Imágenes de página

to Others, thofe Happy Others, whose Noble Characters arid Noble Qualities do conspire to render them Aimiable and Dear to the Societies of Men, is Vo* luntary and Generous, the effect of Hearts flowing with Love and Zeal towards them*

When the Highest Titles &k thus Joyn^d. by the Brightest Virtues, they cannot Fail of raising the Highest Approbation and Esteem in all the Wisest and Best of Men. And Such Honour may well be accounted a Blessing, which hath excited the Greatest Persons to the Greatest Actions and Eh* terprizes^ in all Ages of the World, So long as the Desire of it does not proceed from Pride^ nor Degenerate into Vainglory; so long as it is not mens Chief, but Subordinate Aim; so long as it is Subservient to the Love of God, and Bounded by the Laws of Religion; all which Circumstances are Supposed in the Character of a Good man; That Desire of it is a Natural and Just AjseBion, as the Attainment of it is a Proper Refreshment and Reward of Pure and Virtuous Minds.

And the Stability of this Blessing is
V Equal


Equal to the Purity and the Excellency of it. Riches, or Life, may be taken away by Force, or, however, Each of them is the Certain Prey of Devouring Time; But Honour is a Blefling too Great to be Destroyed by the most Potent and Bitter Enemies: It riseth the Higher, by the Opposition it meets with, and is so far from yielding to the Cankering Efforts of Time, that it gathers Strength by it's Continuance, and is ever gaining new Degrees of Beauty and Perfection.

Having gone through the Particulars proposed from the Words, I mould now briefly Apply them to the Occasion of this Discourse; And yet, such an Application is so Obvious, that it seems almost needless to Offer it.

What hath been observed concerning Length of Days, must Already have affected us with full Joy, under the Thoughts of that Honourable Person, whom we here see attended with the Blejfings of Long Life, without the Burthen of it; Whom God is still pleased to Guard against This Great Cause of Complaint, which is Usually Incident to Others, in a much Earlier Her Period, That their ftrength isThen but Labour and Sorrow; And, Who is now1 as Happy, in being Free from the Infir^ inities of the Mind, as He hath all along been in that Course of 'Virtue', which is the Necessary Provision of so Valuable a Freedom. I only Mention that Course of Virtue, without Venturing to Offends by a Particular Account of it; for Good men do Agree with Others of a Quite Different Character, in This Respect, that Neither of them Can Easily bear an Account of their Own Lives and Actions.

However; Neither the Fear of Offending the Chastest ears, even by a Detail of plain Truths, on the One hand; nor yet an Utter Abhorrence of the Abominable sin of Flattery, on the Other, mould restrain me from suggesting the Necessity of our Offering up Praises to God, for the Beneficial Use, which this Noble Hand hath made of Riches, the Second Advantage proposed in the Text. His Generous and Lasting Provisions for the Education of Touth> the Advancement of Learnings and the Defence and Propagation of Religion, Cannot be Concealed, and shall never


be Forgot Blessed the Man, who thus Cultivates and Inricheth his Countrey, by his Pastage tlirough it!

Honour is the Last 'Talent mention'd in the Text; And this also the fame Faithful Hand hath Preserved without Violation, and Improved to the Utmost Advantage; For where a Title of Honour; and an Honourable Life, do reflect a Mutual and Constant Lustre upon one another, There is Honour Indeed. And yet, the Honour thus Descended, and thus Æorned, does not stand Alone, but in a Happy Union with the Honour of Episcopacy, and That Episcopal Honour This day risen, -in it's Duration, to the Meridian of a Century, and shining forth in it's Full Strength. Abundant Reason have we to Rejoyce under the Benign Aspect of the Mitre and the Coronet in Conjunction, a Conjunction which hath Seldom appeared in the World. A Few Persons indeed of Noble Deseent are recorded amongst the Bishops of the First Ages: But of Some we know Little more than their Names; and the Account of Others is, that Their Enjoy

*^ this Double • Honour was but:

Short. Short It Rested upon the Great St. Basils but a little more than Eight Years, before he followed his JVable and Pious Ance-^ stours to the Mansions of Glory Above. May the Sun bring many Returns of This Joyful and Memorable Day, before the Like Event ariseth in This Place!


So Many and so Great Blessings hath Heaven bestowed upon this Honourdble, and Venerable Person.

Indeed in That Church, which hath adrded Covetousness to it's Other Idolatries, and so Aggrandized it's Spiritual Stations, that Many Mighty and Many Noble are Tempted to Press into Them, Episcopacy, Secular Honours, and Vast Treasures do often meet together. But in the Catholick Church of Christ, Before They of the Roman Communion, by Unwarrantable Tenets and Practices, Separated from it, and Since We have, by Relinquishing Them, been Re-united to it, All These Blessings have scarce even been Found Centring in One man, and in the same Degrees of Perfection and Duration, as in This Illustrious Person, whom the King of Heaven hath thus Blessed, and the

Y 3 Kings

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »