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and our religion. Our country produced us into the world, and continues to nourish us, so that it is usually called our mother; and there have been examples of great magistrates, who have put their own children to death for endeavouring to betray their country, as if they had attempted the life of their natural parent.
Thus I have briefly shown you how terrible a sin it is to be an enemy to our country, in order to incite you to the contrary virtue, which at this juncture is so highly necessary, when every man's endeavour will be of use.
We have hitherto been just able to support ourselves under many hardships; but now the axe is laid to the root of the tree, and nothing but a firm union among us can prevent our utter undoing. This we are obliged to, in duty to our gracious king, as well as to ourselves. Let us therefore preserve that publick spirit, which God hath raised in us for our own temporal interest. For, if this wicked project should succeed, which it cannot do but by our own folly; if we sell ourselves for nought; the merchant, the shopkeeper, the artificer, must fly to the desert with their miserable families, there to starve, or live upon rapine, or at least exchange their country for one more hospitable than that where they were born.
Thus much I thought it my duty to say to you who are under my care, to warn you against those temporal evils, which may draw the worst of spiritual evils after them ; such as heart-burnings, murmurings, discontents, and all manner of wickedness, which a desperate condition of life may tempt men to.
I am sensible that what I have now said will not go very far, being confined to this assembly: but I
hope hope it may stir up others of my brethren to exhort their several congregations, after a more effectual manner, to show their love for their country on this important occasion. And this, I am sure, cannot be called meddling in affairs of state.
I pray God protect his most gracious majesty, and this kingdom long under his government; and defend us from all ruinous projectors, deceivers, suborners, perjurers, false accusers, and oppressors; from the virulence of party and faction; and unite us in loyalty to our king, love to our country, and charity to each other. And this we beg, for Jesus Christ's sake : to whom, &c.
ALMIGHTY and most gracious Lord God, extend, we beseech thee, thy pity
thy pity and compassion toward this thy languishing servant: teach her to place her hope and confidence entirely in thee: give her a true sense of the emptiness and vanity of all earthly things : make her truly sensible of all the infirmities of her life past; and grant to her such a true sincere repentance as is not to be repented of. Preserve her, O Lord, in a sound mind and understanding, during this thy visitation; keep her from both the sad extremes of presumption and despair. If thou shalt please to restore her to her former health, give her grace to be ever mindful of that mercy, and to keep those good resolutions she now makes in her sickness ; so that no length of time, nor prosperity,
may entice her to forget them. Let no thought of • her misfortunes distract her mind, and prevent the
means toward her recovery, or disturb her in her preparations for a better life. We beseech thee also,
O Lord, of thy infinite goodness, to remember the good actions of this thy servant; that the naked she hath clothed, the hungry she hath fed, the sick and the fatherless whom she hath relieved, may be reckoned, according to thy gracious promise, as if they had been done unto thee. Hearken, O Lord, to the prayers offered up by the friends of this thy servant in her behalf, and especially those now made by us unto thee. Give thy blessing to those endeavours used for her recovery ; but take from her all violent desire either of life or death, farther than with resignation to thy holy will. And now, O Lord, we implore thy gracious favour toward us here met together. Grant that the sense of this thy servant's weakness may add strength to our faith ; that we, considering the infirmities of our nature, and the uncertainty of life, may, by this example, be drawn to repentance, before it shall please thee to visit us in the like manner. Accept these prayers, we beseech Thee, for the sake of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, our Lord; who, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God world without end. Amen.
USED BY THE DEAN FOR
MRS. JOHNSON IN HER LAST SICKNESS.
WRITTEN OCTOBER 17, 1727.
Most merciful Father, accept our humblest prayers in behalf of this thy languishing servant : forgive the sins, the frailties and infirmities of her life past. Accept the good deeds she hath done in such a manner, that at whatever time thou shalt please to call her, she may be received into everlasting habitations. Give her grace to continue sincerely thankful to thee for the many favours thou hast bestowed upon her, the ability and inclination and practice to do good, and those virtues, which have procured the esteem and love of her friends, and a most unspotted name in the world. O God, thou dispensest thy blessings and thy punishments as it becometh infinite justice and mercy : and since it was thy pleasure to afflict her with a long, constant, weakly state of health, make her truly sensible, that it was for very wise ends, and was largely made up to her in other blessings more valuable and less common. Continue to her, O Lord, that firmness and constancy of mind, where with thou hast most graciously endowed her,