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sions, and widen them so far as to make room for themselves to get in between. And this is the only scheme they ever had (except that of destroying root and branch) for the uniting of protestants, they so much talk of.
I shall mention but one ill consequence more, which attends our want of brotherly love ; that it hath put an end to all hospitality and friendship, all good correspondence and commerce between mankind. There are indeed such things as leagues and confederacies among those of the same party; but surely God never intended that men should be so limited in the choice of their friends : however, so it is in town and country, in every parish and street; the pastor is divided from his flock, the father from his son, and the house often divided against itself. Men's very natures are soured, and their passions inflamed, when they meet in party clubs, and spend their time in nothing else but railing at the opposite side : thus every man alive among us is encompassed with a million of enemies of his own country, among which his oldest acquaintance and friends, and kindred themselves, are often of the number; neither can people of different parties mix together without constraint, suspicion, or jealousy, watching every word they speak, for fear of giving offence; or else falling into rudeness and reproaches, and so leaving themselves open to the malice and corruption of informers, who were never more numerous or expert in their trade. And as a farther addition to this evil, those very few, who, by the goodness and generosity of their nature, do in their own hearts despise this narrow principle of confining their friendship and esteem, their charity and good offices, to those of their own party, yet dare not discover their good inclinations, for fear of losing their favour and interest. And others again, whom God had formed with mild and gentle dispositions, think it necessary to put a force upon their own tempers, by acting a noisy, violent, malicious part, as a means to be distinguished. Thus hath party got the better of the very genius and constitution of our people; so that, whoever reads the character of the English in former ages, will hardly believe their present posterity to be of the same nation or climate.
III. I shall now, in the last place, make use of some motives and exhortations, that may persuade you to embrace brotherly love, and continue in it. Let me apply myself to you of the lower sort, and desire you will consider, when any of you make use of fair and enticing words to draw in customers, whether you do it for their sakes or your own.
And then, for whose sakes do you think it is, that your leaders are so industrious to put into your heads all that party rage and virulence? is it not to make you the tools and instruments, by which they work out their own designs? Has this spirit of faction been useful to any of you in your worldly concerns, except to those who have traded in whispering, backbiting, or informing, wanting skill or honesty to thrive by fairer methods? It is no business of yours to inquire, who is at the head of armies, or of councils, unless you had power and skill to choose, neither of which is ever likely to be your case; and therefore to fill your heads with fears, and hatred of persons and things, of which it is impossible you can ever make a right judgment, or to set you at variance with your neighbour, because his thoughts are not the same as yours, is not only in a very gross manner to cheat you of your time and quiet, but likewise to endanger
Secondly ; In order to restore brotherly love, let me earnestly exhort you to stand firm in your religion; I mean, the true religion hitherto established among us, without varying in the least either to popery on the one side, or to fanaticism on the other; and in a particular manner beware of that word, moderation; and believe it, that your neighbour is not immediately a villain, a papist, and a traitor, because the fanatics and their adherents will not allow him to be a moderate man. Nay, it is very probable, that your teacher himself may be a loyal, pious, and able divine, without the least grain of moderation, as the word is too frequently understood. Therefore, to set you right in this matter, I will lay before you the character of a truly moderate man ; and then I will give you the description of such a one as falsely pretendeth to that title.
A man truly moderate is steady in the doctrine and discipline of the church, but with a due Christian charity to all who dissent from it out of a principle of conscience; the freedom of which, he thinketh, ought to be fully allowed, as long as it is not abused, but never trusted with power. He is ready to defend with his life and fortune the protestant succession, and the protestant established faith, against all invaders whatsoever. He is for giving the crown its just prerogative, and the people their just liberties. He hateth no man for differing from him in political opinions; nor doth he think it a maxim infallible, that virtue should always attend upon favour, and vice upon disgrace. These are some few lineaments in the character of a truly moderate
man; let us now compare it with the description of one who usually passeth under that title.
A moderate man, in the new meaning of the word, is one to whom all religion is indifferent; who, although he denominates himself of the church, regardeth it no more than a conventicle. He perpetually raileth at the body of the clergy, with exceptions only to a very few, who, he hopeth, and probably upon false grounds, are as ready to betray their rights and properties as himself. He thinketh the power of the people can never be too great, nor that of the prince too little; and yet this very notion he publisheth, as his best argument, to prove him a most loyal subject. Every opinion in government, that differeth in the least from his, tendeth directly to popery, slavery, and rebellion. Whoever lieth under the frown of power, can, in his judgment, neither have common sense, common honesty, nor religion. Lastly, his devotion consisteth in drinking gibbets, confusion, and damnation ;* in profanely idolizing the memory of one dead prince,t and ungratefully trampling upon the ashes of another. I
By these marks you will easily distinguish a truly moderate man from those who are commonly, but very falsely so called ; and while persons thus qualified are so numerous and so noisy, so full of zeal and industry to gain proselytes, and spread their opinions among the people, it can
* The subject of these political toasts was the theme of much discussion in Ireland. † King William,
not be wondered at that there should be so little brotherly love left among us.
Lastly, it would probably contribute to restore some degree of brotherly love, if we would but consider, that the matter of those disputes, which inflame us to this degree, doth not, in its own nature, at all concern the generality of mankind. Indeed, as to those who have been great gainers or losers by the changes of the world, the case is different: and to preach moderation to the first, and patience to the last, would perhaps be to little
purpose: but what is that to the bulk of the people, who are not properly concerned in the quarrel, although evil instruments have drawn them into it? for, if the reasonable men on both sides were to confer opinions, they would find neither religion, loyalty, nor interest, are at all affected in this dispute. Not religion, because the members of the church, on both sides, profess to agree in every article: not loyalty to our prince, which is pretended to by one party as much as the other, and therefore can be no subject for debate: nor interest, for trade and industry lie open to all; and, what is farther, concerns only those who have expectations from the public; so that the body of the people, if they knew their own good, might yet live amicably together, and leave their betters to quarrel among themselves; who might also probably soon come to a better temper, if they were less seconded and supported by the poor deluded multitude.
I have now done with my text, which I confess to have treated in a manner more suited to the present times, than to the nature of the subject in general. That I have not been more particu.