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He will not always chide: Neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins: Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities: For as the heaven is high above the earth: So great is his mercy towards those that fear him."How lively and devotional these expressions! How full of sincerest love and gratitude! And have we not reason to contemplate these favors with application to ourselves? No doubt we have as to most of them.—And oh, that there were indeed such a heart in each of us, that we might make suitable returns to the Author of them!
But it may be proper to take more special notice of those smiles of Providence mentioned in the governor's proclamation for this day's solemnity—and then descend to private and personal favors, which are peculiar to ourselves.
First, I shall briefly touch upon some public blessings vouchsafed to our nation and land, and the Protestant cause in general. -I shall not have time to enlarge upon them, nor will my acquaintance with affairs abroad in the world, enable me to be very particular. I hope there are none among us of so contracted principles, as to look upon themselves little interested in these public blessings, or not bound to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving therefor.To begin,
The continuance of the life and health of our gracious sovereign king George, especially, considered in connection with the present state of our national affairs, is a favor of very great importance. The removal of a good king, is a great loss to a nation at any time; but especially at such a day as this is with the British nation. The goodness of God in preserving the life and reign of his Britannic majesty, is remarkable; as they have been protracted much beyond the bounds set to most of his royal predecessors. His administrations have been equal and prudent; his attachment to the Protestant cause, strict and invariable.-In him are happily united the authority of a sovereign, and the tenderness of a parent. Through the indulgence of kind Heaven, he yet lives and reigns: -But we know it will not be very long, according to the course of nature, before he must descend from the throne, and submit to the law of mortality, from which none are exempt; a period which his loyal subjects wish remote, and cannot think of without concern but the thought is rendered much less painful, from a prospect of the sceptre's continuing in his royal family; a family long remarkable for a tender regard to English liberty, for Protestant religion. And this succession is become very sure by his majesty's numerous offspring; yea as sure as human laws can render future events. This is such a favor as will not be slightly noticed, by those who are acquainted with our present happy constitution; by which we enjoy our important liberties and priv
ileges, civil and religious, which, it is evident, are not to be enjoyed, under a king not thoroughly Protestant; by the unhappy experience of our forefathers, a century or two ago.
And it ought to be acknowledged, to the praise of Him who setteth up, and pulleth down princes and rulers, as he pleases, that there have been no disadvantageous alterations in the ministry at home, the year past, that we hear of;-and that those have now the management of the most important affairs there, who we trust have been, and will be, under God, very serviceable to the nation. A gentleman is still continued prime minister of state, who is by the best intelligences, a great politician, a man of uncommon penetration, of strict equity, impartial in his administrations, sincerely engaged in the glorious cause of English liberty, and Protestant religion, unmoved by the bribes, flatteries and insinuations of courtiers, determined that true merit shall be the only way to that promotion which he can be instrumental in procuring; in fine, excellently qualified to fill that elevated station in which kind Providence has placed him: And it appears that the smiles of Heaven have already been upon his administrations; and success attended some of the enterprises, formed more especially by him, and under his direction.
Another article of divine goodness, suitable for our thankful acknowledgment at this time, is the success which has attended his majesty's arms, and the arms of his most valuable ally the king of Prussia, the year past.
Success has been afforded to the British arms in several instances by land. They have been successful in two descents upon the coast of France, viz. at St. Malo's, and Cherburg, by which the enemy have been despoiled of much treasure and military stores; have lost several fortresses of considerable importance: By which they have been greatly impoverished, and our nation not a little enriched. Again, divine Providence has succeeded his majesty's electoral troops, and their allies, in the expulsion of the enemy, out of his hereditary dominions in Germany; of which they took possession the year before, and ruled for a short season, by tyranny and oppression, extremely cruel but by all their attempts they have not been able to re-enter. This is an instance of success, important perhaps in itself, and peculiarly agreeable to our good king.-Again, on the western coasts of Africa, the British forces have taken a settlement called Senegal, which I think is looked upon an acquisition of very great importance, and very hurtful to France in her trade and great stores and riches fell as a plunder into the hands of the captors.
And the God of armies has been pleased, in several instances,
* The right honorable Mr. Secretary Pitt.
to prosper the military operations in America: particularly, in the attempt against Louisbourg, on the island of Cape Breton. That strong fortress, that important barbor, which is as a key to Canada, and commands one of the finest fisheries in the world, is reduced to obedience to the crown of Great Britain; and with it a vast quantity of arms, ammunition and warilke stores. And what ought very much to heighten our gratitude to God herefor, is, that notwithstanding the strength of the place, the many difficulties to be surmounted, the many hazardous scenes to be passed through, the whole was accomplished with very small expense of blooda remarkable smile of Providence !
Again, in God's good providence the attempt against the place usually called Frontigniac, has been happily succeeded: Hereby the enemy have lost great store of provisions, arms and ammunition; which damaged them, it seems, not only the worth of them, but prevented their using them, in designed attempts upon the exposed settlements of some of the British colonies. This enterprise so soon accomplished, (and indeed the despatch of it, is one of its greatest glories ;) I think something extraordinary, if we take into consideration the critical conjuncture of time, in which it was effected; the hardships gone through, with vigor; and the small number of lives lost in the whole affair: And it will probably facilitate the execution of some other designs depending.In these instances, success has attended the British arms employed by land the year past.
