A SERMON PREACHED November 5. 1678. AT St. MARGARETS Westminster, Before the Honourable House of COMMONS.

By JOHN TILLOTSON, D. D. Dean of Canterbury, and Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty.

LONDON, Printed by J. D. for Brabazon Aylmer, at the three Pigeons over against the Royal Exchange in Cornhil. And William Rogers, at the Maiden-head over against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet, 1678.

A SERMON Preached before the Honourable House of Commons, Novemb. 5. 1678.

LUKE 9.55, 56.

But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of Spirit ye are of; For the Son of Man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them.

AMong many other Things, which may justly recommend the Christian Religion to the ap­probation of mankind, the in­trinsick goodness of it is most apt to make impression upon the Minds of serious and considerate men. The Miracles [Page 2]of it are the great external evidence and confirmation of its truth and Divinity; but the morality of its Doctrines and Pre­cepts, so agreeable to the best Reason, and wisest apprehensions of mankind, so ad­mirably fitted for the perfecting of our natures, and the sweetning of the spirits and tempers of men, so friendly to hu­man Society, and every way so well calcu­lated for the peace and order of the World. These are the things which our Religion glories in as her crown and excellency. Miracles are apt to awaken and astonish, and by a sensible and over-powering evi­dence, to bear down the prejudices of infi­delity; but there are secret charms in good­ness, which take fast hold of the hearts of men and do insensibly, but effectually, command our love and esteem.

And surely nothing can be more proper to the occasion of this Day, than a Dis­course upon this Argument; which so di­rectly tends to correct that unchristian spi­rit, and mistaken zeal, which hath been the cause of all our troubles and con­fusions, [Page 3]and had so powerful an influence upon that horrid Tragedy, which was de­signed, now near upon fourscore years ago, to have been acted as upon this Day.

And that we may the better understand the reason of our Saviour's reproof here in the Text, it will be requisite to consider the occasion of this hot and furious zeal, which appeared in some of his Disciples. And that was this, Our Saviour was going from Galilee to Jerusalem, and being to pass through a Village of Samaria, he sent mes­sengers before him, to prepare entertain­ment for him; but the People of that Place would not receive him, because he was going to Jerusalem: The reason whereof was, the difference of Religion, which then was between the Jews and the Samaritans. Of which I shall give you this brief ac­count.

These Samaritans were originally that Colony of the Assyrians, which we find in the Book of Kings, was, upon the Capti­vity of the Ten Tribes, planted in Samaria by Salmanassar. They were Heathens, and [Page 4]worshipped their own Idols, till they were so infested with Lions, that for the redress of this mischief they desired to be instructed in the worship of the God of Israel, hoping by this means to appease the anger of the God of the Country; and then they wor­shipped the God of Israel together with their own Idols; for so it is said in the History of the Kings, That they feared the Lord, and served their own Gods.

After the Tribe of Judah were returned from the Captivity of Babylon, and the Temple of Jerusalem was rebuilt, all the Jews were obliged by a solemn Covenant to put away their Heathen Wives. It happen­ed, that Manasses, a Jewish Priest, had married the Daughter of Sanballat the Sa­maritan; and being unwilling to put away his Wife, Sanballat excited the Samaritans to build a Temple upon Mount Gerizim, near the City of Samaria, in opposition to the Temple at Jerusalem, and made Manasses; his Son in Law; Priest there.

Upon the building of this new Temple, there arose a great feud between the Jews [Page 5]and Samaritans, which in process of time grew to so violent a hatred, that they would not so much as shew common civili­ty to one another. And this was the reason why the Samaritans would not receive our Saviour in his journey, because they perceived he was going to worship at Jerusalem.

At this uncivil usage of our Saviour, two of his Disciples, James and John, presently take fire, and out of a well-meaning zeal for the honour of their Master, and of the true God, and of Jerusalem, the true place of his worship, they are immediatly for dispatching out of the way these Enemies of God, and Christ, and the true Religi­on, these Hereticks and Schismaticks, for so they called one another: And to this end they desire our Saviour to give them power to call for fire from Heaven to consume them, as Elias had done in a like case, and that too not far from Samaria; and it is not impro­bable that their being so near the place where Elias had done the like before, might prompt them to this request.

Our Saviour seeing them in this heat notwithstanding all the reasons they pre­tended for their passion, and for all they sheltered themselves under the great Ex­ample of Elias, doth very calmly, but se­severely reprove this temper of theirs, You know not what manner of Spirit ye are of; for the Son of Man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them.

Grotius observes, that these two excel­lent Sentences are left out in a Manuscript that is in England. I cannot tell what Ma­nuscript he refers to, but if it were a Copy written out in the height of Popery, no wonder if some zealous Transcriber of­fended at this passage, struck it out of the Gospel, being confident our Saviour would not say any thing, that was so directly con­trary to the current Doctrine and practice of those times. But thanks be to God, this admirable Saying is still preserv'd, and can never be made use of upon a fitter oc­casion.

Ye know not what manner of Spirit ye are of: That is, Ye own your selves to be my [Page 7]Disciples, but do you consider what spi­rit now acts and governs you? Not that surely which my Doctrine designs to mould and fashion you into, which is not a furious and persecuting and destructive spirit, but mild and gentle and saving; tender of the lives and interests of men, even of those who are our greatest Ene­mies: You ought to consider, That you are not now under the rough and sowr Dispensation of the Law, but the calm and peaceable Institution of the Gospel; to which the Spirit of Elias, though he was a very good man in his time, would be altogether unsuitable. God permitted it then, under that imperfect way of Reli­gion, but now under the Gospel it would be intolerable: For that designs universal love, and peace, and good-will; and now no difference of Religion, no pretence of zeal for God and Christ can warrant and justifie this passionate and fierce, this vin­dictive and exterminating spirit:

For the Son of Man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them. He says in­deed [Page 8]else-where, that he was not come to send Peace, but a Sword; which we are not to understand of the natural tendency of his Religion, but of the accidental event and effect of it, through the malice and perversness of Men: But here he speaks of the proper intention and design of his coming; He came not to kill and destroy, but for the healing of the Nations; for the sal­vation and redemption of Mankind, not only from the wrath to come, but from a great part of the evils and miseries of this life: He came to discountenance all fierceness and rage and cruelty in men, one towards another; to restrain and subdue that furi­ous and unpeaceable Spirit, which is so troublesome to the world, and the cause of so many mischiefs and disorders in it: And to introduce a Religion which con­sults not only the eternal Salvation of mens souls, but their temporal peace and secu­rity, their comfort and happiness in this world.

The words thus explain'd contain this Observation, That a revengeful and cruel and [Page 9]destructive Spirit, is directly contrary to the de­sign and temper of the Gospel, and not to be ex­cused upon any pretence of zeal for God and Religion.

In the prosecution of this Argument, I shall confine my Discourse to these Three heads.

First, To shew the opposition of this spirit to the true Spirit and design of the Christian Religion.

Secondly, The unjustifiableness of it up­on any pretence of zeal for God and Re­ligion.

Thirdly, To apply this Discourse to the occasion of this Day.

I First, I shall shew the opposition of this spirit to the true Spirit and design of the Christi­an Religion: That it is directly opposite to the main and fundamental Precepts of the Gospel; and to the great Paterns and ex­amples of our Religion, our blessed Savi­our, and the Primitive Christians.

1. This spirit which our Saviour here reproves in his Disciples, is directly oppo­site to the main and fundamental Precepts [Page 10]of the Gospel; which command us to love one another, and to love all men, even our very enemies; and are so far from permit­ting us to persecute those who hate us, that they forbid us to hate those who persecute us: They require us, to be merciful, as our Father which is in Heaven is merciful; to be kind and tender-hearted, forbearing one ano­ther, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us: And to put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercy, meekness and long-suffering, and to follow peace with all men, and to shew all meekness to all men: And particularly the Pastors and Governors of the Church are especially charged to be of this temper: The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men; apt to teach, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if peradventure God will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth. To all which Precepts, and many more that I might reckon up, nothing can be more plainly opposite, than inhumane Cruelties and Persections, treacherous Conspiracies. [Page 11]and bloody Massacres, a barbarous Inqui­sition, and a holy League to extirpate all that differ from us. And in stead of instructing in meekness those that oppose themselves, to convert men with fire and faggot, and to teach them, as Gideon did the men of Succoth, with briars and thorns; and instead of waiting for their repentance▪ and endeavouring to recover them out of the snare of the Devil, to put them quick into his hands, and to dispatch them to hell as fast as is possible. If the precepts of Christianity can be contradi­cted, surely it cannot be done more grosly and palpably than by such practises.

