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incurring the odious brand of stirring up sedition and rebellion ? I know not where these things will end; but it is plain, they make it harder than it need be for honest and sincere men to do their duty on these occasions.
“ The observation of this day is become, like the Fifth of November to the Papists, exceedingly grievous and distasteful to all Dissenters; as well for the licence that they say) is taken upon it, of inveighing against them, as for the praises that are so liberally bestowed upon King Charles, which look, to some of them, as so many exprobrations and reproaches.--As for the licence that is taken upon this day of inveighing against Dissenters, let them who do it justify themselves ; I am no advocate for
of them. It was not, certainly, appointed to become a day of wrath, and provocation of our fellow-subjects; and, I dare say, those liberties have done no service, nor are they fitted to do any; but, considering human nature, they must needs have done some mischief, by irritation and the hardening of men's hearts. And, though we do not see such courses have been taken by those who were most concerned and touched, as wise and good men might have taken, to silence these reproaches, and to cause these provocations in great part to cease, yet still these furious bitter spirits will not be excusable. I verily believe, and so do all of you, that more men have been shamed by gentle usage, than reviled into repentance, by those whom they thought their enemies. As for the praises that are bestowed upon King Charles, I know not who should envy them ; nor how a Church-of-England Minister can honestly decline them. He must know nothing of that Prince's history; he must have little sense of justice, gratitude, or honour, by whom his memory is not held most precious. It were a small thing to say, no Prince, (although his father was a very learned one,) but I will say, no private gentleman did ever understand the constitution of our Church better, defend it with stronger arguments, adhere to it with more judgment, adorn it with better manners, live up to its good principles with more virtue, nor, in performance of its offices, shew more devout and exemplary good behaviour, than did King Charles the First. I will not, in these things, except the Queen [Anne] upon the Throne, nor that blessed saint in heaven, her sister. No Prince did ever shew more personal favour to its ministers, nor give more countenance and credit to its discipline and orders. And must I say, no Prince but he did ever die in its defence, to justify the high esteem we have him in? I may, because it is so true, that they who envy him the glory of that title, upon all accounts besides, will yet allow he fell a MARTYR for the Church of England. Would not that church be, most deservedly, the hatred and reproach of all the world, that should be sparing of
her praises and best incense (but let it ever be unhallowed incense) to his memory? Let them take heed, lest some degree of guilt be thought to make those people over-tender, who are soon offended with the praises of King Charles the First. And let even us ourselves take heed, that such our praises may appear so well designed, and be managed with that good temper, sobriety, and modest truth, that they provoke those men to nothing but compunction, and relentings, and repentance, where these things are wanting; and both ourselves and them, to the imitation of all those excellent good qualities, those civil virtues, and those religious christian graces, that made him appear so highly exemplary, both in life and death."
My concluding quotation is from another exemplary Bishop, who excited and cherished the principles of genuine Loyalty and Patriotism, by commemorating, in accordance with the varying fashion of the times, the Anniversary (May 29th) of the Restoration of King Charles the Second, in 1701; when he was appointed to preach before the honourable House of Commons, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. In improving that important event, Dr. Francis ATTERBURY chose for his theme Ezekiel xxxvii, 3, “ Son of Man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest !” In his Discourse, that great divine most eloquently asserts the direct agency of the Providence of God, in producing such an astonishing return from captivity, and all its blessed consequences. His manly and scriptural sentiments on this topic, deserve to be more extensively known, than even his able remarks on the excellence of the British Constitution, which previously occur, and which have been often quoted without acknowledgment.
