own Hand, or the strength of our own Arm, got us the victory.
Wherefore, Brethren! let me, in conclusion, as is my duty, earnestly exhort you, in your best and most prosperous estate, to be clothed with Humility, and the Fear of God, in the fulness of his Love; ascribing only to Him all power and glory and vic. tory.
When we come to give Thanks unto God, for blessings received, or to Pray to Him for success in our undertakings, it must be with a conviction that all the Events of this world, and the fortune and fate
of all the People and Nations in it, are in his supreme disposal! Let us, therefore, be persuaded that the People and Nations, who most fervently and earnestly follow His holy Laws, and support the Purity and Majesty of that Divine Religion, which he hath made known to them, will most effectually serve their country, by obtaining His favour.
In the present moment of trial, all who profess to love their country, would certainly wish to shew that Love by their Courage and Heroism, when duly called upon to exercise them. But these glorious qualities can stand upon no foundation but a Conscience at Peace with God, and a Conviction that we are engaged in His divine Cause. I trust that we have long since satisfied our own Reason and Conscience, that the cause in which we are engaged is not grounded on the wicked passions of Ambition, Malice, Revenge, Cruelty, and the like; but that, in sight of Men and Angels, and of Him, who is above all the quires of Angels, we contend for the security of those sacred and unalienable Rights, which the good Providence of God called us to inherit. These we are never to desert, but to strive for them, at every peril, with a holy and unquenchable Zeal; persevering, if need be, even unto Death. Every Peo . ple and Country have native and essential Rights, which neither in conscience, nor in duty to God and themselves, they can tamely surrender. When Liberty is invaded, when Property is insecure, when Devastation, and Plunder, and all the Horrors of War, are around a People, it is their sacred Duty, by every brave and heroic Exertion, to repel such
Iniquity; and to seek for the Re-establishment of Peace and Safety, by every means in their power, hostile or otherwise. In such cases, Resistance is the voice of Nature, and of God. We have re. sisted--and Resisted even unto Blood; and through the blessing of God, have repelled the danger, and opened the Prospect of future Safety-opened it so far indeed, that, as already observed, our present Hopes, compared with our former Fears, in the short period of about nine months, have converted a kind of temporary Despondency, into a well-grounded Confi. dence, in the Strength of the Almighty,
Thus among our progenitors, in the parent land of Britain, when they had but just shaken off the yoke of spiritual bondage, and established the Religion of Jesus in its native Purity, a bloody Design was formed to extinguish their name and religion toge, ther. The vast Armada, foes to their peace, sailed, exultant, before the gale. It almost covered the in, tervening ocean-it approached the coast of GreatBritain--and, in the vanity of their heart, their proud Host said—“ What shall resist our power? We will pursue, we will overtake, we will divide the spoil!”— The eternal God, who dwells in Heaven, the Protector of the Just, saw and heard them. He laughed their de. vices to Scorn. Obedient to His Will, His servant. Seas and Waves rose and raged. The proud hopes of the Enemy were brought low; and all their stately casa, tles, which rode ere-while so triumphantly onthefoamy Surface, were now dispersed before the breath of the Almighty; or whelmed to the bottom in the midst of His vengeance, as a stone dropped from the hand,
In the sight of Britain this deliverance was wrought. Our fathers, from the shore, stood and
beheld it. Their praises and shouts of triumph ascended to the sky. The God of Victory was their Theme. Him they adored; and Him, by their Example, they left it in charge for their Posterity to adore!
The next attempt against the Rights and Happiness of our Ancestors in the Parent Land, was laid dark as Night, and deep as Hell. In the bowels of the earth a Mine was placed, to blow up the King, the Parliament, and the Governing Powers; and thus, at once, to blast the whole hopes and strength of the Protestant reformation, and civil Liberty. But the All-seeing Eye of God, detected the dark design, and His all-powerful Arm dragged the Conspirators to deserved Vengeance; thereby working another deliverance as great as the former: for which a day of an. nual Thanksgiving was established, to be continued through all succeeding generations of their Posterity.
Lost, therefore, to every sentiment of religious Gratitude should we be, if we did not this day, adore that Providence which has accomplished such a mighty Salvation for our country! And especially, let us remember, as I hinted before, to temper our Joy, with the consideration, that even the best Fruits of Victory are beset with thorns; and that what are days of Rejoicing to some, are but days of Mourning to others, whose dearest Relatives, have given their lives, as a sacrifice, in the Contest. This world is a che. quered scene, and we are to expect no pure Bliss in it. But let us act the part of good Citizens, good Men and good Christians; and then we may safely trust the Issue, to the Direction of that Almighty Being, who is supremely, just, wise, and holy!