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ing the Ctrcumflances of this Prince's Death, before they Actually Arose, as Distinctly, as when they did Actually arise, spoke of his suffering Death, as of a Matter of Favour, must be understood to speak of it, as attended with Those Circumstances; and that Seeming Destruction, but Real Favour to his Person was occafion'd, by the National Sins, and the Dreadful Punishments which were to ensue.
When a Prince is Deeply affected with a Sense of God's Honour, and Tenderly Sollicitous for the Good of his People; Then must their Superfluity of Naughtiness Pex fa righteous Soul from day to day., and his Translation into the Celestial Regions of Purity is the most Effectual, if not his Only Effectual Relief from that Continual Vexation; And that Relief is the more Acceptable, because it secures him from the Sight of their approaching Miseries, which would Greatly Aggravate the Anguish he seels under the -Sight of their Sins. And when They are become obdurate in Wickedness, and That Wickedness hurries them on, to Harrass,
and and Oppress, and Persecute their Prince, insomuch that nothing less than Irrejiftibk Grace, which is never granted, would prevail with Them to desist from their Barbarous Treatment of Him, and the Torments of his Life-must, without a Miracle, be as Lasting as Life itself; Then the Divine savour towards him, Demonstrated in his Death, under whatsoever Circumstances, adjusted by Divine Wisdom, is not only occasion'd by the Violence, and Tyranny, and other' Iniquities of his People, but may be, according to the ordinary Course of Things, the Only certain Means of his Deliverance from them.
And this Reason of the Divine Dispensation, God's Favour to the Prince, under the outward Appearance of suffering, is attended with Another Reason of it, relating to the People themselves, and That is, Their being Depriv'd of a Blessing, which their Iniquities have provok'd God to withdraw from Them. And, under this Consideration, it seems highly Reasonable to grant, that by how much Greater the Wickedness of a People, pie, and the Excellencies of their Prince are, by so much the Greater is their Danger of Losing him: And the Removal of so Great Happiness from Them, is a Chief End of Divine Justice and Wisdom in such an Event. For 'tis observable in Relation to the Person of the Prince, that the Equitable and the Gracious Dispofal of Him will, after the Favour of his Present Deliverance, be abundantly provided for another Way, and in Another and more glorious Kingdom. The fundamental Reason of such Incidents depends upon the Notions and Nature of Human Society, as such, and the Different Relations of Man, to This and a Future State.
The Circumstances of any Man's Life upon Earth, and the Circumstances of his Death, are a Trifle and Unworthy of Regard or Notice, when Compared with the great End and Purpofe of his Creation, his Final, and Immutable, and Eternal State. And therefore many Private Persons, excelling in Virtue do, in a Subserviency to the wise Methods of Providence, frequently pass through the
World, under a Weight of Afflictions, next to Insupportable. And all Serious and Judicious Men, taking the Consideration of a Future State into the Account of These Cases, do Unanimously Approve and allow the' Just and Clear Reasons of them, though they do not much affect the State of Mankind, consider'd as a Community; which, in the Examples of Suffering Princes, Implies Additional Reasons, and thofe of great Weight under the Argument before us. For since the Punishments of Mankind, under the Capacity and Notion of a Society', are Peculiar to This State, and must Finally Terminate with it; And since the Circumstances of a Prince are of such vast Moment to the Publick Society, that God's Dispensations to the One do Directly, and Principally affect the Other; Therefore the Sufferings of a Good Prince, especially, when they prove the effectual Means and Instruments of reducing a Disobedient, Profligate People to Destruction, or great Distress, are most Reasonable Administrations in the Governour of the World, and the Just Consequences of IVationalSws.
But the Length, to which this Discourse is now run, Forbids my delaying any longer, to draw up a Short Application of it to the Rueful Occasion of the Present Solemnity.
And it seems Natural to observe, That the Proof, which hath been offer'd, that the Sins of the People are a Just Cause os the Sufferings of a Prince, is the Proper Rule of Accounting for the Martyrdom commemorated this Day. For aster all the Cruel Labours, which have been used, to Deface and Violate the True Images and Representations of the Martyr; To Demolish his Virtues, and improve his Infirmities, Infirmities scarce Separable from Man, into Vices of the first Magnitude; Utterly to Stifle, or bury in Oblivion, the Redress of Grievances, and the Satisfaction made for them, and to Inflame the Remembrance of the Grievances Themselves, as if they had never been Redressed at all; To transform Surmises of Mischiefs expected, or Pretended to be expected from him, into clear Demonstrations, that they were Intended by him; and to rivet those Defor