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hocence and Happiness, he seem'd to SÈRM. have conquer'd all Concern for him- I. self; and, like a true Father of his People, was chiefly solicitous for the Peace and Welfare of his People : His dying Words breathed nothing but Pity and Tenderness towards his Subjects, who were to survive his Fall, and to feel the sad Effects of it. And, therefore, to those, who with weeping Eyes then beheld that bloody Scene, and to us, who with like Grief now look on, at a Distance, may we suppose the Royal Sufferer (consistently with the Character he then maintain'd) to say, --- Weep not for me; but weep for yourselves, and for your Children.
This, I am sure, is an Instruction, which the Day it self seems naturally to afford us, and which I shall, therefore, pursue in both its Branches ; fhewing you, İ. First, That we misplace our Grief, if we employ it in bewailing and la
SERM. menting our Martyr'd Sovereign ;
I. And, nII. Secondly, That the true End of these
annual Humiliations is, to weep for our selves, and for our Children ; to deplore the Guilt which our Forefathers contracted by this inhuman Deed, and which, we have Reason to fear, is not even yet fully Expiated.
I. In the early Ages of the Church, the Custom was annually to observé those Days on which the Martyrs were Crown'd (such was the Language of that Time) not with dejected Looks, or any outward Expressions of Sorrow; but with the Solemnities usual on Birth-Days (and such also they were styled) even with all poffible Instances of devout Exultation and Joy. Upon these Occasions, pious Christians flock'd to the Places, where those faithful Servants of Christ slept, or had seald the Truth of their Testimony with their Blood: Thure
they held their sacred Asemblies (as SERM. they afterwards built their Churches;) I. There they made their EucharistickOblations, and celebrated their Feafts of Love ; gave Thanks to God for the exemplary Vertues and Graces, which adorn'd the Lives and Deaths of those holy Persons, and excited themselves into like Degrees of Christian Zeal and Fervor.
Their Behaviour in these Cases should be the Rule of ours, and teach us to observe this Anniversary in such a Manner, as may render it most honourable to the Dead, and most useful to the Living. To that end, it will become us, not vainly to indulge our Grief, or our Resentments, in behalf of our much injur'd Prince; not fruitlesly to spend our Time in lamenting his Misfortunes; but rather to employ it in magnifying the Grace of God, which enabled him so conftantly to endure them, and so heartily to forgive the Authors of them ; which arm'd him with such a wondrous De
Serm. gree of Meekness and Patience ; in:
1. spired him with such Christian MagMunanimity and Courage, as made him
Shine with a greater Lustre in the
Indeed, the Mind of Man, fill'd
that the Character of this excel. lent King, even while he was in his lowest and most afflicted State, had something in it, more truly Great and Noble, than all the Triumphs of Conquerors: Something, tliat rais’d him as far above the most prosperous Prin
ces, as they themselves seem rais'd a- Serm. bove the rest of Mankind.
I. Many Kings there have been, as happy as all worldly Felicity could make them ; and some of these have distinguish'd themselves as much by their Vertues, as their Happiness. But the Possessors of those Vertues, being seated on a Throne, display'd them from thence with all manner of Advantage; their good Actions appear’d in the best Light, by reason of the high Orb, in which they moved, while performing them: Whereas, the Royal Vertues, which we this Day celebrate, shone brightest in Affliction, and when all external Marks of Royal State and Dignity were wanting to recommend them. 0. thers, perhaps, may have been as Just, as Beneficent, as Merciful, in the Exercise of their Royal Power, as this good King was: But none surely did ever maintain such a majestick Evenness and Serenity of Mind, when defpoiled of that Power; when stript of