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the gates of the Tabernacle, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. But, in thus intreating them, he lays down a great truth ; a truth, which it would be well that no statesman should ever forget, for it is the key to all sound political economy, the firmest bulwark of a state — that
NATIONAL PROSPERITY IS THE SURE RESULT OF NA
TIONAL RELIGION. O pray for the peace of Jerusalem ; the peace of a religious harmony: they shall prosper
prosper that love thee ; they shall enjoy the favour of God's countenance, who shew their love to his Holy Temple, by suffering its worship to influence their minds and conduct. And, in conformity with this principle, he dictates the prayer, — Peace be within thy walls ; may the peace of God rest upon the steep ascent of Mount Moriah, where the Tabernacle stands; upon the service there celebrated, and the worshippers therein! Prosperity be within thy palaces ; may the dew of His blessing descend, to the increase of all earthly prosperity upon Mount Sion, the habitation of its Kings; upon His people, in its Senate, its tribunals, and its domestic hearths!
And to shew, that, what he prescribes to others, he practises himself, he thus concludes the Psalm : For my brethren and companions' sakes ; I will now say, Peace be within thee : Because of the house of the Lord our God; I will seek thy good. Because of those inhabitants who made up its well-ordered Polity, he wishes peace to his beloved city. And mark the brotherly-kindness of this most happy wish : — he lays aside the King, and shews himself the friend and Father of his people. He says not, for my subjects', and my counsellors', - but my
brethren' and companions' sakes; for he knew them all to be brethren, of the same divinely-governed household; all companions, who took sweet counsel together, and walked in the house of God as friends. But his prayer
does not end here; for, because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good : because this is the place that the Lord hath chosen, to put his Name there; because here rests the Mercy Seat; and because here is the fountain-head of all ghostly comfort, even the Oracles of the Living God;- therefore, every energy of soul and body shall be directed to further thy prosperity, and perpetuate this earthly blessing.
Such was the prayer of the inspired King of Israel. And let it not be objected to me, that, in commenting upon this Psalm, I have been employed in an inappropriate topic; that, though inquiries of this nature may suit the private meditations of the curious or the devout, a more fitting subject might have been chosen, to meet
the immediate wants of a Christian congregation. No, my brethren. Though the glories of that Jerusalem be gone ; though, by the judgment of the Almighty, Mount Moriah be now desecrated ; and by His will, its religious services be done away —
there is not a word in this Psalm, which may not be applied to ourselves. For, blessed be God, there is a Jerusalem still upon earth! even that Church, which Jesus Christ hath purchased, by his own most precious blood. And for this Jerusalem let us ever pray, and implore the heavenly peace. For, consider what it is. Who are now the chosen tribes, whom God hath called to be his people ? Look how wide the East is from the West; so great is His mercy towards them that fear him : for all who call upon His name, throughout the whole extent of this world, constitute the Christian Israel. And what are the sacrifices they are enjoined to offer ? Where, the Temple, and the manifestation of the Divine Glory? The sacrifices of our God, are those of the spirit and the heart; the temples, are the living bodies of the faithful, who have become his children by adoption and grace;
and his glory is on every side, for God is in the midst
These are our high blessings as individuals : but, in a more perfect manner, when considered as a holy community, do we enjoy the advantage of a purer Revelation.
For ours is a church, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone. Through faith in His name, we are built up to be a holy priesthood, a peculiar people: by the means of His gospel, we attain to a knowledge of his wondrous nature, and his past and future providence, - more certain, more consoling, and more glorious, than was at any time vouchsafed to the Jews; and, in every place dedicated to the worship of the Trinity, we can enter into a closer communion with our Maker, than the tabernacle and temple, with all the splendour of ceremonial worship, could ever boast of. Happy, then, all those nations who are called by His name! But especially happy are we, who can exult in being nurtured in the pure and Apostolic church of England and Ireland ! 'And let it be the subject of our heartfelt praise, each morning when we rise, and each night when we lie down, that it hath pleased Heaven to make this Monarchy the seat of political, as it is of religious, excellence; that, as Jerusalem was the centre and the pride of the favoured nation of old, so this kingdom is the glory and praise of Christendom; purified by an uncontaminated
worship, and flourishing under an unequalled civil polity. That these blessings may last for ever, unimpaired and unendangered, let us pray for the peace of our Jerusalem !
To enlarge upon the excellence of our temporal constitution, would be a topic for another place. And although, I trust, we shall ever be ready to uphold that constitution, when required, as becomes honest, and faithful, and I will add religious subjects, yet, at present, I feel it to be my more special duty, to call your attention to the glories of the Church. And happy should I be, were it to please God so to bless my humble endeavours, so to cherish the fervency of
your continual prayers that it may stand as it has stood, and increase as it has increased ;-that neither Rome, nor Geneva, nor the gates of Hell itself, may prevail against it* ;" that it may continue, and flourish, and prevail, till things earthly shall cease to be, and till the heavenly Jerusalem shall have begun.
For God is in the midst of us, my brethren; the Holy, the Everlasting, the All-powerful, the All-merciful God! He is in the midst of us, as a nation ; for look
for look upon the records of our history, and see how he hath prospered our just cause,
* Bishop Beveridge.