« הקודםהמשך »
To apply this to our present case-It is not enough that the war we are now engaged in is honourable and just, and that we humbly commend it to the Divine Blessing for success ; for that blessing and success cannot reasonably be expected without that diligence and application, without those warlike preparations and vigorous efforts, which heaven hath already put within our reach. And further, should our expeditions, like the fore-mentioned ones of the Israelites, meet with a first, and a second defeat, this is no proof that our cause is not just, and that God will not espouse it. It ought therefore, by no means, to sour or dispirit us; nor to shake our hope in heaven ; nor to awaken peevish and disloyal murmurs at the conduct of men. Perhaps, we are too vain, too confident of our own strength ; and too apt to despise the weak and defenceless state of the nation with whom we war : when the body politic is thus high in blood, heated and swollen with an unnatural fermentation and fire of its spirits; it as much needs to be let blood to cool and bring down its flame, as the body natural in a fever. Perhaps, Providence may make use of the sword of our enemies to correct our national degeneracy and corruption of manners; to check that levity and lewdness, that riot and intemperance, those unnatural contentions, animosities and strifes, which unhappily prevail amongst us ; and which seem to call for some strokes also upon us. May the mercies of God lead us to a religious and right temper, that we may not provoke him to drive us to it by his rod.
But whatever aspect our affairs may put on in the beginning; whatever humbling strokes heaven may see fit to give, to awaken and chastise a too proud and secure land ; there is rational ground to hope that the issue will be in our fa.
vour; and that as our cause, we trust, is righteous, so the righteous Judge of all the earth will certainly appear for us, and plead it against those who thus unjustly invade us. Before him let us bow down, and humbly invoke his patronage and help.
ALMIGHTY GOD; the king of kings; the most righteous governor and judge of men : thou hatest tyranny, injustice and fraud; but thy countenance beholds and favours the upright. Thou commandest us in our distress to call upon thee. We bend our knee, most gracious Sovereign, before thy throne, beseeching thee to look down with a favourable eye upon this our land. For• give our great and numerous faults ; and pour down upon us a spirit of repentance, of supplication, and of virtue. Thine eyes behold the nations ; and thou supremely judgest amongst all the gods and princes of this earth; let not the rebellious eralt themselves. Behold the perfidy and the violence of those who rise up against us! Send from above, and deliver us from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falshood. We have no power, in which we trust, to resist their oppressions; but, art not thou God in heaven? And rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the earth ? And in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able
to withstand thee? Be pleased to exert thine omnipotent arm in our protection and defence.
Blast, and bring to nought every uprighteous and wicked attempt. Scatter those who delight in war; and bless the world with peace. Take away the hearts of our insolent foes : strike terror through their hearts : let not their men of might be able to find their hands : let them flee in battle, and fall. But, give courage to our forces; inspire thein with chearfulness, vigor and strength : teach their hands to war: cover them in the day of battle ; and let thy presence be to them a shield of defence. Go forth with our fleets ; let thy winds, and thy waves favour them; prevent destructive storms; remove all sicknesses from amongst them; and crown them with victory and glorious success.
Our eyes are unto thee, O thou Almighty King and Judge of all the earth, for succour and help: judge betwixt us, and our unrighteous oppressors: wherein they deal proudly, and break the law and faith of nations, shew thyself to be above them. Let the horrible cruelties with which they have slaughtered thy creatures and thy children, and by which they have reproached and blasphemed thy holy name, in the sight of infidels and heathens, come in remembrance before thee. Attend to the cry of those from beneath thy throne, who continually say—How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood !
Cast confusion upon the idols, and fictitious mediators, in which they wickedly trust. Vindicate the honour of Jesus thy son, whom thou hast constituted the only Lord and Saviour of men. Let all their idol mediators quickly fall before him ; and let those who call upon them be covered with shame. Confounded be all they that serve graven images; that boast themseloes
of idols ; worship him all ye gods. In him alone we trust, believing that all power, both in heaven and earth, is put only into his hands.
Jesus, Thou son of God! the Lord of all angels! Send forth thine host to guard, and to fight for us : plead thine own cause, the cause of righteousness, and of truth ; and restore peace to the earth. In thy name we go forth to battle; sincerely desirous that justice, that truth and peace should take place : stand by, and support us; bless our counsels with wisdom, and our arms with success. To thee we humbly appeal, and with thee leave our cause ; worshipping thee as the prince of all the kings of this earth; for thou art most worthy, O Lord, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.-Blessing, therefore, and honour, and glory, and power be only unto him that sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen.