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fbed therein, by the Blood of those that SERM. fhed it. Thus, for a while, we vainly I. imagined; but fad Experience foon undeceived us. Not many Years passed, before God did again empty, as it were, at once, all the Vials of his Wrath upon us: The Sword raged abroad; Fire, and Peftilence at home: And when this goodly City was laid in Afhes, and Desolation and Emptiness reigned in her Streets, doubtlefs pious Perfons did often reflect, how much her mifemployed Wealth, and misguided Zeal had formerly contributed to the Miseries and Confufions under which we laboured: And even they, whom a few Years Plenty and Profperity had lulled into a Forgetfulness of their Guilt, began then to lay their Hands upon their Hearts, and with Joseph's Brethren, to fay: Verily, we are guilty concerning our Prince; therefore is this DeAtruction come upon us !

There was still a more terrible Judgment behind, which we were threatned with, and in some measure felt: Tho'

the

Gen. xlii.

SERM. the Providence of God did not fuffer it

I.

thoroughly to lay hold of us: I mean, the Advances made by Popery in a late Reign towards establishing it felf among us. And this also was the Fruit of our former Iniquities; for to speak a plain Truth, which plain as it is has been lately treated with Scorn and Derifion by shameless Writers, the Attempt of introducing a Foreign Religion was but too natural a Confequence of our forcing the Royal Family to take fhelter in Foreign Countries; where they might be allured by the tempting Appearances of a fplendid Worship and a regular Hierarchy, and by glorious but empty Pretences to Univerfality and Infallibility; especially at a Time, when the good Frame of our Ecclefiaftical Polity here at home was fhattered and diffolved, and the Honour of our Zion was laid low in the Duft. Still therefore our Punishment was from ourselves; nor was God a hard Master in inflicting it; for we reaped only what we had fowed, and gathered what we had Atrawed

ftrawed; and the first Subverfion of our SERM. Constitution involved us in all the I. Confufions and Miseries, in which we long afterwards laboured. But that Storm alfo blew over, and Times of Liberty fucceeded, wherein we promised our selves the settled Enjoyment of all manner of Advantages and Bleffings. Can we say, that thofe Hopes were not in great Measure defeated by the Spirit of Irreligion and Libertinifm, which then, and ever fince that Time notoriously prevailed; by those intestine Fa&tions and Discords by which we have been torn, and that foreign War, under the Weight of which we for more than twenty Years groaned? Till the vaft Expence of Blood and Treafure, which it occafioned, made us ready to cry out in the pathetick Words of the Prophet, O thou Sword of the Lord, how long Jer. xlvii. will it be ere thou be quiet! put thy felf. up in thy Scabbard ; reft, and be ftill!

And when that Sword rested in its Scabbard, was not the Manner of Sheathing it as unwelcome to us, as even

the

I.

SERM. the Havock it had occafioned, when naked and drawn! Was not the good Queen (now with God) the Subject of malicious, but groundless Reproaches on that very Account? Did we not murmur at the Bleffing, and bring our felves, at laft, with great Difficulty to relish and approve it?

1 Sam. xv.

14.

But may we not now at length hope, that all is well with us, and that the ill Confequences of fpilling the Royal Blood of this Day are ceased, the Anger of God appeased, and our National Guilt utterly pardoned? How can that be, until the Nation it felf hath manifeftly repented? And the Repentance of a Nation for any Sin is best teftified by its general Abhorrence of the Principles and Practices that caused it. And are we able in this manner to purge our felves of this Day's 'Tranfgreffion? Do we, indeed, give evident Proofs, that we heartily and univerfally deteft it? If that be really our Cafe, what meaneth then this Bleating of the Sheep in our Ears, and this Lowing of the

Oxen which we hear? How comes it to SERM. pass, that these Anniversary Humilia-, I tions are so openly spoken against, illtreated and derided? Why has the horrid Guilt of the Day been leffened in Publick Discourses, and represented with all manner of Alleviations and Softnings? As if it were unpopular and imprudent, to paint fuch a Villany to the Life, or to speak of it in suitable Terms of Ignominy and Reproach! Why have the Doctrines, which paved the Way to this bloody Deed been freely revived, embraced, and cherished? And thofe, for which the Sufferers in the Royal Cause underwent all manner of Perfecutions, been discountenanced and exploded? Why has the Spirit of Liberty been indulged to an outrageous Degree of Licentioufnefs? The Reverence due to Thrones fhaken by mean and infolent Pens? And Contempt poured on the facred Character of Princes, as though they had not been anoint- 2Sam.i. 27 ed with Oyl? Why have Lectures, in fuch facred Places as thefe, been more

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