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the yearly collection at St. Paul's : which indeed are noble charities ; but they are partial, and do not extend to the whole. A man must have made but


little observation in the world, who has not seen several clergymens families, who have been genteelly educated, in the highest distresses : but of this no more at present, as I intend, if this meets with your approbation, to enforce the necessity of it by some histories drawn from real life.

I would have none employ'd in collecting the money to be raised but either clergymen or their sons ; and to prevent expence, it may be paid twice a year at the visitations; and for the first two or three years nothing should be paid to any one, in order to raise a good fund at first.

We may observe how the men of trade unite themselves into focietics, and contribute a certain fum weekly of monthly to make up a purse for the benefit of the whole. When any man is sick, he is allow'd so much per week out of this fund till he can perform his business; and if any man die, his widow receives some handsome present from the common stock to comfort her for her lofs. These are things done by the lowest rank of mechanicks; and surely men of liberal education must have more extensive benevolence and

generosity than the illiterate.

Perhaps the zeal I lhew for the prosecution of this design may make you fufpect that I am interested in it; but I assure you that I am no clergyman myself, nor have any relation to or connection with the clergy, except that friendship, esteem, and regard, which their function claims from all mankind.

I take the liberty to give you thesc hints which you may improve as you please : and shall conclude with a faying of a very ingenious man, who ended a publick declamation with these words, Si quid recte dixi, hoc eft quod volui; fi non, hoc eft quod potui.




Atque haud fcio, an pietate adversus Deos fublatâ, fides etiam,

& focietas humani generis, & una excellentissima virtus, juftitia tollatur.

Cicero de Naturâ Deorum. Lib. I.

N this polite and learned age, if an author appear in

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thing new, or adorn with a rich flowery diction what the world has been already favoured with. For my part, I have not the vanity to think, that either of these rare and excellent talents falls to my share: notwithstanding I persuade myfelf, my appearing in publick is justifiable.

There is a set of men who are too polite either to hear or read sermons, or any other discourses of the like nature. It is for them this essay is designed; into whose hands probably this will fall, and who will be induced to read it, either through curiosity, or for the sake of turning it into ridicule. But here I would forewarn them, that as I do not court fame by my writings, so I am quite regardless of their scorn. I write neither to improve the learned, nor entertain the curious. And therefore I study neither fublimity of sentiment, nor elegancy of language ; but to speak truth in plain and proper words, is the height of my ambition. Nor shall I gain my ends, if I am universally pronounced an ingenious

No: I have different, and, as I persuade myself, nobler ends in view : viz. to work a reformation of inanners, to quicken a sense of religion, and to raise in mens minds just notions of true and solid happiness. If I can but cause one generous thought to spring up, one pious resolution to be established, one virtuous action to be formed, I shall think myself more amply rewarded for my pains, than if I were loaded with universal acclamations of praise.




THE fubject I shall chuse for my present consideration, Thall be that of our Lord's humiliation and sufferings; as well for its natural fitness and tendency to raise pious thoughts in every generous breast; as for its suitableness and propriety to the season of the year. And here I am sensible, that I im- . mediately expose myself to the scorn and ridicule of the freethinker. The cross of CHRIST is to him foolifanefs. His pride is too haughty, his notions are too sublime, to submit to a despised and crucify'd Saviour.

But to an honest, unprejudiced, and humble mind, He is the power of God, and the wisdom of God. How must his contemplative soul be Loft in the abyss of wonder as well as forrow, when, with a steady faith, he beholds the pungent agonies of his blessed redeemer? No less a person than the eternal fon of God, did infinite wisdom think sufficient to execute the important work of man's redemption : He, who with unbounded fway commands cherubin and seraphin, angels and arch-angels; before whom thousands of heavenly beings stand, and ten thousand times ten thousand minifter unto him: who, by his almighty power, could in a moment's time, call millions of creatures out of a state of non-existence into being, in order to execute his uncontroulable commands. With what a mixture of love and aftonifhment, of sorrow and gratitude, reverence and praise, must he behold this sovereign Lord of universal nature led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his Thearers is dumb, fo He opened not his mouth?

But let us turn our thoughts a little from the shocking çatastrophe, and take a view of our ever adorable Saviour in the first scene of his human existence. At his very first appearance in the world, we find his humiliation commences. Instead of a splendid palace, He is born in a stable, and the lord of glory is laid in a manger. His whole life was one continu'd scene of afficlion. During his younger years, He earned his bread by the sweat of his brow; and when He entered upor his publick characler, and began the momentcus



work for which He came into the world, He was despised by his friends and relations, who envied his superiour wisdom. He taught the will of God in a plain, easy, and familiar way; and enforced his doctrine by the noblest motives. The world might have been sensibly convinced, that all the powers of the universe were at his nod. He, thro' his unbounded goodness, vouchsafed a miracle to feed thousands in the wilderness; and, by his almighty fiat, called the dead to life. The blind faw his fight-restoring hand, the deaf heard his healing words, the dumb proclaimed his amazing power, and the very devils declared his divinity. And though He thus went about doing good, he received in return perpetual insults and affronts. At last one of his own disciples betrays him, and all the rest forfake him.

Oh! the bitter agonies of his foul ! what heart can conceive, or pen sufficiently express them? Oh! how is He de{pised and rejected of men ; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief! The unmerciful Jews drag him away to the Roman governout, before whom the King of Kings is arraigned as a rebel. He is scourged, condemned, fpit upon, crowned with thorns, and mocked. At length the Original of all things is crucified between two thieves. His tender hands and feet are torn with nails, and his precious side is pierced with the spear. But now the dreadful fcene approaches, the moment is come, when the prince of life muft depart this world. Mark! He bows; He sighs, Ho dies! Good God! what shocking convulsions follow this horrid deed! The mountains tremble, the earth opens, the temple is torn afunder, the rocks are rent; the dead arise ! all nature is in confufion! the fun, the fountain of light, draws a veil over his face; sympathizing as it were with, the Lord of nature, who was now gone down to the dark regions of the grave! But why was it ordained in the eternal decrees of heaven, that the only begotten should thus: descend from the boíon of his father, and undergo such ex


quisite tortures ? Presumptuous man! would'st thou unfold the unsearchable book of fate? Know this, and let this knowledge content thee; that it was to satisfy an offended God for thy sin, and to purchase for thee, by his sufferings, everlasting mansions of bliss.

Can the generous heart reflect on these things, and not be filled with an overflowing of sorrow ? Can the man, whose breast glows with the least spark of gratitude, indulge these meditations, and not prostrate himself, with the deepest hu." miliation of soul, before the throne of grace, and suppliantly implore the divine mercy for his many and great fins ; in every one of which he has been instrumental in acting over again this horrid tragedy, and in crucifying the son of God afresh ? and must they not work in him at the same time a firm and unshaken resolution of living righteously, soberly, and godly for the future? How should these contemplations inspire us with love and obedience towards God, charity towards our neighbours, and benevolence towards all mankind? What an immenfe debt of love and adoration do we owe to the meek and lowly Jesus for his exemplary life and cruel death? In the one He has given us the nobleft pattern of all that is good, lovely and virtuous; and in the other an evident demonftration of God's irreconcileable hatred against sin. Man, vile worm! when he fell, a remedy was immediately found out for the disease: but the fallen angels, an order of creatures much more exalted in the scale of beings, are consigned to endless perdition, No one, who is not entirely lost to every generous sentiment of humanity, can reflect on these things, and not cry out with the Psalmist, I will magnify thee, O God, my King ; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Every day will Į give thanks unto thee, and praise tiny name for ever and ever.

Good-Friday, 1750,


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