« PrécédentContinuer »
I confess, this hath been some part of his publick recep tion. The noise of those pulpits, to which the word of God, and of peace, have been long sirangers; the affront of the universities, those two bright luminaries of the world of lit. erature ; the riots of the learned ; and the tumults of the une learned, the insinuations of the cunning, and the mirth of the witty ; the passions of the weak, and the rage of the disa appointed; the fears of the guilty, and the hopes of thosé who have nothing to lose : all, under the conduct and man. agement of the friends of the pretender, and the emissaries of your church, have played their part to perfection ; and, by the loudness of their clamours, have put the air around us, into some sort of commotion and disorder.
But, be assured, this is all the advantage, you and your friends, can reap from it. The disadvantage is to come. These disorders are well understood to be the bold efforts of guilt, and despair, united : into which, many ignorant or well-meaning people, have been unwarily led. But the contrivers and directors of them all, find no issue from them, anywerable to their designs.
The whole conduct of the machine was plainly intended, to make themselves and their party, look terrible to a King, just come amongst us ; and so to affright and force him into their measures, whom they took to be as weak as themselves.
But, as he has found that all their noise and violence, could not secure a House of Commons to their wishes: sa he is now convinced. by the mselves, and their whole procedure, of what he had too much justice to believe of them, till this experience hath put beyond all doubt ; that they, who talk loudest of allegiance, or passive obedience, mean it to another and not to him ; and understand it to be a duty for others and not for themselves.
They are generally, the same set of men, who of late years never talk'd of non-resictance, but in order to bring a scandal upon the late revolution, and the great instrument of it, King WILLIAM : The same, who alone have all the disturbances and tumults in these parts to answer for through the last twenty six years : the same, who, after having by Batteries, and professions of passive obedience, deceived your unfortunate friend King James II, into those fatal measures which ruined him ; opposed and crush'd, all the great de
signs of his successor, whom they invited over, merely to save them from practising themselves, that beloved doctrine which they are never weary of recommending to their neigh. bours : the same, in a word, who, in their several places and stations, have planted themselves in a direct and settled opposition to every step, which hath conducted his present Majesty to the throne.
These are the men, whom your Holiness and your friends, have to boast of: but not to trust to, if you are wise, even many degrees below infallibility. All their hints, and inteliigencies of another revolution, now spread about by mal dispair, are only delusions of their dreams. They have had no effect to your advantage, unless, perhaps it is to them, you owe to that one weakman after having first, from his priviledged place, abused the King, hath made a sħew of resigning his preferments. I give your Holiness joy of this: and wish you just as maay more such public proselytes, as there are mea amongst us, privately of his principles.
This may be one part of that scene, which these reports were designed to open. But as for any other, be assured, that none here are frightened, but those chicfs, to whose guilt the whole party seem now to have wisely tacked their cause ; though some months ago, the guilt was plain 19 many of themselves : and that none here are alarmed, but those heads who owe Europe an exemplary satisfactiun, for all the intricacies and embarrassments with which they have confounded it.
And even now, as I am writing this, if we may judge of the rest, by the conduct of one; these mighty chiefs, (as soon as they have engaged a set of men, with I know not what pretences, to lose their own reputation, by defending theirs; and plunged them in, headlong, perhaps too deep, to make a handsome retreat) are preparing kindly to take care of themselves, by fight ; and to leave their friends io their wwn conduct; using them after such a manner, as the friends of such men, and of such a cause, deserve to be used.
But whithersoever they fly, they can't fly from themselves : and wheresoever they are, they carry about them, I do not say the remorses of conscious guilt ; but the torinents of disappointed ambition: and ambition, disappointed in the critical minute, when'every thing seem'd ready, to execute ito designs.
One thirg I shall here mention to your holiness, agreeable to what was proposed by a protestant member of the last House of Commons, (whilst these great men were in all their power, amongst us,) and that is "If you can, by ary means, prevail upon his most christian majesty, (to whose inierest they have shewed themselves such friends) not only to receive them, if they all take the same route, which one hath ; but to give the management of his affairs into their hards. only for as short a time, as our country was bless'd with them; I will undertake, that Great Britain shail pardon them; and that your Hosess shall have the thanks of Europe.
I have by this time, tired you, and myself : but yet, there are few particulars behind, which I can't persuade myself to pass over in silence.
The Old Primate still breathes : and lireathes the same. spirit of claristian liberty which he ever did; and the same hatred of all spiritual usurpation and tyranny, that bears any resemblance to your's. May he long breathe! And may his last days be made serene and easy, by the returns of all that regard and deference, which his former labours and constancy, have merited.
He sees himself surrounded by a bench of brethren, who have stood the shock of the day of trial, and brought offim, mortal Glory. I forbear, out of tenderness to tell you, what excellencies they are possessid of; or what a confidence all true Britons place in them.
