« הקודםהמשך »
powers concerned in it. The British nation is labouring under a heavy load of taxes. These colo- . nies are likewise drained to the utmost, and sinking under the burden, as we all feel. Peace, then, of some kind or other, must be a desirable event; and upon our success this campaign it may depend, whether we shall dictate a peace to the French, or they to us. Should the latter be the case, (which God forbid!) it would be a fatal peace to us.
Rise then, my countrymen! as you value the blessings you enjoy, and dread the evils that hang over you, rise and shew yourselves worthy of the name of Britons! rise to secure to your posterity, peace, freedom, and a pure religion! rise to chastize a perfidious nation for their breach of treaties, their detestable cruelties, and their horrid murders! remember the cries of your captivated brethren, your orphan children, your helpless widows, and thousands of beggared families! Think of Monongahela, Fort William Henry, and those scenes of savage death, where the mangled limbs of your fellow citizens lie strewed upon the plain; calling upon you to retrieve the ho-nour of the British name !
Thus animated and roused, and thus putting your confidence, where alone it can be put, let us go forth in humble boldness; and the Lord do what seemeth him good!
A FEW passages in the former editions of the following Sermon, that related merely to those at whose desire it was delivered, are now entirely left out, as having no immediate connection with the main subject, or the design of the present publication.
AN EARNEST EXHORTATION TO RELIGION, BROTHERLY LOVE,
AND PUBLIC SPIRIT, IN THE PRESENT DANGEROUS STATE OF AFFAIRS : PREACHED IN CHRIST-CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA; ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, JUNE 24, 1755.
1. PETER, ïi. 17.
To contain rules of conduct levelled to every capacity, and fitted to the circumstances of men, in all their various relations and exigencies, is an excellence peculiar only to God's holy word. In the text, and verses preceding, the apostle has the following noble exhortation
“ Wherefore, says he, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings; be ye as lively stones, built up a spiritual house; free and not using your liberty as a cloak of maliciousness. Love the brotherhood; fear God; bonour the king*.”
Ver. 1, 5, 16, 17.
The most excellent doctrine contained in these mords is not only highly suitable to the purpose of those at whose instance I now appear here, but likewise to every man among us of whatsoever denomi. nation or degree. And this, I confess, was my chief inducement to the choice of them. It was reasonably apprehended that the nature of this occasion would draw together a very large and mixt assembly; and therefore I thought it my duty to select a subject, which might equally interest us all, both as men and as Christians, especially in the present dangerous state of our affairs.
In things of inferior moment, I doubt not, our sentiments may differ; but in those principles which are the foundation of the text, 'tis to be hoped we all agree, namely, in believing—That there is one God, the supreme Lord of the universe; that our whole species is one brotherhood, being one flesh, and the work of his hand; and that we were designed for social life, being by nature both fitted and disposed to increase each other's happiness, and incapable of any tolerable happiness in a solitary state. These principles partly constitute a kind of universal religion, of eternal and immutable obligation; and whatever associations we may form for particular purposes, the great end proposed upon the whole, should be to enable us the more effectually to act in conformity to this obligation, which no power on earth can release us from.
As long, therefore, as we believe these principles -and we cannot help believing them, as long as we continue to be constituted as we are-it must, at all
times, and in all circumstances, be our indispensable duty, to love this brotherhood who are our own flesh; to fear this God who made us for social happiness; and to honour those who, in a more eminent manner, concur with the benevolent purposes of heaven, to promote the good of the social system.
Having thus said whať seemed necessary by way of introduction, and having established the duties commanded in the text, by a brief deduction of them from first principles; I shall now lay before you some considerations to enforce the practice of them, taking them singly in their order.
First, we are to love the brotherhood. This fundamental precept has been so often recommended as the firmest link in the golden chain of all societies, that scarce any thing remains to be added upon it. “ Change not a faithful brother, says the wise man*, for the gold of Ophir.” And one still wiser lays such stress on brotherly love, that he requires it as the test of our Christianity. “ Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to anothert.”
The whole Gospel breathes the spirit of love. Its divine author is all love, and his true followers must be love. Love is the happiness of the saints in glory, and love only can render the christian life an imitation of theirs. Few motives, therefore, one would think, might suffice, to enforce the practice of such a godlike virtue.
Eccles. vii. 18.
Jolin, xiij. 35.