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From the words of the text, taken in connection with the melancholy event which this day calls upon us for our reflection, the following important considerations demand our most serious attention.
From the pious and warning wish expressed by Moses, we should be led, both as a nation and as individuals, to consider seriously the many mercies and blessings which, under the government of our departed sovereign, have been extended to our country, and to contemplate the responsibility we incur should we neglect to make them grounds for our gratitude and obedience. And these reflections should be so applied as to become the means of producing in us a serious and devout consideration of our latter end. And may He, by whose preventing and assisting grace alone can all our meditations become profitable to his service, so shed abroad in our hearts the influence of his Holy Spirit, that the reflections which we shall suggest may tend to the increase of his honour and glory, and of our own present and future welfare.
In reviewing the series of events which adorn the annals of our departed sovereign, what extraordinary instances of Divine mercy and favour, what signal tokens of providential interposition and protection extended to our country throughout the course of his government, must present themselves to the mind of the contemplative Christian !
Reflect for a moment on the state of this country, on the state of continental Europe, on the state of the civilized world, when it pleased the Almighty to afflict with a mental malady the revered father of our late sovereign, and the government of these realms became entrusted to the hands of our departed monarch : Who can revert to the time when the clash of arms resounded throughout the civilized world, when kings were hurled from their thrones at the will of a cruel and unrelenting despot—when a bloody and exterminating war seemed waged against the civil and religious institutions of every state in Christendom, and all were doomed to sustain its horrors, or to groan under the chain of servitude when those sacred ties, which bind together individuals, and which constitute and civilize society, were broken asunder, and a host of fierce, discordant and unsocial passions were let loose upon the world—who, I say, can reflect on these, and more than these, things without asking, What were we, as a nation, that we should have escaped unhurt and uncontaminated amidst the wreck of empires and the disruption of the ties of civilized society ? Must we not indeed declare with the Psalmist, “ If the Lord himself had not been on our side when men rose up against us, they had swallowed us up quick, when they were so wrathfully displeased at us. Yea, the waters had drowned us, and the stream had gone over our souls.”
While the whole of Europe groaned under the horrors of war or the chain of servitude, it pleased the Almighty to make this nation the instrument for pacifying the discordant elements—by her great and glorious success she restored peace to a world in arms.“ Nation no longer warred against nation, but the sword was turned into the ploughshare, and the spear into the pruning hook.”
And while we call to mind these signal manifestations of divine favour and protection extended to our country, and reflect how she became the instrument in the hands of Providence for stilling the raging of the nations, and for restoring peace and security to the world, can we forget that under the auspices of the illustrious individual now numbered with the dead, these purposes of the divine will were accomplished ?
Let us continue our reflections too from the time. when universal peace brought repose to our exhausted country. What wonders in science, what improvements in the arts, what brilliancy in literature, what new fields for commerce and enterprize have since that period burst forth to elevate our country, and which seemed reserved, in an especial manner, for the fostering care of our late beloved sovereign to call forth, to appreciate and to reward.
Whatever can tend to raise our country above surrounding nations--whatever constitute the refinement of society and the comforts of social and domestic life, have during his reign been brought to a degree of unprecedented perfection.
But the most glorious feature which will distinguish the age of our departed sovereign, and which will con
secrate his memory to every well-wisher of his country's happiness, is that great and important measure which provided accommodation in our established Church to thousands who had been driven to desert her standard, or to range themselves under the banners of contending sects. Those sacred piles which have been raised and consecrated to the honour of God and the service of religion, will stand as lasting monuments to the memory of GEORGE THE FOURTH ! and will shed a lustre over his name when the memorials of more brilliant, but less useful, acts shall fade or be forgotten.
When then we reflect on these manifestations of Divine favour and protection extended to our country, and the blessings and privileges which, under the government of our departed sovereign, we have enjoyed, will it not naturally lead us to inquire to what ends these tokens of Almighty favour towards us have been applied, and to what purposes the blessings and privileges extended to us have been devoted ?
And if the fate of the Jewish nation depended in a great measure on the return they made for the divine favour and protection which they experienced, if their inspired legislator denounced against them such dreadful punishment on account of their disobedience and ingratitude, can we imagine that greater forbearance will be shewn to us as a nation, if we, through a forgetfulness of God, abuse or lightly esteem the mercies which at his hand we
have experienced? When their venerable legislator threatened the Israelites with the dreadful consequences which he foretold awaited their obstinacy and disobedience, he shews them the aggravated nature of their guilt by recounting what the Almighty had done for that faithless and froward generation. Surely then it must become a matter of the greatest moment to ourselves as a nation, seriously to reflect how far the many instances of Divine favour and protection which we have experienced, have produced in us a disposition to promote the wise purposes for which they were designed, and in what degree the blessings and privileges extended to us, have become the means of our promoting the honour of God and our own present and future welfare.
If, in extending our inquiry throughout the various classes of the community, we should discover that the recollection of all which we have experienced at the hand of God form the theme of our acknowledgment and gratitude; if all of us should be found to be fully impressed with a lively sense of the obligation we are under of furthering the gracious ends for which the tokens of providential favour extended to us were designed ; and if this consideration, influencing all classes of society, should have led to an increase of religion and morality amongst us; if a disposition to promote the honor of God, a reverence for his laws, and the practice of the great duties of Christian holiness be observable in our national