William Smith.

Discourses on several public occasions during the war in America. Preached chiefly with a view of the explaining the importance of the Protestant cause, in which the British colonies; and the advancement of religion, patriotism and military virtue. Among which are a discourse on adversity; and also online

. (page 1 of 12)
Online LibraryWilliam SmithDiscourses on several public occasions during the war in America. Preached chiefly with a view of the explaining the importance of the Protestant cause, in which the British colonies; and the advancement of religion, patriotism and military virtue. Among which are a discourse on adversity; and also → online text (page 1 of 12)
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Several Public Occasions

During the WA^ in }hy

A M E R I C a/

Preached chiefly with a View to the

Explaining the Importance of the Protestant
Cause, in the Britifh Colonies-, and the Ad-
vancement of RELIGION, Patriotism and
Military Virtue.

Among which are

A Dlfcourfe on AdverHty ; and alfo a Difcourfe on
Planting the Sciences, and the Propagation of Chrif-
tianity, in the untutored Parts of the Earth.

With an Appendix, containing lome other pieces.


Provoft of the College and Academy of Philadelphia.


Printed for A. Millar, facing Catharine-ftreet ; and
R. Griffiths, oppofite Somerfet Houfe, in the
Strand 3 and G. Keith, in Gracechurch Street.



TH E particular defign and oc-
cafion, as well of thefe Dif-
courfes, as of the pieces in the
Appendix, being mentioned in their
relpedive places, the author needs
not now detain the reader with a long

He would only obferve that it was
neither the fondnefs of commencing
Author, nor the vanity of ima-
gining that he pofTeiTed any fuperior
capacity for the work, that led to
the prefent publication. A great
part of what is contained in it was
publifhed before, at the inftance of
thofe to whom he was bound to deny
nothing of that kind ; and although
it became his duty, in thofe perilous
A 2 times,


times, when he was called to deliver
mofl: of the following Difcourfes, to
difplay, according to his beft abilities,
the irnmenfe value of the blefTings
refulting from the enjoyment of the
Protestant Religion and Civil
LiBJ^RTY, in order to propagate a
laudable zeal for their Defence; yet
he can with truth fay that there is no
part of his Majefty's Dominions, where
thofe bleflings are better underftood,
or more fully prized, than among
men of rank and charader in America,
who have enjoyed due opportunities
of knowlege and improvement.

But tho' this be the cafe in re-
gard to fuch pcrfons, it can hardly
be imagrined to be fo with rcfpedl to
tlie people in general; who live in a
difperfl: retired ftate, and are ftill too
much without the above advantages.
Neverthelefs, that it fhould be fo a-
mong them, alfo is of the utmoftim-


P R E F A C E. V

portance to the future fafety and prof-
perity of the BHrifh Colonies.

We are there on a/ very difFerent
footing, from that of the jnother-
country here. Both we aful our
enemies are an encreafing mukitiide
of people, compofed of various na-
tions and languages, and continually
approaching to each other in our fron-
tier- fettlements. We have there no fur-
rounding ocean, nor floating caftles,
to form a barrier between us.

Nothing, therefore, but a high
and commanding fenfe of the un-
fpeakable difference between our K e^
ligion and that of the enemy, be-
tween Liberty and Slavery, kept a-
live and propagated on our part,
can preferve us a feparate people, and
render us Brave by principle. When
once the fenfe of this difference is
loft, or ceafes to have its influence on
the conduft, all fecondary confide-
rations will lend but a feeble aid.

A ,3 Now,


Now, to promote fuch a fenfe, to
the utmoft of the author's power,
was his view in deHvering fuch of
thefe Difcourfes as relate to the war;
and with the fame view they are now
coUeded into a volume, which he
was the more willing to take the
prefent opportunity of publifhing
here, as he knows how ready the
mother-country is to give a kind
patronage and reception to whatever
is the production of her colonies, and
intended for their benefit, tho' other-
wife, perhaps, of lefs value to her-

The Firft and Fifth of the Dif-
courfes have no immediate connexion
with the fubjcfts of the reft ; but,
finding fufiicicnt room for them, the
author thought proper to infert them,
and that in the order of time where-
in they were preached. The for-
mer was publifhed fcvcral years ago ;



and an Edition of the other had been
frequently defired and promifed.

With refpedl to the ftyle, the au-
thor hopes the Occasion will general-
ly juftify the Manner, He always en-
deavours to fuit his language to the
fubjedl ; and thinks he has no where
offered to addrefs the Paffions, till
he has firft endeavoured to convince
the Judgment. There are fome fea-
fons, when more than ordinary
Warmth is expe6ted ; and, if it be
ever allowable, it is on thofe folemn
days, when the interefts of a whole
country are to be ftated and fet forth,
and each individual in it ftrongly a-
nimated " to play the man for the
people and cities of his God."

The author, however, does not
offer to juftify any faults that may
be found in thefe Difcourfes. He
fears they have more material ones
than what is hinted at above ; which



m?y, perhaps, be incident to the
period of life wherein moft of them
were compofed.

But he has fubmitted them to the
pubHc, and would neither prefume to
anticipate its approbation, or its cen-





PERSONAL Affliaion and frequent
Refleftion upon human life, of great
ufe to lead Man to the Remembrance
of God. Preached in Chrift-Church,
Philadelphia; September 1,1754. On
the death of a beloved Pupil.

Psalm xlii. 6.
O my God ! my foul is cajl down within me^
therefore will I remember thee.

DISCOURSE 11. Page 37.

An earneft exhortation to Religion, Bro-
therly-love and Public-fpirit, in the pre-
fent dangerous ftate of affairs. Preach-
ed in Chrift-Church, Philadelphia, June

I Pet. ii. 17.

Love the brotherhood \ fear God \ honor the





JIardnefs of heart and negleft of God*s
merciful Vifitations, the certain fore-run-
ners of more pubHc miferies -, applied
to the Colonies, in a pariiilel between
their ftalc and that of the Jews, in
many remarkable inftances. Fult preach-
ed at Briflol in Pennfylvania, on the
public Faft, May 21, 1756 ; and after-
wards (with fmall variation) at Ger-
mantown in the fame province, on the
public Faft, in July 1757.

Jeremiah viii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
Tea the Jlork in the Heaven knoweth her ap-
pointed times^ and the turtle and the
crane and fw allow obferve the time of their
coming ; but my people know not the judg"
ment of the Lord, &c.


The Cliriftian Soldier's duty ; the lawful-
nefs and dignity of his office -, and the
importance of the Proteftant Caufe in
the Britifli colonies. Preached in Chrift-
Church, Philadelphia, April 5, 1757; at

* Diicourfcs marked thus * were never printed before.



the defire of B r i g a d i e r-G e n e r a l
Stanwix, to the forces under his com-
mand, before their march to the fron-
tiers. With a Prayer.

Luke iii. 14.

And the Soldiers demanded of him likewife,
Jaying — Majler^ and what Jhall we do ? He
/aid unto theniy Do Violence to no many net-
ther accufe any falfely^ and be content with
your wages.

♦DISCOURSE V, Page 131.

On planting the Sciences in America, and
the propagation of Chrift's Gofpel over
the untutored parts of the earth. Preach-
ed before the truftees, mailers, flu-
dents, and fcholars, of the College and
Academy of Philadelphia, May 17, 1757;
being the firfl anniverfary commence-
ment in that place.

Psalm ii. 8.

jtjk of me and I Jhall gi've thee the Heathen
for thine inheritance^ and the uttermoji
farts of the earth for thy poffefpon.

Page 157. A Charge, delivered in the
afternoon of the fame day, to the Can-
didates who obtained their degrees.

D I S-


♦DISCOURSE VI. Page i8/.

The duty of praifing God for fignal mer-
cies and deliverances. Preached, firfl,
in Trinity-Church, New- York, Sep-
tember 17, 1758; and afterwards at

[ Oxford in Pennfylvania Octob. i.in the
fame Year : On occafion of the remark-
able fuccefs of his Majelly's arms in A-
merica, during that Campaign.


/ mllfing unto the Lord, for he hath tri-
umphed glorioujly.

APPENDIX I. Page 201.
An earnefl: addrefs to the colonies, par-
ticularly thofe of the fouthern diftrift;
on the opening of the campaign 1758.

APPENDIX II. Page 215.

Account of the College and Academy of
Philadelphia; with the plan of educa-
tion, &;c.


A Philofophical Meditation, and Religious
Addrefs to the Supreme Being ^ firil
compofcd for the ufe of young Students.



Perfonal Afflidlion and frequent Re-
fledion upon human Life, of great
Ufe to lead Man to the Remem-
brance of God,

Pre ach'd i n

Chrtji-Church^ Philadelphia;
September i, 1754.

On tkb

Death of a beloved ^\j'21L.



SAMUEL MA^ I ^F>> Efq;

Member of Parliament for Camelford, -,
Treafurer to the Princefs Dowager of WA{is»*^A^
And Secretary of the Treafury.

AS a Teftimony of Regard to his
public Charadler, and of Gra-
titude for the Honour of his Friend-
fhip thro' a Series of Years, this Dif-
courfe^ preached on the Death of his
beloved Coulin, is

moft humbly infcribed

By the Author.

B 2

TH E following Verfcs having been originally print-
ed with this Difcourfc, ought not now to be fc-
parated from it. When the good-natured reader is
acquainted that they arc a ColIe£lion of the Tears of
a few young gentlemen, who were fellow Students of the
deceafed, the Author knows that he may depend on that
Candour in favour of them, which he can only hop^
for, in favour of himfclf.

[ V]



On hearing his Sermon, upon the Death of
his hopeful Pupil, our dear Fellow-ftudent,
Mr. William Thomas Martin *.

IC A L L*no aid, no mnfes to infpire.
Or teach my breafl to feel a poet's fire ;
Your foft expreilion of a grief fincere,
Brings from my foul a fympathetic tear.
Taught by your voice, my artlefs forrows flow -, ^
I figh in verfe, am elegant in woe, ^

And loftier thoughts within my bofom glow. J
For when, in all the charms of language dreft,
A manly grief Hows, genuine, from the breafl.
What gen'rous nature can efcape the wounds.
Or fteel itfelf againfl the force of melting founds ?

O ! could I boaft to move with equal art
The human foul, or melt the llony heart •, -
My long-lov'd friend fliould through my numbers

Some virtue loft be wept in every line ;

*. The young Gentleman To juflly lamenfed here, was the
fecond Ton of the Hon. jofiah Martin, Efq; of New-Ynrk.
He died at Philadelphia, while a lladent in the higher Pialo-
fophy clafs of the college there.

B 3 For

L vi ]

For virtues he had many 'Tvvas confcH:

That native fenfe and fweetnefs filfd his breaft.
But cooler reafon checks the bold intent,
And, to the tafk refufing her confent,
This only truth permits me to difclofe, "^

That in your own, you reprcfent my woes •, I
And fweetcr than my fong, is your harmonious f
profe ! J

College of Philadelphia^ F. Hop ki n son .

September 5, 1754.

On the fame y by a Fellow -ft u dent.

AND is your Martin gone ? Is he no more.
That living truth, that virtue feen before ?
Has endlefs night already hid the ray,
The early promife of his glorious day ?
That grief, great Mourner ! in fuch drains cxpreft,
Shews he was deep implanted in your breaft.

Yet hark ! foft-whifpering reafon feems to fay,
Ceafe from your forrows, wipe thefe tears away.
He's gone, he's paft the gloomy fhades of night,
Safe- landed in th' eternal realms of light.
Happy exchange ! to part with all below,
For worlds of blifs, where joys unfading flow.
And lainted fouls with love and rapture glow.

College cfPhikdchhia, - S. MAG A W.
Sfptcmbcr 6, 1754.


[ vii ]

On the fame ^ hy a Fellow -Jiudent,

WHILE for a pnpil lod, your forrow flows.
In all the harmony of finifh'd profe ;
While melting crouds the pious accents hear.
Sigh to your fighs and give you tear for tear ;
We too, in humble verfe, would treat the theme.
And join our griefs to fwell the general ftream.
For we remember well his matchlefs power.
To fleal upon the heart, and chear the ibcial hour.

Ah! much lov'd friend! too foon thy beauties
fade !
Too foon we count thee with the filent dead 1
Thou, late the faireft plant in virtue's plain.
The brighteft youth in wifdom's rifing train j
By genius great, by liberal arts adorn'd,
By Grangers feen and lov'd, by flrangers mourn'd;
Bleft in a tender brother's friendly breaft ;
And in paternal fondnefs doubly blefl !
Art thou now funk in death's tremendous gloom,
Wrapt in the awful horrors of a tomb ?
Ah me ! how vain all fublunary joy !
Woes following woes, our warmeft hopes deflroy j

But hark ! - fome voice celeftial ftrikes mine ear.
And bids the mufe her plaintive flrains forbear.
*' Weep not, fond youths, - -it cries, or feems to

cry— -
" He lives, your Martin lives, and treads the

B 4 ^' From

[ viii ]
" From care, from tOil, from ficknefs fnatch'd

" He (hines amid the blaze of heaven's eternal
CoUe<^e of Philadchhia, J. D U C H E\
September 7, 1754.

On the fame,

CHECK, mournful preacher ! check thy
ft reaming woe,
Pierce not our fouls with grief too great to know ;
He joys above whom we lament below.
Snatch'd from our follies here, he wing'd his way.
To fing HosANNAS in the realms of day.
With him, the fight of life and death is o'er.
And agonizing throes fhall pain no more *,
No more (hall fell difeafe, with wafleful rage,
Blaft the fair bloflbms of his tender age -,
Tranfplanted now, he blooms a heav'nly fiowV,
Where fpring eternal decks yon Amarinthine bower.

Thy pious forrows, Smith, to future days,
Shall bear his image, and tranfmit his praife.
Still, ftill I feel v/hat thy Difcourfe impreft.
When pity throb'd, congenial, in each breaft :
When deep diftrcfs came thrilling from thy

And fympathizing crouds attentive hung.
To mourn for thy lovM Pupil all approv'd ;
On fuch a theme 'twas virtue to be mov'd.
Whoe'er thefe tender pages fhall explore,

Mufl learn thofe griefs the Pulpit taught before.

ColL'ge of Philndclphia, T. BARTON.
September 7, 1754. On

[ ix ]

OfJ the fame,

OD E AT H ! could manly courage quell thy
Or rofy health protrad the fatal hour ;
Could tears prevail, or healing arts withiland
Th' unfparing ravage of thy waflcful hand ;
Then Martin flill had liv'd a father's boaft.
Nor had a mother's fondeft hopes been loft ;
Then, Smith, thy darling youth, thy jufteft pride,
With virtue's firft examples long had vy'd.
But he is bleft where joys immortal flow j
Ceafe tears to flream, be dumb the voice of woe„
Releas'd from vice, in early bloom fet free
From the dire rocks of this tempetiuous Tea,
The yoiKhful faint, in heav'n's ambrofial vales.
With glory crown'd, ^therial life inhales.
No more let grief repine, or wifh his ftay,
In this dark gloom, this twilight of our day.
Rather w^e'll hail him fled from night's domain,
Array'd in light to tread the azure plain.
There fcience dwells;-— before the mental eye
Nature's ftupendous works unfolded lie ;
There wifdom, goodnefs, power diffufive fhine,
And fire the glowing breaft v/ith love divine.

College of Philadelphia, P. JACKSON.

Septemler 7, 1754.



Psalm xlii. 6.

O my God I my Soul is cajl down within me,
- therefore will I remember thee.

IT is elegantly faid by the author of
the book of ^' Job, who feems to have
experienced all the dire viciffitudes of
fortune, '' That man is born to trouble
as the fparks fly upwards."

These Troubles, however, as the fame
author further obferves, ferve the wifeft
purpofes, in as much as they are not the
efFeds of what is called blind Chance, but
of that unerring Providence, which graci-
oufly conducts all events to the general
good of the creature, and the final com-
pletion of virtue and happinefs. "Affliction
comes not forth from the duft, neither
does trouble fpring out of the ground."

* Ch. V. 6.



Very far from it. At that great day, when
the whole council of God fhall be more
perfedly difplayed to us, we fhall be fully
convinced, that all his difpenfations have
been wife, righteous, and gracious; and that
" -|- tho' no chaftening for the prefent
feems joyous, but grievous, neverthelefs it
afterwards yields the peaceable fruits of
righteoufnefs to them that are exeicifed

Of the truth of this we might indeed
foon be convinced, ' at prefent, were we
but wife, and fuffcred ourfelves to reflcft
on what we daily fee. 'T;s with the
greateft injuftice, that men afcribe their
fins wholly to worldly temptations, and
inveigh upon all occafions againrt: this life
on account of its vanities. Thefe, if well
attended to, would perhaps put us on our
guard againft fin ; and, upon enquiry, it
will be found that the great and general
caufe of all iniquity, is a ftupid liftleifnefs,
or want of confideration •, which, like fome
vafl weight, oppreffcs the more generous
efforts of the foul, and bears all filently
down before it, unlcfs checked by the
powerful hand of aflliflion.
i Ikb. xli. n.



I fmcerely pity the man who never tafted
of adverfe fatej and were I capable of
wifhing evil to any perfon, I could not
v/ilh a greater to my greateft foe, than a
long and uninterrupted courfe of prolperi-
ty. A flattering calm portends a gathering
ftorm ; and when the ftream glides fmooth,
deep and filent on, we juftly fufpecl that
the fea or fome declivity is near, and that
it is foon to be loft in the vaft ocean, or to
tumble down fome dreadful fall or craggy

Such appears his ftate to be, who never
knew an adverfe hour, nor took time to
confider whence he came, where he is, or
whither bound. There is room to be ap-
prehenfive left, being drunk with profpe-
rity, he fliould fwim fmoothly from joy
to joy along life's fhort current, till down
he drops, thro' the pit of death, into the
vaft ocean of eternity ! If we loved fuch a
one, what more charitable wifh could we
indulge towards him, than that the chaften-
ing hand of heaven might fall heavy
upon him, arreft him in his thoughtlefs
career, and teach him to paufe, ponder
and weigh the moment — the eternal mo-
ment — " of the things that belong to hJs
8 peace,


peace, before they arc for ever hid from
his eyes ?**

That there fhould be any perfons, en-
dued with reafon and underftanding, who
never found leifurc in this world to re-
fleft for what end they were fent into it,
would feem incredible if experience did
not affure us of it. There are really fo
many aft'efting incidents in life (undoubt-
edly intended to awaken rcfieflion) that
their hearts muft be petrified indeed, one
would think, and harder than adamant,
or the nether milftone, who can live in
this world without being fometimes aftecl-
cd, if not with their own, at leaft with
the human, lot.

I HOPE it is far from being my cha-
ra6ler that I am of a gloomy temper, or
delight to dwell unfeafonably on the
dark fide of things. Our cup here is bit-
ter enough, and misfortunes too thick,
for any one who loves his fpecics to feek
to embitter the draught, by evils of his
own creation. But there is a time for all
things; and, on fomc occafions, not to
feel, fympathize and mourn, would argue
the moft favage nature.



This day every thing that comes from
me will be tindured with melancholy.
It is, however, a virtuous melancholy; and
therefore, if publickly indulged, I hope it
may be thought excufable.

You know it is natural for thofe, who
are fincerely afflicted, to believe that every
perfon is obliged to fympathize with them,
and attend patiently to the ftory of their
woe. But whether this be your prefent
difpofition or not, I fliall fay nothing,
which you are not as much concerned to
receive deeply into your hearts, as I am to
pour it from mine.

The general DocTRiNEwhichI would
enforce from the text (previous to my in-
tended application of it) is, that a conftant
feaft was never defigned for us here, and
that it is the good will of our Father that
WQ fhould be frequently roufed by what
happens to us and aroufid us, to remember
him, the great fountain of our being ; and
to cherifli that ferious reflection and re-
ligious forrow, which may lead us to e-
ternal joy.

