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the measures concerted for the union of the two nations, shall be no subject of our present inquiry; but we are to look back a little and observe that her Majesty in the beginning of her reign, having sent a fleet under the command of Sir George Rook, and land forces under the Duke of Ormond to attack the city of Cadiz in Spain; though they failed of success in that great enterprise, they did wonderful services in destroying the French squadron and Spanish galleons put into Vigo for their security; to say nothing of the great treasure brought from thence home by them. Her Majesty, thinking it a duty highly incumbent upon her and other people to return their solemn thanks to God Almighty for such signal success, appointed a general day of thanksgiving, and went in procession to St. Paul's Cathedral : Every thing was managed with the utmost decency and order, my Lord Bishop of London sate in his throne or stall, the Dean and Prebendaries within the rails of the altar, and the choir was placed in the organ loft. The Bishop himself read the Communion Service, and Sir Jonathan Trelawny Lord Bishop of Exeter preached an excellent sermon on these words, Joshua xii. 9, “ But as for you no man bath been able to stand before you to this day."
I shall not enter upon a detail of the proceedings in Parliament about the Occasional Conformity Bill: It was observed to have been a very common practice in the former reign, and those who had the interest of the Church of England most at heart, among whom his Lordship was one, saw it then with grief of heart, and yet without propects of any remedy. But now that her Majesty was 'ascended the throne, the true sons of the Church made no doubt but to get an act to prevent it; and 'tis pitty the Lords and Commons could not have a better understanding about it : but this, it seems, was a work to be done at another time, and his Lordship had the happiness to live to see it fully accomplished. And 'tis past all manner of doubt that it was a very great satisfaction to his mind to find the Church so happily secured by it.
If the Bishop of London was not one of those who put her Majesty upon discharging the arrears of tenths due to the Exchequer, upon small rectories and vicarages, not exceeding thirty pounds per annum, by the most improv'd valuations of the same ; be certainly contributed very much towards the effecting of it. So he did in promoting the act for making more effectual her Majesty's most gracious intention for the augmentation of the maintenance of the poor clergy, by enabling her Majesty to grant in perpetuity the revenues of the first-fruits and tenths; and also for enabling any other person to make grants for the same purpose. Being thus far serviceable to those of the inferior clergy, his Lordship could not but be one in her Majesty's patent constituting a body politic and corporate by the name of the Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne; so was the Bishop of London for the time being always to be one.
We all remember the time, when even in the best of protestant reigns, through the perverse humour of some, and the crooked policy of others, the Church was thought to be in great danger: its not compatible with my design to enter into the particulars of it. I'll leave it to the consideration and recollection of every true and intelligent churchman. It was certainly thought to be no such imaginary fears as was suggested by those, who had no inclination any search should be made into it. It became at last a debate in the House of Peers, when a noble Lord ending his harangue thus against it: “That upon her Majesty's happy succession for some time the complaint was silent, but that when she was pleased to make some alteration in her ministry, it was immediately reviv'd and continued ever since, and then concluded that the Church was in no manner of danger.” This gave occasion to my Lord Bishop of London to speak; for coming into the house just when the last words were delivered, he immediately took that Lord up, giving for his reasons that the Church was in danger, “ That prophaneness and irreligion was so rife amongst us, and the licentiousness of the press so intollerable, from whence books proceeded not fit to be read, and that sermons were preached wherein rebellion was authorized and resistance to the higher powers incouraged."
I need not mention how the debate ended; it was carry'd by sixtyone against thirty for the Church's being in no danger ; and of all the Bishops none dissented but the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of London, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells; the rest were either absent or of the opposite party.
The Scotch by this time were brought into a better temper concerning the union of the two kingdoms. What wrought this change in them may be easily guess'd at; but I forbear national reflections. I do not find my Lord Bishop of London's name in the new Commission granted by her Majesty in April, 1706 on the side of England as before, for treating on that important affair. The reason of this, unless it was that whiggery had the ascendency at court, I cannot pretend to assign, and yet both the Archbishops are in, and no other of the order ; whereas the Archbishop of York was not in the other commission issued out in the first year of her Majesty's reign.
