ON THE DEATH OF HIS LATE MAJESTY, KING GEORGE H.*
1 Sam. i. 19.—How are the Mighty fallen!
GEORGE is no more! George, the mighty, the just, the gentle, and the wise; George, the father of Britain and her Colonies, the guardian of laws r.nd liberty, the protector of the oppressed, the arbiter of Europe, the terror of tyrants and France; George, the friend of man, the benefactor of millions, is no more !—millions tremble at the alarm. Britain expresses her sorrow in national groans. Europe reechoes to the melancholy sound. The melancholyfound circulates far and wide. This remote American continent shares in the loyal sympathy. The wide intermediate Atlantic rolls the tide of grief to these distant shores; and even the recluse sons of Nassau-Hall feel the immense bereavement, with all the sensibility of a silial heart; and must mourn with their country, with Britain, with Europe, with the world—George was our Father too. In his reign, a reign so auspicious to literature, and all the improvements of human nature, was this foundation laid; and the College of New-Jersey received its existence. And though, like the fun, he shone in a distant sphere, we felt, most sensibly felt, his benign influences cherishing Science and her votaries in this her new-built temple.
In doing this humble honour to the memory of our late sovereign, we cannot incur the suspicion of mercenary
* Delivered in Nassau-Hall, Jan. 14, 1761.
cenary mourners paying homage to the rising fun. But we indulge and give vent to the spontaneous, disinterested sorrows of sincere loyalty and gratitude, and drop our honest tears over his sacred dust, who can be our benefactor no more; too distant, too obscure and undeserving, to hope for the favourable notice of his illustrious successor. Let ambition put on the face of mourning, and all the parade of affected grief, within the reach of the royal eye; and make her court to a living prince, with all the ceremonial forms of lamentation for the deceased; but let our tears flow down unnoticed into our Own bosoms. Let our grief, which is always fond of retirement, cherish and vent itself without ostentation, and free from the restraint of the public eye. It will at least afford us the generous pleasure of reflecting, that we voluntarily discharge our duty, unbribed and disinterested; and it will give relief to our bursting hearts, impatient of the suppression of our sorrows.
How is the mighty fallen !—fallen under the superior power of death!—Death the king of terrors, the conqueror of conquerors ; whom riches cannot bribe, nor power resist; whom goodness cannot soften, nor dignity and loyalty deter, or awe to a reverential distance. Death intrudes into palaces as well as cottages ; and arrests the monarch as well as the slave. The robes of majesty and the rags of beggary are equal preludes to the shroud: and a throne is only a precipice, from whence to fall with greater noise and more extensive ruin into the grave. Since death has climbed the British throne, and thence precipitated George the Mighty, who can hope to escape? If temperance, that best preservative of health and life; if extensive utility to half the world; if the united prayers of nations; if the collected virtues of the Man and the King, could secure an earthly immortality—never, O lamented George! never should thy fall have added fresh honours to the trophies of death. But since this king of Britain is no more, let the inhabitants of Vol. HI. Y y courts courts look out for mansions in the dust. Let those gods on earth prepare to die like men; and sink down to a level with beggars, worms and clay. Let subjects be wife, and consider their latter end, when the alarm of mortality is sounded from the throne; and He who lived for their benesit, dies for their benesit too ;—dies to remind them, that they also must die. But how astonishing and lamentable is the stupidity of mankind! Can the natural or the moral world exhibit another phenomenon so shocking and unaccountable! Death sweeps off thousands of our fellowsubjects every year. Our neighbours, like leaves in autumn, drop into the grave, in a thick succession; and our attendance upon funerals is almost as frequent and formal as our vifits of friendship or complaisance. Nay, sometimes death enters in at our windows, and ravages our families before our eyes. The air, the ocean, the earth, and all the elements, are armed with the powers of death; and have their pestilential vaipours and