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repent, and do what we legally can to wash our hands from the ftain of innocent blood. Men under defpotic governments may, perhaps, be filent and innocent; but Englishmen are allowed to fpeak. Under a free government, filence is guilt. The nationcalled for the war; if, after maturer thought, they find themselves: deceived, and apprehend not only its impolicy, but its injuftice,. they are bound to fignify it, or innocent blood (that of our own people, at leaft, fuppofing the blood of Frenchmen to be of no value in the eyes of the Father of all) will cry against us.
Let us farther examine whether we are acting worthy of our character as Proteftants and Chriftians, who are enlightened into the true principles of the religion of Chrift. It is poffible that our motives and aims may be diffimilar to those who are engaged. in the fame quarrel; but who are they? The dragon and the beaft. Most of them have long been the feourges of the earth, the curfes of humanity, and their end is to perish for ever. It is paffible to fuppofe that we may mean well; but what are the inten tions of the affociates by whofe fide we are fighting? To keep popery from falling, to maintain the power and influence of the clergy, and all that error and fuperftition by which they faften on the minds of mankind, and circuitously fupport their own defpotic power. But be the motives and aims of fome what they may, every man's duty is to judge himself, as in the fight of God, that he be not judged; and as it is poflible that that which is highly: criminal may meet with the approbation of the majority of a na tion, and, thus great national guilt, be incurred, it becomes us to examine ourselves on this important point, alt
Our religion teaches us, and our fathers, the reformers, were zea lous in impreffing its di&tates, that Rome is the whore of Babylon,+ the mother of harlots, and no true church of Chrift; that popery is fuperftition and idolatry; a religion, at once at war against the kingdom of Chrift and the happinefs of mankind; a religion, ty rannical, blafphemous, and diabolical, in principle, and bloody in practice. Our religion teaches us that this fame fyftem of corrup tion and oppreflion, which impregnates all the governments which andw eme is in 11. 12. 11. W pa tudi po LODNJ See Homilies of the Church of England, p. 1-59 and 282, edit. of 1966. -
receive it, and all the religious establishments which grow out of it, with its own enflaving and corrupt principles, fhall be brought to an end worthy of its enormities; it has determined and deline ated the figns for the accomplishment, and charged us to watch their appearance, and to have no alliance with the mother of har-lots, that we partake not of her fins, and receive not of her plagues. If the figns of the times indicate the approach of these threatened judgments, our part is to stand at a distance and contemplate the progrefs of the awful ruin, and not rufh into the cor flict, to stop the uplifted arm of God's vengeance; then might be fulfilled in our favor that saying, (Pf. xci. 7, 8.) " A thoufand fhall fall at thy fide, and ten thousand at thy right-hand, but its fhall not come nigh thee; only with thine eyes fhalt thou behold and fee the reward of the wicked." But, if we join issue. with the declared fupporters of the whore of Babylon, and unite with them to arrest the vengeance of Heaven, what fate have we to expect, but to fhare in their ruin-a ruin as dreadful as it will be extenfive dec
Thus, my countrymen, I have endeavored to fet before you,' ins the best manner. I am able, the figns of the times, and what they portend. I have endeavored to roufe your attention to the confr deration of your ways, and your true intereft, that you may take fuch measures as may be the most likely to fecure us from the defolations of that ftorm which already fhakes the greater part of Europe-a ftorm, if our conceptions are juft, which will speedily lay in ruins all the nations which shall be found oppofing the defigns of God in the overthrow of that antichriftian fyftem, fecular and ecclesiastical, which has fo long corrupted and destroyed the earth. ***
? As it was in the days of Noe, before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away, fo thall alfo the coming of the Son of Man, in the execution. of the divine judgments on the wicked nations, be. Say not in your hearts then, " He delayeth his coming;" for he has forewarned us that he will come as a thief in the night, at a time when not expected. Let us therefore watch and repent. Reformations
in governments, if attainable at any tolerable price, are very defirable; but we deceive ourselves if we imagine that this will be fufficient to enfure the general peace and happiness of fociety. Unless the great mafs of mankind are reformed and Chriftianized, . every thing elfe will be infufficient. Whilft pride, ambition, and corruption predominate; whilft meannefs and fervility on the one hand, and refractorinefs and contempt of authority on the other, prevail; whilft the moral fenfe of the generality of mankind is corrupt; or, as our Lord expreffes it, whilft the light which is in them is darkness, and irreligion and vice triumph, it is in vain to expect any great good. I own I am extremely defirous of seeing a peaceable reformation take place in the reprefentation and in the administration of the affairs of this country, as that which might contribute much to the bettering mankind, and which alone promiles any hope of escaping the calamities of a revolution, or of alleviating the other diftreffes which threaten us. But, if this fhould be accomplished, and nothing but this, I confefs my expectations are not very fanguine as to the great and permanent good which would follow. As a corrupt government diffufes its corruptions through the whole mafs of fociety, fo, fhould a few wife and virtuous men effect a pure government, yet, if the great body of the nation remained unreformed, they would foon corrupt the beft inftitutions, and the adminiftration of the best government that the human intellect could devife, and nothing could ftill fave us from the difpleafure of God. Let both these reformations, therefore, go hand in hand, and let them fpeedily be commenced; for nothing short of inftant reformation, and an infant change of
+ I cannot forbear expreffing the fatisfaction which I feel from the inftitution of Sunday fchoo's. More honor is due to the man who projeЯed fuch a fcheme" of improvement than to the most brillant conquerors. Should nations become fo wife as o convert a little of that money which is lavished on court sycophants,~ or spent in needless and unjust wars, to the purpose of maintaining, on a more, extenfive plan, parochial fchools, which should be under the direction of the inhabitants, for the inftruction of the poor gratis, we might then hope for amendment, both in the principles and condition of the moit numercas and moft ufeful part of mankind. It is a debt due to the poor, and the payment of which would enrich the payet. The money spent in one needlefs war would more than educate all our poor for ever! But, alas! there are too many who think that Igno rance is the mother of other useful children befides Devation.
