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the subject's conscience, wheresoever the name mean the execution of those laws that and title of sovereignty may be lodged, the would suppress nonconformity, so by modepower is undoubtedly in those who overrule ration they mean neither more nor less than the law,
the encouraging and supporting of nonconAnd now, if this pitiful sham and term of formity by the suppression of those laws. art, persecution, shall be able to screen those This is the thing which is meant and driven spiritual riots and seditious meetings, that at by them. look so terribly upon the government, from But then you are still to understand, that the justice of it, how can it possibly be safe ? this is to be done dexterously and decently, For the design of conventicles is not to wor and in a creeping, whining, sanctified dialect, ship God in another and a purer way, (as they and such as may not too much alarm the cant it,) but to adjust the numbers, to learn government, by telling it plainly and roundly the strength, and to fix the correspondence of what they would be at; for that would be the party, and thereby to prepare and muster more haste than good speed. As for instance, them for a new rebellion ; and the design of to break in rudely and downright upon the a rebellion is, for those that have not estates church, and to cry out, “ Away with your to serve themselves upon those that have. superstitious liturgy, we will have no stinting This is the sum-total of the business. And of the Spirit : away with your popish canous, thus much for this other trick that the faction we are a freeborn people, and must have our would trump upon the government of the liberty, both as men and as Christians : away church, by loading the execution of its laws with your gowns, hoods, and surplices, and (which is the vital support of all governments) other such rags and truinpery of the whore with the abhorred name of persecution. But of Babylon : down with bishops and archbinow in the
shops, deans and chapters, we will have 10Fifth and last place, let us come to the prin- thing of them but their lands: repeal, abrocipal engine of all, which is their prosecuting gate, and take away all laws for conformity, the worst of designs against the best of and against conventicles, which are held as a c!urches, under the harmless gilded name of rod over the good people of God, the sober, moderation, than which can any thing look industrious, trading part of the nation.” Now milder or sound better? For as justice is the I say, though “a gracious heart” (as they support of government, so moderation and call their own) is big with all and every one equity are the very beauty and ornament of of these designs, yet it is not time nor prujustice itself. And what is all virtue but a dence to cry out, till there be “strength to moderation of excesses, a mean that keeps bring forth; "and therefore, instead of all these the balance of the soul éven, neither suffering boisterous assanlts, the saine thing is much it to rise too high on one side, nor to fall too better and more løpefully carried on in a low on the other? And does not Solomon, lower strain and a softer expression. As, the wisest of men, commend it, by condemn- “Pray use moderation, gentlemen. Moderaing the contrary quality, in “ being righteous tion is the virtue of virtues. Moderation bids overmuch ?" (Eccles. vii. 16.) And is not fair to be a mark of regeneration, it is a also one of the best of men, and one of the healing, uniting, protestant-reconciling grace; greatest of the apostles, Saint Paul himself, and therefore sivce by our good will we would alleged in praise of the same? (Philip. iv. neither obey the laws, nor suffer for disobey5,)“ Let your moderation be known uuto all ing them, be sure above all things that you men.” And possibly some Bibles, of a later use moderation.” Well, the advice, you see, and more correct edition, may by this time is good, especially for those that give it ; but have improved the text, by putting trimming how is this to be done? Why tlius : suppose into the margin. So that you see that there one, in the first place, a church-governor, and could not be a more plausible nor a more that he comes to understand that such and authentic word to gull and manage the rabble, such of his clergy exercise their ministry in a and to carry ou à design by, than this of constant neglect of the rules, rites, and orders moderation.
