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- " Let Incendiaries, Phanatics, and bloody peace-breaking Whigs (fays os another learned Divine) nourish the vip’rous Principles of Treason and " Rebellion, and let them meet the due Reward of their factious Doings in • the Resentments of a righteous, but provok’d, Nation : But, God be “ prais'd, our Mother the Church of England has always brought up her Sons « in an unspotted Loyalty and Obedience ; none have been found lifting up " their Hands against their Sovereign, or possessing the Rights of the si Anointed of God, &c."
" The very Being and Life, the Original and Principles of the Church. “ of England, (says another Thirtieth of January Sermon) is Loyalty and " Fidelity to God as the immediate Supream, and to the King as the lively “ Image of Divine Authority, whose Power is immediately derived from, 6 holds of, and is accountable to none but to God himfelf." **
To avoid Prolixity of Quotation, the Reader is desired to accept of these as fufficient Proofs of what I lay down upon this Condition ; nevertheless, that besides the general Appeal which I might make to the Memory of most Men, I oblige myself upon Demand to produce ten Thousand fair Quotations out of the Writings of our late modern Authors since the Restora. tion, wherein the Doctrines, of Non-resistance of Princes, Passive Obedience, and the Divitie Authority of the Kingly Power, is own'd and dechr'd to be an essential Part of the Profession and Practice of the Church of England ;. and upon this Foot, which I hold to be sufficient, I think I capnot be censured if I take it for granted.
Now, as this tow much divided Nation has always been composed of two contending Parties, those Parties have been distinguished, as in like Cases; by Names of Contempt; and tho' they have often chang'd them on either Side, 'as , Cavalier and Roundhead, Royalifts and Rebels, Malignants and Phanatics, Tories and Whigs, yet the Division has always been barely the Church, and the Diflenter, and there it continues to this Day.
As the Church of England Party have boasted of their own Loyalty, ro they have branded the Diflenter with Rebellion and Faction, not only in their Nature, but in their very Principles; they have laid it down in their Writing and Sermons, and Multitudes of their ignorant Hearers believe it, that the very DoEtrine of the Disenter is made up of Principles, in their own Nalure, tending to Confusion and Rebellion ; they wont be content that we should own there may be Men among all Parties of bad Designs, and who would, on all Occasions, embroil their Native Country, but it must be woven with the very Articles of Faith, and that 'tis the Religion of a Diffenter to disturb Government, kill Kings, and oppose Laws.
“ The Phanatical Enemies of our King and Church (says the learned " Dr.
P u n) drink in Rebellion as Water ; 'tis the very Substance of " their Schismatical Doctrine to overwhelm and destroy; and Common" wealths and Confusions are the Doctrines they preach."
" He that lays out one Groat with a Dissenter (says the worthy Sir Roger, " in one of his famous Observators) contributes just so much as the Profits
186 of that Groať amounts to in Trade towards the Subversion of the Mo. :56 narchy, and erecting a Commonwealth; for the very Nature and Teno dency of their Profession is destructive of Kingly Power, and the Govern" ment of the Nation."
This has been the Opinion of the Church of England, both of themselves on one Hand, and of the Diflenters on the other Hand. I should be glad if I could only say, It has been ; for we find 'tis still too much their Opinion.
Let no Man say that the Author of these Sheets is either widening or keeping unheal'd the Breaches of this Nation; for if I can make it appear that there is really no Occasion of such unnatural Divisions, and that neither the extraordinary Opinion of themselves, nor the Contempt of their Neighbours, as to the Matter of Loyalty, is a becoming Principle, no, nor a rational one neither ; (for that as to Loyalty, Passive Obedience, Non-re· fistance, &c. there is really no great Difference between one side or ocher;)
I go as far towards healing the Breach as any Man ; for there can be no better Way to end the Strife on both sides, than to prove that neither Side has any just Cause to contend.
To examine the Matter on both sides seems very useful at this Time, in order to reconcile Parties, and to fetele the universal Character of the Nation. ;
The Government of England is a limited Monarchy, composed of King, Lords, and Commons; each have their several, their separate, and their conjunctive Powers; which, acting in Concert, make the Harmony of the Constitution. I shall not invade the Province of those learned Gentlemen, who have undertaken to set forth the Branches of the Constitution in all their Powers, Limitations, and Prerogatives: 'Tis enough to say the Constitution is known, the Government is confin'd by Laws, the Crown limited by Statutes, and the People's Right confirm'd by the Concession of Ages. • To this Government, all Distinction of Names set apart, 'I am of Opi. nion all Parties have, in their Turns, been equally loyal ; I was going to say equally disloyal: And if I were to use the Language of late Times, it would be a very proper Way of speaking.) i
Affirming without demonstrating is an absurd Way of arguing, and therefore it will be needful to come to Particulars, and to examine the several Acts and Deeds of both Parties, when the Kingly Prerogative has shock'd or clash'd with the People.
