Page images


Lord Mayor of the City of LONDON. My LORD, O UIET at home, and conquest abroad, are two

of the greatest bielings that can happen to a peo; le ; and thefe hive iemarkably distinguished the year of your' Lordsbip's Magiftra.y: Which, as it bath been a continued scene of victories and successes, As it begin, and ended, without any of those unna. tural struggles for the chair, which have so long and often disturbed the peace of this great city, That those pasions, which seem Row to be s mewhat rulmed, may be entirely laid aseep, and never more awakened ; that the city may Agurish in trade and wealth, and all manner of outward advantages ; particularly, that it may never want such magia Atrates to guide and govern it, as your Lordship and your worthy fucceför, is the fincere wish, and bearty prayer, of,


Your most Obedient Humble Servant,


JOB xxix. 14.1. - !..! put on Right-cufuels, and it clonthed me; , my

Judgment was as a Robe, and a Diadem.. i TOB's Reflexions on the flourishing estate he. I had once enjoyed, did at the same time afflict and encourage him. Doubtless it encreased the smart of his present sufferings, to compare them with his former happiness : And yet a remembrance of the good ute he had made of prosperity, contributed to support his mind under the heavy weight of adversity which then lay upon him. He had been a person, not only of great opulence, but authority; a chief magistrate in the place where he dwelt; as appears from several passages in the book which bears his name; and he had (it seems). executed that high office justly and honourably; with great satisfaction to himself, and with the universal applause of his country. To this confideration therefore he retreats, in the midst of all his pressures, with confort and confidence ; in this thought, notwithstanding the fad afflictions with which he was overwhelmed, he mightily exults and triumphs. For hear, how he expresses himself on this occasion, in the ver.' ses next to that of the text ! “I delivered the « poor that cried,” says he; “ the fatherless, and “ him that had none to help him. The blessing ~ of him that was ready to persh came upon me; "and I caused the widow's heart to fing for joy. “ I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the “ lame; I was a father to the poor, and the

o cause

“ caufe which I knew not, I searched out: and “ I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked “ the spoil out of his teeth.” One would imagine these to be the expressions of a man; blessed with case, and affluente, and power; hot of one, who had been just stripped of all those advantages, and plunged in the deepest miferies, and was now fitting naked, tipon a dunghill! But he spirit of å man will uftain his infirmities; thè conscioul nefs of integrity, the sense of a life spent in doing good, will enable a man to bear up under any change of circumstances; and, whatever his outwird condition may be, is fuch an inward spring of contentment and pleasure, as cannot fail. This was that, which not only armed the mind of Job pith firmnefs and fortitude, but filled it also with thofe pleasing reflexions, which the words I have read io you contain. Therein hë particularly mentions, and values himself upon, the compara fion, and readiness; and zeal, with which he had applied himself to relieve the injuried and afflicted; the impartiality he had observed, the great diligence he had used, and the fearless courage he had shewn, in the administration of justice : He adds allo; in the words of the text; I put on rightesufriefs and it clothed me; my judgment was as a'robe, and a diadem; that is, my chief delight, my greatest honour and happinefs, lay in thub discharging the duties of my station; so that, in comparison of it, I undervalued all the enligns of authority which belonged to me, all the pump mod fplendor of life with which I was furrounded.

1. . i Thes The words therefore will afford us a proper occasion of confidering,

I. First, What a public blessing a good magiAtrate is : For it is on this suppolition that the reflexions, which Job here makes to his own comfort and advantage, are built.

II. Secondly, The regard that is justly paid the magistrate, on this account, in those outirard marks of distinction and honour with which he is attended. These have their uses, with respect both to him, and to the community over which he presides. However, he must remember, always, in the

IÍl. Third place, That the chief honour of the magistrate consists in maintaining the dignity of his character by suitable actions, and in discharging the high trust that is repoled in him, with integrity, wisdom, and courage. Then doth he appear most venerable, and every way valuable, when, with upright Job, he can truly say, “I put 6 on righteousness, and it cloathed me; my judge

ment was as a robe, and a diadem."

We máy, I say, in the

1. First place, Take occasion from kence to consider, What a public blessing a good magistrate is. The virtues of private persons, how bright and exemplary foever, operate but on few; on those only who are near enough to obferve and inclined to initate them : their sphere of action is narrow, and their influence is confined to it. Vol. II.


[ocr errors]

But a just and wife magistrate is a blessing as extensive as the community to which he belongs ; a bleffing, which includes all other blessings whatfoever, that relate to this life ; fecures to us the poffeffion, and enhances the value, of all of them; which renders the condition of the happiest among men still more happy, and the state of the meanelt less miserable, then it would otherwise be: and for the enjoyment of which no one man can well envy another; because all men, in their several ranks, and according to their feveral proportions and degrees, do alike share in it. “ As the precious « ointment upon the head, which ran down unto “ the beard of Aaron, and went down” from thence even “ to the skirts of his cloathing :* Pf. cxxxij. 2. Such, and so universal, are the benefits which a good ruler bestows; in like manner are they derived from him, the head, and gently diffused over the whole body which he governs, refreshing every part of it, as they defcend, from the highest to the lowest. I thaí not attempt to prove a point, in itself so evident; to us especially of this happy ifland, who have the most convincing argument for it, our own experience; and are blessed with a reign, the advantages of which are common to prince and people, to the meanest subjects, as well as to those of the highest place and dignity: All thare in them, and all therefore have reason to bless God for them, and for the great instrument of his goodness, by which he bestows them.

However, as manifest a truth as this is, it may deserve sometimes to be inculcated; because we are too apt, all of us, to forget it ; and some men

« PreviousContinue »