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And to what, indeed, can your attention be more properly directed, than to these political truths of Revelation, on this great Solemnity, which has for its purpose, at once, to inspire the Subject with reverence for the authority and person of the Sovereign, and to impress on the Sovereign his obligations of duty to his People; to enforce the performance of that duty by the sanctions of Religion, and to call down upon the frail Institutions of human policy the blessing of Almighty God.

That maxims which assert either the duties or the benefits of Civil Government, would, at all times, require to be inculcated, may be inferred from the very constitution of the mind. The common pride of our nature has a tendency to excite in the bulk of mankind an impatience of inferiority and control; whilst, on the other hand, there is danger, lest he who is exalted above the rest of his fellow-creatures on earth, should forget his own dependence upon God, should forget that he also has a Master in Heaven, with whom "there is no respect of persons." Thus will be produced disloyalty on the part of the Subject, and oppression on the part of the Sovereign, and both be rendered incapable of enjoying those reciprocal blessings which flow from the mutual attachment and confidence of the Prince and the People.

The history of the world affords ample proofs in support of this assertion; the records of every nation exhibit the alternate predominance of tyranny and faction. The spirit of innovation has burst the ties of allegiance under the mildest governments, has proceeded to redress imaginary grievances with bloodshed, and has not stopped in its frantic career till it has subverted the foundations of society, and thrown down the fences by which innocence is protected, and property secured-and tyranny, if it has not spread such wide wasting desolation, has made more frequent inroads on the happiness of men, and practised on their patience every mode of exaction which rapacity could devise, and every species of persecution which cruelty could inflict.

Nor are these domestic crimes the only calamities which the injustice of Rulers has brought upon mankind. How much innocent blood cries aloud from every corner of the earth against the destructive ambition of Princes; how large a proportion of those wars which have ravaged the world, is to be imputed to the vain-glorious wickedness of Individuals, exalted in power, abusing their sacred


Thus lamentably has the maxim been disregarded by Rulers, that "He who ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God;" and thus fatally has it been forgotten by nations, that a just Ruler is to his People, "as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, as a morning without clouds."

Let both these truths then be diligently considered, and let it be examined,

1st, What are the principles which constitute good government; and,

2dly, What are the effects which it produces.

The great general principle of good government is universal Justice; justice between Nation and Nation; justice between Man and Man; justice between the Sovereign and the People.

The laws of political justice which should regulate the intercourse of Nations, have been so little regarded by those who have directed the Councils of powerful kingdoms, that a reader of history might almost imagine that there was one code of morality for nations, and another for individuals. In the transactions of States with each other, the most crooked arts of circumvention have been practised under the name of policy, and the most enor mous violence of usurpation, when confirmed by conquest, has been dignified with the character of Patriotism.

But a just Ruler will remember, that the principles of equity are exactly the same in public, as in private concerns. Between those acts of injustice which affect Individuals, and those which are often committed against Communities, what difference is there, except in the extent of the injury, and, consequently, the magnitude of the guilt ?

The duty of administering justice, without partiality, between man and man, is delegated, for the most part, to subordinate Judges, and requires therefore no more than a summary notice in the present enquiry. Still, the delegation of that trust is the act of the Sovereign himself; and the greatest importance must attach to the choice of those who are to represent his authority.

This, indeed, may, in some sense, be considered as the last division of justice which I have mentioned-the justice which a Sovereign owes to his People; and which makes it his duty to place able and conscientious men in stations of trust and power; for "when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice."

No nation can ever be happy at home, or respected abroad, unless its councils and laws are administered by the prudent and the honest, by the moral and the religious: and though virtue and piety have higher rewards than it is in the power of man to bestow, yet is it the most essential service which a Sovereign can render to a State, to encourage morality and religion by a marked and uniform preference in the distribution of dignity and power. If, indeed, those who surround the Throne, and ought to reflect its lustre, if those whose station makes them at once objects of envy and imitation, if such men are worthless or wicked, the influence of their example will extend itself in every direction, and

profligacy, originating in this source, will be rapidly diffused through all the gradations of Society.

It is this condition of a people, this general depravation of morals, which is the last calamity that can befall a state-when the whole mass is corrupted, no excellence of Political Institutions, no wisdom of the Legislator, no justice of the Ruler, can be of any avail. The influence of law is always less powerful than the restraints of Conscience; and how, indeed, shall the laws of man be enforced in a Community where the Laws of God are set at defiance?

Such a State may for a time be distinguished by every external mark of prosperity-extended dominion, accumulated wealth, and successful cultivation of the arts-but its prosperity is not happiness: its magnificence and luxury, however imposing, are a poor and inadequate compensation for the absence of mutual confidence and mutual kindness, of temperance and contentment, of the dignity of virtue, and the consolations of religion.

