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I hide from Abraham that thing which I do, seeing that all the Nations of the £arth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his Children and his Houjhold after him, that they keep the Way of the Lord.
There is indeed this Difference betwixt Your Endeavours to Propagate Religion, and Thofe of Abraham, That Yours do. want the Support of Paternal Authority, which his had: But there is This difference also, that Your Sollicitude in Promoting God's honour, and Deriving the Blessings of Religion upon Times to come, cannot possibly be the more Binding or Confirm'd by the Additional Ties of Natural Affection, as the Patriarchs possibly might. The Children.which you are Qualifying to convey Religion with. Safety and Success unto Posterity, are Yours purely by Adoption.
But still the Honour of God, though it be your Principal Aim, is not the Sole Inducement to your Glorious En-? terprizes and Designs. You are pursuing some Other Ends, but Thofe such as, next to God's Honour, should lie uppermost molr- in the Purpofes of all Wise and Good Men, and do both Justine and Demand your Zeal. For Your Prospects are, the special Advantages of Those, whom you take into your Protection, and the General Benefits of the Community.
'That the Designs and Management of the Charity-Schools are Justly calculated for the Special Advantage of Those who are so happy as to be taken into them, cannot be doubted, and will not want to be proved, till it shall cease to* be Universally Granted by Mankind, that Knowledge and Industry, Good Manners and Modesty, Probity and Piety, and all kinds of Virtue, with the Blessed Consequences of them, in This and a Future State, are Preferable to Ignorance and Idleness, Rudeness and Impudence, Dishonesty and Impiety j and all Kinds of Vice, together with those Varieties of Mischief and Misery > which flow from These Impure Fountains , and must Unavoidably flow from them for Ever.
SERMON V. lii$
- And isany Nation under Heaven mould be so far removed from the Common Sense of all Other Nations under Heaven, as not to perceive that its Prosperity and Glory do very much depend upon a Design adapted, with no less Prudence than Piety, to the Extirpation of Vice and the Advancement of Virtue; iuch a singular Race of Men would not easily be thought to Deserve so High a Blessing, which they know not how to Esteem.
If Virtues be, in the Nature of Things, the firmest Sinews of Society; and moreover that Kingdom, which provides most Effectually for the Support and Honour ofReligion, hath the best Title to Divine Favour; what Bleflings may we not expect from Heaven, if this Beautiful Branch of Charity should but Spread and Flourish, and the Shadow of it become a Sacred Shelter to the Land?:
This Design is of so Great Consequence to Religion, perhaps of Greater. Consequence than any other Design which hath been set on Foot since the Reformation, that if it should happily be e1 spoused
spouseil by the Publick, and become National, it might, in the Event, prove a Just reason of our hopes, that God will bestow upon us all the Publick Blessings which are promised to Righteous Nations,
Let bils Enemies then Trust in their Spears and their Mighty Men of Valour* and leave all Concern for God's Honour out of their Schemes and their Counsels; Let Us but provide for the Propagation of his holy Religion, and we may safe^ ly leave the Issue of Things to His Gra~ cious Disposal. Let us then continually add to the Numbers of such Innocents as are here before us, Evidences of your Abundant Love to Them, and to their Saviour; and therefore qualified to appear as most Proper and Acceptable Advocates in your Behalf, before the Throne of Grace, and you will have no great Reason to dread the Might or the Machinations of your Enemies: For who shall harm you, if you be, in this Eminent Sense, Followers and Supporters of that which is Good?
If therefore any Persons should happen to become Audacious enough to oppofe this Excellent Design of promoting God's Honour, they would have too much Reason to fear that He may^* himself Honour upon them, in a Sense not Very Agreeable to them, as he got him~ self Honour upon Pharaoh and all his Hoftt. And the Propitious Dispensations of Heaven, which are the only safe and im-4 moveable Foundation of every Govern-* ment, do so much depend upon the Success of this Charitable and Pious Design* which is Manifestly, and in an High Degree, subservient to God's Honour, that whosoever Meditates the least Opposition, or Obstruction to it, may Justly be Suspected, whatever Plausible Preten .* ces he may urge in his own Favour, of Meditating Malignant and Pernicious Purpofes against the Government; And whofoever proceeds to an Actual Opposition to This Design, does in Effect Act in Conjunction with thofe who have Actually drawn their Swords for the Destruction of the King and Constitution. For That Imputation may properly fall