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fame Enemies were sure to Tax them with SERM. such Designs, as might Fire the People against their Rightful KING: the Consequence of m which, They well knew, would be, to dispose them the more readily to receive the Pretender. But what a Deluhon must this be? For, as, on the one side, The greatest Enemies of the King cannot name any one thing that looks like so much as a Disposition that way; and, as He hath given Us, and all Europe, the greatest Proofs, and the greatest Security, of the contrary : So, on the other side, They suffer themselves to be persuaded to throw themselves headlong into the Arms of Arbitrary Power, under Pretense of running from it. For this is certain, that, should the Cause of the Pretender ever succeed, it is so big with the Miseries of Popery and Revenge, that nothing but Arbitrary Power can possibly support it: nor will it ever trust itself here again, under the Influences of Law, and Liberty.
But the Great, and perhaps the most Prevailing; I am sure, the most Astonishing, Delufion of all, is, That of those Protestants, who suffer the Papists to possess them with an Imaginary Fear about the Security of the Church of England; and then, with blinded Eyes, and darkened Understandings, to expect its greater Security, in the Pretender's Cause. This, I should
SE R M.think enough to cure any Protestant of this Jeaxi. lousy; that, from the beginning of that Ground
less Cry, it was very observable that the Sons of the Church of Rome, joined with their loudest Zeal and Noise, in it. For, what a shameless Insult is this upon the Common Sense of Mankind, for Them to put on an Air of Concern, and Tenderness, for a Church, which they not only Hate, with an implacable Hatred; but which, it is a Meritorious Part of their Religion, to destroy from the Earth. I would appeal to any of the most deluded Protestants, who will but promise to recollect their Thoughts for a Moment, whether the Papists joining in spreading this Jealousy of the Danger of a Church, which they Hate, be not a certain Proof, that They think it really in a Flourishing Condition ; much too secure for their Designs, and their Interest, unless, by such frightful Fictions, They can entice Protestants themselves to join with them, in it’s Destruction.
It is fruitless to observe to such Protestants, unless They will lay aside their strong Prejudices against their own Interest, that the Worst Enemies of the King, and the Administration, cannot produce one Instance, I will not say, of an Injury, but of any Disregard, to this Church; but might produce many, would be so just, of the contrary : As many,
as in so short a Time could be possibly given. s ERM. But if they resolve to swallow all the ground- XI. less Jealousies of this fort; yet, what a degreem of Infatuation must it be, to think of Security, where there can be none? To fly from the Imaginary Suspicion, to the real Certainty of Ruine? To run from Those, who, they weakly suspect, may; to Those, who, They know, must, destroy it? Or, Is there any new League of strict Love and Friendship, now made, between the Church of Rome, and Us? and tied by closer Bonds than Protestations, and Promises, which it is their Duty, to break, as soon as They can? or, Is all the Cunning and Policy of Rome sunk at last into this, of furnishing Money, and Arms; and of hazarding the Lives, and the Estates, of her true Sons, in this Nation; out of pure Love and Kindness to the Church of England, and solely to Establish That upon a lasting and strong Foundation ? Or, do Men trust once more to Vows, and Asurances? If they do, They trust to what the Experience of this Nation hath felt to be No Security; and what their Enemies themselves profess to be
And, do They think that the Number of Romanists, who venture their All in this World, for the Service of the Pretender's Cause, have not had much better Asurances and Security, that Their Interest, and Their Religion, is
SER M. to Reign in Triumph in this Land, before they
would engage themselves, in so desperate a manner ? But, I confess, I should not wonder if They, who can come to be so deluded, as to think their Church secure, in the Method of Utter Destruction, should come to believe that the Britis Papists are inflamed with a Zeal for the Church of England; and undergo all the Fatigues, and Hardships, and Dangers, of a Rebellion ; not to Establish, or serve, their own Church, which They love to Death ; but the Church of England, which they Hate with an immortal Hatred. Even this may not be too hard for the Faith of Those, who can trust to any Promises and Vows of Good, or Security, to any Protestant Church upon Earth, from such as cannot, and, indeed, dare not, keep them.
3. The same Persons may be deluded, if they resolve upon it, by the reproachful Word of Foreigners, and Strangers to our Laws; and the like; cast upon our Royal Family: without considering, how nearly, and how certainly, They are descended from our KINGS; Or, without remembring that He, who throws out this Reproach, never had any better Opportunity, Himself, of knowing Us, or our Laws; Nay, that He hath very particular Reasons to hate, and destroy Them: That He cannot come, with
out being followed by a Line of Popish Princes, SERM. Foreigners, in every Sense; and that neither He, nor They, will come, without a Religion, Fo-m reign and Superior to all the Laws both of God and Man.
4. They may, if they please, be deluded by the general Word, of redressing Grievances ; which
yet His Adherents themselves mention but very sparingly: because they well know that We have no Grievances, in His Eye, but the Security of our Constitution, in Church, and State; no Grievances; for Him to ease Us of, but our Laws, Liberties, and Religion. These He sincerely promises Us, to remove. And I truly believe, that His Religion it self will permit Him faithfully to observe such Promises.
But I have said enough. I have shewn you, what that Cause is, and how many Evils are contained in it, which is now opened, and avowed, by the Friends of the Pretender. I have considered those Weak Pretenses, and False Infinuations, by which Many who call Themselves Protestants, have been deluded as they have been managed by the Artifices of Popery, Guilt, and Resentment : And, I hope, I have made it appear, that it must be a Fatal Delusion indeed, if They do not see, that to join their Hands to the Efforts of our Ene