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or of the Happiness, which they expected from it: Herod failed even of the first. The In-, fants, whom he would have wished to spare, he destroyed : the Infant, whom alone he wished to destroy, escaped
So he plunged himself into the deepest Guilt, and gave up his Memory to endless Infamy; and got nothing by it of what he hoped. Thus was he mocked, not so properly of the wife Men, though by Means of them, as of God himself; according to the Prediction, many Ages before, concerning him, and all resembling him. Why do the Heathen fo furiously rage together, and the People imagine a vain Things The Kings of the Earth stand up, and the Rulers take Counsel together against the Lord, and against bis anointed.--He, that dwelleth in Heaven, shall laugh them to scorn : the Lord Jhall have them in Derision: Nor was he disappointed only: which he might know in this Life, though we are not sure he did, but called foon after, in a dreadful and exemplary Manner, to his final Account: dying in all the Agonies of a Body tortured with a Complication of noisome Difeases, and a Soul driven to the Extremity of Fury and Despair : as the before-mentioned
Historian, Josephus, whose Testimony in this Particular cannot be suspected, relates at large.
From such Dispensations of Providence as this, and from the gracious Promises of God's holy Word, his Church, though tenderly affected by the Wickedness of its Persecutors, as well as the frequent Sufferings of its Members, may yet learn to look beyond both, and contemplate with Triumph its own Security; the shameful Defeats of the former, and, even if they appear to succeed, the glorious Rewards of the latter. The Virgin, the Daughter of Zion, bath despised thee, and laughed thee to Scorn; the Daughter of Jerusalem hath fhaken ber Head at thee u. Hence the Days, on which the Apostles and others died Martyrs, have been joyfully observed as their Birth-Days : and thedding their Blood, considered as fowing Seed for the future Increase of Believers. Hence also the Memory of these Infants hath been celebrated in the Assemblies of Christians from the primitive Times : as we read in a Work, that hath been ascribed to Origen, who lived 1500 Years ago w. For their Murder was regarded as a Martyrdom undergone by them in Deed, though not in Will; since they u If. xxxvii. 22.,
lost their Lives on Christ's Account, and, as the Collect of our Church for this Festival expresses it, glorified God by their Deaths ; were instrumental in making the Birth of his Son, and his watchful Care of him, remarkable in the highest Degree. And thus, conformably to the Psalmist's Words », inserted into the same Collect, God ordained Strength, gave additional Evidence to the Christian Faith, and by so doing, perfected Praise v to his holy Name, even from the dying Cries, which proceeded out of the Mouths of these Babes and Sucklings.
Let us therefore likewise pay due Regard to their Memory : and look on it as their unspeakable Happiness, that they were fent, on such an Account, by the Tyrant's Sword, to Heaven, in the Morning of their Days, secure from the Danger of living to be wicked here, and miserable hereafter. Let us also apply the fame Consideration to any similar AMiction of our own; for we cannot undergo a severer, and few, if any, upon Earth, have ever undergone so severe a one, as that of the poor Parents of these Children. Let us recollect from this instructive Leffon, that the sharpest Sufferings may fall on the most innocent Per
Pr.'viii. 2. y Matt. xxi. 16.
fons; that the nearest of our Relations, and dearest of our Blessings, are God's Property more than our own ; but that, if he takes them from us, he not only can, but, unless it be our Fault, will, make us ample Amends in a better World: and that therefore, though we may lawfully mourn the Lofs of them, yet we ought meekly to submit to it; supported by the Hope of a blessed Resurrection for them and ourselves; and applying to our own Cafe, in a higher Sense, what was originally said, perhaps in a lower, to Rachel, weeping for ber Children: Thus faith the Lord, Restrain tby Voice from weeping, and thine Eyes from Tears: for thy Work shall be rewarded, and they shall come again from the Land of the Enemy”,
S E R M O N VII.
PROVERBS xii. 22.
they, that deal truly, are bis Delight.
Otwithstanding the Advantages of Rea- ;
fon, the Condition of Mankind would bę very low, and indeed very unhappy, if we did not also excell the rest of the Creatures, which inhabit this Earth, in a greater Power of communicating our Thoughts one to another. They have much fewer Wants : and are taught by Nature, almost immediately, how to fupply them. But we are purposely formed to need and to give Help in every Thing, through the Whole of our Days : and therefore some ready and extensive Method of fignifying mutually whatever passes within our Minds was peculiarly necessary for us. Without this, no Person would have more Knowledge of any