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which have been already opened, will never be filled up, but will endure from age to age, and continue to refresh the soul of the thristy Hin-' doo, like the streams in his own desert.
An attention to the comfort of the poor, from common motives of policy and humanity, has also excited amongst the Mahomedans and the Chinese, in some proportion to their existing prosperity and political sway. We collect then from these facts, that the chief glory and peculiar honour of the benevolent institutions of our own nation, are not derived from their attention to the personal comfort, but to the moral and spiritual interests of men. And it is the union of these objects which constitutes the true charity of the religion of Christ.
There is another source of the increased attention to religion in this country, which de. mands our grateful acknowledgement on this day; and that is, the laudable desire, now so general in the nation, of communicating reli. gious knowledge to other nations. The benefici. al operation of this solicitude for the happiness of others is far more extensive than is generally supposed. And it is natural to expect it. For even if the solicitude were unnecessary, if the success were visionary, yet the endeavour is virtuous. It is, of itself, it must be confessed (on any received principles) a noble and disin- terested purpose; and the exercise of it tends
to improve the very best principles and affec-
And these, my brethren, are the blessings of a religious and spiritual nature, for which we ought to express our thankfulness on this day; first, that the faith of our national church remains unmoved by the assaults of infidelity : secondly, that true religion is increasing generally throughout the land ; and, thirdly, that a benign, liberal and enlightened spirit is expanding itself for the diffusion of the Bible, and for the instruction and solace of the
poor. And these blessings have been vouchsafed to us under the auspices of a KING, who is truly a DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, and “a nursing “ father to his people," It hath pleased the Divine Providence to distinguish the reign of King George the Third by high and lasting honour. There are two events which we
have not yet mentioned, that are sufficient of themselves, to consecrate the memory of his reign, throughout all generations.
The first event is, the abolition of the slave trade. “ In his days" the REPROACH of Britain hath been taken away; and a Jubilee hath been given to Africa for ever.
The other event is, the institution of the Bible society. By means of that institution, (formed as it were to repair the injury of keeping our fellow creatures so long in bondage). Great Britain may now be represented as standing in the attitude of presenting the WORD OF GOD (which alone can give true liber. ty) to all the world ; a blessing of greater magnitude than any other the world can ever receive from Great Britain as a nation.
Such, my brethren, have been the manifold blessings, political and religious, of the present reign. Let us now inquire what return we have made as a Christian people for these benefits.
Notwithstanding the increased attention to religion which hath been noticed, it is certain that a large part of this nation lives in a total neglect of God, and of his worship. Even in the higher ranks of society an example of evil hath been given, which hath an alarming aspect. Our legislators have themselves contemned and violated the laws! The honour
hitherto attached to the character of men high in office, appears from causes which are but too evident, to be fast declining. This is an unfavourable prognostic for the nation. And it becomes the duty of all good men, in official situations, whether in Church or state, to endeavour promptly to remedy the evil.
For the instruction and admonition of those who may be disposed to think lightly of this subject, we shall state to them what befel the people of Israel, soon after their Jubilee, in the days of Solomon. In less than thirty years, the kingdom was in convulsions. And this judgment was sent expressly because of the sin of the prince, and of the effect of his corrupt example on the people. First came REBELLION; and then succeeded INVASION. Ten parts of the kingdom, out of twelve, revolted, and withdrew their allegiance from their sove. reign ; and, after a long period of intestine calamity, there was a successful invasion by a foreign enemy. The mighty king of Assyria appeared with an overwhelming host; and, after many menaces on his part, and many repulses by their patriotic vigour, he, at length, overcame them, and led them away captive. Thus ended the glory of Israel.
From this history, written for our admonition, we learn, that the existing glory or greatness of a nation, however transcendent, is no
security against a sudden and irreversible sub. jugation. And if God was pleased thus to visit the sin of his people, how can we reasonably hope to escape their punishment, if we imitate them in their transgressions ? Per, haps we also, in these latter days, may, in a certain sense, be considered as his chosen people, raised up and supported to execute his divine purposes on earth. Be it so ; yet it may be his will, if we cherish a spirit of disobedience to his laws, that we should be purified from our sin, by passing through the fire and by en, during calamities, similar to those which af, flicted and oppressed the kingdom of Israel.
Let us rejoice, then, on this day, for God's unbounded mercies to this land ; but because of the iniquity which aboundeth, let us “re
joice with trembling." This is a day of triumph, when we consider what Providence hath done for us, in exalting the empire to its present height of greatness, power, and pros. perity. It is a day of JUBILEE, when we re, flect on the event which we celebrate; on the yirtues of the Sovereign ; on his length of days; and on the benefits derived to the na, tion from his bright example, during the period of a long and arduous reign.
But this is a day of Reproach, when we think of what we have done against God; when we consider the neglect of his holy word, and