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on those that have used it to us. This were the way to be deserted of God, and left to their cruelty. The same sins will ever fix the same odium, and find the same punishment, wherever they are; yea greater, by how much Protestants pretend to better things : if they burnt your ancestors, do not you strip and starve your brethren : remember the many thousands now persecuted in this kingdom, for the sake of their tender and very peaceable consciences; husbands are unlawfully separated from their wives, and parents from their children; their corn, cattle, and houshold-stuff swept away, perhaps at the instigation of some lewd and indigent informer, or to please the malice of an ill-dirpored neighbour. In the mean time, many, once sufficient, are exposed to charity; the fruits of their honest labour and bread of their poor helpless child. ren being now made the forfeiture of their conscience.
Friends and countrymen, there is a deep doctrine in this providence; examine it well, that you may reap the benefit of it : and, among the rest, let me tell you, this is not the least part of it, that God is shewing you mercy, that you may shew mercy, and has awakened you at the brink of the pit, that you may help your brethren out of it; aye, your enemies. Be wise and considerate : it will be much your own fault if you are not happy. And truly I have no manner of scruple but God will preserve us, if we will not caft away ourselves. For our own sins and folly can only direct the hand that seeks to hit and hurt us; and shall we make it successful to our own ruin? Let us therefore turn away from all impiety; let the magistracy discourage and punish it; and let us forbear and love one another. If we begin with God, we. shall end with God, and that is with success: Else, be assured, we shall only inherit the wind of our own invention, and be deserted of him then, when we shall most want him.
In short, reverence the present providence; and though your lives have not deserved it, let them now
be grateful, and not abuse it. Pursue your advantages thoroughly, but wisely; be as temperate as zealous; and to your enemies as generous as juft. Infult not over ill men for the sake of their ill principles, but pity their unhappiness, whilst you abhor the cause of it: let them fee, that you had rather inform than destroy them, and that you take more pleasure in their conversion, than your own revenge. This will be the greatest confutation upon them, that they be taught the goodness of your religion by the mildness of it; and, by its mercy, the cruelty of their own. The Indian Atabaliba rejected the Romish baptism, because of the Spanish tyranny; whence it was usual with those poor Americans to desire they might not go to heaven if the Spaniards went thither. I know there are little arts used to prevent Protestant union, and that in a Protestant guise : and it is a trick, not of yesterday, to put one party of Protestants upon devouring four or five, that both the Protestant church may have the odium of eating or devouring her own children, and that another interest, behind the hangings, may find the more easy and creditable accession to the chair: it is the men of this strain, though under disguise, that now feek to distract you; and to effect it the better, old stories must be had up, acts of oblivion violated, the dead disturbed, their tombs rifled, and they haled out of their graves to receive a new sentence: that condemning the living of that interest by the dead, they might be deserted of those, that, to say true, cannot be long safe without them.
If any thing fober and judicious be proposed for allaying asperities, accommodating differences, and fecuring to prince and people a just and legal union of interest, as our government requires, we must presently be told of 41, and 42; as if there were a fort of necromancy in the numbers, or that the naming of those figures (long since made cyphers, by an act of oblivion) had power enough to lay the active and generous fpirits of our times: but they find themselves mistaken in their black art, and that things, as well as times, are changed; the mask is off, and he that runs may read, res nolunt malè administrari.
Men, in their pleas and endeavours for truth, juftice, and sincere religion, will not be overborne or staggered by such stale and trilling reflections, rarely used of late, but to palliate wretched designs, or discredit good ones with men of weak judgment, though perhaps of loyal principles.
I beseech you let us not be unskilful in these tricks, that we may not be mistaken or abused by them: I cannot tell a time in which the minds of all sorts of Protestants have been more powerfully and unani. mously engaged to endeavour a good understanding between the king and people. And as I am sure it was never more needed, so let me fay, no age hath put a richer prize into the hands of men, or yielded a fairer occasion, to fix an happy and lasting union upon: in order to which, let me prevail with you that we may study to improve this great principle as the necessary means to it, viz. "That God's providence, « and our own constitution, have made the interest of • prince and people one ; and that their peace and • greatness lie in a most industrious and impartial pro• fecution of it.'
Those that teach other doctrine, as that the Prince hath an interest apart from the good and safety of " the people,' are the sole men that get by it; and therefore find themselves obliged to study their misunderstanding, because they only are disappointed and insecured by their union.
Experience truly tells us, that such persons have another interest than that which leads to a common good, and are often but too artificial in interesting princes in the success of it : but prudent and generous princes have ever seen that it is neither safe nor just; and that no kingdom can be governed with true glory and success, but there where the interest of the governor is one with that of the governed, and where there is the strictest care to steer all transactions of state by the fundamentals, or the first and great principles, of their own constitution : especially since swerving from them hath always made way for confusion and misery in government. Our own stories are almost everywhere vexed by this neglect; and those of our neighbours must submit to the saine truth.
To conclude, and sum up the whole discourse: if you will both cure present, and prevent future grievances, it will greatly behove you to take a most deliberate and unbiassed view of the present state of things, with their proper causes and tendencies. Let us confront our ecclesiastical matters with the plain text and letter of holy scripture: this is Protestant: and let us compare our civil transactions with the ancient laws and statutes of the realm: this is English. And I do humbly and heartily beseech Almighty God, that he would so dispose the hearts of prince and people, as that firm foundations may be now laid for a juft and lasting tranquillity to these nations : and, believe me if you please, unless they are just and equal, they cannot last. Time will prove it, because it always has; and that God is unchangeable in the order and justice of his providence. And since righteousness exalts a nation, and that sin is the shame of any people; therefore will I close with David's prayer, Pfal. vii. 9: os o let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, o but establish the just : for the righteous God trieth " the hearts and the reins.”
1 Impute all persecution for religion to these seven
ensuing causes; though, properly speaking, there
1. The first cause of persecution is this, " That the