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Title: A Sermon Preach'd upon the Occasion of the Anniversary Thanksgiving of the Fifth of November, 1706 - at the Church of Kensington
Author: Hough, Nath.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Sermon Preach'd upon the Occasion of the Anniversary Thanksgiving of the Fifth of November, 1706 - at the Church of Kensington" ***

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Transcribed from the 1707 W. B. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org  Many thanks to Kensington and Chelsea local studies for
finding this and allowing it to be transcribed.

                      [Picture: Public domain cover]


                    Preach’d upon the Occasion of the

                         Anniversary Thanksgiving

                    Of the Fifth of _November_, 1706.

                                  AT THE

                         CHURCH of _KENSINGTON_.

                                * * * * *

By NATH. HOUGH, M.A. Chaplain to the Countess FAUCONBERG, Lecturer of
_Kensington_, and Fellow of _Jesus_ College in _Cambridge_.

                                * * * * *


Printed by _W. B._ for ALEXANDER BOSVILE at the _Dial_ and _Bible_ over
against St. _Dunstan’s_ Church in _Fleet Street_.  1707.


_THIS is the second Instance of my Service made publick upon an Occasion
of this Nature_.  _As none can be more pleased with the double Blessing
of the Day_, _than your selves_, _being the best Subjects to Her_
MAJESTY, _as well as the nearest Neighbours to Her __Court_: _So I have
this farther Accession to the general Joy_, viz.  _As I have a small
Opportunity of shewing_, _at your own Request_, _how much I am_,

                        Your most obliged Servant,

                                                              NATH. HOUGH.

                                * * * * *

    PSALM cxxiv. _v._ 2. and part of the 3d.

    _If it had not been the Lord who was on our side_, _when Men rose up
    against Us_; _Then They had swallowed Us up quick_.

WHOEVER compares this _Psalm_ and this _Solemnity_ together, will find
the main _Lines_ of the one, and the chief _Circumstances_ of the other
exactly agreeable.  Had We Who live since the _Deliverance_ of this Day
was wrought, been endued with the _Divine Author’s_ Inspiration, we could
scarce have pitch’d upon more apposite Words to express the surprizing
_Manner_ of it.  _Swallowing up quick_, _the Kindling_ of our Enemies
_Wrath_, the Torrents _being like to go over our Soul_, our _Escaping
like a __Bird out of the Fowler’s Snare_: All these are _Expressions_ so
pat for the present _Season_, that whilst We sing an _Hymn_, we seem
likewise to read a _Prophecy_.  _Our Enemies_ have took effectual Care
that the ill _Character_ in this _Psalm_ should not pass unfulfill’d:
And I hope we, for our parts, shall not be wanting to make good the pious
_Acknowledgments_ of it, saying, _Blessed be the Lord who hath not given
us as a Prey to their Teeth_.

But perhaps We are got so deep into a _Vein_ of _Thanksgiving_ for
_Modern Mercies_: Our _Streets_ are so full of Triumph, and our
_Churches_ of Praise for the _Victories_ of the past Year, that either no
_Place_ is left for the Recollection of any former _Blessings_, or at
least little or no _Taste_.  The present _Solemnity_ finds our Gratitude
to such a degree exhausted, that tho’ at the utmost ’tis but an
_insufficient Return_, yet at this _Juncture_ it must needs be more so,
considering how our late _Successes_ have already drain’d our very best
_Acknowledgments_.  Thus the _Blessings_ of one Age do a seeming Injury
to _Those_ of the foregoing; And immediate _Deliverances_ bear down so
strongly, as to make distant ones shrink out of _Notice_.

_Happy We_, who have such an agreeable _Excuse_ for being _imperfectly_
thankful: I mean, when _Modern_ Favours are so great, as necessarily to
impair the Memory of the _Antient_.  Tho’ upon second Thoughts this
Excuse cannot hold, since the Favours lately _received_, and Those at
this Time _recollected_, are so much of a Piece, that unless we break the
_Chain_ of _Providence_, we cannot well pretend to _acknowledge_ the one,
and yet wholly to _overlook_ the other.