. The good Bishop about this time seem'd to have more deference paid to him by the Churches abroad than the Staté did at home; I cannot pretend to trace the original cause of the displeasure of the Genevese, and who they were that made such wrong representations of the church of England, and particularly of the famous University of Oxford concerning their Church: to rectify which, the ministers and professors of that Church and the University, could think of no body so proper and willing as his Lordship. I wish I could have procured all the letters which pass'd between them on this occasion, my disability in this kind I own to be some imperfection in this life I am writing ; nevertheless, those that are come into my hands take as here following :
“Much HONOURED GENTLEMEN AND BRETHREN,– When I received the last letter written to me by your body, I was at such a distance from London in the country, that I could not return till towards the conclusion of the year; and whilst I was preparing to send you an answer, I was seiz'd with so violent and long fits of the gout, that at this very time I am not able to write to you with my own hand. I am sorry that so disagreeable an accident should have fallen out, which could make you suspect the sincerity of our affections. However it is not so much an ill design, but rather an unhappy custom
the side of God and holiness, may be induced, by this representation of the positive and substantial advantages resulting from vital religion, to implore the aid of the Holy Spirit “to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that they also may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified, by faith which is in Christ Jesus."
The blessedness of the Christian is inferred, first, from his submission to the will of God. It were needless to digress much to prove that the world we inhabit is a scene of lamentation, and mourning, and woe—“ that man is born to trouble, as certainly as the sparks fly upward"—that affliction, in some form or other, is the common lot of humanity. My brethren, you are all fully persuaded of this. There is not an individual who knows not, by painful experience, the wretched feeling of disappointment in some object of worldly pursuit, or of heart-felt bitterness in the loss of some endeared relative. But you are not all equally well-acquainted with the only source of consolation,—the method of healing these deep wounds of mortality. For what, let me ask, is the frequent, not to say invariable conduct of the unsanctified mind, under circumstances of tribulation ? The usual resource is the world; the prevalent idea being that grief should be dispelled at all hazards; and, consequently, the stricken soul seeks the alleviation of its calamity in the vortex of dissipation, or in the whirlpool of criminal indulgence. If, indeed, the object be positive destruction both of soul and body, this were a certain method for its accomplishment. As well might the severely wounded soldier remain uselessly exposed to the fire of the enemy, when he had the 'opportunity of being borne to the rear of the army, where he would be safe from the surrounding danger. As well might the traveller, already weary and enfeebled, voluntarily recommence his journey through the parched and thirsty desert. The world cannot bestow that which it does not itself possess. As Satan offered this fair-created universe to that Almighty Architect who reared the beauteous fabric; 'so in like manner the world says, in effect, to every child of Adam, “ All this," whether peace of conscience, satisfaction of mind, or tranquillity of soul, “ all this will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me." But, like the lure held out by the tempter to our Lord, it is palpably absurd. As the Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor the leopard his spots ; so is it utterly impossible, in the very nature of things, that peace to the soul can flow from feelings, pursuits, habits, and affections, which are all diametrically opposed to the best interests of that soul; which would call it off from serious reflection; which would interpose between it and heaven. The world may inpart temporary buoyancy of animal spirits; it may, for a time at least, dazzle by its gaudy brilliancy; but let it be viewed with the eye of reason and religion, and it resembles the daubings and tinsel of the scenes of a theatre, when the breaking in of the morning light discovers the total absence of every thing really solid and valuable. In one case, you have the false glare of artificial and extinguishable light;- in the other, the glorious orb of day, through whose real splendour and radiant influence, the designs of an all-bountiful Creator are matured, and the whole world essentially benefited.