“ The blessing, for which we think ourselves obliged so long afterwards to pay our public thanks, was of itself vast and comprehensive ; for it took in all that was valuable and dear to us, either on a religious or civil account; and re-settled a shattered church and kingdom on that firm basis, on which it stood till violent and wicked hands removed it, and on which may it stand for ever! It is natural for men to think that
government the best under which they drew their first breath, and to propose it as a model and a standard for all others. But if any people upon earth have a just title thus to boast, it is we of this island, who enjoy a constitution wisely moulded out of all the different kinds and forms of civil government, into such an excellent and happy frame as contains in it all the advantages of those several forms, without sharing deeply in any of their great inconve niences :-A Constitution nicely poised between the extremes of too much liberty and too much power ; whose several parts havé a proper
each other, when any of them happen to tread awry; which yet is sure, in dangerous conjunctures, to
give way to the common good of the whole:-A constitution, where the prince is clothed with a prerogative, that enables him to do all the good he has a mind to; and wants no power but what a good prince would not, and an ill one ought not, to have: Where he governs, though not absolutely, yet gloriously, because he governs men and not slaves, and is obeyed by them cheerfully, because they know that, in obeying him, they obey those laws only which they themselves had a share in contriving : A constitution, where the external government of the Church is so closely interwoven with that of the State, and so exactly adapted to it, in all its parts, as that it can flourish only when that does; and must, as it always has hitherto done, decline, die, and revive with it :-In a word, where the interests of prince and subject, priest and people, are perpetually the same; and the only fatal mistake that ever happens in our politics, is, when they are thought to be divided.
" It is objected indeed to this admirable model, “ that it is • liable to frequent struggles and concussions within, from
the several interfering parts of it:' But this, which is reckoned the disease of our constitution, may rather be thought a mark of its soundness, and the chief security of its continuance. For it is with governments exactly contrived, as with bodies of a nice frame and texture, where the humours being evenly mixed, every little change of the proportion introduces a disorder, and raises that ferment which is necessary to bring all right again; and which thus preserves the health of the whole, by giving early notice of whatever is noxious to any of the parts : whereas in governments, as well as bodies of a coarser make, the disease does often not begin to show itself till it has infected the whole mass, and is past a cure; and so, though they are disordered later, yet they are destroyed much sooner. Accordingly we know, that, under this disadvantage, if it be one, our constitution has now lasted pretty entire through many ages: For, excepting the short interruptions which conquest gave, (which, however, have not been so many or so great, as some would make them,) it has continued much the same, in the main parts and branches of it, from the earliest times of our Saxon ancestors, down to these days.-A clear proof, that it is a government suited every way to our temper and clime; that it is perfectly made for us, and we for it; and that God therefore never punishes us more sorely, than when he deprives us of it for a time; nor ever confers a greater blessing upon us, than when he restores it.*
*“ Towards the beginning of the year 1660, when the many mixed sects, and their creators, and merciless protectors, had led, or driven each other into a whirlpool of confusion both'iq Church and State : whén amazement and fear had seized most of them, by foreseeing they must now 'not only vomit up the church's and the king's land, but their accusing consciences did also give them an inward and fearful intelligence, that the God of oppoó
“ As He did on this happy day, when, after the confusions of a long civil war, attended with the destruction of an excellent Church, the murder of a gracious Prince, and the grievous tyranny of our fellow-subjects, He was pleased at length to give us back again, what we had so lightly departed from, OUR OLD ENGLISH GOVERNMENT AND Laws; and, together with them, what we then boasted of in name only, the TRUE LIBERTY OF THE SUBJECT, and the REAL FREEDOM AND HONOUR OF PARLIAMENTS. And to this day, therefore, we owe all the benefits we have since reaped from the regal administration, all the peace, plenty, and happiness we have enjoyed, or our posterity after us shall enjoy under it.
“ The blessing, therefore, we commemorate was great; and it was made yet greater by the way in which God was pleased to convey it to us: For He did it in such a manner as to shew that He was the SOLE AUTHOR of it, and that it sprang not from human wit or contrivance. He did it after our forefathers were reduced to extremities, and had tired themselves by various attempts to bring this great end about, and had been baffled in all of them, and sat down at last in despair of effecting it.