’Tis the same _Cause_, the same _Interest_ this Year so gloriously
_promoted_, which upon this Occasion we congratulate, as _twice_
wonderfully _preserved_.  The _Reign_ of our _gracious Sovereign_
directly perpetuates the double _Blessing_ which this _Day_ boasts of;
And (God be praised) We obey a good _Queen_, who nobly maintains the
_Reform’d Religion_, which Heaven so _signally_ rescued under Her _first
Royal Ancestor_.

We cannot then let one _Thanksgiving_ justle out another, when the
_Blessings_ which occasion them hang, as it were, upon one _Link_, level
at the same End, and are so many successive _Proofs_ of the same kind and
watchful _Providence_.  Those Enemies of our Faith, who _formerly_ fought
to _undermine_ us at Home, now _forcibly attack_ us from Abroad: So that
whilst We are remembring the successful _Repulse_ of their open
_Assaults_, it cannot be unseasonable to reflect too upon the happy
_Defeat_ of their _private_ Conspiracies.  Nor can _Distance_ of Time be
any just Reason, why the _One_ should be forgot, when the _Other_ are
celebrated, seeing the Interval cannot seem long from the very first
_Reformation_, or betwixt the Reigns of two Glorious _Queens_, whose
_Characters_ come so near each other, and do so happily resemble.

_Easie_ then it is in the general to vindicate the _Honour_ and _Justice_
of celebrating this _Day_; but ’tis as _difficult_ to determine in what
particular Manner it may best be done.  To attempt an _Historical
Account_, wou’d be to trespass upon this judicious _Audience_, so well
acquainted with the known _Matter of Fact_: To aim at an _Elegant_
Representation, wou’d be only to fall short of those many Excellent
_Pens_ which have set the _Fifth of November_ in the best _Light_ it can
bear.  For ’tis well known, that this _Festival_ fixes not more Calumny
upon the Romish _Clergy_, than it has serv’d to shew the _Oratory_, and
advance the Credit of _our Own_: And those Designs which rais’d _Horrour_
in the _Enterprize_, have since produced much _Beauty_ in the

To these _Admirable Discourses_ upon the _Subject_, I do pleasingly remit
You;  And shall presume only to offer a few plain _Reflections_ upon the
following Words, _If it had not been_, &c.

The main Observation directly _flowing_ from the _Text_, and _properly_
suiting the _Solemnity_ is This: _viz._  That the _Defeat_ of such
desperate _Enterprizes_ as proceed from a devilish _Intention_, and are
not by any Humane Means to be prevented in the _Execution_, argues the
unquestionable Interposal of Divine _Providence_.

The Observation, I think, is _self-evident_; and shines by its own Light:
For if we own the Existence of a _Good Being_ who loves and preserves Us,
and of an _Evil One_, who hates and would destroy Us, where should the
One declare his _Providence_, but where the Other discovers his _Malice_?
And in what _Cases_ can devilish _Malice_ be more visibly discover’d,
than in _Those_, where the General Ruin of great Numbers of People is
design’d, without any _Provocation_, and beyond all _Prevention_?  Or
where can Divine _Providence_ more worthily appear, than in baffling
those black and barbarous _Attempts_, which at once overcome _Force_, and
escapes _Foresight_.  Here, if ever, is an important Necessity of _having
the Lord on our side_, when an _Insurrection_ is so cruel as not to be
resisted, and _Destruction_ swallows so quick as not to be remedied:  Two
ugly _Characters_ these, which sit close upon the design’d _Tragedy_ of
this Day: Insomuch that ’tis hard to say whether the _Intention_ of it
was more inhuman, or the _Execution_ in all Appearance more unavoidable.

First the Conspiracy was cruel and inhumane.  And where can we find any
thing like it either under Heathen Tyrants, or amidst the ten Christian
Persecutions?  A _compendious_ kind of _Martyrdom_ This, such as our
_Church-Historians_ say nothing of.  Without the Formality of Fire and a
Stake for every single Sufferer, here an entire Nation was to be sent up
for a _Burnt-Offering_, and the Body of a People to be sacrificed at once
in their _Representatives_.  This was a noble _Dispatch_ of _Heresy_,
compar’d to the dull _Proceedings_ of _Queen Mary’s_ Reign; and the
_Reformation_ now was like to vanish in a Cloud of Smoke in one instant.
The _King_ and _Princes_ of the Blood, the _Lords_ and _Commons_ of
_England_ were at the same Minute to find both _Death_ and a _Grave_; And
upon the Ruins of one _Pile_ was to be rear’d the Tomb of a whole
_Kingdom_.  Glorious _Mischief_! and what might actually compleat (that
which a certain _Emperor_ only ineffectually wish’d) the cutting off a
_Common-wealth_ at one Blow.