That we fliould obferve fuch a con-
duct appears highly reafonable in itfelf.
For, next to the immediate praifes of our
great Creator, there is not an exercife that
5 tends


tends more to improve and ennoble the
foul, than frequently to caft an eye upon
human life, and expatiate on tlie various
fcene, till wx lead on the foft power of
religions melancholy, and feel the virtuous
purpofe gently rifing in our fympathifing
breads, thrilling thro' our inmoit frame,
and ftarting into the focial eye in generous

It v^ould be affronting your underfland-
ing to fuppofe that you think the 7?iela?i^
cboly here recommended, in any manner
related to that gloomy defpondency into
which fome people fall. Noj my beloved
brethren : It is that virtuous reficBion^ phi-
lofophic penfiveyicfsy and religious tendernefs
of foul, which fo well fuit the honour
of our nature, and our fituation ia
life. And much to be pitied, is that man
who thinks fuch a temper unbecoming his
dignity, and whofe proud foul pretends
never to be cafl down from the lofty throne
oi Jloic infenfibility.

Such a one, in the funfliine of hisprof-
perity, may arrogantly boaft that nothing
can move him j and while the world goes
well with him, he may remain blind to
his error. But let lieaven ftrip him of



his gaudy plumes, and throw him back
naked into that world, where he had fix-
ed his heart, he will find to his coft that,
tho* he never had the virtue to be caft down
and feel for others, yet he will have the
weaknefs to be caft down and become the
moft abject defpondent' thing alive for

When his tranfient honors are thus fled,
his haughty looks will be humbled. He
will begin to contemn his paft folly, and
enter deeply into his own bofom. He will
no more rely on the finiles of fortune, or
the flatteries of men; but will acknow-
ledge, from dear-bought experience, that,
in this life, there is no fure refuge but
God, nothing permanent but virtue, and
nothing great but an humble heart, and
deep fenfe of the ftate of cur mortality

But, befides personal Affliction
(which is perhaps a laft means) the all
gracious governor of the world, ftill
watchful to turn every event to the good
of his creatures, without violating their
moral liberty, has many other v^^ays of
leading them to the remembrance of him.
Whether we look within or around us,

C we


we fhall find enough in the profpeft to
humble our fouls, and to convince us that,
not trurting to any thing iji a world where
all enjoyments are fleeting, we fliall then
only be iafe in it, " when we have put on
the breaft-plate of Righteoufnefs, and arm-
ed ourfelves with the fword of the fpirit*."

" Few and evil are the days of our
pilgrimage here -f-." God never intended
this world as a lafting habitation for uS;
and, on a juft eftimate of things, evil
will be found fo continually blended with
good, that we cannot reafonably fct our
afFeftions much upon it. Wailing, weak
and defencelefs, we are ufiiered into it;
Our youth is a fcene of folly and danger -,
our manhood of care, toil and difappoint-
ment. Our old age, if haply we reach
old age, is a fecond childhood. Withered,
weak and bowed beneath our infii'mities,
we become, as it were, a living hofpital
of woes ; a burden to ourfelves, and per-
haps a nufancc to others.

This is the common ftate of our Be-
ing. But befides all this, the number of
evils in each of thefe ftages is greatly en-
creafed, partly by our own mifconduft,
• Galat. vi. 14, Sec. f ^ca. xlni. 9.


D I S C O U R S E I. t9

and partly by our neceffary connexions
with others. For the equitable judgments
of God are often general. " All things come
alike to all men ; and there is but one event
to the righteous and to the wicked -}-?"
Moreover, many of thofe evils are of fuch
a nature, that no prudence of ours can
either forefee or prevent them. All the
ftages of life neceflarily fubjeft us to pains
and difeafes of body, and many of them
to the acuter pains of an anxious mind.

Upon the whole, we may pronounce
from the higheft authority, that " our life
is but a vapour, which is feen a little
while, and then vanifheth away, as a tale

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Online LibraryWilliam SmithDiscourses on several public occasions during the war in America. Preached chiefly with a view of the explaining the importance of the Protestant cause, in which the British colonies; and the advancement of religion, patriotism and military virtue. Among which are a discourse on adversity; and also → online text (page 1 of 12)