Imágenes de páginas

prison whom they pleased, and as long as they truth, whether it please or not please ; for my pleased, according to that unerring rule of business here is not to please men, but to conequity and right reason, (forsootlı,) their owu vince them of what concerns them. And it pleasure. So that (it seems) it must pass fur is this: that there has not been any one slavery for a subject to be kept in prison by thing, since the restitution of our church and his sovereign, but liberty, for the same person monarchy, that has contributed more to the to be held in durance by his fellow-subjects. weakening of both, and the strengthening the Oh! the tyranny and impudence of some hands of the faction against both, than the men!

general discouragement and restraint of men But what is that liberty which they thus upon all occasions, and especially from the cry out for? Why, they would have a liberty pulpit, from giving the late villainous times to act those things against a prince, which and practices, and the guilty actors in them, some have took a liberty to write and speak. boldly and impartially their own. This only They would have a liberty to set their insult use being made by them of all this tenderness, ing feet upon the necks of their fellow-sub or rather tameness, towards them, that by jects, and those for the most part better men never hearing of their guilt, they have forgot than themselves. They would have a liberty that they were ever pardoned. They take to plunder and fight other men out of their heart, and insult, and usurp the confidence estates and themselves into them. So that, in which belongs only to the innocent. Nay, short, the liberty and property that these they have grown, they have thriven, and men are so zealous for is a liberty to invade become powerful by this usage; it being what and seize other men's properties. For, as it above all things in the world they wished for has been appositely and truly observed, none and desired, but could not (I dare say) have are generally so loud and clamorous for the been so impudent as to hope for. For what security of our religion, as atheists and repub-could a thief or robber desire more, than, licans, who have none at all; none such having seized the prey, and possessed himself zealous advocates for liberty as those who, of his base booty, to carry it off both safely when they are once got into power, prove the and quietly too; nay, and to see the person arrantest tyrants iu nature ; and none such robbed by him, not only with his hands fast nighty champions for property, as those who tied from recovering his goods, but with his have neither a groat in their purse, nor an tongue tied also, from so much as crying out inch of land which they can call their own : "Thief ?" but a company of beggarly, broken, bankrupt But for all the fallacious state-mists which malcontents, who have no other considerable have been cast before our eyes, men have both property in the world, but never to be satis seen and felt enough to know, that for persons fied.

of honour, power, or place, to caress and And thus I have gone over some of those soothe up men of dangerous principles and popular abused words, those sly and maliciously known disaffection to the government with infused slanders, by which an implacable, terms and appellations of respect, is manifestly unruly faction has been perpetually weaken for the government to knock underboard to ing and worrying the civil government; and the faction, to infuse courage into it by courtthat with such success, that it has destroyed ing it, and to make its shrewdest enemies the very being of it once, and the settlement strong and considerable, by seeming to fear of it ever since.

those who may be suppressed, but can never And now, by way of consequence and de be won. Besides, that this must needs grieve duction from the foregoing particulars, what the hearts and damp the spirits of those who can be so naturally inferred as this ; that as in its greatest extremities were its best, or the text denounces a curse to those who “call rather its only friends, and (if occasion evil good, and good evil ;” so it equally im- requires) must be so again, or it must have ports it to be a duty, and implies a blessing none. belonging to it, to call “ good good, and evil And therefore I will be bold to affirm, that evil?" It is the best oblation which we can the great long rebellion being, in the whole make to truth, and the greatest charity that carriage of it, so very black and foul, so rewe can shew the world. For how can govern- proachful to religion, so scandalous to the ment, and consequently the peace of mankind, whole nation, and só utterly incapable, not fence and guard itself against knaves passing only of excuse, but even of extenuation, under the guise and character of honest men, especially in that last and hellish scene of it, when faction and sedition shall be called ac- the king's murder ; I say, upon all these activity and fitness for business, forsooth ; and counts it cannot be too frequently, too severely, loyalty and conscience be sneered at as soft- and too bitterly, upon all public occasions, ness and indiscretion ? Never think, that ripped up and reflected upon. All the pulpits either church or state can thrive upon these in the king's dominious ought to ring of it, measures.

as long as there is a man alive who lived And here give me leave to utter a great when the villainy was committed. Preachers,

