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very lately, when their Queen had offended them in nothing but by the promotion of a few great men to pofts of truft and honour, who had distinguished themfel.es by their moderation and humanity to all their fellow-lubjects, what was the behaviour of these men of meek and refigned principles? did not the Churchmemorial, which they all applauded and cried up as the language and fentiments of their party, tell her Majetty that it would not be safe for her to rely upon their doctrines of Paffive-obedience and Non-refiftance, for that nature might rebel against principles ? Is not this, in plain terms, that they will only practife Non-refistance to a Prince that pleases them, and Paffive-obedience when they fuffer nothing? I remember one of the rabble in Oedipus, when he is upbraided with his rebelLion, and asked by the prophet if he had not taken an oath to be loyal, falls a fcratching his head, and tells him, why yes truly, he had taken fuch an oath,' but
it was a hard thing that an oath should be a man's mafter.' This is in effect the language of the church in the above mentioned memorial. Men of thefe foft. peaceable difpofitions in times of profperity, put me in inind of Kirk's lambs; for that was the name he used to give his dragoons that had fignalized themselves above the reft of the army by many military atchievements among their own countrymen.
There are two or three fatal confequences of this doctrine, which I cannot forbear pointing out. The firft of which is, That it has a natural tendency to make a good King a very bad one. When a man is told he may do what he pleases with impunity, he will be lefs careful and cautious of doing what he fhould do, than a man who is influenced by fear as well as by other motives to virtue. It was a faying of Thales the wife Milefian, that of all wild beafts a tyrant is the worst,
and of all tame beafts a flatterer. They do indeed naturally beget one another, and always exift together.. Perfuade a Prince that he is irrefiftible, and he will
take care not to let fo glorious an attribute lie dead and useless by him. An arbitrary power has fomething fo great in it, that he must be more than man who is endowed with it, but never exerts it.
This confequence of the doctrine I have been speaking of, is very often a fatal one to the people; there is another which is no lefs deftinative to the Prince. late unfortunate King very vifibly owed his ruin to it. He relied upon the affurances of his people, that they. would never refift him upon any pretence whatfoever, and accordingly began to act like a King who was not under the restraint of laws, by difpenfing with them,. and taking on him that power which was vefted in the whole legislative body. And what was the dreadful end of fuch a proceeding? it is too fresh in every body's memory. Thus is a Prince corrupted by the profeffors of this doctrine, and afterwards betrayed by them. The fame perfons are the actors, both in the temptation and the punishment. They affure him they. will never refift, but retain their obedience under the utmoft fufferings; he tries them in a few inftances, and is depofed by them for his credulity.
I remember at the beginning of King James's reign the Quakers prefented an addrefs, which gave great offence to the high church-men of thofe times. notwithstanding the uncourtlinefs of their phrafes, the fense was very honeft. The addrefs was as follows, to the best of my memory, for then I took great notice of it; and may ferve as a counter-part to the foregoing
Hefe are to teftify to thee our forrow for our friend Charles, whom we hope thou wilt fol"low in every thing that is good.
"We hear that thou art not of the religion of the "land any more than we, and therefore may reason. "ably expect that thou wilt give us the fame liberty "that thou takest thyself.
"We hope that in this and in all things elfe thou "wilt promote the good of thy people, which will oblige us to pray that thy reign over us may be long "and profperous."
Had all King James's fubje&s addreffed him with the fame integrity; he had, in all probability, fat upon his throne until death had removed him from it.