Benjamin Hoadly.

A sermon preach'd before the Lords spiritual and temporal : in Parliament assembled : at the Collegiate Church of St. Peter's Westminister : on Monday, January 30, 1720-21 : being the anniversary of the martyrdom of King Charles the First online

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Online LibraryBenjamin HoadlyA sermon preach'd before the Lords spiritual and temporal : in Parliament assembled : at the Collegiate Church of St. Peter's Westminister : on Monday, January 30, 1720-21 : being the anniversary of the martyrdom of King Charles the First → online text (page 1 of 1)
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A Sermon Preach ! d on the
Anniversary of the Martyrdom
of King Charles the First







Preach'd before the

\Lords Spiritual and Temporal^




Collegiate Church


St. Peters Weftminfter,

On Monday January 30, 1710-11.

[Being the ANNIVERSARY oi
the MARTYRDOM of King
CHARLES the Ftrfl.

By BENJAMIN, Lord Bifliop of

Printed for JAMES KNAP TON at the Crown J
and Ti M o T H Y C H i L D E at the White Han\
in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXX.

i Ep. to the Cor. X Cft. the
former Part of the i ith


all thefe Things Hap-
pened unto Them for En-



O U will eafily per-
ceive^from my chu-
fing thefe Words
as an Introduction
to what I am now
going to fey, That
it is my Defign to make ufe of that
Black and Unhappy Part of our
Engltjh Hiftory, which we are com-
manded by Authority to call to
mind on this Z)^, in fuch a man*
ner, as to make fuch Obfervations




upon it, and draw fuch Leflons from
it, as may be of moft lervice to our
felves, in order to prevent and avoid
thofe Things which happened unto
our Forefathers, for Rnfamplcs to Us
their Pofterity : juft as the Unhap-
pinefles and Wickednefles of the
Jews in former Ages, are here in
the Text fet before the Eyes of
their Followers by St. Taut.

To open unneceflarily any old
Wounds that are now clofed up,
and make them bleed afrefh ; To
widen any that are now open,
and to inflame them ftill more and
more : Thefe Things are as far from
my Inclination and Temper, as
They are contrary to All that I
know of Religion. I had much
rather pour Oyl into Any That re-
main, and apply nothing but foft
and healing Medicines : Nay, if it
were poffible, I would caft a Veil



over every Mark of paft Infamy,
or even Imperfe&ion, on all Sides ;
were it not for fear. We might at
the fame time lofe fome of the Beft
Leffons and moft Ufeful Obfervati-
ons for our own Conduft.

To run with Violence againft
Any One fort of Men now in being :
To fix the Guilt of That upon All of
one General Denomination, which
All the Chief of them detefted by a
public Remonftrance at the Time
of the Tranfaftion : To lay That
upon the Generality of a Nation,
which even in theKr// Zeal againft
it, was declared by public f Au-
thority to be the Work of a Few
at that Time poflefs'd of Power :
Or, To load with all poffible Ag-
gravations the unjuftifiable Proceed-
ings on One Side only, and to clear
the Other of every thing that looks

t Proclam. King CHARLES II. 1660.



like Guilt : Thefe are Points, which
common Juftice and Equity (not
to mention Companion and Chari-
ty ) forbid Us to do.

But to teach Our felves to avoid
what we rightly blame in Others to
take Care that True and Juft Prin-
ciples of Public Good do not fuffer
in theEfteem of Men, thro' the Mi-*
ftakes orWickednefs of Such as were
Strangers to them, or only preten-
ded to make ufe of them ; and that
the Memory of True Tatriots may
not be curfed, for the Sake of the
Infamy of Ufurpers ruling by mere
Power and Arm'd Force : To learn,
from the Review of former Unhap-
pinefles, every Thing that can be of
Ufe to help Us in the Preventing
Any the like Miferies for the
Time to come, or the Curing any
prefent Evils : Tbefe, and the like,
are Points worthy of Perfons con-


C 9 )

cern'd for the Good of their Coun-
try ; and Such, as may render this
Faft, not a Faft for Strife and J)e*
late, nor merely a Faft for Shams
and Reproach ; but a J)aj of Ufe-
ful Inftruftion in the Paths which
lead to Public Peace, and the Efta-
blifhm^nt of all that is valuable in
human^ Society.

The ti^in Points which this %)ay
recalls to ourMinds, I fhall connect
together in the following Manner,in
order to introduce the Obfervations
I defign : That there was, in the
'Days of our Forefathers to which
we now look back, a Zeal in the
Reprefentatives ofEngland, in Par-
liament aflembled, to oppofe Eve-
ry Arbitrary Encroachment upon
the Legal Liberties and Properties of

the Subject : That, by degrees,

and by the Concurrence of many

Accidents, the Paflions, aqd Rage,

B and

r 'o

and Revenge of Some, by the help
of mutual 'Provocations, mix'd then>
fcives too much in the Conteft :
That Ambitious and Defign-
ing and Defperate Men took occa-
fion from hence to fet their own

Machines on work : That the

various and contradictory Schemes
of Belief and Worjhifr embraced at
that Time, (All equally honour'd
with the Name of Religion,) were
call'd in to heat the Imaginations
of Men, and to help forward the
common Ruine : That at length
this ended in the Deftru&ion of the
Legal Cmflitution ; in confounding
even all Appearance of Freedom
in. what remained of a Parliament ;
in an Ujwfd P^w^r, fupported by
Force againft the Content of the
Nation, and with the Abhorrence
of the greateft Friends to Legal
Liberty ; and in the JMwtber of the



KING, againft the Voices o4//, but
Such as then began to find themfelves
to have no Security but from an
ArmdForce : AKttS, which as 1 truly
deteft ; and am led to do fo by ail
the Trincifles I know any thing of:
fo, if any Words of mine could ag-
gravate it, confider'd in all its Cii>
cumftances, They never fliould be
wanting. Thefe are the Main
Parts of the Hiftory now before
Us ; upon which 1 (hall proceed to
build fome Observations. And,

L I (hall take leave to Warn a-
gainft One Ufe which may fome-
times have been made of this Part
of our Hiftory ; and That is, The
arguing from the Bad Event of
Things, contrary to the Wifhes and
Defigns of the Reft and Weft
againft ail fuch Oppofition to
gal Encroachments y and Arb

B a Pro-

r 12

"Proceedings , as firft open'd the
Scene. For, As, in Argument, no*
thing is more injudicious, than to
plead againft Owe r/wg, becaufe /4-
Htffer ffeg, of a quite different Na-
ture, fuccededto It, thro' the wick-
ed Deiigns of fome Men, and the
unaccountable Concurrence of a
thoufand Occidents : So, in Toltticat
Affairs, nothing can be more fatal,
than to draw a Condufm, from
fuch Events, which mutt lay the
Foundation of Uninterrupted and
Hopelefs Slavery. The Nature and
Reafon of Things abhorrs fuch an
Inference; which would at once take
away all the Right of a Free Nati-
on j and make their Meeting toge-
ther in ^Parliament, only a more &-
lemn Form of Absolute SubmiJJion to
whatever the Will of Another Ihall
lay upon them. All in the Admi-
niftration of Government, who are

( '3)

, would not with to have fuch
a Temptation to Evil laid in their
way : All, who are Good, would e-
ven oppofe and prevent fuch a
dangerous Piece of Servile Subjettion:
and ^//, who are Bad enough to
with for it, deferve for that very
Reafon to have the Terror of the
Contrary before their Eyes ; that fo,
what They will not refrain from
for Conscience, yet for Wrath's Sake
may be avoided. Let that Leffon,
therefore, of Good, remain un-
touch'd, which under an Admiru-
ftration, by which the Liberties and
Laws of the Country are preferv'd
unviolated, can do no hurt ; and
under One, which affumes the Pow-
er of ating without or againft Law,
is of Abfolute Neceffity to prevent
Tuttic Ruine.

THERE is the lefs Occafion for
Argument upon this Heady becaufe



the Beft of Tbofe Hiflorians, and O-
ther Writers, who have (hewn the
greateft Warmth againft what fol-
lowed, yet have been far from con-
demning thofe Beginnings of Zeal for
thefW&c, which tended in their na-
tural Confequences to the lading
Good of the King and the Whole
Body; and could not have been
diverted from attaining that End,
but by the Unreaibnablenefs and
private Views of fuch on each Side,
as had nothing lefs at Heart than
either theGrcatnefs of their King, or
the Good of their Country : Two
Things, which in our Conftitution
are fo happily joind together, that
They can never be put a/under.

And what is ftill a Greater
Confolation, is, that, tho' fuch Lef*
fons of Subjettion may have been
taught by Perfons of Leiiure, little
vers'd in the Affairs of humane Life,



yet We have feen with Pleafure
that All Sorts, and forties, ( if I
muft ufe that Word.,) of Men a-
mongft Us, have, (to their Honour
be it fpoken) in their teveral turns,
and as conftantly as any Opportu-
nity offer'd it felf, openly and zea-
loufly made oppofitionto Any At-
tempts, whichThey either knew, or
imagined, to affeft the known Laws
and Liberties of their Country.
Nay, it muft be acknowledged, that
None have (hewn more of this Spi-
rit in Parliament, than Tbofe who
have feem'd fearful of giving too
great Encouragement to Uberly^ for
fear of the ill Confequences of it :
And it ought ever to be accounted
one Part of their great Glory, that,
out ofTarliament, in the greateft and
happieft Struggle for Tublic Liber-
ty , that the prelent Generation, or
perhaps any other, ever was wit-


nefs to, Their Tart was great and
remarkable, in oppofing the En*
croachments of Arbitrary To-wer,
and even in inviting an Arm'd
Force to make that Oppofition fuc-
cefsful : The only appearing Diffe~
rence between Them and Others, if
we may judge by Traflice, being
This, that, whilft They are Both e-
qually jealous of Every fuppos'd
Attempt againft their Liberties, the
One fort may imagine That to be
fo, which the Other do not; and
the On* fort may be fearful left
the Defenfe of their own Prafficc
fhould imprefs too great a Senfeof
Liberty upon the Minds of Men,
whilft the Other may think it beft
not only to vindicate what is in it
Telf praife-worthy, but to fcatter
the Light of Legal Liberty into all
Corners of the Land, and to infpire
the Love of it into the Heart of
Every Subject, If


I F We therefore, confider fuch
Leflbns of Submiflion with regard
to the Practice of the Wifeft and
Beft on all Sides ; We may lee how
Vain, as well as how Reproachful
on All equally, they are : If we
confider them in a Political Light ;
They prefent Us with nothing but
Certain Slavery without any poffi-
ble Chance for the contrary : If We
confider them in the way of Ar-
gument merely ; They are no
better than 7his^ That We ought
not to do what is neceflary for 1
the prefervation of a Whole Nati-
on, becaufeit may happen that We
may be ruined afterwards in ano^
ther way ; or, That a Man ought
not to fave himfelf from prefent
Imminent Death^ becaufe it is
poffible that in the Struggle He
may put himfelf into a Fwer
which may afterwards prove mor-
C tal;


tal 3 Or, That a Good Thing ought
not to be attempted, becaufe a
Bad Thing may poffibly happen
fome Time afterwards, which is
neither the natural Confequence of
the Former, nor could be forefeen
by the Wifeft of Men. This leads
us to obierve >

-ill: .

1). If HE U nreafonablenefs of caft-
ing the . Reproach of this Day 7 s
Fa&y and of every Thing before
and after it, upon the Principles
of True .Liberty in general 5 and
upon the Defenders of them :
Whereas it will appear, upon a
ferious Confideratiqn, (however
it may .found, at firft: hearing,)
That, cf all Men > Ihefe are led
by their Principles, if they un-
derftand then^ to an utter and
fettled Difapprobation of what
They have the Reproach of fa-