of the church? why, with great prudence and But have we never yet heard of a wolf in gravity he is to take no notice of it. Is the sheep's clothing ? nor of a sort of men who surplice and the ecclesiastical habit laid aside ? can smile in your face, while they are about why, still he is to practise the grace of conto cut your throat? And for these fellows, nivance, and to wink hard at this too. Is the who have all along hitherto handled our service of the church read brokenly, slovenly, church with the hands of Esau, how come imperfectly, and by halves? why he is to they now all on a sudden to bespeak it with suffer this also, and to make no words of it. the voice of Jacob? Certainly therefore there Does any one presume to preach doctrines is something more than ordinary couched quite contrary to some of the articles of the under this beloved word of theirs, modera- church? why, in this case, if the preacher tion. And if you would have a true and offends, the bishop is to silence only himself. short account of it, as by persecution they | And if at any time there happens a contest
between a clergyman and some potent neigh dirt and spittle so bestowed might (without bour about the rights and dues of his living a miracle) bave opened our eyes then. he is presently to cajole and side with that And now, when both sense and experience potent oppressing neighbour, and to snub and as broad as daylight have shewn us what the discountenance the poor clergyman for not party means by popery, what by true protessuffering himself to be oppressed, defrauded, tantism, and what by reformation, and the and undone quietly, and without complaint. like, is this a time of day for any who profess And this is some (though not all) of that and own themselves of the church of England moderation which some now-a-days require to play fast and loose, to trim it, and trick it, in a church-governor, and which in due time and prevaricate with the church by nex cannot fail to have the very same effect upon schemes and models, new amendments and the church which the continual hewing and abatements of its orders and discipline, in hacking at a tree must naturally have towards favour of a restless implacable faction, which the felling it down.
breathes nothing less than its utter destrucWell, but in the next place, we will sup- tion? Has not the church of England caust pose another man a justice of peace. And if above all other churches in the world to comso, let him not concern himself to lay this or plain and cry out, “ These are the wounds, that factious conventicle-preacher by the heels, which I have received to the house of my friends? as the law and his office require him to do. My constitution is undermined and weakeued, But if he must needs, for shame or fear, my laws broken, my liturgy, despised, my sometimes make a shew at least of searching doctrine impugned, and a kind of new gospel after this precious man, let him however send brought in, and millions of souls drawn from him timely votice thereof underhand, that so my communion; and all this dishonour done the justice may fairly and judiciously search me, not only by my open avowed enemies for that which he is sure not to find; accor but chiefly and most effectually by such as ding to that of the poet, “ Istud quæro, quod have subscribed my articles and canons, such invenire nolo.”. Moreover, if there chance to as have eat my bread and worn my preferbe a con veuticle or unlawful meeting just ments; these are the men who have brought nnder his nose, let him not disturb or break me to this low, languishing, and consumptive it up; for, alas ! those that are of it are a sort condition, by their treacherous compliance of “peaceable well-meaning people, who meet and their false expedients, while I was still only to serve God according to their con- calling for their help and support, by that sciences.” Possibly indeed some of the chief which only, under God, could or can preserve of them may have fought their king hereto me a strict, thorough, and impartial observafore at Edgehill, Marston-Moor, Naseby, or tion of my laws." For this I say, and will Worcester ; but that is past long since, and maintain, that the church of England, as to they are resolved never to do so again till they its external state and condition in this world, are better able than at present(to their sorrow) stands upon no other bottom, and can be they find themselves to be. And this is some upheld by no other methods, but a vigorous of the moderation which is required of a execution of her laws on the oue side, and a magistrate or justice of peace; so called, I constant, uniform, unreserved conformity to conceive, for sitting still, holding his peace, them on the other. And all other ways are and doing nothing.
but the palliated remedies and the fallacious But then, lastly, if a parliament be sitting, prescriptions of quacks, and mountebanks, Oh ! that above all others is the proper time and spiritual Pontæus's, such as wise men for such as are men of sobriety and zeal, and would never advise, nor good men approve understand the true interest of the nation, of, and such as, by skinning over her wounds (forsooth,) to manifest a fellow-feeling of for the present, (though probably not so much the sufferings of the brotherhood, and in the as that neither,) will be sure to cure them behalf of their old puritan friends to pimp into an after rottenness and suppuration, and for bills of union, comprehension, or tolera- | infallibly thereby at length procure her dissotion. And this you are to know is a prin- lution. And for my own part, I fully believe cipal branch of that moderation which has that this was the very thing designed by these been practised by several worthy and grave men all along. For I dare aver, that if that men of the church of England, as they are one project of union, as it was laid, had too's pleased, (little to the church's honour, I place, it would have done more to the breakam sure) to style themselves; and, which ing our church in pieces, and to the bringing is more, it was practised by them at a in of popery by those breaches, than the certain critical juncture of affairs, not many papists themselves have been able to do toyears since, when a clergyman could hardly wards it since the reformation. So that whatpass the city streets without being reviled, soever the danger may have been to our nay spit as several (to my knowledge) church heretofore from church papists, I am actually were. And I hope, though we sure the great danger that threatens it now is churchmen had been blind before, so much from church fanatics.
