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godly preacher is termed in Scripture a faithful servant, who knoweth how to give his Lord's family their apportioned feed in season; who can apply his speech to the diversity of times, places, and hearers, which cannot be done in homilies; exhortations, reprehensions, and persuasions, are uttered with more affection to the moving of the hearers in sermons, than in homilies. Besides, homilies were devised by the godly bishops in your brother's time, only to supply necessity for want of preachers; and are by the statute not to be preferred, but to give place to sermons whensoever they may be had."

The Reformers in general felt, as has been pointed out, that loyalty and obedience are maintained by faithful preaching; yet it should be fully allowed that it is only DIVINE TRUTH that is really beneficial. Wherever preaching becomes different to the general spirit and strain of the word of God, either in excessive, deficient, or erroneous exhibition of doctrine or practice, or by lowering divine into human authority and statement, or by extravagant or careless modes of delivery; wherever it becomes political and time serving, there, there is a proportionate failure of success. We might shew how abundantly this was exemplified in the reigns of James I. the two Charles's, and in the Commonwealth, and among the Protestant Churches in general.

Civil liberty is equally advanced by scriptural doctrine. When James II. sought to bring in Popery, the clergy began to preach against that mystery of iniquity, (2. Thess. ii, 7.) and the divine blessing on a general diffusion of scriptural knowledge among all denominations made his attempt impracticable. Indeed the preachers of that era have left in their writings a bulwark against all future encroachments. The speaker Onslow's

as generally where preaching wanteth, obedience faileth.'

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The Archbishop illustrates this by facts that had then taken place, as follows. "No Prince ever had more lively experience hereof, than your Majesty hath had in your time, and may have daily. If your Majesty come to the city of London never so often, what gratulation, what joy, what concourse of people is there to be seen ? yea, what acclamations and prayers to God for your long life, and other manifest significations of iuward and unfeigned love, joined with most humble and hearty obedience, are there to be heard? Whereof cometh this, Madam, but of the continual preaching of God's word in that city? whereby that people hath been plentifully instructed in their duty towards God, and your Majesty? On the contrary, what bred the rebellion in the North? Was it not Papistry, and ignorance of God's word through want of often preaching? And in the time of that rebellion, were not all men of all estates that made profession of the gospel, most ready to offer their lives for your defence; insomuch that one poor parish in Yorkshire, which by continual preaching had been better instructed than the rest, (Halifax I mean,) was ready to bring three or four thousand able men into the field to serve you against the said rebels? How can your Majesty have a more lively trial and experience of the contrary effects of much preaching, and of little or no preaching? The one working most faithful obedience, and the other most unnatural disobedience and rebellion."

He adds the following striking remarks on the difference between preaching and reading the Homilies. The reading of the Homilies has its commodity, but is nothing comparable to the office of preaching. The

godly preacher is termed in Scripture a faithful servant, who knoweth how to give his Lord's family their apportioned feed in season; who can apply his speech to the diversity of times, places, and hearers, which cannot be done in homilies; exhortations, reprehensions, and persuasions, are uttered with more affection to the moving of the hearers in sermons, than in homilies. Besides, homilies were devised by the godly bishops in your brother's time, only to supply necessity for want of preachers; and are by the statute not to be preferred, but to give place to sermons whensoever they may be had."

The Reformers in general felt, as has been pointed out, that loyalty and obedience are maintained by faithful preaching; yet it should be fully allowed that it is only DIVINE TRUTH that is really beneficial. Wherever preaching becomes different to the general spirit and strain of the word of God, either in excessive, deficient, or erroneous exhibition of doctrine or practice, or by lowering divine into human authority and statement, or by extravagant or careless modes of delivery; wherever it becomes political and time serving, there, there is a proportionate failure of success. We might shew how abundantly this was exemplified in the reigns of James I, the two Charles's, and in the Commonwealth, and among the Protestant Churches in general.

Civil liberty is equally advanced by scriptural doctrine. When James II. sought to bring in Popery, the clergy began to preach against that mystery of iniquity, (2 Thess. ii, 7.) and the divine blessing on a general diffusion of scriptural knowledge among all denominations made his attempt impracticable. Indeed the preachers of that era have left in their writings a bulwark against all future encroachments. The speaker Onslow's

remarks on James II. are worthy of observation—" He loved and aimed at absolute power, and believed that nothing could introduce and support it but the Catholic Religion, as the Romanists call theirs; and this increased his zeal for it, and that zeal increased his disposition to arbitrary power: so that, in truth, his religion and politics were partly the cause of each other, and indeed they cannot easily be separated. The Protestant Faith is founded on enquiry and knowledge, the Popish on submission and ignorance. And nothing leads more to slavery in the state than blind obedience in matters of religion; as nothing tends more to civil liberty than that spirit of free inquiry which is the life of Protestansm." (See Burnet's History of his own Times.)

In farther confirmation of these things, we may appeal to the present state of our own country. We would do this with a deep sense of our national sinfulness. Who can but sigh at the abominations of the land in which we dwell, aggravated by our immense spiritual privileges! Who can but sigh at the open profanation of the sabbath in many of our cities aud villages; at the forty-five thousand copies of Sunday Newspapers issuing from the press; at avowed infidelity; at the allowance of slavery in our colonies; at the spirit of pride, extravagance, luxury, pomp, and dissipation, among all ranks and classes; at our covetousness, marked in the general and eager pursuit of wealth at the contempt of authority manifested in our public journals; the spirit of commercial gambling; and the swearing, licentiousness, and profligacy witnessed in our streets! If we are blessed beyond others, may be well said to us, --Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness, for thou art a stiff-necked people.

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Deut.ix,6. The whole history of our country abundantly shews that our present prosperity is not from any superior excellence in Britons beyond others. All who have marked with a Christian eye, how that extended empire which we now enjoy has been bestowed, will cordially say of the possessors of this empire, They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. Ps. xliv, 3.

This we fully admit and assert, and the want of full religious instruction, with the neglect of what we have, will account for it all. Yet we judge of the state of a country in some measure by contrasting it with other countries, and God bestows national benefits in connection with ordinary means; and the preaching of the gospel is, as we have seen, one great means of national prosperity. View then the present state of our country in this connection. How immense our spiritual privileges! Perhaps in no country in the world is the gospel so fully declared as in this, at this day. If we look at the millions of copies of religious publications which are diffused in every part; at the thousands of schools where the Bible is read; at the weekly recurrence of our scriptural liturgy, full of the word of God; and at the tens of thousands of ministers in various ways constantly publicly preaching, and compare this with other countries, we must be convinced that here especially, the word of the Lord has free course. Connect, then, all this general and public diffusion of religious knowledge with the fact, that never, perhaps, was England, on the whole, notwithstanding trials which our sins justly merit, in a state of greater temporal and spiritual prosperity. In no country, perhaps, is real religion more

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