Imágenes de página

and Oppress, and Persecute their Prince, insomuch that nothing less than Irrest. ble Grace, which is never granted, would prevail with Them to defist 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 favour towards him, Demonstrated in his Death, under whatsoever Circumstances, adjusted by Divine Wisdom, is not only occasion'd by the Piolence, and 7 yrammy, and other Iniquities of his oft, 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 Dis-pensation, 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 Blesfing, which their Iniquities have provok'd God to withdraw from Them. And, under this Confideration, it seems highly Reasonable to grant, that by how much Greater the Wickedness of a Peo


ple, 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 ob— servable in Relation to the Person of the Prince, that the Equitable and the Gracious Disposal 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 Inci.dents depends upon the Notions and Nature of Human Society, as such, and the Different Relations of Man, to 7%is

... 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 Purpose 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, World, under a Weight of Afflićtions, next to Insupportable. And all Serious and Judicious Men, taking the Confideration 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 af. feót the State of Mankind, consider'd as a Community; which, in the Examples of Suffering Princes, Implies Additional Reasons, and those of great Weight under the Argument before us. For since the Punishments of Mankind, under the Capacity and Notion of a Society, are Pe

culiar to This State, and must Finally

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Principally affect the Other; Therefore

the Sufferings of a Good Prince, especially, when they prove the effectual Means and Instruments of reducing a Disobedient,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

But the Length, to which this Dis. course 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 of the Sufferings of a Prince, is the Proper Rule of Accounting for the Martyralom commemorated this Day. For after all the Cruel Labours, which have been used, to Deface and Violate the 7?ue 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 expečted from him, into clear Demonstrations, that they were Intended by him; and to rivet those Defor

". - m1tles

mities into his Charaćter, which were ne— ver found in his Person; It still remains Evident, and cannot be Denied by any Equal and Impartial Judge of the History, that he Abounded in True Virtue and Religion, and that there was Nothing in his Qualities or Administration, which bore any Proportion to his Sufferings, or can be assigned for a Just Reason of Accounting for them. But when we Change the Prospect, and an Amazing Change of Prospect it is, from the Beauteous Innocence of the Prince, to the Ghastly state of Iniquities in the People; the Reason of His Fate does Immediately rise in our view. Even Their Deliberate Purposes to Destroy the Lord's Anointed, and their Persifting Resolutely and Immoveably in those Purposes, and in the Concerted Measures of carrying them on to Accomplishment and Execution, were Themselves such Horrible Enormities, as might Justly Provoke God to pèrmit the Execution and Accomplishment of them, that so Rebellious a People might fall into the Pit which they had made, and Perish in A a their

« AnteriorContinuar »