And thus I have at length done with the and beat down our church, was the Scotch first grand instance of the three, in which the covenant. But how did it do this execution ? abuse and confusion of those great controlling Why, by those spiritual boutefeus calling this names of good and evil has such a pernicious wretched thing from the pulpit to the deceived effect; and that is, in the business of religion rabble “the covenant of God.” And so and the affairs of the church, and particularly strangely had they beat this notion into their as they stand here amongst ourselves, where addle leads, that there was not one text in both have infinitely suffered by the malicious the whole book of God about the covenant artifice of a few misapplied words. But wo between God and the Israelites, in which the to those villainous artists by whom they have brainless rout did not immediately, upon the been so misapplied ; good had it been for the bare clink of the words, conclude the Scotch church of England, and perhaps for them- | covenant to be meant and pointed at thereby. selves too, that they had never been born: Such were all the texts in which God calls and may the great, the just, and the eternal upon the Israelites “to keep his covenant,' God, judge between the church of England and all the texts in which he reproaches and and those men who have charged it with expostulates with them for liaving broke and popery, who have called the nearest and truest been false to his covenant. In all which the copy of primitive Christianity superstition, and stupid, schismatical herd, by the help of those the most detestable instances of schism and hypocrites, those perverters of Scripture, and sacrilege reformation; and in a word done all murderers of souls, (if ever there were any that they could, both from pulpit and press, to such upon the face of the earth). I say by the divide, shatter, and confound the purest and fraudulent and fallacious infusions of those most apostolically reformed church in the seducers, the abused vulgar reckoned the Christian world, and all this by the venomous Scotch covenant, by clear and irrefragable gibberish of a few paltry phrases instilled into evidence of Scripture, bound inviolably fast the minds of the furious, whimsical, un upon their consciences. And can any thing governed multitude, who have ears to hear, in nature be imagined more profane and imwithout either heads or hearts to understand. pious, more absurd, and indeed romantic,
For I tell you again, that it was the treach than such a persuasion : and yet, as impious erons cant and misapplication of these words, and absurd as it was, it bore down all before popery, superstition, reformation, tender con it and overturned the equallest and best science, persecution, moderation, and the like, framed government in the world. So that it as they have been used by a pack of designing was not for nothing that a sanctified dunce of hypocrites, (who believed not one word of the faction compared the covenant to the ark what they said, and laughed within themselves of God, brought into the temple of Dagon, at all who did,) that put this poor church into and Dagon thereupon falling prostrate upon such a flame heretofore as burnt it down to his face before it. For thus says he : “ Nothe ground, and will infallibly do the same to thing wicked or superstitious could stand it again, if the providence of God and the before this other ark of God, the covenant, prudence of man does not timely interpose but presently upon the bringing of it into between her and the villainous arts of such England, popery fell down before it, arbi. incendiaries. For we may and must pronounce trary power fell down before it ; prelacy fell of this vile cant, what a great and learned man down and gave up the ghost at the feet of it." said of common propliecies and predictions, And why did not the ninn of allusion, while usually vented and carried about to amusé his head' was hot, and his band was in, add the minds of the vulgar, to wit, that in point also, that sense and reason, law and religion, of any credence to be given to them, in respect justice and common honesty, and, in a word, of their truth or credibility, they are utterly all that was enjoined by God or approved by to be despised and slighted; but in point of the man, fell down and gave up the ghost before iufluence they may have upon the public, by it? For it is certain that wheresoever the perverting the minds of the people, no caution very breath of the covenant came, it blasted can be too great to be used against them, no and consumed all these. diligence too strict, no penalties too severe, to And now, was it not high time, think you, discourage and suppress them. For even the to tie up the tongues of those seducers, whó silliest and most senseless things may some could arm mere cant and nonsense to such a times conjure up inore mischief to a govern- formidable opposition to the government, as ment, thau the wisest and ablest statesman in to make one despicable word, villainously the world can conjure down again.
misapplied, and sottishly misunderstood, a And to give you one terrible instance, how fatal" besom of destruction," to sweep away far the minds of men are capable of being all before it, civil or sacred, legal or estabcanted and seduced into the most violent and lished, both in church and state? outrageous courses, as they are managed by Certainly there can be no truly pious, or some pulpit impostors, you may all remember indeed so much as truly English heart, but that tlie great engine of battery, which broke / must bleed, when it looks back upon that
IN THE LATE OVERTH ROW OF THE ENGLISH MON
THE REIGN OP KING CHARLES I.