Must not this barbarous _Scene_, tho’ at a hundred Years distance, move
every Heart _entirely English_?  How does even the imaginary Slaughter of
our worthy Ancestors come cold over our Breasts, and the Blood which we
draw from them runs chill upon the Reflection.  Had they indeed met with
a fair Enemy, and heard any Warning of their Danger, then, no doubt,
their native Courage would have left Us as little Cause of Concern, as
their Adversaries or Boasting: But for _Valour_ and _Bravery_ to be blown
up by a _scandalous Stratagem_, for _Nobility_ and _Honour_ to be blasted
by an _underground_ Attempt, the Thought raises _Indignation_ and
_Compassion_ at once.  A _Prince_ and the _Peers_ of a _Realm_ to fall by
the Hands of a vile _Incendiary_; _Senators_ and wise _Counsellors_, when
studying the common _Safety_, to sink into sudden _Ruin_; Persons of the
best _Quality_ and _Rank_ to be swallow’d up in ignominious and
undistinguish’d Dust!  Who can hear the bare _Mention_ without a
_Mixture_ of Grief and Horror?  A _Parliament_ in this dreadful manner
_dissolv’d_ could forebode no less than Universal Confusion, and the
entire Overthrow of _Church_ and _State_.

Let not a _Popish Inquisition_, or a _Parisian Massacre_ be any more
talk’d of: _Puny_ Cruelties these, not worthy to vie with the Wholesale
_Execution_ of a _Community_: Course and common _Villanies_, much below
the _refin’d_ and _exquisite_ Methods of slaying Numbers in a Moment.
Here that _Order_ of Men, which is ingenious in all the _Arts_ of Ruin,
did many degrees outwit it self, and learnt a new way of _consecrating_
that sulphurous _Composition_ which an Age or two before they had
invented.  _Wo unto us_: For had the Design taken, _We had been as
Sodom_, _and been made like unto Gomorra_: Each Destruction, as to the
_Materials_ of it, was very much the same: Theirs only was _rain’d_ from
Heaven; Ours was to _rise_ from the Bowels of the Earth.  Perhaps it
might have, in the Conclusion, been more tolerable for _Sodom_ and
_Gomorra_ than for Us: Just so much, as ’tis better to fall into the
Hands of a merciful _God_, than into Those of Bigotted and Blood-thirsty

Moreover, What upon the Principles of the Romish _Church_ must add the
finishing Stroke to the _cruel_ Fact, was, the downright sending so many
guilty Souls into Hell without any Room for _Repentance_, or Possibility
of _Redemption_.  There could be no _Purgatory_ to cleanse Them, unless
the _Flames_ they were immediately to pass thro’ could attain that
Effect.  No _Masses_ to be said for _Hereticks_: Those were more worthily
reserv’d for the _Chief Promoters_ of this _Catholick Cause_, supposing
they should by any means miscarry in it.  The _Actors_ in this horrid
_Scene_ had pardon and Indulgence ready, if not the Promise of being
_Canoniz’d_; But the poor Sufferers were to perish under a _Curse_, and,
as if Death was not enough to expiate their _Heresie_, an _Anathema_ too
must attend them into the other World.  Hard Fate! when the Errors of
unhappy _Protestants_ are not to be dispersed with their Ashes, but
_Excommunications_ and _Interdicts_ must still pursue them into a
miserable Eternity.

