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fity, since it is the Doctrine of their Church, taught by Councils, confirmed by Popes, and defended by their ableft Schoolmen and Divines, that Heretics have no Right to Dominion ; that they may be deposed by the Pope, and their Subjects absolved from all Bonds of Allegiance to them. And their Practice has been of a Piece with their Doctrine: Henry the Third of France was excommunicated for a less Crime, for favouring only the Succession of a Protestant Prince; and thus excommunicated, was murdered by a poor Monk. Henry the Fourth was so strongly opposed by the League, animated by the Pope, that he could never fix himself in the Throne till he changed his Religion. If we come to our own Country, Queen Elizabeth was formally deposed by a Bull from Rome; and her Subjects absolved from their Obedience to her : nay, thrice was she deposed by three Popes, to shew how constant they were to this Point. When King James the First came to the Crown, his first Compliment from Rome, was by a Mandate of Clement the Eighth, declaring him incapable of holding the Crown, because he was an Heretick; that is, because he was a Protestant ; M
and therefore enjoining his Subjects to yield him no Duty or Obedience. But notwithstanding this Doctrine, so well confirmed by Authority and Practice, yet considering the present State of Britain, and the Views of Rome, I should not be surprised to hear her Emiffaries maintaining, with all Solemnity, the contrary Opinion. When a Protestant Prince was to be deposed by Roman Catholics, it was proper Encouragement to tell them, that Heresy was a Forfeiture of Dominion ; but now, that they want the Affistance of the Protestants of England to advance a Popish Prince to the Throne, we may certainly expect to hear from them, that Religion is out of the Question when the Claims and Titles of Princes are under Debate; and perhaps too we may be ready enough to believe them ; so much wiser are i he Children of this World in their Generation, than the Children of Light,
The Principles upon which the Legality of the present Establishment are maintained, are I think but improperly made a part of the present Quarrel which divides the Nation. There are but few who have not precluded themselves on this point: those I mean who have had Courage and Plainness
VII. 163 enough to own their Sense, and to forego the Advantages, either of Birth or Education, rather than give a false Security to the Go. vernment, which under their present Persuasion they could not make good. To these I have nothing more to say, than to wish them what I think they well deserve, a better Cause: but to us, who had bound ourselves by previous Oaths and Obligations in the most solemn Manner in the World, the Accession of his Majesty could administer no Occasion of reconsidering this Question : there was nothing new required of us; we had no Faith to give, which was not already plighted, and bound upon our Souls by the most sacred Engagements. Those therefore under these Circumstances, who have openly engaged, or secretly favoured the Rebellion, are void of all Excufe; they are guilty of the greatest Crime under the greatest Aggravation ; and seem to have no Refuge left, but that which was Adam's Policy, who hid himself from the Presence of the Lord God amongst the Trees of the Garden, because he had nothing to cover his Nakedness.
Should any fuch, quitting all Pretences of Dissatisfaction with the Lawfulness of the M2
present Government, plead Disobligations or Resentments of any Sort, as the Ground of their Proceedings, to them we answer in the Words of our blessed Saviour, Ye know not what Manner of Spirit ye are of. Where did they learn, that Rebellion is the proper Remedy in such Cases? The Church of England has no such Doctrine; and if they cannot govern their own Passions, yet, in Justice to her, they ought not to use her Name in a Cause which she ever has, and will disclaim.
It is perhaps too high a Degree of Virtue to expect in this Age, that Men should act with a steady View to the public Good, without being drawn at all by the Bias of their own Interest. Whoever builds upon a Dependence on such a Behaviour from any Set of Men, will, I believe, find himself miltaken. Allow then what cannot be avoided, that Men will differ in their Views and private Interests, yet still methinks there is one common Concern, which is the Prefervation of the whole, in the Security of which every Man's private Fortune is founded; and it is as absurd for a Man under any Resentment whatever to enter into Measures destructive of his Country's Peace, as it
would be for him to burn the Title to his Estate, because the Tenant was behind in his Rent. · If therefore we have any Concern for the Peace and Happiness of our Country, or any Zeal to preserve the Light of the Golpel with which these Kingdoms have been blessed; or if our Consciences are not hardened against the Influence of the most so lemn Oaths and Obligations, under which we have bound ourselves to be true and faithful to our present Sovereign ; we must detest this Rebellion, and with sincere Hearts adore the Goodness of God, who hath wrought this Deliverance for us. Let us then, in the second Place, consider,
II. What Obligations we are under from the same Motives, to use our own best Endeavours to make perpetual the Blessing of this Deliverance.
This Obligation is but the neceffary Consequence of the Duty which we are met this Day to perform. Thanksgiving is little more than a solemn Piece of Mockery, if we have no Value for the Deliverance for which we would seem to be thankful. If any, or if all the Reasons already mentioned, ought to excite us to pray for the Peace of our CounM 3