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6 A Thanksgiving Sermon.
I. What the vile and impious Design of
the late Rebellion was, and how dread-
had not Providence frustrated it.
executing their Design.
sition of a Divine Hand, in their De-
I shall endeavour to lay these Things before you, as well as I can, in a small Compass; and then point out the Improvement which should be made of the great Mercy of God to us.
I. Ler us consider what the vile and impious Design of the late Rebellion was, and how dreadful the Consequences would have been, had not Providence frustrated it.
It has long been the Happiness of Britons to live under the best of Governments, in the quiet and undisturbid Enjoyment of our Religion and Liberties, secure in our Properties, and in the Poffeffion of every Blessing belonging to us as a Free and Pró
A Thanksgiving Sermon.
7 testant People. We have a molt gracious Prince upon the Throne, whose Title is as firm as the Laws and Constitution of this Kingdom can make it; so that it cannot be disputed but upon Principles than which none can be more absurd, defructive and Mavish ; a Prince who has no Interest feparate from that of his People, and who in the whole Course of his Reign has given the fullest Proofs of an inviolable Regard to their Rights and Prosperity: This must be acknowledged by all that will lay aside unreasonable Prejudices ; and Maliec itself cannot point out any Instance to the contrary.
Now the execrable Design of the Rebellion was, to dethrone our moft excellent and rightful Sovereign, to set aside for ever the Succession in his illustrious Family, and to demolish the whole Frame, and tear up the very Foundations of a Government the best fitted of any upon Earth to make Subjects safe and happy.
With such a malicious Intention, did a Company of wicked Men, without any Provocation or just Reason for Complaint, and some of them diftinguished by Marks of his Majesty's royal Favour, enter into Measures, in Conjunction with our avowed Enemies abroad, to ruin and destroy us: And that they might effectually do this ; they would have set an abjured, Popish
8 A Thanksgiving Sermon. Pretender upon the Throne; one who has been long bred up amidst all the Tyranny, Superstition and Idolatry of the Church of Rome, and who would have come (had God, as a Punishment for our Sins, permitted him) with a Heart full of Rage and Refentment, and with such an arbitrary, perfecuting and bloody Spirit, as must have subjected us to the greatest Calamities.
Some thoughtless and deluded People, I believe, have been ready to flatter them selves, that the Case would not have been so bad, if such a Revolution had been brought about, as it has been represented ; but sad Experience would soon have convinced them of their Mistake, and they would have seen their Folly with a Vengeance. The Pretender's Religion, I know, would have allowed him to promise "fair to serve his own Ends, but it would have vacated the strongest Promises that he could have made to Protestants, and damned him for performing them, to the Prejudice of the Catholick Cause, and for keeping Faith with Hereticks.
What then could we have expected had we fallen into the hands of such a TyrantOur Liberty would foon have been at an End; we must have seen with forrowful Hearts, our Laws trampled upon, our Properties unrighteously wrested from us, free Parliaments abolished, and the
A Thanksgiving Sermon.
:9 Lives of Protestants always in Danger ; nor can we think that any, would have been suffered to make a Profeflion of the
Reformed Religion without fecling the dreadful Weight of the Secular Arm, or that they could have "escaped, the most truel Persecution without being false to God and Conscience. How soon would our folemn Affcmblies have been at an "End, and our Places of Worship taken from us? Ministers and their beloved Flocks could not have kept together; the free Use of the Scriptures would
would no longer have been allowed ; Prayers in an unknown Tongue would have been the established Worship; the Veneration of Saints and Images, the abfurd and monstrous Doctrine of Transubstantiation, and all the other gross and pernicious Errors of the Antichristian Church would have been forced upon us, and we must either have been exposed to Hardships in distant Regions, if we could have made our Escape, or Prisons, Gibbets and Flames must have been our Doom and Portion. Such Methods of Cruelty as these, and many more too shocking to be mentioned, have been practised by Papists. This is well known, and they themselves" cannot have Impudence enough to deny it, when there are Facts without Number to prove the Barbarity,
cc it is
10 A Thanksgiving Sermon.
Attempts may be made to soften Things; and some may be so weak as to be imposed upon by the artful Devices, and fålle Colours whịch designing Men make use of to hide the Malignity of their Principles, and to make them appear harmleis and benevolent; but this we may be assured of, that Popery is as blaody a Religion as ever it was; the Spirit which it breathes and inspires is cruel ; “ calculated (as one well observes) to sup« press the tenderest Emotions of Huma
nity," and it can be no wonder if it prevails against Good Nature it self, when People are taught that they make a Merit of destroying their Neighbours that differ from them, and are so blinded and wicked as to believe it. The Ethiopian cannot change his Skin : Sheeps Clothing could not alter the Nature of ravening Wolves, and if the Prince of Darkness should assume the Form, and put on the Appearance of an Angel of Light, he would be a Devil ftill,
We may conclude therefore, that if the Pretender to an hereditary Right to the British Crown should ever wear it, (which God of his infinite Mercy forbid !) we must be a miserable People, . And what a kind and good Providence ought we to efteem it, that a Design to bring us into luch deplorable Circumstances has been fp