« הקודםהמשך »
Sir THOMAS RAWLINSON
Lord Mayor os tke City os L 0 N D 0 XT.
QUIET at home, and conquest abroad, are ttxit os the greatest b'ejsmgs that can happen to a p'tOi le; and these hvye remarkably distinguist.ed the year of your Lordship's Magrftra. y: Which, as it bath been a continued scene of vtclories andsuccesses■, J» it began, and ended, -without any os those unnatural struggles for the chair, which have so long and often disturbed the peaie of this great city. That those passions, .whichseem now to besme-what tainted, may be entirely laid asleep, and never more awakened: that the city may flourish in trade and wealth, and all manner of outward advantages i farticvlarly, that it may never want such magistrates to guide and govern it, as your Lordship end your worthy successor, is the sincere wish, and hearty prayer, of,
. . .. • • i i .
JOB xxix. 14. '!!
J put on R'ght.cusuess and it ctonthed me; my Judgment was as a Rube, and a Diadem.
JOB's Reflexions on the flourishing estate he had once enjoyed, did at the fame time afflict and encourage him. Doubtless it encreased the smart of his present sufferings, to compare them with his former happiness: A nd yet a remembrance of the good use he bad made of prosperity^ contributed to support his mind under the heavy, weight of adversity which then lay upon him. He had been a person, not only of great opulence, but authority; a chief magistrate in the place where he dwelt; as appears from several passages in tha book which bears his, name; and he had. (it seems) executed that high office justly and ho-, nourably; with great satisfaction to himself, and with the universal applause of his country. To this consideration therefore he retreats, in the midst of all his pressures, with comfort and considence; in this thought, notwithstanding the fad afflictions with which he was overwhelmed, he mightily exults and triumphs. For hear, hovr he expresses himself on this occasion, in the verses next to that of the text!" 1 delivered the "poor that cried," fays he; "the fatherless, and "him that had none to help him. The blessing "of him that was ready to persh came upon me; "and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. "I was eyes to the blind, and seet was I to the "lame j I was a father to the poor, and the
"cause "cause which I knew not, I searched out: and "I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked "the spoil out of his teeth." One woudd imagine these td be the expressions of a man; blessed Witn ease, and affluence, and powei'} hot os otie, who had been just stripped of all those advantages, and plunged In the deepest rhfseries, and waS noW Ættltlg naked, Upon a dunghill! Hut \hespirit ¥ ifManibill .ustairi his ihfi'mtHtt; the conscious^ riefii 6f integrity, the sense of 9 Use spent in doing, good, will enable a man to bear Up under any dhartge of circumstances; and, whatever his outward condition fnay be, is such art Inward spring" of contentment and pleasure, aS cannot fall. ThiS was that, which not only armed the rrilrid of J6$ with sirmness and fortitude, but silled it also wnh those pleasirtg reflexions, which the WdrdS I na've' i*ad to you contain. Therein he? particularly Venrions, and values himself upOh, the corhpas-/ on, ahd readiness'; and zeal, with wKieh he had rfpblied himself to relieve the IrtiuriecT and dfflie-; ted; the Impartiality he had observed, the great diligence he had used, and the searless courage' lie had shewn, lA the administration of justice: Ut adds also, in the words of the text; 1 put on, rifktetusuess aria it clinkeis me; m), judgment tbdt dr a rihe, da's a diadem"; that is, my chief delich'Y ihy greatest hohour ahd happiness, lay In thus chTchargirig the duties of my station; lo that, in] comparison of it. I undervalued all the ensigns df authority which belonged to mo, all the pump aid splendor 6f life with which 1 Was surrounded.
The .words therefore will asford us a proper occasion of .considering,
i. First, What a public blessing a good magifh.atc is: For is is on this supposition that the Reslexions, which Job here makes to his own comfort and advantage, are built.
II. Secondly, The regard that is justly paid the inagistrate, on this account, in those outward 4»arks of distinction and honour with which he is attended. These hate their uses, with respect both to him, and to the community over which he presides. However, he must remember, always, in the
Its. 7/»W place, That the chief honour of the magistrate consists in maintaining the dignity of his character by suitable actions, and in discharging the high trust that is reposed in him, with integrity, wisdom, and courage. 'I hen doth he appear most venerable, and every way valuable, when, with upright 7*S he can truly fay, "I put M on righteousness, and it cloathed me ; my judg* "ment was a* a robe, and a diadem."
We may, I fay, in the
I. First place, Take occasion from hence to consider, What a public blessing a good magistrate is. The virtues of private persons, how bright and exemplary soever, operate but on few; on those only who are near enough to observe and inclined to imitate them: their sphere of action is narrow, and their influence is consined to it.
Vol. II. H But
But a just and wise magistrate is a Westing as extensive as the community to which he belongs; z blessing, which includes all other blessings whatsoever, that relate to this life; secures to us the possession, and enhances the value, of all of them; which renders the condition of the happiest among men still more happy, and the state of the meanest less miserable, then it would otherwise be: and fop the enjoyment of which no one man can well envy another; because all men, in their several ranks, and according to their several proportions and degrees, do alike share in it. "As the precious "ointment upon the head, which ran down unto '* the beard of Aaron, and went down" from thence even "to the skins of his cloathing :* Ps. cxxxii. 2. Such, and so univerfal, are the benesits which a good ruler bestows i in like manner are they derived from him, the head, and gently diffused over the whole body which, he governs, refreshing every part of it, as they descend, from the highest to the lowest. I shall not attempt to prove a point, in itself so evident; to us especially of this happy island, who have the most convincing argument for it, our own experience; and are blelsed with a reign, the advantages of which are common to prince and people, to the meanest subjects, as well as to thole of the highest place and dignity: AU share in them, and all therefore have reason to bless God for them, and for the great instrument of his goodness, by which he bestows them.
However, as manifest a truth as this is, it may deserve sometimes to be inculcated; because we are too apt, all of us, to forget it; and some men