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" that occasioned them, seem to be found“ed on two contradictory and incompa" tible principles: but, upon a cool and “ impartial deliberation, may be observed “ so mutually to correspond with, and il« lustrate each other, as to make it appear, " in a manner, necessary, that neither of “ chofe doctrines which they separately “ suggest, should ever be recommended, in “ folemn discourses to the publick, but con“ junctly and at the same time.
« The one is, that we are now assembled “ to keep, a day of fasting; to implore the “ mercy of God, that neither that sacred and “ innocent blood, as on this day shed, nor those « other fins by which God was provoked to “ deliver up both us and our King into the " hands of cruel and unreasonable men, may « at any time hereafter be vifted upon us or “ our posterity. The other, a day of thanks“ giving for the deliverance of our church « and nation from popery and slavery, by the “ happy arrival of his late Majesty King « William the third. Both which, when “ rightly understood, and duly apply'd, " plainly thew themselves to have been “ no less originally ordained, than annual“ ly continued, upon wise and good grounds; “ being equally and jointly conducive to “ regulate our political behaviour, by put“ ting us in mind what we owe our King, “ and what our country.”
In these paragraphs, Dr. Croxall has observ'd, that the two anniversaries referred to, by reason of the two different events that occasioned them, seem to be founded on two contradictory and incompatible principles. But then, tho' this seems to be the case ; yet the Doctor supposes it is not so: by his observing, that they mutually correspond with, and illustrate each other; which fürely cannot be said of two contradictory and incompatible principles. But, tho’the Doctor has observed as above; yet he seems to me, to have left the case as dark and perplexed as he found it. And, this indeed seems to be the case, with respect to most of the sermons which are preached upon those occasions. That is, they do not give a clear and a satisfactory account what those principles are, upon which the two forementioned anniversary folemnities are founded. And therefore, as it seems absolutely necessary to enquire what those principles are, in order to form a judgment whether they agree with, or are contradictory to each other : so, this has induced me, to draw up my thoughts upon it.
As to that on the 5th of November, it being a day of thanksgiving for the deliverance of our church and nation from popery and savery, by the happy arrival of his late Majesty King William the third: the principle upon which this anniversary is found
ed, ed, (I think) is most evident and apparent, viz. that, the publick good ought always to be preferred to everything which may come in competition with it. And, as the end and design of government, is not to give princes an absolute dominion over the liberties and properties, the persons and lives of their people; but only to constitute them guardians of the societies happiness : fo consequently, if a prince should fo abuse the trust reposed in him, as to attempt and endeavour to enslave and make miserable the people committed to his care; then, and in such a case, the people oughe in reason to defend their own rights against such attempts, by opposing force with force, and by doing whatever is necessary to guard and secure the common good.
This is that principle, upon which the late happy revolution, and the anniversary folemnity appointed to preserve the memory of it are founded; and upon which alone they can be justified and defended. This principle has since that time been openly avowed, maintained, and justified in *, and by, our British Parliament. Again,
As to that on the 30th of January, it being the day of the martyrdom of K. Charles I. appointed to be kept as a day of fasting ; the principle upon which it is founded,
See the Trial of Dr. Sacbeverel.
may not seem quite so apparent. Before the reformation, several popes had taken upon them to excommunicate christian princes, and to discharge the subjects of such princes, from all subjection and allegiance to them; and this had very bad effects. Upon the reformation, the * protestant divines advanced a doctrine in op. position to this, (and by which they made their court to christian princes), viz. That princes are God's vicegerents ; and as they derive their authority and power from God; so neither the pope, nor any thing else, can dissolve the obligation the people are under to yield subjection to them. And, that this is the case, with respect to all princes, under all circumstances, whether they rule well, or ill, whether they answer the purposes which government was intended to serve, or whether they act contrary to it.
This doctrine was preached up in King Charles the First's time, and carried' by some of the clergy to its utmost height. So that, if the prince should so abuse his trust, as to attempt and endeavour to enslave and make miserable che people committed to his care ; that then, upon this principle, the people have no redress or' remedy ; it being utterly unlawful for them to defend themselves, but must on pain of eternal damnation patiently and quietly bear, whatever their governors please to lay upon them. The people might indeed pray and beseech their governors, and remonstrate to them; but they must not resist them, in any case, nor upon any account whatever. And, as this doctrine was preached by some of the clergy in King Charles the First's time ; so probably it might have an influence upon that prince ; by leading him in.10, or at least countenancing him in, those acts which he went into, and which alarmed the fears of his subjects, viz. his raising a tax of ship money, without the consent of the parliament; and his demanding of, and his receiving money from his people by loans. Which facts, fome have thought to have been as arbitrary and illegal, and, as contrary to the constitution of this kingdom, as any thing that was done by the late King James. And, from hence they have been led to query, whether the people of this nation, were not as justly called upon, to be upon their defence in the former, as in the latter case? Though, wherher it were so, or not, is beside the purpose of my present enquiry. This doctrine, was again revived and preached up at the restoration of King Charles the Second, and was very much insisted on by the clergy; and which,' probably gave
* See the Book of Homilies, publish'd in the Reign of King Edward VI.