vouring. For, what is the L/-
berty contended for, by all Men
of Honefty, and Underftanding?
Not Liceritioufnefs : Not a Right
to overturn Laws and Conftitu*
tions, whenever Paffion or Rage
dictate, and the favourable Op-
portunity of Power offers it felf :
Much lefs , a Licence , under
Pretenfe of Liberty^ to deftroy
all Freedom in Parliament 5 to
fet up an Arbitrary Power, and
maintain it by Force of Arms.
Nothing of all this; but every
thing contrary to it. It is the
Liberty which refults from being
governed by Laws made by Con*
fint\ the Liberty which refults
from thefe Laws being fettled in
iuch a manner, that the Innocent
(hall always know their own De-
fenfe from Injuries, and even the
nioft Guilty know before-hand
C 2 upon

( 20 )

upon what their Guilt {hall bp
founded : It is the fecure Enjoy-
ment of Property^ and Privileges
.granted by Laws , free from
every thing that looks like Vio-

THE End of thefe Laws is to
guard againft the worft of all
worldly Evils, Arbitrary Power^ in
whatfoever Shapes or Degrees it
may pretend to fliew itfelf, and
upon whatfoever Pretext it may
found fuch Pretenfions ; to pre-
ferve Judgment and Juftice from
the Influences of Paffion and
Private Refentment ; anci Punifh-
ment it felf, in the Cafe even
of the meaneft Subjeft, from
becoming Cruelty. A Scheme
of happinefs, not known in the
Nations round about Us, either
under Abfolute Monarchies , or Re*
publics j depending, one would


(2, ).

judge from hence, entirely upon
the Nature of that Mixt Form
under which We live.

BUT what was the Cafe now
before Us ? We find plainly that a
Faff, as Shocking in it felf ? as it
was oppofite to the Temper of
Englffimyi, and contrary to the
Maxims of the Englijh Government,
could not belb much as attempted,
till the Freedom of Parliament was
totally deftroy'd ; the Balances
which keep OUF Government in an
even Situation, torn afunder ; and
an Arrnd Force made the fupportof
what remain'd of Civil Government.

THIS Proceeding is much more
agreeable to the Maxims pf Thofe
who think and teach (if any fuch
(till remain) that Arbitrary Power is
^he beft and fitted for the Govern-
ment of Mankind 5 than to the Sen -
of Others of a contrary


Judgment. For in this Cafe, AH
of Legiflation, as well as of Govern-
ment, that remainM, was infiu>
enced and fupported by mere Force,
which is always Abfolttte. Nay,
The Crime and Evil of Vfur^atwn
it felf, upon their own Scheme, is
ib qualified in procefs of Time,
that Prefcription, or Pojfe/ion main-
tain'd for aTerm of years, relieves
Them at length of very much of
their Fir ft Abhorrence of it. Where-
as, No Length of Time, No Te-
nure of Prefcription, can reconcile
the minds of Thole who under-
ftand what Legal Liberty is, to the
total Deftru&ion of a Legal Confti-
iution, and to the Settlement of
mere Power. The very Thing
which, at the End of fome Years,
would have comforted Others, if a
long PofTeffion of Arbitrary Power
had continued amongft Us, feems


* 3 )

to Them fo big with Public
and Calamity y that it heightens and
inflames their Deteftation of all
Proceedings which were thought
neceflary to fuch an Evil : an Evil,
which, if one Cunning and Daring
Vfurper had been fucceeded by
Another, might probably have cleav*d
to Vs^ and our Seed for ever ; and
have come at length to have been
the Subjeft of Fulfom Panegyric
to All the Admirers of Uncon-
trollable Power 5 and left to be
lamented in private only by Such
as Thofe whofe Principles are fome-
times reproach'd as if They fa-
vour'd what is abfolutely inconfi-
ftent with them. This leads Us

