keep holy day at stated seasons, and return to bless our own houses without fainting by the way. Perhaps there is not a country in the world favored as New England is in this respect at this day.’
Again the British military occupation of Boston is alluded to in a sermon—Oct. 17, 1773—thus: ‘These soldiers were the Roman bands sent to support the publicans in extorting there this foreign tribute — as troops are sent among us to guard the Commissioners and their numerous dependents.’
The publicans are already alluded to as ‘the collectors of Caesar's tax imposed upon the Jews by arbitrary power,’ and ‘were accountable only to the tyranny of emperors;’ but as they were independent of the people, ‘like our Commissioners,’ they could call them to no account.
Mr. Cooke continues: ‘It is the militia who are the safety and glory of a people.
Standing armies in times of peace are the engines of tyrants to corrupt and enslave a people.
Soldiers supported in idleness are in danger soon of becoming sons of violence, a terror to the good and a support to evil-doers.
God grant that our ways may so please him, as that violence may no more be perpetrated in our streets.’
In 1773 it was voted that the money paid by Samuel Frost
for not serving as collector (in 1771) be used towards fencing the burying-place.
continues his exposition of Luke
, and the same of John.
In a sermon on July 31, 1774, he speaks of the tribute or tax ‘cruelly and unjustly imposed upon the Jews by Caesar
, the Roman Emperor
, and a band of bloody soldiers
sent from Rome
to enforce the payment of it,’ and exclaims, ‘Happy for New England
, if this had been practised by none but pagan powers’
In another sermon (Oct. 9, 1774) he exclaims, ‘See here * * * * the cruel effects of arbitrary power, where the tyrant's will is the only law!’
Another sermon is the sacramental lecture for Nov. 6, 1774.
In this is the clause, ‘That unnecessary preparations for the interment of our dearest friends, is inconsistent with the rest of the Sabbath.’
Several sermons on John, preached in Nov. and Dec. 1774, and in Jan. and Feb. 1775, were repeated Aug. to Oct. 1777.
A sentence or two is selected: ‘Marriage is a divine institution, and honorable in all, when made in the fear of God, publicly, &c.; and Christ condescended to honor this marriage with his presence and blessing; and he is always present when this solemn rite is conducted according to his will.’ * * * * ‘There is no absolute holiness in places; but a place dedicated to the service and worship of God, and where he has promised to meet and bless his people, for the honor of his glorious name, ought not unnecessarily to be put to common and private uses.’