[ocr errors]


in their sermons to their congregations, and rebuked such new-fashioned extraordinary judges, in their charges to the juries and Christians, or would be not? And if he justices of the country, ought to inculcate and would, do we imagine that he would have lay before them the horrid impiety and scan

dove it in the modern treacherous dialect ? dal of those proceedings, and the execrable “ Touch not my rebels, and do my fanaties mischief of the principles which caused them : no harm.” No moderation-monger under especially since we have seen such new rebel- | heaven shall ever persuade me that Saint lions springing out of the ashes of the old ; a Paul would have took such a course with such sufficient demonstration, doubtless, that the persons, or have taught Timothy, or Titus, or fire is not yet put out. And believe it, this, any other gospel preacher, to do so, for fear if any, is the likeliest way both to atone thé of spoiling their promotion, or translation, or guilt of those crying sins, and to prevent the offending any powerful faction of men whatlike for the future. And if this course had been vigorously and heartily followed, can you And pray, do you all consider with yourimagine that such devilisli, audacious libels, selves, whether you would be willing to have and such seditious coffee-house discourses, your children, your dearest friends and relacould have flown in the face of the government, tions, grow up into rebels, schismatics, presas have done for above twenty years together byterians, independents, anabaptists, quakers, I tell you, that neither men's courage nor the blessed offspring of the late reforming their conscience would have served them to times? And if you would not, then leave off have ventured upon their prince, or attacked daubing and trimming it, and plainly, imparliis government at such a daring rate. Nay, tially, and severely declare to your children let this course be but taken yet, and the and families the villainy and detestable people all over the kingdom be constantly hiypocrisy of those which are such. And and warmly plied from the pulpits upon the assure yourselves that this is the likeliest way particulars here spoken of, and I doubt not to preserve them untainted with the same but in the space of three years the king shall infection. have quite another people, and his people be To all which considerations I shall add this taught quite another kind of subjection, from one more, as an unanswerable argument, why what they have practised any time these three the cursed authors of our late sad distractions score years.

should not be suffered to carry off their And therefore let none think that those rogueries with the sneaking silence and conseasonable rebukes which I here encourage nivance of all about them; namely, that by and plead for, proceed from any hatred of the this means, about fourscore or an hundred persons of those wretches, (how much soever years hence, the faction (if it continues so long, they deserve it,) but from a dutiful concern as no doubt with good keeping it may) will, for, and charity to the public, and from a just from denying the impiety and the guilt, come care and commiseration of posterity, that the to deny also the very history and being of the contagion may not spread, nor the poison of long great rebellion. This perhaps, at first the example pass any farther. For I take hearing, may seem something odd and strange reproof, no less than punishment, to be rather to you. But if you consider, that in the space for prevention than retribution; rather to warn of forty years the faction has bad the face to the innocent, than to reproach the guilty: shift off that rebellion and murder of the king and by thus warning them while they are from theinselves upon the papists, is it at all innocent, in all probability to preserve and unlikely, that in the compass of threescore or keep them so.

fourscore years more, they may utterly deny For does not Saint Paul himself make that there was ever any such thing at all? this the great ground and end of all reproof? | This, I am sure, is not impossible; and, con(1. Tim. 1. 20,), Them that sin,” says he, sidering the boldness and falseness, and brazen “ rebuke before all, that others also may fear." confidence of the faction, I cannot think it so And (Titus, i. 13,) “ Rebuke them sharply." much as improbable. But I am sure also, Where let us suppose now that Saint Paul that it is no less than a national concern, that had to do with a pack of miscreants, who had following ages should not be so far ignorant by the most unchristian practices dethroned of what has passed in ours, as thereby to want and murdered their prince, to whom this so great and so irrefragable an argument apostle had so often and so strictly enjoined against disloyalty and rebellion. absolute subjection; plundered and undone And therefore, as it is said that the king their brethren, to whom the said apostle had never dies upon a legal account, so it is vastly so often commanded the greatest brotherly the interest of the government, that the love and amity; and lastly, rent, broken, and murder of the king should never die upon a torn in pieces the church, in which he had so bistorical. To which purpose, let strict, daked, earnestly pressed unity, and so severely pro- and undisguised truth take place in all things hibited all schismatical divisions; what, I say, and let not evil be dignified with the title of do we think now? Would Saint Paul have good, nor good libelled with the name of evil.