The Ruler then who would be just to his people, whilst he approves himself the faithful and zealous guardian of their civil rights, will preserve their morals from the contagion of vice and irreligion, by "ruling in the fear of God;" by withholding his favor from the base and licentious; by exalting the wise and good to distinction and honor; and by exhibiting in his own deportment an example of those virtues which it is his duty to cherish in others; remembering, that his responsibility bears a proportion to the height of his station; and that he who sits on a Throne is under peculiar obligations to holiness, as having to answer, at the great Tribunal of Judgment, not only for his own personal conduct, but for the influence of his manners and actions on the present, and future happiness of millions.

He who thus rules in the fear of God, shall doubtless be to his people "as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, as a morning without clouds ;" for they will receive from him, what are lastly to be considered, the benefits of good government.

The first benefit of good government is, that it places strength on the side of right, and assures to every subject (as far as this can be effected by human ability) the possession of his just claims, determining them by its impartial wisdom, and enforcing them by its irresistible power.

There are men who seem to imagine, that all political Institutions are only contrivances of the powerful for their own advantage. But this is the very reverse of the truth; for by means of these institutions, the weak are raised to a level with the strong, and the equality of Society is preserved. More generally, the benefits of Civil Government may be considered as flowing from

the superintendance which it exercises over the welfare of the Community; a superintendance, which averts, or abates an innumerable variety of evils, and secures a multiplicity of interests.

The application of political science to actual practice is embarrassed with infinite difficulties, from the complexity of considerations involved, and the uncertainty of all events which are affected, in any degree, by the passions or opinions of men. In the constitution of governments the most nicely adapted to the wants and dispositions of the people, some errors will always betray the imperfection of human nature, and some abuses, in the administration of public concerns, must be expected from its frailty.

But if he who undertakes to correct these defects, is disposed to consider every oversight as a mark of incapacity, every error as a proof of guilt; if he seeks to persuade the unthinking and ignorant, that the laws under which they live cannot be good, because they are not perfect, he undermines the foundations of national strength, and, by taking from government the support of public opinion, endangers the best security for Civil Peace.

To fortify the authority, and recompense the cares of him who is placed at the head of a System thus difficult in its administration, and thus beneficial in its effects, both policy and justice require that his Station be invested with grandeur. His services to the State, if performed with fidelity, are not over-paid by the largest revenues and the highest honors. These are both necessary to maintain the respect by which Governments subsist, and due to the Benefactor of the People.

Yet are not these the things on which the greatness and felicity of Kings depend, and which constitute the cloudless morning of him that ruleth in the fear of God. The Prince who acts habitually on this great principle of religion, will find his firmest support, and his highest reward here on earth, in the veneration and gratitude of his Subjects.

Under such a Ruler, we have ourselves experienced the truth of this assertion. We have seen a religious reign, during more than half a century, improving the morals of Society. We have seen the Throne of England established by righteousness, amidst the wreck of surrounding Thrones, and while other governments, shaken almost to dissolution, were crumbling to pieces on every side.

We have seen the just Monarch, who ruled us in the fear of God, rewarded with the steady and zealous affections of his people; retaining in his afflictive retirement their unabated reverence, followed to his Tomb by their sincere regrets, and beyond it by their grateful recollections.

On the Son, and Successor of this venerable King, now rests our hope of Britain's weal; and if we may build our expectations of the future on our experience of the past, we have just ground for hope, in looking back to the eventful period of the Regency.

The Sovereign about to receive the Imperial Crown of his Ancestors, is not new to the cares and duties of his high Station.

When called to the exercise of the Royal Authority, he found the Country involved in a war, which threatened our very existence as an Independent State.

Through his stedfastness in the hour of peril, (under the Providence of God) that War has been brought to a conclusion, glorious to the National Fame and Character, perhaps beyond any parallel in the annals of our History-glorious, above all, in the moderation of the triumph-glorious in the magnanimity with which, undazzled by the splendors of Conquest, and unsubdued by the prospects of Ambition, the Victor confined himself to the only legitimate object of War, the achievement of a lasting Peace. Under the government of a Prince, who has shown such fortitude in public dangers, and such wisdom in public prosperity, we have reason to anticipate all the blessings of a firm and prudent policy-we have reason to trust, that he will place his glory in the moral greatness of his Country, that the true interests of the Nation will be consulted by a Patriot Reign, and the Throne established in the hearts of a loyal and happy people.

Let us, then, in conclusion, implore the Almighty, of his infinite mercy, to accept and confirm the solemn engagements which are made on this day in his presence; let us beseech Him, in the ever-prevailing name of Christ, to multiply his blessings on the head of our Sovereign, and so to direct and prosper his Councils for the maintenance of true Religion and the good of his People, that he may long continue to hold the Sceptre of righteousness, in the abundance of peace and glory.

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