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"that occafioned them, feem to be found"ed on two contradictory and incompa"tible principles: but, upon a cool and "impartial deliberation, may be observed "fo mutually to correfpond with, and il"luftrate each other, as to make it appear, "in a manner, neceffary, that neither of "thofe doctrines which they separately
fuggeft, fhould ever be recommended, in "folemn difcourfes to the publick, but con"junctly and at the fame time.
"The one is, that we are now affembled to keep, a day of fafting; to implore the mercy of God, that neither that facred and "innocent blood, as on this day fhed, nor thofe "other fins by which God was provoked to "deliver up both us and our King into the " hands of cruel and unreasonable men, may "at any time hereafter be vifited upon us or our pofterity. The other, a day of thankf giving for the deliverance of our church "and nation from popery and flavery, by the happy arrival of his late Majesty King "William the third. Both which, when rightly understood, and duly apply'd, "plainly fhew themfelves to have been no lefs originally ordained, than annually continued, upon wife and good grounds; "being equally and jointly conducive to regulate our political behaviour, by putting us in mind what we owe our King, " and what our country."
In these paragraphs, Dr. Groxall has obferv'd, that the two anniversaries referred to, by reafon of the two different events that occafioned them, feem to be founded on two contradictory and incompatible principles. But then, tho' this feems to be the cafe ; yet the Doctor supposes it is not fo: by his obferving, that they mutually correfpond with, and illuftrate each other; which furely cannot be faid of two contradictory and incompatible principles. But, tho' the Doctor has obferved as above; yet he seems to me, to have left the cafe as dark and perplexed as he found it. And, this indeed feems to be the cafe, with refpect to most of the fermons which are preached upon those occafions. That is, they do not give a clear and a fatisfactory account what thofe principles are, upon which the two forementioned anniversary folemnities are founded. And therefore, as it feems abfolutely neceffary to enquire what those principles are, in order to form a judgment whether they agree with, or are contradictory to each other: fo, this has induced me, to draw up my thoughts upon it.
As to that on the 5th of November, it being a day of thanksgiving for the deliverance of our church and nation from popery and flavery, by the happy arrival of his late Majefty King William the third: the principle upon which this anniversary is found
ed, (I think) is most evident and apparent, viz. that, the publick good ought always to be preferred to every thing which may come in competition with it. And, as the end and defign of government, is not to give princes an abfolute dominion over the liberties and properties, the perfons and lives of their people; but only to constitute them guardians of the focieties happiness: so confequently, if a prince fhould fo abuse the truft repofed in him, as to attempt and endeavour to enflave and make miferable the people committed to his care; then, and in fuch a cafe, the people ought in reason to defend their own rights against such attempts, by oppofing force with force, and by doing whatever is neceffary to guard and fecure the common good.
This is that principle, upon which the late happy revolution, and the anniversary folemnity appointed to preferve the memory of it are founded; and upon which alone they can be juftified and defended. This principle has fince that time been openly avowed, maintained, and juftified in*, and by, our British Parliament. Again,
As to that on the 30th of January, it being the day of the martyrdom of K. Charles I. appointed to be kept as a day of fafting; the principle upon which it is founded,
* See the Trial of Dr. Sacheverel.
may not feem quite fo apparent. Before the reformation, feveral popes had taken upon them to excommunicate chriftian princes, and to discharge the fubjects of fuch princes, from all fubjection and allegiance to them; and this had very bad effects. Upon the reformation, the * proteftant divines advanced a doctrine in oppofition to this, (and by which they made their court to chriftian princes), viz. That princes are God's vicegerents; and as they derive their authority and power from God; fo neither the pope, nor any thing else, can diffolve the obligation the people are under to yield fubjection to them. And, that this is the cafe, with refpect to all princes, under all circumftances, whether they rule well, or ill, whether they answer the purposes which government was intended to ferve, or whether they act contrary to it.
This doctrine was preached up in King Charles the Firft's time, and carried' by fome of the clergy to its utmost height. So that, if the prince should so abuse his trust, as to attempt and endeavour to enflave and make miferable the people committed to his care; that then, upon this principle, the people have no redrefs or remedy; it being utterly unlawful for them to defend
See the Book of Homilies, publifh'd in the Reign of King Edward VI.
themselves, but must on pain of eternal damnation patiently and quietly bear, whatever their governors pleafe to lay upon them. The people might indeed pray and befeech their governors, and remonftrate to them; but they must not resist them, in any cafe, nor upon any account whatever. And, as this doctrine was preached by fome of the clergy in King Charles the Firft's fo probably it might have an influence upon that prince; by leading him into, or at least countenancing him in, those acts which he went into, and which alarmed the fears of his fubjects, viz. his raifing a tax of fhip money, without the confent of the parliament; and his demanding of, and his receiving money from his people by loans. Which facts, fome have thought to have been as arbitrary and illegal, and, as contrary to the conftitution of this kingdom, as any thing that was done by the late King James. And, from hence they have been led to query, whether the people of this nation, were not as justly called upon, to be upon their defence in the former, as in the latter cafe? Though, whether it were fo, or not, is befide the
purpose of my prefent enquiry. This doctrine, was again revived and preached up at the restoration of King Charles the Second, and was very much infifted on by the clergy; and which, probably gave