inclemencies, their tempests and inundations, their eruptions and volcanos, to destroy the life of man. A thousand dangers lie in ambush for us. Nay, the principles of mortality lurk in our own constitutions: and sickness, the herald of the last enemy, often warns us to prepare. Yet how few realize the thought, that they must die! How few familiarize to their minds that all-important hour, pregnant with consequences of great, of incomparable, of insinite moment! How many forget they must die, till they feel it; and stand fearless, unapprehensive and insolent, upon the slippery brink of eternity, till they unexpectedly fall, and are ingulphed for ever in the boundless ocean! The sons of Adam the sinner, those fleeting phantoms of a day, put on the air of immortality upon earth; and make no provifion for their subsistence in the proper region of immortals beyond the grave. Pilgrims and strangers imagine themselves everlasting residents; and make this transitory life their all, as if earth was to be their eternal
home > home; as if eternity was but a fairy-land; and heaven and hell but majestic chimeras. But shall not this loud alarm, that spreads over half the globe, awaken us out of our vain dream of an earthly immortality? When the mighty is fallen, shall not the feeble tremble? If the father of a people must cease to live, shall not the people expect to die? If vulgar deaths are so frequent or insignisicant, that they have lost their monitory force, and are viewed with as much indifference as the setting of the sun or the fading of a flower; shall not the death of a King, the death of the King of Britain, constrain his subjects to realize the prospect of their own mortality, and diffuse that universal seriousness among them which that prospect inspires? If thus improved, this public loss would be a public blessing; and the reformation of a kingdom would be a greater happiness than the life of the best of princes. Thus improved, how easy and how glorious would the death of George the Second render the reign of George the Third, who now sways the sceptre, and in whom the hopes of kingdoms center! To govern subjects on earth, who are prepared for the hierarchy of heaven, would be a province worthy of an angel.
Since the mighty is fallen; since George is no more; how vain are all things beneath the fun! Vanity of vanities; all is vanity. How unworthy the hopes, how inferior to the desires, how unequal to the duration of human nature! Can the riches of Britain, or the honours of a crown ; can the extent of dominion, or the laurels of victory, now afford the least pleasure to the royal corpse that lies senseless in the dust; or to the royal spirit which has winged its flight to its own region, to the world of kindred spirits? No; all these are now as insignisicant as mere nothings to him, -as the conquests of Alexander, or the riches and honours of the Henries and Edwards, who silled the fame throne centuries ago.
"Who then art thou, who settest thine affections on things below? Art thou greater than the deceased? Dost thou value thyself on thy birth? The most highly descended is no more! Dost thou value thyself on thy riches? The King of Britain is no more! Dost thou value thyself on thy power? The master of the seas, the arbiter of Europe, is no more! Dost thou glory in thy constancy, humanity, affection to thy friend; justice, veracity, popularity, universal love— But I forbear." Human vanity cannot swell so high as to presume upon the comparison.
"How lately were the eyes of all Europe" and America, "thrown upon this great Man? For man let me call him now, nor contradict the declaration •which his mortality has made. They that sind him now, must seek for him; and seek for him in the dust! What on earth but must-tell us this world is vain, if thrones declare it! If kings, if Britim kings are demonstrations of it!
0, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on Princes favours!
"A throne is the shining period, the golden termination of the worldly man's prospect. His passions affect,-his understanding conceives nothing beyond it, or the favours it can bestow. The fun, the expanse of heaven, or what lies higher, have no lustre in his sight; no room in his pre-engaged imagination: it -is all a superfluous waste. When therefore his monarch dies, he is left in darkness: his fun is set: it is the night of ambition with him; which naturally damps him into reflection; and sills that reflection with awful thoughts.