2. This Spirit is likewise directly oppo­site to the great paterns and examples of our Religion, our blessed Saviour, and the Primi­tive Christians. It was prophesied of our Saviour, that he should be the Prince of peace; and should make it one of his great busi­nesses upon earth, to make peace in hea­ven and earth; to reconcile men to God, and to one another; to take up all those feuds, and to extinguish all those animo­sities that were in the world; to bring to [Page 12]agreement and a peaceable demeanour one towards another those that were most di­stant in their tempers and interests, to make the lamb and the wolf lie down together, that there might be no more destroying nor devouring in all God's holy mountain; that is, that that cruel and destructive spirit which prevailed before in the world, should then be banished out of all Christian societies.

And in conformity to these predictions, when our Saviour was born into the world, the Angels sang that heavenly Anthem, Glo­ry to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will among men. And when he appeared in the world, his whole life and carriage was gentle and peaceable, full of meekness and charity. His great business was to be be­neficial to others, to seek and to save that which was lost; he went about doing good, to the bodies, and to the souls of men: his miracles were not destructive to mankind, but healing and charitable. He could, if he had pleased, by his miraculous power have confounded his enemies, and have thundred out death and destruction against [Page 13]the Infidel world, as his pretended Vicar hath since done against Hereticks. But in­tending that his Religion should be propa­gated in human ways, and that Men should be drawn to the profession of it by the bands of love, and the cords of a man, by the gentle and peaceable methods of Reason and per­suasion; he gave no example of a furious zeal and religious rage against those who despised his Doctrine. It was propounded to men for their great advantage, and they rejected it at their utmost peril. It seemed good to the Author of this Institution to compell no man to it by temporal punish­ments. When he went about making prose­lytes, he offered violence to no man, only said, If any man will be my disciple, If any man will come after me. And when his disciples were leaving him, he does not set up an In­quisition to torture and punish them for their defection from the faith; only says, Will ye also go away?

And in imitation of this blessed Patern, the Christian Church continued to speak and act for several Ages. And this was the lan­guage [Page 14]of the holy Fathers, Lex nova non se vindicat ultore gladio, the Christian Law doth not avenge it self by the sword. This was then the style of Councils, Nemini ad credendum vim inferre, to offer violence to no man to compel him to the faith. I proceed in the

II Second place, to shew the Unjustifiable­ness of this spirit upon any pretence whatsoever of zeal for God and Religion. No case can be put with Circumstances of greater ad­vantage, and more likely to justify this spi­rit and temper, than the case here in the Text. Those against whom the disciples would have called for fire from Heaven, were Hereticks and Schismaticks from the true Church; they had affronted our Saviour himself in his own person; the honour of God, and of that Religion which he had set up in the world, and of Jerusalem which he had appointed for the place of his wor­ship were all concerned in this case: so that if ever it were warrantable to put on this fierce and furious zeal, here was a case that seemed to require it: But even in [Page 15]these circumstances our Saviour thinks fit to rebuke and discountenance this spirit, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. And he gives such a Reason, as ought in all diffe­rences of Religion, how wide soever they be, to deter men from this temper, For the Son of man is not come to desroy mens lives, but to save them; that is, this Spirit is utterly inconsistent with the great design of Christi­an Religion, and the end of our Saviour's coming into the world.

And now what hath the Church of Rome to plead for her cruelty to men for the cause of Religion, which the Disciples might not much better have pleaded for themselves in their case? what hath she to say against those who are the objects of her cruelty and persecution, which would not have held against the Samaritans? Does she practice these severities out of a zeal for truth, and for the honour of God, and Christ, and the true Religion? Why upon these very ac­counts it was, that the Disciples would have called for fire from Heaven to have destroyed the Samaritans. Is the Church of Rome per­swaded, [Page 16]that those whom she persecutes are Hereticks and Schismaticks, and that no punishment can be too great for such of­fenders? So the Disciples were persuaded of the Samaritans; and upon much better grounds: Only the Disciples had some ex­cuse in their case, which the Church of Rome hath not; and that was Ignorance: And this apology our Saviour makes for them, ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of: They had been bred up in the Jewish Reli­gion, which gave some indulgence to this kind of temper, and they were able to cite a great Example for themselves; besides, they were then but learners, and not throughly instructed in the Christian do­ctrine. But in the Church of Rome, what­ever the case of particular persons may be, as to the whole Church and the Governing part of it, this ignorance is wilful and affe­cted, and therefore inexcusable. For the Christian Religion, which they profess to embrace, do's as plainly teach the contra­trary, as it do's any other matter whatso­ever: and it is not more evident in the New [Page 17]Testament, that Christ died for sinners, than that Christians should not kill one an­other for the misbelief of any Article of re­vealed Religion; much less, for the disbe­lief of such Articles as are invented by men, and imposed as the Doctrines of Christ.