In order to this ’ris needful to examine the Date of the Difference, and so to enter a liitle into History.
Our first Reformation from Popery was in the Days of King Edward VI: I call it the first, because 'twas under him that the whole Nation and the Government embraced the Protestant Reform'd Religion; this Protestant Religion was established by that zealous Kins, and by his Parliament back'd with the Force of Laws, and confirmod by all the Sanction of Authority it was capable of; and here it began to be called the Church of Enzland. ?
Some enquiring Christians were for making farther Steps, and carrying on the Reformation to a higher Degree ; and if that good reforming King had liv’d, his Zeal and Integrity was such, that there was no doubt he would have gone on to perfect every thing he had begun, as new Light or more Knowledge had encreased ; but the Return of Popery under Queen Mary put a Stop to the Work in general, and went very far towards overturning the whole Structure of the Reformation.
Queen Elizabeth restorid it again ; but as she was a zealous Protestant Queen, yet she was not for subjecting the Reformation to any Amendment. Not that she believ'd it perfect ; but she was a politick Princess, surrounded with Enemies that were not to be dallied with, and she was loth to suppose such Defects in the Reformation as were alledg'd, because 'twas to leffen the Reputation of it, and consequently her Interest in the World.
Those who insisted upon the further Reformation were then callid Puritans, because they set up for a greater Purity of Worship, and they separated themselves from the establish's Church, because, as they said, their Con
sciences inform’d them they could serve God more agreeable to his Will. · I shall not meddle with the Arguments made use of on both sides, either to defend or expole this Principle; 'cis fufficient to acquaint my Reader that this is the true Original of Diffenters : We are now to examine a little farther back. Before this Reformation there was no such Thing as Church of Eng. land; it was then the Church of Rame that was the establish'd national Church.
The Protestants, under the Titles of Lollards, Wicklifians, Hushtes, &c: what did they do? Did they, as our modern People say every Body should, conform to what the Government commanded ? No, the present Church of England Party were the Dissenters, the Schismaticks and Phanaticks, in the Days of King Henry VIII. were perfecuted for no: coming to Church; many of them put to Death, and always treated with Scorn and Contempt, as Enemies to the Government, Broachers of new Opinions, and Contemners of Authority; as in the Case of that famous Proto-Martyr of Christ's Church, John Lambert, and others.
In the next Ages these came to have the Power in their Hands, and forgetting that they had found it rigbteous in the Sight of God to obey God rather than Man, they treat those whose Consciences oblige them to diffent from them with the same Contempt which themselves had received from the Roman Go- vernment. · Thus far they are upon even Terms, as to Obedience to their Superiors.
The Diffenters have the first Occasion after this to shew their Submission under extraordinary Pressures. Queen Elizabeth discountenanced them continually; and as good a Queen as she was, put some of them to Death. King James I. hunted them quite out of the Kingdom, made Thousands of them fly into Holland and Germany, and at last to New-England...
During the long Reign of these two Princes we find no Charge of Treason or Rebellion upon them; they bore the Displeasure of their Princes with Pa
tience tience and Passive Obedience, if I may be allowed that ridiculous Phrase; being persecuted in one City, they fled to another; they bore illegal Prosecutions, and Things contrary to their Right, as Englishmen, but never took up Arms against their Prince.
*Under the Reign of King Charles I. the Case alter'd, the King and Parliament fell out about Matters of Civil Right, and Invasion of the Liberty and Properties of the People, the Puritans or Diffenters, call them what we please, fell in unanimously with the Parliament.
And here 'tis worthy. Remark, that the first Difference between the King and the Englifh Parliament did not respect Religion, but Civil Property ; nor were the Majority of the House Puritans, but true Church Protestants, and Englismen ; who stood upon the Rights of the People as Englismen; and none were more zealous in the first Disputes than the Lord Digby, Sir Thomas Wentworth, and such as were afterwards deep Sufferers for the King.