The Warmth of this Resentment can want no _Apology_, when we consider
farther that no ill _Usage_ before-hand gave the least Colour to this
unnatural _Conspiracy_.  _Subjects_ they were, who thus undutifully aim’d
at the Life of their _Sovereign_; And Subjects too very tenderly treated,
who quietly enjoyed their _Liberties_ and _Estates_, and had no Occasion
to make them uneasie, but the clearing of the same _Faith_ from
_additional_ Superstitions, which in _Substance_ we jointly believe.  Was
it fair to destroy their lawful _Prince_, because they were rid of a
_Supremacy_ which made them meer _Slaves_?  Was it just to overturn the
antient _Constitution_, because rescued from a _Discipline_, which, if
blindly followed, treats them like _Fools_?  Or if they were still so
much in Love with the Usurpations of the _Popedom_, could not they be
content to bear the galling _Yoke_ themselves, without compelling others
into the same _Bondage_?  And compelling them too in such a savage
manner, that the Best of the _Kingdom_ must be kill’d outright, in Order
to enthral the Rest.  Their Consciences were full in their own _keeping_,
or in that of their _Confessors_; and their usual Violences were not
practis’d, tho’ to bring them over to a purer _Communion_: Sure then
’twas better for them to enjoy their _Religion_ in private, and be
peaceable, than to let it come abroad to the Ruin of the _Publick_.  We
do not find the _Romish Missionaries_ are generally so forward as to
propagate their Faith Abroad, where there is a Hazard of dying for it:
But at Home, where They may profess it without Disturbance, the Death of
their own _Countrymen_ is not stuck at to make way for its general

To advance only one Step farther: Let us grant _Popery_ for once to be as
pure and _Primitive_, as its most zealous Votaries contend, and as
_Catholick_ too as they could wish to have it; yet it makes the Argument
still more guiltily recoil, to carry on a _holy_ Cause by impious
_Projects_, and to promote a _merciful_ Religion by _inhumane_ Practices.
Lord! how did it ever enter into the Hearts of _Christians_, that a kind
Religion which heaps Coals of Fire upon the Heads of Enemies, should do
This not in a _moral_ Sense to melt and soften, but in a _natural_ One to
burn and consume.  The Spirit of _Jesus_ is distinguishable by its
ingenuous _Simplicity_: Greater Shame, that _Those_ who emphatically
stile themselves His _Order_, should be famous for pernicious _Subtlety_,
and fatal _Intrigue_!  How comes the _Propagation_ of the Gospel to be a
perfect Contradiction to its _Precepts_, the latter _enjoining_ whatever
is good and benign, the former _authorising_ whatever is cruel and
destructive?  A strange Way of converting either _Infidels_ or
_Hereticks_, when the Doctrine of Christ is directly overturn’d in the
manner of the _Publication_.  Upon all these Accounts, and under all
these Views such a _complicated Cruelty_ is not to be met with in
_Story_; and to dwell longer upon it would be apt only to raise too much
_Heat_, and run us upon the Hazard of losing _Temper_.

2_ndly_, The _Conspiracy_ was to all appearance as _certain_ in Execution
as in Intention, _cruel_.  The _Seat_ of this clandestine Wickedness was
dark and obscure, as far remov’d from any mortal _Eye_, as one would have
thought the Mischief it self was from Humane _Invention_.  The
_Situation_ of the Place, as well as _Nature_ of the Fact, shew’d that it
came too near the Dominions of the _Prince_ of _Darkness_: And He sure
was too well pleased with the Infernal _Plot_ ever to give us the least
Intimation.  More likely it was the _Evil Angels_ should be Ministers and
Accomplices, than Betrayers and Divulgers of the _Hellish Deed_, too bad
sure ever to be begun without their _Instigation_, or to be accomplish’d
without their _Assistance_.  In one Sense truly this _Pit_ which They had
digg’d for Us was unlike the _Bottomless One_: The Access to it was
difficult, the Avenue narrow, and hard it was to find the Way down to
_these Chambers of Death_:  But, in another Respect it resembled it too
much, namely, that being once sunk into the _sad Abyss_, there could be
no Hope of Return.  How then must the secret _Villany_ but needs succeed,
which no prying _Sagacity_ could discover, and from which no appearing
_Strength_ deliver Us?  What Arbitrary Power _above_ a _Parliament_ was
ever so dangerous, as this insidious Design which in another Sense lay
_beneath_ It?

