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dence, which keeps the celestial orbs in their courses, will be ever watchful that these two moral lights suffer no extinction or irretrievable decay. For as neither comets above, nor ignes fatui below, can supply the use of those luminaries, so neither can despotic rule, or wild fanaticism, supply the use of these.
« Yet as the moral world, for very obvious reasons, is infinitely more subject to disorder than the natural, it may sometimes happen that these moral lights shall fuffer such dreadful eclipses, and have their splendour so polluted and impaired, as to shine purely no where, and brightly only in some small obscure corner of the globe. Thus, for instance, the blessing of civil liberty, the source of all human happiness, was, for many ages, totally extinct; and the knowledge of the Deity himself, the fountain-head of truth, was, for as many more, confined within the narrow limits of the land of Israel.
« 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 present on the earth.
“ As to the former, if we look round us, from the nearest to the remotest continent, we shall no where find a society founded on the true principles of civil liberty. Either the nature of its convention hath been so ill conceived (as in the East), that the absolute despotic form hath been mistaken for the immediate inftitution of heaven; and, consequently, every species of free government for effential licence and impiety: or else, where the rights of mankind have been better understood (as in the West), where the three legitimate forms, the Monarchic, the Aristocratic, 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, separately and unmixed with the other two, was able to sulain all the rights and advantages of it; not confi
dering that, while they operate fingly, they are but the same tyranny in a different shape : for while each form exifts alone, the whole sovereignty resides in a part only of the community, which subjects the rest to despotic rule.
“ But true and lasting liberty results from the skilful combination of the three forms with one another where each of the orders, which governs absolutely in each form, hath its due share of the sovereign power, and no more. Here all impotency of rule is eternally excluded; for no man, or body of men, can exercise tyranny over itself.
government thus truly free is like one of those fovereign medicines so much spoken of, where each of the various ingredients, of which it is composed, does, together with its virtues, contain such noxious qualities, that, if used fimply and alone, might occasion great disorders; 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 society becomes despotic, it must be by the filent dissolution of its complex form; as when one order usurping on the reft, hath gotten the whole of the sovereignty to itself.
« With so happy a Constitution of government hath it pleased Divine providence to bless this isand; the honoured repofitary of sacred freedom, at a time when almost all the other civilized nations have betrayed their trust, 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 same gracious Providence сс 3
would be now no less watchful for the preservation of the British nation, than it was of old for the Jewish; yet still speaking the same language to both. I do not this for your fakes, but for my holy Name's sake.'
“ If we turn from Government to Religion, we shall have the same reason to adore the gracious Majesty of Heaven, still 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 Protestant faith, professed in the purity of the Gospel, in so many of our kindred Churches on the continent; yet this we cannot but declare, and should always acknowledge with the utmost gratitude, that the Church of England, by means of the mighty power of its Imperial Head, is become the fortress and bulwark of the Protestant profession throughout the world; and, therefore, we may be assured, the object of God's peculiar regard, whose special Providence works chiefly for en neral ends.
“ In the course of this quarrel it hath been fometimes said, the present combustion in Europe was to be regarded in the light of a religious war, against a confederacy animated by Romish superstition and tyranny; and sometimes again, that it broke out and was carried on only for the discussion of our civil interests. But in whatever shifting lights it may fuit the ends of Po. liticians to present it, the Lord of Hosts himself, by fo visibly fighting our battles, hath fully decided the queso tion, and in the midst of victory hath declared it to be indeed a religious war : for human presumption itself will never venture to account for such distinguished mercies to a sinful nation, any otherwise, than by con, fidering Great Britain in the light as of the sole remain
ing truffee of Civil Freedom, so of the great bulwark of Gospel Truth.
« Let us, therefore, humble ourselves before the Sovereign Majesty of heaven, confess our total unworthiness of these distinguished inercies, and echo back again to the throne of grace those awful words which once proceeded from it We'confefs, 0 Almighty Father, that the great things which thou hast 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, selected 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 likewise fome observations closely applicable to the prea sent times, I wish to present them to my Readers. The Work referred to was unknown to the Writer of the last 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 desirable to bring forward such a support from a book nut 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, shall come to restore all things, before the second coming of Christ, as John the Baptift had in part done before his first appearance, by turning the disobedient 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 CC4
first come, and restore all things.' These words of out Saviour wherein he says, after John the Baptist had been come and was gone out of the world, that · Elias fall come, or shall yet come ;' it is thought that he would thereby signifie, that all the Prophecy of Malachi was not fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptist, though in part it was, as our Saviour intimated, ver. 12.
“ Mr. Mede says, lib. i. p. 139. There is a second and more glorious calling of the Gentiles to be found in the Prophecies of Scripture. A calling wherein the Jews shall 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 Christ's reign and government in the world is made to the Jews in special, and in reference to their benefit, so there are several other things, which, considered and laid together, do seem to make it probable, that whenever Almighty God shall bring them into their own land again, and there settle them as a nation, that then he will make them the chief among the nations.'
“ But although Jerusalem shall be called the Thronę of the Lord, and although our Lord, Christ Jesus, shall reign as King in all the earth, and his name alone be exalted in this his day, and though he shall reign and rule upon the throne of his father David, yet I can by no means agree with them who have thought that he shall come from heaven to reign personally here on earth, for a thousand years : for, ist, 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