by a false and fraudulent appellation of things ways and accidents, by which a man is capand persons. But as the merit of men's works able of being miserable. To recount all which must and will follow them into another world, in particular, since it was impossible, and yet so (in all reason and justice) let the true name to rest in universals equally unprofitable, I of their works accompany and go along with found it necessary to reduce those fatal effects them in this. That so the honest and the of the misapplication of these great governing loyal may not be degraded to the same level names of good and evil to certain heads, and with knaves and rebels, nor knave susurp those such as should comprehend and take in the rewards and reputation which none but the principal things, upon the good or bad the honest and the loyal have a claim to. estate of which the happiness or misery of

Which God, the eternal Fountain of truth, human societies must needs depend. and great Judge of all things, vouchsafe to Which heads were three : grant ; to whom be rendered and ascribed, as 1st, Religion, and the concerns of the church. is most due, all praise, might, majesty, and 2dly, Civil government. And, dominion, both now aud for evermore. 3dly, The private interests of particular Amen.


Now the first of these three, to wit, the concerns of religion and the church, I fully

treated of in my second discourse, and that SERMON LXIII.

with particular reference to the state of both amongst ourselves, where I shew, that our

excellent church lad been once ruined, and THE THIRD GRAND INSTANCE OF THE was like to have been so again, only by the

MISCHIEVOUS INFLUENCE OF WORDS mischievous cant and gibberish of a few paltry AND NAMES FALSELY APPLIED,

misapplied words and phrases ; five of which I then instanced in. As,

1st, A malicious calling the rites, ceremonies, and religion of the church of England,

popery. PART IV.

2dly, A calling the schismatical deserters of

it, true protestants. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil,” &c. 3dly, A calling the late subversion and disISAIAH, v. 20.

solution of our church, reformation.

4thly, A calling the execution of the laws I must beg your pardon that I here resume in behalf of the church, persecution. And, the prosecution of a subject, which I have 5thly and lastly, A calling all base, trimformerly discoursed of in this place, and for ming compliances and half conformity, modesome reasons since intermitted, in the courses ration, immediately following.

All which five I then insisted upon at large, The discussion of these words I first cast and shall not now trouble you with any under these four heads :

farther repetitions. First, To give some general account of the After which, the second general head to be nature of good and evil, and of the reasons treated of was civil government; under which upon which they are founded.

I had designed to shew, how our admirably Secondly, To shew, that the way by which well-tempered monarchy had been once shook good and evil commouly operate upon the in pieces by the faction under the best of mind of man, is by those respective names monarchs, King Charles I. and was in a fair and appellations, by which they are notified way to have run the same fate under his son, and conveyed to the mind.

King Charles II. both of them princes of Thirdly, To shew the mischief which glorious and happy memory. And all this directly, naturally, and unavoidably follows, by the same villainous artifice of a few popufrom the misapplication and confusion of these lar, misapplied words ; by the senseless innames. And,

significant clink and sound of which, some Fourthly and lastly, To shew the grand restless demagogues and incendiaries had inand principal instances, in which the abuse or flamed the minds of the sottish mobile to a misapplication of those names has such a strange, unaccountable abhorrence of the best fatal and pernicious effect.

of men and things, and to as fond and furions The three first of these I despatched in au admiration of the very worst. Of which my first discourse upon the words, and in sort of words we may reckon these four folmy second made soie entrance upon the lowing: fourth and last, to wit, the assignation of 1st, Their traducing the best of monarchies those instances, which I shew spread as far and the easiest of governments by the odious and wide as the universe itself, and were as name of arbitrary power. infinite and numberless as all those various 2dly, Their blackening the king's ablest

and best friends with the old and infamous ment of conversation ? But then every ruffian character of evil counsellors.