You have heard what kind of Spirit it is, which our Saviour here reproves in his Disciples. It was a furious and destructive Spirit, contrary to Christian charity and goodness. But yet this may be said in miti­gation of their fault, that they themselves offered no violence to their Enemies: They left it to God, and, no doubt, would have been very glad that he would have manifested his severity upon them, by send­ing down fire from Heaven to have consu­med them.

But there is a much worse Spirit than this in the world, which is not only contrary to Christianity, but to the common Princi­ples of Natural Religion, and even to Hu­manity it self: Which by falshood and per­fidiousnesfs, by secret plots and conspira­cies, or by open sedition and rebellion, by [Page 18]an Inquisition or a Massacre; by deposing and killing Kings, by fire and sword, by the ruine of their Country, and betraying it into the hands of Foreigners; and, in a word, by dissolving all the bonds of hu­mane Society, and subverting the peace and order of the World, that is, by all the wicked wayes imaginable doth incite men to promote and advance their Religion. As if all the world were made for them, and there were not only no other Christi­ans, but no other Men besides themselves; as Babylon of old proudly vaunted, I am, and there is none besides me: And as if the God, whom the Christians worship, were not the God of order, but of Confusion; as if he whom we call the Father of mercies were delighted with cruelty, and could not have a more pleasing sacrifice offered to him than a Massacre, nor put a greater honour up­on his Priests then to make them Judges of an Inquisition, that is, the inventers and decreers of torments for men more righte­ous and innocent then themselves.

Thus to misrepresent God and Religion, [Page 19]is to devest them of all their Majesty and glory. For if that of Seneca be true, that sine bonitate nulla majestas, without Goodness there can be no such thing as Majesty, then to separate goodness and mercy from God, com­passion and charity from Religion, is to make the two best things in the world, God and Religion, good for nothing.

How much righter apprehensions had the Heathen of the Divine Nature, which they looked upon as so benign and benefici­al to mankind, that (as Tully admirably says) Dii immortales ad usum hominum fabrefacti penè videantur, the nature of the immortal Gods may almost seem to be exactly framed for the benefit and advantage of men. And as for Religion, they always speak of it as the great band of humane Society, and the foundation of truth, and fidelity, and justice among men. But when Religion once comes to supplant moral Righteousness, and to teach men the absurdest things in the world, to lye for the truth, and to kill men for God's sake: when it serves to no other purpose, but to be a bond of conspiracy, to inflame the tem­pers [Page 20]of men to a greater fierceness, and to set a keener edge upon their spirits, and to make them ten times more the children of wrath and cruelty than they were by nature, then surely it loses its nature and ceases to be Re­ligion: For let any man say worse of Atheism and Infidelity, if he can. And, for God's sake, what is Religion good for, but to re­form the manners and dispositions of men, to restrain humane nature from violence and cruelty, from falsehood and treachery, from Sedition and Rebellion? Better it were there were no revealed Religion, and that humane nature were left to the conduct of its own principles and inclinations, which are much more mild & merciful, much more for the peace and happiness of humane So­ciety; then to be acted by a Religion that inspires men with so wild a fury, and prompts them to commit such out-rages, and is continually supplanting Government, and undermining the welfare of mankind; in short, such a Religion as teaches men to propagate and advance it self by means so evidently contrary to the very nature and end of all Religion.