The _immediate Agents_ were not more cunning in the Contrivance, than
obstinate in the Concealment.  For apprehending (as truly they had Cause
enough) that Nature would shrink at the _forbidding Fact_, and Humanity
not be able to hold out, they thought no Course so sure as fulfilling
this Morning’s _second Lesson_, and binding themselves (like the
Way-layers of St. _Paul_) under Oath and Imprecation.  Religion was
speciously call’d in to back the accurs’d _Confederacy_, to stifle the
faint Motions of Compassion or Conscience, and to gloss over a Crime too
gross to go down, if not _superficially sanctified_: And (what is Ill
beyond all Epithets) the _Holy Sacrament_ was made the Test of the
Treason, and the sacred Seal of the New _Covenant_ of _Grace_ made to
confirm _One_ of Treachery and _Malice_.  If we count it so bad to
prostitute this _Institution_, even for a _temporal_ Preferment; What
must it be to make it jointly the Cement, and the Cover of such an
_Infernal_ Machination?  No Thought then but the fatal _Train_ must take,
when the Mouths of the wicked _Associates_ were as cautiously stopp’d, as
the very Passages tending down into the dark _Apartment_ it self.  So far
were the _Conspirators_ from any Fear of _Detection_, that they hugg’d
themselves over it, as a finish’d Work: So far from any Purpose of
_Confession_, that they bless’d themselves for it, as a brave
Achievement.  The Sense of _Punishment_, even when the Affair had
miscarried, could extort no Discovery; much less could _Pity_, or any
other _Principle_ do it, whilst it was in Agitation.  To this Day We do
not find They are asham’d of the Thing, or afflicted at any Part of it,
bating the _Disappointment_.  The Picture of an _English Jesuit_, who was
principally concern’d in it, is now shown at _Rome_ among the _Rarities_
of the _Place_, and preserved there as a venerable _Relique_: This looks
like recommending the Crime to Posterity, and facing the present
_Solemnity_ out of Countenance.  This tells us that if more such
_Champions_ for the _Romish See_ are to be met with, their Merits shall
not go unrewarded: And consequently, what Cause _We_ have to be still
upon our Guard, and to keep up the _Anniversary Memorial_, not only by
way of _Thankfulness_ for what is past, but of _Warning_ too for the

No Danger could insensibly be nearer the very Act and Minute of
Accomplishment.  The whole _Scheme_ was laid; The gloomy _Theatre_
prepar’d; The fatal _Materials_ ready; The _Undertakers_ resolute; The
_nick_ of Time at Hand, and nothing but a thin _Partition_ betwixt the
Regions of Light and Darkness, of Life and Death.  Upon firm _Ground_ we
seemingly stood, not dreaming that without a Parable, _There was a great
Gulf fixed_, and We inevitably to perish in it, unless some kind
Messenger from the other World would inform us of the Hazard.  The
granting of that _deny’d_ Petition seem’d now the only _Expedient_ of our
Rescue.  How _slender_ a _Support_ at that Minute had the Fate and
Felicity of _England_?  Upon how _slight_ a _Bottom_ was our Hope and
Happiness founded?  A small _Surface_ of Earth, the _Space_ of a few
Hours was all that Mediated betwixt us and Ruin: Then by a _Fate_ not
unlike to _Corah_ and his _Company_, was the Earth to open and devour Us,
tho’ (thank God) for no _Fault_ of the same Nature.  If to every _Nation_
there be, as some have thought, its _adverse_, and its _tutelary Angel_,
we cannot doubt but the utmost Contest was betwixt _Them_ at this
critical _Period_; The One _eager_ to push on our impending Overthrow,
the Other as _Industrious_ to prevent it.

No: What do we talk of _Tutelary Angels_?  _If the Lord Himself had not
been on our side_, _They had swallowed Us up quick_: To frustrate an
Intention so cruel, and an Execution so certain, was _something_ sure
which _wanted_ immediate _Providence_, and _worthy_ of it also.  To save
a whole _Community_, when upon the Brink of Peril, as little appriz’d of
it, as they gave their Enemies Occasion to design it: To catch
_Conspirators_ in the Snares of their own _Policy_, and to plunge them
into the _Pit_ which they had prepar’d for Others: To guide
inconsiderable _Causes_ to the producing of wondrous good Effects, and to
make accidental _Hints_ the Means of mighty _Preservations_: All these,
and many more Particulars of _this Day_, are plain Instances of Divine
Interposal.  Strange it was that such a Relenting _Message_ should be
sent at all, when the _Conspirators_ were so hardened in _Bigotry_, and
bandied together upon _Principle_!  Stranger still that it should be so
fortunately _misconvey’d_ and come to a _Person_ for whom it was not
meant!  Strangest of all, that being writ in such blind and ambiguous
_Terms_, it should be so speedily and seasonably explained!

