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tions, but that I was willing to consider, whether or no it might not be, that these men were rather exasperated than persuaded, -and whether it were not that the severity of our laws against them might rather provoke their intemperate zeal, than religion thus move their settled conscience. It was a material consideration, because they ever did, and still do fill the world with outcries against our laws, for making a rape upon their consciences; have printed catalogues of their English martyrs ; drawn schemes of most strange tortures imposed on their priests, such as were unimaginable by Nero, or Dioclesian, or any of the worst and cruelest enemies of Christianity, endeavouring thus to make us partly guilty of our own ruin, and so washing their hands, in token of their own innocence, even then when they were dipping them in the blood royal, and would have emptied the best veins in the whole kingdom to fill their lavatory. But I found all these to be but calumnies, strong accusations upon weak presumptions, and that the cause did rest where I had begun, I mean, upon the pretence of the Catholic cause, and that the imagined iniquity of the laws of England could not be made a veil to cover the deformity of their intentions, for our laws were just, honourable, and religious.
Concerning these and some other appendices to the business of the day, I expressed some part of my thoughts, which because happily they were but a just truth, and this truth not unseasonable for these last times, in which (as St. Paul prophesied) "Men would be fierce, traitors, heady and high minded, creeping into houses, leading silly women captive;" it pleased some who had power to command me, to wish me to a publication of these my short and sudden meditations, that, if it were possible, even this way, I might express my duty to God and the King.
Being thus far encouraged, I resolved to go something further, even to the boldness of a dedication to your Grace, that since I had no merit of my own, to move me to the confidence of a public view, yet I might dare to venture under the protection of your Grace's favour. But since my boldness doth as much need a defence, as my sermon a patronage, I humbly crave leave to say, that, though it be boldness, even to presumption, yet my address to your Grace is not altogether unreasonable.
For since all know that your Grace thinks not your life your own, but when it spends itself in the service of your King, opposing your great endeavours against the zealots of both sides, who
labour the disturbance of the church and state, I could not think it angordióvucov to present to your Grace this short discovery of the king's enemies, ws imixovgíar βασιλικὴν φιλοβασιλεῖ, and proper to your Grace who is so true, so zealous a lover of your Prince and Country. It was likewise appointed to be the public voice of thanksgiving for your University (though she never spake weaker than by so mean an instrument), and, therefore, is accountable to your Grace, to whom under God and the King, we owe the blessing and prosperity of all our studies. Nor yet can I choose but hope, that my great obligations to your Grace's favour may plead my pardon (since it is better that my gratitude should be bold, than my diffidence ungrateful); but that this is so far from expressing the least part of them, that it lays a greater bond upon me, either for a debt of delinquency in presenting it, or of thankfulness, if your Grace may please to pardon it.
I humbly crave your Grace's benediction, pardon, and acceptance of the humblest duty and observance of
Most observant and obliged Chaplain,
But when James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come from heaven, and consume them even as Elias did?-Luke, ix. 50.
SHALL not need to strain much to bring my text and the day together. Here is 'fire' in the text, 'consuming fire,' like that whose Antevorta' we do this day commemorate. This fire called for by the disciples of Christ; so was ours too, by Christ's disciples at least, and some of them entitled to our great Master by the compellation of his holy name of Jesus.
I would say the parallel holds thus far, but that the persons of my text, however 'Boanerges,'' sons of thunder' and of a reprovable spirit, yet are no way considerable in the proportion of malice with the persons of the day. For if I consider the cause that moved James and John to so inconsiderate a wrath, it bears a fair excuse: the men of Samaria turned their Lord and Master out of doors, denying to give a night's lodging to the Lord of heaven and earth. It would have disturbed an excellent patience to see him, whom but just before they beheld transfigured, and in a glorious epiphany upon the mount, to be so neglected by a company of hated Samaritans, as to be forced to keep his vigils where nothing but the welkin should have been his roof, not any thing to shelter his precious head from the descending dew of heaven.
Quis talia fando
It had been the greater wonder if they had not been angry.
But now if we should level our progress by the same line, and guess that in the present affair there was an equal cause, because a greater fire was intended, - we shall too much betray the ingenuity of apparent truth, and the blessing of this anniversary. They had not half such a case for an excuse to a far greater malice, it will prove they had none at all; and, therefore, their malice was so much the more malicious, because causeless and totally inexcusable.
However, I shall endeavour to join their consideration in as near a parallel as I can; which, if it be not exact,— as certainly it cannot, where we have already discovered so much difference in degrees of malice, yet, by laying them together, we may better take their estimate, though it be only by seeing their disproportion.
The words, as they lay in their own order, point out, 1. The persons that asked the question. 2. The cause that moved them. 3. The person to whom they propounded it. 4. The question itself. 5. And the precedent they urged to move a grant, drawn from a very fallible topic, a singular example, in a special and different case. The persons here were Christ's disciples, and so they are in our case, designed to us by that glorious surname of Christianity: they will be called catholics; but if our discovery perhaps rise higher, and that the see apostolic prove sometimes guilty of so reprovable a spirit, then we are very near to a parallel of the persons, for they were disciples of Christ and apostles. 2. The cause was the denying of toleration of abode upon the grudge of an old schism; religion was made the instrument. That which should have taught the apostles to be charitable, and the Samaritans hospitable, was made a pretence to justify the unhospitableness of the one, and the uncharitableness of the other. Thus far we are right; for the malice of this present treason stood upon the same base. 3. Although neither side much doubted of the lawfulness of their proceedings, yet St. James and St. John were so discreet as not to think themselves infallible, therefore they asked their Lord so did the persons of the day ask the question too, but not of Christ, for he was not in all their thoughts; but yet they asked of Christ's delegates, who, therefore, should have given their answer 'ex eodem tripode,' from the same spirit. They were the fathers confessors who were asked.