Another way in which men fail of the only source of solid comfort under affliction, is by the indulgence of unavailing grief. We are far from maintaining that men are to be apathetic or utterly devoid of feeling when the hand of calamity touches them. Our social affections were implanted by a merciful God; and their kindly and reciprocal exercise in the several relations of life, constitute one of the very few sweet ingredients in its bitter cup. Destroy the influence of conjugal, parental, filial, fraternal, and friendly feeling, and you leave no human source of happiness for the mind to rest on, (though indeed the very ground on which we are now proceeding, tends to shew the exceedingly brittle nature of even these holiest of earthly ties), because our supposition is, that the carnal man is suffering keenly from the loss of some one or other of them. But then he sorrows as those without hope ; which is, in fact, tantamount to being “ without God in the world." He does not trace the finger of mercy in the bereavement. He cannot, or rather will not, feel that it is good for him to be afflicted; and instead of bereavements leading him to the fold of Christ, to the Shepherd and Bishop of his soul, he gives way to unhallowed grief, and refuses to listen to the voice of spiritual consolation. Now contrast both these results of calamity,—whether arising from loss of health, of property, or of endeared relatives, with the conduct of the “ man unto whom the Lord will not impute iniquity." The latter feels, as I have already inferred, and feels acutely, too, the afflictive dispensations of God's providence; but his grief is of a complexion totally dissimilar to that which has been described. He is chastened, but not killed ; that is, not dead to every sense of holy comfort. He is perplexed, but not in despair. He is cast down, but his hope of immortality is not destroyed. The very feelings of human nature make him sorrowful, yet is he alway rejoicing in the mercy and love of God. If he be poor, as to this world, through the bereaving, or the withholding hand of his heavenly Father, yet does he make many rich in faith by his Christian fortitude in trial, and by speaking and living to the praise and glory of his Redeemer. To his faith he adds virtue ; and by pureness, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, he goes forward in the strait and narrow path of eternal life, towards that rest which remaineth for the people of God. And if the blessedness of the Christian pilgrim is so evident in the patient endurance of his own individual sorrow, it may fairly be inferred that the sorrow of the world, which worketh death, has no place in his heart. He views with feelings of Christian regret, the miseries produced by sin,- by the indulgence of ungovernable tempers,-by the confusion occasioned in society through the violence of party-spirit; but though he deeply deplores their existence, he suffers them not to interrupt his own tranquillity of soul, or his intercourse and communion with his God and Saviour.
This leads me to notice the second substantial advantage the Christian possesses, to which the worldling is a total stranger: I mean peace of conscience. What are the wages of sin ? St. Paul answers this question in one short word-Death. But previously to this final issue which has not been able hitherto to be quite rooted out, among a sort of people, either for want of time, or of penetrating rightly into all the qualifications, requisite to make all the nice reflections upon the various chances which our time has produc'd; it will not be amiss for me to tell you, gentlemen, that the source of that prejudice remaining among some against your Church to this day, must be traced as far as the reign of Queen Mary. Then one Goodman, with some other refugees, compiled in one of their assemblies in your city, a certain body of articles concerning discipline, which being maintain'd with much heat by some malecontents in England, caus'd great troubles and scandals both in Church and State in Queen Elizabeth's reign. As the writers of those times, who undertook to refute this pernicious anarchial principle, often make mention of Geneva, not only because these articles were first hatched there by Goodman and his followers; but also because it was judged that Mr. Beza likewise did support them too much; it is no wonder if some persons, either of no great judgment, or very little versed in what passes in the world in our days, still retain now and then some remnants of the old language. But, gentlemen, I dare give you my word, that there is scarce a person deserving to be taken notice of, either by you or us, who is not also lately satisfied with those obliging ways you have made use of in regard of our church; and who is not ready to discourage and disallow those disobliging and injurious expressions. I can assure you in particular, in the behalf of the University of Oxford, that the governors and heads of the colleges are much dissatisfied with the indiscretion of those that make use of such odious reflections ; nay, they have even given me authority to let you know in their names, that for the future they will take great care, to the best of their power, to prevent and stifle such like inconsiderate expressions. As to what belongs to myself, gentlemen, 'tis not needful to tell you once more how sensible I am of those obliging assurances given to me both by you and the late Mr. Tronchin, of that due respect you intend always to preserve for the discipline and liturgy of our Church. I hope there is not so much as one of its true members but what is fully disposed to make it his utmost endeavours to encourage you in these favourable sentiments; this obliges me to desire you to rest assur'd of my affection and my services, and to believe that
I am, most Honoured. Gentlemen and Brethren,
(Sign'd) HENRY LONDON. “ Fulham, Apr. 30th, 1706." To this Letter the Pastors, &c. of Geneva, sent this answer :
“ MY LORD,—We received but some few days ago, the letter which your Lordship has done us the honour to write to us, dated the 30th of April last, so that we have not been able to testifie to you sooner our acknowledgment for the goodness you have had to lay our interests to heart, and reconcile us to some members of the Church of England, who had received sinister impressions about our sentiments concerning the discipline and liturgy of our Church. We have seen with particular joy the effect which your care, attended with exquisite