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ments 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 neighbor, because his thoughts are not the same as yours, is not only in a very gross manner to cheat you


time and quiet, but likewise to endanger your souls.

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 neighbor 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 favor, 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 perpet


ually 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, and ungratefully trampling upon the ashes of another. [William and Anne ]

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 cannot 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 further, 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 particular in explaining the several parts and properties of this great duty of brotherly love, the apostle to the Thessalonians will plead my excuse. “Touching brotherly love," saith he, "ye need not that I write unto you, for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” So that nothing remains to add, but our prayers to God that he would please to restore and continue this duty of brotherly love or charity among us,

bond of


and of all virtues. Nov. 29, 1717.





GENESIS, xliv. 5, 6, 7. Simeon and Levi are brethren ; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret ; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not

thou united : for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce ; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

I KNOW very well that the church hath been often censured for keeping holy this day of humiliation, in memory of that excellent king and blessed martyr Charles I., who rather chose to die on a scaffold than betray the religion and liberties of his people, wherewith God and the laws had entrusted him. But at the same time it is manifest that those who make such censures are either people without any religion at all, or who derive their principles, and perhaps their birth, from the abettors of those who contrived the murder of that prince, and have not yet shown the world that their opinions are changed. It is alleged that the observation of this day hath served to continue and increase the animosity and enmity among our countrymen, and to disunite protestants; that a law was made upon the restoration of the martyr's son for a general pardon and oblivion, forbidding all reproaches upon that occasion; and since none are now alive who were actors or instruments in that tragedy, it is thought hard and uncharitable to keep up the memory of it for all generations. Now because I conceive most of you to be ignorant in many particulars concerning that horrid murder, and the rebellion which preceded it, I will, First, relate to you so much of the story as may be sufficient for

your information : Secondly, I will tell you the consequences which this bloody deed

hath upon these kingdoms : And lastly, I will show you to what good uses this solemn day of

humiliation may be applied.

As to the first: in the reign of this prince, Charles the martyr, the power and prerogative of the king were much greater than they are in our times, and so had been for at least seven hundred years before; and the best princes we ever had carried their power

much further than the blessed martyr offered to do, in the most blamable part of his reign. But the lands of the crown having been prodigally bestowed to favorites in the preceding reigns, the succeeding kings could not support themselves without taxes raised by parliament, which put them under a necessity of frequently calling those assemblies; and the crown lands being gotten into the hands of the nobility and gentry, beside the possessions of which the church bad been robbed by king Henry VIII., power, which always follows property, grew to lean to the side of the people, by whom even the just rights of the crown were often disputed.

But further, upon the cruel persecution raised against the protestants under queen Mary, among great numbers who fled the kingdom to seek for shelter, several went and resided at Geneva, which is a commonwealth governed without a king, and where the religion, contrived by Calvin, is without the order of bishops. When the protestant faith was restored by queen Elizabeth, those who fled to Geneva returned among the rest home to England, and were grown so fond of the government and religion of the place they had left, that they used all possible endeavors to introduce both into their own country; at the same time continually preaching and railing against ceremonies and distinct habits of the clergy, taxing whatever they disliked as a remnant of popery; and continued extremely troublesome to the church and state under that great queen, as well as her successor king James I. These people called hemselves puritans, as pretending to a purer faith than those of the church established. And these were the founders of our dissenters. They did not think it sufficient to leave all the errors of popery, but threw off many laudable and edifying institutions of the primitive church, and at last, even the government of bishops; which, having been ordained by the apostles themselves, had continued without interruption in all Christian churches for above 1500 years. And all this they did, not because those things were evil, but because they were kept by the papists. From thence they proceeded by degrees

. to quarrel with the kingly government; because, as I have already said, the city of Geneva, to which their fathers had flown for refuge, was a commonwealth, or government of the people.

These puritans, about the middle of the martyr's reign, were grown to a considerable faction in the kingdom, and in the lower house of parliament. They filled the public with the most false and bitter libels against the bishops and the clergy, accusing chiefly the very best

among them of popery; and at the same time the house of commons grew so insolent and uneasy to the king, that they refused to furnish him with necessary supplies for the support of his family, unless upon such conditions as he could not submit to without forfeiting his conscience and honor, and even his coronation oath. And in such an extremity he was forced upon a practice, no way justifiable, of raising money; for which, however, he had the opinion of the judges on his side; for wicked judges there were in those times as well as in ours. There were likewise many complaints, and sometimes justly made, against the proceedings of a certain court, called the star-chamber, a judicature of great antiquity; but it had suffered some corruptions, for which however the king was nowise answerable. I cannot recollect any more subjects of complaint with the least ground of reason; nor is it needful to recollect them, because this gracious king did, upon the first appli: cation, redress all grievances by an act of parliament, and put it out of his power to do any hardships for the future. But that wicked faction in the house of commons, not content with all those marks of his justice and condescension, urged still for more; and joining with a factious party from Scotland, who had the same fancies in religion, forced him to pass an act for cutting off the head of his best and chief minister: and at the same time compelled him, by tumults and threatenings of a packed rabble poisoned with the same doctrines, to pass another law, by which it should not be in his power to dissolve that parliament without their own consent. Thus, by the greatest weakness and infatuation that ever possessed any man's spirit, this prince did in effect sign his own destruction.

For the house of commons having the reins in their own hands, drove on furiously, sent him every day some unreasonable demand; and when he refused to grant it, made use of their own power, and de

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