With reverence then be it spoken, what can God in his ordinary means do more to turn his affections into their right channel, and fend them forward to their proper end? Providence, by his king's decease, takes away the very ground on which his delusion rose: it sinks before him: his error is supplanted,
nor has his folly whereon to stand, but must return, like the dove in the deluge, to his own bosom again. By this he is convinced that his ultimate point of view is not only vain in its nature, but vain in fact: it not only may, but has actually failed him. What then is he under the necessity of doing, this boundary of his sight being removed? Either he must look forward (and what is beyond it but God ?) or he must close his eyes in darkness, and still repose his trust in things which he has experienced to be vain. Such accidents, therefore, however fatal to his secular, are the mercy of God to his eternal interest; and fay, with the sacred text, Set your affeclions on things above, and not on things on the earth.*
If even kings cannot extract perfect happiness from things below; if the gross, unsubstantial, and fleeting enjoyments of life are in their own nature incapable of affording pure, solid and lasting felicity, must we not all despair of it? Yet such a happiness we desire; such we need; nay, such we must have; or our very existence will become our curse, and all our powers of enjoyment but capacities of pain. And where shall we seek for it ? where, but in the supreme Good? Let us lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, and be rich towards God; and then we shall live in state-affluence, and consummate felicity, when crowns, and thrones, and kings, nay, when stars, and funs, and worlds are funk into promiscuous ruin.
But though crowns, and thrones, and kings, though stars, and funs, and worlds sink into promiscuous ruin, there is one gift of heaven to mankind which shall survive; which shall flourish and reign for ever; a gift little esteemed or solicited, and which makes no brilliant sigure in mortal eyes; I mean religion—Religion! Thou brightest ornament of human nature! Thou fairest image of the divine ! Thou sacred spark of celestial sire, which now glimmers with but a feeble lustre j but will shine bright in the night of afflic
* Di. Young's True Estimate of Human Life, p. 59, 60.
tion; will irradiate the thick glooms of death, and blaze out into immortality in its native element! This will be an unfailing source of happiness, through the revolutions of eternal ages.—May I be the man to whom heaven shall bestow this most precious gift of divine bounty! and let crowns and kingdoms be scattered with an undistinguishing hand to the worthless and the brave, to the wise man and the fool; I will not murmur, envy, nor despond. These majestic trifles are not the tests of real worth, nor the badges of heaven's favourites: it is religion that marks out the happy man; that distinguishes the heir of an unfading crown; who, when the dubious conflict of life is over, Jhall inherit all things, and sit in triumph for ever with the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
If majesty has any charms to a mind truly noble; if dominion has any attractive influence upon a benevolent spirit; it must be as it affords a more extensive sphere of benesicence,1 and yields the generous, ~• difinterested, god-like pleasure of making multitudes happy. This may reconcile a mind intrinsically great to the self-denial of a court, to the cares of government, and render the burden of a crown tolerable. And in this respect, how happy and illustrious was our late king! It was an honour which could fall to the lot of but few of his subjects, to have such inti. mate access to the royal presence, as to furnish materials for a panegyric upon his personal and private virtues ; but his public and regal virtues diffused their beams to every territory of his vast dominions, and shone with esficacious, though gentle force, even upon us, in these remote ends of the earth. His public virtues as a king, thousands attest and celebrate in every region of the world. These we know, of these we have had a long and delightful experience for fourand-thirty years. These therefore we can justly celebrate: and to these I shall consine myself; though I am not altogether uninformed of some amiable anec. dotes of his majesty's personal virtue in private life.
Can the British annals, in the compass of seventeen hundred years, produce a period more favourable to liberty, peace, prosperity, commerce, and religion? In this happy reign, the prerogative meditated no invasions upon the rights of the people ; nor attempted to exalt itself above the law. George the Great, but unambitious, consulted the rights of the people as well as of the crown; and claimed no powers but such as were granted to him by the constitution : and what is the constitution but the voluntary compact of sovereign and subject? and is not this the foundation of their mutual obligations? The commons who, from their situation in the various parts of the kingdom, are presumed to be best acquainted with its state, always found majesty condescending to leave the interests of the country to their deliberations; and ready to assent to all their salutary proposals. The times when parliaments were a troublesome restraint are forgotten, or remembered with patriotindignation. The monarch himself frowned upon the principles of arbitrary power; and was an advocate for the liberties of the people* His parliament were his faithful counsellors; to whom he communicated his measures, with all the frankness and considence natural to conscious integrity. In an aristocracy the House of Lords could hardly enjoy more authority and independence, nor the House of Commons in a democracy more freedom of speech and determination, but far less dignity and unanimity, than under the monarchy of George the Second. In his were united the advantages of all forms of government; free from the inconveniences peculiar to each in a state of separation. Happy! thrice happy, to live under a reign so gentle and auspicious! How different would have been our situation under the baleful influence of the ill-boding name of Stuart!
