« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ters, on all sides ; who, when they come abroad into the world, defend the sublimest points by the bare repetition of words, to which (when they are pressed) they are not ashamed to own, that they have no such meaning as they fix to them, upon any other single occasion, in the whole compass of speaking that is, none at all.
And to thiş it is that we owe, at length, the blessed discovery, and candid profession, that it is not fit that we should have any meaning to our words, when we speak about God, the Supreme Being, whom we are to worship, in spirit and truth.' A profession which, if it doth not tura to Your Hos liness's account, it is not their fault, who own it, amongst Protestants.
The three great impediments to any advances towards a Reformation in your Church, have been always found to be these ; a false learning ; a real ignorance ; and a system of preferments, fixed and tỉed down to a particular system of opinions, or words.
The (wo first often go together. There is often in the uneducated, a real ignorance, without a false learning: where. as, in the others, there cannot be a false learning, without a real ignorance. But, both pot together, would have little effect against the nature of things, and the irresistible force of truth, without the last of the three. Were it not for that, you would quicklyfind, that the mask would drop from the face of things, and the clouds, which false learning had wrapt about the most important points, would be dissipated, and leave truth, in its lovely simplicity, naked, and open to every honest eye.
But your security, you find, lies in the last. Whilst the Church, and the World, are so closely and vitally united, and the immense riches of your® Archbishopricks, Bishopricks, Deaneries, Cannonries Abbies, Monasteries, Cardi. nalships, and Popedom, are all confined to the worship of the Wass-Book, and to the creed and decrees of the Council of Trent : the sons of your church find little occssion for any such learning, as may tend to poverty ; but a great deal of comfort in another sort of it, which carries as big a sound amongst the vulgar, and turns to a much better account, as it brings along with it defence and riches both; and serves to support those opinions, which support that Church which is endowed with those riches.
I do not mention this with a view to your affairs only ; but to remind you, that you have so much of this yourselves, and find so prodigious a benefit in it, that you have the less occasion to wonder at, or envy, the something like it amongst us Protestants.
Your Holiness needs not, I think, call in the assistance of your Infallibility, to judge, from all this put together, in what a condition we really are ; whilst, all the while, we are boasting of our glorious separation from you, and deafening the by-standers, and tiring ourselves in our several ways, with loud cries about our own apostolical purity and perfection.
As far indeed as we are in practice separated from you, in what we ourselves condemn in your Church; so far we may, consistently enough, boast. But as far as we are uni. ted to you in our practice, though irreconcileably separated in words, methinks, (to confess the truth) you have rather a handle of boasting against us, that we ourselves think fit to practise, in some instances and some degrees, what we profess so severely to cry out against in your Church.
I forget that Your Holiness hath the affairs of the world upon you. But I can's persuade myself to make any apology, when I consider it is your interest that I should go on in this odd, unusual way, of speaking truth.
I have freely laid before you, what may reasonably enough give you and your Cardinals a sepsible pleasure. I have without reserve, shewed you many of the follies, weaknesses, unhappinesses, inconsistencies, and wickedoesses of us Protestants. It is but just to ourselves, now, that I should change the scene a little, and take down your satisfaction a few de. grees from that height, to which it may by this time be raised. I scorn to flatter you, any more than ourselves : and how should you know the true measures, either of Four hopes or of your fears about Great Britain, if you be not truly informed of our advantages and happinesses, as well as of the contrary. Nor is it any thing more than what is reasonable, that I, who have in the former part of this address; made no scruple to give myself pain, in order to give your holiness pleasure, should now be permitted to give you pain, in order to give inyself pleasure : especially, since I promise, that if any thing offers which it may be a satisfaction to you to know, I will without regerve intermix it, to mitigate the affliction.
: Know then, Holy Father; and let the conclave of Cardinals know'; and let all your whole Church know; and let the Universal World, wheresoever your Missionaries are dispersed, know, that King GEORGE now wears the Crown of these Realms; that the Elector of Brunswick-Lunenburgh, is now King of Great Britain; that the Protestant branches of our Royal Family, have in him begun to take place; that the limited succession, so hateful to your friends, is now not only in the dead letter of our laws, but in possession ; that he is come to our wishes, safe, and untouched by the dangers of land or sea ; that he is not only come, but is come attended by his Royal Son, from whom we engage to ourselves the imitation of his father's virtues, and the con: tinuance of our happy state ; that he is surrounded with a numerous young family, who raise the delight and expectation of all who see them; with that Princess at the head of them, who, if we may judge from her past unequalled con. duct, seems destined and reserved by Heaven, for the true interest and glory of the Protestant cause : a cause, which (as far as the nature of human affairs gives leave) now promises her, in gratitude, one earthly crown, in recompence for that other which 'her great soul formerly sacrificed to it ; and assures her of a heavenly one hereafter, whatever be. comes of the images of greatness in this state.
