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does not need God's pardon and the king's? Surely no man is so much pleased with his own innocence, as that he will be willing to quit his claim to mercy and if we all need it, let us all show it.
Naturæ imperio gemimus, cum funus adultæ
"If you do but see a maiden carried to her grave a little before her intended marriage, or an infant die before the birth of reason, nature hath taught us to pay a tributary tear." Alas! your eyes will behold the ruin of many families, which, though they sadly have deserved, yet mercy is not delighted with the spectacle; and therefore God places a watery cloud in the eye, that when the light of heaven shines upon it, it may produce a rainbow to be a sacrament, and a memorial, that God and the sons of God do not love to see a man perish. God never rejoices in the death of him that dies; and we also esteem it indecent to have music at a funeral. And as religion teaches us to pity a condemned criminal, so mercy intercedes for the most benign interpretation of the laws. You must, indeed, be as just as the laws; and you must be as merciful as your religion: and you have no way to tie these together, but to follow the pattern in the Mount; do as God does, who in judgment remembers mercy.'
To conclude: If every one in this honourable assembly would join together, to promote Christian religion, in its true notion, that is, peace and holiness, the love of God and the love of our brother, Christianity in all its proper usefulness, and would not endure in the nation any thing against the laws of the holy Jesus: if they were all zealous for the doctrines of righteousness, and impatient of sin, in yourselves and in the people, it is not to be imagined what a happy nation we should be. But if ye divide into parties, and keep up useless differences of names or interests; if ye do not join in the bands of peace, that is, the king and the church, religion and the good of the nation, you can never hope to see a blessing to be the end of your labours. Remember the words of Solomon", "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people :" but when
righteousness is advanced in the hearts and lives of the nation, who shall dare to reprove your faith? who can find fault with your religion?
God, of his mercy, grant, that in all your consultations the word of God may be your measure, the Spirit of God may be your guide, and the glory of God may be your end. He, of his mercy, grant, that moderation may be your limit, and peace may be within your walls, as long as you are there, and in all the land for ever after. But remember, that since the honour and service of his majesty, and the peace and prosperity of the church, the perpetuity of our fundamental laws, public justice, and the honour of all legal authority, the advancement of trade, and the wealth of the nation, is your design;-remember, I pray, what warranty you have to expect all this; no less than the words of our blessed Saviour; but it is upon these terms: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof; and all these things shall be added to you." Amen.
PREACHED TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN,
SHOWING BY WHAT MEANS THE SCHOLARS SHALL BECOME MOST LEARNED AND MOST USEFUL.