Nor have the smiles of Providence been less visible, in succeeding the naval power of Great Britain.-A large number of ships of war, many of them line-of-battle ships, have been taken and destroyed at the siege of Louisbourg, in the Mediterranean Sea, and elsewhere; which has very much weakened the naval power of our enemies; and established our nation, more firmly, in what has long been her privilege, a superior maritime force.The private ships of war and merchantmen, taken from the French, the year past, have been very numerous : More than an hundred were taken or destroyed at St. Malo's: and by these captures, immense riches have been transferred from their nation to ours. The reducing the naval power of France, and increasing our own, will probably prove of the greatest importance of any of our successes, as it is this, that, under God, has from time to time, enabled our nation to chastise and humble, the pride and insolence of our old adversaries.But I may not enlarge. I go on-to mention in few words, the smiles of Providence upon the king of Prussia; which ought not to be passed in silence; for we are indeed nearly interested in the events of his operations; as he is so strong a support to the reformed religion; as he is in strict alliance with the British nation; and
as peace may be hastened or retarded, according to his success; as well as established upon more or less advantageous terms. is indeed a great man; a man of great prudence, policy, and courage. He is engaged for the defence of civil and religious liberty, against united, papal powers: Through God, he and the brave troops under his command, have done valiantly; have done wonders: wonders indeed they will appear, if we consider the great disproportion between their numbers, and the united forces which oppose them.-To have defended himself, would have been heroic; but to put the enemy to the rout, to gain victory after victory as he has done, and almost entirely to demolish a formidable host, as he did the Russians, are marvellous works."From the blood of the slain, and from the fat of the mighty, his sword returned not empty."-But while we justly admire the hero, and celebrate his great accomplishments, and mighty acts; while we heap encomiums upon the truth, intrepidity and resolution of his soldiers; we may by no means forget who it is that "teaches their hands to war, and their fingers to fight;" who it is that enables them to "play the men for their people, and the cities of their God;" who it is that gives the victory; but give supreme praise to Him.
Thus in general our public affairs relating to the war, wear a more favorable aspect than they did a year ago: Heaven has prospered England's and Prussia's arms. Nevertheless it is yet a day of public calamity among us; and the enemy, it must be confessed, have gained some advantages against us; though nothing that may be imagined any thing like an equivalent, for the successes I have been mentioning.
And now, if we turn our view upon the affairs of this province, we see the goodness of God,-that our charter privileges are continued to us. And it no doubt gives us pleasure, and ought to make us thankful, that two places of power and trust, which not long ago became vacant, are filled up, by his majesty's commissions, with so valuable men ;* men so capable and so faithful to discharge the duties of their stations, so agreeable to the people, and so likely to prove great blessings to the province.
Another favor which deserves our thankful remembrance, today, is the fruitfulness of the seasons the year past. God has caused the earth to yield her increase, in great plenty; a greater plenty than has been known for several years past; especially of English grain, and food for cattle; though some particular places have suffered considerably, by sweeping rains. And there seems to be some peculiar kindness in these large supplies, this year, as there has been great demand therefor, to furnish the British troops
* His Honor Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., Lieutenant Governor, and the Honorable Andrew Oliver, Esq., Secretary.
employed in America. And by this means, there has been a free sale for what the fruitful earth has yielded, more than to answer private or common demands. This has been a great advantage to the community in general, and to the husbandman in particular.Had there been a dearth or scarcity this year, it would have been peculiarly distressing; because of the great quantities of provisions needed to supply our military forces. The mercies of the Lord have been seasonable: He has caused the clouds to distil refreshing rains in their season, whereby the earth has been softened, and enriched, so that the produce of it has been very plentiful. This benefit should excite our gratitude to Him, "whose open hand satisfieth the desires of every living thing."
Again, the general health enjoyed the year past, throughout this land, much more general than common, is a very great instance of divine goodness, which loudly calls for our sincere thankfulness to God. This is a mercy of very great worth, if we consider it, either with relation to the public welfare, or the happiness of the individuals who enjoy it. A mercy too little thought of, or prized, it is to be feared, by the healthful, and athletic.-Sickness unfits both body and mind, for the discharge of those offices, which, in health, would be their proper exercise; it prevents our relishing any outward enjoyments, and renders us in a great measure, unprofitable to ourselves or others. For the general health enjoyed, and for our own share in this blessing, let us therefore praise Him, "who is the health of our countenance, and our God."
Having briefly mentioned to you, my brethren, the public smiles of Providence the year past; I now descend to the consideration of those, which are more private and peculiar to ourselves; and in them we shall find abundant cause of gratitude to God, and have reason to say, O how good is the Lord!
Have not health and prosperity usually attended our persons and families, the year past? Hath not God given his blessing upon our secular employments, and established the work of our hands? Especially, hath he not continued to us the day and means of grace, which, by his blessing, and our due attendance upon them, will promote our future and eternal happiness?
It would not be unprecedented, Psalm cxlviii. 12, and I hope not unprofitable, if I should particularly call upon old and young to praise the Lord, for his goodness.
Let me then speak unto you my aged fathers.-Besides the public mercies the year past, which I hope you take a due notice of; have not God's kindnesses toward you in particular, been very great? It is he that has held your souls in life, and by his visitation your spirits have been preserved-He has supported you under the infirmities of age-He continues you in the enjoyment of spiritual privileges, even those of a public nature; as he enables