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As we were going out of the garden, my old friend thinking himself obliged, as a member of the quorum, to animadvert upon the morals of the place, told the mistress of the house, who sat at the bar, that he should be a better customer to her garden if there were more nightingales, and fewer strumpets.-I.
N° 384. WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 1712. ·
Hague, May 24, N. S. The same republican bands, who have so often since the Chevalier de St. George's recovery killed him in our public prints, have now reduced the young Dauphin of France to that desperate condition of weakness, and death itself, that it is hard to conjecture what method they will take to bring him to life again. Meantime we are assured by a very good band from Paris, that on the 20th instant this young prince was as well as ever he was known to be since the day of his birth. As for the other, they are now sending his ghost, we suppose (for they never had the modesty to contradict the assertions of his death), to Commerci in Lorrain, attended only by four gentlemen, and a few domestics of little consideration. The Baron de Bothmar* baving delivered in his credentials to qualify him as an ambassador to this state (an office to which his greatest enemies will acknowledge him to be equal), is gone to Utrecht, whence he will proceed to Hanover, but not stay long at that court, for fear the peace should be made during
his lamentable absence.'-Post-Boy, May 20. I should be thought not able to read, should I overlook some excellent pieces lately come out. My lord bishop of St. Asaph7 has just now published some sermons, the preface to which seems to me to determine a great point. He has, like a good man, and a good Christian, in opposition to all the flattery and
* Ambassador from Hanover, and afterward agent here for the Hanoverian family. + Dr. William Fleetwood.
base submission of false friends to princes, asserted, that Christianity left us where it found us as to our civil rights. The present entertainment shall consist only of a sentence.out of the Post-Boy, and the said preface of the lord of St. Asaph. I should think it a little odd if the author of the Post-Boy should with impunity call men republicans for a gladness on the report of the death of the pretender; and treat Baron Bothmar, the minister of Hanover, in such a manner as you see in my motto. I must own, I think every man in England concerned to support the succession of that family.
• The publishing a few sermons, whilst I live, the latest of which was preached about eight years since, and the first above seventeen, will make it very tural for people to inquire into the occasion of doing so; and to such I do very willingly assign these following reasons :
*First, from the observations I have been able to make for these many years last past upon our public affairs, and from the natural tendency of several principles and practices, that have of late been studiously revived, and from what has followed thereupon, I could not help both fearing and presaging, that these nations should some time or other, if ever we should have an enterprising prince upon the throne, of more ambition than virtue, justice, and true honour, fall into the way of all other nations, and lose their liberty.
• Nor could I help foreseeing to whose charge a great deal of this dreadful mischief, whenever it should happen, would be laid; whether justly or unjustly, was not my business to determine: but I resolved, for my own particular part, to deliver my, self, as well as I could, from the reproaches and the curses of posterity, by publicly declaring to all the world, that although, in the constant course of my ministry, I have never failed, on proper occasions, to recommend, urge, and insist upon the lov. ing, honouring, and reverencing the prince's person, and holding it, according to the laws, inviolable and sacred; and paying all obedience and submission to the laws, though never so hard and inconvenient to private people: yet did I never think myself at liberty, or authorized to tell the people, that either Christ, St. Peter, or St. Paul, or any other holy writer, had, by any doctrine delivered by them, subverted the laws and constitutions of the country in which they lived, or put them in a worse condition with respect to their civil liberties than they would have been had they not been Christians. I ever thought it a most impious blasphemy against that holy religion, to father any thing upon it that might encourage tyranny, oppression, or injustice, in a prince, or that easily tended to make a free and happy people slaves and miserable. No. People may make themselves as wretched as they will, but let not God be caļled into that wicked party. When force and violence, and hard necessity, have brought the yoke of servitude upon a people's neck, religion will supply them with a patient and submissive spirit under it till they can innocently shake it off: but certainly religion never puts it on. This always was, and this at present is, my judgment of these matters: and I would be transmitted to posterity (for the little share of time such names as mine can live), under the character of one who loved his country, and would be thought a good Englishman, as well as a good clergyman.
• This character I thought would be transmitted by the following sermons, which were made for and preached in a private audience, when I could think of nothing else but doing my duty on the occasions that were then offered by God's providence, without
any manner of design of making them public; and for that reason I give them now as they were then delivered; by which I hope to satisfy those people who have objected a change of principles to me, as if I were not now the same man 1 formerly was. I never had but one opinion of these matters; and that I think is so reasonable and well-grounded, that I believe I can never have any other.
. Another reason of my publishing these sermons at this time is, that I have a mind to do myself some honour by doing what honour I could to the memory of two most excellent princes, and who have very highly deserved at the hands of all the people of these dominions, who have any true value for the Protestant religion, and the constitution of the Eng. lish government, of which they were the great deliverers and defenders. I have lived to see their illustrious names very rudely handled, and the great benefits they did this nation treated slightly and contemptuously. I have lived to see our deliverance from arbitrary power and popery traduced and vilified by some who formerly thought it was their greatest merit, and made it part of their boast and glory, to have had a little hand and share in bringing it about; and others who, without it, must have lived in exile, poverty, and misery, meanly disclaiming it, and using ill the glorious instruments thereof. Who could expect such a requital of such merit? I have, I own it, an ambition of exempting myself from the number of unthankful people : and as I loved and honoured those great princes living, and lamented over them when dead, so I would gladly raise them up a monument of praise as lasting as any thing of mine can be: ard I choose to do it at this time, when it is so unfashionable a thing to speak honourably of them.
• The sermon that was preached upon the Duke of Gloucester's death was printed quickly after, and is
now, because the subject was so suitable, joined to the others. The loss of that most promising and hopeful prince was at that time, I saw, unspeakably
many accidents since have convinced us that it could not have been overvalued. That precious life, had it pleased God to have prolonged it the usual space, had saved us many fears and jealousies, and dark distrusts, and prevented many alarms, that have long kept us, and will keep us still, waking and uneasy. Nothing remained to comfort and support us under this heavy stroke, but the necessity it brought the king and nation under of settling the succession in the house of Hanover, and giving it a hereditary right by act of parliament, as long as it continues Protestant. So much good did God, in his merciful providence, produce from a misfortune, which we could never otherwise have sufficiently deplored !
* The fourth sermon was preached upon the queen’s accession to the throne, and the first year in which that day was solemnly observed (for by some accident or other it had been overlooked the year before); and every one will see, without the date of it, that it was preached very early in this reign, since I was able only to promise and presage its future glories and successes, from the good appearances of things, and the happy turn our affairs began to take; and could not then count up the victories and triumphs that, for seven years after, made it, in the prophet's language, a name and a praise among all the people of the earth. Never did seven such years together pass over the head of any English monarch, nor cover it with so much honour. The crown and sceptre seemed to be the queen's least ornaments; those other princes wore in common with her, and her great personal virtues were the same before and since; but such was the fame of her administration