AND ATTEMPTED AGAIN IN THE REIGN OF KING CHARLES II,
“abomination of desolation,” which was seen ceivable, as all the particular ways and means in all our holy places in those days, and con by which men are capable of being miserable. sider, both by whom all this was brought and therefore, since to reckon up all partiupon them, and how. That the best and culars would be endless, and to rest only in surest bulwark of protestautism, the glory of universals would be equally fruitless, I chose the reformation, and the express image of the to reduce the forementioned fatal effects of the purest antiquity, should be run down and laid misapplication of those great governing names in the dust by the meanest of cheats, managed of good and evil to certain heads, and those by the worst of men. This has been done such as should take in the principal things once, and God grant that we may never see it which the happiness or misery of human sodone again.
cieties depends upon. To which God, the great lover of truth, Now those heads were three: peace, and order in his church, be rendered 1st, Religion, and the concerns of the and ascribed, as is most due, all praise, might church. majesty, and dominion, both now and for 2dly, Civil government. And, Amen.
3dly, The private interests of particular persons.
The first of which three, relating to religion and the church, I have fully treated of already in my last discourse, and shall now proceel
to the SERMON LXII.
Second, Which is, to shew the direful and THE SECOND GRAND INSTANCE OF THE
mischievous influence which the abuse or
misapplication of those mighty operative MISCHIEVOUS INFLUENCE OF WORDS
names of good and evil bas upon civil governAND NAMES FALSELY APPLIED, ment, or the political state of the world.
In treating of which I will not be so arrogant
and impertinent as to presume to discourse ARCHY, COMPASSED CHIEFLY HEREBY, IN of the rules and arts of government, or to
prescribe to those whom I am called to obey,
government being the greatest, the noblest, PART III.
and most mysterious of all arts, and conse
quently very untit for those to talk magis. “ Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil," &c.
terially of, who never bore nor affected to bear ISALAH, v. 20. any share in it.
For though some have had the face and I FORMERLY discoursed twice upon these confidence to be meddling with religion, and words, the whole prosecution of which I cast reforming the church, reversing her cauonis, under these four heads :
and new-forining her liturgy, who were much 1st, To give some general account of the fitter to have been learning their catechism at nature of good and evil, and of the reason upon home, and dealing with their tenants in the 1 which they are founded.
country, if they had any; I say, though 2dly, To shew, that the way by which good religion and divinity have the ill luck to be and evil commonly operate upon the mind of so meanly thought of, that every half-witted man, is by those respective names and appel- corporation blockhead thinks himself a comlations, by which they are notified and con petent judge of the deepest points of its doo veyed to the mind.
trine, and the reason of its discipline, so as to 3dly, To shew the mischief which directly, I be new-modelling of both at his insolent but I naturally, and unavoidably follows from the senseless pleasure; yet the learning which misapplication and confusion of these names. qualifies for the pulpit teaches more seuse and
4thly, and lastly, To shew the grand and better manners. principal instances in which the abuse or But though it be above our sphere to teach misapplication of those names has so fatal the rules aud arts of governing, and to direct and pernicious an effect.
those how to steer who sit at the helm ; yet I The three first of these I despatched in my am sure it is not above us to help and assist first discourse, and in my secoud made some them in their government, by declaring the entrance upon the fourth, to wit, the assigna- villainy of those practices which would subtion of those instances, &c. concerning which vert it. Any one may kill wasps and hornets, ! I shewed, that if we should consider them in and other vermin which infest à garden, withtheir utmost compass and comprehension, they out pretending to the skill and art of a would carry as large a circumference as the gardener ; and a watchman may do much world itself, and grasp in the concerns of all towards the defence of a city, though he offers mankind put together, being in their full not to govern it. In like manver, for a latitude as numberless, various, and incon- | preacher of the word to denounce the wrath
of God against faction and sedition, and by shall think fit to take their prince by the
is to teach and to inform, to undeceive and
to preach and to say nothing.” For what has our main subject, which is to shew how our he to do to lay tlie law of subjection and old gamesters have been, and still would be loyalty to the freeborn people of Rome, when, playing the same game upon the state, which for reasons of state, the wisdom of the nation they had done upon the church, and that by