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stood in the field against the Popish persecutor. Be fore that war closed, the fame of Louis was undone. England rose to the highest military name. In train of immortal victories, she defended Protestantism throughout Europe, drove the enemy to his palace gates, and before she sheathed the sword, broke the power of France for a hundred years.

The Brunswick line were called to the throne on the sole title of Protestantism. They were honourable men, and they kept their oaths to the religion of England. The country rose under each of those Protestant kings to a still higher rank; every trivial reverse compensated by some magnificent addition of honour and power, until the throne of England stands upon a height from which it may look down upon the world.

Yet in our immediate memory there was one remarkable interruption of that progress, which, if the most total contrast to the periods preceding and following can amount to proof, proves that every introduction of Popery into the legislature will be visited as a public crime.

During the war with the French Republic, England had gone on from triumph to triumph. The crimes of the Popish continent had delivered it over to be scourged by France; but the war of England was naval; and in 1805, she consummated that war by the greatest victory ever gained on the seas.* one blow she extinguished the navies of France and

At

Trafalgar, Oct. 1805.

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Spain. The death of her great statesman at length opened the door to a new administration. They were men of acknowledged ability, some, of the highest; and all accustomed to public affairs. But they came in under a pledge to the introduction of Popery soon or late into the legislature. They were emphatically "The Roman Catholic Administration.”

There never was in the memory of man so sudden a change from triumph to disaster. Defeat came upon them in every shape in which it could assail a government; in war, finance, negociation. All their expeditions returned with disgrace. The British arms were tarnished in the four quarters of the globe.t And, as if to make defeat more conspicuous, they were baffled even in that service in which the national feeling was to be the most deeply hurt, and in which defeat seemed impossible. England saw with astonishment her fleet disgraced before a barbarian without a ship on the waters, and finally hunted out of his seas by the fire from batteries crumbling under the discharge of their own cannon.

But the fair fame of the British empire was not to be thus cheaply wasted away. The ministry must perish; already condemned by the voice of the country, it was to be its own executioner. It at length

February, 1806.

†The retreat from Sweden, 1807.—Egypt invaded and evacuated, 1807.-Whitelock sent out to Buenos Ayres, 1807.-Duckworth's repulse at Constantinople, 1807. All those operations had originated in 1806, excepting Whitelock's, which was the final act of the ministry.

made its promised attempt upon the constitution. A harmless measure was proposed, notoriously but a cover for the deeper insults that were to follow. It was met with stern repulse; and, in the midst of public indignation, perished the Popish Ministry of one month and one year.†

Their successors came in on the express title of resistance to Popery; they were emphatically "The Protestant Administration." They had scarcely entered on office, when the whole scene of disaster brightened up, and the deliverance of Europe was be-gun with a vigour that never relaxed, a combination. of unexpected means and circumstances, an effective and rapid success, that if a man had ventured to suppose but a month before, he would have been laughed at as a visionary. Of all countries, Spain, sluggish and accustomed to the yoke of France, with all its old. energies melted away in the vices of its government, was the last that Europe could have looked to for de-fiance of the universal conqueror.

But if ever the battle was fought by the shepherd's staff and sling against the armed giant, it was then. England was summoned to begin a new career of tri

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*The granting of commissions in the army. Mr. Perceval opposed this, as only a pretext; he said, "It was not so much the individual measure, to which he objected, as the system of which it formed a part, and which was growing every day. From the arguments that he had heard, a man might be almost led to suppose that one religion was considered as good as another, and that the Reformation was only a measure of political convenience." † March, 1807.

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umph. Irresistible on one element, she was now to be led up step by step to the first place of glory on another; and that Protestant ministry saw, what no human foresight could have thought to see, Europe restored; the monarch of its monarchs a prisoner in their hands; and the mighty fabric of the French Atheistie Empire, that was darkening and distending like an endless dungeon over the earth, scattered with all its malig nant pomps and ministers of evil into air

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It is impossible to conceive that this regular interchange of punishment and preservation has been without a cause and a purpose. Through almost three hundred years, through all varieties of public circumstance, all changes of men, all shades of general polity, we see one thing alone unchanged, the regular connexion of national misfortune with the introduction of Popish influence, and of national triumph with its exclusion.

It might be possible even to show, that, as the time for the great trial of nations hurries on, England has become the subject of, if such a phrase may be permitted, a still more sensitive vigilance; and that not to have sternly repelled the first temptation of the corrupt faith has in our later day been punished as a crime.

This language is not used to give offence to the Roman Catholic. His religion is reprobated, because it is his undoing, the veil that darkens his understanding, the tyranny that forbids him the use of his natural liberty of choice, the guilty corruption of Christianity that shuts the Scriptures upon him, that forces

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him away from the worship of that Being, who is to be worshipped alone in spirit and in truth; and flings him down at the feet of priests, and images of the Virgin, and the whole host of false and idolatrous mediatorship. But, for himself there can be but one feeling of the deepest anxiety, that he should search the Scriptures; and, coming to that search without insolent self-will, or sullen prejudice, or the haughty and negligent levity to which their wisdom will never be disclosed, he should compare the Gospel of God with the doctrines of Rome.

But, whatever may be the lot of those to whom error has been an inheritance, woe be to the man and the people to whom it is an adoption. If England, free above all nations, sustained amidst the trials which have covered Europe before her eyes with burning and slaughter, and enlightened by the fullest knowledge of Divine truth, refuse fidelity to the compact by which those matchless privileges have been given, her condemnation will not be distant. But if she faithfully repel this deepest of all crimes, and refuse to place Popery side by side with Christianity in the temple of the state, there may be no bound to the sacred magnificence of her preservation. Even the coming terrors and tribulations of the earth may but augment her glory; like the prophet in the mount, even in the midst of the thunderings and lightnings that appal the tribes of the earth, she may be led up, only nearer to behold the Eternal Majesty; and when the time of the visitation has past, to come forth from

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