Fond of peace, and tender of the life and blood of man, our late most gracious sovereign never engaged in war, but with compassionate reluctancea and with
the the unanimous approbation of his people. He drew the sword, not to gratisy his own ambition or avarice, or to revenge a personal injury; but to defend the rights of his subjects, to relieve the oppressed,, and to restrain and chastise the disturbers and tyrants of the world. He always aimed the thunder of Britain against the guilty head: but innocence had nothing to fear from the terrors of his hands. French persidy and Austrian ingratitude roused his generous resentment: but the merit of Frederic, the Pruffian hero, the second champion of liberty and the protestant religion, when oppressed by confederate kingdoms and empires, erased the memory of past differ-, ences, and made him his friend and ally.
What a vigilant, fatherly care did he extend to the infant colonies of Britain, exposed in this savage wilderness! Hence the safety our once defenceless frontiers now enjoy. Hence the reduction of that mongrel race of French and Indian savages, who would have been the eternal enemies of humanity, peace, religion, and Britons. And hence the glory of Amherst and Wolfe; and the addition of Canada to the British empire in America. Surely the name of George the Second must be dear in these rescued provinces, and particularly in Nassau-Hall, while peace and safety are esteemed blessings, while the terrors of a barbarous war are shocking to humanity, and while gratitude lives in an American breast. And George the Third will be dearer to us, as he bears the ever memorable name of our great deliverer.
He never usurped the prerogative of heaven, by assuming the sovereignty of conscience, or the conduct of the human understanding:, in matters of faith and religious speculation. He had deeply imbibed the principles of liberty; and could well distinguish between the civil rights of society and the sacred rights of religion. He knew the nature of man and of Christianity too well, to imagine that the determinations minations of human authority, or the sanctions of penal laws, could convince the mind of one divine truth or duty; or that the imposition of uniformity in minute points of faith, or in the forms of worship and ecclesiastical government, was consistent with free inquiry and the rights of private judgment; without which, genuine christianity cannot, though the external grandeur of the church may flourish. In his reign the state was not the dupe of aspiring churchmen, but the guardian of Christians in general; nor was the secular arm the engine of ecclesiastical vengeance, but the defence of the Dissenter as well as the Conformist; of the toleration, as well as the establishment. His reign was not stained with blood, shed by the ferocious hand of blind bigotry: but the thoughts, the tongue, and the pen were free; and truth was armed only with her own gentle and harmless weapons; those weapons with which she has always spread her conquests, in opposition to sires and racks; to the tortures of death, and to the powers of earth and hell. Long may Britons continue free in a world of slaves! And long may a George adorn the throne, and guard the sacred rights of conscience!
Was ever king more beloved by his people? Was ever government more deeply founded in the hearts ©f its subjects? Whatever factions have embroiled the nation; whatever clamours have been raised against the ministry; whatever popular suspicions of the abilities or integrity of his servants; still the king was the favourite of all; he was the center in which all parties were united.
