Page images


do this to more advantage, I have all along reasoned, on the principles of our adversaries themselves, to prove that an Established Church and a Test are agreeable to those Laws, whether such Church be the true one or no. So far, I say, we are alike. But as greatly as that Author has the advantage of me in the noble elegance, learning, and force of his composition, which, I truly think, is as great as can well be; so greatly have I the advantage of him in the felicity of the times I write in. That narrow, sour, ignorant spirit of bigotry, blessed be God, is now no

A learned one, of liberty, and Christian charity, universally prevails. So that that freedom of thought, which then gave so much offence, now creates a prepossession altogether favourable to the Writer. But if, after all, I should chance to be mistaken in the humour of the times, as it would be no great wonder if I should, the words of this illustrious Writer, with a little alteration, will be my best apology." When a persecution (says he, in his “ general Epistle to his Polemical discourses) did “ arise against the Church of England, and that I “ intended to make a defensative for my Brethren “ and myself, by pleading for a liberty to our con“ sciences to persevere in that profession which was “ warranted by all the laws of God and our Supe“riors, some men were angry and would not be safe " that way, because I had made the roof of the sanc

tuary so wide that more might be sheltered under “ it than they had a mind should be saved harm« less: men would be safe alone or not at all, supe posing that their truth and good cause was warranty

enough to preserve itself. And they thought true, it was indeed warranty enough against persecution, if men have believed it to be the truth. But because

[blocks in formation]

we were fallen under the power of our worst enemies, they looked upon us as men in mispersua“sion and error; and therefore I was to defend our

persons, that whether our cause was right or wrong “ (for it would be supposed wrong) yet we might be “ permitted in liberty and impunity. But then the

consequent would be this, that if we, when we were “ supposed to be in error, were yet to be indemp“ nified, then others also, whom we thought as ill of, were to rejoice in the same Freedom, because “ this equality is the great instrument of justice. Of “ this, some men were impatient; and they would “ have all the world spare them, and yet they would

spare nobody. But because this is too unrea“ sonable I need no excuse for my writing to other








MY LORD, THE only subjects worth a wise Man's serious notice, are RELIGION, and GOVERNMENT; such Religion and Government, I mean, as exclude not (which too often they do) MORALITY and POLITICKS; and these are subjects that, at the same time, most need his attention. For though they be ordained to one end, to perfect HUMANITY; yet, as they pursue it by different means, they must act in conjunction, lest the diversity of the means should retard or defeat the attainment of the concurrent end.

But then, the object of Religion being Truth, which requires liberty; and the object of Government, Peace, which demands submission; they seem naturally formed to counteract one another's operations.

HOWEVER, though their Natures, and consequently their Agency, be thus different, yet their Views being the same, there seems to be no more reason against their POLITIC ALLIANCE than we see there was against the physical union of the Soul and Body, for whose distinct benefit each of those institutions was severally ordained. For though these two constituent parts of Man run counter, and frequently defeat each other's purpose; yet Reason can easily reconcile their jars, and teach them how to draw together ; so as best to put in use and improve each other's Faculties : the Body supplying the Mind with organs of sensation; and the Mind, the Body with the active principle of spontaneous motion.

The chief design of the following Discourse is to sheir, that the like important uses may be derived from an UNION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE: and to explain upon what Principles these services are best procured. In doing this, I have still kept

our own happy Constitution in my eye: and so, have escaped the danger which speculative Writers, intent only on their philosophic ideas, have incurred in framing their Utopian Societies.

And now, my Lord, being willing to leave behind me a Monument of my love to my Country, I have taken the privilege, arising from the principles here laid down, to appeal, from the Ecclesiastical, to a Lay-Tribunal, under the protection of a Character which is going down to posterity in the full lustre of those amiable qualities of humanity which Nature delights to throw round the Names of her distinguished Favourites.

It is an uncommon happiness when an honest man can congratulate a Patriot on his becoming Minister* : and what one would not, in conscience, overlook. When Ministers turn Patriots into Courtiers, it is a loss, to the Public, of a good name, at least: But when Patriots teach Courts public spirit, the loss of a word is well repaid by the good that word was supposed to imply. And now if such a one should be asked where is his Patriotism? he might well answer in the Spanish proverb,—The King has enough for us all. What Subjects have thrown off is not lost, but lodged in safer hands, the Crown; the old, the natural, the legal Guardian of British Liberty


But Your Lordship has now a nicer part to manage. The PEOPLE are much more reasonable in their demands on their PATRIOTS than on their MINISTERS. Of their. Patriots they readily accept the Will for the Deed; but of their Ministers, they unjustly interpret the Deed for the Will. Our great English Poet, who honoured Your virtues, as much as he loved Your person, was more candid. He understood the delicate situation of a Minister; and in this fine apology, as I have it under his hand, does justice to their good intentions :

Our Ministers like Gladiators live ; 'Tis half their business blows to ward or give : The good their VIRTUE would effect, or SENSE, Dies between Exigents and Self-defence. Besides, my Lord, the dead weight of long desuetude upon good intentions seems not to have been enough considered. Of all the strange connexions which the revolutions of Time bring about, the rarest and most accidental is that between MERIT and

Secretary of State in the year 1748.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »