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But as the great Ruler of the universe, has designed and formed mankind for the social state ; and has made their common mutual safety and welfare depend, in a great measure, upon that union and order which constitute the strength and beauty of society ;- so he constantly exercises a secret control over all human inclinations, projects, and enterprizes.-And baving the hearts of all men in his hands, he holds all their lumultuous imaginations, raging appetites, and furious passions, continually subject to that irresistible authority and power, by which, when he pleases, he commands the stormy winds into a calm ; and says to the swelling boisterous sea,
“ Hitberto shalt thou come, but no farther; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” In his government of mankind, however, and for the accomplishment of his wise designs, relating to them, he generally uses some visible means and subordinate agency, which have a natural fitness to bring about the worthy ends that he has proposed. In this view, he employs eminently the institutions of religion, and the ministers of his word, among the people, to whom he has been pleased to grant the distinguishing privileges and benefits of Divine Revelation. And in the nations generally, he raises up from time to time, particular persons, endued with some peculiar talents and dispo. sitions ; by which they are qualified to rule over their fellow-men--and prompted to employ their power and influence, in providing for the common welfare of the great body of the people ; in restraining and quieting the turbulent members of the community; and in disconcerting the schemes, and repelling the assaults of their various enemies.
Thus—while the Supreme Governor of nations, sometimes elevates men of strong natural abilities, connected with the most vile, and profligate moral principles, to great power,-and then uses them as the sword in his hand, for chastising any wicked and rebellious people, whom he determines to punish ;-he also, at his pleasure, calls forth, and advances to exalted stations of authority and trust, men of superior talents and worthy character; and by their instrumentality, sbields or delivers a people, whom he chuses to favor, from those violences or grievances, with which they may be menaced or oppressed.-By their friendly and successful agency, the nation, or community, with the care of whose interests they are intrusted, whether in the capacity of military commanders, or civil magistrates, is rescued from the galling yoke of bondage from the dreadful state of anarchy and confusion; or from the final dissolution and utter ruin, to which it might otherwise be reduced, by the folly and wickedness of many of its own members ; or by the all grasping ambition, and insatiable cupidity of foreign hostile nations and potentates.
Such are the men, whom “ the Lord Most HighWho is the great King over all the earth," often “gives to a people, according to his manifold mercies, to be," under himself, “ their saviours;" to be “the ministers of God, for" eminent “ good," to them in a state of peace; and bis chosen instruments, for “sav. ing them out of the hand of their enemies," in a time of war. When, therefore, men thus specially qualified, and called to fill the most exalted and important stations, in the service of their country, and thus employed, under the direction of Divine Providence, in averting
from it the most formidable and destructive evils, are removed by death; the afflictive event is doubtless to be regarded, as justly demanding the tears of a bereaved people—as worthy of being lamented with every dignified expression of unfeigned national sorrow,
I proceed to observe, on the other hand, that the death of such valuable defenders, and guardians of a people, is to be thus lamented.
2dly. On account of the eminent benefits, which their instrumentality is employed, by the good providence of God, in securing to their country.
Many of the reflections, which we would be here naturally led to pursue, have been, in soine degree, already anticipated, in the observations suggested under the preceding branch of this discourse.
The necessity of the institution and support of government, among mankind, is universally acknowledged; and its utility has been recommended by the experi. ence of all nations, in all ages. So far as any sysiem of government is adapted to unite a people in a state of order and peace-to enforce the principles and rules of justice among them and to secure them from the mischievous designs of their enemies, it is sanctioned by the approbation of Heaven ; and its establishinent is to be regarded, as an important public blessing, by the people who enjoy it.
Between different systems of buman government, there is indeed as wide a difference, as between the meanest hut, raised by the rude savage, merely for his defence from the attacks of beasts of prey, or the injurious effects of inclement elements and seasons; and the noblest edifice, erected by the ingenious artist, combining requisite strength, with pleasing proportion, and chaste ornament, and adapted to afford the most secure and comfortable accommodation to its inhabitants, But for directing well, and applying efficaciously, the powers of the best constitution of government, it is obvious, that none are properly qualified, but those who possess peculiar abilities for the management of public affairs : And it is equally certain, that on the moral principles, which direct their conduct, the welfare of the community very much depends. Whether they are charged with the administration of the civil, or military affairs of their country; having its great interests committed to their care, and its resources placed in their hands; they are at once laid under peculiar obligations, and enjoy peculiar advantages, for studying and promoting the public good; and when possessed of those united qualities of the head and the heart, which distinguish great and worthy rulers and commanders-he public good will be the favorite object of their regard and pursuil--and in the ordinary course of things, will be greatly advanced by their agency. In their snperior station, distinguished by their great talents and virtues by their knowledge of human nature, of its powers and weaknesses-of its passions and its wants--and of the state of their own nation, considered in an abstract point of view, and in its relations to other countries--by their penetrating, accurate judgment, and enlarged, comprehensive view of things by the wisdom of their counsels, and the rectitude of their measures—by the purity and ardor of their patriotism ; and by their active courage, and unyielding resolution, in meeting and surmounting the various and multiplied dangers, difficulties and trials, which they may have to encounter in their country's
cause and service-they are eminently qualified, to teach the great body of the people, for whoin they act, the nature and value of their civil and sacred rights, and privileges, and to guide and animate their exer. tions in the pursuit and defence of their true interests; -and under the smiles of a favouring Providence, their instrumentality has a great effect, in securing and improving the most important national advantages.
The desirable ends, which their bigh qualifications, and patriotic labours are thus adapted to accomplish, are further proinoted by the powerful engaging influ. ence of their great example. For “as the going forth of the sun, is from the end of heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it, and there is nothing hid froin the heat thereof;" so the examples of great and good men, moving in exalted spheres oi public service, and usefulness, diffuse their enlightening and enlivening beams, through the wide extent of the land in which they bear rule ; and have an happy tendency to stimulate and allure the other members of the community, in subordinate stations, to imitate their conduct, in the cultivation of a public spirit, and in the practice of whatsoever things are pious and just-generous and honorable lovely and praise-worthy ;-and, in short, in the pursuit of that course of well doing, which conducts individuals, and communities, to a state of the most desira. ble prosperity in this world ; while it leads those, who walk in it, under the influence of a truly christian faith, to glory, honor, and immortality in the world to
Highly favoured indeed, are the people to whom the Lord gives such rulers and commanders, as his chosen agents, for communicating and securing to them so