measures, can afford us any solid hope of falvation. Did God fay, respecting the profligate Jews, when the whole body politic was diseased from the head to the foot, "Shall not my foul be avenged on fuch a nation as this?" What have the nations, under the Chriftian difpenfation, to expect, if, like them, they become univerfally difeafed? Let us therefore examine ourselves and repent.
What, in a general view, is our moral character as a nation? Has our virtue, our moderation, our juftice, oùr love of civil and religious liberty, and our attachment to the principles of Proteftantifin, kept pace with our advancement in the scale of nations ? We are called by the name of Christ, and profefs to be a religious people; but, do we exemplify in our practice thofe holy principles which we profefs? Do we do juftly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; or, does infidelity and profaneness, bribery and corruption, lewdnefs and debauchery, pride and diffipation, pervade all ranks of men, and threaten a univerfal diffolution? Are the rights of confcience revered; or, is our fondness for the wine of the whore of Babylon returning, and are we to judge of the temper of the nation from the flames which bigotry kindled at Birmingham in ninety-one? We are a nation of profeffed Christians. The pastors which we approve, whether of the esta blished church or otherwise, are they the meek and humble imitators of Him whofe fervants they are called? Do the generality of them feek, not filthy lucre, but the falvation of the souls of men? Are they faithful to reprove and warn; or, do they preach to us smooth things, and say, peace, peace, when there is no peace? Are they diligent in the discharge of their duties-laboring to inftruct the ignorant, to reclaim the vicious, to comfort the afflicted, and to unite men in the bonds of charity; or, are they proud and worldly; diligent only after gain; idle fhepherds, who care not for the flock, and who fow among mankind the feeds of contention? Do they recommend and enforce the religion which they profefs by the holiness and purity, benevolence and piety, of their lives; or, are they lovers of pleasure, eating and drinking with the drunken, whofe end is deftruction, whofe god is their belly, and whofe glory is in their fhame; who mind earthly things? (Phil. iii. 19.) Are the great body of the people content to have it
thus, and moved only by what affects their worldly intereft ? Should this, on examination, be found to be the cafe, it furely calls for deep humiliation, and fuggefts that, without a repentance and reformation as general as fincere, fome heavy calamity must -burft upon us.
What Dr. Hartley (in his Obfervations on Man wrote, fifty years ago, deferves our ferious confideration. How near" (he fays, vol. 2, p. 368) "the diffolution of the prefent governments, generally or particularly, may be, would be great rafhnefs to affirm. Chrift will come in this fenfe alfo as a thief in the "night. Our duty therefore is to watch and to pray; to be faithful ftewards, to give meat, and all other requifites, in due feafon, "to those under our care; and to endeavor by these, and all other
lawful means, to preserve the government, under whofe protec*tion we live, from diffolution, feeking the peace of it, and fubmitting to every ordinance of man for the Lord's fake. No prayers, no endeavors of this kind can fail of having fome good "effect, public or private, for the preservation of ourselves and "others. The great difpenfations of Providence are conducted
by means that are either fecret, or, if they appear, that are judged feeble and inefficacious. No man can tell, however pri "vate his ftation may be, but his fervent prayer may avail to the “falvation of much people. But it is more peculiarly the duty
of magiftrates thus to watch over their fubjects, to pray for them, and to fet about the reformation of all matters civil and ccclefiaftical, to the utmost of their power. Good governors may promote the welfare and continuance of a state, and wick"ed ones muft accelerate its ruin. The facred hiftory affords us inftances of both kinds, and they are recorded there for the admonition of kings and princes in all future times."
P. 376. "There are many prophecies which declare the fall of "the ecclefiaftical powers of the Chriftian world. And though "each church feems to flatter itself with the hopes of being ex"empted, yet it is very plain that the prophetical characters be"long to all. They have all left the true, pure, fimple religion, Call lett and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. They are all merchants of the earth, and have fet up a kingdom of this