But the Parliament finding the Puritan Party stuck clofe to their Cause, they also came over to them when Things came to a Rupture, and fo the War begun on the Score of Right, Invasion of Liberty, Breach of the Laws, private Leagues, and Male Adminstration ; a Game we have seen play'd over again by the very fame Church of England that have exclaim'd so much against it, so damn'd it, and so damn'd themselves, by Oaths, Declarations, Tefts, and God knows what, against it.
'Tis allow'd here che Puritan broke thro' his Loyalty, and his former Obedience, and fought his Way to the Liberty he demanded. Well, the War ended to his Advantage, he subdued his Sovereign, and brought him to the Block, to the Astonishment of the whole World.
I wont difpute here which or which Party did or did not do it; but to give the Enemy all just Advantage, I am willing to grant it in the largest Sense, that the Diffenters, or Phanaticks, or Whigs, call them as you please, did embrue their Hands in the Blood of the Lord's Anointed, put to Death that blessed Martyr, King Charles I. whom a learned Divine, in a Sermon on the 30th of January, before the Parliament, compares both in the Manner of his Sufferings, and the People by whom, to our Saviour and the Jews, and boldly runs on in the blafphemous Parallel, to shew that the Indignities and Sufferings of King Charles exceed those of Jesus Chrifti
I think I have granted as largely as a fair Adversary can desire; for I have yielded for Peace-fake to several Things which I could fairly disprove.
'Nor shall I return to a Repetition of the ill Usage the Diffenters have received from the contrary Party on this Account for above thirty Years, the constant Reproaches they and their Children after them have met with from those Gentlemen, who on all Occasions have (as I hinted before) particularly taken care to extol their own unshaken Fidelity to their Prince, till at laft an Occasion presents to touch them in the same most sensible Part, their Right and Property; and alas! their Loyalty, what became of it? Truly the faith. ful, pasively obedient, unshaken loyal Church, "returned to the original Na
Cure of their Neighbours, and did the same thing exactly which the Whigs, the fa£tious rebellious W bizs, had done before.
" No, that's false, (says a Disciple of Dr. Sherlock's) we did not kill our " King, we did not dip our Hands in Royal Blood, nor hurt the Lord's " Anointed.”
No, that's true ; but the Lord's Anointed may thank himself for that ; for my Part I think the Difference only lies here; the Whigs in 41 to 48, took up Arms against their King, and having conquered him, and taken him Prisoner, cut off his Head, because they had him: The Church of England took Arms against their King in 88, and did not cut off his Head, because they bad bim not. King Charles lost his Life because he did not run away ; and his Son, King James, fav’d his Life because he did run away,
'Tis such a Jeit, such a Banter, to say we did take up Arms, but we did not kill him: Bless us, kill our King ! we wou'd not have burt a Hair of bis Head! Why, every Bullet shot at the Battle of the Boyne was a killing the King; for if you did not, 'twas because you could not hit him.
If a Highwaymen fires at you upon the Road, when he is taken, and brought upon his Trial, our learned Recorder, before he pronounces Sentence of Death, harangues him in this Manner : " And besides all this, Sir, you 66 are plainly guilty of Murder ; for you not only assaulted this honest Man, os in Order to take away his Money, but you endeavoured to murder him.; “ for you shot at him in order to kill him; and the Intention of Murder is
equally criminal in the Eyes of God with the Act itself.”
Now who did we shoot at at the Boyne ? 'Tis true, King James generally stood out of the Way; but who did we shoot at ? What! was our Orders to Igbt against both small and great, and not against tbe King of Israel? Had your Bullets Commission to sew their Loyalty, and not to touch the Lord's Anointed? If he had charg'd in the first Squadrons of his Horse, had you not kill'd him if you could? I think this needs no further Proof.
Nay, if Arguments may be allowed to have equal Weight on both sides, the Whigs have been the honester of the two ; for they never profess’d any such blind, absolute, and undisputed Obedience to Princes as the others have done.
It has always been their opinion, that Government was originally contrived by the Consent, and for the mutual Benefit of the Parties govern'd, that the People have an original Native Right to their Property, the Liberty of their Persons and Poffeffions, unless forefaulted to the Laws; that they cannot be diverted of this Right, but by their own Consent; and that all Invasion of this Right is destructive of the Constitution, and diffolves the Compact of Government and Obedience.
They have always declared, that they understand their Allegiance to their Governors to be, supposing they govern them according to the Laws of the Land; and that if Princes break this Bond of Government, the Nature of it is inverted, and the Constitution ceases of Course.