And this, if it be well considered, will appear to be a very convincing way of reasoning, by shewing the last result and consequence of such Principles, and of such a Train of Propsitions, to be a most gross and palpable absurdity. For exam­ple, We will at present admit Popery to be the true Religion, and their Doctrines of extirpating Hereticks, of the lawful­ness of deposing Kings and subverting Government, by all the cruel and wicked ways that can be thought of, to be, as in truth they are, the Doctrines of this Re­ligion: In this Case, I would not trou­ble my self to debate particulars; but if in the gross, and upon the whole matter it be evident, that such a Religion as this is as bad or worse than Infidelity and no-Religion, this is conviction enough to a wise man, and as good as a Demonstra­tion, that this is not the true Religion, and that it cannot be from God.

How much better Teachers of Religi­on were the old Heathen Philosophers? In all whose Books and Writings there is [Page 22]not one Principle to be found of Trea­chery or Rebellion; nothing that gives the least countenance to an Assassination or a Massacre, to the betraying of ones Native Country, or the cutting of his Neighbours throat for difference in opi­nion. I speak it with grief and shame, because the credit of our common Chri­stianity is somewhat concerned in it, that Panaetius and Antipater and Diogenes the Stoick, Tully and Plutarch and Seneca were much honester and more Christian Casuists, than the Jesuits are, or the gene­rality of the Casuists of any other Order, that I know of, in the Church of Rome, I come now in the

III Third and last place, to make some Application of this Discourse.

1. Let not Religion suffer for those faults and miscarriages which really pro­ceed from the ignorance of Religion, and from the want of it. That under colour and pretence of Religion, very bad things [Page 23]are done, is no argument that Religion it self is not good: Because the best things are liable to be perverted and abused to very ill purposes, nay the corruption of them is commonly the worst; as, they say, the richest and noblest Wines make the sharpest Vinegar. If the light that is in you, says our Saviour, be darkness, how great is that darkness?

2. Let us beware of that Church which countenanceth this unchristian spirit here condemned by our Saviour; and which teaches such Doctrines, and warrants such Practices as are consonant thereto. You all know, without my saying so, that I mean the Church of Rome; in which are taught such Doctrines as these, That Hereticks, that is all who differ from them in matters of Faith, are to be extirpated by fire and sword; which was decreed in the third and fourth Lateran Councils, where all Christians are strictly charged to endea­vour this to the uttermost of their power, Sicut reputari cupiunt & haberi fideles, as they desire to be esteemed and accounted [Page 24]Christians. Next their Doctrines of depo­sing Kings, and of absolving their subjects from obedience to them; which were not only universally believed, but practised by the Popes and Roman Church for seve­ral Ages▪ Indeed this Doctrine hath not been at all times alike frankly and openly avowed, but it is undoubtedly theirs; and hath frequently been put in executi­on, though they have not thought it so convenient at all turns to make professi­on of it. It is a certain kind of Engine, which is to be scru'd up or let down, as oc­casion serves; and is commonly kept like Goliah's Sword in the Sanctuary, but yet so that the High-Priest can lend it out upon an extraordinary occasion.

And for Practices▪ consonant to these Doctrines, I shall go no further than the horrid and bloody Design of this Day. Such a Mystery of Iniquity, as had been hid from ages and generations; Such a Master-piece of Villany, as eye had not seen, nor ear heard, nor ever before entred into the heart of man: So prodigiously [Page 25]Barbarous, both in the substance and cir­cumstances of it, as is not to be parallell'd in all the voluminous Records of Time, from the foundation of the World.

Of late years our Adversaries, for so they have made themselves without any provocation of ours, have almost had the impudence to deny so plain a matter of fact; but I wish they have not taken an effectual course, by fresh Conspiracies, of equal or greater horrour, to confirm the belief of it with a witness. But I shall not anticipate what will be more proper for another Day, but confine my self to the present Occasion.

I will not trouble you with the parti­cular Narrative of this dark Conspiracy, nor the obscure manner of its discovery, which Bellarmine himself acknowledges not to have been without a Miracle. Let us thank God that it was so happily disco­vered and disappointed, as I hope their present design will be, by the same won­derful and merciful providence of God towards a most unworthy People. And [Page 26]may the lameness and halting of Ignatius Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuits, ne­ver depart from that Order, but be a Fate continually attending all their villanous Plots and Contrivances.