So many concurring _Circumstances_, when meeting in such a Momentous
_Point_, cannot fairly be resolved into _Chance_, one of which had no
manner of _Coherence_ with the Other.  How should the _King_, without
some Glance of extraordinary _Light_, pierce into the horrid _Vault_, the
hidden Store-house of Destruction?  How without some Touch of a
Prophetick _Spirit_ should He ever think of that fatal _One_ that was to
blow up both the _Houses_ of _Parliament_.  The _Conjecture_ at first
Hearing must appear as _ridiculous_, as the _Fact_ it self was
_barbarous_; And the _Wit_ of Man seem’d as incapable of hitting upon the
_One_, as his _Malice_ of committing the _Other_.  But the less the
natural _Likelihood_ was, the greater was the Providential _Appearance_;
And what might be laught at under the Notion of a _Humane_ Guess, upon
the Proof of the Thing we adore the more as _Divine_ Discovery.

Never sure shall we cease to Adore the _Great Author_ of our unexpected
Safety, who rescued us at once from the _Fiery Furnace_, and from the
_devouring Den_: Those Punishments which _Old Babylon_ distinctly
inflicted, the _New_ had join’d together, as it were in One.  How
unwillingly were the base Workers of Iniquity expos’d to open _Day_,
unable to bear it, because _their Deeds were reproved_?  How happily did
_We_ escape the perpetual _Night_ in which they sought to overwhelm Us?
Loth were They to quit their private _Cell_ wherein they labour’d for our
Overthrow, as the Miner for his Oar, and counted our Ruin their _Riches_.
But _Heaven_ sent a sudden _Damp_ upon their Designs, and the Weapons
which they had formed in this _Hellish Forge_ would not prosper.

So far was _God_ from giving us up unto Destruction, that he suffer’d us
not so much as to fear It, but scatter’d both the _Fear_ and
_Destruction_ at once.  No _Peril_ was ever more imminent, and yet our
Deliverance scarce put Us to the Expence of a _Fright_; And without Time
for being troubled, We saw our _Danger_, and gave our _Thanks_.  The
_Plot_ was just perfected to the clear _Conviction_ and Condemnation of
our Enemies; And yet conceal’d from Us, till ’twas prevented, that We
might labour under no _Confusion_.  Astonishing _Wisdom_! which knows how
to let the _Wicked_ prosper for a while, and yet at the same Time not to
perplex the _Good_: So that in the Event the One may be more _justly_
punish’d, the Other more _surprisingly_ saved.

We have yet taken but a Half-view of this Happy _Day_.  ’Tis famous for a
_second Deliverance_ of later Date, tho’ very much of the same kind.  The
_Adversaries_ the same, the _Hazard_ as great, and the _Escape_ at that
Juncture not less welcom.  _One_ serves to heighten and advance the
_Other_, tho’ each of them singly stands above Acknowledgment.  They both
have a like Place in the _Offices_ of the _Church_, and equally adorn its
_Calendar_.  To give as particular Relation of _This_, as of the
_Former_, would be both Unnecessary and Indecent: _Unnecessary_, as
copying only what is writ in your own Memory: _Indecent_, as seeming to
call your Gratitude into Question.