One indeed, is removed from us : and one. to whose ser. vices, this nation owes an eternal monument. passion for his great name : but no words of mine ought to be joined to it. I would pay some tribute to a memory, dear to Liberty and Religion, if any thing I could say, could add to a reputation, and character, acquired, supported, and enlarged, by pastoral labours, unintermitted from his earliese youth, 10 his latest old age ; and by writings which wil give life to the name of BURNET, long after the mames of his enemies shall cease to be remember'd. Your church hath ever paid him respect of fear ; and the world will, in ages to come, pay to his memory, that love and ad. miration, which the ungrateful of the present age, denied to himself.
Were there no other reason to think so; I should be cer.
I have a
fain, that this news will gʻve you, and your friends abroad, sonne joy ; because it hath given it to that party of protes: Sants, (as they call themse ves; among us, who always par: take in your Holiness's pleasures.
I will hasten from this unp'easant subject, and take leave of your Holiness, with a propusal, as odd and roman. tick in appearance, as this whole address may seem ; but in reality, neither odd, nor romantisk any otherwise, than as all justice and simplicity, and plain-dealing, are esteem'd to be so, in a degenerate, and corrupted age.
But, if it be so, that I am, in this transported beyond due bounds ; let all the fault be imputed to the subject, I have
been upon. .
The scale of religion, on a'l sides, is a scene of astonish. ment; and the surprise of things, tu which I have been Stretcfore a strar.grr, hith I.confess, filed me with an enthusiasın, lvo warm to be contained.
Descend, HOLY FATHER, from your Seven Hilla and disdain not to tread upon the Level Plain. Unrolve yourself of a'l the giudv attire of a p. mimus superstition. Lay a. side all the embarrossments of worldly grandure. Turn your eyes from che coffers of gold and silver. of which, your great predecessor St. Peter, and his greater Master had none. Acknowledge Religion to be something more, than being wrapt up in a heap of Gne vesimenis ; or being skill'd in dexterous performance of Antick Gestures.
And then look inwards. Divest yourself of your infallibility, and own yourself to be like one of us.
As to reo pounce a kingdom for your church, hath been accounted ihe height of honour and saintship : so now it will be your gory, in the most exalted degree, to renounce in the name of your church, a double kingom for Christ : that temporal kingdom, which, in his name and to his reproach, you have erected over the bodies, and est:ites ; and that spiritual one, which you have established over the consciences of mankind,
Remember, in the midst of all your uxury, and delicacy, and ostentation, what ground you stand upon. The bowels of the earth are ar.ued against you. The shocks of carih. quakes, and the eruptions of volcanos', besides the common calamities of nations, are but the beginnings of that day of vengeance, which will come ; unless you preveut it, by a Speedy conversion to christianity.
Renounce therefore your golden keys and your fruitfel king loms. Throw away your fopperies and your indulgen. cies, and your possessions, and your canonizations. Shew yourself in the nakedness of simplicity; and take the gospel into your hand, and into your heart. Call in your emisa. ries, and missionaries, from all parts of the world : and let Laem receive iostruction themselves before they pretend to convert others.
Trouble the world no more, with quarrels about Holy Sepulchre ; but believe, that ht is risen, wo onco was laid in it. Let the wood of his cross cease to be magnified, to an immense bulk; and his natural body cease to be multiplied to ao infinite number. R store the heads of holy men, and women, to their bodies, if they can be found. Let the bones of the dead saints be at rest; and their blood be re. leased, froin the perpetual fatigue of working wouders,
Throw up all your legends; discard all your miracles, stated and unstated ; and make over all your tricks, to the jugglers of this world. Declare 10 the Jesuits, that their game is at an end ; and restore the inquisition to hell in wnich it was forged.
And for the conclusion of this great work,celebrate an open and solemn marriage between faith and reason : proclaim an eternal friendship between piety and charity; and establish an agreement, never to be dissolved between religion, on one side ; and humanity, forbearance, and good nature on the other.
I would not have you think that I propose all this to your Holiness, and nothing from our own quarter. So far from it, that I ain free to acknowledge, thit it cannot be expected that you should thus far recede from your present preten, tions, unless o:hers are ready to gişe up every thing of the same sort and the same nature.
If your Holiness parts with infallibility, it is but equita, bie, that the protestant churches should part with indisputalle au! hority. If you give up the decrees of the council of Trent ; let them in Holland, give up the synod of Dort; and uthers, every where throw off all manner of human decisions, in religion. If you discard the inquisition ; let them discard classes, and judicatorie", and consistories, and fines, and imprisonments ; and the whole train of secular artillery, and the whole asmory of the weapons of this world.