III. To obierve the perfeft
Confeftency which there is between
a well-grounded Difapprobation of
that Scene of 7 hings, which We


this Day lament ; and a fettled and
hearty Approbation of that Great
Tr an faff ion in our own Days, upon
which the prefent Eftablifhment
of our Gonftitution is founded.
There may be Thofe, who are fo
little u&d to coniider a Caufe
thoroughly, and to purfue it thro*
all its Confequences, that They
may be lurpriz'd to hear a
Thing fo diftant from what they
have been ufed to. But yet it
will be found certainly true, that
Tbefe two Things are fo far from
being Inconfipent ; that the very
Same Principles which lead Men
of Confideratioa to Approve the
Latter^ dired: and influence Them
to Difapprove the Former. For
Inftance, The Maxim that there
is in the Whole Nation a Right
to preferve Themfelves and their
Conjtitution of Government^ from


Ruine, is fo far from implying in
it, that a Particular Party of a
Nation has a Right to poffefs it-
felf of the Governing Power by
Force, or Trick ; or to tear in
Pieces a Legal Conftitutwn ; or to
commit Ats of Violence againft
Every Branch of that Conftitutwn y
as well as againft Private Men : It w
fofar, I lay, from implying thefe
things,that it ftrongly implies, and
inforces the Contrary. As there-
fore, in the One Cafe, there was
the Concurrence of All Ranks,
and All the Differing Sorts,amongft
Us, againft all the Arrnd Force in
the Land, contending whofe Cries
and Calls ihould be loudeft for
Relief; and in the Other, the
Conjunction of a Few, fecur'd
only by their having all the Arrnd
Force, then in being , on their
Side: As, on the One Hand, the
Concurrent of the Whole was di*
reSiy and truly defign'd for the
Prefervation of our Legal Confti-
D tution :


tulwn ^ and, on the Other hand, the
Views of particular Men were to
be carry 'd on by the 3)eftrulion
of that Conftitution, and the ex^
tinguilhing all Freedom of Par-
liament : As the One ended in
the antient Form of Legal Govern*
i7ient,znd a ftronger Eftablifhment
of the Rights of SubjecJs^ and
Parliaments ; and the Other in a
direct Avowal of Arbitrary Power ,
where any of the Legal Rights
or Privileges, belonging to Par-
liament or Peofky (tood in the
Way : As there are Thefe, and
the like, Effential, and Irrecon*
cileable Differences between the
One and the Oib:r; (too many to
be now enumerated;) it is evi-
dent that the Proceedings of the
Whole Natioti, in the One Cafe,
(land approved and fupported by
the fame Principles, which lead
moft effeSually to the Condemna-
tion of the Proceedings of a Part
poflefs'd of jFWer, in the Other
Cafe. But, IV. As

IV. As thefr. Things bappm'd
to our Forefathers for Enfarnples ;
fo let Them be Enfarnfhs to *Z/r,
not only to chufc what was Good
in the Conduct of'-Soi^, but to
avoid what was Evil in Others^
and what indeed hindred all the
Good which was propos'd. The
Great Lejjon is, That on all Sides
Men fuffer not thdr -Perfonat
Refentments, Pailions, Difappoint-
ments, or Private Inteiefts, to
enter into their Contefts, \|rfiere
the Public is concecnM ' At ieaft,
to guard againft their in fluences^as
much as it is poffible for Humane
Nature to do. 1 fay, As' iMch
06 poffible, well knowing how
hard a Leflbiv this is, and how
feldom the Praflice of it is to be
hoped for. There is Something
in Self-Love ib deeply mooted, that
Private Interefts and Private Views
have often a filent and effedtual
Influence upon Men, even when
theirMouvementsare not diitindly
felt within. Nor would I be un-
D 3 der-

(28 )

derftood to infinuate that it is al-
ways impoffible that Jhefe (hould
happen to fall in with what is tru-
ly for the Public Good. But this is
by Accident : and it being
really the Satisfaction of our Paf-
Jions, which gives Life to all Pro^
ceedings in which Thefe mix
themfelves, the Experiment upon
this Account is always dangerous.
For the Nature and Operation of
Thefe Principles is fuch, that
They will obfcure or difcolour the
brignteft ObjeS ; They will make
That appear \feafonable r which is
frofitable, or agreeable to fomePre-
fent View ; and throw a Diigrace
upon whatever does not tend to
fetHfy Themielves, Take away
Thefe 3 and Public Good appears Na-
ked and open to every Eye, free
from all Difficulties and Embar-
rafsments : But let Tbefe enter in
their full Strength; and Public
Good becomes only Another Word
for our own Private Views and
Pajjions. But of All Principles of