Forgive me that I repeat it ; King GEORGE now fills the Throne of Great Britain : and believe me, notwithstanding all the intelligence of your friends from hence, (who are ever writing only what themselves wish) believe me, I say, he hath no thoughts of leaving us. His heart and soul is with us : and he hath too much greatness of mind, to be moved either by the brutal insults or the base misrepresentations of his enemies, to any thing but what is great and becoming. He feels he hath the riches and the courage of the nation on his side. He sees himself surrounded by true friends, as well as patriots, at Court. The coolest heads and the warm, est hearts, are in his service. And he is blessed with a first Parliament, whose affections and passions are his ; engaged in his cause ; and inflamed with a zeal for his glory and interest, which are one with their own happiness. And what hath he to fear, thus guarded without; and possessed within of every thing that can recommend a Prince to the love of a people?
I can only attempt to give you some faint idea of what he is, and what we enjoy.
“To see him, is to love him. Never was so much integrity, and so much constancy, and so much sweetness, composed together, and expressed in features. He hath the dignity of the Prince, tempered with the ease and affability of the gentleman. His religion is christian virtue, without bigotry. Justice and beneficence are all the arts of government which he desires to know : and in these he excels, enough to make him the delight of mankind. The wisdom of integrity in the public administration, is now going to shew itselt to the senses of the world, to be vastly superior to all the mean artifices of falsbood and cuoning; and to diffuse its blessings to present and future generations.
If you would know whether this view of happiness be any thing more than imaginary : ask his subjects in Germany, how he governed, when his will was his law? Enquire, whether he did not then think Whiatself bound to observe the great law of nature ? and, whether justice and beneficence were not the measure of his administration ? Or else, anly ask them why they took leave of him, at parting, with floods of tears? Why they followed him with the tokens of uni. versal sorrow, and with all the signs of distress at such a separation ? And then judge, whether it would not be very uojust in us not to conclude, that he who hath been uied by arbitrary power, and governed with justice and goodness, when his will was the law of his government ; will now be determined by the same justice and goodness, to make our law his will ; and to carry our legal happiness to a height unknown in former ages; and to place it if possible, out of the reach of all future danger ?
How could I dwell upon this subject, did I not fear it would be too troublesome to Your Poliness?
In the midst of all this, I know you have comfortable stories sent you, of the difficulties and discouragements he meets with. I confess it. He hath great difficulties to encounter. But then he hath a great soul to combat them ; and an unshaken firmaess of mind to go through them with glory.
I am not going to dissemble in this point. The agents for your Church, and those amongst us who constactly go hand in hand with them, have without mercy embarrassed the affairs of the nation. It requires a wisdom, an applica
tion, a dext erity, a perseverance, almost more than human, to rectify so many disorders, and confusions as have been in. troduced. All these, he comes prepared to exert; to save and establish ús.
I confess many are the obstacles and discouragements he hath already experienced : 'the fierceness of a false religious zeal, kindled and fomented by your emissaries, into fury; ihe madness of rabbles, incensed by those who can have no security but in confusion; the invectives of some pulpirs, insinuating the vilest falshoods into the minds of the popu: lace, and giving the lie in the face of the sun, to all former professions of a sincere good-will to his interest.
(To be continued.)
MR. BALLOU'S DISCOURSE AT MR. KNEE.. LAND'S RE-INSTALLATION.
Sopt.5.1911 Rev. 2, last clause of ihe 10th verse. “ Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
AMONG the inestimable properties which render the Gospel of God our Saviour justly entitled to the highest possible consideration and confidence of rational beings, and á subject into which the Angels delight to enquire, FAITHFULNESS holds a conspicuous rank.
The Gospel derives this character from the nature of its author, and the relation of all moral beings to him. The gospel is a ministration of life from the very nature of God to moral beings, constituted in his image, the brightness of his glory. This ministration of life discovers the faithfulness of God in that he acts towards his creatures consistently with his nature, which is love, and consistently with the moral relation in which he has constituted his creatures to himself, which is such as love, directed by infinite wisdom, devised. That, faithfulness which is consistent with the character of a father, and which ornaments as well as dignifies his preeminence, equally regards, on the other hand, the happiness of the child, and any deviation from the last object, is equally wide from the first. Thus we shall ever find the honour of God, as the father of his creatures,