I shall only observe to you, that after the discovery of this Plot the Authors of it were not convinced of the evil, but sorry for the miscarriage of it. Sir Everard Digby, whose very original Papers and Letters are now in my hands, after he was in Prison, and knew he must suf­fer, calls it the best Cause; and was ex­tremely troubled to hear it censured by Catholicks and Priests, contrary to his ex­pectation, for a great sin: Let me tell you, says he, what a grief it is, to hear THAT so much condemned, which I did believe would have been otherwise thought of by Ca­tholicks. And yet he concludes that Let­ter with these words, In how full joy should I dye, if I could do any thing for the Cause which I love more than my life. And, in another Letter, he says, he could have said something to have mitigated [Page 27]the odium of this business, as to that Point of involving those of his own Religion in the common ruine, I dare not (says he) take that course that I could to make it appear less odious, for divers were to have been brought out of danger, who now would rather hurt them than otherwise. I do not think there would have been three worth the saving that should have been lost. And as to the rest, that were to have been swallow'd up in that destruction, he seems not to have the least relenting in his mind about them. All doubts he seems to have look'd upon as temptations, and intreats his Friends to pray for the pardon­ing of his not sufficient striving against temptations since this busieness was under­took.

Good God! that any thing that is call­ed Religion should so perfectly strip men of all humanity, and transform the mild and gentle race of mankind into such Wolves and Tigers: that ever a pretend­ed zeal for Thy glory should instigate men to dishonour Thee at such a rate. [Page 28]It is believed by many, and not without cause, that the Pope and his Faction are the Antichrist. I will say no more than I know in this matter; I am not sure that it is he that is particularly designed in Scripture by that Name; but however that be, I challenge Antichrist himfelf, whoever he be, and whenever he comes, to do worse and wickeder things than these.

But I must remember my Text, and take heed of imitating that Spirit which is there condemned, whilst I am inveigh­ing against it. And in truth it almost looks uncharitably to speak the truth in these matters, and barely to relate what these men have not blush'd to do. I need not, nay I cannot, aggravate these things, they are too horrible in themselves, even when they are express'd in the sofrest and gentlest words.

I would not be understood to charge every particular person who is, or hath been, in the Roman Communion, with the guilt of these or the like practises: But I [Page 29]must charge their Doctrines and Princi­ples with them; I must charge the Heads of their Church, and the prevalent teach­ing and governing part of it, who are usu­ally the contrivers and abetters, the exe­cutioners and applauders of these cursed Designs.

I do willingly acknowledg the great Piety and Charity of several persons who have lived and dyed in that Communion, as Erasmus, Father, Paul, Thuanus, and many others; who had in truth more goodness than the Principles of that Religion do either incline men to, or allow of. And yet he that considers how universally al­most the Papists in Ireland were engaged in that Massacre, which is still fresh in our memories, will find it very hard to de­termine how many degrees of innocency and good nature, or of coldness and in­differency in Religion, are necessary to overballance the fury of a blind zeal and a misguided Conscience.

I doubt not but Papists are made like other men. Nature hath not generally gi­ven [Page 30]them such savage and cruel dispositi­ons; but their Religion hath made them so. Whereas true Christianity is not only the best, but the best-natur'd Institution in the world; and so far as any Church is departed from good nature, and become cruel and barbarous, so far is it degenera­ted from Christianity. I am loth to say it, and yet I am consident 'tis very true, That many Papists would have been excellent persons, and very good men, if their Reli­gion had not hindered them; if the Do­ctrines and Principles of their Church had not perverted and spoiled their natu­ral dispositions.

I speak not this to exasperate You, wor­thy Patriots, and the great Bulwark of our Religion, to any unreasonable or unneces­sary, much less unchristian Severities a­gainst them: No, let us not do like them; let us never do any thing for Religion that is contrary to it: But I speak it to awa­ken your care thus far, That if their Priests will always be putting these per­nicious Principles into the minds of the [Page 31] People, effectual Provision may be made, that it may never be in their power again to put them in practise. We have found by experience, that ever since the Refor­mation they have been continually peck­ing at the foundations of our Peace and Religion: When God knows we have been so far from thirsting after their blood, that we did not so much as de­sire their disquiet, but in order to our own necessary safety, and indeed to theirs.

