« AnteriorContinua »
In aiming at superior military accomplishments, you act consistently with your character, and suitably to the present state of the world. By this means your ancient company will, not only possess, but deserve, the title of honorable. The generous and public spirit which they appear possessed of, who devote themselves to the service of their country, will conciliate for them universal love and esteem; and, at the same time, fill their own minds with solid pleasure and satisfaction. Under the inAuence and encouragement of His Excellency, the captain-general, we hope you will not only support a martial spirit in general, but endeavor to cultivate the regular art of war; the necessity and importance whereof, in New England, beyond what was requisite in our infant state, when we had no enemy to meet in the field, when our warfare was only with undisciplined savages in the wilderness, we trust does not escape your notice and attention, The present war has afforded undeniable proofs, that in order to succeed in battle, the military art must be studied. Your knowledge and experience herein, Gentlemen, we hope will be carried to such a pitch, as will not only render you peculiarly useful yourselves, if called to action ; but also have a good influence to excite in others, a laudable ambition to excel in the same things. And you will suffer me to remind you, that, in order to your example's being loved and followed, it will be necessary for you to shine, not only in the common ornaments of a soldier, but also in what is very consistent herewith, “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.” To be usefully acquainted with the art of war, you must not be strangers to the religion of the Prince of peace. Would you conquer others, you must not be conquered by yourselves, -by your own lusts and affections. Slavery breaks the spirits, and subdues the force of the mind : and certainly no slavery can be more effectual to do it, than to be mastered by your own passions. Would you therefore enjoy the comfort, honor and advantage of your character, as soldiers, enlist yourselves under the banner of Christ ; be firınly persuaded of the excellency and usefulness of his spirit ; and let your endeavors to possess yourselves of it, he animated in proportion thereto.
To conclude, -Let us all be instructed by the doctrine of our text. Let us all endeavor to have our minds deeply impressed with a sense of the importance of ruling our spirits. In this we may strive to excel, without being guilty of lawless ambition, or inglorious pride. This will be our honor and happiness, whatever our stations in life are, whatever the circumstances of the world, of our nation, and land. This will not be the less useful, if, through the kindness of Heaven, our hopes succeed, and the present war should issue in an honorable and lasting peace; when our swords shall be beaten into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning-hooks ;” and our brethren of the military character, shall leave the fatigues of the camp, to improve in agriculture, that peaceful, but too much neglected art.
The consideration of the infinite advantages of this conquest over our spirits, may well inspire us with resolution to encounter all the difficulties that lie in the way hereof. And that there are difficulties, great and numerous, is a truth, which, far from denying or concealing, I must repeatedly insist upon, and strongly urge the belief of: such difficulties as many shall faintly seek to overcome, and shall not be able : such as will require all our strength and fortitude to resist ; and all, will be found too little, without power from on high. He only “that formed the spirit of man within him," can form it to a new and divine temper. To him therefore, let our thoughts be directed : to him let us all repair : His grace let us earnestly implore : and for our encouragement herein, he has deciared himself ready to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him : and if we “walk in this Spirit we shall not fulfil the unlawful desires of the flesh and of the mind."
Let us war a good warfare," and "fight the good fight of faith;" humbly “looking to Jesus, the captain of our salvation," without whom we can do nothing; but through the assistance of whose Spirit " we can do all things;” and shall come off more than conquerors in this spiritual conflict. This victory, my brethren, will produce the happiest consequences. It will enable us to enjoy ourselves, and our friends. It will lay a foundation for present comfort, and usefulness. It will secure peace and safety at the close of life. It will give the temper of heaven, and render us meet to enter the mansions of glory.
Let us endeavor to lay our souls open to the full power of these important considerations, and act under the influence of them, until “the same mind is produced in us which was also in Christ Jesus ;" and we are prepared to enter his peaceful kingdom, where universal love and harmony reign for ever and ever. Amen.
S E R M O N
DELIVERED AT A
PRIVATE MEETING IN FRAMINGHAM,
ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1761.
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN DEDHAM.
PUBLISHED AT THE REQUEST OF THE HEARERS.
BOSTON, N. E.:
PRINTED BY D. AND J. KNEELAND, IN QUEEN STREET,
FOR J. WINTER, IN UNION STREET.