Action in humane Nature, Revenge
for Perfonal Injuries is feen to
make the greateft Havock in all
Public Difputes and Diforders.
For, as it is naturally blind againft
all Light, and Deaf to { $ll Argu- .
ment; fo, it can be Sated by
Nothing but fome one particular
Sacrifice which It propofes ; after
which is com pa (Ted, it generally
ends in Shame and Repentance.
The Power of trieie Principles is
known to be fo great in Civil Af-
fairs, that one main Foundation
of all Civil Government, is, That
Men ought not to be the Avengers
of their ownPerfonal Injuries; And
this Fundamental Maxim of So-
ciety is facredly obferv'd through
the Whole Tenor of our Englffi
Laws ; and never tranfgrcis u or
negleded but upon Extraordinary

How terrible was ihe Force of
Thtfe feen to be in the Days of
our Fathtrs ? Efpecially, when they
were fet on Fire by that mffifyn



Zeal, (the true and genuine En-
thufiafm^) \\hich at once inflames
and confecrates the PaJJi&ns ; at once
actuates them into Rage to all ex-
tremities, and fandifies that Rage
by the f#:red Names of God and
Religion : By which it came to
pafs that the Caufe of every
heated Imagination became the
Caufe of GOD ; that whatever
Men thought well of, in Religious
Affairs, for Themfelves y They
came to think it their Duty to
force upon Others ; and that Mutu*
alToleration was declared by Some,
jvho once wanted it themfelves,
the Greateft of all the Monfters
which thofe unhappy Times
brought forth.

WE have much to learn from
thefe Things; and much to avoid.
Let us imirate all that Zeal of
our Forefathers for our Legal Con-
ftitution^whifh was vifibly defign'd,
and naturally tended, to prevent
future Encroachments of Power,
either agrinp y or without , Law:


( 3' )

Aftd let us fly far from all thofe
Methods which naturally paved the
Way to the Lofs of all that Free-
dom which they pretended to fe-
cure. Let us value our !kiberties 7
as Honeft Men : Not only for the
Pleafure and Security They Afford
to Ourfelves ; but as a Truftrepos'd
in Us for our Pofterity^ much more
Sacred and Important than Any o-
ther Legacy of this World, that
we can leave them. Let not our
Pajjions be our firft Inftru&ors in
any Step of our Public Conduct :
But let them Themfelves be in-
ftrufted and guided by our Reafon.
Let our Love to what we juftly
approve, and chufe for ourfelves,
in Religion , engage Us to fuch
Charity and Forbearance towards
Others^ as may demonftrate our
Gratitude for our own Happinefs ;
and our deep Senfe that Whatfo
ever we may account the Cattfe of
God is to be promoted by None
but the Methods of Go/.


IN a Word, As* Britons, enjoy ^
ing the Bkffings of &gonftitution.
unknowf^to all the Court tries a-
round Us v even where the Word
Liberty i^titt us'd ; and; AsChri-
ftians, enjoying the Light and Li*
berty of the Gofpel ; Let us fecure^
as much as can be, the Repofe
and Comforts of this prefent Life
by valuing and preferving that
Form of Government which ad-
ininiiters fo much Good to Us;
and let Us prefs, with unwearied
Steps, to the Rewards of the Life
which it to come y (freefrom all the
Viciffitudes and Confufions of the
happieft Kingdoms of. this World)
by walking worthy of our Holy Vo-
cation^ and adorning our Profeffiori
by a truly Chriftian and unblame-
ble Conveifation.

Which GOD grant, for the Sake
*f Jefi^Qjqjfe^^r^ &c.





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Online LibraryBenjamin HoadlyA sermon preach'd before the Lords spiritual and temporal : in Parliament assembled : at the Collegiate Church of St. Peter's Westminister : on Monday, January 30, 1720-21 : being the anniversary of the martyrdom of King Charles the First → online text (page 1 of 1)