And God be praised for those match­less Instances which we are able to give of the generous humanity and Christian temper of the English Protestants. After Q. Maryes death, when the Protestant Re­ligion was restored, Bishop Bonner, not­withstanding all his Cruelties and But­cheries, was permitted quietly to live and dye amongst us. And after the Trea­son of this Day, nay at this very time, since the discovery of so barbarous a De­sign, and the highest provocation in the world, by the treacherous murder of one [Page 32]of His Majesties Justices of the Peace, a very good Man, and a most excellent Ma­gistrate, who had been active in the dis­covery of this Plot; I say, after all this, and notwithstanding the continued and insupportable insolence of their carriage and behaviour, even upon this occasion, no violence, nay not so much as any inci­vility, that I ever heard of, hath been of­fer'd to any of them. I would to God they would but seriously consider this one dif­ference between our Religion and theirs, and which of them comes nearest to the Wisdom which is from above, which is peaceable, and gentle, and full of mercy. And I do heartily pray, and have good hopes, that upon this occasion God will open their eyes so far, as to convince a great many among them, that that cannot be the true Religion which inspires men with such barbarous minds.

I have now done, and if I have been transported upon this Argument some­what beyond my usual temper, the Oc­casion of this Day, and our present cir­cumstances [Page 33]will, I hope, bear me out. I have expressed my self all along with a just sense, and with no unjust severity, concerning these horrid Principles and Practises; but yet with great pity and tenderness towards those miserably sedu­ced Souls, who have been deluded by them, and ensnared in them. And I can truly say, as the Roman Orator did of himself upon another occasion, Me natura misericordem, patria severum, cru­delem nec patria nec natura esse voluit. My nature enclines me to be tender and com­passionate; a hearty zeal for our Re­ligion, and concernment for the publique welfare of my Countrey, may perhaps have made me a little severe; but nei­ther my natural disposition, nor the temper of the English Nation, nor the Genius of the Protestant, that is the true Christian Religion, will allow me to be cruel.

For the future, Let us encourage our selves in the Lord our God; and commit our Cause, and the keeping of our Souls [Page 34]to Him in well doing: And, under God, let us leave it to the wisdom and care of His Majesty, and His two Houses of Parlia­ment, to make a lasting Provision for the security of our Peace and Religion, a­gainst all the secret contrivances and open attempts of these sons of violence. And let us remember those words of David, Psal. 37.12, 13, 14, 15, The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth: The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation: Their sword shall enter in­to their own heart, and their bowes shall be broken.

And I hope, considering what God hath heretofore done, and hath now be­gun to do for us, we may take encourage­ment to our selves, against all the Ene­mies of our Religion, which are confe­derated against us, in the words of the Prophet, Isa. 8.9, 10, Associate your selves, [Page 35]O ye People, and ye shall be broken in pieces, and give ear, all ye of far Coun­treys: Gird your selves, and ye shall be bro­ken in pieces: Gird your selves, and ye shall be broken in pieces: Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught: Speak the word and it shall not stand: FOR GOD IS WITH ƲS.

And now what remains? But to make our most devout and thankful acknow­ledgments to Almighty God, for the in­valuable blessing of our Reformed Reli­gion, and for the miraculous Deliverance of this Day, and for the wonderful Dis­covery of the late horrid and barbarous Conspiracy against our Prince, our Peace, and our Religion.

To Him therefore, our most gracious and merciful God, our Shield, and our Rock, and our mighty Deliverer: Who hath brought us out of the land of Egypt, and out of the House of bondage; and hath set us free from Popish Tyranny and Super­stition, a yoke which neither we nor our Fathers were able to bear.

Who hath, from time to time, delivered us from the bloody and merciless designs of wicked and unreasonable men; and hath render'd all the plots and contrivances, the mischievous counsels and devices, of these worse-than-Heathens, of none ef­fect.

Who, did, as upon this Day, rescue our King and our Princes, our Nobles and the Heads of our Tribes, the Governours of our Church and the Judges of the Land, from that fearful Destruction which was ready to have swallowed them up.

Who still brings to light the hidden things of darkness, and hath hitherto pre­served our Religion and Civil interests to us, in despite of all the malicious and rest­less attempts of our Adversaries.

Ʋnto that great God, who hath done so great things for us, and hath saved us by a mighty Salvation: Who hath delivered us, and doth deliver us, and, we trust, will still deliver us; he glory and honour, thanks­giving and praise, from generation to genera­tion. And let all the People say, Amen.


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