« AnteriorContinuar »
SOLON, the legislator of Athens, enacted a law, to punish every citizen with death, who remained neuter, when the great interests of the public were at stake! We must condemn the rigour of the injunction, but the principle is of unquestionable utility. Having, at the request of his worthy friend Mr. William Titford, edited the Address to the Inhabitants of Britain, founded on the Advice of Nehemiah to the Jews, which has been favourably received*-- he now thinks it incumbent on him, as the father of a family---as an instructor of the rising generation, and as the pastor of a society of Protestant Dissenters, to bear his own testimony, however feeble, against an Invading Enemy.
* To be had (price 3d. or 2s. 6d. per dozen) of Ginger, Piccadilly, and Asperne, Cornhill. The last edition has prefixed to it an introduction, wherein the Editor justifies the strong language used against the French ; and notices the anonymous Letter of a Quaker, who censures all resistance on the occasion.
A SERMON, &c.
İSAIAH XLI. 6. They helped every one his Neighbour, and every one
said unto his Brother, Be of good Courage!
CHRISTIAN BRETHREN! NOT much more than twelve months ago did I congratulate you from the place where I now stand on the restoration of PEACE: and earnestly recommended the cultivation of the blessing in your private, social, and public capacity*. Whence then comes it to pass, that my present address must be of so different a complexion ? For what reasons are we called to exchange the pacific strain which we then
* See a Sermon entitled, I am for Peace, preached at Worship Street, June 1st. 1802, being the appointed public Thanksgiving for the Peace. Price One Shilling.-Symonds, Paternoster Row,
indulged, for the sound of the trumpet and the clangor of arms ? Has peace ceased to possess her usual charms, op hạve we lost our relish for the mild and inoffensive spirit of Christianity? NO-AN ENEMY , HATH
THIS! We are called to arm in defence of our brethren-of our sons of our daughters—of our wives—and of our houses. A foreign foe, elate with conquest, wishes to lead us also in the train of his captives. We are to be devastated with fire and sword: we are to be immolated on the altar of his ambition : we are to be pulled down from that high station, which we have for ages held among the nations of the earth. In this situation, with such tremendous evils in view, the passage which I have just read points out the conduct you are to pursue They helped every one his neighbour, and every one said unto his brother, BE OF GOOD COURAGE !
Eminently social is the nature of man. No sooner had Adam been created by the Divine Being, and placed in the garden of Eden, than Eve was produced to bear him company. And with respect to the first origin of society, we may infer, from the earliest accounts, that men quickly formed themselves into a community. Rulers were appointed, laws were instituted, and the most likely measures adopted to secure and promote the public welfare. Indeed, man, taken alone, abstracted from his species, is a feeble and wretched being. It may be questioned, how far either our faculties or our passions would evolve themselves, without the aid of society? But by our intercourse with each other, the divine spark of intellect is elicited-the glow of affection is lighted up--the whole energy of our nature bounds forth to action. Hence, in our social capacity, our joys are multiplied, and our sorrows divided. In prosperity we are more enlivened-in adversity less depressed. This, history, sacred and profane, teaches-this, experience, both private and public, abundantly testifies. They helped every one his neighbour, and every one said unto his brother, BE OF GOOD COURAGE!
· But at so awful a crisis as the present, it will be asked, in what respects may every one help his neighbour ? What assistance can we render ? How can it be best accomplished? A variety of answers might be returned; but not to distract the attention--three modes of benefiting our country present themselves to our consideration, We may proffer our advice- our bodily strengthand every necessary proportion of our worldly property.
We may proffer our advice, and thus essentially help our neighbour. In a thousand occurrences of life, are we glad to avail ourselves of the counsel of others. And indeed it is a characteristic of the wise man, laid down by a sacred writer, that we lean not to our own understanding, In the multitude of counsellors, we are also assured, there is safety. If then, as to the ordinary occurrences of life, we are profitted by the advice of others, let us not undervalue it when our country is thus endangered. How many topics of advice might be suggested! How many admonitions arise out of the awful circumstances in which we are placed ! May we not, for instance, advise our neighbour to read the page of British History, and mark the conduct of their ancestors on a similar occasion ? When the Spanish Armada arose in its strength to crush our native isle—when they covered the seas with their huge and unwieldly vessels—when they had employed every means, which malignity could devise, to accomplish their object-Britons