Rebellion indeed (to the horror and surprise of posterity let it be known !) the most unnatural, unprovoked rebellion presumed to lift up its head even under his gracious reign, and attempted to transfer to a despicable pretender the crown conferred upon him by a free people. But how gently, and yet how effectually was the monster quelled! And how hap
Vol. III. Z z py py have been the consequences to thousands; particularly to the brave misguided Highlanders; who by the munisicence of that very king they risked their lives to depose, now taste the sweets of liberty and property; and need no farther argument in favour of the illustrious house of Hanover.*
The evening of his life was the meridian of his glory; and death seized him on the summit of human greatness. What illustrious victories have attended his arms in every quarter of the globe? Asia and Africa, as well as Europe and America, have trembled at his name; and felt the force of British revenge, executed by his righteous hand. What a shining sigure will the three last years, the æra of British glory, make in the history of the world! And how will they at once eternize and endear the name of George the Second!
How bloody and extensive has been the present war! And how important the interests at stake! It has spread over both the old and new continent, like an all-devouring conflagration. Nations have bled in a thousand veins; and the precious blood of man has streamed by sea and land, shed by the savage hand of man. The balance of power, the liberty, the peace, and religion of Europe, as well as the independency, the freedom, the commerce, and the territories of Britain and her colonies, have been the prize in dispute; a prize equal to the whole world to us. And how gloomy and ill-boding was the aspect pect of our asfairs in the sirst years of this war! The people factious, clamorous, and exasperated! The ministry divided, improvident, and dilatory! Commanders imprudently brave and fool-hardy, or weak and dastardly! What abortive schemes and blasted expeditions! What sanguine hopes and mortifying disappointments! What pompous undertaking; and inglorious results! What British, un-British gasconade and cowardice, boasting and timidity! And what Gallic bravery and success! (Proh curia! inversique mores !J What depredations and barbarities, what desertion and consternation upon our frontiers, through a length of above a thousand miles! What downcast airs on every countenance! What trembling expectations in every heart! But in that anxious, dubious crisis, George was alive! (Let both sides the Atlantic resound with praises, let every British heart glow with gratitude to the Sovereign of the universe, who prolonged the royal life, and preserved his capacities unimpaired in the decline of nature !—George was alive !) And with a steady, skilful hand managed the helm in the threatning storm, and conducted the sinking state, in which our All was embarked, within sight of the harbour of peace, safety, and glory, before he resigned the charge. His gracious ear was open to the voice of the people, when he received the illustrious Pitt to so great a share of the administration. And what a happy and glorious revolution have we since seen in the schemes of policy and the events of war! Had heaven punished a guilty nation, by removing their guardian in that period of discord,languor, dejection, and mortisication, while the heir of the crown was in his minority, how dismal might have been the consequences! Indeed we could have sincerely paid to so good a king that eastern compliment, 0 king, live for ever! for never, O lamented George! never could thy subjects be weary of thee. But since the mighty must fail, as well as the feeble; since George, the august and well-beloved,
* The dissolution of the Highland Clans, those petty tyrannies, upon terms not disadvantageous to the Chiefs themselves, and highly agreeable to their vassals: the opening a communication into those once inaccessible regions by public roads; the establishment of protestant missionaries and English schools; and the introduction of manufactories, supported by the royal bounty, and particularly by the income of the estates consiscated in the last rebellion ;—these have been the gentle but effectual expedients to extirpate popery and rebellion, under the administration of George the Second.—These were agreeable to so mild a reign; and these have already done insinitely more to accomplish this patriotic and christian design, than all the severe, preposterous measures of.former ages.