Then was it time for Him to appear for our redemption, and to give Himself the glory of it. All was darkness about them, without form, and void; when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of this abyss, and said, Let there be light! and there was light: And both God and men saw that that light was good; the one rejoicing in his own gift, and the other blessing and magnifying the BESTOWER of it. It is true, the reasoners of this world, who sition, disobedience, and confusion, which they had so long and so diligently feared, was now ready to reward them with such wages as he always pays to witches for their obeying him. When these wretches (that had 'said to themselves 'We shall see no sorrow,') were come to foresee an end of their cruel reign, by our king's return, and such sufferers as Dr. Sanderson (and with him many of the oppressed clergy and others,) could foresee the cloud of their afflictions would be dispersed by it: Then, the 29th of May following, the king was by our good God restored to us, and we to our known laws and liberties, and then a general joy and peace seemed to breathe through the three nations; the suffering and sequestered clergy (who had, like the children of Israel, sat long lamenting their sad condition, and hanged their neglected harps on the willows that grow by the rivers of Babylon,) were, after many thoughtful days and restless nights, now freed from their sequestration, restored to their revenues, and to a liberty to adore, praise, and pray to Almighty God publicly in such order as their conscienres and oaths had formerly obliged them. And the reader will easily believe, that Dr. Sanderson and his dejected family rejoiced to see this happy day, and be of this number.
" At this time of the conformable clergy's deliverance from the Presbyterian severities, the doctor said to a friend, 'I look back on this strange . and happy turn of the late times with amazement and thankfulness; and cannot but thiuk the Presbyterians ought to read their own errors, by considering that by their own rules the Independents have punished and supplanted them, as they did the conformable clergy, who are now (so many as still live) restored to their lawful right; and, as the prophet David bath taught me, so I say with a thankful heart, Verily, there is a God that judgeth the earth: And, a reward for the righteous,""- ISAAC WALTON.
love to solve every event without any recourse to a Divine Power, will be ready to point out several causes which helped forward this end, and smoothed the way towards it. But though there were many such, yet it must be owned that all of them put together were not of force enough to answer the effect ; nor, particularly, to account for that universal bent and inclination of The people of all ranks, interests, and opinions towards this great revolution, which upon the first opening of it at once discovered itself; and which could proceed from HIM ALONE, who hath the hearts of all men in his hand, and turneth them whithersoever he listeth.
“ Alas! when man is to influence man, in order to bring about such mighty changes as these, the work goes on but slowly! It is hard to unite, in any common measures, all the several little sects and parties into which a nation is crumbled. Their interfering interests, passions, and prejudices will obstruct the best-laid design: What it gains in one place, it will lose in another; and never, but by the intervention of a superior power, will it succeed universally. But when God once comes into such a work, it ripens apace, all obstructions presently cease, all difficulties vanish. As the tops of corn bend easily this way or that, before the wind, so are the various minds of the multitude swayed and inclined by the inward breathings of
* I have found many Socinians who will allow sứch a Divine interference as this, " for effecting grand national objects;" yet they affect to deny, with much inconsistency, a similar providential interference in behalf of individuals. They argue, on the hypothesis, that God's administration of mundane affairs has no regard to particular persons, of whom their favourite “ large communities” are composed, and each of whose minds is singly to be bent and inclined by the Spirit of God, like " the tops of corn,", as Bishop Atterbury well expresses it, before even their “grand national objects” can be produced. It is a favourite sentiment, propounded in some of their elementary treatises of education, that the doctrine of a particular Providence is as absurd a notion, as that the Deity should stop the machine of the universe to save a fly from being crushed !!
I am sorry to find, among modern reputed Arminians, some persons, who, by their unscriptural views on this subject, incur the just censure which was delivered hy Bishop Horseley in one of his nervous charges : They do not “ distinguish with certainty between that part which is nothing better than Calvinism, and that which belongs to our common Christianity and to the Faith of the Reformed Churches.” Thus, by not distinguishing clearly between the abuse of a particular Providence as maintained by the Calvinists, and tbe scriptural authority on which the doctrine itself is founded, they co-alesce in the lax and inconsistent opinion of the Socinians, who acknowledge only a General Providence. Nevertheless, it well becomes the faithful in Christ Jesus, to appropriate to themselves the consolation which God intended to convey to their minds, in these and similar declarations : “ Are not tive sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is for. gotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: Ye are of more value thau many sparrows.” (Luke xii, 7.) “ Be content with such things as ye have: For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Heb. xiii, 6.) This boldness becomes sinful, only when it degenerates into unwarrantable