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tribunal, and a Judge, before whom the mightiest Potentate on earth may well tremble. This Comet will have his period; the same hand which has raised him to this pin, nacle of greatness, can dash him in a moment from the summit of his glory, deprive him of his power, his kingdom, and his life. How frail is the dependance of that monarch, whọ exists by popular opinion, whose throne is supported by dread, and not by justice; he is in perpetual danger, from the cabals of the powerful, the murmurs of upgratified ambiç, tion, the dagger of the enthusiast, the traitor, and the assassin. The fever of ambition may be pleasing for awhile, but it preys upon itself, it corrodes and burns up its possessor ; the couch of peace and virtue is but ill exchanged for the throne of usurpation, and tyrannic power; happy alone is that Prince, who reigns an example of piety, and wisdom, by the wishes, not by the fears of his subjects.
To conclude. Let us evince, both nationally and individually, not merely for this particular day, but at all times, and on all occasions, a sense of religion and a love of our country: towards God, let us feel the utmost devotion and humility; towards men, universal charity, benevolence, and forgiveness of injuries ; at the same time, when necessary, the most fearless intrepidity. If God be for us, it matters not who can be against us. Our blessed Redeemer himself has exhorted us " not to fear them who kill “ the body, but to fear him only who can 6 destroy both body and soul in hell.”
[Intended for an Assize Sermon, preached 1791.]
JOAN I. 17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and
truth came by Jesus Christ. TT will, I think, appear evident to every
reflecting mind, that man, at his first creation, could not have occasion for many laws, for laws imply the relative rights of man in society; but as where there is no law, there is no șin, (for sin, according to Scripture, is the transgression of the law) and where, as a free agent, man must have a power to do wrong, or no merit in doing right, it became indispensably necessary he should have some
law; that law therefore was simply obedience to his Maker. “Of the tree in the midst of “ the garden, thou shalt not eat.” The thing commanded was not material, the command itself was solemn, serious, and important; the Lawgiver was a monarch not only of absolute power, but of unerring wisdom; his command was easy, and it ought to have been obeyed; but our progenitor transgressed the law, and we now proceed to consider man as neither individual nor innocent. .
When the earth, however, first began to be peopled by his descendants, so few were still its possessors, that property was naturally of small value. “In the sweat of thy “ brow shalt thou eat bread.” The utmost industry and exertion of each were requisite to supply himself with food; we may therefore suppose that every man took what space of ground he wanted, undisturbed by the encroachments of another. Property thus low
of value, all men seemed equal; no struggles for superior extent of territory could be necessary for those, who, if they sighed for greater possessions, had only to put forth their hands and take them.
But were man thus originally equal, they could not long continue so. Some undoubtedly were virtuous, industrious, frugal, and temperate; others wicked, lazy, wasteful, and intemperate. When these latter therefore had neglected or squandered away the means of their subsistence; when the increase of numbers, and extended population, had raised the value of property, by incrcasing the demand for it; when, lastly, their own habits of indolence or debauchery had rendered them averse to, or unfit for, bodily toil, they became naturally not only poor and dependant, (for they had nothing to barter for food but labour) but; profuse of their own, greedy of the possessions of others: