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conducted with the most consummate prudence and circumspection; and the wisdom, the calmness, the firmness, the temper, the sobriety, with which our illustrious ancestors proceeded on that occasion, form a most striking contrast to the rashness, the passion, the wild impetuosity, the fanatic fury, with which Cromwell and his associates set themselves to tear up the abuses of government, and government itself along with them, by the roots. The great authors of THE REVOLUTION, on the contrary, disdaining all the usual artifices of faction to inflame and mislead the multitude, and leaving every one to his own natural sense and feeling of the injuries he sustained; without calumny or falsehood, without invective or misrepresentation, without the horrors of a civil war, without a single battle, almost without the loss of a single life, effected every thing they wished. Because both the end they pursued, and the means they employed, were reasonable and just. Providence crowned their efforts with success, and gave them the glory of establishing the rights of the people, not on the ruins of the constitution, but on the nice adjustment and exact counterpoise of all its several component parts.
We have then the strongest reason to conclude, that there is a Power on High, which watches over the fate of nations, and which has in a more especial manner, in a manner plainly distinguishable from the ordinary course of events, and the common effects of human policy and foresight, preserved this kingdom in the most critical and perilous circumstances. * Does not this then afford some ground to hope, that if we endeavour to render ourselves worthy of the divine protection, it will be once more extended to us; and that by a speedy and effectual reformation of our hearts and lives, we may remove or lighten those heavy judgments which our iniquities have now most justly drawn down upon us. This, I know, is holding a language, which they who compliment themselves with the name of PhiLOSOPHERS will treat with sovereign contempt. But let them enjoy their triumph ; and let them allow us, who think Christianity the best philosophy, to console ourselves, amidst the gloom that at present surrounds us, with those reviving hopes which the belief of God's providential government presents to us. * If this be superstition, it is so delightful a superstition, that it would be inhuman to deprive us of it. But we know in whom we trust; we know that this trust rests on a foundation which cannot be shaken. It rests, as we have seen, not only on the express declarations and promises of holy writ, but on the many remarkable instances of a supernatural agency, which occur in the history of mankind, and, above all,
* I have often observed, (says an eloquent writer) that “ when the fulness and maturity of time is come, that pro• duces the greater convulsions and changes in the world, “ it usually pleases God to make it appear by the manner “ of them, that they are not the effects of human force or
policy, but of the divine justice and predestination. And " though we see a man striking as it were the hour of that “ fulness of time, yet our reason must needs be convinced, " that his hand is moved by some secret, and, to us who « stand without, invisible direction.” Cowley's Discourse on the Government of Oliver Cromwell.
This observation is, I apprehend, strictly applicable to those instances of INVISIBLE DIRECTION which have been here produced.
• We may, I trust, on the same grounds, entertain even how the same reviving hopes. Indeed much of the reasoning made use of in this discourse applies most remarkably to the present circumstances of this country.
in our own. In every one of the extraordinary national deliverances above-mentioned, the dangers that threatened this island were of a much greater magnitude, and more formidable aspect, than those which now seem to alarm us. Why, then, may we not again indulge ourselves with the same expectations? A series of past favours naturally begets a presumption of their continuance; and it must not be wholly imputed to the laudable partiality which every honest man entertains for his own country, if we give way to a persuasion, that God will still vouchsafe his accustomed goodness to this favoured land. Yes, we will sooth ourselves with the belief, that a nation so distinguished as this has been with happier revolutions, and greater blessings, than any other ever experienced, will not be at this time deserted by its gracious Benefactor and Protector. It is here that civil liberty has fixed her throne; it is here that Protestantism finds its firmest support; it is here that the divine principle of toleration is established; it is here that a provision is made by goyernment for the poor ; it is here that they
are with a boundless munificence relieved both by private charity and public institutions: it is here, in fine, that the laws are equal, wise, and good ; that they are administered by men of acknowledged ability, and unimpeached integrity; and that through their hands the stream of justice flows with a purity unknown in any other age or nation. Nor have we only the happiness of enjoying these unspeakable advantages ourselves; we have had the glory (a glory superior to all conquests, to all triumphs) of diffusing a large proportion of them over the remotest regions of the globe. Wherever our discoveries, our commerce, or our arms have penetrated, they have in general carried the laws, the freedom, and the religion, of this country along with them. Whatever faults and errors we may be chargeable with in other respects, for these gifts at least, the most invaluable that one country can bestow upon another, it is not improbable that both the eastern and the western world may one day acknowledge that they were originally indebted to this kingdom. Is it then a vain, is it a delusive