and drunken sot is not a competent judge of 3dly, Their setting off and recommending it; nor must every one who can lead a midthe greatest enemies both of prince and people, night whore through the streets, or scoff at a under the plausible, endearing titles of public black coat or clergyman, or come behind a spirits, patriots, and standers up for their man and run him through, and be pardoned country. And,

for it, have presently a claim to that thing 4thly, and lastly, Their couching the most called honour; which is as much the natural malicious, selfish, and ambitious designs, under result, as it is the legal reward of virtue. the glorious cover of zeal for liberty und pro- Virtue and honour are such inseparable comperty, and the rights of the subject.

panions, that the heathens would admit no Which four rattling, rabble-charming words, man into the temple of honour, who did not I say, arbitrary power, evil counscllors, public pass to it through the temple of virtue. It is spirits, liberty and property, and rights of the indeed the only stated, allowed way; it is the subject, with several others of the like noise and high road to honour, and no man ever robs or nature, being used and applied by some state- murders upon that road. impostors, (as Scripture was once quoted by And yet, in spite of uature and reason, and the Devil,) I undertook to prove, were the the judgment of all mankind, this high and great and powerful tools, by which the faction, generous thing must be that, in whose prehaving so successfully overturned the go tended quarrel almost all the duels of the vernment once, was in full hopes to have world are fought. Oh! my honour is congiven it as effectual a turn once more. The cerned, says one. In what, I pray? Why, he prosecution of all which, (as well as I was gave me the lie. That is, he gave you what able,) I gathered into one entire discourse by perhaps was your own before. But as truth itself.

cannot be made falsehood by the worst of But since all discourses in behalf of the tongues, so neither can a liar be made a true government, partly through the guilt of some, man by forcing a coward to eat his words, or and the false politics of others, have seldom a murderer become an honest man by a lucky any other effect but to recoil upon the person (or rather unlucky) thrust of a lawless sword. wlio makes them, I shall wave and pass over Ay, but he spoke slightly and reflexively of mine, and thereby escape the vanity of a such a lady: that is, perhaps he treated her thankless defence of that which is so much without a compliment, and spoke that of her better able to defend itself.

which she bad rather a great deal practise And so I now come to the third and last of than hear or be told of. In short, he might these three general heads; which is, to shew represent her in her true colours; and surely the mischievous influence the abuse and mis- there is no reason that such should be always application of those mighty operative names their own painters; and while they live by of good and evil has upon the private interests one measure describe themselves by another. of particular persons. And here also I am What right have the votaries, or rather slaves sensible how boundless a subject I should of pleasure, to wear the badge and livery of engage in, should I attempt to give a particu- strict and severe virtue? lar account of all those names or words, by Princes indeed may confer honours, or the artificial misapplication of which, men rather titles and names of honour. But they promote or ruin the fortunes of one another. are a man's or woman's own actions which The truth is, I might deal them forth to you must make him or her truly bonourable: and by scores or hundreds, but I shall single out every man's life is the heralds' office, from and insist upon only some few of the most whence he must derive and fetch that which remarkable and mischievous. As,

must blazon him to the world; honour being 1st, An outrageous, ungoverned insolence but the reflection of a man's own actions, and revenge, frequently passing by the name shining bright in the face of all about him, of sense of honour. Honour is indeed a noble and from thence rebounding upon himself. thing, and therefore the word which signifies And therefore, what plea can the bully and it must needs be very plausible. But as a rich the hector, the champion of the tavern or the and glistering garment may be cast over a stews, have to this divine and ennobling rotten, fashionably-diseased body ; so an illus- character? And yet who is it, who so often, trious, commending word may be put upon so zealously, and so implacably claims it? a vile and an ugly thing ; for words are but But the truth is, the name must serve such, the garment, the loose garments of things; instead of the thing; and they are therefore and so may easily be put off and on, according so highly concerned about the one, because to the humour of him who bestows them. they know themselves wholly void of the other. But the body changes not, though thie.gar But such a quarrelsome, vindictive impaments do.

tience of every injury or affront, is not proWhat is honour but the height and flower, perly sense of honour ; for certainly sense of and top of morality, and the utmost refine- honour does not take away sense of religion ;

and that, I am sure, teaches us much other tions of justice, it must take its measures, not things. It teaches a mau not to revenge a

from the mischief which the slander is contumelious or reproachful rd, but to be known actually to do, but from the mischief above it. And therefore it was greatly spoken which, according to the nature of the thing, by Caius Marius, a man of another sort of it may do. mettle and valour from our modern town This I thought fit to remark, being desirous blades: “Me quidem ex animi mei sententia to cut off all excuse from duellers, and to take lædere nulla oratio potest ; quippe vera,

from those sons of shame their usurped prenecesse est, bene prædicet, falsam vita mores tences of honour. And, indeed, when I conque mei superant.” He said, he valued not sider how we are ridiculed abroad, as making what men could say of him ; for if they spake ourselves apes, or rather monkeys to the true, they must needs speak honourably of French, by a fond imitation of their fashions, him; if otherwise, his life and his manners it may justly seem strange, that in all this should be their confutation. And doubtless it time, duelling, which has been proscribed is a truer and nobler vindication of a man's amongst them, should not have grown out of honour, to clear off and confute a slander by fashion amongst us ; especially since it is too, his own life, than by another man's death; | too manifest, that these pests of government to make his innocence and his virtue his cast a greater blot upon it by the blood they coinpurgators, and not to fight, but live down shed, than it is possible for them to wash off the calumniator.

with their own. And thus much for the first And therefore this duelling practice (what mischievously abused and misapplied word, thoughts soever some may have of it) proceeds namely, honour, or sense of honour. not from any sense of honour; but is really 2. Bodily abstinence, joined with a demure, and truly a direct defiance and reproach to affected countenance, is often called and acthe laws and justice of a government, as if counted piety and mortification. Suppose a they could not or would not protect a man in man infinitely ambitious, and equally spiteful the dearest concern he has in the world, which and malicious ; one who poisons the ears of is his reputation and good name, but left great men by venomous whispers, and rises every slandered person to carve out his own by the fall of better men than himself; yet satisfaction, and so to make himself both if he steps forth with a Friday look and a judge in his own case and executioner too. lenten face, with a Blessed Jesu! and a To prevent which, and to strip this insolent mournful ditty for the vices of the times, practice of all shadow of excuse, it must be oh! then he is a saint upon earth ; an Amconfessed, that no government can be too brose or an Augustine ; I mean not for that strict and cautious, even to the degree of nice-earthly trash of book-learning ; for, alas ! ness, in setting a fence about men's good such are above that, or at least that is above names; and that in order to it, it were better them; but for zeal, and for fasting, for a dea great deal to cut the tongue out of the slan vout elevation of the eyes, and a holy rage derer's mouth, than not to wrest the sword against other men's sins. And happy those out of the dueller's hand.

ladies and religious dames, (characterized in But it is to be feared, that even our law 2 Tim. iii. 6,) who can have such self-denying, itself is something defective in this particular. thriving, able men for their confessors ! and For if the slandered person comes to that, to thrice happy those families where they vouchright him against theslanderer, What damages, safe to take their Friday night's refreshments ! says the law, have you sustained by the and thereby demonstrate to the world what slander? Prove how far you have been en Christian abstinence, and what primitive, damaged, and so far you shall be repaired. self-mortifying rigour there is in forbearing a To which I answer, that it is impossible for dinner, that they may have the better stomach any man living to know how much he is

to their supper. endamaged a slander; for, like some In fine, the whole world stands in admirapoisons, it may destroy at two, five, seven, tion of them ; fools are fond of them, and ten, or perhaps twenty years' distance ; and wise men are afraid of them; they are talked the venom of it, in the meantime, lie festering of, they are pointed at ; and as they order the and rankling in the mind of some malicious matter, they draw the eyes of all men after grandee, whose malign influence upon the them, and generally something else. slandered person, like a worm lying at the But as it is observed in grayhounds, that root of a tree, shall invisibly wear, and waste, the thinness of their jaws does not at all and eat him out of his greatest interests and allay the ravening fury of their appetite, concerns all his life after; and the poor man there being no creature whose teeth are all this while never know from what quarter sharper, and whose feet are swifter when this fatal blast which consumes him blows they are in pursuit of their prey ; so wo be to upon him. And therefore I affirm, that if the that man who stands in the way of a meagre, law would assign a punishment commensurate mortified, fasting, sharp-set zeal, when it is in to a slander, according to the true propor- | full chase of its spiritual game. And there

« AnteriorContinuar »