Few here present have forgot the dreadful Apprehensions of approaching
_Popery_: Not twenty Years are turn’d, since _Liberty_ and _Religion_,
the two great Blessings of Humane Life, were taking their flight from
this melancholy _Island_.  Unhappy _Britain_ was putting on Her Chains,
lay sunk and dispirited, fighting for _Relief_, but saw it not.  That
_Church_ which is the Bulwark of the _Reformation_, was Her self
defenceless; And _She_ to whom her _Sister-Churches_ fled for Refuge,
thought of seeking the same favour, and could no where find it.  Our
_Ark_ was actually tottering, and no one could put his Hand forth to
uphold it, without feeling _Uzziah’s_ Fate: Not inflicted indeed for the
same unwarrantable _Cause_, but equal to it in the _Certainty_ of the
Danger.  We could not tell how soon our _Bibles_ might be shut, and our
_Temples_.  It was already common with us to offer up our _Prayers_ in an
_unknown Language_, that I mean wherein we privately begg’d of God to
defend his poor _Church_, but durst let none hear Us but our selves.  The
Fountains of _Education_ were insensibly corrupted: What follow’d was no
_Knowledge_ at all, and _Superstition_ in lieu of it.  The _Host_ was
daily expected in our Streets, the next was _Flame_ and _Faggot_ for not
adoring it.  I appeal to the dejected Looks, and down cast Eyes of every
true _Protestant_ at that Time, if it was not Thus.  No Glimpse of
Assistance all this while from _Heaven_, or any _Humane_ Power.  The
former seem’d _angry_; The latter was _impotent_, and could not help Us.

Thus was _Darkness_ and _Despair_ spread over the Face of the whole
_Kingdom_, till an _Invited Prince_ rose from the _East_, and rejoiced
with the Sun to begin his Course.  We saw Him, as upon this _Day_,
appearing with feeble Rays, with few _Forces_, attended tho’ with united
_Wishes_.  His _Coming_ was not with a _killing_ Lustre, or with a Glory
that _destroys_, whilst it _shines_; But all Folks then were refresh’d
with the pleasing Sight, and felt a strange Revival.  By his Presence He
caus’d an _Effusion_ of _Joy_, but none of _Christian Blood_.  The
farther he advanc’d, his _Influence_ was found the more agreeable.
_Slavery_ and _Idolatry_ instantly vanish’d, and the Shades of
_Superstition_ fled before Him.  The _Emissaries_ of _Rome_, those
Creatures of Prey, got them away together, and laid them down in their
Dens.  Into Holes and Corners they retir’d, haunted by the Guilt of their
ill _Counsels_, and as forward to desert an _unhappy Prince_, as formerly
they had been to Mislead Him.  We, in the mean Time, wrapt up in
_Silence_ and in _Wonder_, where wholly like to them that Dream.  To us
the _Deliverance_ seem’d meer _Vision_, and the Surprize into which it
cast Us, would scarce allow us to think it _Real_.  Our _Rescue_ was well
nigh over, as soon as undertook, and we lifted up our _Heads_ to see a
Safety obtained, in which our _Hands_ had no share.  The only
_Difficulty_ We were then left under was how to prize and honour our
_Deliverer_ enough.  We judg’d it as impossible ever to be unthankful for
the seasonable _Relief_, as once it seem’d so, ever to obtain it; And we
could repine at nothing (how much soever We have done it since) but at
our own _Inability_, justly to acknowledge so great an _Undertaking_.

May this Auspicious _Day_ ever bear a bright Figure in the _English
Annals_, and continue, as it always has been, the Ornament of _History_,
and Shame of _Popery_.  May the glad _Celebration_ of it run down to late
Posterity, and so keep those Blessings upon perpetual Record, which
otherwise, as at present they are too big to be own’d; so in an Age or
two would seem too great to be believ’d.  ’Tis but fitting the _Church_
should observe a _Festival_, from which she dates her double
Preservation; And we cannot fairly grudge the Day a Share in her Service,
when without it the Whole had been lost.  It has in former Time been
thought, that the Conjunction of Stars made some Days particularly
successful to Persons, or Nations: But our Faith upon this Occasion
carries Us above Those, and puts us under a higher and a better Aspect;
namely, that of a wise and benign Providence.  Heaven will not allow us
to be ungrateful, when we are thus critically and opportunely reminded,
twice I mean on one Day.  This confirm’d Experience gives us cause enough
to conclude with the last Words of this Psalm: _Our Help standeth in the
Name of the Lord_, _who hath made Heaven and Earth_.

                                * * * * *


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Sermon Preach'd upon the Occasion of the Anniversary Thanksgiving of the Fifth of November, 1706 - at the Church of Kensington" ***

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