must must die, how great the mercy, that the melancr period was so long delayed! It would be ingratituc it would be impiety, it would be atheism, not to: knowledge the agency of Providence in so impotfc* ant an event. Mfifinth «
George, our father, is no more!—No more, § mean, the ornament of the British throne: no more the benefactor of mortals: no more the inhabitant of earth. His precious dust is ere now deposited with his royal predecessors, where majesty lies in ruins :* and we doubt not but the last honours have been performed to his venerable remains, agreeable to the gratitude and generosity of the nation, and the munisicent prince who inherits his crown and kingdom. And is this senseless dust all that is left of the greatest of kings? Has he suffered a total extinction of being? Is he entirely dead to himself, to the universe, and to God ?—No, he lives! He greatly lives the life of immortals 1 He lives in the immense region of spirits, where monarchs and kings are private men; where all the supersicial distinctions of birth, riches, power and majesty, are lost for ever; and all the distinction that remains, arises from virtue and vice —from our having acted our part well or ill in the station where we are sixed; whether on the throne of majesty, in the chains of slavery, or in the intermediate classes of life: there royalty appears difrobed and uncrowned before him, who regardetb not the rich more than the poor: there triumphant tyranny, that bade desiance to human power, is blasted and degraded by the frown of Omnipotence: and there, those rulers of men, who were the servants of God, are advanced to a higher sphere of dominion and benesicence j nesicence; and the badges of earthly majesty are superfluous to their dignity, and would but conceal their real worth. There they are clothed with the robes of salvation, and the garments of praise, and wear crowns of unfading glory, insinitely brighter than those which the gold, and gems, and glittering trifles of earth can compose. There our charity would place our departed sovereign, in a station as much superior to that of king of Great Britain, as an angel to a man. But it is not for mortals to pry into the inviolable secrets of the invisible world.
* In Westminster Abbey. "That ancient, sacred, and illustrious dome, "Where soon or late sair Albion's heroes come, "From camps and courts, tho' great, and wife, and just, "To feed the worm, and moulder into dust; . " That solemn mansion of the royal dead, "Whcsc passing slaves o'er sleeping measrehs tread."
You«igs Lnfi Bay.
When we view him in this light, the medium in which persons and things appear in eternity, we no longer revere the king. The crown, the sceptre, and all the regalia of earthly majesty, vanish. But we behold something more venerable, more majestic, more divine—The immortal! the great spirit stript of all the empty parade and pageantry of outward shew, and clothed with all the God-like regalia of its own nature! illustrious in its own intrinsic dignity! This view of kings and emperors does not diminish, but heighten and brighten their majesty. This is the most venerable and striking attitude in which kings and emperors themselves can appear; though in this view peasants and slaves claim an equality with them. All equally immortal! And what renders the nature of man, or even of angels, so important, so noble, so divine, as immortality! This makes the man insinitely superior to the monarch; and advances the offspring of the dust to a kind of equality with the natives of heaven.
But though George still lives to himself, to the universe, and to God (for all live to him) yet to his once-loved kingdoms he is no more. Here again, I must retract the melancholy thought—He still lives, he still adorns the throne, he still blesses the world, in the person of his royal descendant and successor. And if the early appearance of genius, humanity, condescension, the spirit of liberty and love of his people; if British birth, education, and connections; if the favourable prepossessions and high expectations of the nation; if the present glory and terror of the British arms; if the wislies and prayers of every lover of his country, signify any thing, or have any essicacy, George the Third will reign like George the Second. What then remains, but that we transfer to hirst the loyalty, duty, and affection, we were wont to pay to his amiable predecessor ! He ascends the throne in the prime of life and vigour, at a juncture more honourable and glorious than Britain, perhaps, or America, has ever seen. He had early the example of the best of kings before his eyes, as a sinished model of government,upon principles truly British. And this has received a powerful sanction from the example and instructions of his royal mother, the honour of her sex; who has made so mining and amiable a sigure in the British court, ever since her sirst appearance. He has able generals in the sield; able admirals in the navy; a navy perhaps equal to the united fleets of the universe; and able counsellors in the cabinet. His subjects numerous, rich, free, brave, loyal and affectionate : his enemies defeated, dispirited, exhausted, disappointed in their last efforts, and baffled in their forlorn hope: the commerce of Britain as extensive as the globe, and collecting the riches of the world from every soil and climate. In this promifing situation of affairs, what a long, happy and glorious reign have we in prospect L How may we congratulate the contemporaries of our young king, who enter into public life as he ascends the throne, and are likely to share in the honours and felicities of his administration! And with what ardent gratitude and devotion should we bow the knee to him, by whom kings reign and princes decree justice, who opens so bright and glorious a prospect! If the agency of the Most High, who ruleth in the kingdoms of men, andgiveth them to whomsoever he pleafcth, be ungratefully overlooked, our loyalty is no longer
