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“and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in " God, for I shall yet praise him for the help of his
In a season of greater calamity and distress in our own country, this venerable cathedral, by the reformers of that period, was converted into a stable; and small indeed was the prospect of its ever being restored to its original use and beauty. But, by the divine mercy, we are now assembled in it, “ with the voice “ of joy and praise, to keep holy day.” We have a church, and we have a king; and we must pray for the prosperity of the last, if we wish to retain the first. The levelling principle of the age extends throughout. A republic, the darling idol of many amongst us, would probably, as the taste now inclines, come attended by a religion without bishop, priest, or deacon; without service or sacraments; without a Saviour to justify or a Spirit to sanctify; in short, a classical religion without adoration.
The external part of religion is, doubtless, of little value, in comparison with the internal; and so is the cask, in comparison with the wine contained in it: but if the cask be staved, the wine must perish. If there were no Sundays or holy days, no ministers, no churches or religious assemblies, no 'prayers or sacraments, no Scriptures read or sermons preached, how long would there be any religion left in the world? and who would desire to live in a world where there was none? It is to enable the ministers of Christ to perform all these their functions for the benefit of mankind, in peace and quietness, with due decency and dignity, that kings are by divine ap
pointment constituted“ nursing fathers” of the church, “and queens its nursing mothers;" nor is it more their duty, than it is their interest, to become such.
The church, it may be said, can subsist without the state, or under oppression and persecution from it. True: the Christian church so subsisted for three hundred years; but, in the mean time, its members of all denominations were sought out, and put to death with all the variety of tortures, which the ingenuity of men, actuated by the malignity of evil spirits, could devise. If it should ever seem good to God to bring us into a similar condition, he would, we trust, prepare us to endure it; but neither clergy nor laity, it is presumed, can regard such a condition as a desirable one. The Greek church subsists, at this day, at Constantinople, under the sceptre of Mahomet. But how does it subsist? Like the tree that had suffered excision in the dream of the Chaldean monarch, its root indeed remains in the earth, with a band of iron and brass, and it is wet with the dew of heaven, until certain times shall have passed over it; at the expiration of which it may come into remembrance before God, and again bud, and put forth its branches, and bear fruit, for the shadow and support of nations yet unknown. But at present, its condition is certainly not to be envied or coveted.
As Christians, let us, therefore, gratefully acknowledge the protection we receive. We are pilgriins, travelling through this world to another. The powers of the world must use us as they shall think
proper, and it shall please God to permit them. Bad usage we are to bear with patience; for good usage it becomes us to be thankful. And if Israelites, when captives in Babylon, were enjoined by a prophet to pray for a heathen king who had carried them into captivity, “that in his peace they might “ have peace;" how much more ought we to pray in our own land, for our own prince, who adorns by his life, the faith which, by his office, he stands engaged to defend; that so Christianity, which is the religion of peace, may thrive and flourish in the soil natural to it! Continue to us, then, O Lord, we beseech thee, him whom thou hast hitherto preserved. “Grant the “ king a long life:" bless him in his person, in his actions, in his family, and in his people: make his days prosperous, and the close of them, when it must come, honourable and comfortable; that, through thy grace and goodness, it may open for him an entrance into that kingdom, where only temptation shall cease, and trouble shall be known no
END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
Printed by S. Hamilton, Weybridge, Surrey.