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long-protracted wars, she proposed to accomplish. It was not with THE DESIGN of assisting Popery that she fought and bled. And, therefore, if the allegations thus brought against her be literally true, yet they are, in fact, morally false. England took up arms in defence of civil liberty, of social order, of regular government, in opposition to the Jacobinical and anarchical principles of revolutionary France: nor did she lay them down again, till she had permanently delivered herself from the ambitious attempts of that unprincipled Despot, whose avowed and boasted purpose, in the plenitude of his usurped authority, was to lay her low and trample her in the dust. These were the legitimate objects of her warfare. And if in the prosecution of these objects she became indirectly instrumental in restoring the political power of the Horn and of the Beast: if from a combination of circumstances, over which she had no control, she found herself so situated, that not only the preservation of her liberty, her laws, and her religion, but even her very existence depended on the co-operation of allies (whose cause in itself was, in its measure, politically and morally just) what blame can attach to her for availing herself of their co-operation, and of advancing their success, which was thus become identified with her own? Was she rashly and presump
tuously to reject the means which Providenice had furnished for her self-preservation? If the Papal governments, whose re-establishment was thus effected, may have since abused the mercy vouchsafed to them, and instead of profiting by the correction they had received, may have returned with a keener delight to their former sins, is England to be responsible for their guilt ? Can she be considered, in any just view of the subject, as implicated in it?
It was evidently the purpose of the Almighty (as subsequent events have incontestably proved) that the Papal thrones should for a time be restored : and it pleased Him to accomplish His purpose by means of this country. It was not His design that England, the bulwark of the Protestant faith, and the depositary of evangelical truth, should be overwhelmed by revolutionary France under any form of her exist
He, therefore, roused her by adequate motives to adequate exertions; inspired her with courage; and crowned her efforts with
But such, in the mean time, were the train of events and the overruling course of His Providence, that by the very efforts which she was thus necessitated to make in her own defence, she rescued the kingdoms of Europe from the iron grasp of Napoleon, and procured them a respite from suffering. Thus was
she not only singularly blessed in her own pre-
in ar it? migh
prore me he sh H
ce the ose of hich
From the premises furnished by the previous discussion, the writer ventures to deduce, notwithstanding the objections in the preceding chapter, a favourable conclusion in respect to the probable destiny of England, in the time of approaching tribulation. The predictions and intimations of Scripture, illustrated by the history of past events, and the state of present appearances, justify, in his mind, the humble indulgence of a hope that the Almighty does regard this country with sentiments different from those with which He looks upon the Papal kingdoms: that when He shall desolate them, He will not destroy her, nor involve her in their exterminating judgments; but that having separated her by his grace and providence from their. abominations, He will protect her from the destructive fury of the storm; that having “ visited, indeed, her transgressions with the rod, and her iniquity with stripes, nevertheless, His loving-kindness will He not utterly take from her, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail;” but will preserve ber, in the midst of the tempest, a monument of Divine mercy and a refuge for true religion.
Far, however, is the Writer from designing to intimate that England is entitled to this distinction in her favour on the ground of merit, or that she claims to be thus protected and honoured as the reward of her superior attainments in religion and morals. He well knows, as the preceding chapter will have shown, that she has no pretensions of this kind. He well knows that if she now differs from her former self, if she now differs from other nations, it is God alone who hath made her to differ. In Him is her fruit found. To Him alone, to His distinguishing and unmerited favour, so freely bestowed on her, she is indebted for all her privileges, for all her attainments, for all that measure of moral and religious eminence, be it greater or less, to which she may be elevated. But these are the
considerations which tend to strengthen the conclusions, and to invigorate the hopes, which the Writer has been induced to form in her behalf.
Did the Almighty, he would ask, originally find this nation sunk in the corruptions and superstitions of Popery? Did He in this state confer on it a singular mark of his distinguishing favour? Did he select it out of all the kingdoms