a virtue: a virtue: it loses its worth; and degenerates into a mere compliment to the creature, at the expence of the Creator's honour. It is acknowledging the deputy, but rejecting the constituent, f
But notwithstanding this favourable and promising posture of affairs, methinks we cannot make a transition from reign to reign without some suspense. We are pasting into a new state of political existence; entering upon a strange, untried period; and it is natural to be a little damped at our sirst entrance.— The changes of life are so frequent and unexpected, and the course of human affairs so seldom runs on in
a steady a steady uniform tenor for a length of years, that we can be certain of almost nothing but what is past. The most promising posture of affairs may put on another form; and all the honours and acquifitions of a well-conducted and successful war, may be ingloriously lost by the intrigues of negociation and a dishonourable peace. The best of kings (with all due deference to majesty be it spoken) may have evil counsellors; and evil counsellors may have the most mischievous influence, notwithstanding the wisdom and goodness of the sovereign.
f Thus agreeable and encouraging did the dawn of the present reign appear to me, before any public act had consirmed those favourable anticipations. But since I have found that one of the very sirst acts of government was " A proclamation for the encouragement of piety and virtue, and for preventing of vice, profaneness and immorality ," the transport of my mind would almost constrain me to put on the heirs of a prophet; and, without my usual diffidence as to futurities, to fbretel the increasing glories and felicities of the beginning administration.—Hail! desponding religion! Lift up thy drooping head, and triumph! Virtue, thou heaven-born exile, return to court. Young George invites thee: George declares himself thy early friend and patron, and promises "to distinguish persons of piety and virtue on all occasions by marks of royal favour." Vice, thou triumphant monster! with all thy infernal train, retire, abscond, and fly to thy native hell! Young George forbids thee to appear at court, in the army, in the navy, or any of thy usual haunts, and rouses the powers of his kingdoms against thee. Sure this cannot be an empty flourish, at sirst appearance on the stage. Certainty this must be the honest declaration of a heart long a secret friend to religion and virtue; and now impatient of silence. And if sj, what happy days are before us, when religion and George shall reign t
Afpice, venturo lætentur ut omnia sazelo!
Jam redit & Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna:
Jam nova progenies coelo demittitur alto
Te Duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia uostri,
Irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras
Pacatumque regss patriis virtutibus orbem.
Virg. Eclog. iv. It is impossible to be calm under such a presage. Such a presaga renders the blessings we (hall receive under the reign of George the Third, almost as sure as those we have received under that of George the Second j and I am ready to retract all I have said aboTG iu the language of diffidence and uncertainty.
But may not even this anxious contingency be productive of good, by exciting us more powerfully to the duty of Christians and good subjects?
Are the kingdoms of men forlorn outcast orphans, discarded by their heavenly Father; or independent, self-sufficient sovereignties, capable of managing themselves by their own power and policy? Or, are they not rather little provinces or districts of Jehovah's immense empire, in which he presides, and manages all their affairs? Are kings absolute and self-supported? Or, are they not sustained by him who is the support of archangels? Does the prayer of a righteous man avail much? Or is it but empty breath, of no efficacy? A light much more obscure than that of christianity has enabled heathens to answer such questions as these. Since " then the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men;" and since prayer is invested with (shall I dare assert it ?) a kind of almighty importunity, shall we not often appear in the posture of petitioners at the throne of grace for our young king? In praying for this one great personage, we intercede not only for him, but for ourselves and millions on both sides the Atlantic; not only for individuals but for nations, for Europe and America, for the world! And may petitions of such immense import never languish into spiritless,complimental formalities! May they exhaust all the vigour of our fouls, and be always animated with the united ardors of devotion, patriotism and loyalty! As
As good subjects, whatever our present or future stations may be in society, or in whatever territory of his majesty's dominions we may act our part on the stage of life, let the principles of loyalty and liberty, let cheerful obedience to our king, and a difinterested love to our country, let that generous.virtue, public spirit, inspire our hearts, and appear in all our conduct. Let us be sub j eel, not for wrath, but for conscience sake. Let our obedience be, not a servile artisice to escape punishment; not the mercenary cringing of ambition or avarice; not the fulsome affected complaisance of flattery; but the voluntary offering of an honest and sincere heart. Let this always be an essential part of our virtue, our religion, and whatever we esteem most sacred.
