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some characters, and majesty of others, to stoop even to the innocent and harmless enjoyments of life : as if princes and great ministers had no private cares, but were capable of the constant thoughts of public business and religion. Every step men take by which they rise into the view of the world, is an abridgment of their innocent liberty, and binds them to a stricter and severer self-denial. For there is a natural
in men, which loves to see the honor and dignity of great places qualified with trouble and anxiety.
But men who are distinguished by the advantages of birth and education, should be above the common prejudices and sordid passions of the vulgar; and think themselves obliged, in honor as well as duty, to pay a steady and regular obedience to the government. It is some excuse for the dishonor of the nation in the late rebellion, that we can show so brave a list of nobility and gentry who fell in defence of their king, and left the honor of their death, a nobler inheritance to their families than their lands and estates. The imitation of their virtue and obedience need not to be pressed in this audience ; where the rules of duty and honor are better practised than they can be taught. The noble families have examples of their own, to instruct them how they should behave themselves to their prince and their country; and in the history of their ancestors, may learn that • loyalty to the crown' is the first and the noblest title of honor. And surely thus much good we may expect from the evil of the late times; that men would learn at length to value the blessing of a good prince.
It is the goodness of God to us, that after so many convulsions we still enjoy our ancient government ; that there is still life and vigor in the religion and liberty of England; a goodness
on our part requires the utmost returns of gratitude; which can no way be so acceptably shown as in the worthy use of the blessings we enjoy. We shall but ill perform the duty of this day, unless we amend in ourselves the errors we reprove in others. The crown and the virtues of the royal martyr are once more joined together; let not then our reproach be renewed by the repeated want of obedience and affection. If, whilst our governors watch with care and solicitude to make us easy and happy in ourselves, strong and secure against our enemies abroad, we labor to disturb the methods of our government at home; we must thank ourselves for the evils, which will always follow from the turbulent humors and distracted counsels of a nation. We have an enemy strong and cunning to deal with ; an ancient rival of the power and honor of England ; an enemy to the religion of Protestants and the liberty of mankind : and if nothing else will, yet interest would prevail with us to unite for our mutual safety; and whilst our brave countrymen expose their lives to the hazard and fortune of war abroad, in defence of their prince and their country, methinks the least that can be expected of us is to be quiet and peaceable at home. To save the sinking liberties of Europe is worthy a queen of England; and if the spirit of our fathers be not degenerate in us, it will, it must rise
onarch; and it will ever be the choice of an Englishman, rather to die by his sword than live by his law: but our lives and fortunes are safe in the conduct and prudence of our governors ; we need only sacrifice our ill humors to the peace and security of our country, and be content to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.'
Let us at least be willing to be saved ; and for the sake and defence of our religion, submit to live by the rules of it. We have been long fighting and contending for our religion; it is now high time to practise it; and a better foundation we cannot lay than in the duties of the text, “To fear the Lord, and the king, and not to meddle with them that are given to change.'
SUMMARY OF DISCOURSE II.
MATTHEW, CHAP. X.-_VERSES 41. 42.
TOWARDS the beginning of this chapter, we read that our Saviour sent forth his disciples to preach the kingdom of God. That they might preach with authority, he endowed them with the gifts of the Spirit; and that they might attend on their ministry without distraction, he eased them of the care of providing for themselves, by giving them power to demand and to receive of those whom they instructed whatever their wants required. It was not our Saviour's intention to make poverty a necessary qualification for their profession. This shown from Luke xxii. 35. compared with Matt. x. 9. 10.
As the office of preaching the gospel was to be perpetual in the Christian church, so the right of maintenance was always to attend it: see 1 Cor. ix. 14. And since in this kind of charity the honor of Christ's name, and the promotion of his religion are immediately consulted, he has distinguished it by a more honorable and glorious reward: He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward, &c.
To receive a prophet sometimes signifies to receive his doctrinę and become his follower; but in this place it cannot have this signification : reasons for this given. To receive a prophet in the name of a prophet, is to receive him because he is a pro · phet; that is, on account of his character and office, and the near relation which he bears to Christ : this topic enlarged on. In treating on the words of the text, two principal subjects are offered for consideration : I, the several degrees of charity mentioned in it, and wherein the excellency of one above the other consists : II. how truly Christian and excellent in its kind that charity is, which is the end and design of this annual solemnity.
I. If we begin our account at the verse immediately preceding the text, we shall find four degrees of charity enumerated, and distinguished by distinct promises. The first is that of receiving an Apostle; the second is that of receiving a prophet; the third, that of receiving a righteous man; and the fourth, that of relieving the meanest of Christ's disciples. Charity is distinguished into these different kinds and degrees, by the dignity of the persons who are its objects: for since the receiving a prophet shall intitle us to a prophet's reward, and the receiving a righteous man to a righteous man's reward, it is plain that the former act as far exceeds the latter, as the dignity of the one object is above that of the other,
To receive a prophet because he is our friend or relation, is but a common degree of kindness : the honor must be paid him, because he is a prophet: the motive and principle of our action must be taken into account; and in this lies the difference between the Christian and the moral virtue : the same object appears not in the same light in both cases: this point enlarged on, showing that the love of Christ is the foundation of Christian charity; and that Christ in his members is the object of it.
Hence one kind of Christian charity will differ from another in perfection, as it more nearly approaches the person of Christ, who is the object, and as it more strongly partakes of the principle, which is the love of Christ : and by this rule of proportion our Saviour has placed the several degrees of charity mentioned in the text : the objects of that charity are of four sorts; Apostles, prophets, the righteous, and the little ones : they are ranked according to the dignity of their characters, which arises from the relation they bear to Christ, who is the head over all ;
here then is a perfect scheme of Christian charity, and a rule to direct us in the choice of proper objects.
The Apostles, at the death of our Saviour, succeeded to the government and direction of the church : under them were placed teachers and pastors of different orders, comprehended under the general name of prophets. These offices have been perpetuated in the church by a constant succession of men duly called to them, and who stand in the same relation to Christ that the Apostles and prophets did, who went before them in the same work of the ministry; and we must so account of them, &c. 1 Cor. iv. 1.
The two next characters belong to the flock of Christ, who are not distinguished from one another by any difference in character or office, but only by their different attainments in faith : the righteous are the strong in faith; the little ones are the weak, who are indicated by St. Paul, Ephes. iv. 13. 14.
The learned Grotius shown to be wrong, who makes only three degrees, leaving out Apostles, and saying that there are tres discipulorum Christi gradus. His interpretation of the word dikali, as signifying a middle kind of Christian, and that of prophet, as signifying only a perfect one, disproved. Besides, our Saviour's design here was evidently to lay a foundation for the support of the Christian ministry; he forbids them to provide for themselves, because they were workmen worthy of their hire; and to encourage men cheerfully to discharge their duty towards them, he adds, he that receiveth you receiveth me : this being his design, could he forget all degrees of teachers except Apostles, and yet be so particular in reckoning up all degrees of Christians ? This point enlarged on.
From this declaration made by our Saviour, we learn what ought to give the preference in Christian charity. The relation which men bear to Christ is the foundation of the love and honor due to them; and the nearer this relation is, the greater love and honor are due to it. It were easy to show the title which