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royal breast and the fatal ball, and suffered it only to violate your military coat, and make a slight contusion on your side, to withdraw you from slaughter, and delivered our hearts from grief, had it been possible for us to survive to grieve your fall. Šurely all our wishes unite to purchase your life at the expence of our own, and if it could be done to take from our own days to add to yours. For what true-born Dutchman does not glow with the warmest affection for a prince, whom God, by conferring all manner of accomplishments, has rendered the delight of mankind ? Who, like an auspicious 'star has shined on the world, deeply plunged and sunk in darkness. Who, in a word, from the ashes of his father, is providentially come forth to hight, as the genuine phænix of our days, and appears to be born only for the welfare of his country.
When the Netherlands were trodden under foot, distressed, ánd just on the brink of ruin, then heaven appointed you to relieve, to deliver them, and repel their calamities. The distressed republic flies for refuge to your bosom, being only sure to find an asylum there. Your British subjects also, being almost ruined by the wicked designs of their kings, had long ago been chained, enslaved, and become the prey of lawless tyranny, had not your Majesty hastened to relieve them, while spreading out their suppliant bands towards you, nay, and to relieve them with that resolution, prudence and constancy, and vith that success which their annals shall declare, to the amazement of posterity, who will hardly believe it. That expedition shall stand transmitted through ages, which was laid with incredible secrecy, notwithstanding so many piercing and watchful eyes, and undertaken with that resolution, in the win. ter and end of the year, amidst so many fearful dangers of a tempestuous océan, did preserve and maintain to the Queen of Islands, her liberty, her laws, her religion, and whatever is valuable and dear to generous breasts. And is it to be wondered, that Britain, thus rescued under God, by your Majesty's aid, now destitute of a ruler, her ill-advised king James being expelled, not by your Majesty, nor by the people of England, but by the stings of his own conscience; neither forced away, but voluntarily flying, should gratefully submit to her preserver and deliverer ? Indeed to your Majesty, together
, with your most religious consort, Mary Augusta, by right of succession, the sceptre of the vacant kingdom devolved. And even in those circumstances, your Majesty had declined accepting it, though offered by both houses of parliament, had any besides yourself, and faithful consort, been found worthy to govern Britain, and capable to settle her distracted state, to main
tain her liberty, and quash the efforts of envy. So that, not
, the pleasure and happiness of that station, but the thorns and difficulties thereof: neither your ambition, but the public necessity, constrained you to take the reins of government. Of this can there be a more evident proof, than that, when settled on the throne of your kingdoms, you never suffered a day nor an hour, to pass undistinguished by cares becoming a prince ; and managed with incomparable diligence, both at home and abroad, whatever makes for the security of the public good? Against private rivals of your happiness, who were unacquainted with your character, you adhered closely to your own vira tue alone, and made use of oblivion, as the most certain reme dy against injuries, instead of that revenge, which, if you pleak sed, was in your own power to take.' Against the public disturbers of the peace of Europe, you protect, Dot so much yourself, as your people, by armies, fleets and confederacies, and, which repders you most of all formidable to your enemies, by your innate prudence and magnanimity. And did not words, equal to your merit, fail me, as it gives me singular pleasure to speak of it, your piety above all things ought to be celebrated, whereby you readily and with justice, ascribe all the honour and success you are favoured with, to the goods ness of the supreme Being, and are ready, gratefully to lay down your sceptre at the feet of him who, encircled with the rain-bow, sits on his heavenly throne: while you govern with no other view, but that Jehovah may reign, and Jesus rule throughout all your dominions: whose empire you promote and enlarge, pot as others do, in support of their superstition and cruelty, by imprisonment, exile and stripes, and every engine of torture, the gibbet and fire; not by depopulating countries, not by the terror and dreadful blasphemies of dragoons, but by meekness, and by the demonstration of the truth to every conscience; and by what is most of all prevalent, your own example; never offering any violence to the consciences of those who differ in religious sentiments from yourself. But, in fine, what language can set off, as it ought to be, that sacred solicitude you discovered at your very accession to the throne ? That your subjects, laying aside their disputes about some points of Christian worship and ecclesiastical govern ment, might unite with the most desirable harmony of minds, in brotherly fellowship, and uniformity of prayers and praises to God. I own, indeed, that I very much doubt whether ever this can be attained by any mortal, amidst the innate blindness and obstinacy that are in the minds of men. But if there be any means to bring this about, your Majesty seems to be the
only person, bu whose autbority, wisdom and moderation, such a happy coalition of different sentiments may be effected. May that day, which is the ardent prayer of so many pious per sons, at length appear, when all names of distinction being taken out of the way, and buried in everlasting oblivion, the whole Christian world, from the rising to the setting sun, may with one heart and one mouth, worship and praise one God, and, as it is in the prophecy of Zechariah, Jehovah may
one, and bis name one in all the earth! As this certainly ought to be the earnest prayer of all Christians, in an especial manner it ought to be the endeavour of those to whom Jesus, the king, both of truth and peace, has committed the office of preaching the gospel.
And as I rejoice in being one of their number, so I imagine, I ought always to behave in such a glorious ministry of so great a king, so that, while I attempt to set up the light of truth in the minds of men, I at the same time ought to inflame their hearts with the fire of love. To stain the tongue with bitterness, to dip the pen ir gall, to screen passion under a zeal for religion, to bring strange fire to God's altar, and under pre, text, of maintaining the truth, to attempt what is unlawful for the ministers of peace ; I judged to be so contrary to the spirit of Christianity, that if I did not religiously guard against these things, I should certainly account myself not only an unprofitable, but also a perfidious servant, and not escape the punishment due to those who betray the cause of the Lord. I was willing to give some specimen of this disposition in those books which were formerly published concerning the Economy of God's Covenants with men, and which I now, with all due submission and veneration, offer to lay at your Majesty's feet.
What I may have contributed towards clearing up the truth, with respect to the controversies at this day, and what towards cementing a peace, interrupted by the violent designs of others; with what moderation I may have treated every particular subject, by what means I may have lessened, removed and de
, cided controversies, which others have multiplied without end, always consistently with the faith once delivered to the saints, I would leave to the judgment of your divines, such as your Majesty has of very distinguished characters, both in England and Holland.
Suffer me solemnly to declare this one thing, that it has been my sincere and utmost endeavour, to form my hearers, both by doctrine and example, not to litigious disputations, but to the evident knowledge of the most sacred truth, to the upright and sincere piety of ancient and apostolic Christianity, and to the constant practice of that sacred peace, which the dying Jesus both bequeathed to, and purchased for his people; and I have the pleasing hope, that those who come from under my instructions, not only the natives of Holland, but those of your kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, of whom there is not a few here, who will bring the same spirit and temper to the churches to be committed to their charge, shall, under your Majesty's government; remarkably enlarge the kingdom of Christ.
Accept therefore, Royal Sir, with your wonted goodness ac. cept this pledge and token of a heart sincerely devoted to your Majesty; and vouchsafe a place among your friends to him, who, next to the Great and Blessed God, would not choose to belong to any other. But, at the same time, accept the most
, ardent prayers sent from the bottom of my heart. May that God, at whose footstool you daily fall down as a suppliant, may that God, who is the King of kings, and Lord of lords, make you always happy at home, successful abroad, ever august, the guardian of justice, the maintainer of liberty, the defender of religion, the author of concord, the consolation of the oppressed, the umpire of the whole Christian world, and, at last, crown your Majesty his own vicegerent, with the glory of his everlasting kingdom.