To you, my dear pupils, the hope, the joy, and the ornament of your country; who, if the wishes and expectations of your parents, your friends, your tutors, and the public, be accomplished, will yet make an important figure in life; to you I must particularly address myself on this melancholy occasion, with all the affectionate solicitude and earnestness of a father's heart; and while only my voice sounds in your ears, imagine you hear the voice of your other tutors, of the trustees of this institution, of your country and your God, inculcating upon you the fame exhortation.
While I invite you to drop your silial tears over the sacred dust of our common father, who haa hitherto cherished your tender years, I cannot but congratulate you once more upon your heing coevals with George the Third; and that you will date your entrance upon public life so near the time of his accession to the royal feat of his ancestors. •: he happy subjects of George the Second will soon give place To you, and vifit their beloved king in the mansions of the dead. But long may your king and you iive, and many happy days may you fee together.
Vol. III. A a a" You
You have a king, who has already taught you howto live, and recommended piety and virtue to you from the throne. Let this therefore be your sirst care. This will qualify you for both worlds, and render you at once good subjects to your earthly sovereign, and to his Master and yours in heaven. The Christian cannot but be a patriot. He, who loves all mankind, even his enemies, must certainly love his country. The Christian cannot but be a good subject. He who loves his neighbour as himself, must certainly love his sovereign: and he who fears God, will not fail to honour the king.
Let every foul be fubjecl to the higher powers. This^ my dear youth, this is the great precept of christianity, which this day demands your attention. From t his day cherish a public spirit, and dedicate yourselves to the service of your king and country. Whatever character you may hereafter sustain, you will not be so insignisicant as to be incapable of any service to your sovereign and fellow-subjects. Whether the health, the liberty and property, or the spiritual interests of mankind, be the object of your future profession; whether you choose the peaceful vale of retirement, or the busy scenes of active life, remember, you will still have connections with the throne. You are parts of that great community over which his majesty presides: and the good of the whole, as well as the ease, honour and prosperity of his government, will in some measure depend upon your performing your parts well. Civil society is so complicated a system, and concludes so many remote, as well as intimate connections, references, and mutual dependencies, that the least irregularity or defect in the minutest spring, may disorder and weaken the whole machine. Therefore it becomes you to know your own importance to your king and country, that you may exert your influences in your respective spheres, to execute all his patriot designs. Let your literary acquifitions, your fortunes, and even your
lives be sacred to him, when his royal pleasure demands them for the service of your country. This you must do, or turn rebels against your own hearts and consciences. I well know you cannot be disaffected, or even useless subjects from principle. Your education, both at home and in Nafiau-Hall, has invincibly pre-engaged- your inclination, your reason, and your conscience, in favour of our incomparable constitution, and the succession in the Hanover-family: of liberty, the Protestant religion and George the Third, which are inseparably united. Therefore act up to your principles, practise according to your political creed, and then my most benevolent wishes, nay, the highest wishes ox your king and fellow-subjects, will be amply accomplished in you. Then you will give the world an honorable and just specimen of the morals and politics inculcated in the College of New-Jersey; and convince them, that it is a seminary of loyalty, as well as learning and piety; a nursery for the state, as well as the church. Such may it always continue! You all concur in your cordial Amen.