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dence, which keeps the celestial orbs in their courfes, will be ever watchful that these two moral lights fuffer no extinction or irretrievable decay. For as neither comets above, nor ignes fatui below, can fupply the use of those luminaries, fo neither can defpotic rule, or wild fanaticism, fupply the use of these.
"Yet as the moral world, for very obvious reasons, is infinitely more subject to disorder than the natural, it may fometimes happen that these moral lights fhall fuffer fuch dreadful eclipfes, and have their splendour fo polluted and impaired, as to fhine purely no where, and brightly only in some small obscure corner of the globe. Thus, for instance, the bleffing of civil liberty, the fource of all human happiness, was, for many ages, totally extinct; and the knowledge of the Deity himfelf, the fountain-head of truth, was, for as many more, confined within the narrow limits of the land of Ifrael.
"Now this being the precarious condition of the moral world in general, let us fee what may be the actual state of Civil Government and Religion at prefent on the earth.
"As to the former, if we look round us, from the nearest to the remoteft continent, we fhall no where find a fociety founded on the true principles of civil liberty. Either the nature of its convention hath been fo ill conceived (as in the Eaft), that the abfolute defpotic form hath been mistaken for the immediate inftitution of heaven; and, confequently, every fpecies of free government for effential licence and impiety: or elfe, where the rights of mankind have been better understood (as in the Weft), where the three legitimate forms, the Monarchic, the Ariftocratic, and the Popular, have been truly discriminated; yet men, seeing that civil freedom was naturally confined to these three forms, erroneously concluded, that each of them, feparately and unmixed with the other two, was able to futain all the rights and advantages of it; not confi
dering that, while they operate fingly, they are but the fame tyranny in a different shape: for while each form exifts alone, the whole fovereignty refides in a part only of the community, which subjects the reft to defpotic rule.
"But true and lafting liberty refults from the skilful combination of the three forms with one another ; where each of the orders, which governs abfolutely in each form, hath its due fhare of the fovereign power, and no more. Here all impotency of rule is eternally excluded; for no man, or body of men, can exercise tyranny over itself.
"A government thus truly free is like one of thofe fovereign medicines fo much spoken of, where each of the various ingredients, of which it is compofed, does, together with its virtues, contain fuch noxious qualities, that, if used fimply and alone, might occafion great diforders; but when skilfully intermixed with the reft, the whole hath corrected the noxious qualities, and exalted the falutary virtues of each part.
"Whenever such a well composed fociety becomes defpotic, it must be by the filent diffolution of its complex form; as when one order ufurping on the reft, hath gotten the whole of the fovereignty to itself.
"With so happy a Conftitution of government hath it pleased Divine providence to bless this Ifland; the honoured repofitary of facred freedom, at a time when almost all the other civilized nations have betrayed their truft, and delivered up civil liberty, the most precious gift of nature, for a prey to their fellow crea
"Now the preservation of this facred ordinance being no less necessary to the temporal welfare of man, than the knowledge of the true God is to his spiritual; we must conclude, that the fame gracious Providence cc3
would be now no lefs watchful for the preservation of the British nation, than it was of old for the Jewish; yet ftill speaking the fame language to both- I do not this for your fakes, but for my holy Name's fake.'
"If we turn from Government to Religion, we fhall have the fame reason to adore the gracious Majefty of Heaven, ftill working for his holy Name's fake, that is, for the general good of mankind. For though it would be vanity to boast in this case, as in the other, that true Religion, like Civil Liberty, is to be found only in Great Britain, when we behold the Proteftant faith, profeffed in the purity of the Gospel, in fo many of our kindred Churches on the continent; yet this we cannot but declare, and fhould always acknowledge with the utmoft gratitude, that the Church of England, by means of the mighty power of its Imperial Head, is become the fortress and bulwark of the Proteftant profeffion throughout the world; and, therefore, we may be affured, the object of God's peculiar regard, whose special Providence works chiefly for eneral ends.
"In the course of this quarrel it hath been fometimes faid, the present combustion in Europe was to be regarded in the light of a religious war, against a confederacy animated by Romifh fuperftition and tyranny; and fometimes again, that it broke out and was carried on only for the difcuffion of our civil interefts. But in whatever shifting lights it may fuit the ends of Politicians to prefent it, the Lord of Hofts himself, by fa vifibly fighting our battles, hath fully decided the quef tion, and in the midst of victory hath declared it to be indeed a religious war: for human prefumption itself will never venture to account for fuch diftinguished mercies to a finful nation, any otherwife, than by con fidering Great Britain in the light as of the fole remain
ing truffee of Civil Freedom, so of the great bulwark of Gospel Truth.
"Let us, therefore, humble ourselves before the Sovereign Majefty of heaven, confefs our total unwor→ thinefs of these diftinguifhed mercies, and echo back again to the throne of grace thofe awful words which once proceeded from it- We confefs, O Almighty Father, that the great things which thou haft done for us, were not done for our fakes, but for thy holy Name's fake." Warburton's Sermons, vol. iii. p. 190. Edit. 1767.
Note to vol. ii. p. 362. 1. 20. As the following extracts, felected from a Work printed in the year 1684, coincide with many of the opinions which I have ftated relative to the Millennium, and the manner in which it will be brought about; and as they contain likewife fome obfervations closely applicable to the pre fent times, I wish to prefent them to my Readers. The Work referred to was unknown to the Writer of the laft Chapter, till after that Chapter was written: but, as there is so striking an agreement of opinion upon a fubject concerning which men think fo variously, it is thought defirable to bring forward fuch a support from a book not easily procured and written more than a century ago.
"It hath been an opinion commonly received in the antient Church, that Elias, to wit, one in the spirit and power of Elias, fhall come to restore all things, before the fecond coming of Chrift, as John the Baptist had in part done before his firft appearance, by turning the difobedient to the wisdom of the juft. The ground of which opinion was not only that Prophecy of Malachi iv. 56. but also Matthew xvii. 11. Elias fhall truly CC 4 firft
first come, and restore all things.' These words of our Saviour wherein he says, after John the Baptist had been come and was gone out of the world, that Elias fhall come, or fhall yet come ' it is thought that he would thereby fignifie, that all the Prophecy of Malachi was not fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptift, though in part it was, as our Saviour intimated, ver. 12.
"Mr. Mede fays, lib. i. p. 139. There is a fecond and more glorious calling of the Gentiles to be found in the Prophecies of Scripture. A calling wherein the Jews fhall have a share of the greatest glory, and are to have a pre-eminence above other nations, when all nations shall flow into them and walk in their light.'
And as the promise of Chrift's reign and government in the world is made to the Jews in special, and in reference to their benefit, fo there are feveral other things, which, confidered and laid together, do seem to make it probable, that whenever Almighty God shall bring them into their own land again, and there fettle them as a nation, that then he will make them the chief among the nations.'
"But although Jerufalem fhall be called the Throne of the Lord, and although our Lord, Chrift Jefus, fhall reign as King in all the earth, and his name alone be exalted in this his day, and though he fhall reign and rule upon the throne of his father David, yet I can by no means agree with them who have thought that he fhall come from heaven to reign perfonally here on earth, for a thousand years: for, 1ft, He is to fit at the right hand of his Father Almighty in the heavens, until all his enemies are made his footstool, and that will not be till after his thousand years reign mentioned Rev. xx. is expired. For after this Gog and Magog with their numerous company are to be fubdued; and St. Paul